Najib in China, Lebanon’s election, UberEats surge pricing

Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today

Malaysia’s prime minister cozies up to China. On his state visit to Beijing Najib Razak hopes to lure Chinese funds into his country, especially for infrastructure and technology development. Embroiled in a scandal involving billions siphoned from a state development fund, he needs all the help he can get before the next election. Malaysia, in return, could lean more toward Beijing on South China Sea issues.

A common prayer. The Catholic church and Lutheran World Federation gather in Sweden to mark 50 years of dialog 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. This time, though, former general Michel Aoun is expected to be elected head of state.

Over the weekend

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

Australia’s prime minister introduced legislation to discourage boat refugees. Malcolm Turnbull’s proposed law would prevent refugees and asylum seekers, if they came by boat, from ever visiting the country, even for tourism or business or as a spouse. Rights activists condemned the measure, which will be introduced to parliament this week.

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 (paywall) 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 controversial deal, as would Beijing.

Criticism of the FBI increased… Since director James Comey notified Congress on Oct. 28 of the existence of more emails that may be pertinent to an investigation into Hillary Clinton’s cyber-security, he has been blasted by more than 100 former federal prosecutors and Department of Justice officials, and by senate minority leader Harry Reid.

…While 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 Groth 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 that (paywall) people still want laptop and desktop computers.

Singapore doesn’t want photographers messing with its eagles. A surgeon in Singapore was fined S$2,000 ($1,436) for baiting endangered eagles with live fish thrown in the air to snap 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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