What to watch for today
China hosts a “World Internet Conference”. Could be a bit quiet, since few members of the internet world outside China itself have been invited. Execs from local firms Alibaba, Tencent, and Baidu are expected to show, though, as well as from Qualcomm, Microsoft, and Samsung. It doesn’t help that on Monday, China blocked thousands of websites.
The US examines its own response to Ebola. Only two people have died on US soil from the virus, yet cable news networks struck fear into the hearts of millions. A hearing in the Senate may rake lawmakers who turned Ebola into a political issue using “scare tactics” over the coals.
Meeting minutes spill secrets. Both the US Federal Reserve and the Bank of England publish notes from the most recent rate-setting meetings. The Fed’s meeting likely centered around the end of bond-buying, while last month’s BoE meeting was probably a discussion on the base interest rate.
A not very important vote on Keystone. The US Senate is due to vote at any moment on the controversial pipeline that would move tar-sands oil from Canada to Steele City, Nebraska. The chances of it getting passed look slim, but the vote will come around again next year after the Republicans take control of the Senate. Then it’ll come down to whether the president uses his veto.
While you were sleeping
Two Palestinians killed four Israelis at a synagogue in Jerusalem. The attackers were then shot and killed. Three of the victims had US citizenship too, and the fourth was an Israeli and UK national. It was the worst attack in Israel in a while. Israel’s prime minister ordered that the attackers’ homes be bulldozed.
Nairobi’s “indecency” protests escalated. Police arrested 100 people who had attacked and stripped a woman for wearing clothes they called “immodest”, and paraded her through the streets. It was the second such attack in a few days, and came just after 1,000 people marched in the streets to protest the first one.
Britain named its bird flu. It’s H5N8, the same strain seen in recent Dutch and German outbreaks. It’s nasty for birds, but unlike H5N1, not considered very dangerous to humans. Approximately 6,000 ducks are to be culled in an attempt to stop the spread of the disease in the UK.
Up to 5 million more people could stay in the US. That’s the number of undocumented migrants in the country whose children are (usually by birth) US citizens or legal residents. President Barack Obama is planning to grant those parents a reprieve on deportation.
Nokia’s back—with a tablet. Not the cellphone-making bit of Nokia that Microsoft bought (now just called Lumia), but the part that’s still in Finland making infrastructure equipment. The 7.9-inch “N1″—thinner and lighter than Apple’s third generation iPad mini—will be made by Foxconn, launch in early 2015 in China and Europe, run Android, and be powered by an Intel processor. Price? $250.
Netflix is coming to the Antipodes. The streaming service announced that it’s launching in Australia and New Zealand in March 2015; price to be announced. It probably has tens of thousands of illicit customers there already.
Quartz obsession interlude
Adam Pasick discovers that airlines rarely pass savings on to customers. “Fuel surcharges, introduced by many airlines in the early 2000s as the price of oil was on the rise, don’t bear much relation to how much fuel actually costs. Put another way, they are arbitrary numbers that the industry adjusts to maximize their profits while staying competitive with other carriers. After all, fuel is an inherent part of any airline’s operations: It might as well charge you a ‘surcharge’ for the costs of the captain and flight attendants.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
Uber is no longer the Republican poster-child company. Its CEO loves Obamacare.
Stop using email subject lines. They’re a complete waste of time—just write better emails.
India is becoming dirtier. And its all because of its economic prosperity (paywall).
Wearable tech isn’t just for people. Those gadgets could help your pet stay healthy and even communicate with you.
Merkel is playing the long game with Putin. She knows she needs to figure out a real way to hurt him instead of just publicly condemning his actions.
If you catch Ebola: Drink. At least a gallon (4 liters) a day of water, with rehydration salts mixed in, is your best chance of surviving.
Britain is still far from being a classless society. If your family was upper-class 1,000 years ago, chances are you still are.
Drugs are getting more expensive to make. It costs, on average, $2.56 billion to bring one to market, double what it did 11 years ago.
America is a country of homeless children. An all-time high of 2.5 million kids—one in 30—don’t have a place to live.
There’s an app for not using apps. Three students in Singapore have received $24,000 in funding for a smartphone app that encourages people to not use their phones.
Click here for more surprising discoveries on Quartz.