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A.J. Gallagher’s ‘clean coal’ business draws ire of green investors

BOSTON ( ) – Two of America’s best-known green investors are reassessing their stakes in global insurance broker Arthur J. Gallagher & Co after a investigation into the company’s lucrative side-business in “clean coal”.

A.J. Gallagher (AJG.N) has invested in 34 facilities producing so-called refined coal, which is chemically treated to make it burn cleaner and heavily subsidized by the U.S. government. The firm also holds a 46.5 percent stake in Chem-Mod LLC, which provides the chemicals used to produce the fuel.

A.J. Gallagher has accumulated about $850 million worth of U.S. government tax credits from the business. But many utilities burning the coal have pumped out more smog, not less, over the past decade, and the chemicals have contributed to elevated carcinogens in downstream drinking water supplied to more than 1 million people, according to the Special Report.

Now, the Green Century Funds and Calvert Funds – which include A.J. Gallagher in their portfolios based on its record as an insurance firm, not a coal supplier – said they will review the company’s green credentials. Green Century and Calvert are two of nation’s leading money managers foc上海夜网used on corporate enviro,上海凤楼夜网Jace,nm,上海会所夜网Radley,ental, social and governance matters.

The idea behind the strategy is to help investors sidestep companies whose activities they find objectionable, such as polluting the environment.

“In light of this new information, we certainly will … press the company to stop profiting from schemes devised by the fossil fuel industry to the detriment of U.S. citizens and taxpayers,” Green Century said in a statement, calling clean coal “a myth”.

A.J. Gallagher is one of about 360 companies in the $250 million Green Century Equity Fund GECQX.O, which advertises itself as “100% percent fossil fuel free.”

The fund, which held 4,394 A.J. Gallagher shares at the end of October, is passively managed and invests in the companies that are in an index run by MSCI Inc (MSCI.N).

MSCI declined to comment for this story.

Calvert Research and Management, a unit of Eaton Vance Corp, said it has contacted A.J. Gallagher as part of a reassessment of the company’s ESG performance. A.J. Gallagher is a holding in the $1.3 billion Calvert U.S. Large Cap Core Responsible Index Fund (CISIX.O).

“In response to this new information, we have contacted the company and will consider this information in our assessment of ESG performance,” Calvert said in a statement, referring to the reporting.

The Calvert fund has built its own index, drawing from the 1,000 largest publicly-traded U.S. companies based on market capitalization. From there, using its own principles for responsible investment, that list had been narrowed to about 720 companies, including A.J. Gallagher.

A.J. Gallagher did not respond to messages seeking comment.

Assets in portfolios that use various ESG-related criteria have grown to about $23 trillion globally, an increase of more than 600 percent over the past decade, fund research firm Morningstar Inc said in a 2018 report.

Shares of A.J. G,上海夜玩网论坛Fabi,allagher are held in at least ten other mutual funds that screen companies on environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria, including ones run by BlackRock Inc, Fidelity Investments and Vanguard Group.

The company’s broad inclusion highlights the lack of clear criteria for how companies’ environmental credentials are vetted in this fast-growing green investment sector, said Vanguard spokesman John Woerth.

“There is no universally-accepted definition of ESG,” he said in a statement to .

The $4.4 billion Vanguard FTSE Social Index Fund (VFTSX.O) holds an investment in A.J. Gallagher. But Vanguard does not pick the companies in the index fund it offers to investors, Woerth said. That job is done by index providers such as MSCI, or in Vanguard’s case, FTSE Russell.

“Index funds are beholden to the benchmarks they track,” he said. “While we engage with index providers to understand their methodologies, it is our view that index providers are independent and should have complete autonomy when constructing an index and assembling its constituents.”

Jill Davies, a town board member for Woodstock, Vermont – which has endowment money invested in the Vanguard fund – said she was disappointed by the company’s inclusion.

A.J. Gallagher’s “activities in coal don’t seem to align with the social responsibility concept behind this Vanguard fund,” she said.

FTSE Russell said it was working to improve its ESG screening methods.

“This is especially relevant in a rapidly expanding area like ESG,” FTSE spokesman Tim Benedict said in a statement.

(This story has been refiled to remove an errant apostrophe in the first paragraph and a redundant figure in the 16th paragraph)

U.S. Treasury tax study slammed as ‘fake math’ by Democrats

WASHINGTON ( ) – The U.S. Treasury Department on Mond,上海夜生活服务Eden,ay released a one-page analysis of the economic and fiscal impact of a Republican tax overhaul plan that was swiftly criticized by a number of tax experts and attacked as “fake math” by Democrats.

Treasury said the tax plan would more than pay for itself in 10 years, basing its forecast on a 2.9 percent annual economic growth assumption, a level well above most economists’ expectations, as well other changes on which the White House has made little progress.

“We are pleased to release an analysis demonstrating the revenue impact of the administration’s economic agenda,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs (GS.N) banker, said in a statement.

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a conservative fiscal watchdog in Washington, said the Mnuchin analys,上海夜网官方网站Nala,is “makes a mockery of dynamic scoring and analysis,” referring to methods for forecasting the impact of tax changes on the economy.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said the Treasury analysis was “nothing more than one page of fake math.”

“It’s clear the White House and Republicans are grasping at straws to prove the unprovable and garner votes for a bill that nearly every single independent analysis has concluded will blow up the deficit and generate almost no additional economic activity to make up for it,” he said in a statement. ,上海新夜网龙凤Idaia,

The sparring over economic forecasts came as Republicans resumed efforts to reconcile two tax-overhaul bills, one approved by the Senate and one by the House of Representatives.

President Donald Trump wants a single tax bill on his desk soon so he can sign it into law before the end of the year, in what would be his first major legislative achievement since taking office in January.

The Republican president will deliver a speech on Wednesday “to the American people on how tax reform will lead to a brighter future for them and their families,” the White House said in a statement.

Republicans are driving toward approval of a debt-financed package of deep tax cuts for businesses and the wealthy and a mixed bag of results for middle-class Americans.

Although the Republicans see the effort as crucial to their prospects in November 2018’s congressional elections, nearly half of Americans oppose the plan, according to /Ipsos polling.


The Treasury analysis was meant to help bolster long-standing promises from Republicans, including Mnuchin, that their proposed tax cuts would super-charge an already growing economy and raise more than enough new tax revenue to offset a large federal deficit increase.

Congressional researchers have estimated the Republican plan would add $1.5 trillion to the $20 trillion national debt over 10 years, before any projected positive effects on the economy, or $1 trillion after such effects.

In its analysis, Treasury said its projected 2.9 percent annual growth over the next decade would result not only from tax cuts but “a combination of regulatory reform, infrastructure development, and welfare reform as proposed in the administration’s Fiscal Year 2018 budget.”

The Trump administration sent a budget to Congress earlier this year that lawmakers largely ignored. While the White House has rolled back some regulations, it has made no substantial progress on infrastructure development or welfare changes.

Growth of 2.9 percent would produce $1.8 trillion in new tax revenues over 10 years, more than enough to offset the revenue that the tax plan would lose, the department said.

“We acknowledge that some economists predict different growth rates,” it added in a statement accompanying its analysis, which focused on the tax plan as approved more than three weeks ago by the Senate Finance Committee.

The full Senate on Dec. 2 approved a somewhat different plan, which would boost gross domestic product by 0.7 percent in 2018 and have little effect on GDP in the decade ahead, said the Tax Policy Center, a nonpartisan think tank, in a report on Monday.

Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania also issued a report on Monday finding the plan approved by the ful上海夜生活l Senate would add $1.5 trillion to the national debt over 10 years, “even with assumptions favorable to economic growth.”

Japan firms wary of boosting investment amid intensifying trade…

TOKYO ( ) – Over a third of Japa,上海新夜网龙凤Jacob,nese firms aim to raise capital expenditure in the fiscal year starting April, with many others worried about the impact on spending plans of a trade war between major markets China and the United States, a survey showed.

Tit-for-tat import tariffs and ensuing uncertainty have started to drag on global growth and hurt Japanese firms, particularly those with business in China. This has made many nervous about corporate investment, which before the trade war began last year had been a bright spot in Japan’s economy.

“We are being affected by U.S.-China trade friction, so we are curbing capital investment until the outlook becomes clear,” a manager of a machinery maker wrote in the Jan. 7-16 survey.

Since the start of 2019, precision motor maker Nidec Corp (6594.T) and automation equipment manuf,上海凤楼夜网Kailani,acturer Yaskawa Electric Corp (6506.T) both cut their annual operating profit forecasts due to weakening demand from China.

“Uncertainty about the global economy as a whole is causing some Japanese firms to hesitate to make active investments,” wrote a manager at another machinery firm.

Some 52 percent of respondents said they would not change their capital spending amounts next fiscal year versus this year, whereas 12 percent said they would cut. Meanwhile, 22 percent planned to increase investment, and 14 percent said they would do likewise but only moderately.

The Corporate Survey, conducted monthly for by Nikkei Research, polled 480 large and mid-sized firms with managers responding on condition of anonymity. Around 250 answered the questions on capex and trade issues.


Major corporations said they planned to raise investment by an average 14.3 percent for the fiscal year that ends in March – the highest since 1990, at the end of Japan’s Bubble Era – according to the Bank of Japan’s December tankan survey.

But trade friction has since disrupted global supply chains, fuelling concern of a significant impact this year on world trade, investment and financial markets.


The Corporate Survey showed about 40 percent of Japanese firms saw the possibility of trade friction and protectionism denting sales and profit plans in the next fiscal year.,上海夜生活论坛Fabiana, The proportion hit around 50 percent among manufacturers alone.

As the trade war intensifies, global companies are shifting production and supply chains out of China, scrambling to secure new facilities in neighboring Asian countries and rebuild supply chains outside of China.

A quarter of all firms surveyed – and one-third of manufacturers – said they intended to review their supply chain in the coming fiscal year.

In a sign of uncertainty about profit outlook, the survey found 58 percent of Japanese firms do not plan to raise base salaries in this year’s annual spring labor talks.

Among firms planning to raise, just one out of 10 firms intends to offer a bigger base pay hike, boding ill for private consumption that accounts for about 60 percent of the economy.

“At the moment, we have no choice but take the risk of the economy deteriorating into account,” wrote a manager of a transport equipment maker.

Trump judicial nominee withdraws from consideration

WASHINGTON ( ) – A lawyer nominated by President Donald Trump to serve as a federal judge withdrew from consideration on Monday after video of his Senate confirmation hearing showing him unable to provide answers to rudimentary legal questions went viral last week.

Trump accepted Matthew Petersen’s offer to withdraw his nomination as a district court jud,夜上海论坛Jacklyn,ge in Washington, a,上海夜生活怎么玩Dalton, White House official said.

Petersen, a Republican member of the Federal Election Commission, beca,上海夜生活网交流Nadia,me the latest of Trump’s judicial nominations to fail as the president seeks to win confirmation of judges who will make the federal judiciary more conservative.

“Just because you’ve seen ‘My Cousin Vinny’ doesn’t qualify you to be a federal judge,” Republican Senator John Kennedy, who grilled Petersen during his Dec. 13 confirmation hearing, told WWL-TV, referring to the上海夜网 1992 comedy film about a novice lawyer.

Kennedy, who has been critical of some of Trump’s judicial nominees, asked several basic legal questions that Petersen could not answer. The video was shown on cable news shows and widely viewed on the internet.

“While I am honored to have been nominated for this position, it has become clear to me over the past few days that my nomination has become a distraction – and that is not fair to you or your administration,” Petersen wrote in his withdrawal letter to Trump.

“I had hoped that my nearly two decades of public service might carry more weight than my two worst minutes on television,” Petersen added.

Petersen became the third Trump judicial pick whose nomination foundered in the past week. Republican Senator Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said last week Trump’s nominations of Jeff Mateer and Brett Talley would not move forward. Both had faced criticism for controversial statements.

Talley was reported by online magazine Slate as having posted online sympathetic comments about the early history of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) white supremacist group. He also failed to disclose that his wife works in the White House counsel’s office, which overseas judicial nominations.

Mateer ran into trouble over 2015 speeches including one in which he referred to transgender children as being part of “Satan’s plans,” CNN reported.

Despite those setbacks, Trump has made significant progress in filling vacancies on the federal courts with conservative judges, including 12 on the important courts of appeal. He also appointed Justice Neil Gorsuch to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Courts, restoring the high court’s conservative majority.

U.S. home sales hit three-year low, prices rise slowly

WASHINGTON ( ) – U.S. home sales tumbled to their lowest level in three years in December and house price increases slowed sharply, suggesting a further loss of momentum in the housing market.

The weak report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) on Tuesday was the latest indication of slowing economic growth. A survey last Friday showed consumer sentiment dropped in January to its lowest level since President Donald Trump was elected more than two years ago.

Existing home sales were now the weakest since Trump was elected, said MUFG Chief Economist Chris Rupkey, “signaling the initial confidence boost from the new ideas and new legislation is falling flat.”

The NAR said existing home sales declined 6.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.99 million units last month. That was the lowest level since November 2015.

Economists polled by had forecast existing home sales falling 1.0 percent to a rate of 5.25 million units in December. Existing home sales, which make up about 90 percent of U.S. home sales, plunged 10.3 percent from a year ago.

For all of 2018, sales fell 3.1 percent to 5.34 million units, the weakest since 2015.

The housing market has been stymied by higher mortgage rates as well as land and labor shortages, which have led to tight inventory and more expensive homes.

But there are glimmers of hope. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate has dropped to a four-month low, with much of the moderation occurring in the second half of December, and house price inflation is slowing. The median existing house price increased 2.9 percent from a year ago to $253,600 in December. That was the smallest increase since February 2012.

Wage growth topped 3.2 percent in December, outpacing house price gains for the first time since Febru,上海夜生活乌托邦Caden,ary 2012, according to the NAR. While economists expect affordability to improve, they also caution that changes to the tax code in December 2017, which limited deductions for mortgage interest and property taxes, had reduced the appeal of homeownership.

Stocks on Wall Street were trading lower amid fears of slowing global economic growth after the International Monetary Fund trimmed its outlook. The dollar was little changed against a basket of currencies and U.S. Treasury pr,上海夜生活群Idaline,ices rose.


A survey last week showed a rebound in homebuilders’ confidence in January amid hope that the moderation in mortgage rates “will help the housing market continue to grow at a modest clip as we enter the new year.”

A month-long partial shutdown of the federal government, which has delayed data from the Commerce Department is, however, obscuring the economic picture.

The shutdown started on Dec. 22 as Trump demanded that Congress give him $5.7 billion this year to help build a wall on the country’s border with Mexico.

It has affected the Commerce Department, leading to the suspension of the publication of data compiled by its Bureau of Economic Analysis and Census Bureau, including new home sales, housing starts and building permits.

Data released before the shutdown had pointed to persistent weakness in the housing market, with economists estimating that housing would again be a drag on gross domestic product in the fourth quarter. Residential construction has subtracted from GDP growth since the first quarter of 2018.

Economists estimate that the impasse over the border wall was cutting off at least two-tenths of a percentage point from quarterly GDP growth a week. The Realtors group said the longest government shutdown i,夜上海419龙凤论坛Hal,n the country’s history had so far not had an impact on home sales, but warned this could change.

Last month, existing home sales fell in all four regions. There were 1.55 million previously owned homes on the market in December, down from 1.74 million in November, but up from 1.46 million a year ago.

At December’s sales pace, it would take 3.7 months to exhaust the current inventory, down from 3.9 in November and up from 3.2 a year ago. A six-to-seven-months supply is viewed as a healthy balance between supply and demand.

Houses for sale typically stayed on the market for 46 days in December, up from 42 days in November and 40 days a year ago. Thirty-nine percent of homes sold in December were on the market for less than a month.

The share of first-time buyers fell to 32 percent last month from 33 percent in November. Economists and realtors say a 40 percent share of first-time buyers is needed for a robust housing market.

“Going forward, we expect softer home prices to support existing home sales, but not by enough to offset the downtrend,” said Roiana Reid, an economist at Berenberg Capital Markets in New Y上海夜网ork. “The only sustainable and viable solution in our view is more construction, especially of lower-priced homes.”

Germany drops F-35 from fighter tender; Boeing F/A-18 and…

B,上海021夜网Fabiana,ERLIN ( ) – Germany will pick either the Eurofighter or Boeing’s F/A-18 fighter jet to replace its Tornado warplanes, knocking Lockheed Martin’s F-35 stealth fighter out of a tender worth billions of euros, Defence Ministry sources said on Thursday.

The ministry will make a fina上海夜网l decision after receiving d,上海仙霞路夜生活Paige,etailed information from Boeing and Airbus about the aircraft, which must be able to carry U.S. nuclear weapons to fulfill Germany’s obligations to NATO, the sources said.

No timetable for a decision was given, but the process could take time since the U.S. government will have to certify both jets to carry the nuclear weapons. Germany has 85 operational Tornado jets, but not all are equipped to carry nuclear weapons.

The German air force will also move ahead with long-awaited plans to replace its 33 oldest Eurofighter jets, now used mainly for air policing or training, with new, more capable Eurofighters in coming years, the sources said.

That will translate into orders worth up to 3 billion euros ($3.4 billion) for Airbus, according to sources familiar with the issue.

In marketing the F/A-18, Boeing had underscored its high readiness rates, relatively low cost and strong electronic attack capabilities, arguments that resonated in military circles.

The decision marks a big setback for Lockheed, the top U.S. arms maker, which had hoped to add to recent F-35 sales to other European countries, including Belgium.

Germany’s air force chief of staff was fired last year after he expressed a clear preference for the F-35. The ministry later said it favored a “European solution”.

Airbus welcomed the news about the Eurofighter replaceme,上海夜网千花Hadrian,nt purchases, and said it remained convinced that its jet offered the lowest-risk prospect for replacing the Tornado jets.

Lockheed said it had not been officially notified of a German decision. It said the F-35 offered the most capability, lowest life-cycle cost of any fighter on the market, and long-term industrial and economic opportunities.

Boeing declined to comment, as did the U.S. embassy in Berlin.

Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD), junior partners in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ruling coalition, had argued against rushing into any decision to buy U.S. aircraft and demanded closer study.

Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen, a conservative, had promised a decision on the procurement plans by the end of 2018, but her ministry became mired in scandals over the use of outside consultants and other issues.

Military officials argue that the Tornadoes, which entered service in 1983, need urgent replacement due to rising maintenance costs. Sources familiar with the matter say it could cost around 8 billion euros to keep the planes flying past 2030.

Sources familiar with the process last year had said the ministry wanted to split the order between one of the two U.S. planes and the Eurofighter, which is built by Airbus, Britain’s BAE Systems and Italy’s Leonardo SpA. But it now appears Berlin will pick just one winner.

Paris, Germany’s closest European partner, had warned that buying the F-35 in particular could derail plans to develop a new Franco-German fighter by 2040.

Aeroplane parts maker FACC scouts for takeovers and ramps up Brexit…

VIENNA ( ) – Austrian aeroplane parts maker FACC is ready to spend 500 million euros ($572 million) on acquisitions to make it less dependent on suppliers, add new technologies and strengthen its core business, its chief executive said.

The Chinese-owned group makes components for wings, tail assemblies and fuselages as well as engines and cabin interiors for planemakers including Airbus, Boeing and Bombardier. It expects revenue of 760-770 million euros ($881 million) for its 2018/19 business year th,上海高端夜生活在那里Kailani,at ends in February.

“Half a billion (euros), that is the amount of money we could use to make acquisitions in the next five years,” Robert Machtlinger told in an interview.

FACC, which belongs to China’s state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation, is screening the market for suitable takeover targets but there are no negotiations yet, he said.

上海夜网In recent months, the firm has been increasing production of parts it makes for Airbus and Rolls Royce that are needed for assembly in Great Britain, the CEO said, as it prepares for Britain’s exit from the EU.

A Brexit agreement that would secure tariff-free trade and safeguard just-in-time cross-border supply chains still looks elusive just two months before the divorce.

Components for about four weeks of production are being sent to Britain, Machtlinger said. Quite a stretch for the company as normally the buffer would be two to four days.

“The majority of the (extra) costs are borne by the customer,” the engineer said.

Airbus, which accounts for half of FACC’s revenue, has threatened to shift future wing-building out of Britain.

That would not be a problem for FACC, Machtlinger said, as the company could easily adapt delivery routes.

Machtlinger, whose company generates half its revenue from European planemaker Airbus, a quarter from Boeing and also equips China’s planemaker Commercial Aircraft Corp of China (COMAC), does not expect the industry to be hampered by current U.S.-Chinese trade friction.

“Aviation is an export business for the U.S.,” Machtlinger said, adding that he did not think anybody wanted to change that.

He noted there was no such thing as a purely American plane: “This is a completely intertwined industry.”

Th,上海夜生活桑拿会所Dalton,e manager, who has been with the company for more than 30 years, expects revenue to pick up significan,上海夜网官方网站Nadine,tly in the second half of the 2019/20 business year with a 750 million euros order for the new Airbus 320.

His goal for 2020/21 is to increase the margin on earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) to 8-10 percent from 6.5 percent last year and revenue to 1 billion euros, he said.

By 2030, he wants to make that 2 billion euros, betting that COMAC becomes a major customer.

Asked whether shareholders can hope for a higher payout for the current business year than the previous year’s 1.11 euros per share, Machtlinger nodded but did not elaborate.

U.S. consumer morale at one-and-a-half year-low; house price gains…

WASHINGTON ( ) – U.S consumer confidence fell to a 1-1/2 year-low in January as a partial shutdown of the government and financial markets turmoil left households a bit nervous about the economy’s prospects.

The drop in confidence reported by the Conference Board on Tuesday mirrors another survey earlier this month showing sentiment tumbling to its lowest level since President Donald Trump was elected more than two years ago, strengthening analysts expectations that the economy was losing momentum.

“There’s no way the Trump economics team forecast of 3 percent growth is going to be accurate this year if consumers’ spirits don’t brighten up a little,” said Chris Rupkey, chief economist at MUFG in New York. The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index dropped 6.4 points to 120.2 this month, the lowest reading since July 2017. It blamed the third straight monthly decline in confidence to “financial market volatility and the government shutdown.”

The survey’s expectations measure tumbled to levels last seen in October 2016. The cutoff date for the Conference Board’s survey was Jan. 17, in the midst of the shutdown which shuttered about one-quarter of federal agencies as of Dec. 22, impacting 800,000 government employees.

The longest shutdown in U.S. history ended on Friday when Trump and Congress agreed to temporary government funding – without money for his U.S.-Mexico border wall. According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, the economy lost about $11 billion during the five-week shutdown.

With the government shutdow上海夜网n over for now and financial markets stabilizing, some economists expect a rebound in confidence in the months ,上海夜玩网论坛Jack,ahead.

Others are not convinced, pointing out that the Conference Board’s confidence index has shed 17.7 points over the past three months, the most since 2011.

The survey’s so-called labor market differential, derived from data about respondents who think jobs are hard to get and those w,上海夜生活去哪玩Jacklyn,ho think jobs are plentiful, rose to 33.7 in January from to 33.3 in December but was below its peak of 34.2 in November. That measure closely correlates to the unemployment rate in the Labor Department’s employment report.

Consumers’ views of the labor market over the next six months were less upbeat.


“There appears m,上海夜网邀请码Kade,ore to this than just the shutdown,” said Jennifer Lee, a senior economist at BMO Capital Markets in Toronto. “Things are looking a little chilly.”

The confidence survey adds to recent data showing home resales plummeting in December. Some regional Federal Reserve manufacturing surveys have weakened in January. Economists believe economic growth slowed in the fourth quarter from the July-September period’s brisk 3.4 percent annualized rate.

The advance fourth-quarter GDP report, which was scheduled for release on Wednesday, has been delayed as the government shutdown prevented the collection of source data, including December retail sales, housing starts durable goods and trade figures.

November construction spending, trade, business inventories, factory orders as well as new home sales reports were also impacted by the government’s closure.

U.S. Treasury prices rose on the confidence data, while the dollar was little changed against a basket of currencies. Stocks on Wall Street were mostly lower amid concerns about the upcoming U.S.-China trade talks.

Other data on Tuesday showed the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller composite index of home prices in 20 metropolitan areas rose 4.7 percent in November on a year-on-year basis, the smallest gain since January 2015, after advancing 5.0 percent in October.

House price inflation is slowing as demand cools and housing inventory rises. The moderation in house prices, together with an easing in mortgage rates should help support demand and lift the housing market this year after struggling for much of 2018.

“With the weakness across much of the housing data in 2018, we have seen the pace of house price appreciation moderate across a range of different measures,” said Daniel Silver, an economist at JPMorgan in New York.

“The house price data tend to lag many other housing indicators, and some of the more timely indicators have perked up a bit now that mortgage rates have declined over the past couple of months.”

House panels to hold joint hearing on Sprint, T-Mobile merger

WASHINGTON ( ) – Two U.S. Hous,上海夜玩网论坛Landon,e panels will hold a joint hearing on Feb. 13 on T-Mobile US Inc and Sprint Corp’s proposed $26 billion merger and its potential impact on consumers.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee and the Judiciary Committee will hold a joint hearing to “examine the merger’s potential impacts on consumers, workers and the wireless industry,” the committees said in a statement on Monday. Both T-Mobile Chief Executive John Legere and Sprint Chairman Marcelo Claure have agreed to testify.

“A merger between T-Mobile and Sprint would combine two of the four largest wireless carriers and the carriers with the largest numbers of low-income customers,” said senior Democrats on the two panels and two subcommittees. “We look forward to examining this merger from the perspective of what is in the best interest of consumers and hardworking people.”

The U.S. Senate held a hearing on the merger in June.

Last month, the companies won backing for the merger from two national security reviews, clearing key hurdles in their tie-up bid.

The deal got a nod f,夜上海419龙凤论坛Radley,rom the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, as well as the Justice Department, Department of Homeland Security and the Defense Department -collectively referred to as Team Telecom.

T-Mobile and Sprint, the third- and fourth-上海夜网largest U.S. wireless carriers, said Team Telecom, in a filing with the Federal Communications Commission, indicated it had no objections to the merger after reviewing “potential national security, law enforcement, and public safety issues.”

T-Mobile has previously said it expects the deal to close in the first half of 2019. The U.S. wireless carriers still need to win antitrust approval from the Justice Department and the FCC.,夜上海论坛Radcliff,

Turnaround to integration: Ghosn’s tenure at Renault, Nissan

TOKYO ( ) – Carlos Ghosn’s two decades at the helm of Franco-Japanese carmaking alliance Renault-Nissan has formally come to an end with his departure as chairman and chief executive of Renault.

The resignation, two months after Ghosn’s arrest in Tokyo for alleged financial misconduct, raises questions about the future make-up of the alliance that he built into a global carmaking giant, and also includes Japan’s Mitsubishi.

The once-feted executive, credited for turning around both Renault and Nissan, remains in detention as he awaits trial that could be several months away. He denies any wrongdoing.

The following is a timeline of key events during Ghosn’s tenure at the automakers.


Ghosn joins Renault as executive vice president as the firm struggles with falling profitability. The following year, he unveils his “20 billion franc cost reduction plan”, reviving his reputation as “Le cost killer”, earned during his prior job at tire maker Michelin.

Renault’s profitability jumps three-fold by the end of 1998.


In March, Renault comes to the rescue of debt-laden Nissan which had seen three straight years of losses.

Later, Ghosn reveals his “Nissan Revival Plan”, targeting a return to profitability in the 2000 financial year, a profit margin of at least 4.5 percent and a halving of debt by 2002.

Ghosn and his executive committee promise to resign if the targets are not met.

After cutting 21,000 jobs, or 14 percent of the workforce, shutting some local plants and dismantling Nissan’s “keiretsu” group companies, Nissan meets its goals a year ahead of schedule.

Ghosn is feted as a business celebrity in Japan, inspiring a manga comic based on his life.


Ghosn becomes CEO of Nissan. By the end of 2000, Nissan is contributing roughly half of Renault’s annual net profit, a situation that largely continues to this day.


Nissan announces its “Nissan 180” three-year growth plan, targeting an increase of 1 million units in global sales by September 2005, an operating margin of 8 percent by spring 2005, and a reduction in net automotive debt to zero.


Nissan misses its global sales growth target.

It announces a three-year “Value Up” plan to maintain a top-level operating margin in the industry, achieve global sales of 4.2 million units by March 2009 and a 20 percent return on capital on investments.

Ghosn becomes president and CEO of Renault.


Ghosn announces “Renault Commitment 2009” to position the automaker as Europe’s most profitable by volume, cut purchasing costs by 14 percent in three years and manufacturing costs by 12 percent in four years.


March: Nissan fails to meet its main “Value Up” targets.

The automaker announces its five-year “GT 2012” plan to focus on investment but scraps it due to the global financial crisis. Renault and Nissan turn their focus to weathering the crisis.


June: “Power 88” mid-term plan announced, with targets ,上海夜生活乌托邦[随机上海夜生活网符],for Nissan to achieve an 8 percent global operating profit margin and an 8 percent global market share by 2017.


Nissan focuses on growing its U.S. market share to 10 percent. Renault’s operating profit falls for the second straight year, due to slowing sales in Europe.


Renault and Nissan announce their “Common Module Family” plan for low-cost development and manufacturing of vehicles.

The new system is aimed at reducing component costs by 20-30 percent across the alliance. The next year they converge more functions, targeting 10 billion euros ($11 billion) in annual savings by around 2022.


Nissan announces it will take a controlling stake in Mitsubishi Motors, which is struggling with a mileage-cheating scandal. Ghosn becomes chairman of the automaker, making him chairman of all three partners.


Ghosn says he will step down as CEO of Nissan in April to focus on improving profitability at Renault and ens,上海夜生活网交流Ida,uring the alliance is “irreversible” after he retires.

Nissan posts a record operating profit of 742.2 billion yen ($6.8 billion), but falls short of “Power 88” targets. U.S. profit margins tumble as heavy discounting to boost sales leads to a fall in North American profit.

Hiroto Saikawa takes over as CEO, saying he aims to increase the quality of Nissan sales after years of focusing on volumes.

Later, Ghosn announces the “Alliance M.O.V.E. 2022”, setting combined targets for Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi to achieve the ongoing target of annual synergies of 10 billion,上海夜网千花Idaleen, euros.

Nissan’s U.S. market share comes in around 9.2 percent, short of its 10 percent target.

Renault posts record operating profit and global sales of 3.76 million units. Operating margins come in around 6.5 percent, little improved from the previous year.

($1 = 0.8813 euros)

($1 = 109.6800 yen)

Chip results augur more tech gloom as slowing China weighs

BEIJING/SEOUL/PARIS ( ) – Somber results from chipmakers SK Hynix Inc (000660.KS) and Texas Instruments Inc (TXN.O), on the heels of warnings from tech behemoths Samsung and Apple, indicate more gloom for the sector as China’s上海夜生活 economy slows to its weakest in decades.

A raft of earnings, analyst notes and market commentary in recent weeks have confirmed th,上海高端夜生活在那里Mace,at a slowdown in the world’s No.2 economy, exacerbated by its crippling trade war with the United States, will continue to squeeze sales and profits at technology companies, at least in the first half of the year.

Chinese woes led to South Korea’s SK Hynix turning in its first quarterly profit decline in two years. The world’s No.2 memory chipmaker, which depends on China for more than a third of its revenue, also said it plans to spend 40 percent less on buying chip equipment this year.

Texas Instruments (TI), supplier of touchscreen controllers, power-management chips and a control device for Apple’s (AAPL.O) iPhones and iPads, reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit, but its revenue missed estimates.

The Dallas-based company said demand in China was weaker than other regions, especially for smartphones, including demand from Chinese smartphone makers.

“We are seeing signs from our customers and the channel that this weakness is primarily from increased caution due to trade tensions,” Dave Pahl, head of TI’s investor relations, said.

“We assume that this weakness is a combination of lower local end-demand as well as reduced exports, but we do not have the visibility to distinguish between the two.”

STMicroelectronics (STM.PA), Europe’s second-biggest chipmaker after Germany’s Infineon Technologies (IFXGn.DE), said it expected first-quarter sales to drop by more than a fifth from the last quarter of 2018.

The Geneva-based company, which supplies sensors to Apple and the automotive industry, is suffering from weaker demand for its mass-market microcontrollers as Asian clients use current inventories rather than placing new orders.

Market data indicates shipments in China, the world’s largest smartphone market, fell about 12 percent last year as consumers held on to their older devices.

Economic growth in the country, which has generated nearly a third of global growth in recent years, slowed to its weakest in nearly three decades in 2018 and is expected to ease further this year.

Smartphone shipments will further dip 3 percent in 2019 to below 400 million for the first time in five years, market research firm Canalys estimates.


Apple was the first to flag anemic Chinese demand for iPhones with a rare cut to its sales outlook earlier thi,上海夜生活怎么玩Cade,s month.

The company, which lost its crown as the world’s top-listed firm after the news, is likely to have cut planned production for the March quarter as well, Nikkei reports.

Samsung Electronics (005930.KS), chip supplier to Apple and Chinese tech giant Huawei [HWT.UL], followed with more bad news – an estimated 29 percent drop in fourth-quarter profit and subdued earnings for the current quarter.

“Demand in the tech industry is going to be weaker than thought in the first half,” Seoul-based Yuanta Securities analyst Lee Jae-yun said.

“Until the first half of 2018, companies were very aggressive about their investment, then that quickly turned conservative from the second half of last year and will continue throughout the first half of 2019.”

The Philadelphia Semiconductor Index .SOX has lost nearly a fifth of its gains since hitting a record high in March 2018, as chip prices fell due to bleak smartphone sales and a push back in spending by data center customers to cut inventories.


Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC) (2330.TW), which l,上海夜哪里艳遇Jace,ast week forecast its sharpest quarterly revenue fall in a decade, said a sudden drop in sales of high-end smartphones has led to an inventory build-up.

Still, the pushout in chip orders is generating optimism that sales will pick up towards the later half of the year.

Dutch chip-tooling company ASML Holding NV (ASML.AS), which serves Samsung, TSMC and Intel (INTC.O), told that Chinese demand for chip manufacturing equipment has not waned.

ASML forecast lower sales for the first quarter, but said it would pick up later.

Things are also expected to get better for Samsung and Hynix, which have been plagued by weak demand from data centers.

STMicro shares jumped nearly 9 percent, making them the top performer on France’s CAC 40 index after its boss delivered an upbeat forecast for the second half of the year.

Huawei, the world’s No. 2 smartphone maker after Samsung, struck an optimistic note on Thursday, saying 2018 sales at its consumer business exceeded a record $52 billion on strong demand for its premium smartphones.

The company, which is facing mounting global scrutiny of its activities, also announced its first 5G base station chipset and said it aimed to unveil its first foldable 5G smartphone next month.

ASML’s American rival Lam Research (LRCX.O), posted better-than-expected quarterly results.

Programmable chipmaker Xilinx’s (XLNX.O) results and outlook beat analysts’ expectations, helped by rollouts and preparation for so-called 5G cell phone networks in South Korea and, to a lesser extent, China and North America.

Final Republican tax bill slashes U.S. corporate rate, voting next…

WASHINGTON ( ) – Congressional Republicans on Friday unveiled the final version of their dramatic U.S. tax overhaul – debt-financed cuts for businesses, the wealthy and some middle-class Americans – and picked up crucial support from two wavering senators ahead of planned votes by lawmakers early next week.

Passage of the biggest U.S. tax rewrite since 1986 would provide Republican lawmakers and President Donald Trump their first major legislative victory since he took office in January. Prospects for approval soared after Republican senators Marco Rubio and Bob Corker pledged support.

Three Republican senators, enough to defeat the measure in a Senate that Trump’s party controls with a slim 52-48 majority, remained uncommitted: Susan Collins, Jeff Flake and Mike Lee.

The final version hammered out between Senate and House of Representatives Republicans after each chamber previously passed competing versions contained no surprises.

It would cut the corporate income tax rate to 21 percent from 35 percent, according to a summary distributed to reporters by congressional tax writers. Corporate tax lobbyists have been seeking a tax cut of this magnitude for many years.

The bill, the summary showed, would create a,上海夜生活怎么玩Hadleigh, 20-percent business income tax deduction for owners of “pass-through” businesses, such as partnerships and sole proprietorships; allow for immediate write-off by corporations of new equipment costs; and eliminate the corporate alternative minimum tax.

Under a new territorial system, the bill would exempt U.S. corporations fro上海夜生活m taxes on most of their future foreign profits. It also sets a one-time tax for companies to repatriate more than $2.6 trillion now held overseas, at rates of 15.5 percent for cash and cash-equivalents and 8 percent for illiquid assets.

If passed by Congress, the changes would be in effect for 2018 taxes, with tax returns for 2017 unaffected.

Democrats have been unified against the measure, calling it a giveaway to corporations and the rich that would drive up the federal deficit.

Bernie Sanders, a leading liberal voice in the Senate who unsuccessfully sought the Democratic presidential nomination last year, called the bill “a moral and economic obscenity.”

“It is a gift to wealthy Republican campaign contributors and an insult to the working families of our country,” Sanders said.

Republicans have said the tax cuts are needed because the economy is not expanding quickly enough. “Now the American people are closer to a plan that will deliver higher wages, lower taxes, a simpler system, and a stronger American economy,” House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy said.

The House was expected to vote on the bill on Tuesday. Republicans have a large majority there, and passage was expected despite Democratic opposition. The bill would then go to the Senate. Republicans can afford to lose only two votes from within their own ranks and still win Senate passage.

The tax bill was expected to add at least $1 trillion to the 20 trillion U.S. national debt over 10 years, making it an unusual example of deficit spending on stimulative tax cuts at a time when the economy is already expanding.

For months, Trump has touted the bill as a middle-class tax cut. Studies from independent analysts and non-partisan congressional researchers have projected that corporations and the rich would benefit disproportionately.

Related CoverageFactbox: What’s in the final U.S. Republican tax billTOP RATE CUT

The Republican bill would maintain the existing seven individual and family income tax brackets with rates of 10, 12, 22, 24, 32, 35 and 37 percent. That top rate, for the highest-earning Americans, would be cut from today’s 39.6 percent.

Republicans abandoned their quest to eli,上海021夜网Barrett,minate the estate tax on inherited assets, a move that would have benefited the richest Americans. But they did propose increasing the exemption for the tax to $10 million from $5 million person.

The bill does not eliminate Wall Street’s so-called carried interest loophole that allows fund managers to claim a lower capital gains tax rate on profits from investments held more than a year. Getting rid of the loophole was a Trump campaign pledge. Instead, the legislation makes it harder for some fund managers to take advantage of the loopholes by requiring them to hold investments for more than three years before claiming it.

Trump, who last year promised voters major tax cuts, wants a bill on his desk before the Dec. 25 Christmas holiday so he can sign it into law and finish 2017 with at least one big win in Congress before the 2018 mid-term election campaigns, when Republicans will defend their Senate and House of Representatives majorities.

Since sweeping to power in Washington in January, Trump and his fellow Republicans have failed to pass major legislation including a promised healthcare overhaul, while Trump’s public approval ratings have remained low. Since last month, Republicans have lost hard-fought elections in Alabama and Virginia.

Stock markets have been rallying for months in anticipation of sharply lower tax rates for corporations, wealthy financiers and business ,上海新夜网龙凤Talon,owners, all of which the bill would deliver.

Wall Street’s three major stock indexes closed at record highs on Friday, driven by corporate tax rates that looked likely to pass.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 0.58 percent to 24,651.74, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 0.90 percent to 2,675.81 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC rose 1.17 percent, to 6,936.58.


As the tax package evolved, it tilted increasingly toward benefiting businesses and the wealthy. Provisions for offsetting the revenue costs of last-minute changes were troublesome for some lawmakers.

Rubio said he would support the bill after its approach to the child tax credit was changed. The bill doubles the credit, meant to help reduce the costs of raising kids, to $2,000 per dependent child under the age of 17, with a refundable portion of $1,400. That refundable portion was raised from $1,100 at the last minute to win Rubio’s backing.

Lee called the change to the child credit “a big win” but stopped short of endorsing the bill until he saw the details.

Corker, a fiscal hawk who opposed an earlier bill that passed the Senate because of its deficit impact, said the final measure was “far from perfect” but he would support it, calling it a “once-in-a-generation opportunity” to help U.S. businesses.

Collins has remained non-committal, in part out of concern about a provision that would repeal the fine imposed under the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, on Americans who do not obtain health insurance.

Flake has said he needs to see all the details before supporting the measure.

The Senate vote outlook has been complicated by Republican Senator John McCain’s hospitalization for treatment for side effects of cancer therapy. His office said he “looks forward to returning to work as soon as possible.”

Vice President Mike Pence has delayed a trip to the Middle East in case his vote is needed to break a Senate tie.

Taco Bell eyes Asia-Pacific to drive overseas expansion

BANGKOK ( ) – U.S. fast food chain Taco Bell plans to double its international footprint with Asian markets as the main driver for overseas growth as awareness about Mexican cuisine grows, a senior executive said on Wednesday.

The Mexican-inspired Yum! Brands (YUM.N) subsidiary, which has 7,000 restaurants in the United States, will bring its overseas store count to “over 500 units this year … (with) a goal of getting to a thousand units internationally in the next few years,” Liz Williams, President of Taco Bell International, told in an interview.

Taco Bell retreated from Singapore in 2009. It returned to Japan in 2015 after withdrawing in the 1980,上海夜生活Jace,s.

“Consume上海夜生活论坛rs weren’t ready in terms of awareness and the brand wasn’t positioned right at the time,” she said.

But thanks to a “heightened awareness” of Mexican food, broader palettes and brand exposure by millennials from more travel and technology, at least half of the new units will come from the Asia-Pacific region, she said.

Taco Bell, which sells tacos and burritos, was also adding new flavors and items for local markets citing that its signature sauce was modified for its new store in Thailand, which will open on Thursday.

“We’ve amped them up significantly,” Williams said, because research showed the sauce was not hot enough for Thai palette.

Vinegar notes were also dialed down, which were said to be unpopular with locals, Williams said.

Taco Bell, with franchise partner Thoresen Thai ,上海021夜网Gabriella,Agencies Pcl (TTA.BK), plans 40 stores in Southeast Asia’s second largest economy by 2022.

Last year it doubled store count in India to 32 and signed two f,上海夜生活群Kai,ranchise agreements for 110 new stores across Australia and New Zealand by 2024.

Netflix forecast misses Wall Street view, shares dip

( ) – Netflix Inc (NFLX.O) forecast first-quarter revenue slightly below Wall Street estimates on Thursday, even after a record quarter for new customers, sending shares of the world’s largest streaming service down 4 percent in after-hours trading.

Investors may have been hoping for more after Netflix announced a price hike for U.S. subscribers earlier this week, usually a sign that demand is strong.

“Results won’t push its stock higher from here, with most of the good news already priced in after a massive rally earlier this month,” said Investing.com senior analyst Haris Anwar.

The company released its massively popular dystopian movie “Bird Box” in late December, which helped attract a record 8.8 million new paid streaming customers in the fourth quarter.

Investors, however, appear to have factored that, and the price hike, into their valuation, pushing Netflix shares up more than 50 percent since late December.

The company has staked its future on global expansion and creating original TV shows and movies to hook new customers and keep them paying monthly subscription fees.

Related CoverageStrap yourself in: Netflix is about to report

But it faces increasing competition from established TV and movie producers such as Walt Disney Co (DIS.N), which has stopped supplying new movies to Netflix in order to stock its own streaming service planned for later this year.

AT&T Inc (T.N) and Comcast Corp (CMCSA.O) also have digital offerings in the works.

“The worry is that international bruise上海夜生活网rs like Disney and Amazon aren’t going to go down without a fight, and both have the financial clout to counterpunch pretty hard,” said George Salmon, an analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown. “The battle for viewers’ eyeballs is only just getting started.”

Netflix Chief Executive Reed Hastings played down such competition in a livestreamed interview after the company’s earnings report, as his company now competes with many rivals.

“Any one provider entering only makes a difference on the margin,” he said.

Netflix said it lost more of its customers’ viewing time to the video game Fortnite than HBO, the premium cable network owned by AT&T.


“Bird Box” became a cultural sensation after its Dec. 21 release on Netflix. The company estimated that 80 million households will have watched the movie starring Sandra Bullock in its first four weeks, sparking a viral reaction online.

The buzz came during the Christmas holiday season, when sales of phones and internet-connected TVs typically lift Netflix subscriptions.

Netflix said its programming now accounts for about 10 percent of television screen time in the United States, a sign of its popularity but also the room for growth. Total paid streaming subscribers reached 139 million worldwide.

It a,上海仙霞路夜生活Kaiden,dded an unprecedented 781 hours of U.S. original programming in the United States during the quarter, according to Cowen & Co analysts, including drama series “Narcos: Mexico” and holiday films such as “The Christmas Chronicles.”

For the fourth quarter, N,上海夜哪里艳遇Queena,etflix reported revenue of $4.19 billion for the quarter that ended in December, slightly below the $4.21 billion that Wall Street analysts had forecast, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

It foreca,上海新夜网龙凤Eason,st first-quarter revenue of $4.49 billion, slightly below analysts’ average estimate of $4.61 billion. It sees net income of $253 million for the first quarter, well below analysts’ average estimate of $371 million.

Wall Street has come to expect fast-growing Netflix to handily beat forecasts. Without a blowout quarter or ambitious forecast, shares fell 4 percent in after-hours trading to $339.40.

Netflix recently traded at about 83 times expected earnings for the next 12 months. By comparison Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) recently traded at about 60 times earnings and the S&P 500 is trading at around 15 times expected earnings. Stocks trading at high earnings multiples are more prone to sell off if growth targets are missed.

Netflix reported earnings of 30 cents per share for the quarter, lower than a year earlier due to higher spending, but above Wall Street analysts’ average estimate of 24 cents, according to Refinitiv.

New Zealand PM says country is not discriminating against Huawei

DAVOS, Switzerland ( ) – New Zealand’s prime minister has assured Chinese telecoms equipment group Huawei Technologies Co Ltd of even-handed treatment after the small U.S. ally blocked the sale of some Huawei equipment citing nationa,上海会所夜网Nadine,l security concerns.

Western intelligence agencies have raised concerns in recent years that Huawei, the world’s largest maker of telecoms network gear, is beholden to the Chinese state, raising the risk of espionage.

Huawei has always denied that Beijing has any influence over it, but last November the New Zealand intelligence agency blocked a local telecoms operator, Spark, from using Huawei equipment to build out its fifth-generation network.

“This is not about a particular vendor,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in an interview on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in the Swiss ski resort of Davos.

“This is about a framework in New Zealand that I think serves us well,” she added, noting that local legislation provided a framework within which Spark and Huawei would have an opportunity to address the security concerns.

The intelligence service has not detailed its concerns and Ardern declined to elaborate on them.

New Zealand is a member of the Five Eyes intelligence group, which also includes the United States, Britain, Australia and Canada. The United States is also seeking to extradite a top Huawei executive from Canada for allegedly seeking to skirt U.S. sanctions against Iran. Huawei has denied wrongdoing.

In a wide-ranging interview, Ardern stressed the importance of free trade and the need to jointly combat climate change, saying nations should look to strengthen international organizations such as the World Trade Organisation.

The 38-year-old, who took power in 2017, has emerged as the fresh f,上海夜生活乌托邦Tamara,ace of multi-lateralism at this year’s Davos summit, an elite gathering that has been hit by the withdrawal of several major world leaders. U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out on the eve of the event because of the U.S. governme,上海夜网千花Faith,nt shutdown.

Ardern made a splash after coming to power, becoming the first New Zealand leader to take maternity leave while in office and earning global headlines last September when she attended the U.N. General Assembly with her baby girl on her lap.

She voiced concern about the impact of the U.S.-China trade dispute on trading nations like New Zealand and said she was focusing on negotiating a free-trade deal with 上海夜生活网the European Union, describing it as an important opportunity.

Her government is also working on the nation’s first “wellness budget”, a document that will not only include fiscal targets but also goals for social improvement in areas like child poverty, domestic violence and mental health.

She had one overriding wish for her daughter, Neve Te Aroha, and other young New Zealanders as they grow up in an uncertain world. “That, no matter what they do in life, they are just happy.”

Flights snarled at U.S. East Coast airports as controllers call in…

NEW YORK ( ) – Hundreds of flights were grounded or delayed at New York-area and Philadelphia airports on Friday as air traffic controllers called in sick hours before President Donald Trump announced an end to the 35-day partial shutdown of the U.S. government.

Trump said on Friday he had reached a deal with U.S. lawmakers for three weeks in stop-gap funding that would end the budget stalemate with Democrats.

The Federal Aviation Administration issued a ground stop for flights destined for New York’s LaGuardia Airport on Friday morning before lifting it just over an hour later. Staff shortages also delayed flights at Newark Liberty International Airport and Philadelphia International Airport, according to the FAA.

Delays had ,上海夜生活服务Jack,impacted about a third of incoming flights to LaGuardia early on Friday, according to the FlightAware tracking service.

The White House had been briefed for weeks on aviation issues during the shutdown and Trump had gotten an update on Friday. Administration and congressional officials said they did not think Friday’s flight disruptions was the deciding factor in ending the shutdown. But it was a mounting concern among administration officials.

Hundreds of thousands of federal workers have been furloughed or, as with some airport workers, required to work without pay, during the shutdown. Some federal agencies have reported much higher absence rates among workers who were working without paychecks.

John Hitt, a 51-year-old lawyer based in Boston, had expected to fly to Milwaukee via LaGuardia on Friday morning to visit his terminally ill aunt, but Delta Air Lines (DAL.N) told him his flight was delayed for at least two and a half hours.

Related CoverageWestJet facing flight delays, cancellations, from disruptions at U.S. airportsDemocrats warn U.S. aviation system is jeopardized by government shutdown

“I’ve had to scratch the trip, eat the cost of a rental car cancellation and now I’m starting over to figure out when I could get there,” Hitt said in a telephone interview. “With the uncertainty now created by the shutdown, it’s making me hesitant to fly.”

Delta said about 200 of its flights were delayed at LaGuardia and other Northeast airports.

Paul Rinardi, president of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, said on Friday the association does not condone employees joining any coordinated activity that compromises safety, but that many controllers have reached “the breaking point.”

Democrats in Congress also said that the system’,上海新夜网龙凤Cadence,s safety would be jeopardized by a continuing shutdown. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Friday that the shutdown was “pushing our airspace to the breaking point.”

FAA air traffic controllers guide the takeoff and landing of planes carrying around two million passengers daily, a job the FAA describes as having zero margin for error.

On Thursday, three major U.S. airlines – American Airlines Group Inc (AAL.O), Southwest Airlines Co (LUV.N) and JetBlue Airways Corp (JBLU.O) – said the impact of the shutdown on their business had so far been limited but was nearing a tipping point.

Airlines for America, an industry trade group, praised the deal to reopen the government. “As we have seen over the past 35 days, the pressures and strains of a shutdown are not sustainable. The di上海夜生活sruptions to passengers, commerce and the economy are not tolerable,” the group said in a statement.

The financial fortunes of airlines are closely tied to the health of the economy. In addition, airlines with hubs in Washington have said they have been losing government business as a result of the shutdown.

Delta said on Friday it had decided to postpone the,上海夜网后花园Lake, debut of its Airbus A220 due to delays in the FAA certification process, while Southwest said the shutdown was delaying its plan to launch service to Hawaii, which also requires FAA approval.

Qatar Airways upgrades Airbus A321 order to include longer range jets

DUBAI ( ) – Qatar Airways has upgraded an existing order for 50 Airbus A321neo jets to include 10 long-range models, as上海夜网 a regional diplomatic rift has forced the airline to fly longer routes.

The airline said on Thursday that 10 of those 50 aircraft would now be the A321LR, to be delivered from 2020.

A321s are the larger version of Airbus’ best-selling A320 narrow-body jet.

The airline said longer range A321s will help it launch flights to new markets where there is currently not enough demand for larger aircraft but which are out of reach of smaller A320s.

State-owned Q,上海夜生活群Idaline,atar Airways has been banned from the airspace of neighboring Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain since June 2017 after those countries cut ties with Qatar.

It is also banned from Egypt’s airspace which also cut diplomatic relations with Qatar.

The airline lost access to 18 cities in those countrie,上海夜网Nadia,s that cut ties. It has had to increase costs by operating longer flights on some routes to avoid the airspace of the four countries. Qatar Airways made a $69 million loss in the year,上海021夜网Barrett, to March 2018, blaming the rift.

Its order for 50 A321neos was made in 2017 when it upgraded an order for 50 A320neo family jets to the larger model.

An order for 50 A321neos would be valued at around $6.4 billion based on the average 2017 list price, according to Airbus’s website, but discounts are common, particularly on large orders.

Qatar Airways also upgraded five A350-900 jets on order to the bigger A350-1000 model in October.

Written by shyw on July 3, 2017 Categories: trlixvgg Tags: , , ,

Democrat Franken to leave Senate on January 2

WASHINGTON ( ) – U.S. Democratic Senator Al Franken, who earlier this month announced his plan to resign following sexual misconduct allegations against h,上海夜生活去哪玩Idaia,im, will step down on Jan. 2, a representative for the lawmaker said on Wednesday.

The 66-year-old former comedian from Min,上海夜生活怎么玩Balthazar,nesota had been seen as a rising star in the Democratic Party, but faced growing calls from fellow Senate Democrats to step down as allegations against him mounted.

Franken is one of several influential men who have lost their jobs after being accused of sexual misconduct, assault or harassment, including Hollywood executive Harvey Weinstein and journalists Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose and Tavis Smiley.

He will be the third lawmaker facing misconduct allegations to depart from Congress following Democratic Representative John Conyers and Republican Representative Trent Franks. Two others, Democratic Representative Ruben Kihuen and Republican Representative Blake Farenthold, have said they will not seek re-election next year.

Franken has den,上海021夜网Gabriella,ied some o上海夜生活网f the allegations against him and questioned others. has not independently verified any of the allegations.

Minnesota’s Democratic governor, Mark Dayton, last week appointed Lieutenant Governor Tina Smith, who is also a Democrat to fill Franken’s seat.

Smith, 59, will serve a one-year term concluding in January 2019, Dayton said, and will run in a special election for the seat next November.

U.S. House transportation panel chair says he will not seek…

WASHINGTON ( ) – Republican Representative Bill Shuster, the ,上海上海夜生活晚上耍女人的地方Jace,chairman of the Transportation Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives, will not run for re-election in November, he said in a statement on Tuesday.

Shuster, 56, who has served in Congress since 2001, said in a statement that he will spend his last year in office “working with President Trump and my Republican and Democratic colleagues in both Chambers to pass a much needed infrastructure bill to rebuild America.”

Trump, who met with Shuster in December to talk about rebuilding U.S. roads and other projects, is expected to unveil an infrastructure proposal later this month.

The administration previously proposed $200 billion in government funding over 10 years as part of a goal of getting $1 trillion in public and private infrastructure spending, but that has been panned by Democrats who want significantly higher government spending fixing roads, bridges and other infrastructure items.

Shuster has championed a plan backed by Trump to privatize the U.S. air traffic control system, but it has faced opposition in ,上海夜网千花Macauly,Congress and was not approved last year.

The Pennsylvania congressman proposed legislation that would make it illegal for an airline to bump an alre,上海仙霞路夜生活Tallulah,ady boarded passenger from a flight. In April, a United Airlines passenger was forcibly removed from his seat, prompting public outrage. The airline banned the practice.

Congress is expected to take up airline reforms this year before the current Federal Aviation Administration authorization expires at the end of March.