Quartz Daily Brief—Europe and Africa edition—Obama in Malaysia, Abaaoud is dead, “Finstagrams”

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What to watch for today

Mario Draghi talks to bankers in Frankfurt. The European central bank chief is expected to hint (paywall) that more stimulus is on its way next month. Whatever he says, there’s a good chance the euro will move on it.

Obama gets frank with Malaysia. The US president is expected to raise human rights concerns with Najib Razak, the Malaysian prime minister, ahead of the East Asia summit this weekend. Malaysia’s government has tightened freedoms in light of corruption allegations.

Sri Lanka unveils its budget. Finance minister Ravi Karunanayake is expected to roll out gradual reforms to raise tax revenue and reign in government spending, but he’s facing pressure to move faster on fiscal tightening.

The US hosts a forum on pharmaceutical drug prices. The US government invites consumers, healthcare providers, and drug producers to discuss the rising prices of prescription drugs in the country, which could become an unwanted export under the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement.

More retail earnings. It’s been a mixed showing at best for big US retail chains so far this quarter. Next up: Foot Locker and Abercrombie and Fitch.

While you were sleeping

The architect of the Paris attacks was confirmed dead. Belgian-born Abdelhamid Abaaoud was killed in the seven-hour police raid that began before dawn on Nov. 18 in the Paris suburb of Saint-Denis. A second suspect, Salah Abdeslam, is believed to be on the run.

US legislators moved to block Syrian refugees. The House of Representatives passed a bill to keep Syrian and Iraqi refugees from entering the US without the personal approval of top security officials. That would extend an already grueling resettlement process.

The US Treasury moved against inversions. Secretary Jack Lew announced new rules to prevent US companies moving their headquarters overseas by acquiring a foreign company as a means of dodging US taxes. But the regulations, effective immediately, may not stop Pfizer’s proposed $150 billion offshoring deal.

Square perked up. The mobile payments company saw a 45% jump in share price on its first day of trading, to $13.07, suggesting investors still have faith in the tech unicorn despite talk of overvaluation. It was initially priced at $9, well below an expected $11-$13.

Attacks left five dead in Israel and the West Bank. A Palestinian man attacked members of the public with a knife in Tel Aviv before another crashed his car into a crowd in a Jewish settlement in Palestine. Such violence has increased in the two regions since September.

Gap cut its forecast. The clothing retailer reduced its projected earnings-per-share to no more than $2.42, from as much as $2.80 earlier, after suffering a drop in sales. That suggests Gap has low expectations for the holiday season, following a weak third quarter.

Quartz markets haiku

Unicorns frolic,

Prance through Silicon Valley

They can still cash out

Quartz obsession interlude

Jenni Avins on packing the perfect carry-on bag. “For years, I allowed the packing process to eat up an entire evening as I tried on clothes and shifted piles from bed, to bag, to bed again—only to travel with an over-stuffed suitcase of clothes I didn’t need. But after a slew of 4-5 day work-plus-weekend trips that one colleague has dubbed ‘the work-end,’ I’ve noticed my suitcase holds the same items, again and again.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Anonymous is no threat to ISIL. The hacktivist group’s ongoing cyberwar against the terrorists has accomplished little.

The West’s next great culture war is playing out at American universities. It’s a foolish clash between free speech and political correctness.

Customers should have to take a test before they can open a bank account. Financial literacy is so low that it’s dangerous otherwise.

Surprising discoveries

Mouse sperm is longer than elephant sperm. As animals increase in size, sperm quantity becomes more important than quality.

More Mexicans are leaving the US than entering. So perhaps there’s no need for Trump’s proposed border wall.

Men eat more food when women are at the table. To show off, of course.

People are making fake Instagram accounts to portray real life. Users’ pseudonymous accounts don’t include airbrushed, filtered images.

American airports aren’t terribly busy on the day before Thanksgiving. It’s only the 121st-busiest air travel day of the year.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, bank tests, and Finstagrams to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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