Quartz Daily Brief—Europe and Africa edition—Porsche emissions cheating, videogame merger, Congolese space rats

What to watch for today

George Osborne argues for an EU do-over. The UK chancellor delivers a speech in Berlin laying out the case for renegotiating Britain’s membership in the European Union. The ruling Conservative party is planning a referendum on the UK’s EU membership no later than 2017.

Internet executives gather in Dublin. More than 40,000 people, including senior executives from Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Slack, are attending the annual Web Summit. Ireland’s status as a tax haven for big tech companies is coming under pressure, and the event will move to Lisbon in 2016.

Cyclone Chapala arrives on the Yemeni mainland. The cyclone, with winds equivalent to a category 3 hurricane, swept through the remote Yemeni island of Socotra yesterday, and is scheduled to hit the mainland this morning UK time. The storm is predicted to drop 30 in (75 cm) of rain on the al-Qaeda-held city of Al Mukalla.

Tesla drives into the red. Analysts are predicting revenue of around $1.3 billion, a 35% jump from the same quarter last year, but a loss of 50 cents per share, compared to a small profit a year ago. Investors will be looking for updates on the new Model X SUV and the rollout of semi-autonomous driving technology.

CBS kicks off a big week for media companies reporting earnings. Investors are expected to focus on the performance of the network’s online streaming service, launched late last year.

While you were sleeping

Volkswagen’s emissions cheating scandal spread to Porsche. The US Environmental Protection Agency said that ​some​ Porsche diesel SUVs had a device to cheat emissions tests; more Audi and VW models than previously thought were found to contain them also. Former Porsche head Matthias Müller became CEO of Volkswagen in September, as part of a management shakeup caused by the cheating scandal.

Activision announced the purchase of King Digital. The maker of console games such as Call of Duty will pay $5.9 billion for the smartphone game maker behind Candy Crush Saga. That gives Activision a major foothold in a fast-growing, competing sector—and at a bargain, too: King went public last year valued at over $7 billion.

AIG had a tough quarter. The largest commercial insurer in the US and Canada reported a $691-million third-quarter post-tax operating income, down 60% from a year earlier. AIG said investment income and rates fell in all but one of its units, while it spent nearly $300 million on restructuring.

Visa failed to impress the market. The credit card processor announced it would spend up to $23.3 billion buying Visa Europe, its former subsidiary, as it reported a fiscal fourth-quarter net income of $1.5 billion. Shares fell on lower-than-expected earnings per share, and a lukewarm response to the buyout.

The US planned to return to the South China Sea. Ben Rhodes, the US deputy national security adviser, told an audience to “expect more demonstrations” of the kind seen a week ago, when the US navy sailed a ship through water claimed by China. US patrols could take place two or more times per quarter, according to Reuters.

The Vatican arrested two advisers for leaking documents. Vatican police detained Francesca Chaouqui, an Italian public relations executive, and Lucio Angel Vallejo Balda, a Spanish priest, for mishandling classified information. The arrests come as the Roman Catholic church braces for two upcoming exposés about fraud and mismanagement.

The mystery behind Russia’s plane crash deepened. An official from Kogalymavia, which owned the downed plane, blamed a “certain impact” and said mechanical problems had been ruled out. Separately, a source from the committee analyzing the flight’s data recorders said it was “not struck from the outside and the pilot did not make a distress call,” according to Reuters.

Quartz obsession interlude

Anne Quito on Pantone color chips as pop culture icons. “Unless you work in design, chances are your first encounter with the mythic New Jersey-based color standards company was via a color-coded mug, iPhone case or in a Sephora makeup counter. In recent years, the design of Pantone’s color chips has become a graphic trope: always a plain band of color with a white bar and some words and black numbers in Helvetica on the bottom.” Read more here.

Quartz events

Quartz’s The Next Billion is back in New York on Nov. 16, exploring the next wave of internet users in emerging markets and on mobile platforms. Speakers include Phil Libin of Evernote, Luis von Ahn of Duolingo, Catherine Hoke of Defy Ventures, and many more. We’re hosting a full day of live interviews, interactive demos, debates, and networking with local and international innovators and decision makers. Register today using the code QZBRIEF for a 40% discount.

Matters of debate

There is another, lesser-told migrant story in Africa. Its Mediterranean shore is a “vast waiting room” for those who don’t make it to Europe (paywall).

China should be learning from Mexico. It might study Mexico’s 1990s history for cautionary tales about transformation.

The next financial crisis has likely already begun. Debt is too high globally, productivity is limping, and financial risks are severe.

Insider trading has quietly been legalized in the United States. A newly created loophole went unchallenged by the Supreme Court.

Surprising discoveries

The US spent $43 million on an Afghan gas station. It offered a fuel that Afghan cars can’t even use.

A Congolese man wants to send rats into space. His homegrown rocket program has nearly reached the stratosphere.

Whisky can help clean up radioactive waste. The discovery was made in Scotland, naturally.

A giant raptor was discovered in North Dakota. Dakotaraptor steini had 9.5-inch (24cm) claws.

A new animal species emerged while scientists watched. The coywolf has genes from dogs, wolves, and coyotes.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, radioactive whisky, and raptor claws to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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