Brexit extension, ISIS leader killed, Oktoberfest emissions

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What to watch for today

EU ambassadors consider a Brexit extension. They hope to sign an agreement postponing the UK’s Oct. 31 departure deadline by three months, with the option of the country leaving earlier if it ratifies a separation deal. Meanwhile, British MPs will vote on whether to hold a December snap election.

The ECB says farewell to its president. Mario Draghi will deliver a speech at a European Central Bank event held in his honor. Many credit him for having saved the euro during his eight-year term.

House Democrats face a roadblock. Charles Kupperman, the former US deputy national security adviser, has asked a judge to rule on whether he should be forced to obey a subpoena calling him before House impeachment investigators today. The decision could be precedent-setting.

HSBC reports its earnings. The bank is in the midst of a cost-cutting drive and could announce major job cuts. The US-China trade war and unrest in Hong Kong, which has entered a recession, have not been kind to the bank.

Over the weekend

The world’s most wanted man was found. ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi died during a raid by US special forces in Syria. US president Donald Trump thanked Russia, Turkey, Syria, and Iraq for providing assistance to the military operation.

Alberto Fernández won Argentina’s presidential election. The law professor and center-left Peronist candidate secured an outright victory as voters rejected incumbent Mauricio Macri’s handling of the country’s economic crisis. The result also marks a dramatic comeback for his running mate, ex-president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, who will be vice-president.

California burned. The governor declared a statewide emergency as wildfires fueled by high winds swept across the northern part of the state, placing some 180,000 under evacuation orders and prompting mass blackouts. To the south, another major fire also forced evacuations and destroyed a number of homes.

North Korea warned the US against ignoring a deadline. State media carried a message by high-ranking official Kim Yong Chol reiterating that denuclearization talks with Washington must take place by year’s end. Kim Jong Un often reveals his intentions in his New Year’s address.

Germany’s far-right party made more gains. Alternative for Germany (AfD) surged to second place in elections in the eastern state of Thuringia. The party recently placed second in two other states, as well, in a sign of its growing support. Meanwhile, a right-wing coalition backed by Matteo Salvini’s League party, is poised to win an election in the central Italian region of Umbria.

Quartz Obsession

There’s a new generation of pinball wizards. The arcade standby was on tilt after game rooms (and the malls that housed them) went into decline and video games took over, but retro bar arcades, collectors, and overseas markets have kept the industry from going STDM to the outhole. Flip out at the Quartz Obsession.

Matters of Debate

Mark Zuckerberg should shut down Facebook’s political ads. The proliferation of disinformation online is starting to look like a deadly digital epidemic for democracy.

London needs a major memorial honoring slavery’s victims. Britain still hasn’t properly acknowledged its role in the trans-Atlantic slave trade.

US Supreme Court justices talk too much. They barely let arguing attorneys speak before interrupting them with questions.

Surprising discoveries

A small town in Minnesota is the Halloween capital of the world. It all started in 1919, when a town-wide prank went too far.

Munich’s Oktoberfest spews out a lot of methane. Researchers found the annual 16-day bash of beer, bands and bratwurst emits 10 times more methane than the city of Boston in the same period.

South Korea’s Acorn Rangers are fighting nut thieves. Foraging humans who consider the nut a superfood (paywall) are leaving squirrels hungry.

Russian eagles are data hogs. A project tracking the migrating birds with SMS transmitters ran out of money due to roaming charges.

A treehouse that burned down this week had 80 rooms. The five-story structure had become a tourist attraction in Tennessee.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, roomy treehouses, and historic pranks Get the most out of Quartz by downloading our app and becoming a member. Today’s Daily Brief was written by Mary Hui and edited by Tripti Lahiri.