Dem debate 3.0, China tariffs delay, lost continent

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What to watch for today

2020 Democrats spar on one stage. The third debate, in Houston, will be a one-night affair, with 10 presidential candidates and the three frontrunners facing off for the first time. Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren lead the pack, though polls this early will certainly shift.

The ECB announces a rate cut. Or not. The least contentious course of action at today’s meeting is expected to be a 10 to 20 basis points cut in the deposit rate. But the Dutch and the Germans have argued Europe’s economy doesn’t need the stimulus just yet. Outgoing Bank president Mario Draghi will hold a news conference.

The Frankfurt Motor Show gets on the road. The expo will highlight sustainable vehicles, such as Porsche’s first all-electric sports car and BMW’s new hydrogen-powered car. Chinese manufacturers, particularly electric battery suppliers, will have a big presence.

While you were sleeping

Donald Trump postponed more China tariffs. In a “gesture of goodwill,” the US president said he agreed to a delay requested by Beijing as it prepares to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. A 5% hike—from 25% to 30% on $250 billion worth of goods—is now set for Oct. 15.

British retailers blamed Brexit for their woes. Major retailer John Lewis announced losses and the Co-Op, the “supermarkets-to-funerals” group, warned of shortages of fresh food and toilet paper in case of a disorderly exit from the EU. On Wednesday, the government was forced to release its no-deal contingency plans, which forecast riots, higher food prices, and fuel shortages.

The US Supreme Court let new asylum restrictions take effect. The Trump administration’s new rules bar people from seeking asylum at the US southern border if they first traveled through another safe country. It will halt most migration from Central America, but legal challenges to the rules continue.

Purdue Pharma settled some opioid lawsuits. About two dozen states may be close to agreeing on a settlement that would see the OxyContin manufacturer, owned by the Sackler family, go into bankruptcy. It would become a trust whose purpose would be combating the epidemic.

British American Tobacco announced a major layoff. The world’s second biggest cigarette maker will cut 2,300 jobs—some of them senior—by January 2020. New CEO Jack Bowles plans to drive vaping sales, now a $28 billion lifeline for the industry, as the rate of smoking tobacco falls in many parts of the world.

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Matters of debate

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Local recessions in the US deserve more attention. That’s even though they don’t seem to have much of an effect on the stock market.

Storm is the hero we’ve been waiting for. Forget Black Panther and Luke Cage, the X-Woman is the comic world’s overlooked trailblazer.

Electric vehicles won’t stop climate change. Even if the number of EVs in the US jumps tenfold, it will barely dent oil demand.

Surprising discoveries

Scientists reconstructed a “lost continent.” Remnants of Greater Adria can be found in Italy, Turkey, Greece, the Alps, and the Balkans.

A new device can mass-produce “synthetic” human embryos. While embryoids are important for the study of human development, the method raises ethical questions.

Planes are keeping track of your bathroom use. Sensors track all sorts of flyer behavior to help airlines plan, save, and find things to charge money for.

Your credit card sounds awful. Square’s card reader converts the magnetic strip’s information into dissonant noise to send it through a headphone jack.

London has a purpose-built venue for selfies. For just £10, the city’s Insta-gen is striking a pose against a wall of donuts, a bath of pink balls, and more.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, free selfie locales, and credit card jams to Join the next chapter of Quartz by downloading our app and becoming a member. Today’s Daily Brief was brought to you by Adam Rasmi, Hasit Shah, and Rashmee Roshan Lall.