Quartz Daily Brief—Americas edition—Chicago police protests, pope in Africa, the Victorians had Spotify

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What to watch for today

The pope tours Africa. Pope Francis visits Kenya before making stops in Uganda and the Central African Republic on his first trip to the continent. In Kenya, he’ll meet with government officials, inter-religious leaders, and students.

More hints on the US economy. The Commerce Department is expected to report that personal income and spending rose in October from the month before. A bump could bolster the Federal Reserve’s case for hiking interest rates in December.

Brazil announces a rate decision. The country’s central bank may decide to leave interest rates at 14.25% for a third consecutive month, in attempt to lure investors back (paywall) into the Brazilian market.

Deere and Co. reports its earnings. The agricultural equipment producer is likely to post lower sales than last year by almost $2 billion, as the industry closes in on its worst sales year since 2009.

While you were sleeping

Protests erupted in Chicago over a police shooting. Protestors took to the streets after police released a video of a white officer shooting and killing an unarmed black teenager. The officer, who shot Laquan McDonald 16 times, has been charged with first-degree murder.

This has been the hottest year on record—ever. The World Meteorological Organization, an arm of the UN, said we are already set to surpass last year’s record with a month of the year left. The announcement came a week before global talks in Paris on climate change begin.

Russia turned of the gas to Ukraine. Alexei Miller, the chairman of the Russian state-owned gas giant Gazprom, told reporters that it has ended its supplies to Ukraine after it received no payment for future orders. The move is likely part of a tit-for-tat response (paywall) to Ukraine’s blockade of Crimea.

Brussels reopened after a four-day shutdown. The Belgian capital opened schools and some subway stations for the first time this week, but the city remains on its highest alert warning. Belgian police have charged five people in relation to multiple attacks on Paris earlier this month.

A missing Russian air force pilot was found. Syrian forces found the pilot, who ejected from his plane after it was shot down by Turkish fighter jets, according to Russia’s ambassador to France. Russia and Turkey have maintained aggressive rhetoric, but NATO and the US called for de-escalation.

Nissan recalled 1.6 million cars for a second time. The Japanese auto maker is refitting models in Japan only, after a component in a Takata airbag injured a passenger last month. Nissan has already recalled the same vehicles once before, but failed to pick up on the fault.

Quartz obsession interlude

Ian Kar on Apple Pay’s impending debut in China. “The concept of paying with your phone is foreign for most Americans, who are still used to plastic cards. But in China mobile payments are quickly gaining acceptance among the shopping public. During the second quarter of 2015, some 22.86 million mobile transactions were conducted in China.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

The US is having the wrong conversation about gun control. Controlling suburban mass shootings is useless in reducing gun deaths; focus on inner-city violence.

Everything you learned in Economics 101 is wrong. Classic approaches to the study are outdated and too narrow.

Thanksgiving is a refugee’s narrative. A reminder: Pilgrims fled religious persecution.

Yoga is not an example of cultural appropriation. Indians have been exporting the practice for over a hundred years.

Trumpism has forever changed the Republican Party. Even if Donald Trump never wins the nomination, he will have changed the party for good.

Surprising discoveries

A newborn baby was discovered in a New York nativity scene. A parent left the child in Jesus’s crib.

Italy is fighting terrorism with culture. Disenfranchised youths will be offered $530 to spend on museums and galleries (paywall).

Japan’s hottest gorilla is getting a DVD series. This summer, Shabani brought crowds of women to the Nagoya Zoo.

The Victorians had their own Spotify. The teleharmonium involved two musicians playing continuously to transmit music to your phone.

Someone is knitting tiny sweaters for rescue chickens. Battery hens struggle with keeping warm once they are set free.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, chicken sweater vests, and teleharmonium playlists to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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