Quartz Daily Brief—Asia edition—Modi’s UK visit, Germany car pollution, dolphin names

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What to watch for today

Amundi’s IPO. The asset manager, one of the largest in Europe, is set to start trading in Paris in an effort to compete with larger US rivals like BlackRock and Vanguard. French bank Société Générale, which formed the investment house along with Crédit Agricole in 2010, expects to raise about $2.2 billion by selling its 20% stake.

Modi visits the UK. The Indian prime minister will visit David Cameron’s country estate, then on Friday meet with Queen Elizabeth and speak to 50,000 members of the Indian diaspora at Wembley Stadium. The pomp surrounding the visit is a stark contrast to when the UK previously distanced itself from Modi, over deadly religious riots when he was governor of Gujarat.

The Greek government asks its own workers to strike. Thousands of government and private sector workers will walk off the job for 24 hours to protest further tax hikes and pension cuts. The general strike, backed by governing left-wing party Syriza, will shut down public services including schools, museums, and transportation, and limit hospital operations.

Earnings, earnings, earnings. Cisco, Petrobras, Viacom, Nordstrom, and Kohl’s report their quarterly results.

While you were sleeping

The EU slapped a label on Israeli settlements. Officials introduced new rules to label goods from Israeli land captured in the 1976 Arab-Israeli war, a move that could stigmatize companies based in settlements in the occupied territories. Israeli leaders criticized the move as discriminatory, as a wide-ranging boycott of the country picks up steam.

Nigeria finally has a cabinet. President Muhammadu Buhari swore in 36 cabinet members during an elaborate two-hour ceremony, more than five months after he became president. Buhari has said the lengthy screening process, which was heavily criticized, will empower his vision of change and integrity.

Macy’s let down investors. The retail giant’s third-quarter revenue was well below expectations, causing its share price to fall about 13%. But there’s a silver lining for shoppers: the shortfall may result in killer year-end sales.

Germany is looking for more Volkswagen-style cheating. The German transportation regulator found elevated pollutants in some of the 50 cars they’ve investigated since Volkswagen’s emissions scandal erupted. The make and models have not yet been disclosed, but BMW, Mercedes, and General Motors’ Opel are the among the automakers being tested.

Protesters stormed Kabul. Thousands of members of the Hazara ethnic minority blockaded president Ashraf Ghani’s palace, demanding justice after Islamic militants beheaded seven Hazara people. Faced with one of the largest demonstrations the Afghan capital has ever seen, Ghani said no effort was being spared in a televised address, and urged citizens to remain calm.

Markets haiku

A big crude dripping

Full shopping carts in Shanghai

Weather blame begins

Quartz obsession interlude

Heather Timmons and Josh Horwitz on how Chinese consumers are leaving Australian shops empty. “Increasing Chinese consumer demand, and growing the country’s already enormous middle class, is part of the ruling Communist Party’s long-term goals—and niche, high-demand companies like Bellamy’s [baby formula] may need to choose between making their local customers happy or satisfying China’s massive market.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Donald Trump has no clue about China. Fact-checking his statements on the Chinese economy offers conclusive proof.

Farmers markets won’t save the world. The future of sustainability lies in technology to eliminate waste.

Mexico would be an economic superstar without corruption. It costs the country an estimated $53 billion a year—and maybe much more.         

Surprising discoveries

Need to carry $1 million in cash? There’s a bag for that. The radio-shielded pouch is designed to glide across marble floors.

Dolphins have names. Along with humans and parrots, they use the unique identifiers to manage social relationships.

Fecal transplants were invented by termites. The bugs pioneered the medical procedure long before it was trendy.

The US Congress can agree on one thing: outer space capitalism. Lawmakers passed a bill to enable extraterrestrial ventures like asteroid mining.

Scientists are using chemistry to save cassette tapes. The magnetic data of decades past are at risk of disintegrating.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Yes, we are trying out a new poetry-based markets feature. Please tell us whether you like it, along any news, comments, termite poop, and salvaged mix tapes, in an email to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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