Quartz Daily Brief—Europe and Africa edition—Qatar dries out, Hollande meets Putin, the evolving smile

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What to watch for today

François Hollande visits Vladimir Putin. The French president is going to Moscow for the same reason he went to Washington earlier this week: to discuss the fight against ISIL.

Schools and businesses reopen after crippling floods in Qatar. A downpour that drenched Doha with a year’s worth of rain in one day and forced stores and schools across the country to close is expected to finally let up.

India’s parliament begins its winter session. The most contentious issue lawmakers have to settle during the coming month is a proposed goods and services tax, which would go into effect in April 2016.

The US celebrates Thanksgiving. Many Americans will be loosening their belts and sharpening their tongues for the holiday that, ironically enough, originates from a refugee story. US equity and bond markets are closed, as are most (but not all) major retail stores.

While you were sleeping

Turkey released a recording of the disputed jet downing. The audio appears to contain warnings from the pilot of the Turkish plane that shot down a Russian jet. The Russian pilot, who ejected from the plane, said he heard no warnings.

Deere gave investors a positive surprise. The agricultural equipment maker reported a $351.2 million net income for the most recent quarter—down 45.9% from a year earlier—and predicted sales would continue to fall next year. The results were better than expected, however, and the company’s share price rose.

Bush fires killed two in South Australia. At least 13 others have been hospitalized and homes have been destroyed after fires traveled over 900 square kilometers (347 square miles) of land north of Adelaide. Fire services warned the blaze to could take several days to get under control.

Donald Trump mocked a disabled reporter. The US Republican presidential candidate lampooned New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski, who suffers from arthrogryposis, at a South Carolina rally. He was discussing Kovaleski’s 2001 Washington Post article that refuted that Muslim Americans celebrated 9/11.

South Korean retail sales rebounded strongly. Department store shoppers spent 11.4% more in October (paywall) than they did a year earlier, signaling an end to the largest drop in sales in 15 years. That may also signal confidence among Chinese and Japanese tourists.

Quartz obsession interlude

Anne Quito on the secret history of everyday patterns. “As it turns out, cheerful polka dots once signaled disease. English royalty’s posh sport coat pattern of choice, the houndstooth, originated from the commoners. And those preppy stripes were reserved for prisoners and prostitutes in the medieval ages.” Read more here.

Quartz markets haiku

Pfizer lifts up Dow

Who says the whole world hates a

tax inversion deal?

Matters of debate

Internet use should be regulated like gambling or drugs. Websites are built to be habit-forming.

Boy Scouts have a legal defense against admitting girls. But, faced with a challenge in the courts, it may hurt them to use it.

We have to teach kids to code. It’s the simplest way to make the internet less racist, less sexist, and generally less offensive.

Surprising discoveries

Showing signs of sadness can help you win negotiations. It only works if you are already perceived as powerless.

Fish have feelings, too. They can experience an “emotional fever” in response to stress.

A painting survived 500 years because it was turned over. The portrait of the betrayal of Christ was otherwise destined for destruction in the Reformation.

Donald Trump’s hat factory is full of Mexicans and Salvadorans. And many pay no mind to his bombastic remarks about immigrants.

Smiling has evolved. An algorithm found increasing lip curvature over time in high school yearbook photographs dating back to 1905.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, smile trends, and recently discovered paintings to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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