EU parliament fistfight, Walmart shifts focus, long yawns

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What to watch for today

The IMF and the World Bank meet in Washington, D.C. The annual meeting will wrap up with a conversation between IMF managing director Christine Lagarde and financial journalist Michael Lewis on Sunday. Discussions will focus on how to boost global growth and foster economic inclusivity.

Oil producers meet in Istanbul. OPEC and non-OPEC leaders will convene on Saturday to discuss the implementation of a deal reached last month in Algiers, which aims to cut output to between 32.5 to 33 million barrels a day. The agreement is expected to be in effect for up to a year.

Britain publishes data on industrial production. Analysts are hoping to see a rebound in figures after manufacturing output fell for three consecutive months this summer. They’re forecasting growth of 0.5%, up from last month’s -0.9%.

While you were sleeping

The UN unanimously nominated Antonio Guterres to be the next secretary general. The former Portuguese prime minister and head of the UN’s refugee agency was a clear favorite to become the ninth leader of the United Nations—much to the disappointment of those who hoped a woman would nab the job. Guterres will take over from current UN chief Ban Ki-moon at the beginning of next year.

Walmart decided to pull back on store openings. The retailer has announced it will open only half as many supercenters (paywall) next year as the last fiscal year. It plans to pivot toward e-commerce instead, and invest $11 billion in online efforts.

A fight broke out in the European Parliament. Steven Woolfe, a top contender to head the pro-Brexit UK Independence Party, was reportedly punched by a colleague. Meanwhile, Brexit’s impact continued to be felt as the pound dropped to a 31-year low against the dollar, hurting bonds and stocks and becoming this year’s worst-performing major currency.

Hurricane Matthew intensified to a Category 4 storm. With winds of up to 156 miles per hour (250 km/h), Matthew began hitting the Florida coast after having already taken over 100 lives in the Caribbean. US president Barack Obama declared a state of emergency in Florida, and the state’s governor, Rick Scott, urged 1.5 million coastal residents to evacuate.

The EU launched a new border agency. With 1,500 officers at its disposal, the agency is intended to help secure the bloc’s outer borders (paywall) against an overflow of migrants and potential security risks. It will depend on national governments to provide guards and gear.

Quartz markets haiku

A storm is brewing
Time to hunker down. And watch
Your insurance stocks

Quartz obsession interlude

Marc Bain on whether the world is ready for sweatpants at the office. “As jeans have gotten more formal, the measure of what’s acceptable has changed, creating room for an even more casual option to creep into the workplace. Designers love to play with these boundaries. Brands such as Vetements and Haider Ackermann have shown sweats on the runway, and for its spring 2016 men’s collection, Burberry even paired tailored joggers with more formal clothes, such as a shirt and tie. Would the look work for the office? Quite possibly.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Time to tune out all-male discussions of women’s reproductive rights. If you are never going to need an abortion, women don’t need to hear your opinions on regulating them.

Be nice to cats, even if you hate them. The popular pets have been show to help reduce childhood allergies, improve mental health, facilitate diabetes control and decrease hospital stays.

Stop trashing trailer parks. Mobile homes have the potential to offer a lot of Americans comfortable, affordable housing, and could even be a lucrative investment opportunity.

Surprising discoveries

Longer yawns lead to better brains. The act of opening our jaws and sucking in air has physiological benefits that improve brain activity.

Bob Marley’s son is turning a closed prison into a massive weed farm. Damian Marley plans to grow marijuana in a 77,000-square-foot space that formerly housed nonviolent drug offenders.

Norway’s prime minister cannot get enough of Pokémon Go. Erna Solberg was trying to catch ‘em all during a debate in parliament and instead got caught playing the game.

Drunken birds dive-bombed a highway in Austria. The starlings had consumed too many fermented berries and ended up crashing into cars.

Turning off the internet is an expensive affair. Over the past year, government-ordered internet shutdowns cost countries $2.4 billion in lost economic production.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, sophisticated sweatpants, and tipsy birds to You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day or download our iPhone app.