Honda Motor’s earnings, demonstrations in Seoul, UberEats’ surge pricing

Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today

Honda Motor’s diverging markets. The Japanese car and motorcycle manufacturer has been reporting stronger sales in the US this year, but Japanese sales in the first nine months of 2016 were down nearly 7% from the same period last year. Results for the company’s fiscal second quarter ended Sept. 30 are due in at 3pm in Tokyo.

Japan Airlines earnings. The past six months have not been kind to JAL, which has been hurt by a drop in demand for business fares and long-haul flights from Japan. The carrier is expected to report a 20% year-over-year decline in operating profit for the April-September period.

A common prayer. The Catholic church and Lutheran World Federation gather in Sweden to mark 50 years of dialogue and “ask forgiveness for division perpetuated by Christians from the two traditions.” Pope Francis will attend the events, which include a cathedral service in Lund and a public event at an arena in Malmö.

The 46th time’s a charm? Lebanon’s parliament is back in session and will once again attempt to elect the country’s new president. Speaker Nabih Berri had to adjourn the last session, the 45th such attempt at choosing a leader, after failing to get a quorum.

Over the weekend

A massive demonstration in Seoul called on Park Guen-hye to step down. South Korea’s president has yet to contain the anger of her close ties to Choi Soon-sil, a Rasputin-like figure who is being investigated by Korean prosecutors. Tens of thousands of protestors took the streets on Saturday demanding Park’s resignation.

China agreed to a $2.7 billion currency swap with Egypt. Details are scant, but the deal should go a long way toward helping Egypt line up the $6 billion in funding it needs to win approval from the IMF for a $12 billion loan. An unnamed official from Egypt’s central bank told Bloomberg that Chinese authorities were processing the swap agreement.

Beijing neared a compromise over who selects Catholic bishops in China. Vatican negotiators held out the possibility of the pope accepting eight bishops who were ordained by the Chinese government without the church’s permission. Pope Francis would still need to agree to the historic deal, as would Beijing.

The makers of Soylent blamed recent illnesses on a food intolerance. Food bars that made people sick tested negative for food pathogens, toxins, or outside contaminants, the food tech company said. Soylent suggested the culprit is instead a food intolerance, which would explain why only a fraction of customers reported any health problems.

Donald Trump pulled within one point of Hillary Clinton. The US election continues to look like a very tight race. A new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows Trump favored by 45% of likely voters, to Clinton’s 46%. That’s within the survey’s margin of error.

Quartz obsession interlude

Aimee Growth on what it takes to work at a startup. Embracing a growth mindset, as former Facebook executive and Sequoia partner Mike Vernal put it, is a way to work through the ambiguity. “The very best people for a startup are those that are impatient and want to jump into the thick of things, want to jump into a mess and keep going,” he said. Read more here.

Matters of debate

Surge pricing is a terrible idea for UberEats. The economics of food delivery are different from ride-hailing.

The best Halloween candy is Mellowcreme Pumpkins. The waxy goodies are the “drones of sugar delivery.”

Donald Trump is going to win. According to a professor whose US election predictions have been right for 30 years.

Surprising discoveries

The more we hear a lie, the more likely we are to believe it. An “illusion of truth” results from hearing a lie repeatedly.

PCs are not dead. Apple and Microsoft’s recent offerings confirm (paywall) that people still want desktop computers.

Singapore doesn’t want photographers messing with its eagles.  A surgeon in Singapore was fined S$2000 ($1,436) for baiting endangered eagles with live fish thrown in the air to capture the birds mid-swoop.

Ancient Roman mythology reveals our longstanding obsession with sex robots. The basic desire for artificial, controllable sexual companions has existed for millennia.

Girls are gaining on boys in tests of extreme math intelligence. Boys still have the lead, but the gap is closing fast.

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