Impeachment inquiry, Hong Kong masks, revolution crushes

Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today

The US House votes to formalize the impeachment inquiry. Democrats are expected to approve a resolution that lays out public hearings as the investigation into president Trump’s alleged coercion of Ukraine goes into higher gear. Meanwhile, Trump’s main Russia adviser testifies. Former Trump adviser John Bolton has also been asked to provide closed-door testimony.

A court mulls two challenges to Hong Kong’s face mask ban. Legislators and activists argue that the ban and the strategy used to enforce it are unconstitutional. Meanwhile, police prepare to distinguish between rebels and revelers when a costumed procession heads to the city’s party district.

The UK House loses its flamboyant speaker. After a decade presiding over parliament’s lower house, John Bercow will issue his last call for order. Both Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn united in fulsome praise, even as the campaign kicked off for the Dec. 12 election, which is expected to be Britain’s most unpredictable in decades.

While you were sleeping

The Pentagon released footage of Baghdadi’s killing. The black-and-white video shows US helicopters approaching the compound where the Islamic State leader was living, and the drone strikes that destroyed it. US Central Command chief Frank McKenzie said he couldn’t confirm that Baghdadi was “whimpering and crying” in his final moments, contrary to Trump’s claim.

A major Asian summit started in Thailand—without Trump, yet again. The US president sent commerce secretary Wilbur Ross and national security adviser Robert O’Brien to the ASEAN summit. The Japan Times says Trump’s absence may be seen as a snub.

Angela Merkel travelled to India. The German chancellor’s three-day visit includes a sit-down with prime minister Narendra Modi, with talks expected to focus on deepening trade relations. The Bundestag recently voted to upgrade ties between the two countries.

Fiat Chrysler and PSA announced their merger. After their boards approved the union on Wednesday, the two carmakers made the deal official early today. It creates the world’s fourth-largest carmaker, with a market value of more than €45 billion ($50 billion).

The baseball underdog triumphed. The Washington Nationals came from behind to win 6-2 in Game 7 of the World Series, their first title in nearly 100 years. The Houston Astros had been the favorites.

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Can cell-cultured meat be considered kosher or halal? Religious rules are very specific about ensuring an animal is properly killed for consumption, but meat that circumvents the slaughtering process turns those rules upside-down. Discover how laboratories are making high-tech kosher and halal meat in Quartz’s latest field guide.

Quartz Obsession

Contact lenses took centuries to come into focus. Leonardo da Vinci first had the idea; Rene Descartes expanded on it. By the late 1800s, they existed—in uncomfortable glass form. It required the rise of plastics, silicone, and complex hydrogels to give over 150 million people around the world second sight. Look into it with the Quartz Obsession.

Matters of Debate

Vegan meats and cheeses shouldn’t be called “fake.” They’re simply different versions of the same food type.

Mars is not a nature preserve. Protecting it and other celestial bodies from human contamination shouldn’t be a priority.

Drone technology is making the world more unsafe. Armies no longer have the monopoly, and non-state actors are changing the parameters of conflict.

Surprising discoveries

A Halloween event in an empty NYC store shows creativity. Landlords are using pop-ups and short-term leases to fill space.

In Lebanon, protesters find love on Instagram… Demonstrators are using the platform to track down their “revolution crushes.”

…and in Hong Kong, traditional Chinese medicine to treat the effects of tear gas. An underground network of healers is using herbal tonics.

An AI earned Grandmaster status in StartCraft II. AlphaStar, from Alphabet’s DeepMind, now ranks above 99.8% of officially ranked human players.

Maggot farming is a sunshine sector. The world’s first industrial-scale farm based on organic waste will expand from Cape Town to California.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, farmed maggots, and Halloween masks to Get the most out of Quartz by downloading our app and becoming a member. Today’s Daily Brief was brought to you by Luiz Romero and Rashmee Roshan Lall.