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Quartz Daily Brief—Brazil’s Rousseff re-elected, Ebola quarantine loosened, Twitter results, scary clowns unfunny

What to watch for today

#Earnings. Twitter reports its latest set of quarterly results a day before its social networking rival Facebook, whose shares it has generally underperformed, as both look to grow their user bases and engagement metrics. Analysts are expecting Twitter earnings per share of 1 cent, on revenue of around $350 million.

Global economic data. Germany’s IFO institute releases its much-watched monthly economic indicator; investors will also be watching pending home sales in the US.

Merck gets a once-over. Competition from generic drugs companies is expected to hurt the global drug maker’s third quarter results, but investors will be looking for good news surrounding its immuno-oncology medicines.

Over the weekend

New York eased its Ebola quarantine policy. Governor Andrew Cuomo will allow health workers returning from treating Ebola patients in West Africa to be quarantined in their own homes, after intense criticism of New York and New Jersey’s mandatory 21-day quarantine policies, which kept a nurse returning from Sierra Leone confined to a hastily-erected tent. New Jersey governor Chris Christie is refusing to change his state’s policy.

Dilma Rousseff won Brazil’s closest presidential election in decades. The incumbent Brazilian president narrowly triumphed over pro-business challenger Aécio Neves, winning 51.6% of the votes with more than 99% of ballots counted. The election was largely seen as a referendum on Rousseff’s leftist Worker’s Party, which has ruled the country since 2003 and lifted millions out of poverty, but has recently struggled to boost the country’s flagging economy.

A busy day for democracy… In addition to Brazil, many voters around the world cast their ballots on Sunday. Exit polls in Ukraine suggested that over 75% of voters chose staunchly pro-Western parties (paywall) in parliamentary elections, though elections were not held in Crimea or in areas with high numbers of pro-Russian separatists. Uruguay’s presidential election went to a run-off, and votes are still being tallied in Tunisia’s crowded election, which will test its new, post-Arab Spring democracy.

…But not in Hong Kong. Leaders of Hong Kong’s Umbrella Movement abruptly canceled a poll that asked the public about how to proceed with pro-democracy protests, citing “different opinions” within the movement and raising questions about demonstrators’ unity and ultimate endgame. Meanwhile, an anti-Occupy rally turned violent on Saturday, earning condemnation from Hong Kong’s chief executive, who called the assaults on journalists and students “a savage act.”

Some European banks need more capital. Twenty-five banks failed the European Central Bank’s latest stress tests—the fourth time euro zone authorities have assessed the health of financial institutions. Banks in Italy need to raise the most capital to bring their balance sheets up to scratch.

Retailers switch off Apple Pay. Wal-Mart, CVS, and Best Buy are among the retailers that have stopped allowing iPhone users to pay with Apple’s new service in their stores. The stores have their own e-payments app called CurrentC that is slated for launch next year.

Quartz obsession interlude

Jason Karaian on Europe stress-testing its banks. Again. “Embarrassed by three previous tests that proved far too tame, European banking regulators, for the better part of a year, have been poring over balance sheets, loan portfolios, and business plans in unprecedented detail. This time, banks that are judged too optimistic in valuing their assets or too complacent in building buffers to shield themselves from future turmoil will not escape the regulators’ wrath.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Haters have been hating for a long time. Philosopher Søren Kierkegaard advised how to deal with them nearly 200 years ago.

Sexual preferences are a human right. A fired CBC radio host argues that his interest in BDSM shouldn’t have cost him his job.

Female diplomats are ascendant. One of the last bastions of official sexism is beginning to crumble.

Education is the civil rights movement of our era. Without universal access, the escalator to opportunity is broken.

Surprising discoveries

Birds would vanquish zombies. Vultures and other carrion eaters are perfectly suited to pick the undead’s bones clean.

Apple’s newest designer made a shotgun. Marc Newson created the pricey firearm for Beretta.

Dubai is raffling off gold for commuters. It’s meant to tempt travelers onto public transport.

Steve Ballmer’s NBA ownership is a tax windfall. The ex-Microsoft CEO could deduct half the $2 billion purchase price (paywall).

Ancient Britons had healthier gums. On the downside, they had worse teeth and didn’t live beyond their 40s.

Scary clowns are no laughing matter. A clown trade group calls a return to “good, clean, wholesome, family-friendly, cheerful comedy.”

Click here for more surprising discoveries on Quartz.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, new payment apps, and the results of your ECB stress test to hi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.

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