Quartz Daily Brief—Asia Edition—Burkina Faso’s coup, the new WTC, a global climate deadline, WWI debts

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Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today

The world’s response to Burkina Faso’s new leader. A UN representative has already warned that failing to hand power to a civilian government could lead to sanctions after Lt. Col. Isaac Zida emerged from a power struggle to replace President Blaise Compaoré, who was ousted after 27 years in office. Thousands gathered on Sunday to denounce the military takeover.

The new WTC opens. One World Trade Center quietly opens its doors (paywall) to employees of publisher Condé Nast—whose magazines include Vogue, GQ, and the New Yorker—nine years after construction began and 13 years after the original towers were destroyed on 9/11.

Economic data with political implications. After a month that saw the city center beset by pro-democracy protests, Hong Kong will reveal September retail sales, while investors take the temperature of Europe’s sagging economy with manufacturing activity measures from countries throughout the euro zone.

A slew of corporate earnings reports. From the UK, look to quarterly reports from low-cost airline Ryanair and bank HSBC, which is under investigation in just about every rate-rigging query going but still complained about increasing regulation. Cement maker Holcim also reports. In the US, AIG and Sprint will announce their latest results.

Over the weekend

The expiration date for fossil fuels was set for 2100. The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said the majority of the world’s electricity must be low carbon by 2050, and fossil fuel-free by the end of the century. World leaders meet in Paris next year to hammer out binding emission targets—if they can.

The UK is approaching “point of no return.” German chancellor Angela Merkel is running out of patience with her British counterpart, David Cameron, over plans to potentially cap the number of migrants into the UK. Der Speigel reports the German view that Britain raising the drawbridge is “crossing a red line,” making a UK exit from the EU a genuine possibility.

Ukraine’s separatists held controversial elections. Rebels are refusing to participate in national elections and holding their own poll. Europe and the US say this violates the cease-fire deal made earlier this year, but Russia will recognize the vote.

Richard Branson vowed to press on, cautiously, into space. “Space is hard—but worth it. We will persevere,” wrote the Virgin head in a statement after SpaceShipTwo, the flagship of his space-tourism project, exploded on a test flight on Friday, killing one of the pilots. But, he added at a news conference, “we are not going to push on blindly.” The investigation into the accident could take a year to complete.

A boozy swap was proposed. Drinks giant Diageo will give ownership of Bushmills whiskey to Jose Cuervo in exchange for the fast-growing Don Julio tequila brand, the WSJ reports (paywall). Don Julio is currently a joint venture between the two.

Quartz obsession interlude

Kabir Chibber on the countries still paying World War I debts in 2014. “The war left a curious issue, in that the UK and France borrowed huge amounts from the US but could not pay them back, as they were owed huge amounts by Germany, which was broke. So the solution to this was brokered by the future US vice-president Charles Dawes, who in 1924 proposed that the US lend money to Germany to fund its reparation payments to France and the UK, who in turn would use the money to repay their war debts.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

The “Lucky Sperm Club” is sticking around. Family-owned firms are thriving.

Don’t romanticize your microbiome. Growing scientific understanding of the micro-organisms that live in the human body promise better health, but there’s no need for a homemade fecal transplant.

Some doctors think alcohol should come with calorie labels. A glass of wine contains 120 calories.

Overweight women don’t get high-paying jobs. Being 13 pounds too heavy means losing $9,000 a year.

Surprising discoveries

“Wannabe” is the catchiest song of all time. Billie Jean is only 15th on the list.

This poetry book can be found in almost every Iranian home. It’s from the 14th century.

Snoop Dogg is an investor in Reddit and Secret. And 13 other companies.

Vocal patterns change as feelings of depression worsen. And a phone app could soon help.

Click here for more surprising discoveries on Quartz.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, catchy tunes, and medieval Iranian poetry to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.

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