Quartz Daily Brief—Europe edition—Kim Jong-un is back, Iliad drops T-Mobile, US rethinks Ebola, Crumbs rises again

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What to watch for today

A confab to revive Europe. The euro zone’s finance ministers convene in Luxembourg to propose short- and medium-term projects to grow the continent’s economy. The International Monetary Fund says it is concerned that Europe will enter into another recession, and Germany may already be heading into one.

Three banks and a chipmaker announce quarterly results. JPMorgan, Citigroup, and Wells Fargo all announce third-quarter earnings (paywall), as will Intel, which may provide more evidence that sales of PC have bottomed out and may even rebound.

The West regroups against ISIL. US envoy Martin Dempsey is holding a meeting in Washington with the defense ministers of more than 20 countries to discuss how to defeat the Islamic State. Despite constant airstrikes, the extremist group is still gaining ground near Baghdad.

Ireland assesses its “tax haven” status. The country’s finance minister is giving a speech where he’s expected to address the the tax loopholes (paywall) that allow companies like Apple and Google to avoid billions in payments.

Catalan’s independence referendum is called off. Region president Artur Mas is expected to say the planned Nov. 9 vote over Catalan’s future is unworkable (paywall) within Spain’s legal system.

The return of corporate cupcakes. Crumbs Bake Shop rode the rise and fall of cupcake craze before closing shop in July. Now Crumbs is prepared to rise again after emerging from bankruptcy, at least in one Manhattan location.

While you were sleeping

The US is reconsidering its Ebola protocols. The infection of a nurse in Dallas who treated an Ebola patient is forcing health authorities to weigh new safety protocols for treating the virus, including the possibility of relocating patients to one of the four US hospitals that has a secure biocontainment unit.

Kim Jong-un is back.  The North Korean leader made an appearance on state-owned media after a six-week absence, touring a new residential housing complex with a cane and a fuller-than-ever head of hair. Kim’s low profile prompted rumors of a possible coup or serious health issue.

Hong Kong police cleared protest barricades, again. Hundreds of officers removed barriers and tents from a major road in the city’s central business district. On Monday, the removal of barricades presaged violent attacks on the demonstrators by masked men.

Iliad lost interest in T-Mobile US. The low-cost French telecom company became the third suitor to drop plans to acquire the US mobile carrier. Deutsche Telekom, which owns 66% of T-Mobile US, may prefer to sell its stake after US regulations are loosened, sources told Reuters.

Singapore’s GDP growth beat expectations. The city-state’s economy grew 1.2% annually in the third quarter, compared to expectations of a 0.8% rise. The rise—from a contraction of 0.1% in the second quarter—is largely due to a recovering global economy that is creating more demand for manufactured goods.

More than 50 civil-rights protestors were arrested in Missouri.  The St. Louis city hall was also occupied, a Walmart was shut down, and a political fundraiser was disrupted by protestors demanding justice for an unarmed black teenager shot by a white police officer.

Universal Studios is going to China. The Beijing Universal theme park, a $3.3 billion joint venture between the movie studio and a Chinese state-owned enterprise, will open in 2019. Disney has its own plans to open a $5.5 billion Disneyworld in Shanghai next year, its first park in mainland China.

Quartz obsession interlude

Kabir Chibber on Finland’s public enemy #1. “Finland lost its AAA credit rating from Standard & Poor’s last week, thanks to the “loss of global market share in the key information technology sector [and] structural retrenchment of the important forestry sector,” according to S&P. Today, Finnish prime minister Alexander Stubb laid the blame for the decline of its tech and paper industries at the feet of one company: Apple.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Men need more friends to survive. So says the archbishop of Canterbury.

Computers ruined both dating and finance. No one plays the long game anymore.

Beethoven was indeed great. But he wasn’t a god, and his veneration has stifled his successors.

The whole midlife crisis thing is made up. There’s just no data to back it up (paywall).

Ukraine was just the beginning. Putin is slowly re-taking Eastern Europe.

Surprising discoveries

Italy is enlisting its army to grow marijuana. It’s legal for medicinal use, and the government hopes the military can bring costs down.

A company is trying to sell They want $150,000 for it.

What would you swallow for good health? Pills made from frozen fecal matter are shown to restore healthy gut bacteria.

A new species of snail is named in honor of marriage equality. Aegista diversifamilia has both male and female reproductive organs.

When lying on Facebook is unavoidable. A 113-year-old woman couldn’t join the social network because it wouldn’t accept her birth year of 1900.

Correction: In yesterday’s brief we said the marathon world record hadn’t changed since 1988. In fact it was unbroken only from 1988 to 1998.

Click here for more surprising discoveries on Quartz.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, new snail species, and Italian army weed to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.

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