Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today
The UK’s fiscal watchdog issues a warning. The Office of Budget Responsibility is expected to predict that the country will fall into a recession next year, with an estimated contraction of 3% in the case of a no-deal Brexit.
Qualcomm faces a second EU antitrust fine. The world’s largest chipmaker could be fined for using predatory pricing to force a rival from the market between 2009 and 2011. The move comes a day after the EU opened an antitrust probe into Amazon, seen as outgoing competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager’s parting shots against big tech.
Janet Jackson, Chris Brown, and 50 Cent perform in Saudi Arabia. They’re on the lineup for Jeddah World Fest, the concert that Nicki Minaj pulled out of due to the kingdom’s poor human rights record.
The Dutch prime minister visits the White House. Mark Rutte will meet US president Donald Trump to discuss trade, defense, and security cooperation. The US had earlier requested Dutch help to protect ships in the Persian Gulf, but Rutte is not expected to have a firm answer yet.
While you were sleeping
Congo’s Ebola outbreak reached emergency status. The World Health Organization officially declared a “public health emergency of international concern,” after months of debate. The rare designation paves the way for international aid to treat the outbreak, which has killed 1,665 since it began in August.
The US kicked Turkey out of the F-35 club. After Turkey sealed a missile defense deal with Russia, American military authorities decided that they couldn’t risk sensitive information about their stealth fighter jet falling into the wrong hands.
US prosecutors dropped a sexual assault case against Kevin Spacey. The actor had been accused of groping a young man in 2016, but criminal charges were dropped after the alleged victim invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and decided to stop testifying.
Instagram started hiding the number of likes in six countries. Users in Ireland, Italy, and four other countries will stop seeing how many likes a post receives in a trial update designed to improve people’s experiences on the photo-sharing platform. The trial was first rolled out in Canada in May.
Netflix reported an alarming decline in US subscribers. The company’s stock tanked by over 10% on the news of mediocre international growth and a surprise slow-down at home. The company blamed a lackluster content lineup for the weak numbers, adding that The Crown, Orange Is the New Black, and Stranger Things should put growth back on track.
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Reporter Natasha Frost has been helping us navigate the changing world of philanthropy, which is under more scrutiny than ever. But it’s not just big spenders that are under the microscope—it’s the recipients of their money as well. Today, she lays out the pressure facing charities, which are often trapped into taking tainted money from corporations.
Steve Jobs loved whiteboards. Apple Park in Cupertino is filled with them, as are conference rooms and classrooms around the world. They’re a clean and efficient way to brainstorm and collaborate, but blackboard enthusiasts still insist on sticking with chalk dust. The Quartz Obsession draws it out.
Matters of debate
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Dusting is a waste of time. There’s no better metaphor for the futility of human existence.
Governments should subsidize e-bikes. They’re cheaper than electric cars, and a lot of our trips are short enough to cover on two wheels.
CMOs’ days are numbered. The long-respected chief marketing role might not survive the internet age.
FaceApp faces privacy concerns. US Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer called for an FBI investigation into the viral photo-editing app because it poses national security and privacy risks.
The most-played song in the UK this century is by…Snow Patrol? You’ve heard “Chasing Cars”—you just don’t realize how many times you’ve heard it.
Black rhinos will enter the bond market. Conservationists hope to use financial instruments to fund the endangered animals’ salvation.
Sotheby’s is auctioning 50-year-old fruit cake. The dusty dessert is part of a vast trove of moon-landing memorabilia expected to sell for millions of dollars.
Proposing a new emoji just got easier. The Unicode Consortium streamlined the process for submitting the ideas you’ve definitely already had.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, old cakes, and creative emojis to firstname.lastname@example.org. Join the next chapter of Quartz by downloading our app and becoming a member (use code DAILYBRIEF for 20% off). Today’s Daily Brief was written by Mary Hui and edited by Isabella Steger.