Lib Dems party, Democratic debate, the youthful universe

Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today and over the weekend

UK Liberal Democrats get the party going. The Remain party wants to make canceling Brexit part of its manifesto at its seaside conference starting Saturday. With elections on the cards, prime minister Boris Johnson goes to Labour’s northern heartlands today. Meanwhile, the speaker of parliament said he would allow “procedural creativity” by MPs to block no-deal Brexit.

Tunisia goes to the polls. The young democracy chooses on Sunday a new president for the second time since the 2010 revolution, after a lively campaign. On Wednesday, frontrunner Nabil Karoui went on hunger strike in jail, where he’s being held on suspicion of tax evasion and money laundering.

US retail figures tell a story. But not the whole one. Figures out today are expected to give a sense of consumers’ confidence in the economy, as manufacturing slows, investment sags, and global demand becomes increasingly soggy.

While you were sleeping

Democrats sparred, Republicans huddled. Joe Biden was the target in the third primary debate, but so was president Trump, with candidates slamming his trade and healthcare policies. An expected showdown between Biden and Elizabeth Warren didn’t happen. Just as the debate began, Trump kicked off a three-day GOP policy retreat in Baltimore with the promise of more tax cuts.

New Zealand tightened gun laws some more. Six months after a suspected white supremacist gunned down 51 worshippers at two mosques in Christchurch, prime minister Jacinda Ardern introduced a bill that would create a gun registry. Earlier this year, a buyback scheme was announced for military-style firearms banned following the attacks.

Canada held its first election debate. Conservative leader Andrew Scheer, New Democrat Jagmeet Singh, and Green Party leader Elizabeth May sparred on a range of issues but found common ground on one point: Prime minister Justin Trudeau shouldn’t have skipped the event. Read Quartz’s guide on the Oct. 21 election.

Britain hit the catwalk. London Fashion Week kicked off today but the show may never be the same again. Ordinary fashionistas have entry; there are Brexit-related supply chain fears, and the environmental group Extinction Rebellion called for a boycott. Are fashion weeks even relevant anymore?

A photographer of Tiananmen Square Tank Man died. American photojournalist Charlie Cole was one of four who took similar photos during China’s crackdown, but his image won the 1989 World Press Photo award.

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US high schoolers have less sex and do less drugs, but they’re vaping a lot more. Most observers think it’s a combination of available flavors, high levels of addiction-inducing nicotine, and the way that Juul fits into modern lifestyles. Plus, it could just lead to more smoking in the long run. Quartz’s Jenni Avins explores the teen angle in this installment of our vaping field guide.

Quartz Obsession

The Kool-Aid Man is hitting a wall. The brand with the anthropomorphic-pitcher pitchman is trying to survive a consumer shift away from processed food, so it’s banking on nostalgia. One place that nostalgia really sells? The aftermarket for vintage flavors (which are not cheap). Oh, yeah: it’s the Quartz Obsession.

Matters of debate

Join the conversation on the Quartz app!

Reducing “likes” to make social media less toxic hurts users. Content creators rely on the metric to determine trends.

AI is a lot more primitive than it’s hyped to be. Over-reporting and PR spin give most artificial intelligence artificially inflated credit.

You probably don’t need that MacBook. The new iPads can do most of what laptops can—except sit comfortably atop laps.

Surprising discoveries

Russians are into “extreme” marriage proposals. They’re shelling out to stage police busts that have a romantic twist.

Whistle-blowing can be easier than opening up about yourself. Edward Snowden’s new memoir tells all.

The average menstrual cycle isn’t 28 days. The age-old number is based on bad science.

The universe is a spring chicken. New research suggests it’s a full two billion years younger than we thought.

Male bees blind queens to keep them from finding other mates. They may die in the mating process, but at least their genetic code will go on.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, vengeful queen bees, and tell-all memoirs 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 and Rashmee Roshan Lall.