Boris in Luxembourg, oil anxiety, chess stress

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What to watch for today

Boris Johnson heads to Luxembourg. The UK prime minister will have a lunch meeting with outgoing European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, and is expected to make clear that he wants to secure a Brexit deal by Oct. 18 or leave the bloc with no deal. In an interview published Saturday, former prime minister David Cameron said he was “truly sorry” for the chaos caused by Brexit.

Regulators question Facebook over Libra. In Basel, officials from more than two dozen central banks will seek more information about the cryptocurrency’s scope and design, amid concerns about how it could affect financial stability.

The EU discusses the rule of law in Hungary. Members of the European Parliament will hold the first formal hearing on concerns over whether Budapest is in breach of the bloc’s values due to prime minister Viktor Orbán’s tightening grip over media, courts, academics, and NGOs.

The UN’s nuclear watchdog begins its annual conference. Representatives from member states of the International Atomic Energy Agency gather in Vienna today for a five-day meeting to discuss topics including strengthening safeguards in the Middle East and North Korea.

Over the weekend

Oil prices spiked after an assault on Saudi Aramco facilities. Over the weekend, drones attacked the world’s largest oil refinery and other infrastructure, disrupting about half of Saudi Arabia’s capacity. US president Donald Trump said the country is “locked and loaded depending on verification” following the strike.

China reported weak economic data. New figures released today showed industrial production growth expanded just 4.4% in August compared to a year earlier, the slowest pace since early 2002. Retail sales growth also slowed to 7.5%, below analysts’ expectations.

Tunisia’s presidential election may see a shock victory by outsiders. Early results suggest that two anti-establishment figures, law professor Kaïs Saïed and jailed media mogul Nabil Karoui, have won enough votes to proceed to a runoff as voters appeared to reject dominant political parties.

Japan set new records as the world’s most aged population. More than 28% of the country is now aged 65 or older, according to figures released Sunday, exacerbating a growing labor shortage. Nearly a quarter of those seniors still work, with many in retail or forestry jobs.

Top Democrats called for Brett Kavanaugh’s impeachment. That followed reports of another allegation of sexual misconduct against the US Supreme Court justice, whose confirmation barely made it through the Senate last year amid similar accusations. Trump came to Kavanaugh’s defense, saying the justice department should “rescue” him.

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Matters of debate

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Politically incorrect speech can be good politics. It makes a candidate seem more authentic to certain groups.

The golden age of air travel is over. Airlines are reluctant to forego extra alcohol revenue, even though booze plays a large part in “air rage” incidents.

There’s a diversity problem in ethnic plastic surgery.  Current procedures are based off what looks best on Caucasian women.

Surprising discoveries

Beijing is confining tourists to their hotels… At least ones staying near military parade rehearsals for the upcoming 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China.

…and Moscow held a parade of garbage trucks and city buses. The mundane event, following weeks of pro-democracy protests, was ridiculed online.

A gold toilet was stolen from England’s Blenheim Palace. Made by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan, it’s valued at up to $1.2 million.

Chess grandmasters and elite athletes experience similar stress responses. The former are incorporating strict food and fitness regimens to cope.

Vapers are turning to cigarettes to kick their Juul habit. For e-cigarette manufacturers who marketed their wares as an alternative to old-fashioned smokes, it’s a slap in the face.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, fancy toilets, and bus parades to Join the next chapter of Quartz by downloading our app and becoming a member. Today’s Daily Brief was written by Mary Hui and edited by Tripti Lahiri.