Quartz Daily Brief—Asia edition—Hong Kong talks, Nigeria beats Ebola, Google’s gold, Scotland’s sexy invention

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What to watch for today

Hong Kong finally listens. Protestors and government officials hold their first talks after numerous delays and over three weeks of the city’s streets being occupied. It’s unlikely anything will be resolved. Members of the Umbrella Revolution want to elect their own leader—something China will make sure won’t happen.

Yahoo explains its new diet. When the search firm details third-quarter results after US markets close today, its CEO—Marissa Mayer—is expected to discuss its cost-cutting plans (paywall) and acquisition strategy with the windfall it made from the Alibaba IPO.

Chinese quantifies its slowdown. The country releases GDP data for the third quarter. Economists polled by the AFP say growth will come in at 7.2% annualized, its slowest quarter in five years. Separately, the communist party’s Central Committee continues its plenum, the annual rubber-stamping of major policy.

Junk-food earnings. The Coca-Cola Group’s third-quarter results are expected to include a note on a measure that could shave as much as $1 billion a year off the books for the next five years. McDonald’s numbers will likely be hit by Chinese food scandals. Sonic, America’s largest drive-through chain, will report too.

Amazon’s new Kindle goes on sale. Reviews say the $199 e-ink reader, the Kindle Voyage, will be the best Amazon has ever made, but are people going to fork up that kind of money when it could buy them a tablet running Android or a gently used iPad?

While you were sleeping

Nigeria was declared free of Ebola. The World Health Organization is calling it a “spectacular success story“, though it adds “the war will only end when West Africa is also declared free of Ebola.” Last month, the CDC predicted a worst-case scenario of 1.4 million infections by the end of January. Nigeria had just 20.

Marc Andreessen decided to leave eBay’s board. After six years on the job, and a bitter fight with investor Carl Icahn over what eBay should do with PayPal, the venture capitalist is calling it quits. PayPal will eventually separate from eBay next year.

Apple sold a whole lot of iPhones. 39.3 million to be exact, up from 33.8 million during the same quarter a year ago. That’s despite the delayed launch of the iPhone 6 in China. Net income hit $8.47 billion, up from $7.51 billion, and revenues rose 12% to $42.12 billion. iPad sales are down 6%, however.

Europe passed more sanctions against Syria. The extent of the latest punishments for Bashar al-Assad’s regime will be detailed later today, but the Wall Street Journal says (paywall) an additional 16 people and two entities will be targeted, bringing the total to 211 people and 63 entities.

Germany had some good economic news. Looks like there won’t be a recession after all, at least if the latest Bundesbank bulletin (paywall) is to be believed. It says that wages have increased, which gave consumer spending a boost, which in turn kept GDP from sinking, though it isn’t growing either.

Quartz obsession interlude

John McDuling on Google’s not-so-secret gold nugget. “Google does not currently break out the financial performance for YouTube but analysts at Jefferies recently said they think it could generate $7 billion in revenue in 2015, and become a $30 billion a business in the next few years. Compare that to Google as a whole, which last year raked in $33.9 billion in total revenue, minus commissions to traffic partners, according to FactSet.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Ban PowerPoint. Amazon has the right idea—it makes everyone read and write six-page memos before meetings.

Young people aren’t going to wait for the church to change. They’re just going to stop coming every Sunday.

Only rich people in America should have sex. Because poor people can’t afford to get pregnant.

Don’t ban big soda cups. If you want people to get thin, teach them what calories are.

China is going backwards. It’s not fixing its problems as much as covering them up.

Surprising discoveries

People in South Korea really like video games. 40,000 fans filled up a stadium to watch gamers game.

Fish invented fornication. In Scotland, 385 million years ago.

America gave Nazi war criminals millions of dollars. As long as they stayed out of America.

Some people think a giant sex toy is art. Some don’t.

Punched big holes in your earlobes? No problem. Surgery to repair “stretch tunnels” is easy—if expensive.

Click here for more surprising discoveries on Quartz.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, Bezos approved memos, and fishing stories to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.

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