Tesla and Microsoft, Twitter’s business failure, Netflix’s “pharmacological” future?

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Estamos muy contentos de lanzar una nueva versión del Daily Brief en español llamada La Agenda Quartz. Incluye todas tus secciones favoritas: lo que hoy nos interesa, mientras dormías, asuntos de debate, y un mundo sorprendente. Regístrate aquí, y informa a tus amigos y colegas. Gracias!

If you don’t read Spanish, we are launching a new version of the Daily Brief in Spanish called La Agenda Quartz. It will include all your favorite sections: what to watch for, while you were sleeping, matters of debate, and surprising discoveries. Please tell your Spanish-speaking friends and colleagues to sign up at this link. Thank you!

What to watch for today

Elon Musk tries to silence the Tesla doubters. The electric car company’s quarterly results are a chance to “throw a pie in the face of all the naysayers on Wall Street who keep insisting that Tesla will always be a money-loser,” its CEO wrote last month in a staff memo. That said, a loss is still likely.

Nationwide rallies in Venezuela. Protesters will vent their frustration over the country’s crippling economic crisis and president Nicolás Maduro, after he blocked a referendum on removing him from office. Venezuela’s parliament has voted to open a trial against Maduro for violating the constitution.

Microsoft’s big reveal. The company is expected to unveil details of its planned updates to Windows 10 and a new Surface all-in-one PC at the New York event today. Expect to also hear about HomeHub, its Amazon Echo competitor.

While you were sleeping

Pokémon Go didn’t help Nintendo much. Despite the success of the popular iPhone game, and a big one-time gain from selling its controlling interest in the Seattle Mariners baseball team, the Japanese games company’s figures were dented by the strength of the Japanese currency. It reported a loss of 812 million yen ($7.8 million) for the most recent quarter ending September.

Gambia plans to quit the International Criminal Court. The West African country accused the ICC of unfairly persecuting and humiliating Africans and ignoring Western war crimes—citing former British prime minister Tony Blair as an example of the court’s bias. In the ICC’s 14-year history it has only brought charges against Africans. South Africa has started the process of leaving the ICC, and Burundi plans to go too.

Lloyds Bank felt the pain of compensation. The British bank’s third-quarter profit after tax fell 68% (paywall) to £219 million ($266 million), after it was forced to put aside an extra £1 billion to compensate customers who were mis-sold insurance. Its shares dropped 3%, putting it at the bottom of the FTSE 100 (paywall).

The Philippines set a timeline for the US military to leave. In another anti-US rant, president Rodrigo Duterte, speaking during his visit to Japan, said he wanted all foreign troops out of the country within two years. Around 100 US special forces troops are stationed in the Philippines.

Airbus earnings took a nosedive. The European aerospace company’s third-quarter profit declined by 21% to $769 million from this time a year ago, mainly caused by restructuring costs, production delays, and a drop in helicopter sales. Airbus is scaling back production of the A380 super jumbo, which will mean job cuts.

Quartz obsession interlude

Oliver Staley on the paradox of Twitter—a cultural success and a business failure. “The company hasn’t had a profitable quarter in the three years since it went public, it was unable to find a buyer recently during a very public attempt to sell itself, and, according to Bloomberg, it’s now planning on laying off 8% of its employees, about 300 workers. More ominously, user growth is stalling.” Read more here.

Matters of debate

Elon Musk’s Mars plan has too many critical flaws. Besides size and cost, there’s little benefit in reducing the journey time to four months.

Muslim Americans aren’t enjoying this presidential election. It’s Donald Trump’s Islamophobia versus Hillary Clinton’s pro-drone stance in the Middle East.

The US military has a “Terminator” conundrum. Should it build autonomous weapon systems that can choose when to kill? (paywall)

Surprising discoveries

An American won the UK’s biggest book prize. Paul Beatty is the first American writer to win in the award’s 47-year history.

Red Bull has created 11 billionaires in Thailand. The inventor of the energy drink left behind $22 billion to his heirs.

One receptionist job in China got 10,000 applicants. And it’s working for the China Democratic League, a powerless minority party.

The Vatican forbids scattering of ashes. It’s okay to cremate the dead, but their remains have to stay in a church or cemetery. 

Hallucinogens may be the future of entertainment. Netflix’s CEO thinks “pharmacological” competition is a few decades away.

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