Hariri’s resignation, UK election, cashew milk

Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today

The US Federal Reserve may cut rates. Investors expect a rate cut—the third this year—but will be keeping an eye on one consequential phrase in the board’s statement that may hint at a fourth cut coming in December.

Vladimir Putin buddies up to Hungary. Although his country is a member of NATO and the EU, Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban shares the Russian president’s disdain for liberal democracy and the press. Orban has been a vocal critic of EU sanctions against Russia and has expanded his country’s reliance on Russian fuel.

America’s top North Korea negotiator may get a promotion. Stephen Biegun is reported to be in line to replace John Sullivan as deputy secretary of state. Biegun led American efforts to convince North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons, and would continue heading negotiations as the country’s number two diplomat.

Delhi’s post-Diwali air pollution eases. Although air quality neared “severe” levels on Tuesday, experts expect Wednesday winds to clear the firecracker fumes.

While you were sleeping

Lebanon’s prime minister resigned. Announcing that he had “reached a dead end” trying to combat corruption and inequality, Saad Hariri gave into protesters’ demands and quit. But demonstrators made clear that they want to see the entire government replaced, chanting, “All of them means all of them.”

The UK is set for a December election. The House of Commons approved a bill to send Britain back to the polls on Dec. 12. Prime minister Boris Johnson hopes to win a large enough majority to get his Brexit deal through parliament.

American college athletes’ stock rose. The body that governs US college sports said it would allow student athletes to profit off of their names, images, and likenesses, breaking with its long-held stance that there should be a sharp line between amateur and professional sports.

Elon Musk will stand trial over his “pedo guy” tweet. A Los Angeles judge decided that a defamation lawsuit brought by British diver Vernon Unsworth—who Musk called a “child rapist”—will go before a jury in December.

Carmakers had a choppy earnings day. Although Tesla surprised investors by delivering a profit in the last quarter, its US sales were 39% (or $2 billion) lower than in the same quarter last year. Meanwhile, GM revealed that its 40-day strike wiped out nearly $3 billion in earnings—but its stock rose nearly 5% as investors looked forward to a new line of pickups in 2020.

Quartz Membership

Sign up for your free trial.

We eat too much meat. Or so we’re told. Meat substitutes have appeared, and their producers are already profitable. But the next step is in the laboratory. In the second part of this week’s field guide on the future of meat, Quartz reporter Chase Purdy investigates bioreactors, which are the biggest challenge for companies trying to produce lab-grown meat.

Quartz Obsession

Thank fiber optics for this email. These ultra-thin glass or plastic cables power global telecommunications, deliver streaming content from remote server farms to our living rooms, and whisk emails from New York to Seoul. But not everyone has access to them. The Quartz Obsession gets connected.

Matters of Debate

China’s ticket to influence in Africa is via technology. Private companies, not the state, are doing the most to expand China’s soft power on the continent.

Brexit is changing the English language. Not only is the term itself used by the most staid officials, we’ve also got “Irish backstop” and “flextension.”

Cashew milk is saving animals but hurting humans. Harvesting and processing the nuts erodes the health of the people who do it—many of whom are being exploited.

Surprising discoveries

America’s turtles are Asia’s exotic pets. Poachers are stealing the wild reptiles from US waters by the thousands.

Seven hours a night keeps the brain feeling right. There’s a good chance that consistent sleep deprivation plays a causal role in dementia.

Netflix wants to speed up content consumption. The service is working on double-time bingeing, but Hollywood is hitting pause.

The tweens have smartphones. More than half of US 11-year-olds possess pocket computers, and are mostly using them to watch YouTube.

WiFi is illegal in one American town. Green Bank, West Virginia is an astronomy hotspot, and signals from space must take priority.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, free turtles, and sleep tips to hi@qz.com. Get the most out of Quartz by downloading our app and becoming a member. Today’s Daily Brief was brought to you by Susan Howson and Nicolás Rivero.