More carmakers caught in headlights of VW engine-rigging scandal

More carmakers caught in headlights of VW engine-rigging scandal
Volkswagen has admitted it installed illegal software into 11 million 2.0 liter and 3.0 liter diesel engines worldwide (AFP Photo/Josh Edelson)

Volkswagen emissions scandal

Missing MH370 likely to have disintegrated mid-flight: experts

Missing MH370 likely to have disintegrated mid-flight: experts
A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 commercial jet.

QZ8501 (AirAsia)

Leaders see horror of French Alps crash as probe gathers pace

"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration Lectures, God / Creator, Religions/Spiritual systems (Catholic Church, Priests/Nun’s, Worship, John Paul Pope, Women in the Church otherwise church will go, Current Pope won’t do it), Middle East, Jews, Governments will change (Internet, Media, Democracies, Dictators, North Korea, Nations voted at once), Integrity (Businesses, Tobacco Companies, Bankers/ Financial Institutes, Pharmaceutical company to collapse), Illuminati (Started in Greece, with Shipping, Financial markets, Stock markets, Pharmaceutical money (fund to build Africa, to develop)), Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) Souls, Women, Masters to/already come back, Global Unity.... etc.) - (Text version)

… The Shift in Human Nature

You're starting to see integrity change. Awareness recalibrates integrity, and the Human Being who would sit there and take advantage of another Human Being in an old energy would never do it in a new energy. The reason? It will become intuitive, so this is a shift in Human Nature as well, for in the past you have assumed that people take advantage of people first and integrity comes later. That's just ordinary Human nature.

In the past, Human nature expressed within governments worked like this: If you were stronger than the other one, you simply conquered them. If you were strong, it was an invitation to conquer. If you were weak, it was an invitation to be conquered. No one even thought about it. It was the way of things. The bigger you could have your armies, the better they would do when you sent them out to conquer. That's not how you think today. Did you notice?

Any country that thinks this way today will not survive, for humanity has discovered that the world goes far better by putting things together instead of tearing them apart. The new energy puts the weak and strong together in ways that make sense and that have integrity. Take a look at what happened to some of the businesses in this great land (USA). Up to 30 years ago, when you started realizing some of them didn't have integrity, you eliminated them. What happened to the tobacco companies when you realized they were knowingly addicting your children? Today, they still sell their products to less-aware countries, but that will also change.

What did you do a few years ago when you realized that your bankers were actually selling you homes that they knew you couldn't pay for later? They were walking away, smiling greedily, not thinking about the heartbreak that was to follow when a life's dream would be lost. Dear American, you are in a recession. However, this is like when you prune a tree and cut back the branches. When the tree grows back, you've got control and the branches will grow bigger and stronger than they were before, without the greed factor. Then, if you don't like the way it grows back, you'll prune it again! I tell you this because awareness is now in control of big money. It's right before your eyes, what you're doing. But fear often rules. …

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Sales of e-bikes take off, as do internet bike sales, says ABN Amro

DutchNews, May 30, 2018


Dutch consumers are buying more e-bikes and increasingly fewer traditional bikes, according to a study published on Wednesday by ABN Amro

Sales of e-bikes soared by 75% over the past seven years and one-third of all new bicycles are now powered by a battery,  the study said. Sales of traditional bikes, meanwhile, have fallen back 37% since 2010. 

ABN Amro is forecasting bike sales 3% higher in 2018. 

More bikes are also being sold online. In 2013, fewer than one in 10 bikes was bought online but that has now risen to over 25%. 

The total Dutch bike fleet is probably over 22.7 million by now – 1.3 bikes for every man, woman and child in the country –  roads lobby group Bovag said recently. 

‘We can’t give exact numbers because bikes don’t have number plates and are not registered centrally,’ a spokesman said.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

MH370 search to end next week: Malaysian minister

Yahoo – AFP, Patrick Lee, May 23, 2018

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared in March 2014 with 239 people onboard
while en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing (AFP Photo/Manan VATSYAYANA)

Kuala Lumpur (AFP) - The search for flight MH370 will end next week, Malaysia's transport minister said Wednesday, more than four years after the plane disappeared and triggered one of the world's greatest aviation mysteries.

The Malaysia Airlines jet vanished in March 2014 with 239 people -- mostly from China -- on board, en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

No sign of the jet was found in a 120,000 square kilometre (46,000 square mile) sea search zone and the Australian-led hunt, the largest in aviation history, was suspended in January last year.

After pressure from family members, the former Malaysian government struck a deal with US exploration firm Ocean Infinity to restart the search in January on the condition it would only be paid if the Boeing 777 or its black boxes were found.

The firm stood to make up to $70 million if successful but did not find any sign of the jet despite scouring the seabed with some of the world's most hi-tech search equipment.

Malaysia's Transport Minister Anthony Loke, part of the new government that came to power following May 9 elections, said the hunt was officially meant to finish in April but had been extended, and would come an end next week.

"The search will continue until May 29," he told reporters.

Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad had said earlier that the contract with Ocean Infinity was being reviewed, as his administration seeks to cut costs after accusing the allegedly corrupt former regime of leaving the public finances in bad shape.

Grace Nathan, a Malaysian lawyer whose mother Anne Daisy was on the plane, said the news was not a surprise but said the government should leave the "no find, no fee" offer on the table in case a company wants to take on the search in future.

Relatives of passengers of MH370 urged the Malaysian government to undertake 
a "comprehensive review" of all matters related to the plane's disappearance 
(AFP Photo/Manan VATSYAYANA)

"We can't tell (the government) what to do but for me and the families... finding the plane is important for many reasons," she told AFP.

'Comprehensive review'

In a letter to the new administration released before the end of the search was announced, Voice370 -- a group representing families of those on the plane whose members include Nathan -- urged the government to undertake a "comprehensive review" of all matters related to the plane's disappearance.

It also called for "an investigation into any possible falsification and/or elimination of records related to MH370".

The new hunt was in an area of about 25,000 square kilometres in the southern Indian Ocean, north of the former search area.

The ship conducting the hunt, Seabed Constructor, was a Norwegian research vessel carrying 65 crew, including two members of the Malaysian navy as the government's representatives.

It used eight autonomous drones, equipped with sonars and cameras, that scoured the waters for wreckage and can operate in depths up to 6,000 metres (20,000 feet).

Only three confirmed fragments of MH370 have been found, all of them on western Indian Ocean shores, including a two-metre wing part known as a flaperon.

The jet's disappearance stands as one of the most enduring aviation mysteries of all time and has spawned a host of theories, with some blaming a hijacking or even a terror plot.

Mahathir himself revived one of the many conspiracy theories in March when he suggested the plane could have been taken over remotely to foil a hijacking.

Earlier this week, Australian investigators defended their findings that the plane was out of control when it plunged into the ocean, after a theory that a rogue pilot deliberately ditched the jet was revived in a book by a Canadian air crash investigator.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

China says to cut auto import tariffs on July 1

France24 – AFP, 22 May 2018

The tariffs cut comes after China earlier this year also announced plans
to liberalise foreign ownership limits in the auto sector

China will cut tariffs on most imported cars to 15 percent from July 1, the finance ministry said on Tuesday following a thaw in trade tensions with the United States.

The planned reduction in import duties from 25 percent is a boon for international automakers but may come short of fulfilling US President Donald Trump's expectations of matching US tariffs of 2.5 percent.

The announcement came days after Vice Premier Liu He and US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin led negotiations in Washington that ended with an agreement to pull back from the brink of a trade war.

President Xi Jinping said in April that China would "considerably lower" tariffs on cars by the end of the year as part of a range of measures seen as an olive branch to Trump with the two countries embroiled in the trade spat.

The cut to 15 percent will likely be welcomed by automakers selling cars in China, with Toyota importing its Lexus brand and American giant Ford shipping in most of its Lincolns.

Earlier this year, China also announced plans to liberalise foreign ownership limits in the sector, which had forced most foreign carmakers into joint ventures with China's state-owned companies.

China currently restricts foreign auto firms to a maximum 50 percent ownership of joint ventures with local companies.

But the changes will end shareholding limits for new energy vehicle firms as soon as this year, followed by commercial vehicles in 2020 and passenger cars in 2022.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Women motorcyclists ditch the side saddle in Pakistan

Yahoo – AFP, May 14, 2018

It is not uncommon to see women on motorcycles in Pakistan -- but usually they are
perched in the dangerous side saddle position behind a male driver (AFP Photo/ARIF ALI)


Perched proudly on their brand new pink motorcycles, the recruits take to the road, the latest batch of women to demolish boundaries set for them by men in Pakistan.

It is not uncommon to see women on motorcycles in Pakistan -- but usually they are sat in the dangerous side-saddle position behind a male driver and, often, several other passengers.

A woman straddling a bike to drive it herself is another thing entirely, an image that is still taboo in many parts of the deeply conservative Muslim country, where gender discrimination is routine.

But as part of a wave of women's empowerment movements, the government of Punjab province is running "Women on Wheels", a campaign that has trained scores of women to ride motorbikes in the last two years while raising awareness of gender-based violence and street harassment.

On Sunday the latest batch of dozens of new riders set out to challenge perceptions 
in Lahore (AFP Photo/ARIF ALI)

The importance of the issue is underscored by recent studies showing that some 75 percent of Pakistani women do not participate in the labour market, mainly due to a lack of transport.

"The aim is to basically empower women for their mobility because economic independence and economic empowerment depends on mobility," Salman Sufi, director general of the Punjab strategic reforms unit, said.

"So we are giving 3,000 bikes, we have trained over 3,500 girls in all of Punjab and this is going to go on until we reach a target of around 10,000 plus."

On Sunday the latest batch of dozens of new riders set out to challenge perceptions in Lahore.

"We're becoming... independent," rider Nageena Waseem said, adding that their new skills will allow them to do "everything which we want. Otherwise we were dependent on another person."

Activist Nighat Dad said the women were "reclaiming these spaces", adding that it was a "big big win for women today".

"Today is a good day for us," agreed another rider, Tallat Shaheen. "The purpose (is) to bring these girls together... (so) that they be independent and can feel confident and can go and work alongside men."


Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Air France shares down nearly 13 percent after CEO quits

Yahoo – AFP, 7 May 2018

Heavy turbulence for Air France, including on the stock market

Air France shares went into a tailspin on the Paris stock exchange on Monday after the resignation of the strike-hit company's CEO.

Air France-KLM boss Jean-Marc Janaillac announced his resignation Friday after staff at the carrier's French operations rejected a pay deal aimed at ending months of walkouts.

Janaillac, who had been in the post for under two years and staked his future at the company on staff accepting the deal, deplored their decision as a "huge waste".

In early bourse business Air France stock was down nearly 13 percent at 7.08 euros.

Staff and management at the carrier have been locked in a dispute over pay since February.

Intermittent strikes in recent weeks have prompted the cancellation of a quarter of flights on average.

Unionised staff are set to walk out for the 14th day on Monday as they press for a 5.1-percent salary increase this year as the company recovers from years of losses and restructuring.

France's economy minister on Sunday warned that the survival of Air France was now in the balance.

"I call on everyone to be responsible: crew, ground staff, and pilots who are asking for unjustified pay hikes," Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire told the BFM news channel.

"Be responsible. The survival of Air France is in the balance," he added.

He warned that the state, which owns 14.3 percent of the group, would not serve as a backstop.

"Air France will disappear if it does not make the necessary efforts to be competitive," he warned.

Heavy turbulence for Air France, including on the stock market.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

US scolds China over 'Orwellian' airline demands

Yahoo – AFP, May 5, 2018

As of May 5, the website of American Airlines listed Taiwan, Hong Kong and
Macau as entities separate from China (AFP Photo/Daniel SLIM)

Washington (AFP) - The United States on Saturday scolded China for attempting to impose "political correctness" on American carriers by asking them to classify Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau as Chinese territories.

A sternly worded White House statement excoriated Beijing for the demands, which it termed "Orwellian nonsense."

"President Donald J. Trump ran against political correctness in the United States," it said. "He will stand up for Americans resisting efforts by the Chinese Communist Party to impose Chinese political correctness on American companies and citizens."

The statement added that the Chinese Civil Aviation Administration sent a notice to 36 foreign air carriers, including a number of American carriers, on April 25, asking them to comply with Beijing's standards.

As of Saturday, the website of American Airlines listed Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau as entities separate from China. Rivals United Airlines and Delta listed Taiwan separately but not Hong Kong or Macau.

Taiwan has been self-ruled since splitting from the mainland after a 1949 civil war, maintaining its own government, military and independent foreign policy.

But Beijing has refused to recognize the island, viewing it as part of its territory awaiting reunification with the mainland -- by force, if necessary.

The US has maintained a delicate diplomatic balance since 1979, recognizing Beijing's sovereignty as part of its "One China" policy, while remaining Taiwan's most powerful unofficial ally and main supplier of arms.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong, a British colony until 1997, and Macau, a Portuguese colony until 1999, are now "special administrative regions" of China.

The move came after the US and China held high-stakes trade talks in Beijing aimed at forestalling a looming conflict between the world's two largest economies.

In January, Australia's Qantas Airways changed its website classification of Taiwan and Hong Kong from separate countries to Chinese territories, blaming its earlier approach on an "oversight."

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Nut rage sister faces fruit juice questions in S. Korea

Yahoo – AFP, Park Chan-kyong, 1 May 2018

The daughters of Korean Air chairman Cho Yang-ho have both resigned from
their company posts following separate controversies

The stony-faced daughter of a Korean billionaire, whose older sister was brought low by the "nut rage" scandal, apologised Tuesday as she reported to police for questioning over allegations she sprayed a business associate in the face with fruit juice.

"I'm really sorry for causing concern," Cho Hyun-min repeatedly told a crowd of journalists outside the Gangseo police station in Seoul, without admitting to any specific actions.

Cho, who police said is accused of using violence and obstructing business, is the daughter of Hanjin Group chairman Cho Yang-ho.

Hanjin is among the country's 15 biggest business groups, owner of flag carrier Korean Air, logistics and transport firms, and with interests in information technology and hotels.

It used to own Hanjin Shipping, once one of the world's biggest shipping firms, which was declared bankrupt last year.

The younger daughter's police interrogation is only the controlling family's latest brush with the law, with a series of scandals making them some of the country's most notorious super-wealthy.

South Korea's economy -- the world's 11th-largest -- is dominated by a series of giant business conglomerates known as chaebols.

In the past, the chaebols contributed to the country's fast economic growth, but as the founders' sons and grandsons took over they expanded into every corner of business, and now stand accused of suffocating smaller companies and hampering innovation.

They have long had murky ties with political authorities -- Samsung scion Lee Jae-yong was jailed last year for his role in the corruption scandal that brought down president Park Geun-hye, although most of his convictions were quashed on appeal.

Many chaebol families retain only a small ownership stake in their companies, but maintain control through complex webs of cross-shareholdings between subsidiaries, and rapid promotions for family members -- some of whose antics have battered the firms' images.

"The Cho family is one of the most vilified chaebol families, with multiple family members implicated in alleged bad behaviour," Chung Sun-sup of online information service chaebol.com told AFP.

Cho Hyun-Ah (C) made global headlines in 2014 for forcing two flight attendants to 
kneel and beg for forgiveness after she was served macadamia nuts in a bag rather
 than a bowl

'Family misdeeds'

In the most infamous incident, the chairman's elder daughter Cho Hyun-ah made global headlines in 2014 for forcing two flight attendants to kneel and beg for forgiveness after she was served macadamia nuts in a bag rather than a bowl.

She ordered the Seoul-bound flight back to the gate so one of them could be ejected in an incident quickly dubbed "nut rage".

Since the accusations against her sister emerged, hundreds of Korean Air personnel have joined an online chat room to allege Cho family misdeeds against employees and domestic staff.

Police said last week they were investigating allegations that the sisters' mother Lee Myung-hee had herself abused employees verbally and physically.

Korean Air said the company had no comment.

The family are also accused of using Korean Air planes to smuggle luxury goods into the country to avoid import duties.

Chairman Cho Yang-ho -- who last year faced accusations of embezzling company funds, although prosecutors rejected a request for his arrest -- last month apologised for the "immature" behaviour of his daughters, both of whom resigned from their executive posts.

The row could yet impact Korean Air itself, and other conglomerates.

Thousands of petitioners went to the presidential Blue House homepage, urging the government to ban the airline from using "Korean" in its name and to expel Cho Hyun-min, who was born in the US and is an American citizen.

Under South Korean immigration law, foreigners found to have disturbed social order or harmed public safety can be ordered to leave the country.

Former lawmaker Park Won-suk said the Cho family controversies would serve as a "catalyst" for a reform drive.

President Moon Jae-in was elected last year partly on promises to reform the chaebols -- a pledge various politicians have made many times before.

There has been little action so far, but Chung noted that the justice ministry last week introduced a bill to grant minority shareholders a greater voice in appointing board members.

The move was "apparently in sync with mounting public demand for chaebol reform triggered by the Cho case", he said.