Quartz Daily Brief—Americas edition—World leader visits, China’s poor manufacturing, $1,500 sandwiches

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What to watch for today

The EU is set to approve quotas on migrants. Leaders are due to formalize a mandatory quota scheme to settle 120,000 migrants across the bloc, despite opposition from some Eastern European countries after a rare majority vote on the issue yesterday. The UK, Ireland, and Demark are not subject to the quotas.

Xi Jinping talks tech. The Chinese president will attend a roundtable hosted by the Paulson Institute in Seattle, alongside Alibaba boss Jack Ma, China’s internet regulator Lu Wei, and US tech executives. Expect cybersecurity to come up.

Pope Francis visits the White House. Yesterday, the Bishop of Rome landed in Washington, DC and met US president Barack Obama. Today, he’s due for a chat in the Oval Office before greeting a diverse (and somewhat contentious) group of dignitaries.

India’s leader goes to Ireland, Turkey’s goes to Moscow. Narendra Modi will meet with Taoiseach Enda Kenny on his way to the US, in the first visit by an Indian prime minister to Ireland in 60 years. Meanwhile, Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan will attend the opening of a new mosque in Moscow, along with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas; they are expected to talk about the war in Syria with Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Fashion Week moves from London to Milan. Six days of spring 2016 womenswear shows kick off in the Italian city, beginning with Gucci. The label’s new creative director, Alessandro Michele, has already given Gucci a new romantic, androgynous look and a kangaroo fur-lined loafer that is this season’s “it” shoe.

While you were sleeping

Burkina Faso’s interim president returned to power. Michel Kafando once again took control of the country following a coup last week. General Gilbert Diendere, who led the putsch, agreed to restore power to Kafando after talks with other West African leaders and apologized for the violence yesterday.

China’s manufacturing unexpectedly hit a six-year low… The Caixin/Markit preliminary purchasing managers’ index for September fell to 47 from 47.3 in August—the lowest since 2009 and well below the 50 mark that separates expansion from contraction.

…sending Singapore close to a bear market. The city-state’s benchmark Straights Times Index dropped as much as 1.4% on China’s depressing manufacturing data, bringing the stock index 20% lower than its April peak (paywall). Stocks rebounded later, closing down by 0.6%—just outside of a bear market.

The euro zone’s manufacturing and services dipped in September. Markit’s preliminary purchasing managers’ index for manufacturing dropped to 52 in September, from 52.3 in August; services grew at a faster clip than manufacturing but also fell from August. Despite the September drop-off, third-quarter manufacturing and services growth in the currency bloc was the highest since 2011.

Xi Jinping said China will work with the US on cybercrime. The Chinese president said his country is willing to establish a mechanism to tackle both commercial and governmental cybercrime, adding that China was a victim and not an instigator in hacking attacks. Xi was speaking at a dinner attended by Microsoft founder Bill Gates and former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger, on the first day of his US trip.

A pharma company did a U-turn on a 5,000% drug-price hike. Turing Pharmaceuticals said the company would lower the price of Daraprim from $750 per pill, after raising the price from $13.50 earlier this week. The increase in the price of the drug, often used in AIDS and malaria treatments, had attracted outrage. Turing has not disclosed the new price it plans for the treatment.

Australia’s job market grew. Vacancies for skilled jobs rose by 0.2% in August (paywall), after a 0.1% rise in July, showing a turnaround from four consecutive months of declines earlier. A weak Australian dollar and easing of monetary policy has helped soften the blow of the end of the mining boom.

Quartz obsession interlude

Max Nisen on why no one can stop US drug companies from jacking up prices. “Allowing the government to use its massive purchasing power to negotiate with drug makers—one of the most potentially effective parts of Clinton’s proposal—has been a longtime favorite of Democrats. But it has proved pretty much impossible to make law because of the strength of the pharmaceutical lobby, which spends more to influence lawmakers than any other industry, and due to Republican opposition.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Gender-neutral pronouns are here to stay. Using “they” to stand in for the singular “he” or “she” is no grammatical crime.

No carmaker can rule the market for very long. There’s a Pyrrhic quality to the auto world—once companies get on top, they get dumb.

Wi-fi, not LTE, will be the future of mobile internet in Africa. Wi-fi isn’t subject to notoriously fiddly government regulations.

Stop treating Pope Francis like a politician. He’s not a progressive or a liberal, he’s a priest.

Any cyber deal between China and the US will be vague and useless. But it’s still worth pursuing.

Surprising discoveries

More people have died from taking selfies than shark attacks this year. So far, no one has fatally combined the two.

You can now print your own pound of human flesh. The $10,000 BioBot 3D printer could shorten transplant waiting lists.

A Bayern Munich player scored five goals in nine minutes. Robert Lewandowski’s first three were in four minutes.

A Polish town fooled the Nazis with a fake typhus epidemic. Doctors in Rozwadów produced hundreds of false tests to scare the Germans away.

One man made a $1,500 sandwich. He grew his own vegetables, made his own cheese, and produced his own sea salt (video).

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, 3D-printed flesh, and gender-neutral pronouns to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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