Quartz Daily Brief—Asia edition—Dems debate, earnings season, acquitted lion killers, tasteless business plans

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What to watch for today

The first Democratic debate. At 8:30pm EST, CNN will broadcast the first direct confrontation between Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and the other aspiring presidential candidates for 2016. Currently, Hillary Clinton is leading in the polls, though her support is withering.

It’s third-quarter earning season! Chase and Citigroup, both expected to show growth compared to last year, will share their reports today. So will Wells Fargo and Goldman Sachs, which are projected to show a decline.

Whodunnit? The Dutch Safety Board is releasing the results of its investigation on the crash of the Malaysian MH-17 flight which killed 298 passengers in July 2014. While the board has no authority to accuse the culprits, its findings might lend substance to those who believe the aircraft was hit by Ukrainian rebels.

Indian pharmacist strike. As many as 850,000 pharmacies across India are expected to close today—and possibly indefinitely—to demand that the government halt plans to allow online purchases of drugs.

While you were sleeping

A Princeton professor won the 2015 Nobel for economic sciences. Scottish economist Angus Deaton won for his work on consumption, poverty and welfare. His research has shown that when it comes to economics, you are mostly the goods and services you consume. It helps governments make better policy to improve the welfare of their citizens and boost prosperity.

Scotland Yard stopped guarding Julian Assange’s refuge. Police had been stationed outside London’s Ecuadorean embassy where Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has holed up since 2012. They hoped to arrest the alleged rapist, but decided the $19.3 million annual cost was “no longer proportionate.”

Cecil the Lion’s killer will not be charged with any crime. The Zimbabwean authorities say that Walter Palmer, the American dentist who shot Cecil had a permit authorizing him to hunt.

Dell said it will buy EMC for $67 billion. It’s the most expensive deal in history for a tech company. The computer maker hopes EMC’s data storage business will help it transition into the fast-growing market for managing and storing corporate data.

America air-dropped ammo and grenades into Syria to help rebels. Russia raised the stakes in the long-running war two weeks ago by intervening on the side of President Bashar al-Assad. The EU is calling on Russia to cut it out.

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.

Quartz obsession interlude

Ana Campoy on the costs of an hypothetical fence between the US and Mexico. “The price tag to seal the rest of the border would be between $2.2 billion and $8.3 billion—although the final tab could be much higher because some of the areas that remain unfenced are remote and inhospitable, and presumably would be more expensive to build on.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

The case against foreign aid. Newly-minted Nobel laureate Angus Deaton says it undermines government in developing economies.

It’s a Michael Bierut world. The master graphic designer’s logos populate a vast swathe of global brands and institutions.

China is dumping US debt, but don’t worry. Who will buy US debt? Almost everyone.

Does every creative genius need a bitter rival? “The shadow is the seat of creativity, as far as Jung was concerned.

Surprising discoveries

President Barack Obama is freelancing now. The literary fan boy-in-chief’s candid conversation with author Marilynne Robinson appears in the New York Review of Books.

The most tasteless business plan ever? Beer-toting bros will throw parties at the house where Oscar Pistorious murdered Reeva Steenkamp.

Too many New Yorkers would like to live in a bar bathroom. A prank want ad exposes New York’s insane real estate market.

Leonardo DiCaprio is making a movie about the Volkswagen scandal. Nothing says blockbuster like environmental scientists versus one of the world’s biggest car companies with the fate of the planet on the line.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, new logos and photos of dive bar bathrooms to You can follow us on Twitter here for updates during the day.

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