Map of the Internet, Theranos shuts down blood labs, MacBook-scented candles

Good morning, Quartz readers!

The internet is physical. Aside from smartphones and wireless routers, most of us are confronted with few daily reminders of that truth. Much like highways and tunnels, the internet is a vast global infrastructure made up of wires, cables, and machines. But what does it look like? And how does it work?

Quartz’s journalists set out to answer these questions and more in a new series called Map of the Internet.

What to watch for today

The UN formally votes on a new secretary-general. The Security Council has already unanimously backed (paywall) former Portuguese prime minister Antonio Guterres, who previously headed the UN’s refugee agency. Guterres would begin his five-year term in January.

Britain’s money man goes to Wall Street. Chancellor Philip Hammond is on a mission to reassure US banks that Brexit won’t affect the UK’s financial services industry, and that the City of London’s position as a global financial hub is not under threat.

The ECB releases minutes from its September meeting. The euro-zone bond market has been jumpy this week amid fears that the central bank might be thinking of winding down its bond-buying programme—although an ECB spokesperson told the FT that the bank’s council has “not discussed these topics” (paywall).

While you were sleeping

EasyJet reported its first profit drop since 2009. The low-cost airline said a spate of terror attacks and the pound’s decline in value after the Brexit vote would cost the company £90 million ($114 million), and expects full-year pre-tax profit to be around £490 million. The news initially caused its shares to fall (paywall) by more than 8%, before recovering slightly.

The UK approved fracking. The government decided to allow an application by energy firm Cuadrilla to do test fracking for shale gas in Lancashire, in the north of England. It will be the first time the UK has allowed horizontal drilling. Environmentalists, obviously, will not be happy.

Theranos fired 40% of its workforce. Life sciences company Theranos will close its clinical labs and fire 340 people, founder Elizabeth Holmes said in an open letter. The company said it is no longer focusing on blood-testing after serious questions were raised about the effectiveness of its novel method, but will develop products (paywall) for outside labs.

Brazil’s lower house voted to open oil fields to foreign investment. The move is a major policy shift and scraps the requirement that state-controlled Petrobras be the sole operator of the oil reserves under fields of salt off the nation’s southeast coast. President Michel Temer has indicated he’ll sign the deal, which the senate has approved.

Thai students commemorated the 1976 campus massacre. Students and monks laid flowers at Thammasat University in remembrance of the dozens of students killed by security forces 40 years ago. Thailand has been under military junta rule since a 2014 coup, which, according to a recent Amnesty report, has allowed a “culture of torture” to flourish.

Seven & I Holdings announced an overhaul. The Japanese retailer said it would get rid of its under-performing department stores to boost profit as it fends off local competitors FamilyMart and Lawson.  Its second-quarter operating income of $966 million beat analyst expectations.

Quartz obsession interlude

Oliver Staley on the Chicago Cubs’ love of players with personality. “Baseball teams aren’t alone in valuing soft skills. Companies that once focused on a job applicant’s pedigree, GPA, or technical skills realize they need to sort for a much wider range of behaviors. Google once used math problems and brain teasers to identify and screen candidates; former HR head Lazlo Bock later conceded those exercises were ‘a complete waste of time.’ More important than IQ, grades, or coding skills, Bock says, are learning ability and leadership.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Uber undermines decades of urban planning. Ride-hailing apps unravel efforts to steer people away from private cars (paywall).

Climate change deniers should not hold public office. A stance that defies modern science is a stance against truth and facts, says Leonardo DiCaprio.

The moments before you ask for something are more important than the asking. Building bonds in advance is a go-to tactic for successful manipulators.

Surprising discoveries

The smartest members of ISIL? Their foreign recruits, by far (link in French).

There’s a candle that smells like new Apple products. At $24, it’s also way cheaper than an actual MacBook.

The Norwegian prime minister was caught playing Pokémon Go. Erna Solberg has also taken time out of official trips to catch ’em all.

A painting sold by Sotheby’s for $10 million is a fake. There’s a master faker at work (paywall) and it’s freaking out art collectors.

Britain’s most hated bank is making a customer-service robot. The Royal Bank of Scotland is working on a Siri-like AI system.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, persuasion techniques, and laptop-scented candles to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day or download our iPhone app.