Quartz Daily Brief—Asia Edition—Apple Pay and earnings, Petrobas corruption, German apprenticeships, Scrabble

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What to watch for today

Apple announces results… After showing off a watch, two new phones, and new tablets and desktop computers, the Cupertino-based giant will reveal its latest quarterly results after the close of US trading. Analysts expect 38 million iPhones sold, which would be 12% growth, and an 8% decline in sales of iPads, as well as a strong forecast for the holiday period.

…as Apple Pay launches. The new e-payments system from the iPhone maker will launch as part of iOS 8.1. The launch is US-only to begin with—with some major banks like Chase and Citi signed up—but Apple aims to roll it out fairly quickly worldwide. But it may need to embrace localization to thrive in emerging markets.

Something “major” from IBM. The company says it will “make a major business announcement” and simultaneously release third-quarter results at 7am US eastern time. Given recent trends, perhaps it’s eyeing a split-up—it has been trying to offload its chip business for months.

Global economic data. Look for producer price data from Germany, industrial orders from Italy, and consumer confidence from the Netherlands as the euro zone continues to head for a sluggish end to the year. One ECB member will speak in London, where the latest house price figures from Rightmove will tell us just how bubblicious the British capital’s housing market is this month.

Obama looks to contain Ebola and outstep rivals. The US president is preparing to ask Congress for more funds to deal with a local outbreak of the disease. The move could be political before the US midterm elections. A man visiting from Liberia has died and two nurses treating him became infected in Dallas—a far cry from the more the 4,000 who have died in West Africa.

Over the weekend

The Pope’s reform efforts fell flat. Pope Francis’ proposals to promote greater acceptance within the Catholic church of people who are gay or divorced failed to win a two-thirds majority at a Vatican synod. The pope had called the special council last fall to discuss matters involving the composition of families.

Bring your NRA membership to vote. The US Supreme Court allowed a strict 2011 Texas law that requires photo ID—a license to own a gun is acceptable—to remain in place. The state disputes charges that the law targets minorities. The Court has intervened on voting in November midterm elections in four states in the last three weeks.

The search mission in Nepal ended. Almost 400 people have been rescued on the Himalayan trails after a storm. The government said there are no more trekkers stranded. At least 39 people have died in the country’s worst-ever trekking disaster. Many survivors have severe frostbite and will have to have limbs amputated.

Embezzlement at Petrobas. Brazil’s president Dilma Rousseff acknowledged there was embezzlement (paywall) at the government-controlled oil producer for the first time. “I will do all I can to reimburse the country,” she said, having previously denied the allegations linked to her Workers Party. Rousseff is seeking re-election on Oct. 26th.

The Koreas engaged in battle—briefly. Troops from North and South Korea exchanged fire for about 10 minutes in the latest in a series of minor incidents along the world’s most heavily militarized border. No casualties have occurred in any of the clashes so far. Last week, the militaries of the two Koreas met to discuss to tensions, with no resolution.

Quartz obsession interlude

Tamar Jacoby on why Germany is so much better at training its workers. “The first thing you notice about German apprenticeships: The employer and the employee still respect practical work.German firms don’t view dual training as something for struggling students or at-risk youth.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

At meetings, limit the number of attendees to seven. Each additional person cuts decision-making by 10%.

The euro zone’s economic woes are a global problem. The EU is the world’s most important market.

Deserted islands may lose the rights to their territorial waters. Climate change strikes again.

The NY Times’s editorial board proposes a loan rate cap. It wants national lending standards.

Surprising discoveries

The end of reading glasses is approaching. If you don’t mind your eyes being cut open.

Hackers can find out your name and sexual orientation. By looking at the public Wi-Fi.

Muji now does pre-packaged homes, too. For only $180,000.

The Scrabble dictionary is getting an update. Players aren’t happy.

Click here for more surprising discoveries on Quartz.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, pre-made Japanese houses, and Apple Pay hacks to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.

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