Quartz Daily Brief—Europe and Africa edition—Pivotal Fed meeting, Facebook’s “dislike” button, successful bird marriages

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What to watch for today

The US Federal Reserve begins a hugely important two-day meeting. Everyone is watching, and economists are split on whether the central bank will raise interest rates for the first time in nine years. Ahead of the decision, US stocks rose by more than 1% on Tuesday afternoon.

Europe holds another emergency meeting on the migrant crisis. Interior ministers are convening in Brussels, again, as EU countries struggle to deal with 120,000 new arrivals currently in Greece and Italy. The ministers’ last emergency meeting, on Sept. 14, was not productive.

The United Nations gets tough on Sri Lanka. The group’s human rights agency will issue its long-awaited report on war crimes by the Sri Lankan government. About 40,000 ethnic Tamils were killed as the country’s long and bloody civil war drew to a close.

Oracle reports earnings. The company’s cloud computing products have been performing well, but that’s not enough to make up for the decline in traditional software. Analysts expect year-over-year quarterly sales to decline to $8.5 billion, from $8.6 billion a year ago.

While you were sleeping

Hewlett-Packard announced more job cuts. The technology company said it will cut at least 25,000 staff from its enterprise business, which is being spun off to create a separate business solutions unit. HP said the cuts will be global but offered no specifics; the figure represents more than 10% of its workforce, and follows a 55,000-person cut earlier this year.

Fiat Chrysler signed a labor pact. The massive United Auto Workers union in the US agreed to a tentative pact that offers updated medical coverage and amendments to payment schemes for 40,000 workers. A pay raise is expected for all workers, and there are preliminary discussions about the Big Three auto companies pooling healthcare costs.

Australia began Syrian airstrikes. The Australian air force extended its air attacks from Iraq, destroying an armored personnel carrier and an oil collection point operated by the Islamic State, a US official said. Australia’s air force has been active in Iraq for around a year, but joined the UK, UAE, Canada, and France in targeting threats in Syria.

The co-founder of Subway died at 67. CEO Fred DeLuca, who started his first sandwich shop as a 17-year-old, eventually built Subway into the world’s largest chain of fast-food franchises. DeLuca, who was diagnosed with leukemia in 2013, had named his sister to run daily operations.

Facebook decided on a “dislike” button. The social media site is finally caving to demand by adding a “dislike” button, at first just as a test. “Not every moment is a good moment,” said CEO Mark Zuckerberg in an online town hall meeting.

Jeff Bezos found a place to build rockets. The founder of Amazon said his Blue Origin space company will build a rocket plant in Florida. The $200 million factory will bring in 330 new jobs, and Bezos expects to launch a spacecraft before the decade is over, from a refurbished facility at Cape Canaveral.

Quartz obsession interlude

Matt Phillips on what might be the greatest monetary experiment in history. “For years, everyone involved with investing has wanted to know: When will the Federal Reserve raise interest rates? But there’s another important consideration that isn’t asked nearly enough: Can the Fed raise interest rates?” Read more here.

Matters of debate

China’s economic model is kaput. The government needs to rethink its relationship with the market.

Syrian refugees are not a security threat. But treating them as such risks becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Viktor Orbán’s fear-mongering could backfire. The Hungarian prime minister is staking his popularity on xenophobia.

Tablets aren’t dead yet. The advent of detachable keyboards will make them the future of personal computing.

Helping kids with math homework makes them worse off. It only makes children more anxious.

Surprising discoveries

Elton John says Vladimir Putin called him to discuss gay rights. The Kremlin says it didn’t happen—who to believe?

Love matches are more successful than arranged marriages. For birds, at least.

Robert Mugabe read the wrong speech in parliament. It was a repeat of a speech from last month.

ISIL’s military commander was trained by the US. Tarkhan Batirashvili was formerly part of a US-trained special forces unit in the nation of Georgia.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, lovebirds, and favorite Mugabe speeches to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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