05/26/2019

Renault in team-up talks with Fiat Chrysler: reports

The Wall Street Journal said the talks were “wide-ranging” and could include Renault and Fiat Chrysler “joining large portions of their businesses” (MIGUEL MEDINA)Paris (AFP) – French carmaker Renault is in talks with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles with the long-term prize a world-leading alliance includ

05/26/2019

Champions League broadcaster BT calls up extra viewers

BT is making European competitions a free-for-all (Paul ELLIS )London (AFP) – Millions of UK-based football fans will tune in to watch the finals of Europe’s elite club competitions this week — and not only because all four competing teams are English.Telecoms and pay-TV group

05/26/2019

Istanbul’s musical ferry can be a soulful experience

Musicians like Oguzhan Erdem (C) who plays the ney, keyboard player Eren Koc (L) and guitarist Zafer Saka(R), now play on Istanbul’s commuter ferries (BULENT KILIC)Istanbul (AFP) – It’s already one of the world’s most original commutes — the ferry trip between Istanbul’s European and Asian sides giv

05/26/2019

Five economic challenges for India’s Modi

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi faces a number of economic challenges as he begins his second term (PRAKASH SINGH)Mumbai (AFP) – With Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party securing a landslide win in the Indian elections, AFP looks at the key economic chal

05/26/2019

High stakes for enclave as Europe’s biggest casino goes bust

The casino dominates the tiny Italian enclave of Campione d’Italia, which depended on it as its main source of income (Fabrice COFFRINI)Campione d’Italia (Italy) (AFP) – Campione d’Italia, a tiny Italian enclave on the shores of Switzerland’s Lake Lugano, is fighting for its survival after its main

05/26/2019

China digs in for protracted trade fight with US

China is digging in for a long and protracted trade war with the US (TEH ENG KOON)Beijing (AFP) – China is digging in for a tough period of deteriorating ties with the United States, fanning the flames of patriotism with Korean War films, a viral song on the trade war, and editorials lambasting Wash

05/26/2019

Modi kept his job, Indians worry about theirs

The 60 students at the government-sponsored ‘skill development’ classes are all from poor families (Prakash SINGH)New Delhi (AFP) – Asad Ahmed, one of about 1.2 million young Indians entering the cutthroat job market each month, diligently scribbles notes at a computer class in New Delhi.While natio

05/26/2019

‘Don’t be too optimistic’: Huawei employees fret at US ban

Huawei’s Ren Zhengfei said the company has a hoard of microchips (FRED DUFOUR)Beijing (AFP) – While Huawei’s founder brushes aside a US ban against his company, the telecom giant’s employees have been less sanguine, confessing fears for their future in online chat rooms.Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei decl

05/26/2019

As US sports betting expands, leagues fight for their cut

Now bets like the more than 400 proposition bets for Super Bowl LI between the Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots displayed here in January 2018 at Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino will be accepted in other US states (Ethan Miller)New York (AFP) – One year after the US Supreme Court

05/25/2019

EU vote faces new covert digital threats: report

The Institute for Strategic Dialogue warned that “new actors are taking advantage of the lawlessness of the internet” to sow discord and potential political mayhem, fingering populist parties, far-right cyber militias and religious groups (Philippe HUGUEN)Paris (AFP) – New players are exploiting int

05/25/2019

Novartis gets US approval for $2.1 million gene therapy

Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis has received US regulatory approval for a gene therapy that has a price tag of $2.1 million (SEBASTIEN BOZON)Washington (AFP) – Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis on Friday announced it had received US regulatory approval for a gene therapy that treats a rare

05/25/2019

Pound bobs around May resignation, stocks mostly gain

The pound’s fate now hinges on who comes next (Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS)New York (AFP) – The British pound bounced around Friday after Prime Minister Theresa May announced her resignation, while global stocks mostly recovered following a rout in the prior session on US-China trade tensions.Sterling sank b

05/25/2019

Brazil economy minister threatens to quit over pension reform

Brazilian Economy Minister Paulo Guedes, pictured speaking to President Jair Bolsonaro in January 2019, threatened to quit over the country’s stalled pension reform (EVARISTO SA)Rio de Janeiro (AFP) – Brazil’s economy minister threatened to quit over the country’s stalled pension reform in an interv

05/24/2019

WHO praises Brazil lawsuit against tobacco giants

Brazil has sued British American Tobacco (BAT), Philip Morris International and their Brazilian subsidiaries, saying they should pay for costs of treating tobacco-related diseases (PATRIK STOLLARZ)Rio de Janeiro (AFP) – The World Health Organization has praised Brazil’s move to sue two global cigare

05/24/2019

Mexico confirms economy shrank in Q1, in blow to ‘AMLO’

A worker pulls a cart at the “Central de Abasto” wholesale market in Mexico City on January 14, 2019 (ALFREDO ESTRELLA)Mexico City (AFP) – Mexico’s economy contracted by 0.2 percent in the first quarter of the year, revised government data confirmed Friday, a rough start for new President Andres Man

05/24/2019

Fake Facebook accounts: the never-ending battle against bots

Facebook’s crackdown on “inauthentic” activity has resulted in the blocking of some three billion account creations over a six-month period (LOIC VENANCE)Washington (AFP) – The staggering figure of more than three billion fake accounts blocked by Facebook over a six-month period highlights the chall

05/24/2019

Parent of French retail giant on the ropes after hedge fund fight

The parent company of French grocery chain Casino has filed for bankruptcy protection to restructure a three billion-euro debt load (ROMAIN LAFABREGUE)Paris (AFP) – The parent company of French grocery chain Casino insisted Friday that there would be no consequences for some of the country’s best-kn

05/24/2019

Pound wobbles as May resigns

The pound’s fate now hinges on who comes next (Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS)London (AFP) – The British pound wobbled Friday after Prime Minister Theresa May announced her resignation, while stock markets mostly rebounded as US President Donald Trump offered an “olive branch” to China in their trade war, deale

05/24/2019

Chinese carriers seek compensation for Boeing 737 Max groundings

Air China Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes on the apron after after being grounded at Beijing Capital Airport. China’s three biggest airlines have filed claims seeking compensation from Boeing over the grounding (GREG BAKER)Shanghai (AFP) – China’s official airline association said Friday it will help 13 mem

05/24/2019

One year on, EU’s GDPR sets global standard for data protection

The EU has billed the GDPR as the biggest shake-up of data privacy regulations since the birth of the web (ARUN SANKAR)Paris (AFP) – The EU’s strict data laws have set the global benchmark for protecting personal information online since coming into force a year ago, but some worry that many users h

05/24/2019

Pound wobbles as May resigns; stocks rally on Trump olive branch

British Prime Minister Theresa May’s resignation failed to move the markets much, with analysts saying the widely-expected move was priced in (Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS)London (AFP) – The British pound wobbled Friday following Prime Minister Theresa May’s widely-expected resignation, while stock markets mo

05/24/2019

US ambassador snubs top Russia forum over investor’s arrest

US Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman, pictured next to President Vladimir Putin, will not attend a major economic forum in Saint Petersburg next month (Pavel Golovkin)Moscow (AFP) – The US Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman will boycott Russia’s annual showcase economic forum in Saint Petersburg next

05/24/2019

Rights and obligations under EU’s data protection rules

The EU’s data protection regulation brought about changes for companies as well as users (Lars Hagberg)Paris (AFP) – The EU’s stringent data protection rules have bolstered the rights of European citizens and imposed new responsibilities on companies since coming into force a year ago.Here is an exp

05/24/2019

China slams US ‘lies’ about Huawei-government ties

Huawei has been thrust at the centre of escalating tensions between Beijing and Washington (HECTOR RETAMAL)Beijing (AFP) – Beijing on Friday accused the United States of spreading “lies” about Huawei after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the telecom giant was not being truthful about its ties to