Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today
Apple earnings and Pay. The company releases its latest quarterly results after the close of US trading, and analysts expect a 12% increase in iPhone sales, an 8% decline in iPad sales, and a strong forecast for the holiday period. The Apple Pay e-payments system will also launch in the United States, with partners including Chase and Citibank.
China considers the rule of law. The annual gathering of Communist party leaders will discuss the country’s anti-corruption drive, the fate of former petroleum and security chief Zhou Yongkang, and a possible military reshuffle. While the so-called “fourth plenum” will largely serve as a rubber-stamp for policies put forward by president Xi Jinping, the agenda suggest Chinese leaders may actually be considering how to improve governance.
Obama looks to contain Ebola. The US president is preparing to ask Congress for more funds to deal with a local outbreak of the disease, which could be a politically-loaded move before the US midterm elections. In Texas, most of the people who had contact with the Liberian man who died of Ebola have been told they are no longer at risk.
Global economic data. Producer price data from Germany, industrial orders from Italy, and consumer confidence from the Netherlands will shed light on the euro zone’s struggles. In London, new house price figures will tell us just how bubblicious the British capital’s housing market is this month.
Over the weekend
A bid for Reebok kicks off. A consortium of investors from Hong Kong and Abu Dhabi will offer $2.2 billion to buy the athletic goods maker from Adidas (paywall), which acquired the company eight years ago for €3 billion ($3.8 billion), sources told the Wall Street Journal. Jynwel Capital and its partners will argue that Reebok would fare better as an independent company, echoing a wave of recent divestitures and split-ups in the tech industry.
IBM couldn’t even give its chip business away. Big Blue agreed to pay GlobalFoundries $1.5 billion to take a money-losing chip manufacturing unit off its hands, sources told Bloomberg. IBM will get $200 million in assets to defray the costs, along with crucial processors from GlobalFoundries under a 10-year contract.
“Outside forces” were blamed for Hong Kong protests. Chief executive CY Leung blamed “participation by people [and] organizations from outside of Hong Kong” for demonstrations that have entered their fourth week. The New York Times reported last week that the Hong Kong government’s response has largely been directed by Beijing officials in a mainland luxury resort.
Joko Widodo was sworn in as Indonesia’s president. The 53-year-old is the country’s first leader not to come from Indonesia’s military or political elite. Two-thirds of the country’s parliament is still controlled by an opposition coalition.
Shinzo Abe lost a key minister to scandal. Yuko Obuchi, a trade and industry minister appointed as part of the prime minister’s drive to include more women in government, resigned over allegations of misused funds. The loss of Obuchi comes as Abe’s approval rating has slipped to 48.1%: for most of last year he enjoyed an approval rate around 60%, much higher than his predecessors.
The Pope’s reform efforts fell flat. Pope Francis’ proposals to promote greater acceptance 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.
Embezzlement at Petrobas. Brazil’s president Dilma Rousseff acknowledged there was money stolen (paywall) from the government-controlled oil producer. “I will do all I can to reimburse the country,” she said, having previously denied the allegations linked to her Workers Party ahead of her bid for re-election on October 26.
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
Museums are diplomatic tools. They can aid revolutions and bridge unfamiliar cultures.
Seven is the magic number for business meetings. Each additional person cuts decision-making by 10%.
The euro zone’s woes are everybody’s woes. The EU is the world’s most important economic market.
Deserted islands may lose the rights to their territorial waters. Climate change strikes again.
A New Hampshire pumpkin festival ended in a riot. Student “revelers” overturned a car and caused extensive damage.
Ford is installing heart attack sensors. They will bring the car safely to a stop if the driver is incapacitated (paywall).
2014 will be the first year since 1976 without a platinum-selling artist. Beyonce and Lorde are nowhere close to the 1 million sales mark.
Now you can live in a Muji store. Or at least a pre-fab $180,000 house designed to look like one.
The Scrabble dictionary is getting an update. Players are really blanking unhappy about it.
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