Quartz Daily Brief—Europe and Africa edition—Black Friday slowdown, China’s dating scene, North Korean VR

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What to watch for today

France and Russia begin cooperating in the war against ISIL. After talks between presidents François Hollande and Vladimir Putin, both countries agreed to share intelligence and coordinate strikes against the group.

Brazil releases its closely watched inflation data. Prices are expected to have gone up (pdf) again in November as the country struggles to balance rising costs with deflation.

US shoppers turn out for Black Friday. Crowds are expected to be smaller than last year as more people hit the stores earlier or go online.

Protesters march in Chicago against police brutality. Organizers, including the reverend Jesse Jackson, say they hope to shift the focus away from shopping this year. Protests have been ongoing in Chicago over the police killing of an unarmed 17-year-old.

While you were sleeping

LG announced a major investment in a screen factory. The South Korean manufacturer and supplier to Apple said it will spend over 10 trillion won ($8.7 billion) to increase output of OLED screens, which are thinner and more power-efficient than current LCD versions.

Merck put an allergy unit on the block. The German pharmaceutical company hopes to raise €600 million ($636.4 million) from the sale of Allergopharma, according to Bloomberg. That would be used to cut debt from its acquisition of Sigma-Aldrich, a US biotech company.

British consumer sentiment hit a six-month low. The GfK monthly indicator dropped to 1 in November, from 2 in October, despite expectations it would remain flat. Inflation is low and wages have been rising in the UK, but GfK suggested wider events were to blame.

Global support for climate action is waning. Only in four countries out of 20 surveyed did the majority of respondents favor “ambitious” climate targets, according to research conducted for the BBC. That’s down from eight in 2009. Fewer than half the respondents think climate change is “very serious,” from almost two-thirds earlier.

Mixed messages on Japan’s economy. Unemployment fell to 3.1% in October, a 20-year low, but household spending dropped 2.4% in the month (paywall) from a year earlier, far worse than expected.

Quartz obsession interlude

Zheping Huang goes to a 4,000-person matchmaking event for singles in Shanghai. “It wasn’t that I didn’t want to talk to girls at the expo. But it was awkward in crowded places with interference either from matchmakers who preferred any communication to happen via them, or from the girls’ parents, who would probably question me for not having property.” Read more here.

Quartz markets haiku

Traders talk turkey

Both the bird and the country

Lira getting stuffed

Matters of debate

Set high expectations for your kids, but not too high. Your unrealistic aspirations will actually make them perform worse.

Self-knowledge is not all it’s cracked up to be. Those who worry about being useless are the best at their jobs (paywall).

The Paris attacks could unite the EU. It should spur European leaders to create common asylum laws and a united army.

Surprising discoveries

Waiting for your phone to charge could soon be history. This chip can help fully charge your device under 10 minutes.

Tanzanians are taking to Twitter to mock the country’s new austerity rules. The new president even banned public spending on Christmas cards.

Centurions were just banned from Rome’s Colosseum.

 The gladiator impersonators, who make a living posing for photos with tourists, are “



A North Korean man took a virtual reality trip home. He hasn’t been to his village since 1947.

Your mattress is a living ecosystem. Hundreds of tiny dust mites feast on your dead skin. Sweet dreams tonight.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, phone chargers, and austerity jibes to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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