Daily Digest 11/3 – Category 4 Hurricane Eta is battering Nicaragua, U.S. election brings win-lose scenarios to the oil and energy sector


China halts Ant Group’s giant IPO after dust up with billionaire Jack Ma (jw)

Ant Group’s highly anticipated IPO has been suspended following a meeting between the company’s billionaire co-founder Jack Ma and regulators in China, an abrupt move that threatens what was due to be the largest share sale in history.

The Shanghai Stock Exchange said in a statement on Tuesday that it had postponed the company’s listing, less than two days before its shares were due to begin trading, because of “major issues” that might cause it “not to meet the listing conditions or disclosure requirements.”

Top Trump adviser bluntly contradicts president on covid-19 threat, urging all-out response

A top White House coronavirus adviser sounded alarms Monday about a new and deadly phase in the health crisis, pleading with top administration officials for “much more aggressive action,” even as President Trump continues to assure rallygoers that the nation is “rounding the turn” on the pandemic.

CommonPass – Covid Action Platform (NewsBuoy)

CommonPass aims to develop and launch a standard global model to enable people to securely document and present their COVID-19 status (either as test results or an eventual vaccination status) to facilitate international travel and border crossing while keeping their health information private.

Wave of Oil and Gas Bankruptcies Leave Taxpayers Footing the Bill for Environmental Cleanup

Amid a record wave of bankruptcies, the U.S. oil and gas industry is on the verge of defaulting on billions of dollars in environmental cleanup obligations.

Even the largest companies in the industry appear to have few plans to properly clean up and plug oil and gas wells after the wells stop producing — despite being legally required to do so. While the bankruptcy process could be an opportunity to hold accountable either these firms, or the firms acquiring the assets via bankruptcy, it instead has offered more opportunities for companies to walk away from cleanup responsibilities — while often rewarding the same executives who bankrupted them.

Both Trump and Biden voters are stocking up on cash, gas and food to prep for possible Election Day unrest — ‘It’s not a natural disaster. It’s an election’

For Maine resident Laura Hunter, preparing for Election Day didn’t involve making a voting plan. She voted two weeks early.

Instead, to get ready for Nov. 3, she’s preparing for what some Americans see as a worst-case scenario: Widespread civil unrest or violence following Tuesday’s presidential election. For about a month now, Hunter, who voted for Democrat Joe Biden, has built up supplies of food and cash. She even purchased a butane-fueled stove in the event that the electricity goes out.

U.S. election brings win-lose scenarios to the oil and energy sector

Whether Republican Donald Trump is re-elected as president of the United States or Democrat Joe Biden wins the election, neither candidate is expected to bring a complete win-win for the energy market. What’s good for the energy sector — including oil producers — isn’t necessarily good for oil prices.

“As promised in 2016, President Trump has reduced costly regulations in the energy sector, which allowed the United States to become energy independent for the first time in decades,” said Beth Sewell, president and chief executive officer at Quantum Gas & Power Services, Inc. “This abundance of supply has made retail energy prices much more stable over the past 3 years, which allows the average person to enjoy the benefit of reasonably-priced energy for their cars and homes.”

SEC Whistle-Blower Gets $28 Million in Another Huge 2020 Payout

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission paid $28 million to a whistle-blower who provided information that led to a successful enforcement action, adding to the eye-popping awards that tipsters have received from the agency this year.

“In the past month alone, the commission has awarded four whistle-blowers over $150 million,” Jane Norberg, chief of the SEC’s office of the whistle-blower, said in a statement. “I hope our recent awards will continue to incentivize whistle-blowers to come forward to report potential fraud or other wrongdoing.”


Category 4 Hurricane Eta is battering Nicaragua ahead of an expected ‘catastrophic’ landfall

Category 4 Hurricane Eta was pummeling northeastern Nicaragua as its eyewall meandered just offshore Tuesday afternoon, ahead of what could be days of flooding in parts of Central America, the US National Hurricane Center said.

By noon Tuesday (1 p.m. ET), the storm’s eyewall was closely approaching Nicaragua’s Caribbean shore roughly 20 miles south-southeast of the city of Puerto Cabezas, with maximum sustained winds of 140 mph, the NHC said.

Political Appointees Fire NOAA Scientists, Replace Them With Climate Deniers

Political appointees at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), including some who deny the scientific consensus of climate change, have taken dramatic steps to clamp down on scientific communications at the agency, the New York Times reports.

Last month, NOAA chief scientist Craig McLean was fired the day after circulating the agency’s policy on scientific integrity to new political appointees. McLean was replaced by Ryan Maue, previously of the Cato Institute, who has downplayed climate change.

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