Quartz Daily Brief—Asia edition—Catalonia votes, Putin at the UN, the supermoon, and habitable exoplanets

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What to watch for today

Obama and Putin speak at the UN amid concerns about Russian military bases in Syria. Russian president Vladimir Putin will address the UN for the first time in a decade, following the publication of satellite images that suggest Russia is developing two additional military bases in Syria. Putin will also meet with president Barack Obama and Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe, and is expected to discuss conflicts in Syria and Ukraine.

Zimbabwe hunter accused of killing Cecil the lion is back on trial. The trial resumes for professional hunter Theo Bronkhorst, who faces poaching charges for allegedly killing Cecil.

The highest tides of 2015 follow the moon’s spectacular display. In the early hours of the morning, a supermoon and lunar eclipse coincide for the first time in 33 years. Meteorologists expect the supermoon to cause the highest tides of 2015.

Catalonia reacts to its de facto independence referendum. The results, announced on Sunday evening, are expected to show strong support for the separatist party, Junts pel Sí, and will likely lead to further political activity in the region. Catalan’s president, Artur Mas, held the early election after Madrid blocked attempts to hold an independence referendum. Mas said the election acts as a de facto poll, and has promised to declare independence from Spain if his party earns a majority of seats.

Over the weekend

France launched its first airstrikes against ISIL. The warplanes destroyed an Islamic State training camp, president François Hollande announced on Sunday.

A missing woman was found 30 years after a man confessed to her murder. Petra Pazsitka, from the German town of Braunschweig, was 24 when she disappeared, and has spent the past three decades without a without a social security card, drivers license, passport, or bank account.

The Popemobile completed its tour of the US. Pope Francis spoke in Spanish to an audience in Philadelphia on Saturday, and met with victims of sexual abuse on Sunday.

A shoplifting suspect died in police custody in Indianapolis. An EMT crew decided the man, who was accused of stealing from a Burlington Coat Factory store, did not need immediate medical attention. He later died in custody after reportedly complaining of breathing difficulties.

Banksy announced his Dismaland Bemusement Park will be sent to Calais. The timber will be used to build shelters for thousands of migrants in the refugee camp. “No online tickets will be available,” said Banksy in a statement published on the Dismaland website.

Quartz obsession interlude

Wolfgang Fengler on why, if you like football, you should welcome migrants. “First, the football business is a perfect illustration of the ‘lump of labor fallacy’. Many politicians often assume that the key parameters of an economy are fixed so that when migrants come, they necessarily take jobs away from natives. This thinking is wrong because immigrants who work also contribute to growing the ‘cake’ and the overall pool of employment opportunities. German football players are also benefitting from the internationalization of their business because they earn much higher salaries today at all levels.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Pope Francis is not progressive. An impressive PR campaign means he’s perceived as such, but in fact he has the same socially conservative views as his predecessors.

Jeb Bush has positioned himself as the anti-internet candidate. He’s in favor of policies that would limit the public’s online rights and increase the NSA’s power.

Technology is getting in the way of conversation. We’re turning away from meaningful conversations (paywall) because we keep picking up our phones—which are “psychologically potent devices that change not just what we do but who we are.”

Colleges need to reaffirm their commitment to free speech on campus. There have been too many examples of censorship in the academic community over the past year alone.

Surprising discoveries

Empathy has a sinister side. Caring for one person can lead to unfounded aggression towards another.

Sushi conveyor belts are out. Japan’s chain Genki Sushi, with 130 branches, is phasing the system out in favor of quick-order tablets.

Millions of planets are more habitable than we realized. Theoretical astrophysicists have discovered that millions of Earth-like planets are not stuck with one side constantly facing their star, as was previously supposed.

Chipotle has a 39-point list for good management. The company’s co-CEO told Quartz that this intense checklist leads to highly-engaged teams and well-run restaurants.

The leopard slug’s penis is so large, it has to mate upside down. The slug relies on gravity to make all of his parts work correctly.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, sushi orders, and management checklists to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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