Quartz Daily Brief—Americas edition—EU talks with Africa, Alibaba’s Singles’ Day, betamax is dead

Quartz Daily Brief—Americas edition—EU talks with Africa, Alibaba’s Singles’ Day, betamax is dead
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What to watch for

EU and African leaders begin a two-day summit. Observers are worried that Europe may coerce some northern African countries into repatriating economic migrants. Also on the agenda at the Malta meeting is a reduction in the cost of sending home remittances.

Vladimir Putin talks sports. The Russian president will meet officials from the national track and field federation—the body at the center of an alleged doping scandal—to discuss the 2016 Olympics. The meeting was scheduled before allegations came to light (paywall).

Macy’s reports earnings. Third-quarter numbers for the US retailer are expected to underwhelm, due in part to lower demand for winter apparel because of warmer temperatures. Popeye’s and Shell also release quarterly results.

The US bond market is closed for Veterans Day. The stock market will remain open.

While you were sleeping

Aung San Suu Kyi won a seat in Myanmar’s parliament. The National League for Democracy leader is barred from becoming president, but her party is expected to win in a landslide. Almost half the seats have been declared, of which the NLD has won around 90%.

AB Inbev sealed a deal for a major brewery buyout. The world’s largest brewer agreed a £70 billion ($106 billion) price tag for SABMiller, its smaller rival, after a month of price negotiations. The maker of Budweiser will sell some of SABMiller’s assets to help win approval from antitrust regulators.

Alibaba’s Singles’ Day created billions in sales. The Chinese internet conglomerate’s discount day had processed $9.3 billion in sales by early afternoon local time, beating last year’s total. Alibaba, which could really use the boost, got a little help from Frank Underwood.

Russia outlined a plan for Syrian reform. The document, under review by the United Nations, proposes constitutional amendments and general elections within 18 months. But the plan reportedly does not rule out president Bashar al-Assad’s participation in elections; that will be a sticking point with the West.

US Republican candidates debated. The 2016 presidential hopefuls answered questions in a Fox Business News-sponsored event, touching on immigration, the economy, and defense. Ted Cruz, a Texas senator, did particularly well.

British unemployment reached a seven-year low. The jobless rate dropped to 5.3% in the third quarter, a level not seen since early 2008, and better than expected. But wage growth slowed in the period, failing to match expectations.

Quartz obsession interlude

Alice Truong on Snapchat’s falling valuation. “Snapchat, like many of its privately held peers in the tech industry, remains unprofitable… But Snapchat’s markdown more broadly reflects looming concerns on the part of investors over whether tech startups can justify their lofty valuations.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

There’s nothing Christian about fretting over Starbucks cups. Jesus wouldn’t care if a coffee cup had Christmas decorations.

Republicans can’t make the case for change. Candidates couldn’t explain what’s so bad about Barack Obama’s presidency.

Apple is destroying design. It used to make intuitive technology, but not anymore.

A future technological dystopia won’t be cold and lifeless. Robots will speak to us with smarmy intimacy.

Surprising discoveries

Your smartphone could cure cancer. An app can solve genetic sequencing puzzles while you sleep.

The Wi-Fi password at the Republican debates was “StopHillary.” That’ll teach the liberal media.

Nepal has a five-day festival thanking dogs for being our friends.The pooches are crowned with flower wreaths.

T-Mobile US will let you stream adult videos for free. It was serious when it said subscribers could watch “any” video without it using up data.

Sony only just put Betamax out of its misery. It’s finally discontinuing the video format after 40 years.

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. Sign up here!

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, vintage Betamax tapes, and politically loaded passwords to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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