Hurricane Michael, SIN-EWR commences, moonmoons

Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today

G20 finance ministers and central bankers meet in Bali. They’ll discuss international trade frictions and other challenges for the world economy at the International Monetary Fund and World Bank’s annual meetings. The US-China trade war and troubles in emerging markets will be front and center.

Hurricane Michael continues to wreak havoc. The most powerful storm to ever hit northwest Florida made landfall yesterday, packing ferocious 155 mph (250 km/h) winds. Authorities expect dangerous flooding, widespread power outages, and a storm surge with waves up to 14 feet (4.3 meters), as the hurricane moves inland to Georgia and Alabama.

The world’s longest commercial flight commences. Singapore Airlines is relaunching a service from its home base to Newark, forsaking economy seats for the nearly 19-hour journey. High oil prices forced it to abandon the offering five years ago.

While you were sleeping

Asian markets plummeted on the back of a US sell-off. US stocks posted their biggest drop (paywall) in seven months, as investors worried about rising Treasury yields and trade tensions. Markets in Asia (paywall) followed suit, with tech stocks taking a particular beating. Hong Kong-listed Tencent, for example, entered its 10th-straight day of declines.

BMW raised its stake in its Chinese joint venture. The German carmaker paid $4.2 billion to increase its ownership in BMW Brilliance Automotive from 50% to 75%. It’s the first move by a foreign auto company to take control of a Chinese carmaker after Beijing announced plans to relax rules on ownership.

A Chinese spy was charged with stealing US aviation trade secrets. An operative was arrested and indicted on charges of economic espionage and attempting to steal trade secrets from companies including GE. The man was arrested in Belgium in April and extradited to the US on Tuesday.

Tesla is close to acquiring land to build a factory in Shanghai. Bloomberg reported that the company is the sole bidder for a $145 million plot of land to build its first factory outside of the US. Tesla in July reached a preliminary agreement with authorities to build a factory that it hopes will eventually produce 500,000 electric vehicles annually.

Quartz Obsession interlude

Tim Fernholz on the search for life in the universe: “Scientists are expanding their understanding of habitability beyond a binary and into a spectrum, which may sound trite, but previous research relied on blunt instruments and blunter assumptions about alien life—starting with the idea that it would appear on the surface.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

China is nowhere near as dangerous as Russia in terms of hacking. Mike Pence’s assertions about Beijing trying to sway US elections (paywall) are irresponsible.

Good design can help ameliorate the stigma around going to therapy. Chic lighting and furniture create an environment patients want to return to.

Writing your own obituary can boost your career. It enables you to “think backwards” as you chart a path forward.

Surprising discoveries

Millennials are killing American cheese. They’re opting for finer fromage, and eateries are following suit (paywall).

A competitive beard-grower was sentenced to 20 years for drug trafficking. Gal Vallerius was known as “OxyMonster” on a dark-net trading portal.

Hard-to-read fonts can help boost your memory. The “desirable difficulty” gets you more actively involved in the learning process.

Moons could have moons, too. But “moonmoons”—moons that circle moons that orbit planets—have yet to be proven.

Teens are too old to trick-or-treat in certain US towns. They face up to six months in jail and $100 in fines in Chesapeake, Virginia.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, early obituaries, and foreign cheese 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.