Quartz Daily Brief—Americas edition—China embraces carbon trading, super blood moon, your cloud of microbes

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A special thanks to Daily Brief readers: Your excitement about change and curiosity about the world have helped us define what Quartz is all about. Here’s what editor-in-chief Kevin Delaney had to say to mark our third birthday.

What to watch for today and the weekend

The CEO of Porsche is all set to take over at Volkswagen. Matthias Müller will likely be named by the company’s board as the replacement for Martin Winterkorn, who resigned in the wake of a massive emissions scandal.

China confirms a new pollution-reduction program. President Xi Jinping will announce the creation of a national pollution-trading scheme, an expansion of the country’s seven existing regional-trading schemes. The Chinese leader will make the announcement alongside US president Barack Obama during a White House visit.

Look for a super blood moon this weekend. The total lunar eclipse begins at 9.07pm ET on Sept. 27, when the biggest apparent blood moon of the year appears mainly in the Western hemisphere.

While you were sleeping

Janet Yellen explained why a rate hike is still likely this year. The Federal Reserve chair said that the US is unlikely to suffer from a global slowdown in growth and that stimulus measures should be wound down. That’s a significant show of confidence in the US economy after last week’s decision to keep the base rate at a record low.

The Saudi king ordered a hajj stampede investigation. King Salman announced a review into the deadliest event to occur during the pilgrimage in a quarter of a century, in which 717 people died and more than 800 were injured. Iran’s leaders are blaming Saudi Arabia’s government for the incident, while one Saudi Arabian leader blamed pilgrims from Africa.

Japan returned to deflation. Core consumer prices fell by 0.1% in August from a year earlier, marking the first decline since April 2013, when the central bank began its stimulus. Stripping out volatile prices such as oil and food however gives a better-than-expected inflation rate of 0.8% (paywall). Analysts expect more stimulus measures to come this year.

Ukraine rebels expelled UN agencies. Pro-Russian fighters in the east of Ukraine have ordered UN agencies out of rebel-held Luhansk, and more NGOs have been told to evacuate the area by tomorrow. UN operations have also been suspended in the Donetsk region, also held by pro-Russian fighters.

Yet more governments investigate Volkswagen. Australia’s competition regulator announced it will check whether the German auto maker misled consumers, and is considering a response under Australia’s consumers law. India’s government has requested a testing agency to complete its own checks, following VW’s admission that it cheated on emissions tests.

Foxconn edged closer to buying Sharp’s LCD screen unit. The Taiwan-based supplier-assembler to gadget makers such as Apple has signed a letter of intent to take over the struggling Japanese electronics manufacturer’s screen unit, according to Bloomberg. Price negotiations haven’t begun yet and it is not certain that Foxconn will purchase a majority stake, in return for control of the company.

Quartz obsession interlude

Matt Philips on the the difference between the Vatican and the Fed. “Unlike the Church, where the doctrine of Papal infallibility remains on the books since it was first put there in 1870, the Fed under Yellen thankfully remains fully aware that it could make a mistake … Today the markets are registering even deeper doubts about the Fed’s ability to generate the inflation the central bank wants to see.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

The UN’s millennium development goals are the most important thing it has ever done. Bill Gates says cutting child deaths is more important than peacekeeping.

We should stop calling them “phones.” That device in your pocket is a computer.

“Pro-life” conservatives should support fetal tissue research. It supports scientific developments that could ultimately save countless lives.

Europe should let refugees fly to its shores. Humanitarian visas would eliminate human trafficking and needless deaths (paywall).

Ending female genital mutilation will require more than shaming. We don’t really know why families choose the procedure.

Art can help dying towns. Banksy’s Dismaland has done wonders for the economy of one English seaside village.

Surprising discoveries

You’re expelling a million microbes an hour. And they could be used to identify you.

Vladimir Putin called Elton John, for real this time. He told John, previously hoaxed by some Russian pranksters, “not to take offense.”

Malta is being sued by the EU over birds. The island has refused to stop allowing the trapping of wild finches.

Fidgeting is good for your health. It staves off the negative effects of sitting down.

The Rosetta probe found weather on Comet 67P. A patch of ice turns into a cloud when facing the sun.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, clouds of your microbes, and Quartz birthday wishes to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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