Skip to navigationSkip to content
STAR WARS

Quartz Daily Brief—Asia edition—Hagel quits, Iran talks stretch on, Apple donates, dirty kissing

Quartz
By Quartz

qz.com

What to watch for today

The US economy looks a little smaller. The Department of Commerce is expected to release data showing that GDP grew by 3.3% during the third quarter instead of 3.5%. The number, combined with the Chicago Fed reporting less economic activity than expected, may unleash the bears on Wall Street.

Sony gives a status update. Kenichiro Yoshida—the Japanese electronics giant’s chief financial officer—is speaking to investors in Tokyo. Sony’s smartphone division has been struggling, already cutting its sales expectations twice (paywall) this year. Samsung is in the same rocky situation; there are reports that its phone division could soon get a new head (paywall).

Germany spills the beans. Its economy grew by 0.1% in the third quarter, narrowly escaping a technical recession. The country’s statistics office, however, releases a report today that’ll detail which parts of Europe’s growth engine actually grew—and which didn’t. Chancellor Angela Merkel will likely mention a few figures at an event in Berlin for family-owned businesses.

Russia and Venezuela talk oil prices. OPEC will meet formally on Thursday, but Russia will talk to Venezuela before that to discuss cutting production. Russia’s finance minister said on Monday that current prices are losing his country roughly $100 billion a year.

Hong Kong protestors get moved on. Police will clear “the carriageway of Argyle Street between the junction of Tung Choi Street and Portland Street,” in the Mong Kok neighborhood, carrying out a court order. Another part of Mong Kok may be cleared on Wednesday.

Unrest in Missouri? A grand jury is due shortly to announce whether it’s indicting the policeman who shot dead a black teenager in the town of Ferguson the summer and unleashed weeks of protests. Local schools are closing on Tuesday just in case.

While you were sleeping

Chuck Hagel resigned.  Hagel—Barack Obama’s defense secretary since Feb. 2013—served with “class and integrity,” according to the US president, but now it’s time for “a different kind of focus,” said an unnamed White House official. That’s probably the polite way of saying the White House wants someone more forceful as tensions rise in the Middle East and eastern Europe. Some say he was doomed from the start.

Iran’s nuclear deadline was pushed back. The country was supposed to reach a deal with the P5+1 nuclear powers by Sunday, but that, as predicted, didn’t happen. They’ve given themselves seven more months. The optimistic way to look at this: At least they’re still talking.

Saudi Arabia pointed the finger at ISIL. The killing of seven Shia Muslims on Nov. 3 may be the first time the Islamic State has been involved in an attack in the country. The interior ministry said the attackers—of whom it arrested four suspects—got their orders from abroad.

Tesla and BMW may become allies as well as rivals. Tesla CEO Elon Musk says he is in talks with BMW to possibly collaborate on battery technology and lightweight carbon-fiber body parts—this although Tesla’s cars seek to challenge BMW’s successful entry-level Series 3 for a slice of the market.

Apple will donate some of its holiday shopping bonanza. A share of what the company makes in the shopping frenzy after Thanksgiving will go to the Global Fund to fight AIDS. All the profits from a special section in its online App Store will be donated.

Quartz obsession interlude

Michelle García thinks Americans have ruined yoga. “Seven years ago, Brown, 42, abandoned the power yoga craze to offer a practice focused on balancing female polarities rather than packaging femininity, and ‘working within limits rather than trying to push limits.’ It seems even yoga teachers have grown tired of telling women they can be more. In Austin, Giaconda Parker, 42, suffered a moment of doubt when the yoga explosion began to involve body paints and paddle boards. Her classes, extremely popular around the city and some offered by donation, feel like a return to a yoga experience that is deeply personal and noncompetitive.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Buying luxury goods isn’t irrational. Wealthy people are as price-conscious as anyone—just richer.

The “sharing economy” has a hidden agenda. It’s a ploy by corporations to turn everyone into a temp worker.

The US has no good options on Syria. In an attempt to appease too many interests, it’s doing nothing at all.

Schools can’t teach people to believe in evolution. What’s taught at home trumps what’s taught in school.

Surprising discoveries

Powerful women are more prone to depression than powerful men. Gender discrimination doesn’t stop when you reach the top.

Hitler’s art is worth something. His 1914 painting of Munich’s city hall sold for $161,000.

Indonesia’s president flies economy. Taking the presidential plane to his son’s graduation was out of the question.

Kissing is dirty. Ten seconds of lip locking moves 80 million bacteria.

Sleeping in a dumpster isn’t that bad. Though it does get a little cold at night.

Click here for more surprising discoveries on Quartz.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, mouth-guards, and sleeping bags to hi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.

Sign up for the Quartz Daily Brief here, tailored for morning delivery in Asia, Europe & Africa, and the Americas.

Subscribe to the Daily Brief, our morning email with news and insights you need to understand our changing world.