Xi at the Expo, the Dow making records, FACEBOOK’s facelift

Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today

Xi Jinping touts China’s economic value. Delivering a keynote speech at the second China International Import Expo in Shanghai, the president is expected to use the occasion—which will feature thousands of companies and some heads of state—to cement the nation’s expanding role in the global economy.

Election Day in the US. Voters will choose governors and state legislators as well as weigh in on referendums in several states. The results, which could include a Democratic upset in Virginia’s General Assembly and the governorships in Mississippi and Kentucky, will reflect voter confidence in Donald Trump’s administration.

Singapore bans e-scooters from pavement. The ban covers the whole city-state, or at least the parts of it that are covered by sidewalks, and violators could face a S$2,000 ($1,475) fine or even jail time. Unicycles and hoverboards have until March 2020.

While you were sleeping

The Dow made it to the record-setting party. The index caught up with the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite to achieve an all-time high, its first since July, with a nearly 18% rise over last year. The milestone follows a good jobs report, the Fed cutting interest rates, and reported progress towards a resolution of the US–China trade war.

Trump rejected his whistleblower’s offer of a written testimony. After repeatedly calling for their identity to be released publicly, the US president said a written exchange was “unacceptable.” Meanwhile, several witnesses from his administration were no-shows at the impeachment hearings, and key closed-door transcripts were released.

Iran’s new centrifuges further distanced it from the former nuclear deal. The country insists that the uranium-enriching equipment is purely for civilian energy purposes, but the production of the technology puts Iran outside of the 2015 nuclear agreement, which tracks with earlier threats by Iran to continue on its uranium path until the US lifts certain sanctions.

Indian judges blamed Delhi’s air on state governments. Instead of making real, long-lasting change by cracking down on harmful crop-burning in neighboring states, the supreme court said, state lawmakers opted for “gimmicks” that made headlines without clearing the air.

Facebook rebranded itself as “FACEBOOK.” As consumers and politicians call for the social media giant to be broken up, the company said it gave itself a facelift to emphasize its variety of products and services.

Quartz Membership

More than half of all plastic ever created was produced in the last 15 years. By 2050, the rate of plastic production will have tripled. This week’s field guide looks at how plastic came to be the backdrop of our lives, how it’s infiltrating our food, water, and the air we breathe, and why recycling doesn’t work. Quartz’s Zoë Schlanger breaks down what can’t be broken down—decades of new plastic on a global scale.

Quartz Obsession

Swiss Army knives are made in Switzerland and yes, they’re standard issue for the Swiss military. They were first made in Germany though, and they didn’t always come with a corkscrew. The Quartz Obsession cuts to the chase.

Matters of Debate

Healthcare websites fail those most in need. Many aren’t truly accessible, even if they technically comply with the law.

Uber’s new safety features aren’t enough. The company’s toxic bro culture still permeates the gig economy it helped create.

Working less is good for productivity. Microsoft Japan tried out a four-day work week and saw an enormous jump in sales per employee.

Surprising discoveries

Every one of us has a secret consumer score. Your number determines how long you wait on hold or whether you can return an item at a store.

Every inch of the earth is polluted with plastic. Scientists crossed the globe to find a single ant without plastic in its body; they came up short.

Netflix will let you skip Trump jokes. Comedian Seth Meyers said the feature, available on his special, is just a joke, but the “skip” button will work.

Movies can be archived forever on glass. Microsoft and Warner Bros. will store a copy of the original “Superman” on a glass disc that can last millennia.

Berlin banned fake US soldiers from Checkpoint Charlie. Actors dressed as Cold War troops reportedly bilked tourists for money at the historic border crossing.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, reenacting grifters, and Trump jokes 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.