Quartz Daily Brief—Asia edition—Germany’s trains, Europe’s stimulus, Britain’s Iraqi mission, punishing kindness

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What to watch for today

Europe’s economic plan. The European Central Bank meets in Frankfurt and may drop hints about stimulus measures it could adopt to boost the euro zone. Earlier this week, the European Commission downgraded its economic outlook for 2014 to 0.8% growth from 1.2%, and 2015 isn’t looking any better.

Let’s talk about oil. Saudi Arabia’s oil minister will be at a climate event in Venezuela. He probably wants to discuss what OPEC should do when its members meet on Nov. 27. Oil prices hit a three-year low this week after the Saudis decided to charge the Americans less.

Germany becomes a little less punctual. The German train drivers’ union begin a four-day strike—its longest ever. The union’s 20,000 drivers want a 5% pay raise and shorter working hours. An estimated 30% of trains will still run on time, however.

The Bank of England bores. Britain’s monetary policy makers will most likely leave the interest rate at 0.5%—where it’s been stuck since early 2009.

Numbers, numbers, numbers. Economic data for you to snack on: US and Australian unemployment, German factory orders, UK industrial production, and a new Russian PMI figure. And as for companies reporting earnings: Adidas, AMC Networks, AOL, Coca Cola, Deutsche Telekom, Lenovo, MediaTek, Siemens, Telecom Italia, Universal, Wendy’s, and Zynga.

While you were sleeping

US job growth picked up. Private payroll firm ADP said 230,000 jobs were created in October, up from 225,000 in the previous month. This beat an estimate of 220,000 by economists surveyed by Bloomberg, a good sign for the official jobs tally that will be released on Friday.

Sugary drinks became more expensive in Berkeley. The California city is the first in the US to levy a tax on soda—a cent for every ounce—after two-thirds of residents voted in favor of the move, which the drinks industry fought. A similar measure was on the ballot in San Francisco, but it didn’t pass.

The British went back to Iraq. Eight years after assisting in the takedown of Saddam Hussein, UK forces are returning to help train local forces battling the Islamic State militants. “I can’t give you precise numbers,” the defense secretary Michael Fallon told the BBC.

The World Health Organization got a new Ebola chief. Matshidiso Rebecca Moeti will replace Luis Gomes Sambo, the WHO’s Africa director since 2005. The move follows complaints about the international body’s slow response to the Ebola crisis, in which the death toll has reached 5,000.

Germany’s biggest news publisher caved to Google. Axel Springer had insisted the American search giant stop publishing snippets from its articles on Google News, so for two weeks, Google stopped. The German publisher changed its mind after traffic fell through the floor. Much the same happened years ago in Belgium.

Tesla beat the Street. Investors were expecting (paywall) a slight loss, but the company delivered $932 million in quarterly revenue, 7,785 deliveries, and 2 cents per share profit. On the downside, it cut its 2014 shipment forecast from 35,000 Teslas to 33,000.

Quartz obsession interlude

Jeff Yang on an individual’s right to die. “In an ideal world, the conversation around what to do when life is coming to an end would happen in an unsensational, rhetoric-free environment, but our media sadly has little interest in addressing difficult topics unless their standards are being carried by individuals who are perceived as martyrs (Maynard) or monsters (Dr. Kevorkian).” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Republicans didn’t win the Senate because of their policies. They won by exploiting hatred for Obama (paywall).

Narendra Modi will not change India. It’s too diverse a country—it’ll change him instead.

Germans should be taxed for having low inflation. It’s what’s keeping other European countries from overcoming their fiscal problems.

Space tourism isn’t worth dying for. The pilot in Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo crash lost his life for a luxury service.

Catalonia has good reason to want independence. Spain is corrupt to the bone.

Surprising discoveries

The shorter an NBA referee is, the more fouls he calls. Is it a Napoleon complex (paywall)?

Feeding the homeless is illegal in Fort Lauderdale. Two pastors and a 90-year-old volunteer face 60 days of jail time in the Florida city.

A sense of entitlement makes people more creative. It’s their one redeeming trait.

Bad Yelp reviews can come back to bite you. One restauranteur chased down a diner who panned his eatery.

Check your university’s credentials. This woman got 16 years for running a fake school.

Click here for more surprising discoveries on Quartz.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, platform shoes, and watermarked diplomas to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.

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