Quartz Daily Brief—Americas edition—Ferguson post-decision violence, Hong Kong protest scuffles, Twitter’s DM fail, Lego gender equality

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What to watch for today

The US feeds the bears. The Department of Commerce is expected to release data showing that GDP grew by only 3.3% during the third quarter, instead of the 3.5% it estimated in October. Yesterday the Chicago Fed also reported weaker economic activity than expected.

Tiffany & Co lifts the lid on the global luxury market. The jeweler’s earnings may fall short due to a contraction in Japan and a corruption crackdown in China. Asia accounted for 23% of the company’s sales last year.

More calorie-counting for American diners. The US Food and Drug Administration is expected to increase the number of businesses that must display the number of calories (paywall) in each food serving, including vending machines and movie theaters. Alcoholic drinks at restaurants will also require calorie counts.

A rescue operation for hundreds of Europe-bound migrants. Five ships have been launched to potentially evacuate a freighter thought to be carrying between 500 and 700 people, which became stranded 30 miles (48 km) from the Greek island of Crete. The nationalities, port of departure, and destination of those on board are currently unknown.

While you were sleeping

Michael Brown’s killer won’t face charges in Ferguson. Police officer Darren Wilson was not indicted on charges ranging from involuntary manslaughter to first degree murder. Despite calls for calm, the St. Louis suburb experienced a night of rioting, looting, and gunfire; several buildings were set on fire, and police used tear gas as they arrested 29 people.

Hong Kong police clashed with protesters. Bailiffs cleared barricades from a major intersection in the city’s Mong Kok neighborhood, triggering scuffles between pro-democracy activists and police. At least a dozen people were arrested (paywall), including a pro-democracy lawmaker, and more clearances are scheduled in the area tomorrow.

Tencent signed a deal to stream HBO in China. The tech giant that owns WeChat will distribute the Time Warner unit’s content (paywall) on its various online platforms, though shows will be subject to a strict government ban on explicit sex and violence. Earlier this year, Tencent’s rival Alibaba teamed up with Lions Gate, and Xiaomi is investing $1 billion in creating its own content.

Santander picked a new CEO. José Antonio Alvarez will step up from CFO to run Europe’s largest bank, part of a management reshuffle by chairman Ana Botín, who took over in September following the death of her father.

Twitter’s CFO had a “DM fail.” Anthony Noto publicly tweeted details of an apparent plan to buy an unnamed company, in the mistaken belief he was sending someone a private direct message (DM). The gaffe adds weight to the criticism that Twitter is confusing to use.

The US is exacerbating a shortage of Ebola gear. Health officials are stockpiling $2.7 million worth protective suits, which are becoming so scarce that the West African countries who are actually battling the outbreak of the virus are struggling to secure their own, according to the Wall Street Journal (paywall).

Iran’s nuclear deadline was pushed back. The P5+1 nuclear powers failed to come to an agreement with the country by the Monday deadline, but gave themselves seven more months to do so. The optimistic way to look at this: At least they’re still talking.

Quartz obsession interlude

Michelle García on how Americans ruined yoga. “In exchange for 90 minutes of our time, we attain a personal encounter with our inner goddess by pushing ourselves to reach high, dig deep, and make contact with our perineum—but often as a means of peddling a stereotype of femininity, one tied to a certain aesthetic of what a woman’s body should be.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Obama needs to go to Ferguson. He is uniquely suited to discuss the many civil rights issues under debate.

Women should forget about equality. That’s what Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told an Istanbul gender conference.

Luxury goods aren’t irrational. Wealthy people are as price-conscious as anyone.

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

Schools can’t teach people to believe in evolution. What’s taught at home is more important.

Surprising discoveries

Americans drink more craft beer than Budweiser. Nearly half of young people have never even tried a Bud.

Lego had modern parenting advice 40 years ago. Some boys like dollhouses and some girls prefer spaceships.

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

Hitler’s art is quite valuable. 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.

Click here for more surprising discoveries on Quartz.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, rational luxury goods, and gender-neutral Legos to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates throughout the day.

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