Quartz Daily Brief—Americas edition—Will Britain bomb Syria?, Yahoo’s potential sell-off, Apple Watch stalls

What to watch for today

The UK votes on bombing Syria… Prime minister David Cameron is appealing to members of all parties to support airstrikes against ISIL. Labour has allowed its members a free vote, meaning it’s quite likely to passed. Parliament has scheduled an extended debate on the issue, with a vote at 10:30pm London time.

…as Germany considers its own anti-ISIL measures. The lower house of the Bundestag is also voting on whether to send jets over Syria and northern Iraq to target the so-called Islamic State, as part of chancellor Angela Merkel’s commitment to support French airstrikes following the recent Paris attacks.

Yahoo considers selling its internet business. The board of directors will begin three days of meetings to decide whether to sell off its websites and services, which investors have valued as almost worthless (paywall). Yahoo will also discuss how to offload its stake in China’s Alibaba.

FIFA executives discuss reforms. A two-day meeting of the football group’s executive committee will discuss potential age and term limits on senior officials. Sponsors have pressured the body for independent oversight.

Janet Yellen speaks. The US Federal Reserve chairwoman will be closely watched as she delivers a speech today at the Economic Club of Washington. Analysts expect the Fed to raise the cost of borrowing later this month.

While you were sleeping

NATO invited Montenegro to join its ranks. The invitation to join the alliance marks the first expansion since Albania and Croatia joined six years ago. Russia warned that including Montenegro would be considered a “confrontational message.” Accession talks are expected to last about a year.

China was accused of hacking by the Australian government. There is “little doubt” that Chinese nationals were behind the infiltration of the meteorological bureau, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported. The attack also affected federal computers, which received information from the bureau.

The US rejected a plan to close Guantanamo Bay. President Barack Obama’s administration said that a proposal from the Pentagon to close the infamous jail was too costly, according to the Wall Street Journal (paywall). The suggested cost, including opening an alternative on US soil, was over $500 million.

Australian GDP beat expectations. The economy grew 2.5% in the third quarter compared to the same period a year earlier, sending the Aussie dollar higher. That should ease concerns that a slowing China will hurt the Australian economy—for now.

Aung San Suu Kyi’s party begins taking power. The leader of Myanmar’s National League for Democracy party met with president Thein Sein and the leader of the army to discuss the country’s transition to democracy. Such meetings suggest so far that a handover will be peaceful.

Mark Zuckerberg is a dad—and is giving away his money. The Facebook founder and his wife, Priscilla Chan, said they will donate 99% of their Facebook shares to “advancing human potential and promoting equality.” That announcement came as the couple celebrated the birth of their daughter, Max.

Quartz obsession interlude

Dan Frommer on why the Apple Watch has stalled. “After months of use, it’s increasingly clear that this is what needs to change the most. The watch needs to be untethered from the iPhone for speed, independence, and direct access to the power of the cloud. Or it will never be more than a cute sidekick.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

“Modern” states still don’t understand expatriates. Even accessing Spotify becomes a nightmare once you cross borders.

Alibaba may be the best buyer for Yahoo’s internet business. It would allow Jack Ma to expand Alibaba’s ecommerce to global markets faster.

Mark Zuckerberg isn’t really giving his money away. He’s donated it to his own organization, which sounds suspiciously supportive of companies like Facebook.

India and China don’t deserve the blame for climate change. The West destroyed the environment for 300 years, then exported its factories.

Surprising discoveries

Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” is to be republished in Germany. An annotated edition will be printed for the first time since WWII.

Harvard’s house masters voted to change their title. “Master” was associated with slavery; a new title has not yet been decided.

Scientists created a new form of carbon. It’s magnetic and harder than a diamond.

More than 11,000 hunters applied to kill 16 Norwegian wolves. The country’s entire wolf population is only 30.

The world’s oldest peach pits were found in China. They date back 2.5 million years.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, terrified wolves, and new carbon to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day.

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