Alibaba begins trading. The stock opened at $92.70 a share, 36% above its offering price. A surge in early trading gives the company a market value of roughly $240 billion, larger than the market valuation of energy giant Chevron. The shares are now trading under the ticker “BABA” on the New York Stock Exchange.
Scotland’s first minister resigns. Alex Salmond stepped down after the votes against breaking up the 307-year-old union between Scotland and Britain won the day by a wider-than-expected 54.2%-45.7% margin. “For me as leader my time is nearly over,” he said, “but for Scotland the campaign continues.”
France begins air strikes on the Islamic State. French jets destroyed an ISIL depot in northeast Iraq in the strikes, which mark the entrance of France into the air campaign begun by the US in August. Earlier this week, 25 countries signed a statement of support for Iraq at a meeting in Paris, though none of them committed to specific military action.
Nicolas Sarkozy is back in action. The former French President announced on his Facebook page that he would return to politics, joining the right-leaning UMP party. Many see this as a step towards a 2017 presidential bid for Sarkozy, who left politics after losing the presidency in 2012.
Worst-case Ebola projections get even worse. A model created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicted there could be 550,000 or more cases of the virus if aid and intervention are not ramped up. Anticipating the infection’s spread has proven challenging; a World Health Organization spokesman said WHO’s prediction last month of 20,000 cases is already outdated.
Many of the iPhone shoppers in line outside Apple stores in New York and Tokyo are Chinese. With the release of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus delayed in China because of regulatory hurdles, as many as 5 million iPhones could be smuggled back into China (where they were made) before it’s released there. China is Apple’s second largest market by revenue.
Russia sanctions force Exxon Mobil to hit pause on Arctic oil drilling. Just days after new US and EU sanctions were declared, Exxon halted work on a project that aimed to extract an estimated 9 billion barrels of oil from beneath the Kara Sea, sources told Bloomberg. Exxon has eight more days to cease all arctic exploration work with Russia’s OAO Rosneft—a partnership that aimed to solve Exxon’s falling production rates and modernize Russia’s aging extraction operations.
The Earth turned up the heat this summer. Globally, it was the hottest summer on record, warmer by 0.71 degrees Celsius than in 1998, previously the hottest summer, according to the US National Climatic Data Center. If the mercury stays high over the next few months, 2014 could replace 2010 as the hottest year on record.