Modi meets Merkel, new ISIS leader, pretty co-workers

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What to watch for today and over the weekend

Angela Merkel meets Narendra Modi. The Indian prime minister and German chancellor are expected to sign about 20 agreements between the two countries on Friday. Merkel will meet separately with president Ram Nath Kovind.

Will Alibaba be on cloud nine? The Chinese tech giant’s cloud business is expected to be a highlight as the company reports quarterly earnings on Friday.

The Rugby World Cup reaches its climax. England faces South Africa in the final in Yokohama, Japan on Saturday. This is the first time the tournament has taken place in Asia; more than 54 million Japanese—nearly half the population—tuned in to watch the home team lose its quarter-final last weekend.

While you were sleeping

Qantas was urged to ground its 737 fleet. The Australian union that represents aircraft maintenance engineers suggested 737 NG planes, a precursor to the 737 Max, were unfit to fly after cracks were found in two Qantas aircraft.

Spain stepped in to host the next UN climate summit. Citing ongoing unrest, Chile had pulled the plug on the event and the upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. The latter might have been the backdrop for the US and China signing “phase one” of a new trade deal; yesterday, president Trump said a new site would be named “soon.”

Halloween tested Hong Kong’s mask ban. Demonstrators took to the streets in masks and colorful makeup, taking advantage of a truly ironic confluence of the holiday and a court challenge to the recent ban.

ISIS named a new leader. After confirming the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Islamic State announced a new caliph, Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi, about whom little is known.

A French far-right politician explained his Kashmir trip. Following a controversial visit to the Indian side of the disputed region earlier this week, Thierry Mariani told Quartz, “The risk is that the [terrorist] home could move and that we could have a sort of second Afghanistan in Kashmir.”

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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

Secret passages: They’re not just for royalty and wizards. Companies have been doing a brisk trade recently in hidden rooms and the clever ruses, like phone booths and pop-up staircases, that hide them. Some of it is the speakeasy craze, but homeowners use them as safe rooms or just something to entertain the kids. Take a peek at the Quartz Obsession.

Matters of Debate

Humans aren’t actually creative. Making unconventional choices is really a result of brain errors.

We need to stop promoting pretty people at work. AI can help companies make personnel decisions based on merit, not looks.

Rich people have ruined marathons. Their focus on wellness over competition has changed races for the worse.

Surprising discoveries

A rare trait may hold the secret to better memory. Studying people who have “hyper-memory” could help identify treatment for conditions like Alzheimer’s disease.

How Apple censors the internet in China. The US tech company relies on Tencent to only serve approved sites.

Combatting spycams in China. Baidu and Qihoo 360 are developing apps to help women detect hidden cameras.

YouTube helped a Chinese propaganda video go viral. The site’s algorithm promoted a state media-created clip bashing the Hong Kong protests.

A life-sized Gozilla attraction is coming. An amusement park on Japan’s Awaji Island will host the 120-meter (394 ft) long statue.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, creative brain errors, and Godzilla to Get the most out of Quartz by downloading our app and becoming a member. Today’s Daily Brief was brought to you by Hasit Shah and Liz Webber.