Quartz Daily Brief—Europe and Africa edition—Earthquake aftershocks, Apple earnings, Titanic snacks

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What to watch for today 

The US Fed mulls its interest rate. It begins a two-day meeting today to discuss when it ought to raise the cost of borrowing. Chairperson Janet Yellen has said an increase would be needed this year, but continued stimulus in Europe may confuse that.

Apple and Twitter release quarterly reports. Apple investors will be scrutinizing iPhone sales, especially in China, with analysts predicting a 25% increase in units sold worldwide. Meanwhile, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey will have to convince investors that he is making strides in attracting new users.

A look at the US housing market. The S&P/Case Shiller house price index for August is expected to show about a 5% rise in prices, compared to a year earlier. Separately, the Census Bureau reports third-quarter housing vacancies and ownership rates.

More earnings. Bristol-Myers, Merck, Pfizer, UPS, and Ford are also reporting.

While you were sleeping

The death toll continued to rise from a Pakistan earthquake. At least 260 people died after a 7.5-magnitude quake struck the Hindu Kush on Monday. The majority of the deaths were in Pakistan; officials said they expect the death toll to keep climbing as they reach more remote areas.

IndiGo raised $482 million in an IPO. The Indian budget airline benefited from its tight cost controls (paywall) and the massive growth potential in India’s domestic airline industry. The initial offering beat expectations that IndiGo would raise $465 million.

The US navy sailed a warship into waters claimed by China. The USS Lassen passed within 12 nautical miles of the Subi Reef in the South China Sea’s Spratly archipelago, demonstrating that the US does not recognize China’s territorial claims there. China has created islands with airstrips over the reef.

Low commodity prices hit a major Australian energy producer. Adelaide-based Santos is in talks to sell stakes in its Western Australian oil and gas fields and in its Papua New Guinea gas projects. A drop in commodity prices has left the company potentially exposed to too much debt; the deals could raise over A$2.5 billion ($1.8 billion).

China reported sluggish manufacturing data. Core industrial profits dropped by 0.1% in September from a year earlier, following a record 8.8% drop in August. Some analysts are concerned that major industrial companies could default on debts, as China’s economy shifts from infrastructure spending.

Quartz obsession interlude

Alice Truong on the benefits of graduating from coding bootcamp. “While the makeup of students who attend coding schools still largely skews white and male, there are encouraging signs these so-called bootcamps are helping diversify the industry by encouraging people in their early- to mid-careers (on average, participants were 31 years old) to become programmers.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Demand for “healthier” fast food is causing problems globally. The knock-on rise in demand for palm oil comes with human rights and environmental violations.

Fantasy sports league games are pretty good money laundering vehicles. Here’s how one might use a service to clean their ill-gotten gains.

Chinese bachelors should share wives. Polyandry could erase the country’s huge surplus of single men (and there’s historical precedent, too).

Britain should abandon Halloween pumpkins. Turnips, beets, and potatoes have a much longer “Jack-o’-lantern” lineage.

Surprising discoveries

Colleges are snooping on applicants. Educational data mining is used to juice university acceptance stats.

Turkey tried to delay changing from Daylight Savings Time. But ubiquitous smartphones foiled the plan.

Fitness fanatics can buy a $365 foam roller. The handmade device gives a deeper, more painful muscle massage.

A US sixth-grader is selling super-strong passwords for $2 each. Her method involves rolling dice.

The Titanic’s last cracker sold for $23,000. It came from the survival kit on one of the doomed ship’s lifeboats.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, ironclad passwords, and collectible crackers to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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