Quartz Daily Brief—Europe and Africa edition—EU-Turkey deal, Barbie sales down, chicken tweets

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What to watch for today

China holds an ASEAN defense chat. The informal meeting of defense ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations will take place amid escalating tensions over China’s territorial claims to the South China Sea, and will be complemented by a separate forum on security and anti-terrorism.

South Korea’s president visits the White House. US president Barack Obama meets with Park Geun-hye to discuss the ongoing threat from North Korea, as well as cooperation on energy and cybersecurity.

Netflix releases its first original movie. Beasts of No Nation will become available online around the world and in some theaters in the United States. It tells the story of child soldiers during a brutal civil war.

General Electric reports earnings. Analysts will scrutinize third-quarter results as the conglomerate offloads its finance business. So far this year the company has divested $97 billion from financial assets, a move its managers say deserves more credit from Wall Street (paywall).

Who else? Honeywell, Synchrony Financial, SunTrust Banks, and Progressive also open their books.

While you were sleeping

The EU and Turkey reached a deal over migrants. Member states accepted Turkish demands for easier visa access and new talks on its accession to the EU, in return for Turkey stemming the flow of migrants to Europe. But the deal is only tentative, and how Turkey plans to implement its side of the bargain remains unclear.

Schlumberger’s profit fell by half. The world’s largest oilfield services company reported a third-quarter net income of $989 million, from $2 billion a year earlier, after revenue fell by a third. Affected by low oil prices, the company forecast a delayed recovery and hinted at cost-cutting measures.

Nevada cracked down on the fantasy sports business. It’s a form of online gambling because it charges a fee and pays out cash prizes, the state’s gaming regulator ruled. Companies like DraftKings, which turned fantasy sports into a billion-dollar industry, argued the games rely on skill, not luck. No dice: They’ve been ordered to cease operations in the state.

Mattel missed expectations on poor sales. The toy maker reported a third-quarter net income of $223.8 million, down by a third from a year earlier, on falling Barbie sales and a strong dollar. Mattel’s share price is down 27% so far this year.

Puerto Rico’s troubled power utility bought itself some time. The publicly-owned Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority has another week to try to restructure its $8.3 billion debt pile before it again faces insolvency. Investors are watching its progress as the Puerto Rican government says that it, too, is unable to repay its debts (of $72 billion).

“Japan Inc” said it supports importing foreign labor. Almost 80% of businesses are happy with the idea of bringing low-skilled foreign workers to Japan to offset its aging domestic population, a Reuters poll found. That is in contrast to a government that is strongly opposed to immigration; the same survey found most companies also want more economic stimulus measures.

Quartz obsession interlude

Matt Phillips on how the last 30 years of global economic history are about to go out the window. “For nearly 30 years, China has bulked up by digesting tons of commodities from the world’s emerging markets and turned them into exports, and in the process has become a key creditor to the world’s largest consumer economy, the United States. All of that is changing now, and nobody is quite sure how it will play out.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Go ahead and call yourself a “guru.” If you’re really an authoritative expert, it’s a perfectly fine job title.

Africa will be the next battleground for cafe culture. Local competitors are poised to give Starbucks a run for its money there.

The world needs a war against climate change. It will require a technocratic revolution, and even then success is uncertain.

We probably haven’t discovered aliens orbiting a distant star. The Milky Way’s most mysterious light pattern is likely something very mundane.

“Homeland” is racist. That’s the message that guerrilla artists wrote in Arabic on the TV show’s own set in Berlin.

Surprising discoveries

Disney is hiring a counter-terrorism intern. The main job requirement is knowing how to use Microsoft Office.

Tanzanians can receive birth certificates by mobile phone. It’s a solution for families who can’t travel to government offices.

An Australian restaurant has a chicken typing its Twitter content. The stunt will continue until she tweets a five-letter word.

Sweden is becoming the world’s first cashless society. Digital transactions are so ubiquitous that using paper currency is suspicious.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, tweeting chickens, and counter-terrorism internship applications to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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