Quartz Daily Brief—Europe and Africa edition—Latest iPhone debut, Alibaba’s troubles, gum-dispensing T-shirts

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What to watch for today

Apple unveils a new iPhone. The 6S model will have a better camera and faster processor than the iPhone 6, but is expected to look largely similar to its predecessor. Apple is also expected to reveal its new Apple TV device and a larger iPad.

EU leaders address the migrant crisis. European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker gives his first State of the Union address, which is expected to focus on EU migration policy. Meanwhile in Berlin, German chancellor Angela Merkel speaks to the parliament on the country’s 2016 budget, as well as its response to the crisis.

Benjamin Netanyahu visits London. The Israeli prime minister arrives in the UK for a three-day visit to meet with his counterpart, David Cameron. The trip has been denounced in the UK by union leaders, left-wing activists, and members of the Labour Party, who have called on Netanyahu to answer for “war crimes” in Gaza.

Queen Elizabeth II becomes the longest-reigning monarch in British history. Her tenure of 63 years, seven months, and two days breaks the record set by her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria.

Earnings: John Wiley & Sons, Box, Krispy Kreme, and Barnes & Noble are among the companies posting their quarterly results.

While you were sleeping

Australia agreed to settle 12,000 Syrian refugees. Prime minister Tony Abbott announced that the country will permanently house those fleeing violence in Syria, and would begin airstrikes on Islamic State targets this week. The figure is in addition to Australia’s commitment to settle almost 14,000 refugees annually.

Yahoo’s Alibaba spin-off hit a snag… The tech firm said US tax officials refused to clarify whether the sale of a stake in the online retailer could be made on a tax-free basis, throwing Yahoo’s strategy into question. If it attempts to continue as planned, it could face a lengthy court battle against the Internal Revenue Service.

…And Alibaba slashed its sales projections. Weak consumer spending in China forced the bellwether Chinese firm to cut its second-quarter sales growth forecast, to low single digits. That sent shares down by 4.7% in US trading to a little over $60—further below the $68 set during the company’s IPO—and knocked Alibaba off the top tech spot in Asia.

Shinzo Abe detailed a cut to corporate tax. The Japanese prime minister said he would lower the corporate tax rate by at least 3.3 percentage points, from 35% currently. The move will take place next year and is aimed at spurring more company spending, as part of the government’s goal of creating 2% inflation.

Quicksilver prepared for bankruptcy. The surfwear chain will transfer control of the company to Oaktree Capital Management, an investment firm, according to Bloomberg. The decision follows years of tough competition from fast-fashion brands like Zara and a decline in brand value among athletes; its share price had already lost 79% of its value this year.

Netflix appears to have more plans for Asian expansion. The video-streaming service posted and then deleted a Chinese-language press release explaining that it plans to enter Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, and Singapore early next year. Netflix has come under pressure from rising competition in the streaming sector, and is in a race to expand globally.

British retail prices declined again. Main street shop prices fell 1.4% in August, matching their July drop despite higher food prices, according to the British Retail Consortium. Excluding food, prices fell 2.4%, suggesting that wider price inflation may remain stubbornly low in August.

Quartz obsession interlude

Steve Levine on why two of the world’s biggest carmakers refuse to fold on driverless cars. “It’s hard to believe that future drivers, even in cities, will ever agree to be ever and always mere passengers. Around the world, the sensation of controlling one’s own way through the chaos—when every other driver on the road is an idiot, and danger lurks along every mile—is still seen as one of the purest remaining expressions of freedom.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

The Fed should realize its policies affect ordinary people. Tightening credit will worsen inequality.

A lack of health education can be as dangerous as a disease. The list of common misconceptions is mind-boggling.

One hundred days in, Nigeria’s new president is on the right track. Muhammadu Buhari is combining toughness and frugality.

Casualwear is the ultimate American uniform. It’s about being an individual, and yet fitting in.

American children need to stop being taught to fear the topic of race. Acting “colorblind” doesn’t help us deal with difficult conversations.

Surprising discoveries

A homeopathy conference ended after delegates began hallucinating. The German attendees consumed an LSD-like drug, likely by mistake.

The need to de-clutter can be a life-consuming illness. It’s the opposite of hoarding.

Someone patented a gumball-dispensing T-shirt. Perfect for making back-to-school friends.

This girl can fold a pizza box faster than you can say “pizza.” She’s had seven years of training at her pizzeria.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, box-folding tips, and gumball-laden T-shirts to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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