Quartz Daily Brief—Europe and Africa edition—Qantas Airways rebounds, China’s yuan setback, nice spiders

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What to watch for today

Greece faces a crucial deadline. The country must make a payment of $3.6 billion (€3.2 billion) to the European Central Bank, as part of a larger $95 billion bailout package that has been approved by euro zone finance ministers. Lawmakers may also announce a vote of confidence for their government.

Pacific typhoons gain strength. Goni and Atsani are on track to reach super-typhoon status, with winds stronger than 150 mph (240 kmh). Goni is expected to pass through the corridor between Taiwan and Japan, potentially hitting the Korean Peninsula and Japan’s Ryuku Islands. Atsami may also make landfall in Japan.

Hewlett-Packard reports earnings. The company reports quarterly results ahead of a Nov. 1 split into two businesses—one focused on PCs and printing, the other on business systems and software. Sales and earnings are expected to be down from last year, as investors look for new information about cutbacks.

Who else opens their books? Gap,, China Mobile, and Intuit.

While you were sleeping 

Chinese business sentiment soared. The MNI China Business Indicator jumped 17% in August to 57.1, a 12-month high (paywall). New orders and production both rebounded to their highest levels of the year. But the surveys upon which the score is based were conducted just before Beijing devalued the yuan, so it’s unclear whether the jump will be sustained.

The Chinese yuan won’t be a reserve currency for at least another year. The International Monetary Fund’s executive board approved an extension of the current basket of reserve currencies until September 2016. The decision comes just one week after China devalued the yuan, in part to improve its chances of being in the IMF basket.

The US Federal Reserve is feeling cautious. According to the minutes of the central bank’s most recent meeting, officials want more evidence (paywall) of a healthy US economy before raising the benchmark rate. Though Fed governors expressed satisfaction with the labor market, they remained concerned about sluggish inflation: consumer prices rose only 0.2% in the 12 months to July.

Qantas returned to profit. Australia’s national carrier has reported a return to full-year profit, with an underlying pre-tax profit of 975 million Australian dollars (US$717 million), compared with a loss of A$646 million a year ago. Low fuel prices and tough cost-cutting measures helped. The company also placed an order for eight Boeing Dreamliners.

Quartz obsession interlude

Josh Horwitz on how China’s smartphone companies plan to actually make money. ”OnePlus and Xiaomi are betting on an untested business model. They both aim to sell handsets for almost no profit, to gain market share and edge out competitors like Samsung. After that, they hope to earn the bulk of their profits off of other things they sell to these smartphone users.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

The Ashley Madison data leak is none of your business. Here’s how to behave around affected work colleagues.

CEOs are often the last to know about employee grievances. Work culture isn’t what you intend, it’s what you actually do.

Myanmar needs the world’s support. The nation is close to resolving its long-running conflicts with armed ethnic groups.

You can support animal rights and still eat meat. But it may require eating animals that die of natural causes.

Choosing a career in engineering doesn’t mean giving up on your artistic side. There is plenty of poetry in technology.

Surprising discoveries

There’s an incredibly easy fix for tasteless supermarket tomatoes. They should be dipped in hot water.

Nice spiders finish last. They are often doomed when they welcome meaner spiders into their colonies.

The most common crop in America is also the most useless. It’s the grass growing on the front lawn.

Japan has too many centenarians. The government had to stop buying them all birthday cakes.

India has the world’s first solar-powered airport. The facility in Cochin is powered by 45 acres of solar panels. 

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, nice spiders, and tasty tomatoes to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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