Quartz Daily Brief—Americas edition—Canada votes, Chinese growth slows, poker goes pro?

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

What to watch for today

Xi Jinping arrives in the UK. The Chinese president’s first state visit to the UK will last four nights, with the main meetings starting tomorrow, including UK prime minister David Cameron, Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, and Queen Elizabeth II to discuss the potential for economic partnerships. Here’s what China really sees in the UK.

Canada’s election is finally here. Justin Trudeau of the Liberal Party is challenging prime minister Stephen Harper of the Conservative Party. Trudeau is the son of a former PM, Pierre Trudeau; Harper is running for his fourth term. The contentious 78-day federal election ends today.

Earnings season continues and a housing update. Among those companies reporting results in the US are Halliburton, Hasbro, Morgan Stanley, IBM, and Six Flags. Meanwhile, the National Association of Homebuilders publishes its September housing market index, a measure of sellers’ sentiment. 

Over the weekend

China’s GDP grew at the slowest rate since 2009. The economy expanded by 6.9% in the third quarter compared with a year earlier, marginally higher than analysts expected but nevertheless the slowest quarterly expansion in six years. That suggests stimulus measures are effective enough for China to reach its annual growth target (paywall) of around 7%.

The Colombian government and Farc agreed to cooperate on missing persons. The two sides will create a joint unit dedicated to recovering the bodies of those killed during a decades-long conflict, as well as track down those who are still alive. Around 50,000 people are estimated to have gone missing during the fighting; the two sides recently agreed a deadline for a peace agreement to the long-running civil war.

Danone reported a bumper quarter for sales. The world’s largest yogurt maker reported a 4.6% rise in third-quarter like-for-like sales, beating expectations of a 4.3% rise from a year earlier. That was largely down to a near 11% increase in baby food sales and a rise in dairy prices, which offset a decline in volume.

Voting began in Egypt’s elections. Polling stations opened on Saturday morning for the first round of ballots in a parliamentary election widely expected to strengthen president Abdul Fattah al-Sisi’s control. Around 5,000 candidates are vying for around 500 positions, but most support the sitting president.

The Balkans closed its borders to migrants… Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban had a razor wire fence erected on Hungary’s border with Croatia and has sealed off entry, forcing migrants to go via Slovenia, which then set a limit of a maximum of 1,500 migrants a day. Thousands more are waiting in Croatia and tensions are rising.

…as France’s Calais migrant population doubled. The number of migrants in the northern French town reached 6,000, according to a regional official, rising from around 3,500 a few weeks earlier. French authorities are now convincing some migrants to settle in the country, rather than attempt a dangerous journey to the UK.

Volkswagen’s chief quit again. Martin Winterkorn announced his departure as head of the holding company that owns Porsche and Volkswagen, just weeks after resigning his CEO position at Volkswagen itself. Former CFO Hans Dieter Poetsch will succeed Winterkorn, who stepped down amid a major emissions scandal.

Quartz obsession interlude

Gwynn Guilford on the hack of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. ”If the perpetrator is indeed from the People’s Republic, it marks the latest in a series of high-profile hacks that US officials say has resulted in theft of US commercial secrets, potentially sensitive government information, and military data. With the US threatening sanctions, Chinese president Xi Jinping recently vowed not to commit commercial cyber-espionage—a pledge US officials are watching closely for signs of follow-through.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

“Plantation” and other words associated with slavery are too kind. Labor camp” is more accurate, and “slave-owners” were really “enslavers.”

Donald Trump could have prevented 9/11. The presidential candidate believes his tough stance on illegal immigration would have kept the US safe.

US school shootings are like a slow-motion riot… As more of them occur, it requires less to inspire the next shooter, says Malcolm Gladwell.

…and that’s not even the best analogy. The US’s culture of loneliness, not inspiration from other shooters, is the biggest threat.

Sierra Leone is almost Ebola-free, but it still needs help. The country needs assistance recovering from the economic impact the disease had.

Surprising discoveries

An algorithm can predict human behavior better than humans. A Data Science Machine can judge which students are about to drop out of school.

Ultra-orthodox Jews are learning to code in Israel. That could help reduce unemployment among the seriously devout.

Apple Music is for the (relatively) old. A survey of 500 iPhone users found most users under 35 had cancelled their subscription.

Poker could soon have a professional league of its own. A poker industry impresario says he’s raised $5 million to get it going.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, poker superstar playing cards, and decent algorithmic predictions to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

Sign up for the Quartz Daily Brief here, tailored for morning delivery in Asia, Europe & Africa, and the Americas.