Quartz Daily Brief—Europe and Africa edition—Red meat warning, global elections, secret recipes

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What to watch for today

A dangerous new label for red meat. The World Health Organization is expected to announce that red meat will join its list of carcinogenic substances. The decision follows consultations with scientists from 10 nations, and could lead to new dietary guidelines.

A new conservative government in Poland… The conservative party Law and Justice is ahead in the polls and expected to win the national election, despite the fact that leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski was criticized for suggesting that refugees could bring disease to Poland.

…And more of the same in Argentina. Argentinians voted for a new president on Sunday after 13 years of rule by the husband-and-wife Kirchners, most recently Cristina. Exit polls suggest that voters are supporting Daniel Scioli, from the ruling Front for Victory party.

FIFA presidential candidates throw their hat in the ring. Anyone seeking to replace Sepp Blatter as the head of soccer’s corruption-challenged global governing body must submit their candidacy today. Jordan’s Prince Ali bin Al-Hussein has already declared his interest.

Barack Obama welcomes Indonesia’s president. Joko Widodo will meet the US president at the White House to talk about issues ranging from trade to security.

Over the weekend

Europe came up with only short-term migrant solutions. Leaders from 11 European Union countries agreed to resettle 100,000 migrants and implement an improved registration system at a Sunday meeting in Brussels. But no decision was made about the EU’s long-term strategy to house up to a million more migrants that are expected to arrive by the end of the year.

The US voiced concerns over a potential Russian internet attack. Russia has sent several spy ships and submarines to the underwater cables that carry nearly all the world’s internet communications, according to the New York Times (paywall). The ships appear to be looking for difficult-to-access weak points, to maximize the time it would take to repair them.

Ivory Coast went to the polls. Voting began on Sunday in the first election since the country’s 2011 civil war. Current president Alassane Ouattara is expected to retain power, after successfully growing the country’s economy, although many voting stations opened late and some didn’t receive ballot boxes on time.

Maldives’ vice president was charged in an assassination attempt. Police arrested Ahmed Ahdeeb for his alleged involvement in an attempt to kill president Abdulla Yameen by blowing up his speedboat. An explosion on the boat occurred last month, but caused no deaths.

Volkswagen suspended more engineers. The German automaker reportedly removed all the engineers that worked on equipment created to fool emissions regulators, on the advice of its lawyers. Most will be found innocent of any wrongdoing, the company said, but must take leave so that they cannot tamper with an investigation into the technology.

The Catholic Church stood pat on divorce. Catholic bishops ended a three-week summit in Rome to consider the church’s stand on marriage, divorce, and homosexuality, with no major doctrinal changes. Pope Francis lectured the bishops on the need for more flexibility.

Quartz obsession interlude

Marc Bain on how little has changed in Bangladesh’s factories since the Rana Plaza tragedy. “More than two years later, however, many of the factories that produce clothing for Western retail stores remain deathtraps and tragedies waiting to happen, according to the organization tasked with overseeing those commitments.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Hindu radicalism risks derailing India’s growth. Prime minister Narendra Modi must ensure it is stamped out, quickly.

Everything you know about happiness is wrong. Happiness isn’t something that should be chased.

Parents should limit kids’ screen time.  If pediatricians can’t recommend screen time limits, then who will?

Should the Fed drop the interest rate below zero? It’s been done in Europe before, but its effect on the US economy is still a guess.

American love is consumerist. Russians have a different approach to affairs of the heart.

Atheists shouldn’t feel superior to religious folk. Both ideologies require a leap of faith.

Surprising discoveries

Scientists managed to “squeeze” light. That could lead to light-powered phones.

Japan’s yakuza cancelled trick-and-treating. In past years, children were invited to the mafia headquarters to extort gangsters for candy.

Silly String’s recipe is top secret. Two crucial ingredients are not known by those outside of the manufacturer.

Sausages aren’t always what they claim to be. In the US, sausage meat does not match the label 14% of the time.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, squeezed light, and mystery sausages to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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