🌍 Xi’s next term awaits

Plus: Europe’s power hungry for energy.
🌍 Xi’s next term awaits

Good morning, Quartz readers!

Here’s what you need to know

China’s top leaders met for the last time before the Communist Party congress. President Xi Jinping is expected to get a historic third term in power at the meeting, which starts Oct. 16.

An explosion rocked Crimea’s only bridge to Russia. The blast killed three people and caused a partial collapse of the supply route for Russia, who accused Ukraine of using a truck bomb to carry out the attack.

A UN body has new emissions goals for flying. The agreement to reach net-zero in the aviation industry by 2050 is nonbinding and has drawn criticism from environmentalists.

Five teenagers were jailed in Hong Kong under Beijing’s national security law. It’s the first time the law has been used to prosecute protestors under the age of 18.

Paris went dark. Lights at luxury shops and the Eiffel Tower were turned off at night in an attempt to conserve energy.

Investigators said a major disruption on Germany’s train network was an act of sabotage. The incident Saturday brought travel to a standstill for a few hours in the northern part of the country.

What to watch for

For nearly three weeks, women and girls across Iran have led an uprising calling for the overthrow of its theocratic government. Demonstrations began on Sept. 16 after the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who was detained for what police deemed improper coverage of her hair. Since then, the chant “women, life, liberty” has become a de facto protest anthem.

The protests are also a response to the country’s economic stagnation. Iran’s middle class has shrunk dramatically since the US reinstated sanctions in 2018, with one third of the population having fallen into poverty. The country is also facing record inflation and its currency, the rial, has sunk to all-time lows.

The present demonstrations, which have also taken to social media, show no signs of slowing. Meanwhile, the US has imposed a new round of sanctions against Iran in retaliation for its violent anti-protest tactics. Negotiations for a new US nuclear deal—though hanging on the precipice—are still a possibility.

Europe’s power hunger leaves developing countries starving for energy

Bangladesh’s massive blackout on Oct. 4 was the most recent example of the consequences of Europe’s mad dash for gas.

Even before the war broke out, gas supplies heading to Asia were being diverted to Europe. Now with the Russia-Ukraine conflict squeezing supply, the richer European nations are getting dibs on whatever is up for grabs, driving up the price and reducing the amount available to buy for nations such as Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan.

130 million: People affected by the blackout in Bangladesh

7: Hours it took to bring power back

60%: Increase in the price of LNG in a year

$40 billion: Damages sought by Pakistan against Italian energy firm Eni and Swiss commodity trader Gunvor for not supplying the agreed deliveries of LNG

Swatch can’t keep up with demand for its space-themed watch

Swatch is getting a much-needed boost after a couple years of pandemic struggles thanks to its quirky MoonSwatch. The watch, which comes in 11 colors, each one representing one of the celestial bodies in our solar system, is attracting a lot of attention for something that doesn’t even have smart watch capabilities.

Scarcity is helping drive demand for the item: Swatch decided to only sell the watch at its brick-and-mortar stores rather than online. That’s leading some people to resell their MoonSwatches on eBay, some fetching as much as $4,000 (retail price is $260).

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Surprising discoveries

A new species of beetle has been named after tennis champion Novak Djokovic. Serbian scientists found the duvalius djokovici in an underground pit in the western part of the country.

The flying Pterosaurs’ ancestors were running reptiles. The creatures were likely a mere 7 inches (17.8 centimeters) in length, most of that being tail.

An anonymous, college-only, Reddit-ish service has a lot of students at Stanford convinced. The founder of Fizz says 95% percent of undergraduates have downloaded the app (the free donuts help).

We’re understanding a deadly brain illness in children better thanks to sheep. Gene-edited flocks are helping scientists find treatments for Batten disease.

The beginnings of the office as we know it didn’t appear until the 18th century. One of the first examples was the Admiralty House in London. Learn about the others in the first episode of our newly launched podcast, Work Reconsidered.

🎧Listen on: Apple Podcasts | Google | Spotify | Stitcher | Megaphone

Our best wishes for a productive day. Send any news, comments, famous beetles, and free donuts to hi@qz.com. Reader support makes Quartz available to all—become a member. Today’s Daily Brief was brought to you by Morgan Haefner, Sofia Lotto Persio, and Julia Malleck.