Quartz Daily Brief—Asia edition—Calm Canada, Amazon anxiety, ugly dinosaurs, drug lord action figures

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What to watch for today

Canadian lawmakers put on a brave face. Lawmakers and public servants return to work in the aftermath of Wednesday’s shooting in Ottawa. The country’s parliament plans to introduce legislation to boost police and intelligence service powers to counter terrorist threats.

Less creditor love for Russia. Standard & Poor’s is due to weigh in on the quality of Russia’s sovereign debt. Last week, Moody’s cut its rating for the country to Baa2, citing “the military confrontation in Ukraine and escalating sanctions.” The collapse in oil prices also isn’t helping (paywall).

Brazil’s presidential candidates take the stage. In the last debate before the country’s Oct. 26 elections, Brazilians will watch incumbent Dilma Rousseff battle challenger Aecio Neves. Rousseff has new wind in her sails; Brazil’s unemployment rate unexpectedly dropped to 4.9% in September.

A dowdy British economy. Data is expected to show the British economy grew by 3% in the third quarter, down from 3.2% in the previous quarter, amid weak British consumer demand and more European malaise.

Earnings, earnings, and more earnings. Companies slated to announce their quarterly results include: Caixabank, Choice Hotels, Colgate-Palmolive, Ford, Omnicare, Procter & Gamble, United Parcel Service (UPS), and Wyndham Worldwide.

While you were sleeping

Amazon tested investors’ patience. Shares of the company plummeted after Amazon posted a 20% quarterly revenue gain, alongside a $437 million profit loss, its biggest quarterly profit loss in 14 years. Some doubters call the setup a ponzi scheme; others call it the future.

Paul Allen threw $100 million at Ebola. The Microsoft co-founder joins Bill Gates (who donated $50 million) and Mark Zuckerberg (who donated $25 million) on the list of wealthy individuals trying to stop the deadly virus in its tracks.

American car buyers saved General Motors. The car company’s third-quarter profit came in at $1.47 billion, 14% lower than the same quarter a year ago. Its performance still bested analyst expectations. The company benefitted from more resilient North American customers who bought more cars and trucks at higher prices and made up for big losses in Europe and South America.

Jobless claims hit a 14-year low. The number of Americans who filed for unemployment over the past month reached its lowest point in 14 years. The four-week average of jobless claims—a steadier measure than the weekly updatefell to 281,000 from 284,000 the previous week, according to the US department of labor.

America’s airlines raked it in. United Airlines had a particularly strong third quarter, doubling its profits from the same quarter a year ago. American Airlines not only posted a record Q3 profit, but also predicted a record fourth quarter and full year 2014Southwest Airlines and JetBlue both shined, too, thanks to through-the-roof demand and cheap fuel.

Quartz obsession interlude

Matt Phillips on why Indians earn more than other ethnic groups in America. ”Education levels among those who identify as Indian are incredibly high: Roughly 76% of those above the age of 25 have graduated from college. ‘For these ethnic groups, education explains most of the wage differences, since on average Indian, Japanese, and Chinese workers have higher levels of education than the rest of the labor force (education explains half to three-quarters of the observed wage gaps),’ Department of Labor analysts wrote.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Inheritances aren’t causing inequality. They’re actually helping the less well-off.

The Blackwater verdict is just step one. America needs to learn how to better manage its mercenaries.

Don’t equate Canada’s gun culture with that of the US. Canadian gun violence is low because, unlike Americans, Canadians trust their government.

American car dealerships are fighting a losing battle. Tesla’s direct auto sales to consumers are the way of the future.

Obama’s playing the long and unpopular game. He’s not tackling ISIL head on, he’s containing and degrading the threat.

Surprising discoveries

Living with a smoker is like living in Beijing. The pollutive effects are similar.

The best day to buy an airplane ticket is Sunday. Not Tuesday.

Whales are huge because no one is eating them. The 50-foot Megalodon sharks that once did went extinct 2.6 million years ago.

Time to to rewrite dinosaur textbooks. To make way for this really ugly one.

Toys R Us is rethinking the virtues of selling drug lord action figures. Smart.

Click here for more surprising discoveries on Quartz.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, Indian American success stories, and exceedingly violent toys to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.

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