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News In Brief


    Mike Pompeo to testify on Russia next week: Senate panel chair

    Washington: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will testify before Congress to discuss Russia next week, the Republican chair of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee told reporters on Tuesday. 

    U.S. Senator Bob Corker did not give a specific date for the hearing, which comes after U.S. President Donald Trump’s summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on Monday. Representatives for the State Department had no immediate comment on the congressional hearing.


    Trump to host European Commission chief on July 25

    Washington: U.S. President Donald Trump will host the head of the European Commission at the White House later this month to discuss trade and other economic issues, the White House said in a statement on Tuesday. 

    Trump and the commission President Jean-Claude Juncker “will discuss a wide range of priorities, including foreign and security policy, counterterrorism, energy security, and economic growth” at the July 25 meeting, according to the statement.


    Fannie, Freddie shares dip after Fed's Powell remarks

    New York: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s stock prices slipped on Tuesday after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told a Senate panel that he thinks it’s important in the longer run the housing financial system be off the government’s balance sheet. 

    In 2008, the government took control of the two mortgage finance agencies in a bailout during the height of the 2007-2009 global financial crisis after Fannie and Freddie’s holding of subprime home loans soured.


    Barings appoints Jonathan Bock as managing director

    Financial services firm Barings LLC said on Tuesday Jonathan Bock will join the firm as a managing director in its global private finance platform. 

    Bock, who will report to Eric Lloyd, Head of Global Private Finance, was a managing director and senior equity analyst at Wells Fargo Securities.


    Vistara in deal for up to ten Boeing 787 Dreamliners

    Farnborough, England: Indian airline Vistara has confirmed an order for six Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, with an option to buy four more, the two companies said at the Farnborough Airshow on Tuesday. 

    The deal for the ten planes would be worth around $2.8 billion at list prices.


    Russia's Novak says gas talks to continue with Ukraine and EU

    Moscow: Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Tuesday that three-way talks with Ukraine and the European Union would continue in the autumn, after he met representatives from Kiev and the European Commission in Berlin. 

    He also reiterated a statement by Russian President Vladimir Putin that Russia was ready to prolong a gas contract with Ukraine that expires on Dec. 31, 2019, once all legal disputes were resolved.


    Iran files suit against US sanctions at World Court

    Amsterdam: Iran has filed a suit against the United States alleging that sanctions imposed by Washington in May violate a 1955 bilateral treaty between the two countries, the International Court of Justice said on Tuesday. 

    The ICJ, or World Court, is the United Nations’ court for resolving disputes. Iran’s filing asks the ICJ to order the United States to provisionally lift the sanctions ahead of more detailed arguments. The next step will be a hearing in which the United States is likely contest to Iran’s request for a provisional ruling, and argue that the ICJ should not have jurisdiction. The court has not yet set any date for further steps.


    CSTPL to install 3 new flight simulators at Gr Noida facility

    CAE Simulation Training (CSTPL) today said it plans to install three new full flight simulators - two for A320 and one for ATR-600 - at its existing facility in Greater Noida to meet the growing demand of its airline partners.

    Set up in 2013, CSTPL is a joint venture between InterGlobe Enterprises , which runs IndiGo and CAE Inc. It has six simulator bays to impart training to over 5,000 aviation professionals from its airline clients, every year, according to a release. The training centre also plans geographical expansion and to cater to the increasing demand, it said adding in the first phase of the expansion drive, a new training facility at Gurugram is currently in development.


    Blue Star bags orders worth Rs 25 cr from AAI, Chennai Metro

    Air conditioning and commercial refrigeration major Blue Star today said it has bagged engineering facility management orders worth Rs 25 crore from the Airports Authority of India (AAI) and the Chennai Metro Rail.

    The company has secured orders from the AAI for operation and maintenance of electrical and mechanical installations for 33 kV new substation and terminal building of LBS International Airport, Varanasi; for operation and maintenance of electrical and mechanical installations of the Coimbatore Int'l Airport and CCSI Airport, Lucknow, a release said. It has also won orders from Chennai Metro Rail for providing facility management services for mechanical electrical and plumbing systems of Chennai Metro, it added.


    Top Senate Democrat urges sanctions, hearings after Trump-Putin summit

    Washington: U.S. Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer called for a bipartisan effort to “ratchet up” sanctions on Moscow following U.S. President Donald Trump’s summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki earlier on Monday. 

    Schumer, speaking at a news conference, also urged Republican congressional leaders to call the U.S. national security team that accompanied Trump to Helsinki to immediately testify before Congress.


    US House may consider new sanctions on Russia: Speaker Ryan

    Washington: U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan on Tuesday said he is willing to consider additional sanctions on Russia, and reiterated his support for U.S. intelligence community findings that Russia interfered in the 2016 election. 

    Speaking to reporters a day after President Donald Trump’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Ryan said if congressional committees believe further sanctions on Russia are necessary, “I’m more than happy to consider those.” “Russia is a menacing government that does not share our interests and it does not share our values,” he said.


    EU's Juncker to visit Trump to talk trade on July 25

    Brussels: European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker will visit U.S. President Donald Trump in Washington on July 25 to discuss strained trade ties between the two.

    “President Juncker and President Trump will focus on improving transatlantic trade and forging a stronger economic partnership,” the Commission said in a statement on Tuesday that announced the date. Trade tensions rose after the United States imposed import tariffs on EU steel and aluminium at the start of June and have increased with Trump’s threat that those tariffs could extend to EU cars.


    Four states sue US to void cap on state and local tax deduction

    New York: Four U.S. states sued the federal government on Tuesday, seeking to void the $10,000 cap on the federal tax deduction for state and local taxes adopted as part of the 2017 tax overhaul. 

    New York, Connecticut, Maryland and New Jersey filed their complaint with the U.S. District Court in Manhattan.


    Trump says NATO is better funded 'only because of me'

    Washington: President Donald Trump on Tuesday took personal credit for the strength of NATO, an organization he has frequently criticized, and cast his recent meeting with ally countries in a positive light. 

    The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is better-funded “only because of me,” said Trump in a tweet. “I had a great meeting with NATO,” he said in the same tweet. “NATO was weak, but now it is strong again (bad for Russia). The media only says I was rude to leaders, never mentions the money!”


    G20 finance ministers to stress trade restrictions hurt everyone: German official

    Berlin: Trade conflicts and possible turbulence on financial markets represent the biggest risks for the economy, a German official said on Tuesday, adding that G20 finance ministers would stress trade barriers were the wrong route at their upcoming meeting. 

    “The escalation of trade conflicts and uncertainty about the future of international cooperation is the biggest risk that we see,” a high-ranking finance ministry official said before a July 21-22 gathering of Group of Twenty finance ministers and central bank chiefs in Buenos Aires. “We’ll say again that trade restrictions can’t be the right answer. They hurt everyone,” the official added.


    Russian banking sector profit hit by bailouts in the first half: Central bank

    Moscow: The overall profit of the Russian banking sector was curtailed in the first half of the year by the authorities having to bail out troubled lenders, the central bank said on Tuesday.

    Russian banks made a combined 634 billion rubles ($10.1 billion) in net profit in the first six months of the year, the central bank said. If it had not had to bail out several lenders, the central bank said the sector would have made 880 billion roubles in net profit in January-June.


    Asda proposes closure of London home shopping center, 261 jobs at risk

    London: Asda, the British supermarket arm of Walmart (WMT.N) that has agreed to be taken over by rival Sainsbury’s (SBRY.L), has proposed the closure of a home shopping center in London, putting 261 jobs at risk, it said on Tuesday. 

    The group said it has entered into a consultation with staff at the facility in Enfield, north London.


    Britain's EU referendum was legitimate, says May's spokesman

    London: Britain’s vote on its EU membership was a legitimate democratic exercise, a spokesman for Prime Minister Theresa May said on Tuesday after the officially designated Brexit campaign group was referred to the police over breaching spending rules. 

    Leave, which campaigned for Brexit, was fined 61,000 pounds on Tuesday for breaching spending rules in the 2016 referendum and referred to the police by the Electoral Commission. “We are very clear that this was a legitimate democratic exercise in which the public delivered its opinion and that that is what we’re going to be delivering on,” the spokesman told reporters.


    Start-up backed by JetBlue founder commits to 60 Airbus A220 jets

    Farnborough, England: European planemaker Airbus (AIR.PA) said on Tuesday a U.S. airline start-up backed by investors including JetBlue (JBLU.O) founder David Neeleman had signed a provisional deal to buy 60 Airbus A220-300 aircraft. The memorandum of understanding was signed at the Farnborough Airshow in southern England. 

    Airline Weekly reported last month that Neeleman planned to buy 60 A220 planes, former known as the Bombardier CSeries, for a new airline that it said was tentatively called Moxy.


    Wall Street opens lower as Netflix weighs

    New York: U.S. stocks opened lower on Tuesday, as Netflix’s sharp drop following weak subscriber growth weighed on consumer discretionary stocks and as investors awaited Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s Congressional testimony. 

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI fell 30.44 points, or 0.12 percent, at the open to 25,033.92. The S&P 500 .SPX opened lower by 9.09 points, or 0.32 percent, at 2,789.34. The Nasdaq Composite .IXICdropped 53.74 points, or 0.69 percent, to 7,751.98 at the opening bell.   


    G20 finance ministers to stress trade restrictions hurt everyone: German official

    Berlin: Trade conflicts and possible turbulence on financial markets represent the biggest risks for the economy, a German official said on Tuesday, adding that G20 finance ministers would stress trade barriers were the wrong route at their upcoming meeting.

    “The escalation of trade conflicts and uncertainty about the future of international cooperation is the biggest risk that we see,” a high-ranking finance ministry official said before a July 21-22 gathering of Group of Twenty finance ministers and central bank chiefs in Buenos Aires. “We’ll say again that trade restrictions can’t be the right answer. They hurt everyone,” the official added.


    US industrial production rebounds in June

    Washington: U.S. industrial production increased in June, boosted by a sharp rebound in manufacturing and further gains in mining output, the latest sign of robust economic growth in the second quarter.

    The Federal Reserve said on Tuesday industrial production rose 0.6 percent last month after a downwardly revised 0.5 percent decline in May. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast industrial production rising 0.6 percent last month after a previously reported 0.1 percent dip in May.


    Ford India celebrates 1-mln customer milestone

    Ford India today said it has sold one million cars in the country since its entry in 1998.

    The Chennai-based company said its one-millionth customer is from New Delhi who took delivery of Freestyle, a compact utility vehicle today. "We are proud and excited to reach 1 million customers here and remain indebted to our customers for their faith and trust," said the American auto maker which since 1998 has invested over USD 2 billion in the country. Ford sells the Endeavour, Fiesta, Figo and EcoSport among other models in the country.


    Sambandh gets $2.5 mln from overseas fund

    Sambandh Finservem which has Sidbi as an achor investor, today said it has received USD 2.5 million equity infusion from Base of Pyramid Asia, which will help the company to expand its operations, apart from providing resources to bring in new technologies.

    Sambandh is presently working in 20 districts of Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand. Earlier in March, Sidbi and Dia Vikas Capital existing institutional investors have reposed their faith by participating in a round of equity as well. Coming together of Sambandh and the new investor will help it achieve the long-term goals of building a sustainable financial institution with best global practises and help it translate into holistic impact at the grassroots, the company said in a statement.


    ATR delivers 1,000th twin-engine turboprop ATR 72 plane

    European regional jet maker ATR today delivered the 1,000th twin-engine turboprop ATR-72 plane, amid growing demand for the smaller aircraft particularly in the emerging markets including India.

    The 1,000th ATR-72 plane was delivered to India's largest carrier by domestic market share IndiGo, Franco-Italian aircraft manufacturer said in a release. "We are proud of delivering the 1,000th ATR-72 aircraft, as it underlines the many advantages it provides to airlines when it comes to ensuring essential connectivity and exploring new business opportunities," said Christian Scherer, chief executive officer, ATR. IndiGo has already inducted 10 ATR-72s in its fleet.


    Airbus appoints Ashish Saraf as head of India helicopter biz

    Mumbai: European aviation major Airbus today announced the appointment of Ashish Saraf as the head of its helicopter division in India.

    Saraf, whose appointment is effective from July 1, took over from Xavier Hay, who leaves India after six years to take over new responsibilities, the company said in a release. Since 2015, Saraf had been serving as the vice president industry development, strategic partnerships and offsets at Airbus India, focusing on 'Make in India' initiatives aimed at enhancing the company's industrial footprint, it added.


    US dollar ends cheaper against rupee

    Mumbai: The US dollar ended cheaper against the rupee at 68.45/46 per dollar and the pound sterling also finished lower at Rs 90.39/41 at the close of the Interbank Foreign Exchange (forex) market here today.

    Following are the Interbank forex and FBIL rates: (In Rs per unit) Unit Interbank FBIL Reference US Dollar 68.45/46 68.2978 Pound Sterling 90.39/41 90.5160 Euro 80.16/18 80.1006 Japanese yen (100) 60.84/8660.78


    WDM witnesses trade worth Rs 1,310.00 cr on NSE

    Mumbai: Wholesale debt market segment of the National Stock Exchange today witnessed a total turnover of Rs 1,310.00 crore in 31 trades.

    Top securities (nn-repo) traded at the WDM were: The 8.19 per cent Government security maturing in CG2020 traded value of Rs 475.00 crore at weighted yield of 7.43 per cent, the 6.35 per cent Government security maturing in CG2020 traded value of Rs 225.00 crore at weighted yield of 7.39 per cent and the 7.17 per cent Government security maturing in CG2028 traded value of Rs 75.00 crore at weighted yield of 7.75 per cent, an NSE release said.


    Polish PM: Strengthen NATO's eastern flank in response to Russia

    Warsaw: Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Tuesday that NATO’s eastern flank needed to be strengthened in response to Russia’s aggressive policy.

    “NATO’s eastern flank needs to be strengthened because Russia’s aggressive policy has not, unfortunately, ended,” Morawiecki told a news conference as he commented on U.S. President Donald Trump’s Monday meeting with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.  “This aggression hasn’t diminished in any way. President Trump must have come to the same conclusions,” Morawiecki said.


    Goldman Sachs names David Solomon as CEO to replace Blankfein

    Goldman Sachs Group Inc named David Solomon as its next chief executive officer on Tuesday, replacing Lloyd Blankfein who will step down on Sept. 30. 

    Blankfein will step down as chairman at the end of the year and will accept the title of senior chairman after his retirement, the bank said.


    Funds cut global equity holdings, cite trade war risk: BAML poll

    London: Fund managers have cut equity allocations to the lowest level since November 2016, with 60 percent of investors seeing a trade war as the biggest risk for markets, Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s (BAML) latest monthly poll showed on Tuesday. 

    The bank’s July 6-12 survey of funds managing $663 billion worldwide showed a 14 percentage point cut in equity exposure to a net 19 percent overweight, the lowest level since the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States.


    UK PM May's spokesman says Trump's meeting with Putin does not undermine transatlantic alliance

    London: A spokesman for British Prime Minister Theresa May said the outcome of President Donald Trump’s meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on Monday does not undermine the strength of the transatlantic alliance. 

    Asked whether Trump’s comments after the meeting had undermined the alliance, the spokesman said: “no.”


    IAG adds two more long-haul planes for budget unit Level

    Farnborough, England: IAG (ICAG.L), the owner of British Airways and Iberia, has committed to two more A330-200 long-haul planes for its new budget unit Level, Airbus (AIR.PA) said on Tuesday. 

    Level currently plans to operate five A330 jets this year on its long-haul operations from Barcelona and Paris, and Airbus said the two additional planes would be delivered in 2019.Level, set up last year, has so far focussed on long-haul flights, but on Tuesday starts its first short-haul flight from Vienna to London.


    Goldman Sachs profit rises 44 percent

    Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) reported a 44 percent rise in second-quarter profit on Tuesday, driven by strength in its investment banking and fixed income trading businesses. 

    The fifth-largest U.S. bank by assets said net earnings applicable to shareholders rose to $2.35 billion, or $5.98 per share, in the second quarter ended June 30, from $1.63 billion, or $3.95 per share, a year earlier. Analysts on average had forecast earnings per share of $4.66, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S data. It was not immediately clear if the estimate was comparable with the reported numbers.


    China's top steel city extends pollution measures until July 21

    Beijing: Tangshan, China’s top steel city, has extended recent emergency pollution control measures until July 21 because a smog warning for the area may reach its second-highest level, according to a document seen by Reuters and a source familiar with the matter. 

    The measures, which include the closure of some sintering plants and output curbs on coke and cement factories, came into force on July 13.


    IDBI Bank board approves up to 51% stake sale in the bank to LIC

    New Delhi: IDBI Bank board approves up to 51% stake sale in the bank to LIC, says sources.


    BJP appoints Anurag Thakur its chief whip in Lok Sabha

    New Delhi: The BJP today appointed Anurag Thakur, its MP from Hamirpur in Himachal Pradesh, as the party's chief whip in the Lok Sabha, party sources said.   

    Thakur replaces Rakesh Singh, who was recently made Madhya Pradesh BJP president and is busy with election strategy in the poll-bound state. Thakur, a key voice of the party in the Lower House, was president of the BJP's youth wing.


    Johnson & Johnson's quarterly profit rises 3.3 percent

    Johnson & Johnson reported a 3.3 percent rise in quarterly profit on Tuesday, as higher sales of cancer drugs Zytiga and Darzalex helped offset pressure on its blockbuster rheumatoid arthritis treatment Remicade.

    The healthcare conglomerate’s net earnings rose to $3.95 billion (3 billion pounds), or $1.45 per share, in the second quarter, from $3.83 billion, or $1.40 per share, a year earlier. Sales rose to $20.83 billion from $18.84 billion.


    Air Lease announces order for 75 Boeing 737s, 3 787-9 widebodies

    Farnborough, England: U.S. airplane leasing firm Air Lease Corp announced on Tuesday a commitment to order 75 Boeing 737 MAX single-aisle aircraft and three 787-9 widebodies.

    Air Lease said it has flexibility for taking MAX 8 and 9 variants and expects to take delivery between 2020 through 2024.


    MUFG Investor Services adds executives in London office

    MUFG Investor Services, the asset servicing arm of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc (8306.T), said it had appointed Oliver Scully as head of EMEA sales and David Sarfas as global head of private equity.

    Both Scully and Sarfas join from Citco Fund Services, a subsidiary of Citco Group, and they would be based in London.


    Vanguard names Gregoire Blanc senior ETF capital markets specialist

    Vanguard Asset Management Ltd, a subsidiary of Vanguard Group Inc, said it had appointed Gregoire Blanc as senior ETF capital markets specialist. 

    Blanc joins from Lyxor Asset Management. Vanguard manages $5.0 trillion on behalf of more than 20 million investors worldwide.


    Aluminium rises 0.11 pc on high demand

    New Delhi: Aluminium prices edged higher by 0.11 per cent to Rs 141.55 per kg in futures trade today as speculators raised bets, driven by pick-up in demand in the spot market.     

    At the Multi Commodity Exchange, aluminium for delivery in July edged up by 15 paise, or 0.11 per cent, to Rs 141.55 per kg in a business turnover of 75 lots. Likewise, the metal for delivery in August was trading higher by 5 paise, or 0.04 per cent, at Rs 141.50 per kg in 2 lots. Analysts said widening of positions by participants following uptick in demand from consuming industries in the physical market, mainly attributed the rise in aluminium prices at futures trade.


    Spices maintain steady trend in listless trade

    Mumbai: An overall steady trend was seen in an otherwise listless spices market here today in the absence of any worthwhile buying activity.

    Following are today's closing rates (in Rs) with previous rates in brackets: Black pepper (per kg) 350/400 (350/400), ginger unbleached (per kg) 165 (165), copra office Alappuzha (per quintal) 11,800 (11,800), copra office Kozhikode (per quintal) 11,700 (11,700), copra Rajapur Mumbai (per quintal) 19,600 (19,600), copra edible Mumbai (per quintal) 15,100 (15,100).


    South Korean military helicopter crash kills five, injures one

    Seoul: A South Korean military helicopter crashed during a test flight on Tuesday in the southeastern city of Pohang, killing five people and injuring one, the Marine Corps said. 

    The craft crashed from a height of about 10 m (33 ft) on a runway at a key Marine Corps base where U.S. and South Korean marines hold annual military drills, and a fire broke out, it said in a statement.  Five of those aboard were killed and the sixth was taken to hospital, it said, adding that the military would set up a panel to determine the cause of the crash.  No further details were immediately available.


    FBIL sets rupee reference rate at 68.2978 against dollar

    Mumbai: The Financial Benchmarks india private limited (FBIL) today fixed the reference rate of the rupee at 68.2978 against the US dollar and 80.1006 for the euro. The corresponding rates were 68.5877 and 80.2526, yesterday.

    According to an FBIL statement, the exchange rates for the pound and the yen against the rupee were 90.5160 and 60.78 per 100 yens, respectively, based on reference rates for the dollar and cross-currency quotes at noon. The SDR-rupee figure will be based on this rate, the statement added.


    Aurelius Equity Opportunities makes board changes

    Aurelius Equity Opportunities SE & Co KGaA (AR4G.DE), a mid-market investor, said it has appointed Matthias Taubl to its board with responsibility for operations at the same time. 

    Taubl has spent a decade at the company and in the new role, he will be responsible for the realignment of portfolio companies. The company also said Donatus Albrecht will step down from its board, effective Aug. 1, and will look after the group-wide M&A strategy of all business areas of the Aurelius Group.


    Haryana Governor given additional charge of Himachal

    Shimla: Haryana Governor Kaptan Singh Solanki on Tuesday was given the additional charge of Himachal Pradesh, as the incumbent Acharya Devvrat is visiting the US. 

    Solanki would discharge "the functions of the Governor of Himachal Pradesh, in addition to his own duties" during Devvrat's absence, an official communique said. Solanki was administered the oath of office by the High Court's acting Chief Justice Sanjay Karol at a ceremony here. Devvrat's visit will conclude on August 2.


    UnitedHealth quarterly profit rises 28 percent

    UnitedHealth Group Inc (UNH.N), the largest U.S. health insurer, reported a rise of nearly 28 percent in quarterly profit on Tuesday, driven by growth across its businesses.

    The company’s net earnings attributable to shareholders rose to $2.92 billion, or $2.98 per share, in the second quarter ended June 30, from $2.28 billion, or $2.32 per share, a year earlier.Total revenue rose to $56.09 billion from $50.05 billion.


    Swami Agnivesh beaten up in Jharkhand, 20 detained

    Ranchi: Social activist Swami Agnivesh was attacked and beaten up by suspected supporters of the Bharatiya Janata Party Yuva Morcha (BJYM) in Jharkhand's Pakur district on Tuesday, leaving him shaken. 

    Police said the 78-year-old was attacked when he was going to participate in the 195th Damin Mahotsav at Littpara. The incident occurred just when he stepped out of his hotel. The attackers first shouted slogans and showed black flags and later thrashed him even as he fell on the ground and his aides did their best to protect him. The police detained 20 of the attackers.


    BoE's Carney: no deal Brexit would be 'material event' for interest rates

    Farnborough, England: Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said on Tuesday it would be a “material event” for interest rates if Britain leaves the European Union next year without a deal to smooth its departure. 

    “Our job is to make sure we are as prepared as possible,” Carney told lawmakers at a parliamentary hearing held at an air show in Farnborough, southern England. Carney said he could not predict which direction rates would move in the event of a no-deal Brexit. It was too soon to judge the government’s proposals for Brexit published earlier this month, Carney said.


    Syrians who approached Israeli Golan frontier walk back towards refugee encampments

    Golan Heights: Dozens of Syrians who approached Israel’s frontier fence on the Golan Heights on Tuesday in an apparent attempt to seek help or sanctuary, began walking back towards nearby refugee encampments after being warned off by the Israeli military. 

    “Go back before something bad happens. If you want us to be able to help you, go back,” an Israeli officer on the Israeli side of the frontier told the crowd in Arabic through a megaphone. “Get a move on.”


    SC reserves verdict on pleas challenging constitutional validity of section 377 of IPC

    New Delhi: SC reserves verdict on pleas challenging constitutional validity of section 377 of IPC which criminalises consensual gay sex.


    Russia central bank says latest sanctions dented ruble

    Moscow: The Russian ruble would have been firmer by 2-4 percent as of end-June if not for the latest round of U.S. sanctions imposed in April and the threat of more to come, the central bank said on Tuesday.

    The central bank also said inflationary expectations among investors in Russian government bonds increased in June, which could have been linked to the decision to lift value-added tax from next year. Investors now see annual inflation some 40 basis points higher than earlier thought until 2023, the central bank said in a report on banking sector liquidity.


    IAG to expand long-haul network from Vienna with budget brand Level

    Vienna: British Airways parent IAG plans to expand its long-haul network from Vienna with its new budget brand Level, its Chief Executive Willie Walsh said on Tuesday.

    “One of the reasons we chose the Level brand to operate from Vienna (is) that we are looking for opportunities to further expand long-haul flights,” Walsh said at a news conference in Vienna, adding that a decision had not been taken yet. Level will initially provide low-cost flights between Vienna and destinations in Europe.


    UN seeks access to Nicaragua prisons, asks fate of missing activists

    Geneva: The United Nations human rights office called on the Nicaraguan government on Tuesday to provide information on two activists missing since they were detained at the airport last week and to open all prisons to monitors. 

    It called for a halt to violence that has taken 280 lives in three months, “overwhelmingly perpetrated” by the Nicaraguan state and loyal armed elements, U.N. human rights spokesman Rupert Colville told a news briefing. A law passed on Monday has a broad definition of terrorism, raising concern it could be used against people simply exercising their right to protest, he said.


    62 militants killed in Afghan airstrikes

    Kabul: At least 62 militants were killed in airstrikes in Afghanistan's Kandahar province, a military official said on Tuesday. 

    "The Army aircraft targeted Taliban hideouts in Maroof district in the past 24 hours during which the militants including a key commander were killed," the official told Xinhua news agency.


    Syrian civilians approach Israeli frontier fence in Golan Heights

    Golan Heights: Dozens of people walked on Tuesday from Syrian refugee encampments on the Golan Heights to Israel’s nearby frontier fence, where they stopped some 200 metres (yards) away and were ordered by an Israeli soldier to turn back. 

    “You are on the border of the State of Israel. Go back, we don’t want to hurt you,” the soldier shouted in Arabic through a loudspeaker at the crowd, live Reuters TV footage showed. The Syrian army is pressing a Russian-backed offensive against rebels in the area.


    Hyundai Motor India to hike GRAND i10 prices

    New Delhi: Automobile major Hyundai Motor India (HMIL) on Tuesday said that it will hike the prices of its "GRAND i10" by up to 3 per cent due to increase in input and material costs. 

    According to the company, the revised prices will be implemented from August 2018.


    Bombardment in Syria's southwest kills at least six as Damascus keeps up assault: Monitor

    Beirut: Heavy bombardment killed at least six people in a village in southwestern Syria on Tuesday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported, as the Syrian government pressed a Russian-backed offensive in the area. 

    UOSSM, a medical charity that operates in the area, said a barrel bomb dropped by government forces had killed more than 10 people in the village, Ain al-Tineh, most of them women and children. Ahmad al-Dbis, UOSSM safety and security manager, said another 35 people had been wounded in the attack which he said had hit a school. The casualties had fled to the village from nearby parts of the southwest, where government forces have been waging an offensive for one month.


    India prepared to impose 'safeguards' if steel imports rise: Govt source

    New Delhi: India is planning to impose “safeguards” on steel imports if the volumes coming into the country increase beyond a certain level, a government source said in New Delhi on Tuesday. 

    India, which was a net exporter of steel until March 2018, saw a rise in imports since the beginning of fiscal year 2018/19, making it a net importer for the first two months of the fiscal year, according to government figures. The source did not specify the measures that would make up the safeguards but said steps were under discussion.


    Ashok Leyland first-quarter profit tops expectations

    India’s Ashok Leyland Ltd reported a better-than- expected first quarter net profit on Tuesday, driven by higher sales in its medium and heavy commercial vehicles business.

    Net profit rose to 3.70 billion rupees ($54.13 million) in the quarter ended June 30 from 1.11 billion rupees a year ago. The year-earlier quarter included a foreign exchange loss of 26.7 million rupees. Analysts on average had expected 3.54 bn rupees for the latest reported quarter, according to Thomson Reuters data. Revenue from operations increased about 38% to 62.50 bn rupees, while domestic sales of medium & heavy commercial vehicles rose 60%. 


    Amplats, PIC invest $200 million in platinum venture funds

    Johannesburg: South Africa’s Anglo American Platinum has invested $100 million in two venture capital funds focused on increasing demand for platinum group metals, it said on Tuesday.

    The investment in the two UK-based funds, managed by AP Ventures, will be matched by a similar commitment from the South African state pension fund, the Public Investment Corporation. “Developing the market for PGMs is a strategic priority for Anglo American Platinum and this investment with AP Ventures is a key initiative,” Anglo American Platinum said in a statement.


    Earthquake of magnitude 6 strikes off Vanuatu in South Pacific: USGS

    Singapore: An earthquake of magnitude 6 struck north of the South Pacific island nation of Vanuatu on Tuesday, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) said.

    There was no immediate tsunami warning or any reports of damage or casualties from the quake, which hit at a depth of 73 km (47 miles) about 474 km (295 miles) north of Vanuatu’s island of Santo, the USGS said.


    Fined Vote Leave group says no evidence of wrongdoing in Brexit campaign

    London: Vote Leave, the officially designated pro-Brexit campaign group in the 2016 referendum, said there was no evidence of any wrongdoing after Britain’s Electoral Commission on Tuesday fined and referred it to the police for spending breaches.

    “The Electoral Commission’s report contains a number of false accusations and incorrect assertions that are wholly inaccurate and do not stand up to scrutiny,” a spokesman for Vote Leave said in a statement. He accused the Commission, which said Vote Leave has resisted its investigation and committed serious breaches of the law, of being motivated by a political agenda and said the group was confident that the findings would be overturned.


    Protesters gather at entrance to Iraq's Zubair oilfield: Police

    Basra, Iraq: About 250 protesters gathered at the main entrance to Iraq’s giant Zubair oilfield on Tuesday, police said, amid growing unrest in southern cities over poor public services and corruption. 

    Officials at the field, run by Italy’s Eni, said production operations were running normally.


    Arbuthnot Banking's first-half profit rises, to set up secured lending business

    Britain’s Arbuthnot Banking Group Plc (ARBB.L) reported a jump in first-half pretax profit and said it would set up a specialist secured lending unit to provide short-term secured loans to property businesses and entrepreneurs. 

    Arbuthnot, which has its roots in 185-year-old private and commercial bank and wealth manager Arbuthnot Latham, said pretax profit increased to 3.5 million pounds ($4.6 million) from 2.5 million pounds a year earlier.“In line with our diversification strategy we have also reached an agreement with an incoming management team to establish a new lending division that will be named Arbuthnot Specialist Lending,” Chairman Henry Angest said.


    TalkTalk adds 80,000 customers in first-quarter, guidance unchanged

    London: Britain’s TalkTalk (TALK.L) added 80,000 net broadband customers in its first quarter helped by demand for its fixed low price plans, which grew to 2.1 million subscribers in spite of the first wave coming to the end of their contracts.

    The company, which said the additions took its customer base to 4.22 million at the end of June, said on Tuesday its guidance of 15 percent year-on-year growth in headline core earnings for the year was unchanged.


    Carige CEO to remain if he can press on with plan agreed with ECB: Paper

    Milan: Paolo Fiorentino, Carige CEO, told daily Il Sole 24 Ore he would remain at the helm of the Italian bank only if he could press on with a restructuring plan agreed with the European Central Bank, which foresees a merger in a reasonable time.

    Genoa-based Carige (CRGI.MI) has been dogged by governance issues which investment bankers say complicates its search for a merger partner.The bank’s top shareholder and Deputy Chairman Vittorio Malacalza had resigned on Monday as director due to ongoing disagreements with the board over the management of the lender and its governance.



    SC condemns mob lynching, asks Parliament to make law

    New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday condemned mob lynching incidents across the country and asked Parliament to make a law to curb this crime.


    Mexico's Damojh says steep take-off caused Cuba plane crash

    Mexico City: Mexican aviation company Damojh said on Monday a very steep take-off angle led one of its planes to crash in Cuba in May, killing 112 people, according to black boxes retrieved from the wreckage. 

    “The crew led the plane to take off with a very pronounced ascent, creating a lack of lift that caused the aircraft to plunge as a result,” the company said in a statement. The May 18 accident just outside Havana prompted Mexico’s civil aviation authority to suspend Damojh’s operations while it looked into the firm and investigated the causes of the crash.  The little-known company had leased the Boeing 737 that crashed to Cuba’s flagship carrier Cubana.


    China state planner approves $39 billion in fixed-asset investment projects in first-half

    Beijing: China’s state planner said on Tuesday it has approved 102 fixed-asset investment projects in the first half of this year, worth a combined 260.3 billion yuan ($39 billion). 

    Yan Pengcheng, spokesman for the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), did not give further details on the projects approved.  In a separate statement, the NDRC also said it approved a high-speed railway project in the north-central Ningxia region worth 12.87 billion yuan ($1.93 billion).


    UK junior defence minister resigns, votes against government: BBC

    London: British junior defence minister Guto Bebb resigned after voting against a government-backed amendment on the customs bill, part of plans for Britain’s exit from the European Union, BBC news reported on Monday. 

    Bebb, minister for defence procurement, voted against the amendment that will stop Britain collecting tariffs for the European Union after Brexit unless there is a reciprocal arrangement.  It was narrowly approved by parliament on Monday with the government’s support.


    UK government wins approval for customs bill in lower house of parliament

    London: British Prime Minister Theresa May won approval from the lower of house of parliament on Monday for a law designed to create an independent customs policy after Brexit.

    Lawmakers in the House of Commons voted 318 to 285 in favour of the customs legislation, known as the Taxation (Cross-Border Trade) Bill, which will allow the government to levy duties on goods after leaving the European Union.  The bill must also be passed by the House of Lords to become law.


    Amazon suffers glitch during summer marketing event Inc (AMZN.O) on Monday said it was working to fix a technical issue that had prevented some shoppers from placing orders during the company’s summer marketing event, Prime Day.

    The company’s shares were down more than 1 percent in after-hours trading. In a statement, the world’s largest online retailer said many shoppers were ordering items successfully despite the glitch.



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