Quartz Daily Brief—Europe edition—Canadian terror attack, White House intruder, Asia’s manufacturing bump, China language wars

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Good morning, Quartz readers!

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.

Euro zone manufacturing gets a check-up. Composite euro zone PMI data should 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).

Earnings, earnings, and way more earnings. Companies scheduled to report results include 3M, Amazon, American Airlines, Comcast, Credit Suisse, Daimler, Hyundai, Kia, Microsoft, Orange, Raytheon, and Tesco.

While you were sleeping

A suspected terror attack in Ottawa. A man identified as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, a Canadian convert to Islam, shot and killed a soldier at the National War Museum in Ottawa before entering parliament and firing multiple times. Zehav-Bibeau was then shot and killed by Kevin Vickers, the parliamentary sergeant-at-arms who is best know for wielding a ceremonial golden mace. The attack came two days after a similar attack in Montreal that also killed a Canadian soldier.

A man was arrested for jumping the White House fence. The 23-year-old entered the north lawn only a month after a similar episode led to the resignation of the Secret Service director Julia Pierson. Officers were on high alert following the Ottawa attack, and dogs from the Secret Service K-9 unit stopped the man; no shots were fired.

“Tax inversion” deals aren’t dead yet. US generic drug maker Mylan will tweak its $5.3 billion purchase of an Abbott Laboratories unit, a deal designed to let it reincorporate as a Dutch company (paywall) and pay lower corporate taxes. In response to new US Treasury rules, Mylan will allow Abbott to maintain 22% ownership of the unit, versus 21% previously.

An uptick in China’s manufacturing… HSBC/Markit’s preliminary purchasing managers’ index, which assesses small and medium-sized manufacturers, ticked up to a higher-than-expected 50.4 in October (a number over 50 signifies expansion). China’s manufacturing sector is being closely watched as its property sector, a traditional growth engine, cools significantly.

…And in Japan’s. The Markit/JMMA preliminary purchasing managers’ index rose in October to 52.8 (paywall): it was expected to stay steady at 51.7. Japan’s PMI has been slipping after the government raised the national sales tax in April, but has been resurgent recently, which could lend support to raising the sales tax again (paywall) in the coming months.

Procter & Gamble reshuffled its top brass. The consumer products giant announced new leaders across its key businesses and the imminent departure of Melanie Healey, the head of its US operations (paywall). P&G’s US unit is its most profitable, but it has failed to regain market share following the financial crisis.

Quartz obsession interlude

Gwynn Guilford on how Hong Kong protesters are using language to push back against Beijing. “The frequent and deliberate use of Cantonese phrases in Umbrella Movement slogans symbolizes not just Hong Kong’s resistance to the Communist Party’s political values, but the defense of its distinct cultural identity, as well as the history of the autonomy Hongkongers are fighting to defend.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Google’s self-driving car isn’t likely to happen. Computers won’t have enough intelligence to be truly autonomous for quite some time.

Modern CEOs live a homeless, lonely life. The death of Total’s boss highlights the toll of a high-stress jet-setting lifestyle.

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

Bullet trains are only great on paper. If it takes longer to get to the railway station than the airport, what’s the point?

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

Surprising discoveries

The FBI has a file on one in three Americans. It adds around 10,000 names per day.

Now you can buy “Ebola” branded heroin.” Half a kilo was seized in New Jersey.

You’ve been peeling oranges all wrong. Lop off the top and bottom, and unroll it into an “orange caterpillar.”

The empty reaches of space are actually quite loud. NASA’s SoundCloud account lets everyone have a listen.

A British cab firm lets customers request a white driver. The local town council says it’s perfectly within its rights to do so.

Click here for more surprising discoveries on Quartz.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, interstellar remixes, and orange peeling techniques to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.

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