france

FILE PHOTO: Outside view of a restaurant's wall decorated with hundred of bottles in Paris
FILE PHOTO: Outside view of a restaurant’s wall decorated with hundred of bottles in Paris, France, July 5, 2017. REUTERS/Charles Platiau/File Photo

June 19, 2019

PARIS (Reuters) – Sales of spirits in France fell last year, hurt by “yellow vest” anti-government protests that were at their peak during the end of the year period that accounts for a bulk of sales, French spirits association FFS said on Wednesday.

Protests late last year, which saw some of the worst street violence in Paris in decades and blocked access to shopping malls around the country, cost 0.1 percentage point of French growth in the fourth quarter last year, the INSEE statistics agency said in March.

The weekly protests gradually waned this year.

In 2018, spirits sales in French supermarkets fell 2.1% in volume to 275 million liters, and fell 1.34% in value to 4.72 billion euros compared to the year earlier, FFS said.

Not all spirits performed poorly. Sales of rum showed a 5.7% rise in value and 3.3% rise in volume, while sales of gin increased by 7.6% in value and 2.4% in volume, boosted by innovation and higher qualities.

Spirits exports hit a record high of 4.3 billion euros in 2018, up 1.8% on 2017, mainly boosted by Cognac, liqueurs and rum sales. The volume exported stood at 445 millions liters, or 53 million 12-bottle boxes, up 1.9% on the year.

This confirmed data from wine and spirits exporters group FEVS in February.

Looking ahead, FFS warned that a food law implemented in February raising the minimum price at which retailers can sell goods had added between 5% and 8% to spirit prices, but that only benefited retailers and not producers.

(Reporting by Sybille de La Hamaide, editing by Inti Landauro and Deepa Babington)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Outside view of a restaurant's wall decorated with hundred of bottles in Paris
FILE PHOTO: Outside view of a restaurant’s wall decorated with hundred of bottles in Paris, France, July 5, 2017. REUTERS/Charles Platiau/File Photo

June 19, 2019

PARIS (Reuters) – Sales of spirits in France fell last year, hurt by “yellow vest” anti-government protests that were at their peak during the end of the year period that accounts for a bulk of sales, French spirits association FFS said on Wednesday.

Protests late last year, which saw some of the worst street violence in Paris in decades and blocked access to shopping malls around the country, cost 0.1 percentage point of French growth in the fourth quarter last year, the INSEE statistics agency said in March.

The weekly protests gradually waned this year.

In 2018, spirits sales in French supermarkets fell 2.1% in volume to 275 million liters, and fell 1.34% in value to 4.72 billion euros compared to the year earlier, FFS said.

Not all spirits performed poorly. Sales of rum showed a 5.7% rise in value and 3.3% rise in volume, while sales of gin increased by 7.6% in value and 2.4% in volume, boosted by innovation and higher qualities.

Spirits exports hit a record high of 4.3 billion euros in 2018, up 1.8% on 2017, mainly boosted by Cognac, liqueurs and rum sales. The volume exported stood at 445 millions liters, or 53 million 12-bottle boxes, up 1.9% on the year.

This confirmed data from wine and spirits exporters group FEVS in February.

Looking ahead, FFS warned that a food law implemented in February raising the minimum price at which retailers can sell goods had added between 5% and 8% to spirit prices, but that only benefited retailers and not producers.

(Reporting by Sybille de La Hamaide, editing by Inti Landauro and Deepa Babington)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Outside view of a restaurant's wall decorated with hundred of bottles in Paris
FILE PHOTO: Outside view of a restaurant’s wall decorated with hundred of bottles in Paris, France, July 5, 2017. REUTERS/Charles Platiau/File Photo

June 19, 2019

PARIS (Reuters) – Sales of spirits in France fell last year, hurt by “yellow vest” anti-government protests that were at their peak during the end of the year period that accounts for a bulk of sales, French spirits association FFS said on Wednesday.

Protests late last year, which saw some of the worst street violence in Paris in decades and blocked access to shopping malls around the country, cost 0.1 percentage point of French growth in the fourth quarter last year, the INSEE statistics agency said in March.

The weekly protests gradually waned this year.

In 2018, spirits sales in French supermarkets fell 2.1% in volume to 275 million liters, and fell 1.34% in value to 4.72 billion euros compared to the year earlier, FFS said.

Not all spirits performed poorly. Sales of rum showed a 5.7% rise in value and 3.3% rise in volume, while sales of gin increased by 7.6% in value and 2.4% in volume, boosted by innovation and higher qualities.

Spirits exports hit a record high of 4.3 billion euros in 2018, up 1.8% on 2017, mainly boosted by Cognac, liqueurs and rum sales. The volume exported stood at 445 millions liters, or 53 million 12-bottle boxes, up 1.9% on the year.

This confirmed data from wine and spirits exporters group FEVS in February.

Looking ahead, FFS warned that a food law implemented in February raising the minimum price at which retailers can sell goods had added between 5% and 8% to spirit prices, but that only benefited retailers and not producers.

(Reporting by Sybille de La Hamaide, editing by Inti Landauro and Deepa Babington)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: A Harley-Davidson Inc. logo is seen at the Paris auto show in Paris
FILE PHOTO: A Harley-Davidson Inc. logo is seen at the Paris auto show in Paris, France, October 4, 2018. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/File Photo

June 19, 2019

(Reuters) – Harley-Davidson Inc will partner with Qianjiang Motorcycle Co. to produce a new range of smaller bikes, adding to moves to build more motorcycles outside the United States that have angered President Donald Trump.

The company said the new bike would have an engine displacement of 338 cubic centimeters, by far the smallest-powered engine Harley has ever made and would be sold in China from the end of 2020.

Most motorcycles sold in the U.S. are far larger, with engine capacities of more than 601 cubic centimeters.

(Reporting by Rachit Vats in Bengaluru; editing by Patrick Graham)

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Former head of European football association UEFA Michel Platini leaves a judicial police station where he was detained for questioning over the awarding of the 2022 World Cup soccer tournament, in Nanterre
Former head of European football association UEFA Michel Platini leaves a judicial police station where he was detained for questioning over the awarding of the 2022 World Cup soccer tournament, in Nanterre, France June 19, 2019. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

June 19, 2019

PARIS (Reuters) – Michel Platini, the former head of European soccer association UEFA, was freed in the early hours of Wednesday after having questioned over the awarding of the 2022 World Cup soccer tournament to Qatar.

A Reuters photographer saw Platini leave a local police station, where he had been detained for questioning on Tuesday.

Platini’s lawyer, William Bourdon, said his client was innocent of all charges and that he had been questioned on “technical grounds.”

France’s national financial prosecutor’s office, which specializes in investigating economic crimes and corruption, has been leading a probe into the awarding of the 2022 tournament to Qatar.

It is looking into possible offences including private corruption, conspiracy and influence peddling.

Platini is one of France’s most famous sportsmen and soccer stars. He led France to victory in the 1984 European Championship and played in two World Cup semi-finals.

(Reporting by Arthur Connan, Gonzalo Fuentes and Emmanuel Jarry; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta and Mathieu Rosemain)

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Women's World Cup - Group C - Jamaica v Australia
Soccer Football – Women’s World Cup – Group C – Jamaica v Australia – Stade des Alpes, Grenoble, France – June 18, 2019 Jamaica players applaud fans after the match REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

June 19, 2019

(Reuters) – Tributes rained down on Sam Kerr in Australia on Wednesday after the striker-captain became the nation’s first player – male or female – to score a World Cup hat-trick in a four-goal blitz of Jamaica.

Kerr did it all by herself in Grenoble on Tuesday, firing the Socceroos to a 4-1 win over the eliminated Reggae Girlz and a last 16 clash against Norway..

Former Australia striker Tim Cahill, the country’s most prolific scorer with 50 goals from 108 matches, led the congratulations on social media.

“Massive result,” Cahill tweeted with a bunch of applause emoticons. “Congratulations Matildas and Sam Kerr with 4 goals”.

Kerr struck her first two with a pair of well-taken headers in the first half and capitalized on two defensive blunders after the break, with Jamaica goalkeeper Nicole McClure gift-wrapping her fourth with a botched attempt at a pass.

The 25-year-old Kerr now has five goals for the tournament to equal the United States’ Alex Morgan in the Golden Boot race.

Cahill, who retired from international football after the men’s World Cup last year, was renowned for his lethal headers and Kerr’s efforts against Jamaica raised comparisons by local pundits on Wednesday.

“It was the best individual performance of her Matildas career, and probably the greatest one-off show by any Australian player,” Fairfax soccer journalist Michael Lynch wrote on Wednesday.

Kerr joked that she was going after Cahill’s “heading record”.

“I grew up watching Timmy Cahill. Headers are my favorite goals. I think it just comes naturally for me, I know it is one of my strengths so I try and work on it a bit,” she said.

“Maybe it is coming from an AFL (Australian Rules football) background and getting up there.”

Kerr’s five goals for the tournament have lifted her past veteran team mate Lisa De Vanna’s previous Australian record of four at a World Cup set in the 2007 finals.

Only Americans Michelle Akers (1991) and Morgan, who scored five in the 13-0 rout of Thailand, have scored more goals in a women’s World Cup match.

Jamaica coach Hue Menzies was left dazzled by Kerr’s display.

“I told her after the game, ‘you were just good to sit back and watch’. I would pay to come and watch her, it’s just something she just has within her, and she brings her team with her,” Menzies said.

Despite the easy win, it was still a tense night for Kerr and Australia who were in danger of slipping into third place in the group after substitute Havana Solaun netted Jamaica’s first World Cup goal after halftime.

Kerr’s enterprise ensured Australia finished second, however, and pushed third-placed Brazil into a tough last 16 clash against heavyweights France or Germany.

Australia were criticized after being upset 2-1 by Italy in their opener, and the Matildas needed an epic 3-2 comeback win over Brazil to steady their tournament.

A defiant Kerr told the critics “to suck on that one” after the Brazil win, a riposte that sat uncomfortably with some media pundits at home.

After her Jamaica masterclass, there was only praise.

“She’s a special one and in the end I’m fortunate not only with the win but if there’s one player you’re really happy for to score the goals, it’s Sammy,” said coach Ante Milicic.

“We, as an Australian footballing community, should be thankful that we’re witnessing one of the best players in the world live.”

(Reporting by Ian Ransom in Melbourne; Editing by Sudipto Ganguly)

Source: OANN

An Airbus A350-1000 performs during the 53rd International Paris Air Show at Le Bourget Airport near Paris
An Airbus A350-1000 performs during the 53rd International Paris Air Show at Le Bourget Airport near Paris, France June 18, 2019. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

June 19, 2019

PARIS (Reuters) – Airbus, reeling from the potential loss of a major customer for its best-selling A320neo as British Airways owner IAG placed a lifeline order for the grounded 737 MAX, prepared to hit back with more orders for its A321XLR on Wednesday.

The planemaker has been negotiating with U.S. airlines investor Bill Franke whose Indigo Partners has also been known to place orders for multiple airlines within its portfolio and could reel it in for the Paris Airshow, industry sources said.

Airbus declined to comment.

After weathering intense scrutiny over safety and its public image, Boeing won a vote of confidence on Tuesday as IAG signed a letter of intent to buy 200 of its 737 MAX jets that have been grounded since March after two deadly crashes.

The surprise order lifted the energy of a previously subdued Paris Airshow, where the talk had been of the possible end of the aerospace cycle, given the issues at both Boeing and Airbus as well as geopolitical and trade tensions around the world.

Australia’s Qantas Airways said on Tuesday it would order 10 Airbus new A321XLR jets and convert a further 26 from existing orders already on the Airbus books.

Airbus is also in talks with leasing company GECAS and has been trying to secure an eye-catching order for the A321XLR from American Airlines, though the world’s largest carrier does not typically make announcements at air shows.

Airbus is looking for up to 200 orders for the A321XLR, which is designed to open up new routes.

(Reporting by Tim Hepher, Eric M. Johnson, Jamie Freed, Editing by Alistair Smout)

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FILE PHOTO: Women's World Cup - Scotland Training
FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football – Women’s World Cup – Scotland Training – Allianz Riviera, Nice, France – June 8, 2019 Scotland manager Shelley Kerr during training REUTERS/Eric Gaillard/File Photo

June 19, 2019

(Reuters) – Scotland must “bring their A-game” to their final group stage match of the women’s World Cup against Argentina on Wednesday if they are to have any hope of reaching the last-16, coach Shelley Kerr has said.

World Cup debutants Scotland are bottom of Group D after defeats by Japan and England, but victory over Argentina in Paris could help guide them into the knockout rounds as one of the four best third-placed teams.

The stakes are as high for Argentina, who have one point so far and will be guaranteed a spot in the last-16 if they beat the Scots, and Kerr wants her players to take the game to their opponents.

“We have to be more attacking against Argentina and they will have to at some point as well,” she told a news conference on Tuesday.

“It’s something we’ve been good at throughout the campaign to get us here. And I’ve no doubt that our players are prepared well enough and (if they) bring their A-game, I’m sure it will be a positive result for us.”

With England and Japan both ranked in the world’s top 10, Kerr said 20th-ranked Scotland knew their chances of reaching the knockout rounds would rest on the game against Argentina, who are 17 places below them in the world rankings.

“Not in a negative way, but we probably planned to be in this position,” the 49-year-old added. “We were hopeful we’d have taken something from those first two games but realistic that it would probably come down to the Argentina game.”

(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Simon Jennings)

Source: OANN

Women's World Cup - Group C - Italy v Brazil
Soccer Football – Women’s World Cup – Group C – Italy v Brazil – Stade du Hainaut, Valenciennes, France – June 18, 2019 Brazil’s Debinha is fouled by Italy’s Elena Linari resulting in a penalty being awarded to Brazil REUTERS/Phil Noble

June 18, 2019

VALENCIENNES, France (Reuters) – Marta’s second-half penalty sent Brazil into the last 16 of the women’s World Cup with a 1-0 win against Italy on Tuesday that ensured they finished as one of the best third-placed sides.

Marta, the only player to score at five different World Cups, converted a spot kick in the 74th minute as Brazil finished third in Group C on six points, level with Italy, who top the group on goal difference.

It was Marta’s 17th World Cup goal, moving her ahead of Germany’s Miroslav Klose to become the outright top scorer in both the men’s and women’s game.

Australia beat Jamaica 4-1 to finish second in the group, also on six points, but ahead on goals scored of Brazil, who face a clash with either hosts France or Germany for a place in the quarter-finals.

“We were obviously targeting the first place in the group, but this is a World Cup after all. Now it doesn’t matter who will cross our path. We can’t choose it,” said Marta. “We have cleared a goal of ours: qualifying. Now it’s a matter to get ready and to try to go further.”

Italy coach Milena Bertolini told a new conference: “It’s hard to say it’s a nice defeat, however we are pleased to come through as group winners. It was very much unexpected as our goal was to just make it past the group phase.”

Italy looked physically superior, but it was Brazil who had the biggest early chance when Debinha flicked on a corner kick and forced Italy keeper Laura Giuliani to make a point-blank save.

Cristiana Girelli fired home after controlling superbly in the area, but the effort was disallowed for offside in the 29th minute.

Italy went close again in the 40th minute when Barbara Bonansea’s volley at the end of a quick counter-attack forced Brazil keeper Barbara to make a spectacular save.

Brazil threatened after the break, with Cristiane’s finely-taken free kick hitting the crossbar in the 52nd minute.

Brazil were eventually rewarded when they were awarded a penalty after Debinha was brought down by Elena Linari and Marta coolly converted the spot kick, wrongfooting Giuliani.

(Writing by Julien Pretot; Editing by Toby Davis)

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Women's World Cup - Group C - Jamaica v Australia
Soccer Football – Women’s World Cup – Group C – Jamaica v Australia – Stade des Alpes, Grenoble, France – June 18, 2019 Australia’s Sam Kerr scores their fourth goal REUTERS/Emmanuel Foudrot

June 18, 2019

GRENOBLE, France (Reuters) – – Sam Kerr struck four times to send Australia through to the last 16 of the women’s World Cup with a 4-1 victory against Jamaica on Tuesday.

Kerr struck twice either side of the interval as Australia finished second in Group C. They pipped third-placed Brazil on goals scored to set up a meeting with Norway for a place in the quarter-finals.

Jamaica bagged their first goal of the tournament through Havana Solaun but finished bottom of the Group after three defeats.

Italy topped Group C on goal difference with six points despite a 1-0 defeat against Brazil.

Kerr scored her second goal of the tournament with a header after 11 minutes to put the Matildas in the driving seat on a stiflingly hot night at the Stade des Alves.

Kerr doubled the tally three minutes before the break with another header after being left unmarked in the area.    

Halftime substitute Solaun reduced the arrears as she netted Jamaica’s first women’s World Cup goal after collecting a perfect through ball from Khadija Shaw in the 49th minute.

But Kerr became the first Australian to score a hat-trick in a senior World Cup with a clinical finish after a defensive blunder by the Jamaicans.

She added a fourth seven minutes from time and that final goal allowed them to leapfrog Brazil on goals scored in the standings.

(Writing by Julien Pretot, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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FILE PHOTO: South African athlete Caster Semenya speaks with journalists after she raced for the first time after her ban in France
FILE PHOTO: South African athlete Caster Semenya speaks with journalists after she raced for the first time after her ban due to elevated testosterone levels at a small meeting in Montreuil, near Paris, France, June 11, 2019. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer – /File Photo

June 18, 2019

(Reuters) – Caster Semenya will get another chance at her favorite event, the 800 meters, when the South African competes in the June 30 Prefontaine Classic in California, her agent and meeting officials told Reuters on Tuesday.

The race will be the first at the distance for the double Olympic champion since the Swiss Federal Tribunal issued a stay of new IAAF regulations for XY chromosome athletes like Semenya with differences in sexual development (DSDs) who compete in events ranging from 400 meters to a mile.

“Caster’s representation requested that she be removed from the 3,000 meters (where she was originally entered) to the 800 meters and we are happy to comply,” meet director Tom Jordan said in a telephone interview.

“Indications are she will be going for a fast time,” said Jordan, who was busy lining up a competitive field for the race at Stanford University.

Semenya, unbeaten at the distance in 30 finals since 2015, has a personal best of 1:54.25, with the world record 1:53.28.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) last month rejected her appeal against the rules, which mean middle distance female athletes with a high natural level of testosterone must take medication to reduce it.

Semenya has defiantly refused to take medication and appealed to the Swiss Federal Tribunal, which earlier this month said the South African will be able to run in the 800m without medication until her appeal is ruled on by the tribunal on June 25.

The ruling applied only to Semenya, the IAAF said.

“Nothing changes from our point of view,” an IAAF spokeswoman said on Tuesday when asked for comment on Semenya decision to run in the Diamond League race.

“The IAAF continues to comply with the Swiss Federal Tribunal’s order dated 31 May to suspend the DSD Regulations in as far as they apply to the appellant. It should be noted that the Diamond League meetings are not organized by the IAAF. Entry for any athlete into a Diamond League meeting is by invitation only from the meeting organizer.”

Semenya had wanted to run an 800 meters at Sunday’s Rabat Diamond League meeting. She at first was denied entry but officials later reversed their decision.

It came too late, Semenya said.

(Reporting by Gene Cherry in Raleigh, North Carolina, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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Tennis: French Open
FILE PHOTO: Jun 2, 2019; Paris, France: Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) hits the ball to Stan Wawrinka (not pictured) on day eight of the 2019 French Open at Stade Roland Garros. Mandatory Credit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports

June 18, 2019

(Reuters) – Rain forced the cancellation of the second day’s play at the Queen’s Club Championships on Tuesday, with matches involving the likes of Stefanos Tsitsipas and Juan Martin del Potro rescheduled for Wednesday.

As many as 10 singles matches and two doubles contests were set to be played on Tuesday but spells of rain led to a number of false starts before the organizers were forced to cancel the day’s play after 1700 local time (1600GMT).

Britain’s former world number one Andy Murray is scheduled to make his comeback on Wednesday, five months after what he has described as “life-changing” hip resurfacing surgery following his first round exit at the Australian Open.

The 32-year-old Scot will partner Spain’s Feliciano Lopez in the doubles competition.

The Queen’s Club tournament is a traditional warm-up event for the Wimbledon Championships which start on July 1.

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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Israeli Eviation Alice electric aircraft is seen on static display, at the eve of the opening of the 53rd International Paris Air Show at Le Bourget Airport near Paris
Israeli Eviation Alice electric aircraft is seen on static display, at the eve of the opening of the 53rd International Paris Air Show at Le Bourget Airport near Paris, France, June 16 2019. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

June 18, 2019

LE BOURGET, France (Reuters) – An electric plane capable of flying up to 650 miles with nine passengers made its debut at the Paris Airshow on Tuesday, with its manufacturer targeting regional commuter routes such as the French capital to the southern city of Toulouse.

Eviation Aircraft said the plane – called Alice – was a radical rethinking of the cost, experience and environmental impact of regional travel.

The impact of air travel on the environment has become a key focus of climate campaigners and airlines have long been looking at ways to address emissions and their costs through new designs and cleaner technologies.

“Operating at a fraction of the costs of conventional jetliners, our Alice will redefine how people travel regionally and usher in a new era of flying that is quieter, cleaner and cost effective,” Eviation CEO Omer Bar-Yohay said.

The company said it would be aimed at high traffic commutes such as Paris to Toulouse, Norway’s Oslo to Trondheim and America’s San Jose to San Diego.

It said its first commercial customer would be Cape Air, one of the largest independent regional airlines in the United States, serving 35 cities there and in the Caribbean. Cape Air has a “double-digit” purchase option for Alice, a statement said.

“We see tremendous opportunities to reduce the environmental impact of our operations,” Cape Air founder and CEO Dan Wolf said in a statement released from the airshow, which has been dominated by deals for industry heavyweights Boeing and Airbus.

Following test flights this year and certification in 2021, Eviation said it planned to begin shipping the aircraft for commercial use in 2022.

(Writing by Alison Williams in London; Editing by Janet Lawrence)

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An aerial view shows the 53rd International Paris Air Show at Le Bourget Airport near Paris
An aerial view shows the 53rd International Paris Air Show at Le Bourget Airport near Paris, France, June 17, 2019. Picture taken June 17, 2019. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

June 18, 2019

By Tim Hepher and Eric M. Johnson

LE BOURGET, France (Reuters) – Airbus and Boeing bagged a combined $15 billion of plane deals on day two of the Paris Airshow, as their sales teams scrapped for orders after a downturn in business at many airlines and the grounding of Boeing’s top-selling jet.

Airbus extended its early lead in orders at the event with a $6 billion deal on Tuesday to sell 36 planes to Philippines airline Cebu Air, including 10 of the new long-range A321XLR model launched on Monday.

The European planemaker also struck a deal to sell a further 30 A320neo aircraft to Saudi Arabian Airlines, worth $3.3 billion at list prices, while Malaysia’s AirAsia converted 253 A320neo orders to the larger A321neo model. Financial terms of the AirAsia deal were not disclosed.

Airbus shares were up 0.6% at 1100 GMT, having touched a record high of 126.50 euros in early trade.

Boeing, meanwhile, gained a much needed lift after a slow start to the show on Monday as Korean Air committed to buying 20 of the U.S. planemaker’s 787 Dreamliners, worth $6.3 billion at list prices.

Despite the flurry of activity, dealmaking at the aerospace industry’s biggest annual event has been quieter than normal, fuelling speculation that a decade-long boom might be coming to an end.

With airlines struggling to contend with overcapacity, slowing economies and geopolitical tensions, some analysts warn that Airbus and Boeing could face a growing number of cancellations from their bulging order books.

Boeing in particular is suffering after the grounding of its MAX 737 aircraft in March following two deadly crashes.

A321XLR TAKES OFF

However, the planemakers are confident of continued strong demand for more fuel-efficient jets as emissions regulations tighten and air travel continues to rise, driven by Asia’s growing middle classes. Boeing on Monday increased its 20-year industry demand forecast.

“Although investors have started to ask questions about the state of the upcycle, the aerospace industry remains very confident in the current state of the market,” analysts at Vertical Research Partners said in a note.

Sources familiar with the matter say that American Airlines and leasing giant GECAS are also in talks to buy Airbus’s new A321XLR, which is aimed at new routes for airlines with smaller planes, stealing a march on Boeing’s plans for a potential planned NMA mid-market jet.

As well as 10 Airbus A321XLR jets, Cebu Air said it was buying 16 larger A330neo planes and five of A320neo model. Finance chief Andrew Huang told a news conference the A330neo jets would have up to 460 seats, allowing the budget airline to add new international routes.

Cebu, which operates the Cebu Pacific brand, had a 51% share of the Philippine domestic market in 2018, according to company data. In the international market, its 19% share was second only to the 28% held by full-service rival Philippine Airlines.

Saudi Arabian Airlines, which already has 35 planes on order from the Airbus A320neo family, said its additional purchases included 15 of the A321XLR jet and that it also has an option to buy as many as 35 more A320neo aircraft.

Korean Air said in October 2018 that it was likely to order more Boeing 787 jets, mainly to replace its existing aircraft, as it looks to streamline its fleet and reduce costs.

(Additional reporting by Laurence Frost, Andrea Shala, Alistair Smout, Cyril Altmeyerhenzien, Sudip Kar-Gupta, Neil Jerome and Jamie Freed; Editing by Mark Potter, Keith Weir and David Goodman)

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An aerial view shows the 53rd International Paris Air Show at Le Bourget Airport near Paris
An aerial view shows the 53rd International Paris Air Show at Le Bourget Airport near Paris, France, June 17, 2019. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

June 18, 2019

(Reuters) – Following is a summary of commercial aircraft deals announced by Airbus and Boeing at the Paris Airshow.

AIRBUS

* Air Lease Corp signs letter of intent for 50 A220-300s, 27 A321XLRs and 23 A321neos worth an estimated $11 billion at list prices.

* Virgin Atlantic orders 14 A330neos worth $4.1 billion at list prices, and takes out an option for six more.

* Lebanon’s Middle East Airlines orders four A321XLRs, estimated to be worth more than $500 million at list prices.

* Philippines budget airline Cebu Air orders 16 A330neos, 10 A321XLRs and five A320neos, worth about $6 billion in total at list prices.

* Saudi Arabian Airlines orders a further A320neo family aircraft worth an estimated $3.3 billion at list prices, and takes out options for as many as 35 more.

* Malaysia’s AirAsia Group converts 253 A320neo orders to the larger A321neo. Financial terms not disclosed

BOEING

* Korean Air commits to buying 20 787 Dreamliners worth $6.3 billion at list prices.

* GECAS exercises purchase rights for 10 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighters worth about $1.1 billion at list prices, and adds 15 more purchase rights.

(Compiled by Mark Potter)

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FILE PHOTO: A Facebook panel is seen during the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, in Cannes
FILE PHOTO: A Facebook panel is seen during the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, in Cannes, France, June 20, 2018. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard/File Photo

June 18, 2019

By Katie Paul and Anna Irrera

SAN FRANCISCO/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Facebook Inc revealed plans on Tuesday to launch a cryptocurrency called Libra, the latest development in its effort to expand beyond social networking and move into e-commerce and global payments.

Facebook has linked with 28 partners in a Geneva-based entity called the Libra Association, which will govern its new digital coin set to launch in the first half of 2020, according to marketing materials and interviews with executives.

Facebook has also created a subsidiary called Calibra, which will offer digital wallets to save, send and spend Libras. Calibra will be connected to Facebook’s messaging platforms Messenger and WhatsApp, which already boast more than a billion users.

The Menlo Park, California-based company has big aspirations for Libra, but consumer privacy concerns or regulatory barriers may present significant hurdles.

Facebook hopes it will not only power transactions between established consumers and businesses around the globe, but offer unbanked consumers access to financial services for the first time.

The name “Libra” was inspired by Roman weight measurements, the astrological sign for justice and the French word for freedom, said David Marcus, a former PayPal executive who heads the project for Facebook.

“Freedom, justice and money, which is exactly what we’re trying to do here,” he said.

Facebook also appears to be betting it can squeeze revenue out of its messaging services through transactions and payments, something that is already happening on Chinese social apps like WeChat.

The Libra announcement comes as Facebook is grappling with public backlash due to a series of scandals, and may face opposition from privacy advocates, consumer groups, regulators and lawmakers.

Some Facebook adversaries have called for the company to incur penalties, or be forcibly broken up, for mishandling user data, allowing troubling material to appear on its site and not preventing Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election through a social media disinformation campaign.

It is not clear how lawmakers or regulators will react to Facebook making a push into financial services through the largely unregulated world of cryptocurrency.

In recent years, cryptocurrency investors have lost hundreds of millions of dollars through hacks, and the market has been plagued by accusations of money-laundering, illegal drug sales and terrorist financing.

Facebook has engaged with regulators in the United States and abroad about the planned cryptocurrency, company executives said. They would not specify which regulators or whether the company has applied for financial licenses anywhere.

Facebook hopes it can bring global regulators to the table by publicizing Libra, said Kevin Weil, who runs product for the initiative.

“It gives us a basis to go and have productive conversations with regulators around the world,” said Weil. “We’re eager to do that.”

MAJOR PARTNERS

Bitcoin, the most well-known cryptocurrency, was created in 2008 as a way for pseudonymous users to transfer value online through encrypted digital ledgers. Early developers believed that the world needed an alternative to traditional currencies, which are controlled by governments and by central banks.

Since then, thousands of bitcoin alternatives have launched, and Facebook is just one of dozens of blue-chip companies dabbling with the underlying technology. But its status as a Silicon Valley behemoth that touches billions of people around the world has created significant buzz around Libra’s potential.

Partners in the project include household names like Mastercard Inc, Visa Inc, Spotify Technology SA, PayPal Holdings Inc, eBay Inc, Uber Technologies Inc and Vodafone Group Plc, as well as venture capital firms like Andreessen Horowitz.

They hope to have 100 members by Libra’s launch during the first half of 2020. Each member gets one vote on substantial decisions regarding the cryptocurrency network and firms must invest at least $10 million to join. Facebook does not plan to maintain a leadership role after 2019.

Though there are no banks among the inaugural members, there have been discussions with a number of lenders about joining, said Jorn Lambert, executive vice president for digital solutions at Mastercard. They are waiting to see how regulators and consumers respond to the project before deciding whether to join, he said.

The Libra Association plans to raise money through a private placement in the coming months, according to a statement from the association.

PRIVACY, REGULATORY CONCERNS

Although Libra-backers who spoke to Reuters or provided materials are hopeful about its prospects, some expressed awareness that consumer privacy concerns or regulatory barriers may prevent the project from succeeding.

Calibra will conduct compliance checks on customers who want to use Libra, using verification and anti-fraud processes that are common among banks, Facebook said.

The subsidiary will only share customer data with Facebook or external parties if it has consent, or in “limited cases” where it is necessary, Facebook said. That could include for law enforcement, public safety or general system functionality.

Transactions will cost individuals less than merchants, Facebook said, though executives declined to provide specifics. Each Libra will be backed by a basket of government-backed assets.

The company plans to refund customers who lose money because of fraud, Facebook said.

Sri Shivananda, Paypal’s chief technology officer said in an interview that the project is still in its “very, very early days,” and there were conversations in progress with regulators.

Mastercard’s Lambert characterized Libra similarly, noting much needed to happen before the launch.

If the project receives too much regulatory pushback, he said, “we might not launch.”

(Reporting by Katie Paul and Anna Irrera; Editing by Lauren Tara LaCapra and Lisa Shumaker)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: French Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire delivers a speech during a high-level forum on debt at the Finance ministry in Paris
FILE PHOTO: French Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire delivers a speech during a high-level forum on debt at the Finance ministry in Paris, France, May 7, 2019. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/File Photo

June 18, 2019

PARIS (Reuters) – Renault’s alliance with Japanese partner Nissan remains French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire’s priority ahead of any further consolidation with the likes of Fiat-Chrysler, he said on Tuesday.

“It is not in our interest at all to weaken this alliance,” Le Maire told Europe 1 radio. The French government is Renault’s biggest shareholder with a 15% stake.

Asked to comment on media reports that Fiat’s top executive had been in Paris over the weekend, Le Maire replied: “It poses me no problems at all if the head of Fiat were to spend his time in Paris.”

(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by David Goodman)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: The logo of French oil giant Total is seen at La Defense business and financial district in Courbevoie
FILE PHOTO: The logo of French oil giant Total is seen on a flag at La Defense business and financial district in Courbevoie near Paris, France. May 16, 2018. REUTERS/Charles Platiau/File Photo

June 18, 2019

By Bate Felix

PARIS (Reuters) – Energy major Total said its new supercomputer – which has propelled it to a world ranking as the most powerful computer in the sector – will enable its geologists to find oil faster, cheaper and with a better success rate.

The Pangea III computer build by IBM will help process complex seismic data in the search for hydrocarbons 10 times faster that before, Total said on Tuesday.

The computing power of the Pangea III has been increased to 31.7 so-called ‘petaflops’ from 6.7 petaflops in 2016, and from 2.3 petaflops in 2013, Total said, adding that it was the equivalent of around 170,000 laptops combined.

The computer ranks as number 1 among supercomputers in the oil and gas sector, and number 11 globally, according to the TOP500 table (www.top500.org) which ranks supercomputers twice a year.

Total’s European peer Eni’s HPC4 supercomputer is ranked number 17 in the global top 500 list.

Oil and gas companies, along with other industrial groups, are increasingly relying on powerful computers to process complex data faster. This enables them to cut costs while boosting productivity and the success rate of projects.

Total did not say how much it had invested in the new supercomputer.

The company’s senior vice president for exploration, Kevin McLachlan, told Reuters that 80% of the Pangea III’s time would be dedicated to seismic imaging.

“We can do things much faster,” he said. “We are developing advanced imaging algorithms to give us much better images of the sub-surface in these complex domains and Pangea III will let us do it 10 times faster than we could before.”

Total said the new algorithms can process huge amounts of data more accurately, and at a higher resolution.

It would also help to locate more reliably hydrocarbons below ground, which is useful in complex environments where it is exploring for oil trapped under salt, such as Brazil, the Gulf of Mexico, Angola and the Eastern Mediterranean.

McLachlan expected the increased computer power to affect Total’s success rate in exploration, because of the better imaging, and in oil well appraisals, development and drilling. 

    “What used to take a week, now takes us a day to process,” he said, adding that tens of millions of dollars of savings would be made on the oil wells as a direct result of obtaining better images.

(Reporting by Bate Felix; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: An Airbus A320neo aircraft is pictured during a news conference to announce a partnership between Airbus and Bombardier on the C Series aircraft programme, in Colomiers near Toulouse
FILE PHOTO: An Airbus A320neo aircraft is pictured during a news conference to announce a partnership between Airbus and Bombardier on the C Series aircraft programme, in Colomiers near Toulouse, France, October 17, 2017. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

June 18, 2019

PARIS (Reuters) – Air Lease Corporation said on Tuesday it had signed long-term lease placements for two new Airbus A320neo and two Airbus A321neo LR aircraft with Japan’s Peach Aviation Ltd.

“The A320neo and A321neo LR offer Peach the most technologically advanced, fuel-efficient aircraft that will bring a new level of passenger comfort and convenience to the Japanese market,” said Air Lease Chairman Steven Udvar-Házy.

(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: An Airbus A320neo aircraft is pictured during a news conference to announce a partnership between Airbus and Bombardier on the C Series aircraft programme, in Colomiers near Toulouse
FILE PHOTO: An Airbus A320neo aircraft is pictured during a news conference to announce a partnership between Airbus and Bombardier on the C Series aircraft programme, in Colomiers near Toulouse, France, October 17, 2017. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

June 18, 2019

PARIS (Reuters) – Air Lease Corporation said on Tuesday it had signed long-term lease placements for two new Airbus A320neo and two Airbus A321neo LR aircraft with Japan’s Peach Aviation Ltd.

“The A320neo and A321neo LR offer Peach the most technologically advanced, fuel-efficient aircraft that will bring a new level of passenger comfort and convenience to the Japanese market,” said Air Lease Chairman Steven Udvar-Házy.

(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: An usher holds a baton to guide attendees towards the AGM of advertising agency WPP in London, Britain
FILE PHOTO: An usher holds a baton to guide attendees towards the AGM of advertising agency WPP in London, Britain, June 13, 2018. REUTERS/Toby Melville

June 18, 2019

LONDON (Reuters) – Sixteen of the world’s biggest advertisers have joined together to push platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Google’s YouTube to do more to tackle dangerous and fake content online.

The Global Alliance for Responsible Media will also include media buying agencies from the major ad groups – WPP, IPG, Publicis, Omnicom and Dentsu – as well as the platform owners, the group said on Tuesday at the ad industry’s annual gathering in Cannes, France.

Luis Di Como, executive vice president of global media at Unilever, said it was the first time that all sides of the industry had come together to tackle a problem that had far reaching consequences for society.

“When industry challenges spill into society, creating division and putting our children at risk, it’s on all of us to act,” he said. “Founding this alliance is a great step toward rebuilding trust in our industry and society.”

He said the group would initially focus on content that was a danger to society, such as terrorism.

Platform owners had taken steps to address the problems, he said, but their focus had been more reactive – tackling content after it appeared – than proactive.

The alliance will work together to develop processes and protocols to protect people and brands, he said.

Other brand owners in the alliance include Adidas, Danone, Diageo, Mondelez International, Nestle and Procter & Gamble.

(Reporting by Paul Sandle; editing by David Evans)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: A Sanofi sign at the Viva Tech start-up and technology summit in Paris
FILE PHOTO: The Sanofi logo at the Viva Tech start-up and technology summit in Paris, France, May 25, 2018. REUTERS/Charles Platiau/File Photo

June 18, 2019

PARIS (Reuters) – French healthcare company Sanofi has teamed up with Google to work on innovations, aimed at using emerging data technologies to change how medicines and health services will be delivered in future.

Sanofi and Google will use data sets to improve their understanding of key diseases and extract patients’ insights and feedback, the companies said in a joint statement.

“Combining Sanofi’s biologic innovations and scientific data with Google’s industry-leading capabilities, from cloud computing to state-of-the-art artificial intelligence, we aspire to give people more control over their health and accelerate the discovery of new therapies,” said Ameet Nathwani, chief medical officer and executive vice-president, Sanofi.

This would enable Sanofi to research and develop a more personalized approach to treatment and identify accompanying technologies to improve results, the statement said.

(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: A Sanofi sign at the Viva Tech start-up and technology summit in Paris
FILE PHOTO: The Sanofi logo at the Viva Tech start-up and technology summit in Paris, France, May 25, 2018. REUTERS/Charles Platiau/File Photo

June 18, 2019

PARIS (Reuters) – French healthcare company Sanofi has teamed up with Google to work on innovations, aimed at using emerging data technologies to change how medicines and health services will be delivered in future.

Sanofi and Google will use data sets to improve their understanding of key diseases and extract patients’ insights and feedback, the companies said in a joint statement.

“Combining Sanofi’s biologic innovations and scientific data with Google’s industry-leading capabilities, from cloud computing to state-of-the-art artificial intelligence, we aspire to give people more control over their health and accelerate the discovery of new therapies,” said Ameet Nathwani, chief medical officer and executive vice-president, Sanofi.

This would enable Sanofi to research and develop a more personalized approach to treatment and identify accompanying technologies to improve results, the statement said.

(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: A pumpjack is seen at sunset outside Scheibenhard, near Strasbourg
FILE PHOTO: A pumpjack is seen at sunset outside Scheibenhard, near Strasbourg, France, October 6, 2017. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

June 18, 2019

By Aaron Sheldrick

TOKYO (Reuters) – Oil prices were falling for a second day on Tuesday, after more signs that global economic growth is being hit by U.S.-China trade tensions, although losses were limited amid tensions in the Middle East after tanker attacks last week.

Brent crude futures were down 16 cents, or 0.3%, at $60.78 a barrel by 0215 GMT. They fell 1.7% in the previous session on concerns about slowing global growth.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 12 cents, or 0.2%, at $51.92. They dropped 1.1% on Monday.

The New York Federal Reserve said on Monday that its gauge of business growth in New York state posted a record fall this month to its weakest level in more than 2-1/2 years, suggesting an abrupt contraction in regional activity.

U.S. business sentiment has sagged as tensions over trade have escalated between China and the United States and on signs of softness in the labor market.

“The (oil) market is in a rut and desperately in need of some robust economic data to get it out of this funk,” said Stephen Innes, managing partner at Vanguard Markets in Bangkok.

Oil prices have fallen around 20% since 2019 highs reached in April, in part due to concerns about the U.S.-China trade war and disappointing economic data.

U.S. President Donald Trump and China’s President Xi Jinping could meet at the G20 summit in Japan later this month. Trump has said he would meet Xi at the event, although China has not confirmed the meeting.

Putting further pressure on oil, the U.S. energy department said on Monday that shale oil output is expected to reach a record in July.

But tensions in the Middle East are likely to keep prices supported, analysts said.

Acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan announced on Monday the deployment of about 1,000 more troops to the Middle East for what he said were defensive purposes, citing concerns about a threat from Iran.

Fears of a confrontation between Iran and the United States have mounted since last Thursday when two oil tankers were attacked, which Washington has blamed on Tehran. Iran has denied involvement.

(Reporting by Aaron Sheldrick; Editing by Richard Pullin and Joseph Radford)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Egyptian clients wait at one of the outlets of Qatari-funded beIN Sports channel in Cairo
FILE PHOTO: Egyptian clients wait at one of the outlets of Qatari-funded beIN Sports channel in Cairo, Egypt June 12, 2018.. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany/File Photo

June 18, 2019

PARIS (Reuters) – A French court has ruled that pirated sports content belonging to the Qatar-based broadcaster beIN was accessible via a Saudi-based satellite operator, but said it had not found evidence of “clear and illegal disruption”, court documents seen by Reuters showed.

BeIN Media Group filed a complaint in France against Saudi-based Arabsat to try to establish, in what it said was a “credible” court, that Arabsat was carrying pirated broadcasts of global sports events to which beIN held the rights.

Several global sports bodies have threatened legal action against the pirate channel beoutQ over what they say are illegal broadcasts across the Middle East and North Africa. It is unclear who owns or operates beoutQ.

A June 13 ruling by the Paris court, a copy of which was seen by Reuters, found that signals from beoutQ were available on Arabsat frequencies and accessible from French territory, based on findings by a firm retained by beIN.

“These elements are sufficient to establish that Arabsat has a charge to answer,” the ruling said.

But it also said beIN had failed to demonstrate the existence of “clear and illegal disruption or prove that there was immediate risk of commercial damage” that could justify forcing Arabsat to block beoutQ’s satellite signals in France.

BeoutQ emerged in 2017 after Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies launched a political and economic boycott of Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorism, which Doha denies. The channel is widely available in Saudi Arabia but Riyadh says it is not based there, and that Saudi authorities are committed to fighting piracy.

Soccer governing body FIFA said on Sunday that beoutQ was transmitting the Women’s World Cup across the Middle East and North Africa via Arabsat frequencies and called on the operator to help address the misuse of its intellectual property.

Arabsat, which is owned by Arab League states, has denied that beoutQ uses its satellite frequencies for illegal broadcasts. Reuters has not been able to contact beoutQ for comment.

Arabsat welcomed the French ruling, saying it rejected “all false accusations that Qatar’s beIN Sports group tried to pin on Arabsat”.

BeIN also welcomed the court decision, which a spokesman said would be used to support the company’s filings in separate international investment arbitration cases.

Arabsat has a small presence in France, which enabled beIN to file its complaint in Paris. BeIN was ordered to pay fees of 25,000 euros ($28,000) to Arabsat and 6,000 euros to an Arabsat adviser.

(Reporting by Gwenaelle Barzic and Luke Baker in Paris, Eric Knecht in Qatar, Alexander Cornwell in Dubai and Stephen Kalin in Saudi Arabia; Writing by Ghaida Ghantous; Editing by Nick Tattersall)

Source: OANN

Tennis: French Open
FILE PHOTO: Jun 6, 2019; Paris, France: Alexander Zverev (GER) in action during his match against Novak Djokovic (SRB) on day 12 of the 2019 French Open at Stade Roland Garros. Mandatory Credit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports

June 17, 2019

(Reuters) – World number five Alexander Zverev of Germany breezed into the second round of the Halle Open with a 6-4 7-5 victory over Dutchman Robin Hasse on Monday.

Second-seeded Zverev struggled on serve at times and finished with seven double faults but he fired 12 aces and converted four break points to advance after an hour and 45 minutes.

Russian third seed Karen Khachanov also progressed by winning 7-6(5) 6-4 against Serbia’s Miomir Kecmanovic — a late replacement for Damir Dzumhur who withdrew from the tournament.

However, there was an early upset when fifth seed Gael Monfils lost 7-6(6) 6-4 to French compatriot Pierre-Hugues Herbert.

Top seed Roger Federer is in action on Tuesday against John Millman, who beat the Swiss at the U.S. Open last year.

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris)

Source: OANN

Actress Vanderbilt speaks at a panel for the HBO documentary
Actress Gloria Vanderbilt speaks at a panel for the HBO documentary “Nothing Left Unsaid” during the Television Critics Association Cable Winter Press Tour in Pasadena, California, January 7, 2016. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

June 17, 2019

(Reuters) – CNN anchor Anderson Cooper remembered his mother, designer and society grand dame Gloria Vanderbilt, as a woman who endured a string of heartbreaks but still remained deeply in love with love.

“I always felt it was my job to protect her. She was the strongest person I ever met but she wasn’t tough,” Cooper said in a seven-minute video https://youtu.be/cfbRneB9wcA obituary on CNN.

“I always thought of her as visitor from another world, a traveler stranded here who had come from a distant star that had burned out long ago.”

Vanderbilt, who died on Monday at age 95, had been famous her entire life, starting with a legal battle in which her aunt took custody from her mother when “Little Gloria” was a child. She would go on to endure four marriages, three divorces, the death of a husband and the suicide of a son.

Cooper’s obituary featured clips of young Gloria and told how she grew up in France, unaware that she was heir to the Vanderbilt railroad fortune. Portions also were taken from an HBO documentary “Nothing Left Unsaid: Gloria Vanderbilt & Anderson Cooper.”

When Cooper questioned why she first married a 32-year-old Hollywood figure, Vanderbilt told him, “Sweetheart, I was only 17.”

His mother “trusted too freely, too completely” but always pressed on, Cooper said, and always believed that the next true love was just around the corner.

“She was always in love – in love with men or with friends or books and art, in love with her children and her grandchildren and then her great-greatchildren,” Cooper said. “Love is what she believed in more than anything.”

Cooper said his mother learned earlier this month that she had advanced and spreading stomach cancer. Her response was to cite a 1950 hit song by Peggy Lee with the lyrics “show me the way to get out of this world because that’s where everything is.”

The CNN report included a video Cooper shot in a hospital after the diagnosis as he and his mother broke into laughing fits over a joke. Cooper said that was when he realized they had the same giggle. He said he still giggles every time he watches that video.

(Writing by Bill Trott; Editing by Susan Thomas)

Source: OANN

Actress Vanderbilt speaks at a panel for the HBO documentary
Actress Gloria Vanderbilt speaks at a panel for the HBO documentary “Nothing Left Unsaid” during the Television Critics Association Cable Winter Press Tour in Pasadena, California, January 7, 2016. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

June 17, 2019

(Reuters) – CNN anchor Anderson Cooper remembered his mother, designer and society grand dame Gloria Vanderbilt, as a woman who endured a string of heartbreaks but still remained deeply in love with love.

“I always felt it was my job to protect her. She was the strongest person I ever met but she wasn’t tough,” Cooper said in a seven-minute video https://youtu.be/cfbRneB9wcA obituary on CNN.

“I always thought of her as visitor from another world, a traveler stranded here who had come from a distant star that had burned out long ago.”

Vanderbilt, who died on Monday at age 95, had been famous her entire life, starting with a legal battle in which her aunt took custody from her mother when “Little Gloria” was a child. She would go on to endure four marriages, three divorces, the death of a husband and the suicide of a son.

Cooper’s obituary featured clips of young Gloria and told how she grew up in France, unaware that she was heir to the Vanderbilt railroad fortune. Portions also were taken from an HBO documentary “Nothing Left Unsaid: Gloria Vanderbilt & Anderson Cooper.”

When Cooper questioned why she first married a 32-year-old Hollywood figure, Vanderbilt told him, “Sweetheart, I was only 17.”

His mother “trusted too freely, too completely” but always pressed on, Cooper said, and always believed that the next true love was just around the corner.

“She was always in love – in love with men or with friends or books and art, in love with her children and her grandchildren and then her great-greatchildren,” Cooper said. “Love is what she believed in more than anything.”

Cooper said his mother learned earlier this month that she had advanced and spreading stomach cancer. Her response was to cite a 1950 hit song by Peggy Lee with the lyrics “show me the way to get out of this world because that’s where everything is.”

The CNN report included a video Cooper shot in a hospital after the diagnosis as he and his mother broke into laughing fits over a joke. Cooper said that was when he realized they had the same giggle. He said he still giggles every time he watches that video.

(Writing by Bill Trott; Editing by Susan Thomas)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Logo of Sotheby's auction house is seen in Zurich
FILE PHOTO: The logo of Sotheby’s auction house is seen at a branch office in Zurich, Switzerland October 25, 2016. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

June 17, 2019

By Sudip Kar-Gupta and Svea Herbst-Bayliss

PARIS/BOSTON (Reuters) – Patrick Drahi, the billionaire behind telecoms and media group Altice, agreed on Monday to buy Sotheby’s in a deal worth $3.7 billion, marking the storied art auction house’s return to private ownership after 31 years.

The acquisition will allow avid art collector Drahi to join rival French billionaire Francois Pinault at the top of the art world and New York society, with Pinault’s holding company Artemis owning a majority stake in Sotheby’s rival Christie’s.

Rival French billionaire and LVMH boss Bernard Arnault is equally active in the arts world via his Louis Vuitton foundation.

Drahi’s expansion in the United States also has echoes of former Vivendi boss Jean-Marie Messier, who helped Vivendi move into entertainment via the Universal business.

Sotheby’s said it would be acquired by BidFair USA, an acquisition vehicle set up by Drahi, which had offered $57 in cash per share to buy out Sotheby’s.

The offer represented a premium of 61% to Sotheby’s closing price on Friday, and gives Sotheby’s a market capitalization of $2.6 billion.

It will result in Sotheby’s returning to private ownership after 31 years as a public company. Founded in London in 1744, Sotheby’s had the distinction of being the oldest company listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

It also marks a new chapter for the auction house that became a destination for a new generation of wealth created on Wall Street, in Silicon Valley and around the world, art experts said.

By having been public, in many ways, Sotheby’s operated at a competitive disadvantage to its main U.S. rival, Christie’s, which was already private, experts said.

“Now the company can become more flexible and nimble as a privately-held enterprise and it will be interesting to see the changes that will be made,” said Abigail Asher, a partner at international art consultants Guggenheim, Asher.

LOEB WELCOMES DEAL

The art world has been a favorite in recent times for investors looking to make extra returns in a world of ultra-low interest rates, with the prices of many expensive works of art having steadily increased.

A report published by Swiss bank UBS and Art Basel in March said that the global art market had enjoyed another uptick in 2018.

Drahi said he would be funding the takeover through financing arranged by French bank BNP Paribas and by equity provided by his own funds. Drahi has also been selling non-core assets in recent years to ease concerns over the debt levels of his businesses.

Drahi said he would not be selling shares in his Altice Europe business, but would be cashing in a small stake in his Altice USA division. Shares in Altice USA fell around 2% on Monday.

“I am making this investment for my family, through my personal holding, with a very long-term perspective,” said Drahi, adding that the takeover also further highlighted how his family had been settling down in the United States.

About five years ago Sotheby’s ended a long-running fight with activist investor Daniel Loeb’s hedge fund Third Point, by asking Loeb and two associates to join Sotheby’s board, and Loeb was instrumental in hiring Smith as CEO.

Loeb, a prominent art collector, on Monday praised the sale.

The price “affirms the value we saw when we first invested in Sotheby’s, and rewards long-term investors like Third Point who believed in its potential,” Loeb told Reuters.

BNP Paribas and Morgan Stanley advised Drahi, while LionTree Advisors worked on behalf of Sotheby’s.

Sotheby’s was founded in London in 1744, and expanded overseas in the 20th century, moving to New York in 1955, Asia and then France in 2001.

Famous items sold by Sotheby’s include the collections of the late Duchess of Windsor, the personal collection of artist Andy Warhol and Edvard Munch’s painting “The Scream” in 2012.

(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta, Svea Herbst-Bayliss and Nivedita Balu; Editing by Deepa Babington and Ed Osmond)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: A logo of IndiGo Airlines is pictured on passenger aircraft on the tarmac in Colomiers near Toulouse
FILE PHOTO: A logo of IndiGo Airlines is pictured on passenger aircraft on the tarmac in Colomiers near Toulouse, France, July 10, 2018. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau/File Photo

June 17, 2019

MUMBAI (Reuters) – India’s biggest airline IndiGo said on Monday it had placed a $20 billion jet engine order from CFM International, a move that marks a shift away from Pratt & Whitney <UTX.N> toward its French-American rival.

CFM, owned by General Electric and France’s Safran, will provide the 1LEAP-1A engines to power 280 A320neo and A321neo jetliners already on order from Airbus by the Delhi-based budget carrier.

IndiGo has an order book of 430 Airbus planes of the A320neo family, of which the first 150 aircraft were to be powered by engines from United Technologies Corp’s Pratt & Whitney.

Reuters reported earlier in June that IndiGo had chosen CFM over Pratt for what was one of the largest jet engine orders and that the deal would be for more than 600 engines, including spares.

Although the Pratt engines fitted on the A320neo aircraft are fuel-efficient there have consistently been issues with them since they entered into service in 2016, forcing IndiGo to ground its planes several times.

“The CFM LEAP engine will allow IndiGo to maintain its strong focus on lowering operating costs and delivering fuel efficiency with high standards of reliability,” Riyaz Peermohamed, Chief Aircraft Acquisition and Financing Officer at IndiGo, said in the statement.

The delivery of the first LEAP-1A-powered A320neo is scheduled in 2020, IndiGo said in the statement, adding that the contract with CFM includes spare engines and an overhaul support agreement as well as a long-term service agreement.

CFM introduced its LEAP engines in India around 2016. It currently has 60 such engines operational in the country.

(Reporting by Promit Mukherjee and Aditi Shah, editing by Deepa Babington and Jane Merriman)

Source: OANN

French President Emmanuel Macron, listens to Eric Trappier, Chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation, during a visit at the 53rd International Paris Air Show at Le Bourget Airport
French President Emmanuel Macron, listens to Eric Trappier, Chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation, next to Olivier Dassault and French Defence Minister Florence Parly during a visit at the 53rd International Paris Air Show at Le Bourget Airport near Paris, France, June 17, 2019. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/Pool

June 17, 2019

PARIS (Reuters) – A next-generation drone being developed by several European nations must be price competitive or the project designed to project European unity and strength in an increasingly uncertain world will flounder, France’s defense minister warned on Monday.

France and Germany are spearheading the development of a new manned fighter jet to replace the Eurofighter Typhoon and Dassault Aviation’s Rafale fighter jet, as well as a range of associated weapons, including drones.

“I want to tell the companies that this program will only run its course if the drone that they propose is competitive,” Defense Minister Florence Parly said in a speech at the Paris Airshow.

“This is an issue not only for buyers already in the running — France, Germany, Spain and Italy — but also for future export customers.”

Airbus, Dassault Aviation and Leonardo in April, 2018, unveiled a first full-scaled model of the planned Medium-Altitude Long-Endurance (MALE) drone at the Berlin air show.

The drone, with two turboprop engines, is planned to enter into service in the middle of next decade and will mainly focus on surveillance although a weaponized version is an option.

France’s Thales, Italy’s Elettronica, Germany’s Hensoldt, and Spain’s Indra said they would team up to offer intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance functions for the drone.

(Reporting by Sophie Louet; writing by Richard Lough; editing by John Irish)

Source: OANN

French Open - Roland Garros
FILE PHOTO: Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 2, 2019. Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas in action during his fourth round match against Switzerland’s Stan Wawrinka. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

June 17, 2019

(Reuters) – Younger players must take responsibility and break the hegemony at Wimbledon to ensure there is a new champion this year, Greek world number six Stefanos Tsitsipas has said.

Since 2003, one of Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal or Andy Murray have won the title at Wimbledon, with the Swiss leading the way with eight titles.

Former champion Boris Becker had slated the younger generation’s inability to challenge the ‘Big Three’ of Federer, Nadal and Djokovic — who have won every major over the last 2-1/2 years — and Tsitsipas hoped to be the one to accomplish the feat at Wimbledon.

“I would love to see something different this year. Hopefully it will be me,” Tsitsipas, 20, told reporters. “It would give it a little bit of variety, something different to these guys.

“We are responsible as the new generation to work hard to come up with something new and our best games to beat them. Some don’t want to take the responsibility of going out and overcoming all those difficulties and beat those guys.”

Tsitsipas has already beaten Federer and Nadal at the Australian Open and Madrid Open respectively this year but he said it was not up to just him or 22-year-old world number five Alexander Zverev to carry the torch for the younger players.

“There are others,” Tsitsipas added. “Felix (Auger-Aliassime), Denis (Shapovalov), Taylor (Fritz), Alex (de Minaur), Frances (Tiafoe)… We want a big, big rivalry in the future.”

Tsitsipas is the top seed at the Queen’s Club Championships, a traditional warm-up grasscourt tournament before Wimbledon, and plays Briton Kyle Edmund in the first round on Tuesday.

Wimbledon begins on July 1.

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: A woman walks past the logos of French luxury goods maker Chanel in Nice
FILE PHOTO: A woman walks past a wall with logos of French luxury goods maker Chanel in Nice, France, February 22, 2017. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard/File Photo

June 17, 2019

By Pascale Denis

PARIS (Reuters) – Luxury fashion group Chanel, whose star designer Karl Lagerfeld passed away earlier this year, reported higher annual sales and profits on Monday and once again reaffirmed its independence, stating it was not for sale.

Chanel said its 2018 revenues rose 12.5% to $11.12 billion, while net profits climbed 16.4% to $2.17 billion.

The French fashion house, known for its tweed suits and quilted handbags, enjoyed growth across all of its markets, with Asia-Pacific leading the way with a 19.9% rise in annual sales, compared to a 7.8% rise in Europe and 7.4% in the Americas region.

The label’s move last year to release its financial results for the first time since it was founded in 1910 by Coco Chanel fueled speculation the group was preparing for a sale, despite its consistent denials.

Chief Financial Officer Philippe Blondiaux again told Reuters that the company was not for sale and was not planning any stock market listing.

“We’ve got to live with the fact that we are one of the most desirable brands in the market. These rumors will unfortunately keep coming back on a regular basis,” said Blondiaux.

“Chanel needs to remain independent, in order to have the freedom to make choices that go against the grain, such as no longer using exotic animal skins, or by harmonizing prices,” he added.

In May, Chanel’s new creative chief Virginie Viard delivered her first solo collection for the brand in the wake of Lagerfeld’s death, and Blondiaux said Chanel saw Viard as being with Chanel for the long-term.

(Reporting by Pascale Denis; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta and Susan Fenton)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: The Iranian flag flutters in front the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) headquarters in Vienna
FILE PHOTO: The Iranian flag flutters in front the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) headquarters in Vienna, Austria March 4, 2019. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger/File Photo

June 17, 2019

DUBAI/LONDON (Reuters) – Iran said on Monday it would breach internationally agreed curbs on its stock of low-enriched uranium in 10 days — a move likely to worsen already high tensions with Washington — but it added European nations still had time to save a landmark nuclear deal.

In a sign of concern at Iran’s announcement, Germany urged Tehran to meet all its obligations under the 2015 accord. Britain said if Iran breached limits agreed under the deal then London would look at “all options”.

Close U.S. ally Israel, Iran’s arch foe, urged world powers to step up sanctions against Tehran swiftly should it exceed the enriched uranium limit.

U.S.-Iran tensions are growing following accusations by U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration that Tehran last Thursday attacked two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, a vital oil shipping route. Iran denies having any role.

Iran’s Armed Forces Chief of Staff, Major General Mohammad Baqeri, on Monday denied Tehran was behind the attacks and said if the Islamic Republic decided to block the strategic Strait of Hormuz shipping lane it would do so publicly.

Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi said on state TV that “We have quadrupled the rate of enrichment (of uranium) and even increased it more recently, so that in 10 days it will bypass the 300 kg limit.”

“Iran’s reserves are every day increasing at a more rapid rate.”

Tehran said in May it would reduce compliance with the nuclear pact it agreed with world powers in 2015, in protest at the United States’ decision to unilaterally pull out of the agreement and reimpose sanctions last year.

The deal seeks to head off any pathway to an Iranian nuclear bomb in return for the removal of most international sanctions.

The accord requires Iran to curb its uranium enrichment capacity, capping Iran’s stock of low-enriched uranium at 300 kg of uranium hexafluoride enriched to 3.67 percent or its equivalent for 15 years.

A series of more intrusive U.N. inspections under the deal have verified that Iran has been meeting its commitments.

Urging European signatories to speed up their efforts to salvage the accord, President Hassan Rouhani said its collapse would not be in the interests of the region or the world.

“It’s a crucial moment, and France can still work with other signatories of the deal and play an historic role to save the deal in this very short time,” Rouhani was quoted as saying during a meeting with France’s new ambassador in Iran.

U.N. WATCHDOG CHIEF WORRIED

Kamalvandi, in a news conference at Iran’s Arak heavy water nuclear reactor which has been reconfigured under the deal, said Tehran could rebuild the underground facility to make it functional. Heavy water can be employed in reactors to produce plutonium, a fuel used in nuclear warheads.

In January, Iran’s nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi told state TV that “despite pouring concrete in pipes within the core of the Arak reactor … Iran had purchased pipes for replacement in case the West violated the deal.”

Salehi said that only he and the country’s top authority, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, had knowledge about the additional pipes.

The west European signatories to the deal – France, Britain and Germany – have defended the nuclear accord as the best way to limit Iran’s enrichment of uranium.

But Iran has repeatedly criticized delays in setting up a European mechanism that would shield trade with Iran from U.S. sanctions in an effort to save the nuclear deal.

The United States and the International Atomic Energy Agency believe Iran had a nuclear weapons program that it abandoned. Tehran denies ever having had one.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday the United States did not want to go to war with Iran but would take every action necessary, including diplomacy, to guarantee safe navigation through Middle East shipping lanes.

The International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N. atomic watchdog, declined to comment. Its chief Yukiya Amano said last week that he was worried about rising tensions around Iran’s nuclear program and he hoped they could be resolved through dialogue.

China’s Foreign Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok said on Monday the European Union wanted to stick to the Iran nuclear deal but that Iran needed to do the same.

(Reporting by Dubai newsroom and Parisa Hafezi in Dubai, Additional reporting by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin and William Schomberg in London, Ben Blanchard in Beijing, Francois Murphy in Vienna, Robin Emmott in Brussels, Dan Williams in Jerusalem and Andrew Osborn and Andrey Kuzmin in Moscow, Editing by William Maclean)

Source: OANN

Visitors look at the French-German-Spanish New Generation Fighter (NGF) model during the 53rd International Paris Air Show at Le Bourget Airport near Paris
Visitors look at the French-German-Spanish New Generation Fighter (NGF) model during the 53rd International Paris Air Show at Le Bourget Airport near Paris, France, June 17 2019. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

June 17, 2019

By Michel Rose

PARIS (Reuters) – Spain on Monday joined a Franco-German project to build a next-generation fighter jet, an initiative touted as key to ensuring Europe can defend itself without depending on allies in an increasingly uncertain world.

Dassault Aviation and Airbus will build the warplane which is expected to be operational from 2040, with a view to replacing Dassault’s Rafale and Germany’s Eurofighter over time.

The European project faces competition from Britain, which last year launched its own plans for a new combat jet dubbed “Tempest”. Industry executives have urged European capitals to move swiftly or risk losing out in a global market to bigger players led by the United States, or even China in the future.

The defense ministers of France, Germany and Spain signed an accord launching a trilateral framework of cooperation at the Paris Airshow, sat in front of a mock-up of the jet and with French President Emmanuel Macron applauding behind them.

France’s Safran and Germany’s MTU Aero Engines will jointly develop the new warplane’s engine.

Dassault and Airbus have delivered a joint industrial proposal to the governments of France and Germany.

“The first demonstrator phase marks another decisive step,” they said in a joint statement.

France had explored working with Britain on the project, bringing together Europe’s two biggest military powers.

But in July 2017, Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced plans for the new Future Combat Air System (SCAF), including a fighter jet and a range of associated weapons such as drones.

Britain’s unveiling last July of its plans for a next-generation aircraft to rival the United States’ F35, the world’s most advanced warplane, laid bare European divisions and deepening scepticism about the future of European defense cooperation as Britain negotiates its exit from the European Union.

BAE Systems, Italy’s Leonardo, engine maker Rolls-Royce and missile maker MBDA are running the British project.

“Competition amongst Europeans when it weakens us against the Americans, the Chinese, is ridiculous,” Macron told reporters at the air show when asked about the two combat jet programs.

The French and German governments expect to invest an initial 4 billion euros ($4.5 billion) in the combat jet by 2025, with France, the project leader, contributing 2.5 billion euros, according to the French defense ministry.

Paris and Berlin target the first flight of a prototype around 2026.

(Reporting by Michel Rose, Sophie Louet; Writing by Richard Lough; Editing by Mark Potter)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Ceremony marking 1st delivery of Boeing 737 Max airplane to Air China in Zhoushan
FILE PHOTO: Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Kevin McAllister speaks during a ceremony marking the 1st delivery of a Boeing 737 Max passenger airplane to Air China at the Boeing Zhoushan completion center in Zhoushan, Zhejiang province, China, December 15, 2018. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

June 17, 2019

By Eric M. Johnson and Tim Hepher

LE BOURGET, France (Reuters) – Boeing executives took turns to apologize for the loss of life in two 737 MAX crashes and pledged to apply lessons of the crisis to future planes as the world’s largest aerospace company struck a chastened tone at the opening of the Paris Airshow.

Executives from finance, jetliners, defense and services added their voices to apologies for the 346 deaths from Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg, while also touting the strength of the overall aerospace and defense market.

“This is the most trying of times,” Boeing commercial airplanes boss Kevin McAllister told a press briefing.

“But without a doubt this is a pivotal moment for all of us. It’s a time to capture learnings. It’s a time to be introspective. And it’s a time for us to make sure accidents like this never happen again.”

The worldwide grounding in March of Boeing’s fast-selling aircraft followed a crash in Indonesia and another in Ethiopia that triggered one of the worst crises in the company’s more than 100-year history.

Boeing has been criticized for what some PR experts consider a lawyer-driven and wooden response to the three-month-old MAX crisis, though Muilenburg has said it is approaching the Paris Airshow with humility and stressing safety as its top priority.

McAllister said Boeing would apply lessons learned from the grounding of the 737 MAX but would not speculate when it would return to service, though Muilenburg told reporters on Sunday the jet would fly again commercially this year.

Executives also said engine issues were the key factor to be resolved in the development of its all-new 777X twin-aisle jet, but that the plane was performing well as it moves towards a flight test later this year.

“The long pole in the tent remains engine issues,” McAllister said of General Electric’s GE9X engine.

GE Aviation said earlier it had found excess wear on a compression part on the GE9X engine developed for the 777X, forcing it to redesign the part.

The part will not be ready for months and no airplane will fly without the retrofitted part, GE said.

McAllister said he was “staying very close to the situation” but that it was premature to make any predictions on timing delays for the program.

Boeing says it is targeted a 2020 entry to service, but Gulf airline Emirates says it expects the first plane in June that year – after flight tests expected to take 14 months.

Airlines that rushed to buy the fuel-efficient MAX are taking a hit to profits since having to cancel thousands of flights.

Meanwhile, Boeing is delaying decisions on the launch of a possible new aircraft, the mid-sized NMA, to give full attention to the 737 MAX, industry sources said.

(Reporting by Eric M. Johnson and Tim Hepher in LE BOURGET, France; Editing by Mark Potter)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: A Lockheed Martin F-35 aircraft is seen at the ILA Air Show in Berlin
FILE PHOTO: A Lockheed Martin F-35 aircraft is seen at the ILA Air Show in Berlin, Germany, April 25, 2018. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt/File Photo

June 17, 2019

LE BOURGET, France (Reuters) – Lockheed Martin F-35 program manager Greg Ulmer said on Monday he had “no concern” that the proposed merger of Raytheon Co and United Technologies Corp would affect the F-35 program or pressure its margins.

“I don’t see any concern,” Ulmer told reporters at the Paris Airshow when asked if the merger of two key suppliers would affect the F-35 program, which is working hard to reduce costs.

Ulmer also said Turkish firms continued to produce components for the aircraft despite a row over Ankara’s plans to buy the Russian S-400 air defense system.

He said plans by the U.S. government to start winding down Turkey’s participation in the F-35 program would not affect Lockheed’s production plan this year.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Mark Potter)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: The Airbus logo is pictured at Airbus headquarters in Blagnac near Toulouse
FILE PHOTO: The Airbus logo is pictured at Airbus headquarters in Blagnac near Toulouse, France, March 20, 2019. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau/File Photo

June 17, 2019

LE BOURGET, France (Reuters) – Airbus will launch a long-range version of its A321neo passenger jet at Paris Airshow and will announce close to 200 orders over the week, sources familiar with the matter said.

Airbus is set to formally launch its A321XLR airplane on Monday, aiming to carve out new routes for airlines with smaller planes and steal a march on its rival Boeing’s plans for a possible new mid-market jet.

(Reporting by Tim Hepher, writing by Alistair Smout, editing by Laurence Frost)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Logo of Alibaba group is seen at VivaTech fair in Paris
FILE PHOTO: The Alibaba group logo is seen at the high profile startups and high tech leaders gathering, Viva Tech, in Paris, France, May 16, 2019. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

June 17, 2019

BEIJING (Reuters) – Alibaba Group Holding has proposed a one-to-eight stock split for a vote at the upcoming annual general meeting of shareholders in Hong Kong on July 15, it said in a statement.

The statement, dated Friday but published on the firm’s website on Monday, said the split will increase flexibility in the firm’s capital raising activities and that the firm’s board recommends shareholders to vote in favor of the proposal.

The e-commerce giant has filed confidentially for a Hong Kong listing that could raise up to $20 billion, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters earlier this month.

(Reporting by Beijing Monitoring Desk; Editing by Himani Sarkar)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Demonstrators hold flags during anti government protests in Algiers
FILE PHOTO: Demonstrators hold flag during anti government protests in Algiers, Algeria April 23, 2019. REUTERS/Ramzi Boudina

June 17, 2019

By Lamine Chikhi

HAIZER, Algeria (Reuters) – While tens of thousands of Algerians have been gathering for four months in the capital to demand sweeping political reforms, former fighters who led the last confrontation with the establishment have been warning people not to rock the boat.

In the 1990s, they drove an uprising against the military after it canceled a landmark multiparty election that Islamists were poised to win. This time they say protests could bring a repeat of the chaos and bloodshed their actions unleashed.

“I deeply regret what happened in the 1990s,” once such fighter, Sheikh Yahya, said at his home in Haizer, a village in the Kabyle mountains 120 km (75 miles) east of the capital Algiers where he now works as a butcher.

“This is why I will never participate in any action that might end up violent.”

Some 200,000 people died in Algeria’s decade-long civil war, leaving many Algerians fearful of radical change now that longtime President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has given into the pressure from the streets and stepped down.

Following Bouteflika’s departure in April, the protesters have been pressing for the exit of the entire elite in control since the North African country’s independence from France in 1962 – the same cause the jihadists took up arms for in 1991.

But Yahya and other former jihadists now support the army and other security forces, the strongest part of that elite. It also includes business tycoons and former independence fighters in Algeria’s ruling FLN party as well as labor unions in a state-dominated economy sustained by oil and gas production.

The ex-fighters are Salafists, a literalist Sunni school of Islam whose adherents range from the radical jihadists of Islamic State to an overwhelming majority which shies away from politics.

Salafi influence in Algeria is far wider than their numbers – an estimated one in 40 people – would suggest, analysts say. This makes their anti-protest messages a significant counterweight to calls for radical change.

“Algeria has around 18,000 mosques, most of them are under Salafi influence,” said political analyst Mohamed Mouloudi. One Salafi cleric has a website with a million followers.

By contrast leading Sufis, a more inclusive Sunni school that most Algerians belong to, have kept a low profile since the ouster of Bouteflika, their most high-profile member.

Salafists are social conservatives heavily influenced by Saudi Arabia’s Wahhabis. They reject both political Islamist groups like the Muslim Brotherhood, which led Egypt in a 2012-2013 interlude from military-backed rule, as well as Western influence – from clothing to political systems.

They were part of the reason the 2011 Arab Spring pro-democracy movement bypassed Algeria, after Sheikh Ali Ferkous, a Salafi icon, declared “unrest is forbidden in Islam”, and they continue to argue that stability is paramount.

MILITARY CHIEF, CONSERVATIVE LEADER

The Army chief, Lieutenant-General Ahmed Gaed Salah, played a key role in toppling Bouteflika by saying the president’s poor health made him unfit for office.

Upper House Chairman Abdelkader Bensalah became interim president but is now under pressure from demonstrators to quit, due to his links with Bouteflika and pledge on June 6 to stay in office until elections, which have been postponed indefinitely.

A group of protesters and some Salafi clerics have suggested Bensalah hands over to former conservative minister Ahmed Taleb Ibrahimi, son of well-known cleric Bachir Ibrahimi who played a role in the independence war against France from 1954 to 1962.

Ahmed Taleb Ibrahimi is a fierce opponent of Bouteflika, who did not allow him to set up a political party. Ibrahimi, 87, has promised to end of what he called “dirty money”, referring to corruption under Bouteflika, and introduce transparency.

“Ibrahimi is one of the rare clean politicians in Algeria who can reconcile the youth with politics. We believe he can play a very positive role,” said Seif Islam Benatia, a dentist prominent among protesters who encompass a wide array of views.

Yahya, who spoke to Reuters with two of his fellow former fighters Akli and Mohamed sitting alongside, also supports Ibrahimi, as well as army chief Salah. “We want stability to remain,” he said.

Their village lies in what was known in the 90s as the “triangle of death” — the flashpoint of the civil war, which the army said it was fighting to prevent Taliban-style rule. The mountains with its caves and valleys were ideal hiding ground for fighters to store arms and prepare ambushes on the army.

Yahya gave up the fight in 2006 after accepting amnesty from Bouteflika and persuaded others to make peace with the state.

Algeria’s welfare state rewarded him with $6,000 in aid to build a modest house where the ground floor serves as his poultry butchery. Two sons got jobs at state firms — a livelihood they fear losing if chaos erupts.

“GIFT FROM GOD”

Salafists have been quietly working to influence society, identifiable here, as elsewhere, by their long beards, white robes and short trousers emulating the Prophet Mohammad.

Their clout can be seen in Haizer, where Yahya’s house is a gathering point for youth, neighbors and other ex-fighters he persuaded to lay down arms.

“Marches, protests, unrest and all the tools used in democracies to topple leaders are illicit in Islam,” Yahya said.

Such messages resonate in Algeria, analysts say, because many people fear protracted unrest would undermine a state that provides jobs, health insurance and housing.

They also undermine Islamist political parties, which have struggled since the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS), which almost took power in 1991, was banned the following year.

“Salafi are influential because they focus on the youth, and society,” Mouloudi told Reuters. “Political Islam’s leaders are divided, fragmented and hold little influence politically.”

In Algiers, some of the young protesters, who include many women and some children, oppose any kind of Islamist takeover.

“We want radical change, but I don’t want to end up with Islamists ruling the country,” said Nadia Beigacem, 21, who studies English at Algiers University and does not wear a veil. “Western democracy is my model, not the Saudi Arabian model.”

Rather than Ibrahimi, she wanted a young Algerian as leader, like former U.S. President Barack Obama or French President Emmanuel Macron. “We are a young nation,” she said.

Salafist leader Ferkous has not commented on recent protests but other followers have rejected them. “What is forbidden remains forbidden, even if everyone does it,” said Mohamed Al-Habib, a prominent Salafist in a video message.

The weekly Friday protests have been continuing, but numbers have declined in recent weeks, indicating the resignation of Bouteflika and prosecution of his younger brother and closest former advisor Said and others have slowed their momentum.

“After chaos and 200,000 people killed, we now have peace and stability, this is a gift from God,” Yahya said.

“Let’s preserve it.”

(Editing by Ulf Laessing and Philippa Fletcher)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Huawei's new Honor 20 smartphone is seen at a product launch event in London
FILE PHOTO: Huawei’s new Honor 20 smartphone at a product launch event in London, May 21, 2019. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls/File Photo

June 16, 2019

(Reuters) – Huawei Technologies Co Ltd is preparing for a 40% to 60% decline in international smartphone shipments, Bloomberg reported on Sunday.

The Chinese technology company is looking at options that include pulling the latest model of its marquee overseas smartphone, the Honor 20, according to the article, which cited people familiar with the matter.

The device will begin selling in parts of Europe, including Britain and France, on June 21, the report said. Executives will be monitoring the launch and may cut off shipments if the sales are poor, it said.

Marketing and sales managers at the tech giant are internally expecting a drop in volumes of anywhere between 40 million to 60 million smartphones this year, the report said.

In order to offset overseas decline, Huawei is aiming to grab up to half of China’s smartphone market in 2019, Bloomberg said. The company did not respond to a Reuters request seeking comment.

The U.S. government put Huawei, the world’s largest telecommunications equipment company, on a trade blacklist in May that bars U.S. suppliers from doing business with it because of what Washington says are national security concerns.

At the time, Huawei founder and chief executive Ren Zhengfei said the restrictions “may slow, but only slightly” the company’s growth.

A similar U.S. ban on China’s ZTE Corp, almost crippled business for Huawei’s smaller rival early last year before the curb was lifted.

The company’s woes are feeding into trade tensions between Washington and Beijing. President Donald Trump has said U.S. complaints against Huawei could be resolved within the framework of any trade deal.

The ban has been eased slightly to allow a temporary general license that lets Huawei purchase U.S. goods.

However, Broadcom sent a shockwave through the global chipmaking industry last week when it forecast that the U.S.-China trade tensions and the Huawei ban would knock $2 billion off this year’s sales.

(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)

Source: OANN

Women's World Cup - Group F - United States v Chile
Soccer Football – Women’s World Cup – Group F – United States v Chile – Parc des Princes, Paris, France – June 16, 2019 Carli Lloyd of the U.S. celebrates with team mates after scoring their third goal REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

June 16, 2019

Carli Lloyd scored twice to help the United States defeat Chile 3-0 at Parc de Princes in Paris on Sunday to advance to the knockout round of the Women’s World Cup.

The U.S. will play Sweden (2-0-0, six points) at Le Havre, France, on Thursday to decide the Group F winner.

With the U.S. up 3-0 in the 81st minute, Lloyd put a penalty kick left of the goal. Had she scored, she would have been the first woman with two World Cup hat tricks. Julie Ertz also scored for the U.S.

The 36-year-old Lloyd gave the U.S. the 1-0 lead in the 11th minute to set a record by scoring in her sixth straight World Cup match. She had an 18-yard half-volley after Becky Sauerbrunn sent a deep service that was poorly cleared by Chile’s Su Helen Galaz.

Ertz’s first career World Cup goal made it 2-0 in the 26th minute, thanks to a corner kick by Tierna Davidson. Lloyd tripled the advantage in the 35th minute on a headed ball from Davidson’s corner.

Chile (0-2-0, zero points) did not have a shot on Alyssa Naeher.

Sweden 5, Thailand 1

Sweden (2-0-0, six points) clinched a spot in the round of 16 with the win over Thailand in Group F play in Nice, France.

Thailand (0-2-0, zero points) has been outscored 18-1 after its opening loss to the United States, which won 13-0.

Sweden’s Linda Sembrant kicked off the scoring in the sixth minute, and Kosovare Asllani and Fridolina Rolfo added goals before halftime, giving Sweden three goals in the first half for the first time in World Cup play since 1991.

Lina Hurtig and Elin Rubensson scored second-half goals for Sweden, while Kanjana Sung-Ngoen adding a goal for Thailand in the closing minutes.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

Police officers and members of national gendarmerie stand guard outside a court in Algiers
Police officers and members of national gendarmerie stand guard outside a court in Algiers, Algeria June 16, 2019. REUTERS/Ramzi Boudina

June 16, 2019

By Hamid Ould Ahmed

ALGIERS (Reuters) – Two former powerful Algerian officials and a prominent businessmen were questioned in courts on Sunday, state TV said, over accusations of corruption in the ruling elite under ex-president Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

Protesters and the army drove Bouteflika to resign on April 2 after two decades in power, but pressure has continued for the departure and prosecution of senior figures around him.

Among a plethora of ongoing cases, former finance minister Karim Djoudi appeared before the Supreme Court on Sunday, while former prime minister Ahmed Ouyahia was in another Algiers court, both over corruption accusations, state TV said.

Mourad Eulmi, head of the Algerian family-owned firm SOVAC which runs an assembly plant with Germany’s Volkswagen AG, was also questioned in the same court as Ouyahia.

State TV gave no more details and there was no immediate statement from the men or lawyers representing them.

The army is now the main player in Algerian politics and its chief of staff Ahmed Gaed Salah has urged the judiciary to speed up the prosecution of people suspected of corruption.

The court cases have not dampened the zeal of protesters pushing for radical change and a clean break with those who have governed since independence from France in 1962.

Djoudi served as finance minister under Ouyahia from June 2007 to May 2014 when he resigned on health grounds, before being named Bouteflika’s adviser for the past two years.

Bouteflika’s youngest brother, Said, and two former intelligence chiefs are in custody accused of “harming the army’s authority and plotting against state authority”.

Other prominent businessmen have also been detained at a prison in Algiers over corruption allegations.

Protesters are now seeking the departure of interim President Abdelkader Bensalah and Prime Minister Noureddine Bedoui, whom they view as part of the establishment.

Authorities have postponed a presidential election previously planned for July 4, citing a lack of candidates.

No new date has been set for the vote.

(Reporting by Hamid Ould Ahmed; Editing by Keith Weir and Andrew Cawthorne)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: Schmid, Secretary General of European External Action Service, addresses 4th Europe-Iran Forum in Zurich
FILE PHOTO: Helga Schmid, Secretary General of the European External Action Service (EEAS), addresses the 4th Europe-Iran Forum in Zurich, Switzerland October 4, 2017. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

June 16, 2019

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The EU’s second most senior diplomat affirmed the bloc’s support for the nuclear deal between world powers with Iran, including via the use of a new payment system for barter-based trade designed to circumvent U.S. sanctions.

Helga Schmid, the secretary general of European Union external action service, visited Tehran last week. She helped negotiate the deal in 2015.

Its status has been precarious since President Donald Trump pulled the United States out last year and toughened its sanctions regime against Tehran.

The European Union’s foreign service said that, in Tehran, Schmid had reiterated the bloc’s commitment to the deal, which has been “delivering on its primary goal … to ensure that Iran does not acquire material or equipment to develop a nuclear weapon.”

She had also discussed “EU efforts … to enable the continuation of legitimate trade with Iran,” including working to put into operation the Instex payment channel set up by France, Britain and Germany to facilitate non-dollar trade.

(Reporting by Alissa de Carbonnel; editing by John Stonestreet)

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FILE PHOTO: Prime Minister Fayez Mustafa Al-Sarraj of Libya speaks during a high-level meeting on addressing large movements of refugees and migrants at the United Nations General Assembly in New York
FILE PHOTO: Prime Minister Fayez Mustafa Al-Sarraj of Libya speaks during a high-level meeting on addressing large movements of refugees and migrants at the United Nations General Assembly in Manhattan, New York, U.S. September 19, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/File Photo

June 16, 2019

By Ulf Laessing

TRIPOLI (Reuters) – Libya’s internationally recognized Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj said on Sunday he was not prepared to sit down with eastern commander Khalifa Haftar to negotiate an end to the two-month offensive against Tripoli.

His comments to Reuters suggest low prospects for a ceasefire soon in the battle for Libya’s coastal capital, where Serraj and his administration are based.

In the latest turmoil since the toppling of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) force has been unable to take Tripoli despite fighting that has caused havoc in southern suburbs and displaced tens of thousands of people.

“I will not sit down again with this person because what he has done in past years shows he won’t be a partner in the political process,” the 59-year-old Serraj said in an interview at his wood-paneled office in central Tripoli.

The longest-serving in a succession of Tripoli-based prime ministers since 2011, Serraj has met Haftar, a 75-year-old former general in Gaddafi’s army, six times in the past few years.

The last meeting was in February in Abu Dhabi as foreign powers sought to broker a power-sharing deal between the rival eastern and western administrations.

“He was only trying to gain time,” Serraj said, pointing out that his rival had sent planes to bomb Tripoli.

Serraj struck a defiant tone, saying his troops, from armed groups in western cities, would continue to fend off Haftar, whom he views as a would-be dictator like Gaddafi.

“Our primary military goal is to defend Tripoli,” he said. “In the coming days there will be positive news … progress,” he said, without giving further details.

Calls from abroad for a ceasefire have fallen on deaf ears, particularly given diplomatic divisions over Libya.

OIL VULNERABILITY

Egypt and the United Arab Emirates back Haftar and have armed him since 2014 as a perceived bastion against Islamists, according to U.N reports. Haftar depicts himself as the man to reunite Libya and combat jihadists.

Most Western countries work with Serraj and Turkey recently sent him arms. France and other countries have proposed an unconditional ceasefire – without putting real pressure on Haftar – which would allow his troops to stay in western Libya.

But Serraj’s camp has rejected that. “You cannot ask the person defending himself to cease fire,” he said.

In Sunday’s interview, he backed a U.N. blueprint for a national conference to prepare for elections by year-end.

“Libyans should meet to overcome this (current) struggle for power,” Serraj said.

The prime minister said he was concerned the OPEC member’s oil facilities could become embroiled in the conflict.

Libya produces around 1.25 million barrels a day, the Tripoli-based economy minister told Reuters last week.

“For us, it is very important that oil production continues,” he said. “But there are dangers coming from the other side which has turned ports into military positions.”

State oil firm NOC has repeatedly warned its facilities could become dragged into the conflict. Last week, state oil firm NOC accused an LNA commander of arriving with 80 soldiers at the eastern oil port of Ras Lanuf.

The LNA controls all major oilfields and most ports.

Serraj said his forces would avoid attacking any oil facilities even if the LNA was stationed there.

The war was hurting Libya’s development and basic services as funding had to be diverted to equip troops and treat the wounded, he said. “There could be a (national power) blackout anytime,” he said.

As well as threatening to disrupt oil supplies, there are fears the conflict will increase migration across the Mediterranean to Europe and encourage jihadists to exploit the chaos.

(Reporting by Ulf Laessing; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)

Source: OANN

Women's World Cup - Group F - United States v Chile
Soccer Football – Women’s World Cup – Group F – United States v Chile – Parc des Princes, Paris, France – June 16, 2019 Carli Lloyd of the U.S. celebrates with team mates after scoring their third goal REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

June 16, 2019

PARIS (Reuters) – Striker Carli Lloyd scored twice as the United States made light work of Chile on Sunday, winning 3-0 and sending the current holders into the last 16 at the Women’s World Cup.

The U.S., coming off a record 13-0 win over Thailand in their Group F opener, were in control from the first minute and scored three first-half goals.

Lloyd became the first player to score in six consecutive World Cup matches when putting her team ahead in the 11th minute by smashing a half-volley into the net from just inside the box.

Midfielder Julie Ertz doubled the score on 26 minutes and Lloyd powered home from a corner on 36 minutes to make it three.

Paris St Germain goalkeeper Christiane Endler pulled off a string of magnificent saves in the second-half to deny the defending champions from extending their lead before Lloyd missed an 81st penalty that should have sealed her hat-trick.

(Reporting by John Irish; Editing by Ian Chadband)

Source: OANN

Women's World Cup - Group F - Sweden v Thailand
Soccer Football – Women’s World Cup – Group F – Sweden v Thailand – Stade de Nice, Nice, France – June 16, 2019 Sweden’s Linda Sembrant celebrates scoring their first goal with team mates REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

June 16, 2019

NICE, France (Reuters) – Sweden produced a breathtaking display of attacking soccer to thrash Thailand 5-1 in Nice on Sunday and book their place in the last 16 of the women’s World Cup.

Thailand, coming off a record 13-0 loss to defending champions United States in their Group F opener, conceded twice in the opening 20 minutes as they struggled to win aerial battles against a much taller Swedish team.

Center back Linda Sembrant broke the deadlock for Sweden with a thumping header off an Elin Rubensson free kick, before midfielder Kosovare Asllani pounced on a rebound to double their lead.

Fridolina Rolfo hammered in a third from outside the box as Sweden finished with three goals in the first half of a World Cup match for the first time since a third-place playoff win over Germany in 1991.

Forward Lina Hurtig fired another Swedish header to make it 4-0 in the second half but it did not slow down Thailand, who were courageous on the ball and created a couple of chances through forward Rattikan Thongsombut.

Thailand were eventually rewarded with their first goal of the tournament when captain Kanjana Sung-ngoen broke clear to fire past goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl in the closing stages.

“This goal meant a lot to us,” Thai coach Nuengrutai Srathongvian said.

“It’s a difficult goal and playing a great team like Sweden, it meant so much. It meant that all of our preparation paid off.

“This one goal made us laugh, made us smile and makes us happy. Our defeat in the last game was massive — yes, we were disappointed. But we still need to improve and get close to the other super teams.”

There was still time for Sweden to reply after Rubensson fired home a penalty, which was awarded by the video assistant referee following Natthakarn Chinwong’s handball.

Thailand, who will meet Chile in their final Group F match, have now conceded 18 goals in two games at this World Cup, which equals the record for a single tournament set by Argentina in 2007.

It was a much improved display from Sweden, who peppered the Thailand goal with 34 attempts, after they labored to a 2-0 victory over Chile in their opening match.

“It’s good that we had five different scorers,” Asllani said. “I felt that we found a number of avenues to break through and overall it was a good match.

“I think the further we go in the tournament, the tougher the teams (will be), so it was positive we could create a lot in the last third.”

(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

Source: OANN

Gerald Darmanin, French Minister of Public Action and Accounts, attends a news conference on tax collection reform at Bercy Finance Ministry in Paris
FILE PHOTO: Gerald Darmanin, French Minister of Public Action and Accounts, attends a news conference on tax collection reform at Bercy Finance Ministry in Paris, France, February 4, 2019. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

June 16, 2019

PARIS (Reuters) – France plans to scrap 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) of tax breaks for companies to help fund a pledged 5-billion-euro reduction in personal income taxes, Budget Minister Gerald Darmanin said on Sunday.

The government will finance the remaining 4 billion euros through lower spending, Darmanin said during an interview for the Grand Jury show with reporters from LCI television, RTL radio and Le Figaro newspaper.

Darmanin said 95% of taxpayers would see a reduction in their income taxes from January.

In his response to months of anti-government protests, French President Emmanuel Macron said in late April he would cut income tax by a further 5 billion euros.

The planned reduction came on top of a 10 billion-euro package of concessions to protesters in December aimed at boosting the income of the poorest workers and pensioners.

(Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Mark Potter)

Source: OANN

A man takes a picture of aircrafts on static display, at the eve of the opening of the 53rd International Paris Air Show at Le Bourget Airport near Paris
A man takes a picture of aircrafts on static display, at the eve of the opening of the 53rd International Paris Air Show at Le Bourget Airport near Paris, France, June 16 2019. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

June 16, 2019

By Eric M. Johnson, Andrea Shalal and Tim Hepher

PARIS (Reuters) – Safety concerns, trade wars and growing security tensions in the Gulf are dampening spirits at the world’s largest planemakers as they arrive at this week’s Paris Airshow with little to celebrate despite bulging order books.

The aerospace industry’s marquee event is a chance to take the pulse of the $150 billion a year commercial aircraft industry, which many analysts believe is entering a slowdown due to global pressures from trade tensions to flagging economies.

Humbled by the grounding of its 737 MAX in the wake of two fatal crashes, U.S. planemaker Boeing will be looking to reassure customers and suppliers about the plane’s future and allay criticism of its handling of the months-long crisis.

The grounding of the latest version of the world’s most-sold jet has rattled suppliers and even fazed rival Airbus, with the European company avoiding the traditional baiting of Boeing, while remaining distracted by its own corruption probe.

Aerospace executives on both sides of the Atlantic are concerned about the impact of the crisis on public confidence in air travel and the risk of a backlash that could drive a wedge between regulators and undermine the plane certification system.

Airlines that rushed to buy the fuel-efficient, longer-range MAX are taking a hit to profits since having to cancel thousands of flights following the worldwide grounding in March.

Even the planned launch of a new longer-range version of the successful A320neo jet family from Airbus, the A321XLR, is unlikely to lift the industry’s uncertainty, analysts said.

“Boeing’s MAX crisis isn’t the most ominous dark cloud, since it can be solved, but traffic numbers are genuinely scary,” said Teal Group aerospace analyst Richard Aboulafia.

“If March and April are a sign of things to come, we’re looking at broader industry demand and capacity problems.”

“Net orders might be the lowest in years,” Aboulafia added.

Others dismiss fears of a downturn, citing the growth of the middle class in Asia and the need for airlines to buy new planes to meet environmental targets.

Airbus and Boeing are both looking at steps to make their aircraft more fuel efficient and reduce their carbon footprint amid a growing environmental protest movement in Europe.

“The only solution that the industry has is the newest most fuel-efficient aircraft,” John Plueger, Chief Executive of Air Lease Corp, told Reuters. “So that replacement cycle is going to continue.”

“We’re talking to so many airlines who still want more aircraft, and there’s really been no lessening of those discussions,” he said.

GULF TENSIONS

Boeing is delaying key decisions on the launch of a possible new aircraft, the mid-sized NMA, to give full attention to the 737 MAX and last-minute engine trouble on the forthcoming 777X, industry sources said.

But it could unveil a number of deals favoring widebody jets where it has the upper hand against Airbus, including at least a dozen 787 aircraft for Korean Air Lines.

Robert Stallard of Vertical Research Partners expects roughly 800 aircraft orders at the show, but noted it can be hard to tell which are truly new, firm business or old orders, or switched models. That compares with some 959 orders and commitments at the Farnborough Airshow last year.

Some analysts pegged the likely total closer to 400.

Although slowing, a multi-year boom in airline orders is still generating business for suppliers such as engine makers. French-American CFM International is set to announce a record order by units for over 600 engines from India’s IndiGo.

The June 17-23 show is not only about jetliner deals, but also a magnet for many of the world’s arms buyers who come to preview the latest war-fighting equipment, from anti-aircraft missiles to hotly-sought cyber war-fighting capabilities.

France and Germany will unveil a mock-up of a proposed new fighter jet and sign a framework agreement for its development which includes drones.

Industry insiders will also weigh the merits and potential fallout of United Technologies Corp’s planned $121 billion tie-up with defense contractor Raytheon Co.

The deal, expected to close in the first half of 2020, would potentially upend the aerospace sector, creating a conglomerate spanning commercial aviation and defense procurement and putting pressure on several major suppliers such as Honeywell and General Electric.

Air show delegates are also watching a face-off between the United States and Iran in the Gulf. The United States blames Iran for attacks on two oil tankers in a vital shipping route that have raised fears of broader confrontation in the region.

In another political row with implications for arms firms attending the show, the United States has threatened to cancel Turkey’s participation in the Lockheed F-35 fighter jet program over Ankara’s purchase of a Russian radar system.

Watching the show attentively is China, whose own aerospace ambitions are growing at a time when U.S.-China trade tensions are rising ahead of a possible meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping this month.

(Additional reporting by Cyril Altmeyerhenzien, Laurence Frost, Alistair Smout; Editing by Mark Potter)

Source: OANN

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
FILE PHOTO: Formula One F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – November 23, 2018 McLaren’s Fernando Alonso during practice REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

June 16, 2019

LE MANS, France (Reuters) – Double Formula One world champion Fernando Alonso won the Le Mans 24 Hours sportscar race for the second year in a row on Sunday with Toyota team mates Kazuki Nakajima and Switzerland’s Sebastien Buemi.

The number eight car crew, who took the lead with an hour to go, were also crowned world endurance champions with Nakajima driving the final stint and becoming the first Japanese to win the title.

Toyota’s number seven TS050 hybrid car, crewed by Britain’s Mike Conway, Japan’s Kamui Kobayashi and Argentina’s Jose Maria Lopez, led most of the way but suffered two late punctures and dropped to second in a one-two finish for the Japanese manufacturer.

Belgian Stoffel Vandoorne — Alonso’s former McLaren Formula One team mate — finished third in his debut Le Mans with Russian team mates Vitaly Petrov and Mikhail Aleshin in the number 11 SMP Racing BR Engineering car.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

Source: OANN


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