• in ,

    Airbus is cutting 15,000 jobs because of the pandemic

    Airbus will cut about 15,000 jobs, or more than 10% of its workforce, over the next 12 months as it comes to terms with a plunge in demand for new aircraft due to the travel crisis caused by the pandemic.

    The company said in a statement on Tuesday that it was responding to a 40% drop in activity in its commercial aircraft business in recent months, and expectations that the recovery will be slow.

    It had already placed more than 6,000 workers in the United Kingdom and France on government-funded furlough programs back in April.

    “Airbus is grateful for the government support that has enabled the company to limit these necessary adaptation measures,” it said. “However with air traffic not expected to recover to pre-Covid levels before 2023 and potentially as late as 2025, Airbus now needs to take additional measures to reflect the post Covid-19 industry outlook.”

    Airbus (EADSF) is at the heart of the European aviation industry. Based in France but with production facilities in Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom, the company has 134,000 employees around the world and competes with Boeing (BA) to supply planes to airlines.

    The job losses will fall most heavily in France and Germany, with about 5,000 positions going in each country. The United Kingdom will lose 1,700 jobs, Spain 900 and the remainder will be cut at other sites around the world.

  • UK will honor passport promise to eligible Hong Kong residents

    The United Kingdom said Wednesday it would offer a path to citizenship for eligible Hong Kong residents and condemned China’s new security law as a threat to the city’s freedom.

    UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said in an on-camera interview that after “carefully” assessing the contents of the new national security law, it constitutes “a clear violation of the autonomy of Hong Kong, and a direct threat to the freedoms of its people.”

    He said it was therefore “a clear and serious violation” of the Sino-British Joint Declaration, which laid the groundwork for the city’s handover from British to China in 1997 and stated that Hong Kong’s existing system of government would remain in place for 50 years.

    China’s central government on Tuesday night imposed a sweeping national security law that critics say has stripped the city of its autonomy and precious civil and social freedoms, and cements Beijing’s authoritarian rule over the territory.

    Hundreds turned out on Wednesday — the 23rd anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong from British rule to China — to protest the legislation in the busy shopping district of Causeway Bay,They were met with a heavy security presence and at least 300 people were arrested.

    Hong Kong Police announced in a tweet that nine of those arrested, five men and four women, were held on suspicion of violating the national security law.

  • in ,

    Beyond Meat is coming to Alibaba's grocery stores in China

    Beyond Meat (BYND) is on a roll in China.

    The plant-based protein maker unveiled a new partnership on Wednesday with Chinese tech giant Alibaba (BABA), which will bring Beyond Burgers to supermarket shelves in mainland China for the first time.

    Alibaba is kicking off the deal by rolling out the products in 50 of its Freshippo stores in Shanghai, the company’s futuristic supermarkets where customers use an app to order food and buy groceries. 

    The tie-up marks Beyond Meat’s first placement in supermarkets in mainland China, where it first launched in April with a big starbucks tie-up. Prior to that, the company’s goods were available in Hong Kong.

    “We know that retail will be a critical part of our success in China, and we’re pleased to mark this early milestone within a few months of our market entry,” CEO Ethan Brown said in a statement. “Expanding into retail is the natural next step in building our market presence.”

    Alibaba is the latest big-time partner Beyond has won in mainland China, a vast market that is seen as vital for the US company’s growth.

    In its latest earnings call in May, Brown said that Beyond had recently set up a Chinese-language website, as well as accounts on local social media platforms such as Tenccent (TCEHY)’s WeChat, to spread the word about its debut there.

    Last month, Beyond  said it would bring its products to some of the country’s most popular fast food chains, including KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell. 

  • in ,

    Defiance and fear as Hong Kong settles into new normal after China-backed l

    If Beijing thought a new national security law would guarantee a quiet birthday for Hong Kong, it was mistaken.

    As the city marked 23 years of Chinese rule Wednesday, and less than 24 hours under the new reality of the national security law — which criminalizes secession, subversion, terrorism, and collusion with foreign forces — thousands of people defied a police ban to take to the streets.

    While they were nowhere near the size of previous July 1 protests, there was disruption and disorder in at least four districts, tying up thousands of police officers and causing traffic chaos. Police said around 370 people were arrested Wednesday, including 10 people under the new national security law.

    In a statement, a Hong Kong government spokesman said that “some people possessed and waved flags and printed materials containing the words of ‘Hong Kong independence,’ and chanted slogans of ‘Hong Kong independence’.”

    “These people are suspected of inciting or abetting others to commit secession,” the spokesman said. Such a charge could carry a term of life imprisonment, and a minimum 10 years behind bars for principal offenders, or three years for those who “actively participate” in the offense. One of those arrested was a 15-year-old girl.

  • in ,

    India bans TikTok as tensions with China escalate

    India is banning TikTok and several other well-known Chinese apps, saying they pose a “threat to sovereignty and integrity,” in the latest indication of escalating tensions between the two countries.

    India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology said in a statement Monday that it had received many complaints about misuse and transmission of user data by some mobile apps to servers outside India.

    “The compilation of these data, its mining and profiling by elements hostile to national security and defence of India, which ultimately impinges upon the sovereignty and integrity of India, is a matter of very deep and immediate concern which requires emergency measures,” the ministry said, listing 59 apps including many prominent Chinese ones that will be subject to the ban.

    While the Indian government’s statement did not mention China by name, the ban comes as military tensions between the two countries continue to escalate following deadly border clashes earlier this month that left at least 20 Indian soldiers dead. Many Indians have called for a boycott of Chinese goods and services, particularly from China’s dominant tech industry.

    “There has been a strong chorus in the public space to take strict action against apps that harm India’s sovereignty as well as the privacy of our citizens,” the government added. Other popular Chinese apps on the list include the video game Clash of Kings, messaging app WeChat, social network Weibo and photo app CamScanner.

  • in ,

    Internet cut off in Ethiopia after death of singer-activist

    Internet access was cut across Ethiopia on Tuesday amid national protests over the shooting death of singer and activist Hachalu Hundessa.

    Hachalu, a prominent figure in the Oromo ethnic group, was shot Monday night at the Gelan Condominiums area of the capital Addis Ababa, according to state broadcaster EBC citing the Addis Ababa police commissioner, Getu Argaw.

    On Tuesday, images of protesters in the capital and in Oromia region circulated on social media and the US Embassy in Ethiopia released a security alert saying the embassy was “monitoring reports of protests and unrest, including gunfire, throughout Addis Ababa.”

    Demonstrators also protested the singer’s death in front of the US embassy, the alert said, describing the situation as “volatile at this time.”

    A blanket shutdown

    Netblocks, an internet-monitoring NGO, reported that internet “has been cut across most of Ethiopia from just after 9am local time on Tuesday.”Ethiopia’s government has previously been accused of shutting down internet and telecom serives during elections and periods of unrest.

     Ethio Telecom, the country’s only telecoms provider, is a government-owned monopoly.Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed tweeted condolences to Hachalu’s family and friends on Tuesday, adding that an investigation is underway but urged his citizens to keep the peace.

  • in ,

    Tensions between China and India are spilling over into global business

    Rising tension between India and China is leading to hiccups in international trade, the suspension of business deals and calls for a boycott of Chinese goods and citizens.

    This week, trade organizations said that Chinese shipments were suddenly being held up at Indian checkpoints, highlighting growing strains in a vital trading relationship after the countries clashed in a deadly border battle more than a week ago.

    The India Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA) — which represents Apple (AAPL) and Foxconn, among other companies — complained to India’s Ministry of Finance on Tuesday that all electronic imports from China were being scrutinized at ports in India “without prior warning.”

    “There was refusal to clear followed by delays, and now, talk about 100% examination,” ICEA chairman Pankaj Mohindroo wrote in a letter to the ministry. “The logistics of seamless movement is in total disarray.”

    The timing is especially stressful because businesses have already been suffering from production snags and other disruptions due to the coronavirus pandamic, noted Mohindroo. He estimated that the sector “has only recovered to less than 40% of normalcy.”

    “In the normal dispensation, goods are cleared automatically without examination,” Mohindroo wrote. “We have just begun to limp back to normal after a massive set of losses for three months — and now this.”

  • in ,

    Amazon giving $500 million in one-time bonuses to front-line workers as a &

    Amazon is giving out more than $500 million as a “Thank You bonus” to front-line workers who were with the company throughout the month of June, a move that comes after the e-commerce giant eliminated a $2 hourly wage bump and double overtime pay for frontline workers at the end of May.

    “Our front-line operations teams have been on an incredible journey over the last few months, and we want to show our appreciation with a special one-time Thank You bonus totaling over $500 million,” said Amazon (AMZN) senior vice president of worldwide operations Dave Clark in a note about the bonuses.

    The one-time bonus amounts vary. Full-time employees of Amazon, Amazon-owned Whole Foods, or drivers for delivery service partners will get $500; part-time employees or drivers will get $250; front-line leaders at Amazon and Whole Foods will get $1,000; and delivery service partner owners, who help get packages to customers, will get $3,000. Drivers for Amazon Flex who worked more than 10 hours in June will get $150.

    Amazon has seen soaring demand during the pandemic as people stay home and look to its products and services as a lifeline for household essentials. But it has also become the subject of increased scrutiny concerning the workplace conditions of its warehouses, which include 110 fulfillment centers across North America with 400,000 employees. 

  • in ,

    Boeing's biggest hit to orders yet: Norwegian cancels 97 jets

    Norwegian Air Shuttle canceled orders for 97 Boeing jets, the largest cancellation by a single Boeing customer since the grounding of the 737 Max 15 months ago.

    But the canceled orders, announced Monday, were due to Norwegian’s financial problems, not the problems with the jet. The Max had its first test flight by FAA pilots Monday, one of the final steps it will need before it is approved tp carry passengers again.

    Financial problems at Norwegian Air predate the coronavirus pandemic that caused a sharp drop in air travel and trouble for airlines around the globe. It was seeking a debt restructuring in September of last year. Its shareholders approved a reorganization plan in May to convert nearly $1 billion in debt to equity, a move that allowed it to avoid bankruptcy.

    Norwegian’s canceled orders represent all of its unfilled jet orders from Boeing — 92 737 Max jets and five 787 Dreamliners.

    There was a time that Norwegian, one of the world’s largest discount carriers, was one of Boeing’s major customers. It was the first European airline to buy the 737 Max when it agreed in 2012 to buy 100 of the planned jet and an additional 22 of the earlier versions of the 737. At the time Boeing put the list price of that 122 plane purchase at $11.5 billion, though with an order that size there is no way that Norwegian was paying full list price.

  • in ,

    Kim Kardashian West's KKW cosmetics line is worth $1 billion

    Coty is doubling down on the Kardashians. After buying kylie jenner’s beauty business  last January, Coty (COTY) announced on Monday that it would acquire a 20% stake in KKW, Kim Kardashian West’s cosmetics line, for $200 million. The deal values KKW at $1 billion — slightly less than the $1.2 billion valuation of Jenner’s company, Kylie Cosmetics.

    Under the agreement, Kardashian West would retain creative control of the company, while leveraging her more-than 300 million social media followers for “products and communications initiatives.”

    “This relationship will allow me to focus on the creative elements that I’m so passionate about while benefiting from the incredible resources of Coty,” Kardashian West said. The deal, which is expected to close in the third quarter of 2021, is the latest development in a newsy month for Coty.

     Earlier in June, the company fired CEO Pierre Laubies and replaced him with chairman Peter Harf — its fourth chief executive in four years.It also announced a series of layoffs in 2019, and a $3 billion writedown for brands it acquired from Procter & Gamble (PG) in 2015.

  • in ,

    Fauci warns new coronavirus cases could rise to 100,000 a day

    Coronavirus task force member Dr. Anthony Fauci issued a stark warning on Tuesday to lawmakers on Capitol Hill, telling them he wouldn’t be surprised if the US sees new cases of coronavirus rising to a level of 100,000 a day.

    “We are now having 40-plus thousand new cases a day. I would not be surprised if we go up to 100,000 a day if this does not turn around and so I am very concerned,” Fauci told the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee during a hearing on the pandemic on Tuesday.

    Fauci expressed dismay over people congregating in crowds and not wearing masks and inadequate attention being paid to guidelines on reopening.

    “We’re going to continue to be in a lot of trouble, and there’s going to be a lot of hurt if that does not stop,” he said.

    The urgent message came during a hearing on the latest efforts by the US government to contain the pandemic, as several states struggle to contain the virus amid rising cases and state reopenings. The US reported more than 40,000 new Covid-19 cases on Friday, its biggest daily jump yet.

  • in ,

    Hong Kong is about to be governed by a law most residents have never seen

    China’s new national security legislation for Hong Kong was written and passed behind closed doors, without the consultation of the city’s local government or legislature. 

    It reportedly came into force on June 30, potentially rewriting the city’s legal system — despite the fact the overwhelming majority of residents have no idea of what precisely it will entail.

    According to reports in Communist Party-controlled media, the law is expected to criminalize offenses such as secession, subversion against the central Chinese government, terrorism, and colluding with foreign forces. 

    But hours after its reported passage, details remain vague, capping a particularly opaque process that has left analysts and activists guessing.

    Speaking at a weekly press conference Tuesday morning, the city’s leader Carrie Lam initially refused to answer questions about the law, saying it was “inappropriate for me to comment.” Hours later she later defended it in a video speech to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, saying it will restore stability and prosperity to Hong Kong.

  • in ,

    Trump defends honoring racists in monument debate

    As American institutions remove symbols or names tied to racist ideology, they have found a consistent opponent in president Donald Trump.

    From Confederate statues to airports named for a movie star who once said he believed in white supremacy, the President has decried steps that would strip racists of their monuments and memorials — siding instead with those who would keep the honors intact.

    It’s a stance increasingly out of step with public opinion and with the direction taken by other onetime bastions of white conservation culture, such as NASCAR.

     As the country engages in a renewed reckoning about race and history, aides have said Trump’s defiance on the issue reflects his adamance that “heritage” and “history” are winning sentiments for the voters who propelled him to the White House and who he believes will grant him a second term.

    Yet Trump’s own actions have muddled the idea that his motives are purely about preserving American history. As he denounces the changes to racist monuments, Trump voiced encouragement — inadvertently, according to aides — to a group of his supporters, one of whom shouted, ”white power”

  • in ,

    Formula 1 cancels races in Azerbaijan, Singapore, Japan

    Formula One races in Azerbaijan, Singapore and Japan were canceled on Friday because of issues arising from the coronavirus pandemic.

    The sport’s governing body said it still hopes to deliver up to 18 races in the rearranged 2020 season, with the first eight already confirmed starting with a double-header in Austria in early July.

    The Azerbaijan Grand Prix was due to be rescheduled after the postponement of its original race date on June 7, while the Singapore Grand Prix was scheduled for Sept. 20.

    Both use street circuits, and the FIA said the long lead times required to construct them “made hosting the events during a period of uncertainty impossible.”

    The Japanese Grand Prix, scheduled for Oct. 11, was canceled because of ongoing travel restrictions during the pandemic.

    “We are confident in our plans to have between 15-18 races by the time our season concludes in Abu Dhabi in mid-December,” the FIA said, adding that it expects to publish the finalized calendar before the season-opening race in Austria on July 5.

  • in ,

    The Facebook ad boycott is starting to rattle investors

    After several days of largely shrugging off news about a growing Facebook advertiser boycott, investors now appear to be taking notice.

    Shares of Facebook (FB) fell nearly 3% in early trading Monday, before rebounding, after big brands such as Starbucks (SBUX), Coca-Cola (CCEP) and Hershey’s said they would pause spending on the social media platform over concerns about its handling of misinformation and hate speech.

    The dip comes after Facebook’s stock ended Friday down 8% on news that Unilever, the massive household goods company, would halt advertising on Facebook and Twitter (TWTR) for the rest of the year. (Twitter stock saw a similar decline on Friday.)

  • in ,

    The Facebook ad boycott is starting to rattle investors

    After several days of largely shrugging off news about a growing Facebook advertiser boycott, investors now appear to be taking notice.

    Shares of Facebook (FB) fell nearly 3% in early trading Monday, before rebounding, after big brands such as Starbucks (SBUX), Coca-Cola (CCEP) and Hershey’s said they would pause spending on the social media platform over concerns about its handling of misinformation and hate speech.

    The dip comes after Facebook’s stock ended Friday down 8% on news that Unilever, the massive household goods company, would halt advertising on Facebook and Twitter (TWTR) for the rest of the year. (Twitter stock saw a similar decline on Friday.)

  • in ,

    Adele needs you to calm down about a new album

    The lack of music festivals didn’t stop Adele from enjoying one.

    The singer posted over the weekend in honor of what was to have been the Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts, which last year was held from June 26 to June 30.She threw it back to her performance there in 2016 with a photo of her show, adding a smiley face emoji in the caption.

    She followed that up with a set of photos, the second of which showed her donning the Chloe gown she wore for her set at the music festival while watching said set.

    “5 ciders in,” Adele wrote in the caption.

    The now photo shows the newly svelte singer, blurry, and seemingly enjoying her show.

    Naturally, Adele posting about music made people wonder when she’ll be releasing some new tunes.

  • in ,

    Bahrain Bourse daily trading performance

    Bahrain All Share Index has closed at 1,277.71 points marking an increase of 0.51 points above the previous closing.

    This increase was due to the rise  in the Commercial Banks Sector and Services Sector.

    Bahrain lslamic Index has closed at 595.65 points marking a decrease of 0.56 points below the previous closing.

    Results indicated that 49 equity transactions took place with a volume of 2,938,254 worth BD 275,354.

    Investors traded mainly in the Investment Sector representing  %52.38 of the total value of securities traded.

  • in ,

    HH Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad receives Prime Minister's Court Undersecreta

    Representative of His Majesty the King for Humanitarian Work and Youth Affairs, National Security Advisor and Chairman of the Supreme Council for Youth and Sport (SCYS) His Highness Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa received today Prime Minister’s Court Undersecretary Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid bin Khalifa Al Khalifa.

    HH Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa welcomed Shaikh Mohammed, wishing him success in assuming his responsibilities after being appointed as Prime Minister’s Court Undersecretary. He also lauded Shaikh Mohammed’s administrative experience and discussed with him ways of boosting joint cooperation mainly in the sport and youth fields.

  • in ,

    Macron pledges billions for climate after Greens make gains

    French President Emmanuel Macron, who once declared “Make The Planet Great Again” but whose climate agenda got knocked off course by street protests, is under new pressure to fight climate change after the Green Party did well in Sunday’s local elections.

    France’s Green party and its left-wing allies made significant gains in the second round of voting, capturing cities such as Lyon, Strasbourg and Besançon, said an AP report.

    On Monday, Macron promised 15 billion euros ($16.7 billion) in new climate-related financing after meeting with a citizens’ group that he convened earlier this year in response to criticism that he wasn’t doing enough to battle climate change.

    The citizens’ group gave him a new list of climate proposals drawn from an ambitious report it compiled, which includes recommendations on fighting CO2 emissions by weening the French off solo car rides and proposing alternatives such as electric cars, as well as capping the harmful effects of air travel.

    Travel produces 30% of greenhouse gases in France.

    The yellow vest economic justice protests that brought France to its knees for months in 2018 and 2019 knocked some of Macron’s green agenda off track as it was triggered by opposition to a new fuel tax that he planned to help fund the climate fight.

  • in ,

    Airbus sees output down 40% for two years

    Airbus plane output will be 40% lower for two years compared to pre-crisis plans, its chief executive said in remarks published on Monday, underscoring the threat to jobs as it draws up rapid restructuring plans due to a travel slump.

     On June 3. Airbus was looking to hold underlying jet output at 40% below pre-coronavirus pandemic plans for two years as the basis for the restructuring, Reuters reported

     “For the next two years – 2020/21 – we assume that production and deliveries will be 40% lower than originally planned,” CEO Guillaume Faury said, saying output would return to normal by 2025.

     Airbus has till now said it was cutting output by a third on average.

     The latest figures do not imply any immediate new production cut after Airbus reduced output by between 33% and 42% to new output levels that it plans to keep under review.

     Industry sources say the 40% cut in core or “single-aisle equivalent” output is expected to drive a widely anticipated restructuring of the company’s workforce, details of which Airbus has promised to announce by the end of July.

     The sources have predicted phased cuts of between 14,000 and 20,000 jobs based on the production targets.

     Union officials said the plans could be set out as early as Wednesday, when Airbus has called an emergency session at the end of two days of union meetings.

  • in ,

    PM Minnis begs Bahamians to stay home, warns against non-essential travel a

    NASSAU, BAHAMAS – With confirmed cases of COVID-19 seeing a resurgence in country’s worldwide in recent weeks, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis yesterday begged Bahamians and residents to reconsider any non-essential travel abroad and encouraged domestic travel instead.

    “I want to make a very strong plea to Bahamians and residents considering or planning to travel overseas for nonessential travel — to not go overseas at this time,” Minnis said, during a national address ahead of the country’s reopening on July 1.

    “If you are thinking of traveling for non-essential or non-emergency reasons, please, I beg you, stay at home at this time. Please stay at home.

    “A number of the cities and areas Bahamians and residents like to frequent in neighboring countries and cities are experiencing a dramatic rise in COVID-19 cases. Many of these are hotspots where this very contagious virus is widespread.”

    The  prime minister warned if Bahamians travel to those areas and visit malls, shops, restaurants, and other establishments, they could catch the virus and bring it to The Bahamas, risking the possibility of another community spread

    “Let me be as clear as I can,” Minnis said, “Your actions can damage the health of others and your actions could help worsen our economy if we have to lockdown again.”

    As of yesterday, there have been over 9.8 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide, including 495,760 deaths.

  • in ,

    Bahamasair scraps social distancing on flights

    NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Bahamasair chairman Tommy Turnquest said yesterday the airline has joined carriers such as American Airlines and United Airlines in scrapping social distancing protocols on flights, telling Eyewitness News that it was both impractical and unprofitable.

    Turnquest said: “A month ago we were talking about not using the middle seats on the jets and then the question was what do you do with the ATRs which are only two seats across. On a 70 seater you lose 35 seats and on a 50 seater you lose 25 seats as opposed to a jet where you lose a third of the seats.

     It just wasn’t profitable. We would be going along with all the other protocols in terms of PPEs, ensuring everyone wears a mask, the screening and so forth but we will not be able to physical distance on the plane. Six weeks ago that wasn’t the thinking but the airline industry has come out with a different approach,” said Turnquest.

    He added, “The seats are only 18 inches apart and it’s very difficult to get three to six feet as suggested. The airline industry decided that there would not be any social distancing on the airlines. This was essentially industry wide.”

     American Airlines recently indicated that it will ditch social distancing and book its flights at full capacity, a move United Airlines has also announced.

  • in ,

    Why meat processing plants have become Covid-19 hotbeds

    In the picturesque market town of Llangefni on the Welsh island of Anglesey, almost all the shops are closed and the town is empty amid the ongoing lockdown.

    The local Aldi and Lidl stores are being avoided by locals due to their proximity to the 2 Sisters poultry processing plant that was forced to close down after an outbreak of coronavirus. Two hundred workers have since tested positive for Covid-19.The concern felt by those who know workers at the plant is common. This outbreak took place in just one of many factories that have seen serious outbreaks of Covid-19 across the world in recent months. In Cleckheaton, northern England, 165 workers tested positive for Covid-19 at the Kober meat factory. And in Germany, authorities were forced to quarantine 360,000  people this week after an outbreak in a meat plant in Guetersloh in the western state of North-Rhine Westphalia. In the United States, dozens of food processing facilities had to suspend operations over the disease earlier this year.There have been so many outbreaks in meat packing factories around the world that scientists are now examining whether the environment inside the plants could be part of the problem. “We can all speculate, but I think there are three things that pop up: these people work very, very closely together, it’s cold in there and it’s humid,” said Dr. Thomas Kamradt, an immunologist and professor at the University Hospital at Friedrich-Schiller University in Jena, Germany.

  • in ,

    Suspect shot dead and six hospitalized after stabbing in Glasgow city cente

    Six men were hospitalized and a male suspect shot dead by armed police during a major incident in the city center of Glasgow, Scotland, in which an officer was reportedly stabbed.

    Six men were hospitalized and a male suspect shot dead by armed police during a major incident in the city center of Glasgow, Scotland, in which an officer was reportedly stabbed.

    Police Scotland Assistant Chief Constable Steve Johnson said police responded to a report of an incident at the Park Inn hotel on West George Street at 12:50 p.m. Friday local time (7:50 a.m. ET).”Officers were on the scene within two minutes, and armed officers shortly afterward, and the incident was quickly contained,” he said.

    “A man was shot by armed police and has died. Six other men are in hospital for treatment, including a 42-year-old police officer, who is in a critical but stable condition. The officer’s family is aware.”The other men in hospital are aged 17, 18, 20, 38 and 53. Liaison officers have been appointed. 

    “Our thoughts are with the families of those who were injured, including our officer.”Johnson said the incident was not being treated as terrorism and the investigation is continuing, but he added that there was “no wider risk to the public.”

    Dozens of police vehicles, along with fire trucks and ambulances, attended the scene. Armed police were seen entering a building next to the hotel.

  • in ,

    Mexico City security chief injured in shooting and 3 others killed

    Mexico City’s secretary of public security, Omar Garcia Harfuch, was wounded and three others were killed during a shooting early Friday morning, said Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum on Twitter moments after the attack.

    A woman and two police officers died in attack on Garcia Harfuch’s motorcade, Sheinbaum said.Garcia Harfuch is in good condition and recovering at a hospital, according to Sheinbaum. Following the attack, Garcia Harfuch said on Twitter that he believed the attack was perpetrated by the Jalisco Nueva Generacion drug cartel (CJNG).

    “This morning we were cowardly attacked by the CJNG. Two colleagues and friends of mine lost their lives. I have three bullet-wounds and several shards. Our Nation must continue to confront the cowardly organized crime.

     We will continue working,” he wrote.However, Mexican Secretary of Security Alfonso Durazo said hours later that the cartel’s involvement “is one of the hypotheses in the investigation.”The SUV that Garcia Harfuch was riding in was hit by .50-caliber gunfire, Sheinbaum said during a news conference Friday afternoon.

    Police have detained 12 suspects, according to the office of the Mexico City Attorney General.Security camera footage obtained by CNNE shows the moment when two vehicles — one of them a large truck — and at least 10 men intercepted the security secretary’s caravan and opened fire using high-caliber weapons.

  • in ,

    Mastercard and Visa reportedly reconsidering their relationship with Wireca

    Mastercard and Visa are reconsidering whether to allow Wirecard to continue processing payments on their networks, following the fintech company’s massive accounting scandal, according to a report from Bloomberg Thursday.

    Mastercard (MA) and Visa (V) have informed some Wirecard clients that the firm’s access to their payment networks could be revoked, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

    Neither credit card company commented directly on the report, but both said they are following the situation closely. The loss of two of the biggest payment networks in the world would be yet another blow to Wirecard, which earns revenue by helping businesses process payments from customers.

    “We continue to closely monitor developments and assess new information as it becomes available,” a Visa spokesperson said in an emailed statement. “Our priority is, and will always be, maintaining the integrity of the Visa payments system and protecting the interests of consumers, merchants and our clients.”

    Likewise, Mastercard said in a statement that it is tracking the Wirecard news. “Our priority is ensuring people are able to continue to use their cards. We will continue to work with all parties and stand ready to take any necessary action,” Mastercard said.

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