🌎 Third time's an alarm

Plus: The trick of the (expensive) Halloween treats
🌎 Third time's an alarm

Good morning, Quartz readers!

Here’s what you need to know

Xi Jinping’s re-election spooked investors. Chinese stocks listed in the US fell after Xi clinched a third term and promoted his allies to key roles, as delayed GDP figures showed weak quarterly growth.

The US federal budget deficit has shrunk. The phasing out of pandemic-related relief contributed to halving the gap between the government’s expenditures and revenues year-on-year to $1.4 trillion.

The Trump Organization’s trial begins. The criminal tax fraud case is expected to take four weeks once a jury is selected—a challenging task in and of itself.

Pfizer set a hefty price tag for its covid-19 vaccine in the US. Once it becomes commercially available, a dose will cost as much as $130—a hundred times more than its estimated manufacturing costs.

Rishi Sunak is favorite to become the next UK prime minister. Boris Johnson’s decision to sit out the race cleared the former finance minister’s path to Downing Street.

A Brazilian politician threw hand grenades at police officers. Roberto Jefferson, an ally of far-right president Jair Bolsonaro, faced arrest after insulting a Supreme Court judge.

What to watch for

Hollywood icon Anna May Wong is about to become the first Asian American to be featured on US currency. The US Mint has announced the pioneering actor will feature on 25-cent coins set to roll into circulation today (Oct. 24).

Wong, considered the first Chinese American movie star, had a decades-long career that spanned across theater, television, radio, and over 60 films. Born in 1905 into a family of second-generation Chinese immigrants in Los Angeles, Wong would go on to appear in one of the first-ever movies in Technicolor, and become the first Asian American lead of an American TV show. Navigating both racism and sexism throughout her career, Wong broke barriers in the film industry and paved the way for generations of Asian American actors.

The new quarter is one of five being released in 2022 to recognize the achievements of trailblazing women in various fields, a part of the American Women Quarters (AWQ) Program, which will continue releasing five new coins a year through 2025.

The trick of the treats

Halloween is right around the corner, and Americans are going a little mad scientist about it all. Consumers are expected to spend $100 on average on candy, decorations, and costumes. That’s per person, and it’s not necessarily due to inflation—post-lockdown investment into fun is still thriving.

There’s one wrinkle though—sugar-beet crops sabotaged by droughts (or dentists? 🤔) in the northern US are joining chocolate supply chain disruptions caused by the Russia-Ukraine war for a spike in candy prices. Here’s hoping you saved some from last year to hand out, because the below chart is scary enough to carve on a pumpkin.

A chart showing US candy prices, which spiked in 2022.
Graphic: Quartz

Jokes and candy prices aside, Halloween spending could be a bellwether for the rest of 2022’s holiday season.

Does covid trigger diabetes in children?

There’s growing evidence that children who have had covid could be up to 77% more likely to develop another illness: diabetes.

As with most diagnoses, there’s a lot of factors, both biological and environmental, that play into whether a person actually develops the disease. But whatever the cause, researchers think the association between covid and diabetes is important enough to demand further studies to understand what is happening, and why.

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Surprising discoveries

A signed Charles Darwin document could fetch £700,000 ($795,000) at an auction. The manuscript includes a passage from his iconic On the Origin of Species.

The most frightening part of Salem, Massachusetts may be its sheer number of Halloween tourists. Business owners of the city, known for its witch trials, are happy, but locals are spooked.

Some people really do attract more mosquitoes. Scientists think it has to do with how they smell.

This Halloween, consider being a dinosaur mummy. Fossils that include mummified soft tissue aren’t as rare as archeologists had previously believed.

Children’s hospitals in the US are being overrun with sick kids. Pediatricians are seeing unusually high levels of RSV infections, which is a cold-like virus.

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