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Quartz Daily Brief—Americas edition—US “full employment” nears, Xi meets Ma, Californian porn protection

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What to watch for today and over the weekend

The Taiwanese and Chinese presidents meet for the first time. Ma Ying-jeou will meet Xi Jinping on Saturday in Singapore, and is expected to express a desire to maintain the island’s status quo with the mainland. But the meeting could fuel more anti-China sentiment in Taiwan.

A general election in Myanmar. Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi is barred from winning the presidency, and more than 1 million minority citizens cannot take part in Sunday’s vote. Nevertheless, it remains the most important election since the military overturned democratic elections in 1990.

Flight disruption in Europe.

Following a breakdown in negotiations over early retirement benefits and pensions, Lufthansa’s cabin crew are conducting a 

week-long labor strike

. Meanwhile, some of the 19,000 British nationals on holiday in Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt

will be flown back home

, after the UK cancelled flights to and fro following a Russian plane crash.

The US publishes jobs data. Economists expect that about 180,000 jobs were added in October, and that the unemployment rate fell to 5%—close to the 4.9% the Fed considers “consistent with full employment.” Quartz, as always, will be live-charting the numbers.

While you were sleeping

The US probed ExxonMobil over climate claims. A subpoena issued earlier this week requested internal emails and other records, according to the New York Times (paywall). The investigation centers on whether Exxon’s statements to investors about the threat of climate change were consistent with the company’s own research.

Takata cut its full-year profit forecast by 75%. The Japanese airbag manufacturer expects a net profit of 5 billion yen ($41 million) for the year ending in March, after major customers dropped it as a supplier. Takata, whose airbags have been linked to eight deaths, reported a first-half loss of 5.6 billion yen (paywall).

AstraZeneca agreed to buy a US drug maker. The Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical giant will pay $2.7 billion in cash for ZS Pharma, which makes a potential blockbuster drug for a deadly condition known as hyperkalaemia. The acquisition could help AstraZeneca replenish its aging pipeline of drugs.

Singapore Air offered to take Tiger Airways private. The airline offered investors in the loss-making budget airline S$0.41 ($0.29) per share—a 32% premium on yesterday’s closing price but far lower than the original IPO price of S$1.50 back in 2010. Singapore-based Tiger Airways could be expecting a turnaround soon, after cutting loss-making routes.

Rebel groups in Syria have used chemical weapons. The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, an international watchdog, said non-government fighters had used mustard gas, according to Reuters. The group did not assign blame, but some sources suspected ISIL of using the weapon.

Car sales in China got a major boost.

Sales in the world’s largest auto market

rose by 11% in October

after the government lowered tax rates to boost car purchases. Auto brands were also discounting their models, 

following earlier sales declines

.

Quartz obsession interlude

Aamna Mohdin on the sprawling refugee encampment in Europe’s heart. “The settlement on the outskirts of Calais, on the northern French coast, has no official name, but everyone calls it ‘the Jungle.’ The estimated 6,000 migrants who live there cohabit with rats and mice, in makeshift shelters frequently exposed to flooding. They have to share 40 toilets with no hand-washing facilities, drink from water sources contaminated by feces, and deal with regular outbreaks of tuberculosis and scabies.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

There was a hidden feminism in China’s one-child policy. It was hugely beneficial for girls’ education.

Strong unions are crucial to a strong democracy. They ease social unrest and create the conditions for peace.

The plane crash in Egypt is enmeshed in a secret war. Rival powers have strategic reasons to push their own theories.

Africa’s crippling 20th century debt trap could be on its way back. The continent’s sovereign debt levels are rising fast.

Peace in Syria depends on Iran and Saudi Arabia. Talks are pointless if the two rivals can’t come together.

Surprising discoveries

Amazon’s brick-and-mortar book store has no price tags. You have to scan barcodes with your smartphone.

Malaysia’s corruption scandal inspired a song that went viral. The lyrics are vague enough to keep the songwriter out of trouble, probably.

Happier populations have more baby boys. Fewer are born during periods of stress.

Xi Jinping and Ma Ying-jeou will split their dinner bill. The Chinese and Taiwanese presidents will also not refer to each other as presidents.

Californian porn stars could be forced to wear protective goggles. Bad news for porn fans—unless you’re into that sort of thing.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, other presidents who went Dutch, and money shot-deterring goggles to hi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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