Quartz Daily Brief—Asia edition—Sweden’s budget, Canadian chaos, Boeing’s success, tractor beams

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What to watch for today

Back in Brussels. Europe’s leaders are expected to agree an outline of the bloc’s climate and energy goals for 2030. They’ll also discuss the European economy (obviously), Ebola, and Ukraine, and UK prime minister David Cameron will likely bring up immigration.

Sweden shifts its priorities. The new government is presenting the first draft of its budget. It’ll show that creating jobs requires $2.7 billion in new spending—something that didn’t happen for eight years under the previous powers-that-be, which were aiming at a 1% budget surplus by 2018.

Shaky industrial output is a problem in Europe… Composite euro zone PMI data are expected to show that the continent’s manufacturing levels contracted for the first time in 16 months. Questions will arise—again—about the ECB’s potential purchase of corporate bonds as a form of stimulus (paywall).

…and China, too. HSBC’s China manufacturing PMI figure for October better come in above 50 (i.e., expansion), because September’s reading of 50.5 was a little too scary for investors. China’s economy may have grown at a rate of 7.3% in Q3 2014, but that’s the worst growth the country has seen since Q1 2009.

Earnings, earnings, and more earnings. Companies scheduled to report results include Amazon, American Airlines, Comcast, Credit Suisse, Daimler, Hyundai, Kia, Microsoft, Orange, Raytheon, and Tesco.

While you were sleeping

Drug makers joined forces. Pharma rivals Johnson & Johnson and GlaxoSmithKline agreed to work together to get an Ebola vaccine out in early 2015 (it’s not their first joint venture). Human trials could begin in January. J&J says it can have 250,000 doses by May, with an eventual goal of one million.

Boeing raised its 2014 outlook—again. It’s the third time the company has tweaked its forecast upward, and with good reason—third-quarter profits came in 18% higher. Sales in the division that handles defense contracts were down 2%, however, due to reduced government spending.

South Africa dashed its hopes. Having cut its growth forecast from 3% to 2.7% back in February, the treasury reduced it even further to 1.4%, blaming the strikes in mining and manufacturing. South Africa’s GDP hasn’t grown more than 2% annually since the 2009 recession.

A gunman attacked Canada’s parliament. He killed a guard at the national war memorial and then stormed the parliament building, where he was gunned down himself. Earlier this week Canada raised its terror level from low to medium after a hit-and-run incident.

Twitter killed the password. During its developer conference, Twitter announced “Digits”, a service that will let people log in to any app by having a code texted to their phone and entering that instead  of having to remember a password.

Quartz obsession interlude

Nikhil Sonnad on fixing society using data. “Minority Report-style predictions aren’t the goal. Rather it is to identify the features that make a community more susceptible to violence. If the model’s predictions are better than the alternatives, governments and other organizations can make use of the conclusions to target their policy efforts.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

CEOs are working themselves to death. A runway accident was what killed Total’s boss, but the high-stress jet-setting lifestyle takes its toll on his peers.

Pick your word processor wisely. You’d be surprised how destructive Microsoft Word is on the creative process.

Bullet trains are great only on paper. They’re no good in places where it takes longer to get to the railway station than to the airport.

Obama needs to put his foot down on nukes. If he doesn’t, the US will spend $570 billion on a fresh batch of bombs.

Surprising discoveries

Star Trek-style tractor beams are now a thing. But they’re not that strong—yet.

Space makes noise. NASA has a SoundCloud account so everyone can have a listen.

A British cab firm is letting customers ask for a white driver. The local council says it’s perfectly within its rights to do so.

Hungary wants to tax the internet. It will charge service providers 150 forints ($0.60) per gigabyte—if it can get away with it.

A man’s Y-chromosomes may save his life. Men who lose their Y-chromosomes with age seem to have a higher risk of cancer.

Click here for more surprising discoveries on Quartz.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, intergalactic remixes, and Y-chromosome counts to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.

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