Quartz Daily Brief—Americas edition—Cameron’s EU reforms, the pricey Modigliani, Lost Boy turned diplomat

Quartz Daily Brief—Americas edition—Cameron’s EU reforms, the pricey Modigliani, Lost Boy turned diplomat
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What to watch for today

David Cameron unveils his demands for EU reform. The British prime minister will send a letter to European Council president Donald Tusk detailing requests centered around general competitiveness, better support for non-euro countries, a UK exemption from an “ever-closer union,” and limits to some migrant benefits. 

McDonald’s serves up its CEO… During a meeting with Steve Easterbrook, investors and analysts will hear about results from the company’s push for an all-day breakfast menu. McDonald’s is also expected to announce a sell-off of some restaurants, as well as more share buybacks.

…while US fast-food workers strike. Employees will walk out of restaurant chains (including McDonald’s) in 270 cities across the United States in an effort to raise the national minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Valeant tries to stop the bleeding. The beleaguered drug maker, which has lost two-thirds of its value since August amid questions about its accounting and business practices, holds a conference call (paywall) to discuss an attempted turnaround.

While you were sleeping

Aung San Suu Kyi claimed victory in Myanmar’s elections. The leader of the National League for Democracy—who is barred from becoming president herself—told the BBC that her party won 75% of the contested seats. Suu Kyi called the elections unfair but “largely free.”

IndiGo’s parent company took off in India. Shares in InterGlobe Aviation, the owner of India’s largest airline by market share, surged by as much as 17.4% in value after it went public this morning in Mumbai. The selloff of 10% of the company gave the enterprise a total value of $4.1 billion.

Vodafone beat estimates. The world’s second-largest mobile operator reported a fiscal second-quarter profit of £5.8 billion ($8.8 billion), beating expectations of £5.7 billion. Vodafone also reported better-than-anticipated growth in service fees, on the back of a recovery in Europe.

Tencent missed estimates despite higher revenue. The internet company behind China’s WeChat reported a third-quarter net profit of 7.5 billion yuan ($1.2 billion), a whisker lower than expectations. But ad sales outperformed; Tencent owns streaming rights to content from HBO, Sony, and the NBA.

An Amedeo Modigliani painting was auctioned for $170 million. Nu Couche fetched a record price for one of the artist’s paintings at Christie’s in New York. The Modigliani nude, from one of the most collectible series of the 20th century, was expected to sell for around $100 million.

Chinese inflation worsened. Consumer prices rose by 1.3% in October compared with a year earlier, missing the 1.5% expected, and suggesting domestic demand isn’t picking up economic slack. Producer prices fell for the 44th consecutive month, this time by a six-year low of 5.9%.

Quartz obsession interlude

Tim Fernholz on how the TPP’s rules will make medicine more expensive in poor countries: “The origins of these new rules illustrate the compromises that have to be made in reconciling market forces with the public good… and how a powerful industry has a habit of ending up on the winning side of those compromises.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

​We could end doping in sports once and for all. Tracking a sportsperson’s biological traits at regular intervals would work.

Married couples shouldn’t get tax breaks. They’re already likely to be wealthier than single people.

The EU has five years left to save its union. Past European breakups occurred after 10 years of strife—we’re five years into the euro crisis already.

Something in African soccer is broken. Youth teams dominate competitions, but senior level teams struggle.

Jerusalem has never been more divided. The Israeli government’s overly-harsh security measures are fueling the unrest.

Surprising discoveries

Airplanes can make rainbows. A so-called “fallstreak hole” in Australia created a scene of surreal beauty.

A former “Lost Boy” is now a US diplomat. Gai Nyok, 29, left what is now South Sudan when he was five years old.

A former McKinsey chairman made millions from his maid. She was unknowingly part of a major insider trading scandal.

Arizona ended its attempt to crowdfund a border fence. In five years, it raised 0.5% of its $50-million target.

A masked superhero is fighting for Mexico City’s pedestrians. Peatónito spray-paints sidewalks where there are none.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, pedestrian superheroes, and rainbow cloud photos to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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