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Quartz Daily Brief—Americas edition—A violent raid in Paris, Jindal drops out, spider cuddling

By Richard Macauley

What to watch for today

A lethal police raid is in process in Paris.  One woman blew herself up and at least five people have been arrested as police stormed an apartment in Saint-Denis, in the north of the city; the mastermind of the Paris attacks, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, may be holed up there. The operation began at 3:20am GMT.

Germany launches a China trading platform. The China Europe International Exchange, a Sino-German joint venture, is the first dedicated trading platform to offer yuan-denominated financial products outside of China.

Updates on the health of the US economy. The Federal Reserve’s minutes from its October meeting are expected to reaffirm its inclination to raise interest rates before the year ends. Separately, the Commerce Department will announce housing data for October, which analysts expect to be lower than September’s spike.

Republican governors meet in Las Vegas. One of the hot topics: a recent push to block Syrian refugees from coming to the United States following the Paris terror attacks.

Earnings: Sina, Keurig, L Brands, Target, Staples, and Lowe’s report quarterly results.

While you were sleeping

A suspected Boko Haram attack killed 32 in Nigeria. Eighty people were injured after a bomb detonated at a market in the northeastern city of Yola; no group has taken responsibility yet. Facebook has activated its safety check feature for people in the area.

Jonah Lomu died at the age of 40. The New Zealander was rugby’s first global superstar, and is considered the greatest rugby player to never win a World Cup—and possibly the greatest American football player to never play the game. Lomu passed away in Auckland from a rare kidney condition.

Russia stepped up its attacks on Syria. The ISIL stronghold of Raqqa was among the targets bombed by the Russian navy and air force, in retaliation for the terror group’s downing of a Russian airline in Egypt. Russia and France are not officially coordinating attacks, but their militaries are in contact in the region.

Security threats grounded two Air France flights. The planes, en route from the US to Paris, were diverted after anonymous bomb threats were made; passengers were evacuated in the US and Canada. The FBI found no evidence of explosives on the planes.

Bobby Jindal dropped out of the US presidential race. The Louisiana governor said that “this is not my time” as he became the third candidate to bow out; he had tried to appeal to evangelical Christians and a hardline right wing, but failed to gain traction. There are now 14 Republican candidates left.

China’s home price index rose for the first time in more than a year. New home prices increased by 0.1% in October compared with a year earlier, ending 13 consecutive months of falling prices. That sounds like good news for China’s slowing economy, but the recovery is worryingly lopsided.

Rich countries dealt a major blow to coal. Members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development agreed to restrict subsidies for technology used to build coal power plants, according to Bloomberg. The cuts, aimed at encouraging cleaner energy, are expected to hit 85% of planned coal plants.

Quartz obsession interlude

Bobby Ghosh on why the world cares more about attacks in Paris than Beirut. “Multinational corporations like Facebook may feel obliged to affirm—and indeed, may be required to demonstrate—symmetrical sympathy with people all over the world, but that is an impossible standard for human beings. We do not ‘care for all people equally.’ We can’t.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Don’t think that making money in China’s e-commerce market is easy. Those Singles’ Day billions are tough to come by.

Fingerprints make terrible passwords. They’re easily lifted, and you can’t change them.

Blame the US Education Department for today’s PC police. It encourages colleges to act in perversely illiberal ways.

Bobby Jindal failed because he tried to please two camps at once. Republicans ought to appeal to one faction only.

Trade is a human right. We shouldn’t use it as a weapon against other countries, says Alibaba’s Jack Ma.

Surprising discoveries

Ultra-marathon runners can suffer extreme hallucinations. One woman reported seeing mutant mice monsters following her.

Goldman Sachs reckons China’s annual GDP growth is 5%. That’s significantly lower than the official 6.9%.

Researchers are relocating forests northward. Otherwise, the trees may not survive climate change.

The London Zoo has a spider-cuddling program. It helps visitors overcome arachnophobia; hypnosis and counseling are also available.

The iconic Coca-Cola bottle design came from a $500 competition. The winners were inspired by the shape of a cocoa pod.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, failed Coca-Cola bottle designs, and cuddly spiders to hi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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