Quartz Daily Brief—Americas edition—Terrorism hit Russian plane, Canada gets Apple Pay, La Marseillaise in London

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What to watch for today

John Kerry meets François Hollande… The French president will host the US secretary of state in Paris, to discuss a response to a terror attack that struck the capital last week. Kerry described ISIL, who claimed responsibility, as “psychopathic monsters.”

…as the terrorist manhunt expands in Belgium. Authorities are looking for the suspected ringleader (paywall) of the Paris attacks; concerns over his whereabouts have led to tonight’s soccer match between Spain and Belgium being cancelled. (A match between France and Germany in Paris last week was one of the targets.)

Barack Obama concludes a meeting with Asian leaders. The US president and nearly a dozen other Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders meet in the Philippines. They are expected to discuss security, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, climate change, and disputed waters in the South China Sea.

Catalonia charges ahead with secession plans. Days after a resolution for independence was blocked by Spain’s constitutional court, lawmakers are meeting in Barcelona to start the process anyway. The regional parliament has given itself 30 days to write a new constitution.

Canada gets Apple Pay. It will be only the third country, after the US and UK, to see activation of the service. The launch is taking place without co-operation from major Canadian banks or credit card companies.

Wal-Mart reports earnings. A month after warning of dismal results, the American retail giant is expected to post a 1% drop in quarterly revenue, to a mere $118 billion. Shares are near a three-year low.

While you were sleeping

Vladimir Putin said terrorists downed a Russian plane over Egypt. The Russian president vowed to bring to justice (link in Russian) to those responsible for apparently bombing the plane last month. Putin also called for more airstrikes in Syria, a day after French president François Hollande called on the US and Russia to form a coalition against ISIL militants.

France’s airforce hit Raqqa for the second night. Fighter jets bombed two locations in the Syrian city, which the so-called Islamic State refers to as its de facto capital. The airstrikes reportedly destroyed an ISIL command center and a recruitment center.

Volkswagen’s emissions scandal ate at its market share. The German auto maker’s European sales fell 0.8% in October from a year earlier, despite the market growing by 2.7% overall in the period. October was the first full month of sales since VW admitted to cheating on emissions tests.

Easyjet reported a fifth year of record profits. Europe’s second-largest budget airline posted a full-year pre-tax profit of £686 million ($1 billion), up 18% from a year earlier on higher passenger numbers and revenue. Easyjet announced it would purchase 36 new Airbus planes to meet forecasted demand.

Guinea discharged its last known Ebola patient. The last two tests on a baby born to an Ebola sufferer proved negative, but the country won’t be declared Ebola-free until no new cases surface for another six weeks. Both Sierra Leone and Liberia have now been declared free of the disease.

Greece cleared a major hurdle with its creditors. Finance minister Euclid Tsakalotos smoothed over disagreements with the Euro Working Group regarding protections for homeowners and certain pension issues, allowing Greece to access €12 billion ($12.8 billion) in aid. Most of that will be spent recapitalizing banks.

Quartz obsession interlude

Aamna Mohdin on how Brussels has become the jihadi capital of Europe. “The mayor of Molenbeek (pop. 90,000) has called her district ‘a breeding ground for violence’ and it’s easy to see why. Molenbeek’s unemployment rate is 30%, treble the national average, with youth unemployment thought to be around 40%. Some suggest the issues of poverty, overcrowding, as well as the government’s failure to integrate immigrants, has created a hotbed of jihadism.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Uber is not a disruptive innovator. It falls short of that specific definition, and that’s important for the taxi industry to remember.

Americans have a “moral responsibility” to defeat ISIL. Because the Iraq war helped to create the terror group.

Britain and France both failed at multiculturalism. They imported the worst of each other’s very different approaches.

Don’t be concerned that nine in 10 social scientists vote Democrat. The field isn’t moving too far left; the Republican party is moving too far right.

Beirut and Paris are proof of an empathy gap. People take notice when victims of terrorism resemble themselves.

Surprising discoveries

English soccer fans will sing the French national anthem tonight. Even the Daily Mail printed out the lyrics to La Marseillaise.

Bangkok set a new world record for the longest half-marathon. An erroneous U-turn made the race 27 kilometers (17 miles) long.

Scientists found a lost island in the Aegean Sea. The ancient city of Kane was the site of a famous battle in 406 BC.

Colombia wants to become a legal marijuana exporter. What would Pablo Escobar have said about that?

“The Diary of Anne Frank” is now officially co-authored by Anne’s father. Adding his name will delay the book’s entry into the public domain.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, rediscovered islands, and extraordinary marathon routes to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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