Ford Motor launches layoff program for Brazil’s Camacari plant

Ford previously said the plant was operating with about 700 excess workers. The plant employs 7,400 people in Camaçari, where it produces the compact Ka and mid-sized EcoSport SUV.

Last Updated : Apr 10, 2019 08:13 AM IST | Source: Reuters

– TFMNews

The Brazilian unit of Ford Motor Company said it was initiating a voluntary layoff program for its plant in Camaçari, in the northeast state of Bahia, with the objective to cut workforce it said was in excess of current needs.

The company in its statement did not say how many people it expected to lay off.

Ford previously said the plant was operating with about 700 excess workers. The plant employs 7,400 people in Camaçari, where it produces the compact Ka and mid-sized EcoSport SUV.

The U.S. automaker said two months ago it would close its oldest plant in Brazil, in São Bernardo do Campo, which could cost more than 2,700 jobs as part of a restructuring meant to end losses around the world.

Referring to the Bahia plant, Ford said: “The measure has the objective to align the plant’s workforce with current market demand.”

Ford sold 24,000 Ka vehicles in Brazil in the first quarter, about the same level as in the previous year. It sold 7,600 EcoSports, more than the 7,000 reported in the first quarter of 2018.

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TFM News | The Future Markets

Indira Gandhi: Congress has been removing poverty since I was seven: Piyush Goyal

Chennai: Union Minister for Railways Piyush Goyal on Friday took a jibe at the Congress party and its president Rahul Gandhi for talking of a “surgical strike” on poverty. The Union Minister said that he has been listening to this from the Gandhi family since he (Goyal) was seven years old. “I was only seven…

Chennai: Union Minister for Railways

Piyush Goyal

on Friday took a jibe at the

Congress

party and its president

Rahul Gandhi

for talking of a “surgical strike” on poverty. The Union Minister said that he has been listening to this from the Gandhi family since he (Goyal) was seven years old.

“I was only seven years old when his grandmother (Indira Gandhi) had said the same thing. I was 20 years old when his father (Rajiv Gandhi) said — I send one rupee and only 15 paise reach the poor people,” Goyal said while talking to reporters here.

“I was 40 years old in 2004 when his mother (Sonia Gandhi) and he himself said — Congress Kaa Haath Garibon Ke Saath.’ Now I am 54 years old and I am still hearing the same thing which I heard when I was 7 years old,” the Union Minister said.

“Rahul should answer why his family allowed poverty to stay for 30 years,” Goyal said while asserting that the Congress is a party of lies and deceit. “People will do a surgical strike on the Congress and the DMK,” the Union Minister said.

He also demanded answers from Rahul over the scams of UPA and the National Herald case.

“First he should answer the corruption of Rs 12 lakh crore. Why he cheated India by taking over shares of the National Herald for free,” Goyal said.

Accusing Rahul of insulting the engineers involved in the manufacturing of T18 train, he said: “Rahul does not want India to develop trains. I don’t know if he wants to import trains from Italy rather than getting it manufactured in Chennai.”

Commenting on the recent judgement of the Supreme Court on Rafale, he said, “The argument in the SC was not on the merit of the case. We are happy that this controversy will be put to rest once and for all.”

Taking a dig at Rahul and former Finance Minister P Chidambaram’s son Karti, he said, “I would like to say that the unemployed persons who did not get a job are Rahul Gandhi and son of P Chidambaram, Karti Chidambaram, because they are so used to corruption.”

Goyal also thanked the actor-turned-politician Rajnikanth for welcoming the BJP’s initiative of inter-linking the rivers.

“I would like to thank Rajnikant for welcoming the interlinking of rivers. This has been a long pending demand of Rajnikant for the welfare of people of Tamil Nadu,” he said.

All 39 seats in the state will go to polls in a single phase on April 18. The results will be announced on May 23. (ANI)

Source

Saudi Kingdom Holding CEO says didn’t buy Aramco bonds

FILE PHOTO: Saudi Arabian billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal attends the investment conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia October 23, 2018. REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser/File PhotoABU DHABI (Reuters) – Prince Alwaleed bin Talal’s firm Kingdom Holding Co did not buy bonds of Saudi Aramco, its chief executive Talal Ibrahim al-Maiman said on Wednesday. He added that the…

FILE PHOTO: Saudi Arabian billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal attends the investment conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia October 23, 2018. REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser/File Photo

ABU DHABI (Reuters) – Prince Alwaleed bin Talal’s firm Kingdom Holding Co did not buy bonds of Saudi Aramco, its chief executive Talal Ibrahim al-Maiman said on Wednesday.

He added that the yield on the bonds was “a bit lower” than what Kingdom would expect.

Saudi Aramco raised $12 billion with its first international bond issue after receiving more than $100 billion in orders, a record breaking vote of market confidence for the oil giant.

Maiman, who was speaking at a conference in Abu Dhabi, said Kingdom has signed term sheets for a $1 billion loan with three international and two local banks.

He also said the company is exiting some mature assets, while also wants to monetize its real estate portfolio.

Reporting by Hadeel Al Sayegh, writing by Saeed Azhar, editing by Davide Barbuscia

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Russia cashes in as European oil refiners pay for U.S. sanctions

MOSCOW (Reuters) – European refiners are paying the price for U.S. oil sanctions on Venezuela and Iran as they scramble to replace the sour crude Washington has blocked from the global market with increasingly expensive Russian oil, trading sources said and data showed. FILE PHOTO: A worker collects a crude oil sample at an oil…

MOSCOW (Reuters) – European refiners are paying the price for U.S. oil sanctions on Venezuela and Iran as they scramble to replace the sour crude Washington has blocked from the global market with increasingly expensive Russian oil, trading sources said and data showed.

FILE PHOTO: A worker collects a crude oil sample at an oil well operated by Venezuela’s state oil company PDVSA in Morichal, Venezuela, July 28, 2011. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins/File Photo

Compounding the impact of sanctions, OPEC members have mainly cut sour crude output as part of their deal with allied producers to boost oil prices while a large, new refinery, designed to run on sour oil, has just started up in Turkey.

U.S. output is soaring and exports are set to jump later this year as new infrastructure comes online but it is not an alternative, being mainly light and sweet.

As a result, European refiners have been left competing to secure as much medium, sour Russian Urals as they can, pushing the differential of that oil to levels not seen since 2013.

“Urals is anchored in a positive zone versus dated Brent and there is no indication it will fall to a discount any time soon,” a trading source at a European oil major said.

In the Mediterranean, the differential for Urals typically trades at a discount of at least a dollar to benchmark dated Brent but since early November, the level has spiked and now stands at a premium of 70 cents a barrel.

For a 600,000-barrel cargo of Urals, that rise translates to an extra $1.35 million cost.

Thanks to the higher premiums, Russia made an additional $140 million in March from seaborne and pipeline deliveries versus October prior to the sanctions coming into effect.

(GRAPHIC: Russian Urals price differential to Dated Brent – tmsnrt.rs/2VGbESk)

Initially, Europeans gravitated to heavy, sour Venezuelan oil when sanctions on Iran hit in early November but then Washington also placed sanctions on the Latin American country in late January in a bid to oust President Nicolas Maduro.

Even though sanctions on Venezuelan crude will not come into effect until the end of April, the oil is effectively already untouchable as the U.S. State Department has exerted direct pressure on foreign companies to stop all dealings.

The two sets of sanctions combined have taken at least 800,000 barrels per day (bpd) out of the market, which is as much as what the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed to cut.

The United States granted waivers on Iranian oil to six jurisdictions including three countries in the region – Italy, Greece and Turkey – but only Turkey was able to continue purchases. It remains unclear whether the current waivers will be extended in May.

THE SOUR RUSH

The situation is set to worsen as European refiners emerge from their springtime maintenance just as Middle Eastern Gulf sour crude producers increasingly favor Asia, where refining capacity in the near term is set to jump.

Saudi Arabia, a major sour crude producer, is shouldering the bulk of the OPEC and non-OPEC cuts. Between October 2018 and March this year, the kingdom slashed its exports to Europe by nearly half, Refinitiv Eikon data shows.

Iraq reduced its contracted volumes for European refiners in 2019 and increasingly sells its oil to the highest bidder via tender.

Iraqi supplies to Europe fell by over 40 percent to 355,000 bpd in March compared with 615,000 bpd in October 2018, Refinitiv Eikon data showed.

Meanwhile, Azerbaijan’s 200,000-bpd STAR refinery in Turkey is slowly ramping up and will be a new competitor for dwindling sour oil.

Designed to run on sour grades such as Russian Urals and Iraqi Basra and Kirkuk, the refinery took 184,000 bpd of Urals in March, Refinitiv Eikon data showed.

“One expected STAR’s launch to be a serious jolt for the market, but little did we know it would make the sour shortage this bad … refiners are rushing for sours,” a European trader said.

As the supply-side structure has changed, the spread between sour and the historically far more expensive light, sweet crude has thinned and even flipped in some instances.

In the Mediterranean, the light grade Kazakh CPC Blend trades at a discount to Urals and Kurdish crude, which used to be one of the region’s cheapest oils.

The Urals price out of the Black Sea has also increasingly traded at a premium to Urals out of Baltic ports – previously a rare occurrence. The trend has prompted commodity price-reporting agency S&P Global Platts to start an industry consultation on changing how the Urals market is assessed.

“All refiners are looking for Urals or a Urals replacement,” said a third trader in an international trading firm.

“And we see that it won’t be enough for everyone.”

Reporting by Olga Yagova and Gleb Gorodyankin, additional reporting by Ahmad Ghaddar, Editing by Julia Payne and Dale Hudson

Source

US-Trump-Immigration: Trump says he may send ‘Illegal Immigrants’ to Dem districts

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump said Friday he is considering sending “Illegal Immigrants” to Democratic strongholds to punish congressional foes for inaction on border security— just hours after White House and Homeland Security officials insisted the idea had been rejected as fast as it had been brought up. “Due to the fact that Democrats…

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump said Friday he is considering sending “Illegal Immigrants” to Democratic strongholds to punish congressional foes for inaction on border security— just hours after White House and Homeland Security officials insisted the idea had been rejected as fast as it had been brought up.

“Due to the fact that Democrats are unwilling to change our very dangerous immigration laws, we are indeed, as reported, giving strong considerations to placing Illegal Immigrants in Sanctuary Cities only,” Trump tweeted. He added that, “The Radical Left always seems to have an Open Borders, Open Arms policy – so this should make them very happy!”

The tweets, which appeared to catch officials at the Department of Homeland Security by surprise, came as critics were blasting news that the White House had at least twice considered a plan to release detained immigrants into so-called sanctuary cities. Critics branded the plan, supposedly rejected, as an effort to use migrants as pawns to go after political opponents.

“Sanctuary cities” are places where local authorities do not cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials, denying information or resources that would help ICE round up for deportation people living in the country illegally.

They include New York City and San Francisco, home city of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who on Friday called the idea “unworthy of the presidency of the United States and disrespectful of the challenges that we face as a country, as a people, to address who we are — a nation of immigrants.”

The idea of pressing immigration authorities to embrace the plan was discussed in November and then again in February as the Trump administration struggled with a surge of migrants at the border, according to three people who spoke on condition of anonymity to outline private conversations. Homeland Security and ICE lawyers quickly rejected the proposal, according to the people, and it was dropped on the grounds that it was too expensive and a misuse of funds, one official said.

Earlier Friday, both the Department of Homeland Security and a White House official had insisted, in nearly identical statements, that the plan was dead on arrival.

“This was just a suggestion that was floated and rejected, which ended any further discussion,” the White House official said.

But not, apparently, by the president, who revived the idea in his tweets.

The plan, which was first reported by the Washington Post, is one of many ideas considered by an increasingly frustrated White House in recent months as Trump has railed against the growing number of Central American migrant families crossing the southern border and looked for new ways to increase leverage on congressional Democrats to change laws that Trump insists are making the problem worse.

Officials say they are running out of options, and have proposed and recycled numerous ideas that have never come to fruition. Trump in recent weeks has discussed the idea of renewing his administration’s controversial family separation policy. And he and aides are weighing forcing asylum-seeking families to choose between being detained together as their cases make their way through the courts or sending their children to government-run shelters.

There were at least two versions of the sanctuary city plan that were considered, according to one of the people familiar with the effort. One would have moved people who had already been detailed and were being held elsewhere to places with Democratic opponents of the president, while the other would have transported migrants apprehended at the border directly to San Francisco, New York City, Chicago and other spots.

Revelation of the idea drew immediate condemnation on Friday from Pelosi and other Democrats.

The No. 2 House Democrat, Steny Hoyer of Maryland, criticized the idea of using ICE or any other federal agency “to penalize” or as “retribution for political reasons.”

“That’s not the act of a democratic government,” he said.

And Rep. Bennie Thompson, D- Mississippi, who chairs the House Homeland Security committee, said: “The fact that this idea was even considered – not once but twice – serves as a reminder that the Trump Administration’s reckless immigration agenda is not about keeping the country safe, but about partisan politics and wantonly inflicting cruelty. “

Former ICE Deputy Director Matt Albence, who on Friday was announced as the agency’s acting director, denied that the White House pressured immigration officials to implement the idea.

“I was asked my opinion and provided it, and my advice was heeded,” he said in a statement.

The Department of Health and Human Services said this week that it had started scouting vacant properties that could be turned into facilities for holding migrant children in several cities, including Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Phoenix, and San Antonio.

Those facilities would be licensed by each state and likely take several months to be approved and opened, separating them from the rapidly-expanding emergency shelter at Homestead, Florida, and the now-closed tent facility at Tornillo, Texas.

The Defense Department has also been reviewing a number of military bases to find a location that can house up to 5,000 unaccompanied migrant children as the U.S. braces for a surge of people crossing the U.S.-Mexico border this spring. Health and Human Services submitted the request for space last month, as Homeland Security leaders warned that tens of thousands of families were crossing the border each month. HHS has traditionally been responsible for providing temporary shelter to unaccompanied migrant children crossing the border.

ICE is tasked with arresting people living in the country illegally — including some who have been here for decades. Under the Trump administration, ICE has significantly stepped up arrests, including of people who have no U.S. criminal records.

In response, some cities have banished ICE from jails where agents could easily pick up immigration violators. Police in New York, Baltimore and Seattle rarely, if ever, disclose information about when suspected criminals in the U.S. illegally will be released from custody.

During his tenure at the Justice Department, Trump’s former Attorney General Jeff Sessions went after sanctuary cities, threatening to cut off their federal funding.

Democrats have said they will tackle immigration bills, possibly as soon as they return from their spring recess, and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell has indicated an interest in working on the issue.

McConnell on Thursday called for bipartisan talks aimed at bolstering asylum laws and addressing border security.

“What we need to do is sit down in a serious, adult, bipartisan basis and try to fix the problem, because the problem is pretty obvious,” McConnell, R-Ky., told reporters. “Border security is a part of it, but that doesn’t solve the asylum issue, and that can’t be solved, I don’t think, without some kind of statutory adjustment.”

___

Associated Press writers Nomaan Merchant, Lisa Mascaro and Deb Riechmann contributed to this report.

(This story has not been edited by economictimes.com and is auto–generated from a syndicated feed we subscribe to.)

Source

Aramco bonds’ modest gains suggest demand was inflated: sources

DUBAI/LONDON (Reuters) – Saudi Aramco’s debut $12 billion bonds booked at best modest gains on Wednesday, their first trading day after some $100 billion in orders, suggesting part of the record-breaking demand was inflated, three banking and investment sources said. FILE PHOTO: Logo of Saudi Aramco is seen at the 20th Middle East Oil &…

DUBAI/LONDON (Reuters) – Saudi Aramco’s debut $12 billion bonds booked at best modest gains on Wednesday, their first trading day after some $100 billion in orders, suggesting part of the record-breaking demand was inflated, three banking and investment sources said.

FILE PHOTO: Logo of Saudi Aramco is seen at the 20th Middle East Oil & Gas Show and Conference (MOES 2017) in Manama, Bahrain, March 7, 2017. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed/File Photo

Aramco chose to only issue $12 billion of debt, as its focus was to obtain favorable pricing to set a benchmark for its future financing activities.

With almost $90 billion in demand left on the table, traders and fund managers expected the bonds to shoot up in value on Wednesday, but their performance was tepid.

“The price was a bit inflated as there was a lot of excitement and even hubris around this issue and I would imagine that some of the buyers may have flipped it in the market today,” said a London-based fund manager who looked at the deal but decided not to invest in it.

One trader and a senior banker said that, after realizing the deal would have been oversubscribed, investors boosted their orders to increase their chances to get a piece of the issuance.

Aramco’s longest-dated tranche, a $3 billion bond due in 2049, gained value in the secondary market, adding more than one cent on the dollar.

But some of the shorter-dated bonds were flat or even lower than where they priced on Tuesday, and lower than in pre-sale grey market trading.

The tranche with the shortest duration, a $1 billion bond due in 2022, was trading below the reoffer value at which it was sold on Tuesday, the trader said.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, he estimated that demand for Aramco’s bonds was inflated by 20-30 percent due to the expected oversubscription.

“We are seeing the truth of how much (of the demand) was fluff,” added a fund manager who participated in the deal.

EXPENSIVE BUT FAIR?

Still, Aramco’s issue was widely regarded as successful.

“Despite the usual padding, (demand) has definitely outstripped previous highs for emerging market borrowers,” said Angad Rajpal, head of fixed income at Emirates NBD Asset Management.

The 2046 and 2047 Saudi dollar bonds were down almost one cent – their biggest daily decline since early March, according to Tradeweb – suggesting some players switched their exposure from the sovereign to Aramco.

Aramco’s staggering finances – with core earnings of $224 billion last year and $86 billion in free cash flow at the end of 2018 – allowed it to target a combination of emerging markets and high-grade investors.

It started marketing the notes at levels very close to the yields offered by the Saudi government, which owns the company, but ended up offering around 20 basis points less. Some investors expect yields to gradually widen to match the sovereign rate.

“Aramco priced (the bonds) relatively expensive versus Saudi but quite attractive versus other major developed-market oil companies, and the potential to see 15-20 basis points spread tightening was too small at these levels,” said Sergey Dergachev, functional head of EM corporate debt at Union Investment.

“The price action has been fair.”

JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, HSBC, Citi, Goldman Sachs and National Commercial Bank were the bonds’ bookrunners.

A group of 11 more banks including Bank of China, Deutsche Bank and Gulf International Bank worked on the deal as co-managers, a document issued by one of the banks leading the deal showed.

Bank fees for the bonds are unlikely to have topped around 1 basis point per bookrunner, said the sources. That would mean just over $1 million per bank.

“Fees should be minimal for such a giant bond amount and such a famous issuer,” said Lam Nguyen at Freeman Consulting. “I would estimate fees around 0.03 percent – 0.06 percent.”

The sources said the banks’ main interest in getting a role in the deal was to cement their relationship with Aramco ahead of future transactions.

Its initial public offering (IPO), due in 2021, is expected to generate $100 billion and to boost the Saudi Public Investment Fund – the main vehicle for Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s plan to diversify the economy away from oil.

Reporting by Davide Barbuscia, Clara Denina, Tom Arnold, Karin Strohecker; Editing by Sinead Cruise and John Stonestreet

Source

North Korea convenes top-level meeting over ‘tense situation’: KCNA

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un called a full meeting Wednesday of a top committee of the ruling Workers’ Party to address what he described as the “prevailing tense situation”, state media reported.The gathering of the Central Committee comes after Kim’s Hanoi summit with US President Donald Trump broke up without agreement in…


North Korean leader Kim Jong Un called a full meeting Wednesday of a top committee of the ruling Workers’ Party to address what he described as the “prevailing tense situation”, state media reported.

The gathering of the Central Committee comes after Kim’s Hanoi summit with US President Donald Trump broke up without agreement in February, and as South Korean President Moon Jae-in flies to Washington for talks with the US leader.

But the North’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) appeared to indicate that Kim may be focussing on Pyongyang’s continued push to develop its economy.

In a meeting with senior officials Tuesday, Kim ordered them to display “an attitude befitting the masters of the revolution and construction under the prevailing tense situation and thus follow through on the new strategic line of the Party”, KCNA reported.

Last April Kim declared that the ruling party’s “new strategic line” would be “socialist economic construction” and its quest for nuclear development was complete.

Kim made “a deep analysis of the matters pending urgent solution in the party and state”, KCNA said, adding that at Wednesday’s meeting the central committee will “decide the new orientation and ways of struggle in line with the need of the prevailing revolutionary situation”.

It comes ahead of the opening of the country’s rubber stamp legislature on Thursday.

Trump and Kim held their first landmark summit in Singapore last June, where the North Korean leader signed a vaguely-worded deal on the “denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula”.

But the failure by the pair to reach agreement at their second summit in Hanoi on walking back Pyongyang’s nuclear programme in exchange for relaxation of the measures against it has raised questions over the future of the wider process.

In Vietnam both sides expressed willingness to talk further and Trump has repeatedly said he maintains good relations with his North Korean counterpart.

But shortly after the Hanoi summit, a series of satellite images emerged suggesting increased activity at the North’s Sohae rocket site, triggering international alarm that the nuclear-armed state might be preparing a long-range or space launch.

A senior Pyongyang diplomat told reporters last month that the North was considering suspending nuclear talks with the US.




Source

New York plans to sue EPA over GE’s ‘incomplete’ Hudson River cleanup

NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York state officials plan to sue the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for allowing General Electric Co to stop clearing the Hudson River of PCB contamination before the cleanup work was finished. FILE PHOTO: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sign is seen on the podium at EPA headquarters in Washington,…

NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York state officials plan to sue the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for allowing General Electric Co to stop clearing the Hudson River of PCB contamination before the cleanup work was finished.

FILE PHOTO: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sign is seen on the podium at EPA headquarters in Washington, U.S., July 11, 2018. REUTERS/Ting Shen

Governor Andrew Cuomo and Attorney General Letitia James announced the planned lawsuit on Thursday, after the EPA issued a “certificate of completion” permitting GE to stop dredging until further studies showed whether it had done enough cleanup.

“Time and again the Trump administration puts corporations and polluters’ interests ahead of public health and the environment,” Cuomo said.

“Since the EPA has failed to hold GE accountable for fulfilling its obligation to restore the river, New York State will take any action necessary to protect our waterways,” he added.

New York is one of many Democratic-leaning states that often sue over White House efforts to ease regulatory oversight of businesses.

In interviews on Thursday, EPA officials said they lacked enough data to require more dredging by Boston-based GE under its 2006 consent decree.

“This certification does not let GE off the hook,” said Regional Administrator Peter Lopez, a former six-term Republican state assemblyman. “If the data shows we’re not heading in the right direction, we have the ability to compel more work, which could mean more dredging.”

Lopez’s deputy Walter Mugdan, a 43-year EPA veteran, added: “This is not a political decision. It is being driven by the science and the law.”

GE said the EPA decision confirmed it had “successfully completed the Hudson River dredging project,” and pledged to collect more environmental data to assess river conditions.

PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, were used in electrical equipment, carbonless copy paper and other products before a 1979 U.S. manufacturing ban, and are considered possible human carcinogens. (here)

GE dumped roughly 1.3 million pounds of PCBs from two since-closed capacitor manufacturing plants, located north of the state capital of Albany, into the Hudson River from 1947 to 1977.

While most pollution occurred nearby in a 40-mile (64 km) zone, about 200 miles of the river was polluted, stretching as far south as Battery Park in Manhattan.

GE has spent an estimated $1.7 billion over eight years on cleanup, including six years of dredging.

But state officials called GE’s work “incomplete,” and said the EPA decision could make it harder to later require more dredging or other remedial measures.

In a December study, the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation found PCB levels in fish in the upper Hudson after dredging essentially the same as before.

State officials said PCB levels remain above even what the EPA considers safe.

Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; editing by Nick Zieminski and Tom Brown

Source

Jet Airways suspends international operations until April 15; receives some more EoIs as deadline ends

Last Updated : Apr 12, 2019 09:47 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com There are no funds to continue the international operations, say company officials ‘); $(‘#lastUpdated_’+articleId).text(resData[stkKey][‘lastupdate’]); //if(resData[stkKey][‘percentchange’] > 0){ // $(‘#greentxt_’+articleId).removeClass(“redtxt”).addClass(“greentxt”); // $(‘.arw_red’).removeClass(“arw_red”).addClass(“arw_green”); //}else if(resData[stkKey][‘percentchange’] =…

Last Updated : Apr 12, 2019 09:47 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com






There are no funds to continue the international operations, say company officials













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Distressed airline Jet Airways has suspended international operations until April 15, as a fund crunch continues to force the company to cut its operations.

However, sources confirmed the airline has received some more expression of interest (EoIs) before the deadline to participate in the bidding process ended at 6 pm today.

On April 11, the airline had curtailed international flights, including those to London and Amsterdam, saying the suspension will be effective until the morning of April 12.

But officials said there were no more funds to continue the international flights.

The development comes even as senior Jet officials are to brief officials at Ministry of Civil Aviation. The company officials have also been in talks with their lenders, raising hopes that the banks would transfer funds to the airline.

While the banks had promised Rs 1,500 crore in emergency funding, only about Rs 250 crore has been transferred so far.

Apart from international flights, Jet’s domestic operations have also been severely impacted.

Hundreds of its employees gathered at the airline’s headquarters on Friday afternoon, asking for clarity on the salary dues. Jet had deferred March salary payments to all its employees. Its senior management, pilots and engineers haven’t been paid since January.

Sources added the banks may transfer just enough funds to pay the ground staff.

Meanwhile, Jet employees, including pilots, engineers and cabin crew, plan to have a ‘Save Jet Airways Human Chain’ at Terminal 3 of Delhi airport. This will be done for an hour from 3.30pm.



First Published on Apr 12, 2019 05:50 pm



































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Elon Musk’s SpaceX sends world’s most powerful rocket on first commercial flight

(Reuters) – The most powerful operational rocket in the world, SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy, launched its first commercial mission on Thursday from Florida in a key demonstration for billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk’s space company in the race to grasp lucrative military launch contracts. The 23-story-tall Heavy, which previously launched Musk’s cherry red Tesla roadster to space…

(Reuters) – The most powerful operational rocket in the world, SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy, launched its first commercial mission on Thursday from Florida in a key demonstration for billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk’s space company in the race to grasp lucrative military launch contracts.

The 23-story-tall Heavy, which previously launched Musk’s cherry red Tesla roadster to space in a 2018 debut test flight, blasted off from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center carrying its first customer payload.

“T plus 33 seconds into flight, under the power of 5.1 million pounds of thrust, Falcon Heavy is headed to space,” SpaceX launch commentator John Insprucker said on a livestream.

Roughly three minutes after clearing the pad, Heavy’s two side boosters separated from the core rocket for a synchronized landing at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, sparking boisterous cheers from SpaceX engineers in the company’s Hawthorne, California headquarters.

The middle booster, after pushing the payload into space, returned nearly 10 minutes later for a successful landing on SpaceX’s seafaring drone ship 400 miles (645 km) off the Florida coast. In the 2018 test mission, Heavy’s core booster missed the vessel and crashed into the Atlantic Ocean.

“The Falcons have landed” Musk wrote on Twitter, inaugurating the first successful recovery of all three rocket boosters, which will be refurbished and re-fly in another Falcon Heavy mission this summer to carry a swarm of military and science satellites for the Air Force.

Liftoff with Heavy’s new military-certified Falcon 9 engines was crucial in the race with Boeing-Lockheed venture United Launch Alliance and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin as Musk’s SpaceX, working to flight-prove its rocket fleet one mission at a time, aims to clinch a third of all U.S. National Security Space missions – coveted military contracts worth billions.

The U.S. Air Force tapped SpaceX in 2018 to launch for $130 million a classified military satellite and in February added three more missions in a $297 million contract.

Slideshow (8 Images)

SpaceX and Boeing Co are vying to send humans to space from U.S. soil for the first time in nearly a decade under NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule, atop a Falcon 9 rocket, cleared its first unmanned test flight in March ahead of its crewed mission planned for July, while the first unmanned test for Boeing’s Starliner capsule is slated for August on ULA’s Atlas 5 rocket.

Falcon Heavy carried a communications satellite for Saudi-based telecom firm Arabsat, which will beam internet and television services over Africa, Europe and the Middle East.

Privately owned SpaceX, also known as Space Exploration Technologies Corp, was founded in 2002 by Musk, who is also a co-founder of electric car maker Tesla Inc.

Reporting by Joey Roulette; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

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Probe-Lobbying-The: The Latest: Ex-Obama WH aide denies guilt in lobbying case

1:50 p.m.AP|Apr 12, 2019, 11.25 PM ISTWASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on court appearances of two political consultants in foreign lobbying cases that grew out of the Russia probe (all times local): 1:50 p.m. Former Obama White House counsel Greg Craig has pleaded not guilty to charges of making false statements and concealing information in…

1:50 p.m.

AP|

Apr 12, 2019, 11.25 PM IST

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on court appearances of two political consultants in foreign lobbying cases that grew out of the Russia probe (all times local):

1:50 p.m.

Former Obama White House counsel Greg Craig has pleaded not guilty to charges of making false statements and concealing information in a federal foreign lobbying investigation spun off from the Russia probe.

Craig entered the plea Friday in federal court in Washington a day after he was accused of hiding the details of his work for the Ukrainian government from the Justice Department.

The 74-year-old denies the charges and says the prosecution against him is “unprecedented and unjustified.”

The case intersected with special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe because former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was involved in the financing of a report Craig authored for the Ukrainian government. The document sought to legitimize the prosecution of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

__

10:49 a.m.

A Washington political consultant initially entangled in the Russia investigation was sentenced to three years of probation for illegal lobbying and skirting the ban on foreign donations to President Donald Trump’s inaugural committee.

W. Samuel Patten and prosecutors had asked for leniency citing his cooperation in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation and other ongoing probes.

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson imposed the sentence Friday as Mueller has concluded his investigation but federal prosecutors in New York continue to investigate foreign donations to the inaugural committee.

Patten has said he wasn’t part of a larger scheme to funnel money to the committee.

He pleaded guilty to violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act for lobbying on behalf of a Ukrainian political party. He also lied to the Senate intelligence committee.

(This story has not been edited by economictimes.com and is auto–generated from a syndicated feed we subscribe to.)

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Mike Pompeo agrees Kim Jong Un is a ‘tyrant’

US President Donald Trump has said he’s in love with Kim Jong Un, but Secretary of State Mike Pompeo agreed that the North Korean leader is a “tyrant.” Pompeo, who flew to Pyongyang four times last year as the Trump administration sought an opening with North Korea, was taken to task as he…


US President Donald Trump has said he’s in love with Kim Jong Un, but Secretary of State Mike Pompeo agreed that the North Korean leader is a “tyrant.” Pompeo, who flew to Pyongyang four times last year as the Trump administration sought an opening with North Korea, was taken to task as he testified before a Senate subcommittee.

Senator Patrick Leahy, a Democrat, pointed to Pompeo’s denunciations of Venezuela’s leftist President Nicolas Maduro as a “tyrant” and asked if he would use similar language for Kim.

“Sure. I’m sure I’ve said that,” Pompeo replied.

The comment may irk North Korea, which has signalled it is open to a third summit with Trump after a February meeting in Hanoi ended in stalemate.

Seeking a potentially landmark denuclearisation accord, Trump has repeatedly praised Kim and last month said he had blocked major new sanctions planned for North Korea out of affection for its young authoritarian leader.

North Korea has also been careful not to criticize Trump, while accusing his aides of “gangster-like” behaviour.

Pompeo, however, was unwilling to label as a tyrant Egypt’s military ruler turned president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who was hailed by Trump earlier Tuesday in a White House meeting.

“There’s no doubt that it’s a mean, nasty world out there. But not every one of these leaders is the same,” Pompeo said.

“Some of them are trying to wipe entire nations off the face of the Earth and other are actually partnering with us to help keep Americans safe,” he said.

“You might call them tyrant, you might call them authoritarian, but there a fundamental difference, and therefore a fundamental difference in the way the US should respond,” he said.

Pompeo hailed Sisi’s offensive against fighters of the Islamic State extremist movement in the Sinai peninsula.

Sisi took power in a 2013 coup against elected president Mohamed Morsi, an Islamist, with authorities shortly afterward killing 700 protesters who had assembled in two Cairo squares.

Human rights group say that North Korea has one of the world’s most egregious records, with Kim’s regime forbidding all dissent and running a massive system of political prisons in which between 80,000 and 130,000 people are detained along with their family members for suspected dissent.




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U.S. criticizes Vietnam ban of glyphosate herbicide imports

CHICAGO/HANOI, April 11 (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue on Thursday criticized Vietnam’s move to ban imports of glyphosate herbicide, saying the decision would have “devastating impacts on global agricultural production.” Vietnam’s government said in a statement that the toxic level of herbicides containing glyphosate had long been of concern, in the latest…

CHICAGO/HANOI, April 11 (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue on Thursday criticized Vietnam’s move to ban imports of glyphosate herbicide, saying the decision would have “devastating impacts on global agricultural production.”

Vietnam’s government said in a statement that the toxic level of herbicides containing glyphosate had long been of concern, in the latest display of global worries over the product’s impact on human health. State media reports said the ban would take effect in June.

Glyphosate, the chemical contained in Bayer unit Monsanto’s best-selling weed-killer Roundup, is the target of lawsuits in the United States alleging cancer links.

Roundup was the first weed-killer to contain glyphosate, the world’s most widely used weed killer. But it is no longer patent-protected and many other versions are available.

Bayer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Perdue said the U.S. government had shared scientific studies with Vietnam concluding that glyphosate is unlikely to pose a carcinogenic hazard to humans.

“As I’ve often said, if we’re going to feed 10 billion people by 2050, farmers worldwide need all the tools and technologies at our disposal,” he said.

“In addition to the immediate effect of slowing the development of Vietnamese agricultural production, there’s the very real risk that Vietnam’s farmers will turn to unregulated, illegal chemical products in place of glyphosate,” Perdue said.

Hoang Trung, head of the Plant Protection Department under Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said in a statement posted on the department’s website that long-term exposure to herbicides and pesticides affects the environment and is severely unhealthy for those exposed.

“The decision to remove herbicides containing glyphosate from the list of plant protection chemicals permitted for use in Vietnam is in accordance with the current law, international regulations and in line with Vietnam’s socio-economic conditions,” Trung said in the statement. (Reporting by Tom Polansek in Chicago and Khanh Vu in Hanoi; Writing by Caroline Stauffer; Editing by Dan Grebler)

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II: Correction: Trump-World War II Veterans story

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a story April 11 about President Donald Trump meeting with four World War II veterans, The Associated Press reported an erroneous hometown for Allen Jones, based on inaccurate information provided by the White House. Jones is from Dunbar, Pennsylvania. A corrected version of the story is below: Trump hosts Oval Office…

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a story April 11 about President Donald Trump meeting with four World War II veterans, The Associated Press reported an erroneous hometown for Allen Jones, based on inaccurate information provided by the White House. Jones is from Dunbar, Pennsylvania.

A corrected version of the story is below:

Trump hosts Oval Office celebration for 4 World War II vets

President Donald Trump treated 4 World War II veterans to an Oval Office meeting Thursday, fulfilling a birthday wish for 95-year-old Allen Jones and giving three other centenarian veterans a day to remember

By KEVIN FREKING

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump treated four World War II veterans to an Oval Office meeting Thursday, fulfilling a birthday wish for 95-year-old Allen Jones and giving three other veterans age 100 and older a day to remember.

One of the men, 101-year-old Floyd Wigfield, of Cumberland, Maryland, managed to win a promise from the president for a return flight on Air Force One following this June’s ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy. “We’ll work that out,” Trump said. “You’ll like Air Force One.”

Trump had met Jones at a Veterans of Foreign Wars convention last year and Jones, of Dunbar, Pennsylvania, asked to spend his birthday with the president. Trump looked happy to oblige, joking with the men and their families, and asking each one to say a few words. When one of the guests presented Trump with a hat and suggested he tweet about it, the president deadpanned: “I don’t tweet that much.”

Sidney Walton, 100, of San Diego, and a medic in the war, told the president he joined the Army to fight Hitler, prompting Trump to reply: “That was a good reason.”

Walton is on what his family called the “No Regrets Tour,” a personal mission to visit all 50 states and the White House to educate Americans about World War II veterans.

Paul Kriner, 103, of Chambersburg, Pa., told the president he participated in 517 days of combat. The president told him he didn’t look a day over 90.

Kriner and Wigfield are working with the Greatest Generations Foundation, which provides veterans with the chance to memorialize their stories and find closure by returning to visit where they served.

Trump described the men as “great heroes, great warriors, highly respected.”

(This story has not been edited by economictimes.com and is auto–generated from a syndicated feed we subscribe to.)

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Ostrich, rodent on the menu as Cuba seeks food miracle

HAVANA (Reuters) – From breeding miniature cows to importing water buffalo, Cuban leaders have long gotten creative in their effort to remedy food shortages. Now, they are proposing ostrich and rodent farms as an answer, prompting ridicule from a weary population. A flock of ostriches is seen at a farm on the outskirts of Havana,…

HAVANA (Reuters) – From breeding miniature cows to importing water buffalo, Cuban leaders have long gotten creative in their effort to remedy food shortages. Now, they are proposing ostrich and rodent farms as an answer, prompting ridicule from a weary population.

A flock of ostriches is seen at a farm on the outskirts of Havana, Cuba April 11, 2019. REUTERS/Fernando Medina

Meat and eggs have become hard to find in the Communist-run country in recent months due to a declining economy. Meanwhile officials are touting the potential of the flightless African bird and the hutia, a rodent native to Cuba that can weigh up to 8.5 kg (19 pounds).

“An ostrich lays 60 eggs, and of those you get around 40 chicks, and from these 40 chicks per year you get four tonnes of meat – whereas a cow just gives birth to one calf and after a year it’s only a yearling,” said Guillermo Garcia Frias.

Garcia Frias, 91, holds the honorary title of commander of the revolution as a former guerrilla in Cuba’s 1959 revolution and heads state company Flora and Fauna that is developing seven ostrich farms. He spoke at a roundtable discussion broadcast on state TV last week.

He lavished praise on hutias for their “level of protein higher than any other meat” and “high quality pelt,” noting his company was also breeding crocodiles.

His comments have prompted sarcastic memes and jokes that have gone viral on social media since Cuba’s food schemes have often failed to fulfil expectations.

In one meme, a Cuban arrives home with a live ostrich he got via the state ration card. In another a flock of the birds from Cuba arrives at the Mexican-U.S. border seeking asylum.

Cubans also joked the state might give them an ostrich per household, as it did with chickens during the deep economic depression of the 1990s following the fall of former benefactor the Soviet Union.

“They should be focusing on chicken, a basic foodstuff that has disappeared, rather than something so unusual,” said Elizabeth Perez, 22, a law student who said she hadn’t been able to find chicken in the supermarket for a month.

Ostriches are already farmed around the world, particularly in South Africa. In the United States, the bird is often served more as a novelty than a staple. The red meat is said to resemble lean beef, with a gamey flavour.

For some, Garcia Frias’ comments recalled late leader Fidel Castro’s genetic engineering project to produce high-yield dairy cows.

His cow Ubre Blanca or White Udder is in the Guinness Book of Records for the highest milk yield by a cow in one day: 110 litres (29 gallons). Her offspring were not as productive so the experiment petered out.

Cuba imports 60 to 70 percent of its food because of inefficient central planning of the state-run economy and the effect of the decades-old U.S. trade embargo.

But the country has also had to cut back on imports over the past three years due to cash shortfalls resulting from problems with its deals with former and current leftist allies, in particular declining aid from crisis-stricken Venezuela.

Whenever chicken arrives at supermarkets in Havana these days, long queues quickly form and do not peter out until the stock is exhausted.

Communist Party leader Raul Castro on Wednesday warned the economic situation could worsen in coming months as the United States further tightens its sanctions on the island although it would not become as dire as in the 1990s.

Reporting by Sarah Marsh; Editing by Cynthia Osterman

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