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. Canada plans to introduce legislation to boost police and intelligence services’ powers to counter terrorist threats.
Rating agency skepticism about Russia. Standard & Poor’s is due to weigh in on the quality of Russia’s sovereign debt, and any cut would make it the first agency to rate it as “junk.” Last week, Moody’s cut its rating, and 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, UPS, and Wyndham Worldwide.
While you were sleeping
New York City got its first Ebola case. Dr. Craig Spencer, who was working with Doctors Without Borders in Guinea, was rushed to the hospital and tested positive for Ebola. Health officials are seeking people who had contact with Spencer but say the risk to the general public is minimal; he took the subway to a bowling alley on Wednesday night, but was not running a fever and was therefore not infectious.
The UK economy is the envy of Europe… Quarterly GDP growth in Britain slowed a bit in the third quarter, to 0.7% from 0.9% in the previous quarter. Even so, the British economy is expanding far faster than its neighbors, which will be lucky to record growth half as fast.
…But an EU revolt is brewing. The British and Dutch prime ministers met to discuss an unexpected hike in their mandatory contributions to the EU budget, triggered by recalculations of their economic growth. It’s no shocker the Brits and Dutch are irked: The call for extra cash comes as France and Italy defy the bloc’s rules on budget deficits (paywall).
Hong Kong protestors announced a vote. The Hong Kong Federation of Students will poll members of the public to see if they should accept proposals from the government to establish a platform to discuss future constitutional changes. The HKFS initially rejected the offer after televised talks on Tuesday.
BASF cut its 2015 targets. The world’s largest chemical company abandoned its full-year sales target and reduced its profit forecast to €10-12 billion ($12.7-15.2 billion), from a previous forecast of €14 billion. Chief executive Kurt Bock pointed to weak growth in emerging markets and a delayed recovery in the euro zone.
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.
Sweden’s search for a suspected Russian submarine was called off. The country’s defense ministry put a brave face on the failed “Hunt for Reds in October,” saying, “people were proud to see our military can conduct a large operation like this.”
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
Hong Kong protestors have walked into a trap. Agreeing to ill-defined talks makes them look incapable of playing with the big boys.
The web has come full circle. Facebook’s launch of anonymous interest group “Rooms” proves a yearning for Web 1.0.
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.
Cute robots could be the most dangerous. Their big eyes encourage people to drop their guard, and their passwords.
Melanie Griffith grew up with a lion. It was part of the most expensive home movie ever made.
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 giant-armed fellow.
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