Quartz Daily Brief—Americas edition—Tesla’s SUV debuts, India slashes interest rates, glowing sea turtles

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What to watch for today

Tesla unveils its all-electric SUV. Elon Musk’s company is finally rolling out its Model X vehicle, which has been pre-ordered by more than 20,000 customers since it was announced in 2012. The crossover is supposed to show that the automaker isn’t “just a one-trick pony.”

Jeremy Corbyn tries to reassure Britain. He will try to convince voters they have “nothing to fear from him” as the political outsider gives his first speech as leader of the Labour Party to supporters in Brighton. Corbyn wants to abolish the UK’s nuclear weapons, nationalize the railways, and isn’t sure whether he’ll kneel before the Queen when he meets her to join the Privy Council.

Indonesia reports another economic policy package. President Joko Widodo will unveil the second of three major policy changes aimed at bringing in greater foreign direct investment and creating jobs. The first of three announcements, on Sept. 9, was also aimed at deregulating business in Indonesia.

US lawmakers discuss Puerto Rico’s cash problems. The Senate finance committee is holding hearings about establishing a federal financial control board  or allowing bankruptcy for the US territory, which has $71 billion of outstanding debt.

Costco reports earnings. The wholesale retailer’s sales have hit a rough patch recently, and analysts expect fiscal fourth-quarter revenue to disappoint. But Costco’s business model, with its membership fees and low costs, keeps its earnings somewhat insulated (paywall).

While you were sleeping

Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin discussed Syria… The US and Russian leaders talked for 90 minutes (paywall) after making opposing speeches about how to handle the violence in Syria; both presidents called the discussions “productive” but major differences were not settled. The talks come ahead of a Security Council meeting, chaired by Obama, tomorrow.

…and Putin hasn’t ruled out joining the anti-ISIL coalition. He said Russia could conduct airstrikes against the so-called Islamic State, led by the US and Arab states. France joined in over the weekend, and the UK is gearing up to vote on the issue. Putin said Russia would bomb ISIL targets only if the strikes were approved by the UN; he also ruled out sending ground troops to Syria.

India made a surprisingly deep interest-rate cut. Central bank governor Raghuram Rajan cut the cost of borrowing to 6.75%, a 50-basis-point reduction compared with an expected cut of just 25 points. Slowing growth in China was one motivator, while low oil and commodity prices are also keeping inflation in check.

Alibaba invested further into Paytm. The Chinese internet conglomerate purchased a $680-million stake in the Indian mobile commerce company’s parent, One97, according to India’s Economic Times. That brings Alibaba’s total stake to a reported 40%, including its financial services affiliate, Ant Financial.

Spanish inflation took a surprise fall. EU-harmonized consumer prices dropped by 1.2% in September from a year earlier, far more than the roughly 0.6% drop expected. The Spanish statistics office pointed to lower electricity and fuel prices for the severity of the fall; cigarette, alcohol, and food prices are expected to have risen (paywall).

Vietnam’s GDP growth beat emerging Asia’s gloom. The Southeast Asian nation’s economy grew by 6.5% (paywall) in the first nine months of the year, ahead of expectations of 6.4% growth. Third-quarter growth also accelerated from 6.1% a year earlier to 6.8%, preliminary figures show. That helps further the notion that the Vietnamese economy is bucking a general slowdown in the region.

Quartz obsession interlude

Steve LeVine on why the US should give Russia a free rein in Syria. “As long as US strategic interests are met, Washington probably shouldn’t care if Russian actions—or those of China or Iran—help, or even are primary, in achieving American objectives. If the aim is to stabilize Syria and, if possible, Iraq, it shouldn’t matter that Putin has swooped in at the last minute to prop up Assad, and bolster his regime against ISIL.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Tech unicorns are the worst. They are emblematic of a Silicon Valley culture that relies on short cuts instead of persistence.

District attorneys are to blame for the US prison problem. They are sentencing more people to jail time, despite overall crime rates falling.

If you’re under fire in the media, don’t fire back. Pharmaceutical investor Martin Shkreli should have responded with action and transparency.

Why does nobody talk about Iran’s human rights scandal? President Hassan Rouhani’s silence furthers abuse against the Baha’i religious minority.

China has no grounds to criticize the US for Syria’s civil war. Beijing played a leading role in arming Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

Surprising discoveries

A lot of marijuana dropped from the sky in Arizona. It was probably from a plane or drone, though a catapult isn’t out of the question.

A billboard in London has started watching passersby. It scans peoples’ reactions and alters its message to better please pedestrians.

Gender inequality costs the world $28 trillion. That’s the difference between the percentage of women in the world and their underrepresentation in the global GDP.

Norway’s doctors still use floppy disks. They’re more secure than modern alternatives.

Scientists spotted a glowing sea turtle in the wild. It’s the first known reptile capable of biofluorescence.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, glowing reptiles, and secure floppy disks to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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