Quartz Daily Brief—Asia edition—ECB goes shopping, Goldman sacks, Kerry visits Vienna, blind soccer players

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Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today

Ferguson gets justice—maybe. CNN is reporting that a grand jury will decide the fate of police officer Darren Wilson, who shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown in August. If a decision is reached Friday, the public may not learn of it until Sunday—law enforcement is expected to get two days’ advance notice—but Missouri’s governor already has ordered the National Guard to come in, just in case riots break out.

The ECB starts buying debt. Specifically, asset-backed securities. The European Central Bank has said it plans to put €1 trillion ($1.25 billion) on its balance sheet in an attempt to stimulate the economy and inflation; the purchases could begin as early as today.

Uber rides get a touch more personal. Today is the first day where Uber drivers in Singapore and at least nine other cities will be able to offer their riders the ability to listen to their own Spotify playlists while being transported from A to B. But that’s likely to be overshadowed by the ongoing coverage of Uber’s latest public relations mess.

Nintendo breaks some records. The Japanese company’s latest gaming console—the Wii U—hasn’t been performing too well, but that changes with the release of the highly anticipated video game “Super Smash Bros.” Nintendo America president Reggie Fils-Aime says he expects the title to have a “dramatic” impact on console sales, similar to “Mario Kart 8.”

A new “Hunger Games” movie hits theaters. ”The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1″ is the first of a two-part film based on the third and final book in The Hunger Games series. It’s already been pulled in Thailand after protestors of the reigning military junta adopted the trilogy’s three-finger salute.

While you were sleeping

Jim Webb became the first official 2016 US presidential candidate. The 68-year-old Democrat, who represented Virginia in the Senate and served as secretary of the navy under Ronald Reagan, has announced that he’s forming an exploratory committee to examine his chances. Whether he’ll be a better face for his party than Hillary Clinton is up for debate.

Goldman Sachs fired two bankers after confidential New York Fed documents showed up in its office. A junior banker hired in July from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York allegedly circulated the documents. He was let go along with a higher-up who the firm says should have known what was going on but didn’t report the situation to superiors—that conclusion was disputed, though, by the more senior banker’s lawyer.

John Kerry flew to Vienna in an attempt to seal the Iran nuclear deal. Monday’s deadline for an agreement is quickly approaching, and despite Britain’s foreign secretary and even Obama’s former advisor on Iran expecting that a deal won’t be made by then, Kerry is going to give it one more go. The key question is how large Iran wants to make its uranium enrichment program.

Thirty nations donated $9.3 billion to the Green Climate Fund. The fund, based in South Korea, was hoping for $10 billion. America threw $3 billion into the pot, Japan put up $1.5 billion; Germany, France, and the UK are each giving $1 billion; and Sweden committed $500 million. The money is meant to help countries develop cleaner sources of energy and prepare themselves for climate change.

Mike Nichols died. The famed film director was 83. Known for movies like The Graduate, The Birdcage, and Charlie Wilson’s War, Nichols was born in 1931 and as a child emigrated from Nazi Germany with his family. He studied medicine before turning to comedy and a career in film.

Quartz obsession interlude

Daniel Medina found out there’s more than meets the eye. “When the Swedish journalist Jenny Nordberg set out for Afghanistan in 2009, she went to report a TV documentary on the progress of Afghan women since the US invasion. What she found herself drawn to, however, was a different story: bacha posh, a traditional Afghan practice in which girls are chosen by their families to live as boys.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Putin shouldn’t try capturing Ukraine with guns and tanks. All he has to do is shake some hands, because people in the East love him already.

Democrats have officially lost the South. America’s southern half bleeds Republican (paywall).

Keystone XL should have passed. And the pipeline’s fiercest opponents compromised their progressive values in railing against it.

The best places to find a job are also the most expensive places to live. So what are millennials supposed to do?

It’s not worth it to go to college. But it’s also risky to not go, which puts young people in a tricky spot.

Surprising discoveries

Argentina has a national soccer team for blind athletes. They’re called The Bats.

Beauty isn’t enough. This year’s Miss France contestants had to take a general knowledge exam; it includes an English test.

Obesity is having as much impact on the global economy as smoking. It costs $2 trillion a year to treat when you include related illnesses.

Complex jobs can help your memory. A study from Scotland provides a new reason to make sure your work engages you.

Shoveling snow is a dangerous activity. The stress it puts on the heart makes people more likely to go into cardiac arrest.

Click here for more surprising discoveries on Quartz.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, Spotify playlists, and snow blowers to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.

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