Trudeau campaigns, the gig’s up, Delhi high life

Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today

Joshua Wong talks to German students. The Hong Kong democracy activist continues his Berlin tour, during which he met with German foreign minister Heiko Maas, infuriating Beijing, before traveling to the US. Meanwhile, several US lawmakers have asked the Trump administration to assess Hong Kong’s special status under US law, fearing China could use it to acquire sensitive American technologies.

Britain’s Labour party breaks Brexit truce. Deputy Labour leader Tom Watson will say the UK needs a second referendum more than an election and that Labour should back remain. This contrasts with party leader Jeremy Corbyn’s attempts to appeal to Brexit voters as well.

Justin Trudeau hits the campaign trail. Canada’s prime minister will begin his fight for a second term, after a series of scandals that have included a damaging ethics controversy. Polls indicate the Liberals are just ahead of the opposition Conservatives.

While you were sleeping

California’s Senate passed a bill that will alter the gig economy. The law will likely force many companies to treat contract workers as employees, which means they get holiday and sick pay, among other protections. The law, which is expected to go into effect Jan. 1, could influence the national debate over flexible workers’ rights in businesses such as food delivery and home repairs. Ride-hailing companies like Lyft and Uber sought exemptions for their drivers.

The UK u-turned on work visas for foreign students. International students will be allowed to stay in Britain for two years after graduation to find a job, reversing a 2012 policy. There were more than 460,000 foreign students in the UK last year.

A Trump-backed Republican won a closely watched election. GOP candidate Dan Bishop’s narrow victory in North Carolina’s ninth congressional district may not dispel Republican worries, especially as the White House busies itself finding a fourth national security adviser.  

Transcript of Jamal Khashoggi’s alleged final moments is published. Sabah, a Turkish, pro-government newspaper, said the recording, from Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization, details the Saudi journalist’s request to his killers not to cover his mouth as he had asthma. It’ll be a year next month since he was murdered at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.  

South Korea filed a WTO complaint against Japan’s export curbs. The move, which calls restrictions Tokyo placed on exports to its neighbor of chemicals crucial for phone chips and displays “politically motivated,” marks another escalation of the trade spat between the two countries.

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Big tobacco isn’t going anywhere—it’s merely teaming up with tech to reinvent smoking. Reporter Jenni Avins talked to Philip Morris International’s COO Jacek Olczak about how vaping is breathing new life into tobacco’s hopes for the future, even as it raises new health concerns. See what’s new in our ongoing vaping field guide.

Quartz Obsession

“Happy Birthday to You” is the most-sung ditty in the English language. And while it may seem hard to imagine a world without the tune, it’s a relatively recent invention—a slightly awkward, ubiquitous tradition that also feels deeply personal. But where did it come from? The Quartz Obsession blows out the candles and makes a wish.

Matters of debate

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Let kids vote. They’re hardly less informed than the average adult, and participating now could turn them into lifelong voters.

We may have free will after all. A landmark study that seemed to show we don’t control our own decisions had some fatal scientific flaws.

Birds are metaphorical messengers. That’s why we talk about swanning around, and politicians being  hawks or doves.

Surprising discoveries

Delhi and Mumbai consume a lot of weed. The former now out-tokes Los Angeles, while the latter is higher than London.

Architects are making concrete walls look like crumpled paper. Used in Washington DC’s Kennedy Center expansion, the newly-developed “crinkled concrete” is pushing the limits of the building material.

There’s a new electric eel in town. Electrophorus voltai delivers the most shocking shocks—as high as 860 volts—but it’s still not enough to seriously injure humans.

Serial killers are out there. And in greater numbers than we think.

Ghost crabs have terrifying stomach rumbles. The crustaceans scare off enemies with noises from within their gut, freeing their claws for fighting and defense.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, gut alarms, and eel-based renewable energy plans to Join the next chapter of Quartz by downloading our app and becoming a member. Today’s Daily Brief was brought to you by Jenny Anderson and Rashmee Roshan Lall.