Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today
The UK’s parliament decides on a general election. MPs are voting on the motion today – two thirds of them have to approve it to trigger an election. Meanwhile, the EU agreed to postpone the UK’s departure from the bloc until Jan. 31, with the option of leaving earlier.
Google’s parent company reports earnings. Alphabet Inc. is likely to at least meet investor expectations, but still come in below last year, amid a global slowdown that has hurt the advertising business.
House Democrats face a roadblock. Charles Kupperman, the former US deputy national security adviser, has asked a judge to rule on whether he must obey a subpoena by House impeachment investigators today. The decision could set a precedent.
Over the weekend
US forces killed the world’s most wanted man in Syria… President Trump thanked Russia, Turkey, Syria, and Iraq for assisting the military operation that led to the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
… While Trump said he wants to tap Syrian oil. As he announced Baghdadi’s death, the US president expressed interest in striking a deal with ExxonMobil to “spread out the wealth.” Defense secretary Mark Esper committed US troops to protect Syrian oil fields.
The center-left won Argentina’s election. Alberto Fernández secured an outright victory, as voters rejected incumbent Mauricio Macri’s handling of the country’s economic crisis. Former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner becomes 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. A separate fire also wreaked havoc further south.
A Democratic congresswoman stepped down. Katie Hill, a first-term California representative, had been put under investigation by a House ethics committee, but denied having an affair with an aide.
The far right in Europe made more gains. The anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) party surged to second place in elections in the eastern state of Thuringia. Meanwhile, a right-wing coalition is poised to win in the central Italian region of Umbria.
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The future of meat is uncertain. Plant-based products that look and taste (almost) like meat are showing up on supermarket shelves and fast food restaurant menus with incredible speed. But might they soon be eclipsed by something else? In this week’s field guide, Quartz reporter Chase Purdy investigates the development of cell-cultured meat.
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
London should honor victims of slavery. 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.
Profit shouldn’t be a dirty word for artists. Cash could help them finance their next works.
South Korea’s Acorn Rangers are fighting nut thieves. Foraging humans who consider the nut (paywall) a superfood are leaving squirrels hungry.
Russian eagles run up big phone bills. A project tracking the migrating birds with SMS transmitters ran out of money because of roaming charges.
Munich’s Oktoberfest is full of gas. 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.
A treehouse that burned down this week had 80 rooms. The five-story structure had become a tourist attraction in Tennessee.
A piece of kitchen art sold for $26 million. A long-lost painting by Italian pre-Renaissance artist Cimabue had been hanging above a stove in an elderly French woman’s home.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, giant treehouses, and kitchen masterpieces to firstname.lastname@example.org. Get the most out of Quartz by downloading our app and becoming a member. Today’s Daily Brief was brought to you by Adam Rasmi and Hasit Shah.