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 Ottowa. Canada plans to introduce legislation to boost police and intelligence services’ powers to counter terrorist threats.
Rating agency skepticism of Russia. Standard & Poor’s is due to weigh in on the quality of Russia’s sovereign debt. Last week, Moody’s cut its rating, 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.
Earnings, earnings, and more earnings. Companies slated to announce their quarterly results include Choice Hotels, Colgate-Palmolive, Ford, Omnicare, Procter & Gamble, United Parcel Service (UPS), and Wyndham Worldwide.
While you were sleeping
New York City had its first Ebola case… Dr. Craig Spencer, who was been working with Doctors Without Borders in Guinea, was rushed to the hospital by emergency services workers in protective gear after developing a high fever. City health officials confirmed that he tested positive for Ebola, but said the risk to the public was minimal. Spencer took the subway to a bowling alley on Wednesday night, but he was not running a fever at the time and was therefore not infectious.
…And so did Mali. A two-year-old girl who traveled to Guinea has also tested positive for Ebola. Mali, one of the poorest countries in the world, is now the sixth West African nation to record a recent case of the virus; Senegal and Nigeria have since been declared Ebola-free.
China’s property prices fell. New home prices nationwide were down 1.3% in September (paywall) year-on-year, falling in 69 of the 70 cities surveyed. That compares to price declines in 68 cities in August and 64 in July. China’s property industry is crucial for supporting local government budgets and driving overall economic growth.
AMC took control of BBC America. The US cable network that is home to “Mad Men” agreed to pay $200 million for a 49.9% stake and operational control of the UK public broadcaster’s US channel. The remainder will continue to be owned by BBC Worldwide, the BBC’s commercial arm.
Shinzo Abe suffered his third scandal in a week. An aide to Japan’s trade minister spent public money at a sadomasochistic sex club and later claimed for it on official expenses. The minister, Yoichi Miyazawa, has only been on the job for three days; his predecessor was forced to resign for misuse of public funds.
Amazon tested investors’ patience. Shares plummeted after the online retail giant posted a $437 million quarterly loss, its biggest in 14 years. Some doubters call Jeff Bezos’ company a ponzi scheme; others call it the future.
Microsoft’s cloud is booming. The company’s quarterly earnings beat expectations, at $0.54 per share. Revenue was up 25% from a year ago, boosted in part by an 128% increase in cloud services.
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
The web has come full circle. Facebook’s launch of anonymous interest group “Rooms” proves a yearning for Web 1.0.
Inheritances aren’t causing inequality. They’re actually helping the less well-off.
The Blackwater verdict is just a start. America needs to learn to manage its mercenaries.
Canada’s gun culture isn’t toxic like America’s. Violence is low because Canadians trust their government.
Anti-Tesla car dealerships are fighting a losing battle. Direct sales to consumers are the way of the future.
Email addresses can be recycled. Facebook and Yahoo are trying to make it safe.
Living with a smoker is like moving to Beijing. At least for your lungs.
Whales are huge because they have no seaborne predators. The 50-foot Megalodon shark went extinct 2.6 million years ago.
Time to rewrite dinosaur textbooks again. To make room for this really ugly one.
Click here for more surprising discoveries on Quartz.