Brazilian health authority said on Wed. that a volunteer in a clinical trial of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford U. died, saying there had been an investigation of the matter. The regulator said testing of the vaccine would continue but provided no further details citing medical confidentiality. Elsewhere, it was reported the person who died had not received the vaccine.
The US auto industry is going through a slump but Tesla posted a stronger-than-expected net earnings for Q3. The company reported $331mn, or 27 cents per share, for its fifth-straight profitable qtr. Excluding one time adj. of stock-compensation, Tesla made 76 cents per share, surpassing estimates of 57 cents. Revenue for Q3 was $8.77bn significantly higher than analysts expectations of $6.3bn.
DoJ announced that Purdue Pharma, maker of OxyContin, agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges and pay $8.3 billion in penalties. This could lead to settlement of lawsuits against Purdue for its role in the opioids epidemic. Sackler family members who own Purdue will pay $225 million in civil penalties. Prosecutors said Purdue executives or individual Sacklers could still face criminal charges.
The U.S. Justice Department and 11 states filed an antitrust lawsuit against Alphabet Inc’s Google on Tuesday for allegedly breaking the law in using its market power to fend off rivals.
UK Govt borrowing rose to £36.1bn in Sept as it spent significantly to support jobs and economy through the pandemic. The ONS published data stating the figure of £28.4bn was more than in the same month last year, which was the third-highest borrowing in any month since records keeping began in 1993. This includes £4.9bn on furlough scheme and £1.0bn in payments to support self-employed workers.
A group of Apollo Global Management’s independent board members will review CEO Leon Black’s relationship with Jeffrey Epstein. At a meeting Tuesday, Black requested that the board’s conflict-committee members hire a law firm to examine his business dealings with Epstein. The move is an effort by Black to put to rest renewed speculation into the nature of his ties to Epstein.
Hong Kong airline Cathay Pacific Airways plans to cut 8,500 jobs and shut a regional airline as it grapples with the plunge in air travel due to the pandemic. About 5,300 employees based in Hong Kong and another 600 elsewhere will likely lose their jobs, and 2,600 unfilled positions will be cut. The cuts are about 24% of the company’s workforce.
Vivo’s entry in EU smartphone sector marks entry of yet another Chinese player. Vivo has launched a slew of devices, including its X50 5G flagship phone. Additionally it has also launched a trio of budget devices under Vivo’s Y-series lineup: the Y70, Y20s, & Y11s. They use less powerful Snapdragon 6- and 4-series silicon, and are aimed at price-sensitive users whose priority is battery endurance.
Most of the newly reopened travel destinations are requiring visitors to show negative coronavirus test results before entry. That has airlines, as well as airport-based testing services, jumping in. If testing is not enough to reassure tourists, the countries are using tactics like restricting visitor numbers, limiting where they can go and requiring medical insurance.
Reopening guidelines for theme parks in California which were closed for over seven months because of Covid-19 were announced on Tuesday. However larger theme parks such as Disneyland and Disney California Adventure, Universal Studios Hollywood; Knott’s Berry Farm and Six Flags Magic Mountain are not allowed to open until their respective counties are in the ’yellow’ tier.