Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today and over the weekend
A UN body votes on membership for human-rights violators. The UN Human Rights Council, whose members include Saudi Arabia and China, will decide today whether to admit Bahrain, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Eritrea, the Philippines, and Somalia—six nations with questionable human-rights records. The US left the council in June.
Turkey rules whether to free an American pastor. The US and Turkey have reportedly reached an agreement to drop some of the charges against Andrew Brunson, who could be freed today. The evangelical preacher was jailed in October 2016 on suspicion of terrorism.
Results from JPMorgan, Wells Fargo, and Citigroup. Investors will find out today whether JPMorgan remains a safe haven amid the stock market’s sharp and sudden correction. This week’s rout has leveled the company’s stock gains for the year, after it reported record profits in the second quarter.
Regional elections will send shockwaves throughout Germany. The centrist Christian Social Union, a key ally of chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, is expected to lose its majority in the state of Bavaria for the first time since World War II. Sunday’s election will serve as a bellwether of the influence of mainstream parties on national politics.
Another royal wedding. The queen’s granddaughter Princess Eugenie will marry Jack Brooksbank today at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle wed in May.
While you were sleeping
A glimmer of hope after global markets plummeted over two days. After the Dow shed nearly 1,400 points, or more than 5%, markets in Asia remain mixed in early trading, with Seoul and Hong Kong edging up slightly, while Tokyo, Sydney, and Shanghai saw modest declines.
The death toll from Hurricane Michael rose to six. Nearly 1.5 million people remained without power in states from Florida to Virginia on Thursday night after the storm made landfall the day prior.
Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance stressed international relations… Suspicion is growing that the Trump administration is doing next to nothing about the Washington Post contributor’s alleged death in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, especially since it has no ambassadors in Turkey or Saudi Arabia.
…While business leaders distanced themselves from Saudi Arabia. Richard Branson halted talks with the kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund over its planned $1 billion investment in his space ventures. He said if reports around Khashoggi’s murder were true, it “would clearly change the ability of any of us in the West to do business with the Saudi government.” Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi also announced he was no longer attending a Saudi conference.
The UK closed in on a Brexit deal. The Financial Times (paywall) reports that prime minister Theresa May told her cabinet that her negotiating team in Brussels is close to finalizing the UK’s divorce from the EU, including settling the Irish “backstop” issue over whether Northern Ireland would remain in the single market.
Quartz Obsession interlude
Gwynn Guilford on whether the stock-market dive signals a US recession: “Finally, it’s here. The bad news the financial media has been searching for, doggedly, for the last six months. As stocks plunge across the planet, fears of a recession are resurfacing. We can say this with some confidence: The stock market panic is overblown. And a US recession is not imminent.” Read more here.
Matters of debate
The Saudi crown prince is sowing chaos. Mohammed bin Salman uses dictatorship tactics (paywall) to bring about what he calls progressive reform.
Denial is dangerous. Humans stay put during hurricanes because they misunderstand remote possibilities (paywall).
Everyone saw the stock-market meltdown coming. Actually, our explanations after the fact can’t account for what is probably a random event (paywall).
Ants have used antibiotics for millions of years. A species of fungus farmers teamed up with bacteria (paywall) to produce chemicals that fight off parasites.
Pompeiians died much more violently than you thought. A new theory concludes their blood boiled and skulls exploded when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD.
Two female mice produced a baby. Researchers took an egg from one and a haploid embryonic stem cell from another.
Bees were too confused to buzz during the total solar eclipse. They were nearly silent as the moon blotted out the sun last year.
Kanye West’s iPhone password is 000000. Reporters caught him typing his code while meeting with Donald Trump.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, weak passcodes, and rodent father figures to email@example.com. 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 Alice Truong and edited by Tripti Lahiri.