FBI under attack, Lebanon tries to elect a president, UberEats surge pricing

Good morning, Quartz readers!

What to watch for today

Far-right leader Geert Wilders goes on trial in the Netherlands. Wilders, who was seen as a frontrunner for the parliamentary elections next March, is charged with racial discrimination and inciting hatred. Thousands complained after he promised to rid the country of Moroccans at an event in 2014. Wilder’s Freedom Party is now polling about level with prime minister Mark Rutte’s Liberals.

The 46th time’s a charm? Lebanon’s parliament is back in session and will once again attempt to elect a 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.

Peter Thiel explains why he’s backing Trump. The venture capitalist and billionaire founder of PayPal will discuss his endorsement of Trump at a National Press Club event in Washington DC. You can follow the conversation on Twitter using the hastag #NPCLive.

Over the weekend

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 (paywall) 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.

The EU-Canada trade deal finally got signed. A divided Belgian government nearly derailed the CETA deal last week, but Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau was able to rebook his flight for the signing on Sunday in Brussels. Now CETA needs the approval of some 38 national and regional parliaments across the EU.

The woman at the heart of the South Korean political scandal returned. Choi Soon-sil, the Rasputin-like figure accused of influencing state affairs and receiving favors from president Park Geun-hye, came back from Germany to face prosecutors’ questions on Monday. Tens of thousands of protestors took to the streets on Saturday demanding Park’s resignation.

The Pirate Party made big gains in Iceland’s general election. The four-year-old party won 14% of the vote (way below what polls predicted) and tied for second place with the Left-Green party, but failed to beat the ruling Independence Party. The current prime minister Sigurdur Ingi Johannsson resigned on Sunday.

Italy was rocked by another earthquake. Buildings were badly damaged but no one was killed in Sunday’s 6.6-magnitude quake near Norcia in the Umbria region; it was the strongest quake the country has seen since 1980. Thousands of people fled their homes and a 14th century basilica was destroyed.


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.

Black cats weren’t always considered unlucky. People began associating them with witches in the 1500s.

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 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.

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, black cats, and extreme math tests to hi@qz.com. You can follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day or download our iPhone app.