David J. Phillip / AP

There were two explosions at the Arkema chemical plant in Crosby, Texas, early this morning, The Houston Chronicle reports. The company has warned that additional explosions are possible because their chemical products are located in multiple locations. Houston residents living within a 1.5-mile radius of the plant were asked to evacuate.

  • Why it happened: The flooding damage from Hurricane Harvey ruined the electricity for the units that were refrigerating the explosive chemicals.
  • What's next: "The best course of action is to let the fire burn itself out," the company said, in compliance with local authorities' suggestions.
  • The plant received 8 safety violations last spring, The Daily Beast reports, after failing to prevent "catastrophic releases of toxic, reactive, flammable, or explosive chemicals." They have had more than 12 violations in the last 5 years.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Ex-FDA chief: Pence campaigning after COVID exposure puts others at risk — Mark Meadows: "We are not going to control the pandemic"— COVID-19 looms over White House Halloween celebrations.
  2. Health: 13 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week — Fauci says maybe we should mandate masks if people don't wear themU.S. reports over 80,000 new cases for second consecutive day.
  3. World: Italy tightens restrictions Spain declares new state of emergency.

Amy Coney Barrett's immediate impact

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

In her first week on the job, Amy Coney Barrett may be deciding which votes to count in the presidential election. By her third week, she’ll be deciding the fate of the Affordable Care Act.

Where it stands: The Senate votes on Barrett’s nomination tomorrow. If she’s confirmed, Chief Justice John Roberts is expected to swear her in at the Supreme Court within hours, an administration official tells Axios.

Texas Democrats beg Biden to spend now

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The Biden campaign is rebuffing persistent pleas from Texas Democrats to spend at least $10 million in the Lone Star state, several people familiar with the talks tell Axios.

Why it matters: If Texas — which has 38 electoral votes and is steadily getting more blue, but hasn't backed a Democrat for president since 1976 — flipped to the Biden column, it would be game over. But the RealClearPolitics polling average stubbornly hovers at +2.6 for Trump — and Team Biden appears more focused on closer targets.