Quartz Daily Brief—Europe and Africa edition—Nobel Peace Prize, Netflix price hike, phones in peril

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What to watch for today

The Nobel Peace Prize is announced. German chancellor Angela Merkel, Pope Francis, and Denis Mukwege—a doctor in the Democratic Republic of Congo who has treated over 40,000 rape victims—are among the favored contenders for the prize, which will be announced after 10am BST. This handy flowchart can assess your own chances at winning.

The EU begins relocating refugees. A plan to redistribute 40,000 refugees begins with a group of Eritreans in Italy who will travel by plane to Sweden. Migration authorities have not said how many refugees are traveling today, but Sweden has agreed to accept 821 refugees from Italy.

Nepal reaches a deadline to appoint a prime minister. The country’s constitution dictates that a new PM be appointed today, a week after parliament’s session began. With at least one major party refusing to participate, it’s unlikely that the politicians will reach a consensus—meaning that Nepal’s president will resort to calling for a majority vote.

The Draconid meteor shower returns to Earth. Tendrils of debris from a comet will hit Earth’s atmosphere, resulting in an estimated 600 meteors per hour. Some satellites could be damaged during the storm, but the International Space Station should be just fine.

While you were sleeping

Russian missiles meant for Syria landed in Iran. At least four cruise missiles fired from the Caspian Sea fell short and crashed in Iran, according to US officials. Some buildings may have been damaged, and civilians hurt, but it is unclear where exactly the rockets landed.

Alcoa kicked off earnings season with poor results. The US-based aluminum giant recorded a third-quarter net income of $44 million, down from $149 million a year earlier. CEO Klaus Kleinfeld explained that currency swings and low commodity prices were to blame; the company’s share price fell 5% in extended trading.

Netflix announced a price hike. In the Americas the company will increase the monthly subscription price for its video streaming service by a dollar (to $9.99) to help pay for new programming costs. The move suggests the company believes it still has strong customer loyalty, despite growing competition from the likes of Hulu and Amazon. It raised its prices in Europe earlier this year.

Libya was skeptical of a UN-proposed unity government. Ministers from both the Islamist-backed government in Tripoli and the internationally recognized government in the nation’s east rejected a UN power-sharing deal that includes representatives from all regions. Both parliaments must agree to the arrangement for it to go ahead.

The US Republican party was thrown into chaos. Congressman Kevin McCarthy, the frontrunner to become Speaker of the House, abruptly dropped out of the race under pressure from the extreme conservative wing of his party. The decision, which exposes the Republican party’s inability to unify under a single leader, left some GOP lawmakers “audibly crying.”

A labor organization warned of emerging market youth unemployment. While developed countries are lowering the unemployment rate among young people, the International Labor Organization warned of rising rates in China and Brazil. The growing number of 15-24-year-olds who want to work but can’t could put a further strain on BRICS growth.

Quartz obsession interlude

Steve Mollman on the biggest threat yet to Malaysia’s kleptocratic prime minister: “Normally, the royal leaders of Malaysia stay out of politics; indeed, their very existence might come as news to many outsiders. (The royal leaders consist of the sultans of nine states and the governors of the remaining four.) But they made an unprecedented call for action on Oct. 6 about the corruption claims surrounding prime minister Najib Razak.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Microsoft can’t decide if it wants to kill the laptop or revive it. Hedging bets might be the right thing to do.

Creative thinking is an acquired skill. It requires practice and a willingness to be embarrassed.

There is only one word to characterize the world’s reaction to the refugee crisis: indifference (paywall).

To overcome procrastination, be more selfish. How much will you personally benefit by completing a task?

Name-dropping never hurts. Even gratuitous mentions of famous people help break the ice with new contacts.

Surprising discoveries

A lake in India is so polluted that it sometimes catches fire. The toxic froth in Bangalore is covered in a flammable foam.

“Phone pinching” is going viral. Take a picture of your expensive gadget in peril, held just barely between thumb and forefinger.

Geese are the best weed-killers. Savvy farmers are deploying feathered flocks instead of goats or pesticides.

Twitter is helping geologists detect earthquakes. Social media can sound the alarm where seismic sensors are lacking.

Kosovo’s parliament is suffering a severe lack of decorum. Lawmakers are tossing eggs and detonating smoke bombs.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, weed-killing geese, and parliamentary hijinks to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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