Official WHO Ebola toll near 5,000 with true number nearer 15,000 - (www.reuters.com) At least 4,877 people have died in the world's worst recorded outbreak of Ebola, and at least 9,936 cases of the disease had been recorded as of Oct. 19, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday, but the true toll may be three times as much. The WHO has said real numbers of cases are believed to be much higher than reported: by a factor of 1.5 in Guinea, 2 in Sierra Leone and 2.5 in Liberia, while the death rate is thought to be about 70 percent of all cases. That would suggest a toll of almost 15,000.
Oil Producers Cramming Wells in Risky Push to Extend Boom - (www.bloomberg.com) U.S. shale producers are cramming more wells into the juiciest spots of their oilfields in a move that may help keep the drilling boom going as prices plunge. The technique known as downspacing aims to pull more oil at less cost from each field, allowing companies to boost profit, attract more investment and arrange needed loans to continue drilling. Energy companies see closely-packed wells as their best chance to add billions more barrels of oil to U.S. production that’s already the highest in a quarter century. “We would be dealing with more than a decade of inventory,” said Manuj Nikhanj, co-head of energy research for ITG Investment Research in Calgary. “If you can go twice as tight, the multiplication effect is massive.”
2,447 Bottles of Wine on the Wall and State Plans to Dump Them All - (www.bloomberg.com) Christina Turley’s father, Larry, produces California wine from vines that date back to the late 1800s. Sought by collectors, several bottles may be dumped down a Philadelphia sink. Pennsylvania plans to destroy 2,447 bottles seized from Arthur Goldman, a Philadelphia-area lawyer who was charged this year with illegally reselling wine. While he has agreed to penalties, he’s fighting the jettisoning of his collection, which encompasses small-batch California producers such as Turley Wine Cellars, Martinelli Winery and Kistler Vineyards. For the authorities, destruction is the natural culmination of the case. For Christina Turley and Regina Martinelli, a fifth-generation winemaker, it would waste the products of years of devotion and passion.
Shale Boom’s Allure to Wall Street Tested by Bear Market - (www.bloomberg.com) Falling oil prices are testing investors’ commitment to the Wall Street-funded shale boom. Energy stocks led the plunge earlier this month in U.S. equities and the cost of borrowing rose. The Energy Select Sector Index is down 14 percent since the end of August, compared with 3.8 percent for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index. The yield for 190 bonds issued by U.S. shale companies increased by an average of 1.16 percentage points. Investors’ sentiment toward the oil and gas industry has “certainly changed in the last 30 days,” said Ron Ormand, managing director of investment banking for New York-based MLV & Co. with more than 30 years of experience in energy. “I don’t think the boom is over but I do think we’re in a period now where people are going to start evaluating their budgets.”
‘Poker Player’ Putin Bluffed and Won, French Envoy Says - (www.bloomberg.com) Vladimir Putin has outmaneuvered his opponents and humiliated Ukraine by continuing to back pro-Russian separatists and flouting a cease-fire, making it crucial that sanctions on Russia remain firm, France’s ambassador to the U.S. said. The Russian president “has won because we were not ready to die for Ukraine, while apparently he was,” Ambassador Gerard Araud said yesterday at a Bloomberg Government breakfast in Washington, in remarks he said represented his personal opinion. Echoing the view of other European envoys in Washington, Araud expressed concern that the Ukraine conflict has hit an impasse, leaving Putin the winner by default.
Russia slaps conditions on Ukraine gas deal - (www.ft.com)
Consumed by Islamic State, Iraq's Anbar province a key battleground again - (www.reuters.com)
Hong Kong protesters march after fruitless talks with government - (www.reuters.com)
Mud and Loathing on Russia-Ukraine Border - (www.bloomberg.com)