Grenfell report, UK election, teal pumpkins

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What to watch for today

Vladimir Putin heads to Budapest. The Russian president will meet with Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán as they continue to bond over their disdain for western liberal values. Hungary has been the Kremlin’s strongest advocate in the EU, arguing against sanctions on Moscow and expanding its reliance on Russian gas.

The Grenfell Tower inquiry is published. The report on the first phase of an investigation into the 2017 fire at a residential block in London that killed 72 people faults the city’s fire brigade for “serious shortcomings.” The second phase of the inquiry, which will look at the building’s design, will begin next year.

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 for hints that a fourth cut could come in December. Preliminary third-quarter GDP figures will also be published, with analysts predicting a slower1.7% growth rate.

While you were sleeping

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.

WhatsApp sued an Israeli surveillance firm over spyware. The Facebook-owned messaging service accused NSO Group of facilitating government hacking operations against at least 100 targets around the world including human rights activists, journalists, and diplomats.

The US House voted to recognize the Armenian genocide. In a rebuke to Ankara, lawmakers overwhelmingly passed a measure to designate the killing of 1.5 million Armenians from 1915 to 1923 in the Ottoman Empire, now modern-day Turkey, a “genocide.” They also passed a measure to impose sanctions on Turkey over its offensive in northern Syria.

A White House official testified in the impeachment enquiry for the first time. In a closed-door deposition that lasted more than 10 hours, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman recalled his alarm over the July phone call between US president Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

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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

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Matters of Debate

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

Brexit is changing the English language. Its neologisms and linguistic contortions reflect the country’s complicated political challenges.

Cashew milk isn’t so wholesome. Many laborers harvesting and processing the nuts are exposed to harsh working conditions.

Surprising discoveries

Teal pumpkins make for safer Halloweens. Displaying a blue-green squash on your doorstep is a way to signal to kids with food allergies that a home is safe for trick-or-treating.

A German funeral accidentally served hash cake. The teenage daughter of a restaurant employee in charge of the cake order had made the special bakery item for another occasion.

Hong Kong students used fax machines to beat Chinese censorship. In 1989, they launched a crowd-faxing campaign to send an uncensored daily news digest to every fax number in China.

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

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, freedom faxes, and special cakes to 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.