The US Supreme Court has halted president Joe Biden’s attempt to make large companies impose “vaccine or test” mandates on employees. The mandate would have affected private businesses with more than 100 workers to require employees to be vaccinated, or be tested weekly at their own expense. The block is yet another blow to attempts to control the spread of the Covid-19 virus, which has hit record levels as the highly contagious Omicron variant spreads across the US. Separately, the Supreme Court has allowed another, more limited mandate for staff at government healthcare facilities.
Mukesh Ambani to Invest $76 Billion in Green Initiatives
Ambani, who is also Asia’s richest man at a net worth of $94 billion, plans to invest $76 billion into green projects. India-based conglomerate Reliance Industries, of which Ambani is the CEO, has signed pacts with the government of Gujarat, India, for a total investment of $81 billion in renewable power projects, a green hydrogen network, solar factories, fuel cells, and other power solutions. The projects are part of the Ambani’s, who is the world’s biggest fossil fuel billionaire, plans for Reliance Industries to be carbon neutral by 2035.
The European Union Blocks Massive Merger of South Korean Shipbuilders
On Thursday, the EU blocked the takeover of Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering by rival Hyundai Heavy Industries Holdings, two ship-building giants that together, would control almost two-thirds of the global Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) market. The move by the EU comes amid concerns that the merger would restrict the supply of LNG carriers amid soaring energy prices in Europe. Previous moves by Brussels to block mergers include that of India’s Tata Steel and Germany’s Thyssenkrupp, as well as the train-making businesses of Siemens and Alstom.
Pakistan Bans Cryptocurrencies
The State Bank of Pakistan has declared a total ban on the use of all cryptocurrencies, following China’s widely publicised ban in October 2021. The move is likely to have ripple effects in the cryptocurrency space, especially since Pakistan ranks third in Chainalysis’ 2021 Global Crypto Adoption Index, which weighs a country’s amount of received cryptocurrency against its purchasing power parity.