Quartz Daily Brief—Americas edition—Manhunt for Paris suspect, Japan in recession, dress shoes are dying

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

What to watch for today

A manhunt is on after Friday’s horror in Paris. Brussels-born Salah Abdeslam is a key suspect in the attacks that left 129 people dead and more than 300 injured. Already, French police have conducted more than 150 raids nationwide (paywall), arrested 23 people (link in French), and have confirmed the identity of five of the eight assailants.

G20 leaders wrap up a two-day meeting. The terror attacks in Paris will be discussed, in addition to the migrant crisis in Europe, and economic interests such as global tax rules.

The EU foreign council talks Syria. The council is expected to discuss the large number of refugees continuing to travel to the EU, and concerns that Russia’s airstrikes are aiding Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, rather than combating ISIL.

Results roll in for Ukraine’s municipal elections. Exit polls suggest president Petro Poroshenko’s party maintained control in the center and west of the country, but voters in the south and east appeared to vote for the pro-Russian opposition.

Over the weekend

France struck at ISIL in Syria. After Friday’s terror attacks across Paris, president François Hollande made the decision to attack Raqqa, the Syrian city and self-proclaimed capital of the so-called Islamic State, on Sunday. But some analysts warn this kind of reaction will be self-defeating.

The rest of the world reacted to Paris. The UK increased border security but maintained its threat level, which already suggests a terrorist attack is “highly likely.” Separately, the US reaffirmed its commitment to taking in Syrian refugees, and German chancellor Angela Merkel reiterated her “open-door” stance. Tourism-related stocks are trading lower.

Japan returned to recession. The economy shrank by an annualized 0.8% in the third quarter, a much deeper contraction than the 0.2% expected and worse than a 0.7% dip in the second quarter. China’s slowdown and low oil prices could prompt more stimulus

Hillary Clinton teetered in the second Democratic debate. The former US secretary of state was expected to show off her command of foreign policy after the Paris killings placed global affairs at the center of the stage. Instead, she found herself on the defensive over questions about Libya and ISIL, and her Wall Street connections.

Thailand posted stronger-than-expected economic growth. Third-quarter growth hit an annualized 2.9%, beating expectations of a 2.5% increase (paywall) despite fears that an August terror attack would dent tourism.

Quartz obsession interlude

Haroon Moghul on why France is repeatedly targeted by Islamic extremists. “[Analysts] might point to an aggressive secular culture, which singles out the practice of Islam. They could draw on the stigmatization of hijab, the ban on niqab, the elimination of halal food options in some public schools, the abandonment of the banlieues, the mocking tone of a condescending mainstream culture, and the exclusion of Muslims from political life.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

ISIL is not waging war on Western civilization. It did not attack Paris because it hates values such as freedom of speech.

The Paris attacks will change France’s foreign policy. The Islamic State, not Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, must now be enemy number one.

Is it OK to listen to R. Kelly? He is a musical genius, but also accused of some awful things.

Stop pretending Victoria’s Secret shows aren’t sexist. If they were really about athletic prowess, then far fewer men would show up.

Surprising discoveries

In 3000 BC, the Sahara was full of water and vegetation. It could be again within the next 15,000 years.

Men are ditching dress shoes. The designer sneaker is an acceptable replacement (paywall) for the Oxford and the Brogue.

A Moscow martial arts center has created selfie-stick defense classes. Using one marks you out as a tourist and puts you at risk.

Our humble moon could count as a planet. According to a new definition.

Prehistoric farmers were beekeepers. Humans have been enjoying the fruits of honeybees’ labor for around 9,000 years.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, selfie-stick fight moves, and your useless dress shoes to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

Sign up for the Quartz Daily Brief here, tailored for morning delivery in Asia, Europe & Africa, and the Americas.