Quartz Daily Brief—Americas edition—Europe’s manufacturing improves, Tesco’s woes deepen, another White House intruder, Hong Kong 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 on 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.

Will US manufacturing maintain its strength? Analysts expect Markit’s preliminary purchasing managers’ index to decline to 57.0 in October, from 57.5 in September, but that would still signify faster growth than than China, Japan, and the euro zone (see below).

Earnings, earnings, and more earnings. Companies scheduled to report quarterly results include 3M, Amazon, American Airlines, Comcast, and Microsoft, and Raytheon.
While you were sleeping

“Canada will never be intimidated,” vowed prime minister Stephen Harper, speaking from an undisclosed location. Police are looking into Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, the gunman who was shot and killed in Canada’s parliament building yesterday; like a Montreal man who killed a soldier earlier this week, Zehaf-Bibue had been blocked by police from traveling abroad due to fears that he might join a militant jihadist group.

Tesco’s profit shortfall got even worse. Britain’s biggest retailer said first-half profits were overstated by £263 million ($422 million)—more than the £250 million it warned of previously, and forcing the resignation of chairman Richard Broadbent. The company’s shares fell 6% in early trading.

Lloyds is cutting 9,000 jobs. The UK’s largest mortgage lender will announce details of the job cuts along with its third-quarter results next week. The bank, which is about one third-owned by the UK government, said online banking is replacing the need for physical branches.

A man jumped the White House fence. The 23-year-old was stopped outside the building by two dogs from the Secret Service K-9 unit, and was arrested and sent to the hospital with dog bites. The two dogs were also taken to the veterinarian after sustaining injuries in the incident.

Surprisingly good news for euro zone manufacturing… Markit’s preliminary purchasing managers’ index for October was 50.7, higher than last month’s 50.3 and higher than an expected 49.9 (a number over 50 signifies expansion). It is some welcome positivity after weeks of dismal economic data from the euro zone.

…And for China and Japan. In China the HSBC/Markit preliminary purchasing managers’ index, which assesses small and medium-sized manufacturers, was at a higher-than-expected 50.4 in October; in Japan, the gauge published by Markit/JMMA rose to 52.8 (paywall).

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

The US media has a lot to learn from Canada. News coverage of the Ottawa shootings was devoid of exaggeration, rumor, or mistakes.

Google’s self-driving car isn’t going 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.

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

Kenny G backed down in Hong Kong. After risking Beijing’s displeasure by attending protests, the saxophonist now says he was just walking through.

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 noisy. NASA’s SoundCloud account lets everyone have a listen.

Reminder: Get a 50% discount on our Next Billion conference in New York on Nov. 5 using the code QZBRIEF.

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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