Quartz Daily Brief—Americas edition—Terror in Turkey, Apple News blocked, everyone’s dining alone

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What to watch for today

The Nobel Prize in economics. This year’s winner is anybody’s guess. Take your pick from among these options, or just wait for the announcement from Stockholm at 1pm local time (7am ET).

More hints at the Fed’s thinking. Dennis Lockhart, Charles Evans, and Lael Brainard, all governors of the US Federal Reserve, are scheduled to give speeches. They may indicate the likelihood of an interest rate hike before the end of the year.

Guess who’s going to be president of Belarus? People headed to the polls yesterday in what international observers are calling a sham election. Sitting president Alexander Lukashenko has governed the former Soviet republic unopposed for more than two decades, and will likely be reelected.

It’s Columbus Day in the US. Financial markets will be open but the country’s banks are closed.

Over the weekend

Turkey was hit by the worst terror attack in its history. More than 100 people, many of them Kurds, were killed by suicide bombers in Ankara. The event rattled Turkey ahead of its national elections next month and sparked protests against the government. Turkish prime minister Ahmet Davutoglu pointed the finger at ISIL.

Iran convicted a Washington Post reporter of spying. Jason Rezaian, the newspaper’s Tehran bureau chief, was found guilty in a closed-door trial, after he was arrested in July last year. Rezaian, a US citizen, could face up to 20 years in jail; the newspaper is expected to appeal the ruling.

China stocks appeared to bottom out. The Shanghai and Shenzhen stock markets rose 3.2% and 3.3%, respectively, in today’s trading, bringing them to their highest levels in seven weeks. Some have speculated that the central bank may be ready to add more stimulus, to help China reach its annual GDP growth target.

Glencore put two copper mines out for sale. The Swiss mining giant started the process of selling a Chilean and an Australian asset, neither of which were listed as being for sale in its debt reduction plan announced last month. Copper mining represents around a third of Glencore’s earnings; the group said it would not sell the mines if an attractive offer was not reached.

Apple blocked its news app in China. The tech giant appears to have  restricted access to its recently-launched News service from users with phones registered to mainland Chinese carriers, and who are in China. Even saved articles have been blocked from their users’ view, according to some reports.

Credit card spending stayed strong in Australia. It was at A$24.4 billion (US$17.9 billion) in August, compared to A$22.4 billion a year earlier, according to data (paywall) from the Reserve Bank of Australia. With the nation adjusting to low commodity prices and slower growth from China, the bank has cut interest rates twice this year.

China is holding two more Japanese citizens for alleged spying. A woman in her 50s and a man in his 60s became the latest to be charged with the crime, after two Japanese citizens were arrested last month.

Iran tested a new long-range ballistic missile. In doing so, it may have violated the nuclear agreement reached in Vienna with the United States and its allies in July.

Quartz obsession interlude

Olivia Goldhill on the smoker’s paradise that is China. ”Cigarettes are an increasingly gendered health risk in China, according to a new study that reports 68% of Chinese men smoke, compared to just 3.2% of women… The authors conclude that smoking will cause roughly one in five adult male deaths in China during the current decade. And the fatality rate will rise steadily without preventative action.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Twitter just reinvented the news. The new Moments function has the potential to be the best newspaper in the world.

The world economic order is collapsing. The global financial system has gone rogue and it seems there’s no way out from economic disorder.

All companies lie. Some companies get away with it because they’re just not expected to tell the truth.

The case for open borders is both economic and moral. Even relatively small increases in immigration flows would create economic benefits.

Surprising discoveries

Reservations for dining alone in the US are up 62%. That’s according to reservations app OpenTable.

Indonesia’s fires have produced a huge amount of pollution. It’s already pumped out the equivalent annual carbon-dioxide emissions of Germany.

One in eight single babies had a twin in the womb. Often, two babies will be created, but one will absorb the other early in the pregnancy.

Seniors in Singapore have robotic personal trainers. The “Robocoach” was unveiled at a government-sponsored tech exhibition for seniors.

Those ridiculous sexy Halloween costumes are all made by the same company. The boss behind “sexy Cecil the lion” and “sexy pizza rat” doesn’t think his costumes are insensitive.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, robotic personal trainers, and erotic Halloween costume advice to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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