Saudi journalist fallout, the Taylor Swift spike, compassion collapse

Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today

Northern Irish politicians go on the offensive in Brussels. Members of the Democratic Unionist Party, who are in a coalition government with Theresa May’s Conservatives, will hold three days of meetings with EU Brexit negotiators to try to strike a deal on the Irish border.

Google unveils its latest products. The tech giant could announce the new Pixel 3 and 3 XL smartphones, the Pixel Slate tablet, and a smart display for its Home speakers at an event. Don’t expect a new Pixel smartwatch, as such timepieces appear to be falling out of fashion.

Louis Vuitton’s parent company reports third-quarter earnings. The French luxury brand is expected to post a strong increase in revenue, with fashion and leather leading LVMH’s growth.

The world’s first Global Ministerial Mental Health Summit kicks off. The multi-day event in London aims to educate governments about best practices in addressing mental health issues and combating stigma. Prince William and Kate Middleton, who launched their own mental-health initiative two years ago, are expected to be in attendance.

While you were sleeping

The IMF lowered its growth forecast for the world. The organization revised its estimate (paywall) for global GDP growth this year from 3.9% to 3.7%, warning of trade barriers, lower capital flows to emerging markets, and political risks.

The White House turned up the heat on Saudi Arabia. After Turkish officials said that journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, US secretary of state Mike Pompeo called for Riyadh to support a thorough investigation into the incident.

Taylor Swift’s political coming-out caused a spike in voter registration. said thousands of people in the state registered after she endorsed Democratic candidates in her home state of Tennessee.

The second suspect in the Skripal poisoning was identified. Investigative website Bellingcat reported that Alexander Yevgenyevich Mishkin, a trained military doctor, was the other man involved in the poisoning by nerve agent of two Russian nationals in the UK this year.

Google+ was shut down following a major security breach. Google’s decision to shutter its social network follows reports that a glitch allowed outside developers to access sensitive user information between 2015 and March of this year. Rather than notify the public, Google opted to keep the breach a secret.

Quartz Obsession interlude

Ruonan Zheng on the Chinese overseas students who are recruited by brands as micro-influencers: “’This is the spot for shopping luxury,’ said Qian Qian, a graduate student at Northeastern University. I noticed her Dior earrings as she joked that the best source of entertainment in Boston was to spend a day at Copley and be surrounded by her favorite labels, such as Dior, Burberry, and Tiffany’s. Qian was one of the 16 Chinese students in attendance ‘recruited’ by the event organizer Gold Linq, a Los Angeles-based consultancy that manages outreach to the Chinese market for Simon Shopping Destinations across its different properties.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Human empathy can’t—or won’t—keep up with the tsunami in Indonesia. ”Compassion collapse” means that people often care more about the tragedies of individuals than of many people.

Optimism is needed to help fight climate change. People think that protecting the environment is so costly or difficult that they simply ignore or deny the problem.

Mike Pence’s recent tirade against China marks an inflection point. The vice president’s speech puts US-China trade disputes in the much more ominous context (paywall) of Beijing’s quest for global domination.

Surprising discoveries

A Snapchat knockoff is helping San Francisco solve its public-pooping problem. After a Snapcrap user takes a photo of feces, the city can determine where the poop is located.

Dirty dishes reveal what ancient civilizations ate. Food scraps on 8,000-year-old ceramic shards found in Turkey include barley, wheat, peas, and tea.

Indian authorities are trying to catch a dangerous tigress with Calvin Klein’s Obsession. The cologne contains a compound originally found in civet cats that drives big cats wild (paywall).

US federal agencies are finally using two-factor authentication. The added security measure to dot-gov websites (paywall) comes after the Office of Personnel Management was hacked in 2014.

Chinese users of wearables are strapping them to inanimate objects. Xiaomi’s Mi Band 3 detected a heart rate on a roll of toilet paper.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, poop clues, and perfumes for tigers to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day or download our apps for iPhone and Android. Today’s Daily Brief was written by Isabella Steger and edited by Alice Truong.