Quartz Daily Brief—Asia edition—Iran nuclear talks, Ferguson waits, Ebola fears, Lionel Messi

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Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today

Deal or no deal? An agreement with Iran over its nuclear program still looks unlikely as today’s deadline arrives. US secretary of state John Kerry says there are still “serious gaps” between Iran and the coalition of the US, UK, China, France, Russia, and Germany. But both sides are said to be open to extending the talks in some form.

A decision, perhaps, in Ferguson. The St. Louis County grand jury is likely to reconvene to decide whether to indict Darren Wilson, the white police officer who killed the unarmed black teenager Michael Brown, setting off weeks of street protests. Missouri has been under a state of emergency since Nov. 17.

Global economic data. In a quiet start to the week, look for the Ifo Institute to give some sense of direction for Germany’s weakening economy. Elsewhere, both Taiwan and Mexico reveal their unemployment rates, Brazil updates on the state of the current account, and the central bank of Israel announces its monthly interest-rate decision.

The Vienna Economic Forum meets. The goal of the event is to promote “investment opportunities in the region from the Adriatic to the Black Sea.” The speakers include Albanian prime minister Edi Rama and Montenegro prime minister Milo Djukanovic.

Over the weekend

A new chapter in the Arab Spring. Tunisians voted for their first elected president since the 2011 revolution that kickstarted a wave of revolts across the region. Almost 30 candidates are running. In October, the secular Nidaa Tounes party won the most seats in parliament, and its leader was seen as one of the frontrunners in the presidential election.

UN pushed back Ebola targets. The United Nations had previously set a goal of safely burying 70% of the dead and treating 70% of the sick by Dec. 1, but now the UN and WHO only hope the disease can be contained by the middle of 2015. “The international response is outpaced by this Ebola spread,” Ban Ki-moon said, warning of its potential to devastate Mali next.

Portugal’s former prime minister was arrested. Jose Socrates has been arrested by police as part of an investigation into money-laundering and bribery. Three others have also been detained. Socrates led the government from 2005 to 2011, when he was ousted by the public following the country’s bailout during the financial crisis. The current government is also caught up in a separate corruption scandal.

The FCC sees a wireless windfall. An auction of wireless spectrum licenses by the Federal Communications Commission has collected $34 billion in bids (paywall), making it the most lucrative auction of its kind. Analysts had forecast less than half that amount. Bidders include US giants like AT&T and Verizon and broadcaster Dish, which wants to start a mobile phone service.

Quartz obsession interlude

Jenni Avins on 200 years of latex clothing, from secret fetish to high fashion. “Nearly two hundred years ago, Scottish chemist Charles Macintosh made rubberized fabric to be manufactured into waterproof Mackintosh coats (whose name acquired a ‘k’ along the way). The coats were stinky, sticky, and liable to melt if things got too hot.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

It’s time for Amazon employees to get paid more. The company has one of the highest staff turnover rates in tech.

Asians should act less Asian, blacks should attach a picture. How to get into college by the Princeton Review.

Social mobility is a myth. The elite have held to power for 28 generations.

Paris should not build any more skyscrapers. It went so badly the first time…

Mike Nichols’s films charted the history of female equality. The Graduate director, who died last week, often collaborated with women.

Surprising discoveries

To make the perfect pie crust… go ahead and make twice as much dough.

Spanish soccer’s all-time goals record has stood since 1955. Until Messi broke it over the weekend.

There’s now emoji now for sexting. Quite filthy, definitely NSFW.

There’s a new sex magazine for women. A Playgirl for the 50 Shades of Gray era.

Click here for more surprising discoveries on Quartz.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, latex, and sexy emoji to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.

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