TV star sacked, OPEC vs shale, Mars soil

Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today

Aung San Suu Kyi visits China. Myanmar’s de facto leader heads to Beijing amidst international criticism over 600,000 Rohingya Muslims forced to flee the country. While the US and UN have accused Myanmar of ethnic cleansing, China supports Suu Kyi in what she claims is legitimate counter-insurgency action.

OPEC convenes in Vienna to deal with US shale oil. The oil producers’ cartel and non-OPEC nations, most notably Russia, will discuss extending their deal to limit production. But it’s unclear how shale producers will respond; US drilling hit a plateau in July, and some companies are cutting their output forecasts.

The EU releases economic data. Figures are expected to show a decrease in October unemployment numbers (paywall), while consumer prices data may show an encouraging uptick in inflation. The bloc is also set to approve its 2018 budget.

While you were sleeping

NBC fired its star anchor over sexual misconduct allegations. An internal memo cited a “detailed complaint from a colleague” about Matt Lauer, the high-paid host of the Today show. A report by Variety listed a series of allegations, including Lauer exposing himself to a woman in his office, and inappropriate sexual conduct during coverage of the Olympic games.

Great Britain rebuked Donald Trump for retweeting anti-Muslim videos. The unverified videos—which purported to show violence against a disabled man, a teenager, and a Virgin Mary statue—were originally posted by the deputy leader of the Britain First nationalist movement. “It’s wrong for the president to have done this,” said a spokesman for prime minister Theresa May.

A Bosnian war criminal drank lethal poison during a hearing at the Hague. Slobodan Praljak killed himself live and on camera after his conviction for leading a genocidal campaign against Muslims during Yugoslavia’s civil war was upheld.

Chipotle’s founder and CEO resigned. Steve Ells will be replaced with a turnaround expert to rescue the Mexican-food chain’s sales and reputation after two years of disastrous food safety lapses. Shares jumped 3.5% on the news.

Nasdaq will offer bitcoin futures in 2018. The world’s second-largest stock market announced plans to offer the ability to bet on the booming cryptocurrency, along with brokerage Cantor Fitzgerald. Bitcoin is up 1,000% to date this year, after blowing through the $10,000 mark to trade at $11,273.89 (paywall).

Quartz obsession interlude

Alison Griswold on how totally screwed Uber is right now: “The truest statement about Uber this year is that just when you don’t think it can get worse, it gets worse. Sexual harassment, scheming executives, an ousted CEO, a shareholder lawsuit, a trade secrets lawsuit, disaffected employees, dissatisfied drivers, federal probes, and now, probably, a congressional inquiry. Uber upended the taxi industry to bring you a car at the touch of a button by exploiting loopholes in some laws and flat-out ignoring others. That culture of legal “innovation” is now catching up to the company with a vengeance.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

New York’s well-to-do should pay more for the subway. Poorer residents are pushed beyond the edges of the transit system (paywall) while real estate developers make a killing.

Snapchat is becoming the anti-Facebook. A redesign attempts to draw a distinction between consuming news and content versus socializing with friends.

The UK wasted time negotiating a Brexit break-up fee. Now it has only 16 months to make even tougher deals on trade and migration.

Surprising discoveries

Fecal transplants are more becoming more convenient. Taking a pill to battle bad bacteria is much more pleasant than a colonoscopy.

Martian soil can grow plants and host earthworms. The wriggly garden favorites reproduced healthily in an iron-rich, lab-made soil.

An 89-year-old Holocaust denier got a 14-month sentence in Germany. The “Nazi grandma” is appealing, as she has five times previously.

Wisconsin granted hunting licenses to babies. After the state eliminated age restrictions, it gave out 52 licenses to small children and 10 to infants; one four-year-old has already killed a deer.

Google Translate’s algorithm is gender biased. When translating from a neutral pronoun, it pairs “he” with “hardworking” and matches “she” with “lazy.”

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, Martian earthworms, and gender-neutral algorithms to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day or download our apps for iPhone and Android.