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

Iran's 'catastrophic mistake': Speculation, pressure, then admission

Iran's 'catastrophic mistake': Speculation, pressure, then admission
Analsyts say it is irresponsible to link the crash of a Ukraine International Airline Boeing 737-800 to the 737 MAX accidents (AFP Photo/INA FASSBENDER)

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. …

Friday, July 10, 2020

Back clean energy post-virus, UN chief urges leaders

Yahoo - AFP, July 9, 2020

Guterres urged governments to make climate-friendlier action a condition for
bailing out airlines and others (AFP Photo/KARIM SAHIB)


Paris (AFP) - United Nations chief Antonio Guterres on Thursday urged world leaders to favour clean energy solutions as they pour money into their economies to save them from a coronavirus-induced meltdown.

Governments should exit coal, stop subsidising other fossil fuels, and pressure polluting industries to clean up their act in exchange for bailing them out, the UN Secretary-General told an International Energy Agency conference by video link.

"Today I would like to urge all leaders to choose the clean energy route for three vital reasons -- health, science and economics," Guterres said.

"Bailout support to sectors such as industry, aviation and shipping should be conditioned on alignment with the goals of the Paris Agreement," he said, referring to the 2015 treaty that commits signatories to capping global warming at 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels.

"We need to stop wasting money on fossil fuel subsidies and place a price on carbon," Guterres said, adding that "coal has no place in COVID-19 recovery plans".

He also called on investors "to demand that companies reveal transition plans to reach net zero emissions" and said that renewables offered "three times more jobs than the fossil fuel industry".

Governments across the world have pledged unprecedented sums to support their economies to cope with the fallout from COVID-19, with many politicians and NGOs calling for green policies to become an integral part of the spending plans.

The European Parliament, for example, has urged EU governments to put "the green deal at the core" of their proposed 750-billion-euro recovery plan.

In Germany, where the government has agreed to rescue flagship airline Lufthansa, the environment minister said that climate-friendlier policies by the airline would be part of the deal.

In neighbouring Austria, the government made "necessary measures in terms of climate protection" a condition for bailing out Austrian Airlines.

Related Articles:


  • Stagnation of the current US Politics: Compassioned (US) leaders will arise in the future
  • Shortage of fresh/drinking water: Invention to make salt from salt water magnetic and remove it with water desalination process in high volumes
  • Pollution on Earth: 1 - Stop killing the environment! / 2 - The rise of temperature on Earth is “temporary” and is part of the "regular" Watercycle.
  • Replacement of current fossil energy source: Use of magnetics based (small/big) engines to produces electricity / free energy
  • Plastic pollution in the oceans: Invention to remove the plastics gradually from the oceans


20TH KRYON SUMMER LIGHT CONFERENCE, US (7), June 2-4, 2017 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Carroll) (Text version "The State of the Earth")

"....  A mini ice age is coming"Kryon, isn't that doom for the planet?"  Many have seen the artist's rendering of major earth cities under ice and all of the other things that go very well with science fiction movies. That's simply a painting of someone's doom scenario, not reality based in the history of the cycle. If you want to know what a mini ice age is like, just flash back in history and study what took place in about 1650. That was a mini ice age. Due to the change in the Gulf Stream (the ocean), the river Thames froze in London. Dear ones, it was cold, but it did not doom the planet. That's a mini ice age.

That's what you're facing, and I'll say it again. If you live in a cold climate, heed this advice: It's going to get colder. Get off the grid! Within the next 15 years, find a way of producing electricity independently or in smaller groups. This can be done neighborhood-wide or separately in homes. You're going to need this, dear ones, because the grid as it exists right now all over the world is not prepared for this coming cold, and the grid will fail. That's not doom and gloom, that's just practical, commonly known information. Your electricity infrastructure is delicate, too delicate. Prepare for a cold spell that may last for a couple of decades. That's all it is. Technology is racing forward to allow this. Don't let your politics get in the way of your survival. ..."

"...  This is controversial. The planet can't just "change the water". It does it instead with a "reboot of life in the ocean" using the water cycle. Watch for evidence of this as it occurs, and then remember this channel. This weather cycle is to refresh the life in the ocean so that everyone on the planet will have needed food from the ocean. Gaia does this by itself, has done it before, and it does it for a reason - so it will not stagnate.

Dear ones, indeed, you have put compromising things into the air and the water, but it has not caused this cycle. We have said for a very long time, stop killing the environment! The reason? It's going to kill you, not Gaia. Gaia is spectacularly resilient and will survive anything you do. However, it is you who may not survive if you continue polluting. All this is starting to change with your awareness, and you're starting to see this and move with it. But Humans are not causing the current weather shift. This will be known eventually.

What is happening has happened before, and it's almost like a reboot for the oceans and it carries a lot of dichotomous events. You're going to see reports of a dying ocean, but at the same time you're going to see unusual reports of too many fish and other sea life in places that were supposed to have a decline. You're going to see the life cycle of the ocean itself start to change and reboot.

The chief player in this renewal is a place you would not expect: Antarctica. I want you to watch for magic in Antarctica. It has always been the core of the refreshing of microbes and other kinds of life in your oceans and it's especially active during these mini ice ages. The process will cause currents under the sea to be filled with new life, delivering it to both hemispheres almost like an under-sea conveyor belt. ..."


"Recalibration of Free Choice"– Mar 3, 2012 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Caroll) - (Subjects: (Old) SoulsMidpoint on 21-12-2012, Shift of Human Consciousness, Black & White vs. Color, 1 - Spirituality (Religions) shifting, Loose a Pope “soon”, 2 - Humans will change react to drama, 3 - Civilizations/Population on Earth, 4 - Alternate energy sources (Geothermal, Tidal (Paddle wheels), Wind), 5 – Financials Institutes/concepts will change (Integrity – Ethical) , 6 - News/Media/TV to change, 7 – Big Pharmaceutical company will collapse “soon”, (Keep people sick), (Integrity – Ethical) 8 – Wars will be over on Earth, Global Unity, … etc.) (Text version)

“… 4 - Energy (again)

The natural resources of the planet are finite and will not support the continuation of what you've been doing. We've been saying this for a decade. Watch for increased science and increased funding for alternate ways of creating electricity (finally)Watch for the very companies who have the most to lose being the ones who fund it. It is the beginning of a full realization that a change of thinking is at hand. You can take things from Gaia that are energy, instead of physical resources. We speak yet; again about geothermal, about tidal, about wind. Again, we plead with you not to over-engineer this. For one of the things that Human Beings do in a technological age is to over-engineer simple things. Look at nuclear - the most over-engineered and expensive steam engine in existence!

Your current ideas of capturing energy from tidal and wave motion don't have to be technical marvels. Think paddle wheel on a pier with waves, which will create energy in both directions [waves coming and going] tied to a generator that can power dozens of neighborhoods, not full cities. Think simple and decentralize the idea of utilities. The same goes for wind and geothermal. Think of utilities for groups of homes in a cluster. You won't have a grid failure if there is no grid. This is the way of the future, and you'll be more inclined to have it sooner than later if you do this, and it won't cost as much…

Water

We've told you that one of the greatest natural resources of the planet, which is going to shift and change and be mysterious to you, is fresh water. It's going to be the next gold, dear ones. So, we have also given you some hints and examples and again we plead: Even before the potentials of running out of it, learn how to desalinate water in real time without heat. It's there, it's doable, and some already have it in the lab. This will create inexpensive fresh water for the planet. 

There is a change of attitude that is starting to occur. Slowly you're starting to see it and the only thing getting in the way of it are those companies with the big money who currently have the old system. That's starting to change as well. For the big money always wants to invest in what it knows is coming next, but it wants to create what is coming next within the framework of what it has "on the shelf." What is on the shelf is oil, coal, dams, and non-renewable resource usage. It hasn't changed much in the last 100 years, has it? Now you will see a change of free choice. You're going to see decisions made in the boardrooms that would have curled the toes of those two generations ago. Now "the worst thing they could do" might become "the best thing they could do." That, dear ones, is a change of free choice concept. When the thinkers of tomorrow see options that were never options before, that is a shift. That was number four.”



New Mini Ice Age

"The weather you have today, and all the alarming attributes of it, is a scenario of what was scheduled to happen on Earth anyway. I review again that the weather changes you are seeing prophesied by myself, 21 years ago, are not a surprise. The changes are not caused by the pollutants you put in the air. You call it global warming and that's a nice phrase, and perhaps that will get you to put less pollutants in the air – a very good thing. But what you are seeing in the weather shift today was not caused by Humans putting things into the air. It would have happened anyway in about 300 years."

"We've called this process the water cycle, since it's all about water, not about air. The water is the predominant attribute of Gaia and of the weather cycle you're seeing. More predominant is the temperature of it. The cycle is ice to water and water to ice, and has been repeated on this planet over and over and over. It is not new. It is not exceptional. It is not frightening. But it's a cycle that modern humanity has not seen before, and it's a long cycle that is beyond the life span of a Human Being. Therefore, it tends to be overlooked or not seen at all !"

"In the days of the Lemurians, the water level of the Pacific Ocean was almost 400 feet lower, and that's only 50,000 years ago. [Kryon invites science to check this out – the water level at that time.] That was a water cycle working, and the reason it was lower was due to so much of the water being stored as ice. Today you're going through another water cycle that will eventually lead to cooling. The last one was in the 1400s."

"Science sees that at about 1650. As mentioned, they are so slow there is no remembrance that a Human has of them except in past writings and in the rings of the trees. The time span of the changes is so great that environmental record keeping does not exist in the form that it does today. But you can still look at the rings of the trees and at the striations of the rocks and can generally figure out that a few hundred years ago, you had a mini-ice age. Now you're going to have another one." 

Thursday, July 9, 2020

€30m spend on charging points aims to get electric car sales moving

DutchNews, July 8, 2020 

A charging station in Amsterdam. Photo: DutchNews.nl 

Despite the government, provinces and local councils announcing a €30m investment in a comprehensive network of electric car charging points, car buyers are still wary, Trouw reports. 

An estimated 1.7 million electric charging points will be needed to keep a projected 1.9 million electric vehicles moving by 2030. This is the target in order to meet limits for traffic pollution set out in the country’s climate accord. 

The new €30m will go towards choosing locations and preparing them for large-scale charging, including of electric buses and taxis. However, Trouw claimed, no agreement has been reached yet on locations and who will carry out the installation. 

‘Not everyone has room for a charging point in front of their homes,’ a traffic ministry spokesman told the paper. 

The government and provincial authorities reportedly do not want the job of installing the charging points to fall completely to network operators but prefer tenders from companies which would install them quickly and in bulk. Local authorities are also considering measures such as ‘smart charging squares’ in carparks or supermarkets, according to the paper. 

But Trouw reports that ‘charging fear’ is proving to be a brake on the government’s ambitions, with people reluctant to purchase an electric car because they fear they will be stranded without a charging point in sight. 

A projected new subsidy for the purchase of second hand electric cars could make electric driving more attractive to a broader public outside the ‘bubble’ of the very wealthy, the paper said.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Pakistan's PIA suspended in Europe over fake pilot licence scandal

Yahoo – AFP, Ashraf KHAN, June 30, 2020

Pakistan's PIA has been barred from operating in the European Union after the
 state-run carrier grounded nearly a third of its pilots for holding fake or dubious
licences (AFP Photo/FAROOQ NAEEM)

Regulators have barred Pakistan International Airlines from the European Union for six months after the state-run carrier grounded nearly a third of its pilots for holding fake or dubious licences, officials said Tuesday.

The EUAviation Safety Agency (EASA) told PIA "it is still not sure" if all the remaining pilots are properly qualified, and "they have lost their confidence" in the airline, PIA spokesman Abdullah Khan told AFP.

The suspension is the latest fallout for PIA after Pakistan's aviation minister told parliament last week that a government review had found 262 of the country's 860 active pilots hold fake licenses or cheated on exams.

More than half of them were from PIA, and the airline said it would immediately ground 141 of its 434 pilots.

The EASA said it had suspended PIA and a smaller private Pakistan airline "in view of the recent investigation reported on in the Pakistani Parliament which revealed that a large share of pilot licenses issued in Pakistan are invalid".

PIA is filing an appeal, Khan said.

The airline has only flown limited international flights for months as a result of the coronavirus. A resumption of domestic operations last month was followed by a crash blamed on pilot error that killed 98 people.

PIA had recently resumed bookings for five European capital cities, including Paris, Milan and Barcelona.

Flights to Britain, which is no longer in the EU, have also been suspended, Khan said.

The EASA said it suspended PIA "due to concerns about the capability of competent authorities to ensure that Pakistani air operators are in compliance with applicable international standards at all times".

Chaudhry Manzoor Ahmed, a senior figure in the opposition Pakistan Peoples Party, said PIA's woes had "put the country's reputation at stake".

"The decision of the European Union is the result of successive follies of incompetent rulers," Ahmed said in a statement.

Reforms 'inevitable'

Prime Minister Imran Khan told parliament he would reform PIA and other government institutions.

"I want to tell my nation: We have no other option, reforms are inevitable," he said Tuesday.

Aviation minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan has promised that a restructuring of PIA would be completed by the end of the year.

On May 22, a PIA flight crashed into houses in Karachi, killing 97 people aboard the plane and a child on the ground.

Investigators blamed the pilots, who were chatting about the coronavirus while they first attempted to land the Airbus A320 without putting its wheels down.

Until the 1970s, Pakistan's largest airline was considered a top regional carrier but its reputation plummeted amid chronic mismanagement, frequent cancellations and financial struggles.

PIA, which is helmed by a serving air force officer, currently has a fleet of 31 planes and a payroll of about 14,500 workers.

The high staff-to-plane ratio has seen long-standing accusations the government and the military use the airline to dish out jobs to cronies and retired military officers.

Even before the coronavirus, PIA was in a financial mess, and the EU suspension will only make things worse.

The airline racked up $340 million in losses last year, compared to $266 million in 2018.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Canada launches investigation after 38 dead puppies found on plane

Yahoo – AFP, June 20, 2020

French bulldogs, like those pictured here, are a popular breed in Canada
(AFP Photo/Gary Gershoff)

Montreal (AFP) - Canada has launched an investigation after some 500 puppies -- 38 of them dead -- were found on board a Ukraine International Airlines plane at the Toronto airport, officials said Saturday.

The surviving French bulldogs, a popular breed in Canada, were suffering from symptoms including dehydration, weakness and vomiting when they were found on the flight from Ukraine which landed at Toronto Pearson Airport on June 13, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency said in a statement.

The agency "will determine next steps once the investigation is complete," it said.

A dog handler who was picking up another animal from the airport cargo area where the puppies were discovered last Saturday told the CBC of a "horror scene," adding: "It was a nightmare."

UIA offered its "condolences for the tragic loss of animal life on our flight" and said on Facebook that it was working with local authorities.

Puppy sales are "lucrative" in Canada, Scott Weese of the University of Guelph told the CBC.

Most buyers believe the animals are bred in Canada, but the reality is "we have no idea how many dogs come in, where they go, where they come from," he said, adding that there was "potentially some organized crime component."

"You mentioned 500 French bulldogs. If those are going for sale at $3,000 to $4,000 a dog, that's a massive amount of money," he told the broadcaster.

Friday, May 29, 2020

Recycled plastic roads ready for rollout after bike paths prove successful

DutchNews, May 28, 2020 

Photo: Plasticroad.eu

Two successful trial runs of cycle paths madefrom recycled plastic waste have paved the way for larger scale projects in the Netherlands and abroad, the developers have said. 

KWS, plastic pipe maker Wavin and Total oil said on Thursday that after a 18 months of testing and developing, they now have a design suited for industrial production and that the technology is ready to be launched on the market in the first quarter of 2021. 

The first plastic cycle paths, which were built in Zwolle and Giethoorn with local council support, have proved to be able manage excessive water from rain, severe drought and everything in between, the makers said. 

The two 30 metre bike paths, which were made using 1,000 kilos of recycled plastic, were also found to have reduced CO2 emissions by some 50% to 70% compared to concrete or asphalt paths, the makers claim. 

Sensors in the paths were also used to monitor wear and tear and the paths were found to stand up well to heavy weights, like refuse and maintenance trucks. 

‘We have proven that our ground-breaking circular concept – a prefab road based on recycled plastic – is feasible in practice,’ Marcel Jager and Anne Koudstaal of the PlasticRoad team said. 

The next generation of roads will be more robust still which will make the concept a viable alternative for asphalt and concrete motorways and car parks as well pavements and school yards, the group said. 

The roll out will initially be focused on clients in the Netherlands and neighbouring countries, after which they expect to scale up to markets in other parts of the world, the makers said.

Artists impression: KWS 

Related Article:


Friday, May 15, 2020

Micro cars which park on Amsterdam pavements face €95 fine from July

DutchNews, May 14, 2020 

Photo: DutchNews.nl

The drivers of micro electric cars such as Biros are being offered the chance to buy a two-year Amsterdam-wide parking permit for the discounted price of €450 as part of efforts to get them off the pavements. 

The city plans to ban the micro cars from parking on the pavement from July 1, but says wardens will only be able to issue fines if the vehicles have number plates – and only about 50% currently do so. 

The coronavirus crisis has led to long delays at the licencing board RDW and, according to alderman Sharon Dijksma, as long as owners do not have a number plate, the city will not be able to fine owners who still park on pavements, according to the Parool. 

Dijksma said the city sees the micro cars as a good alternative to the car, and a welcome addition to public transport and bikes. 

Initially, the city will issue 3,000 trial parking permits. The fine for parking on the pavement from July 1 is €95. 

People who drive micro cars because of a physical handicap will not have to have a licence plate but their car must be specially adapted to meet their needs and be checked by the RDW.

Coronavirus could put export of Dutch cycle expertise into gear

DutchNews, May 14, 2020 

Photo: Depositphotos.com

The coronavirus crisis could boost the export of Dutch cycling infrastructure expertise and products as countries are turning to the bicycle for a safer means of transport, RTL Nieuws reports. 

‘Coronavirus is accelerating the cycling infrastructure projects of many cities,’ says Lucas Harms, who heads the Dutch Cycling Embassy, a network of Dutch companies specialising in products like bike parks and other bike-related infrastructure. 

As coronavirus is turning people away from using public transport, the local authorities in Brussels have been turning car lanes into bike lanes over the last few days, as has Paris, RTL said. And in Milan, plans have been presented to limit space for cars in favour of bikes. 

‘We don’t yet know if this is a temporary thing. People may be just panicking and improvising but the good thing is that a seed is planted,’ said Harms, whose Cycling Embassy has advised hundreds of local authorities around the world on emulating Dutch cycling infrastructure. 

To build an infrastructure for cycling involves expertise in many areas, Harms said. ‘You need traffic experts, marketing people to create awareness,  and policy advisors. We have a lot of companies with specialised knowledge, just think of the multi-storey bike parks, like the one at Amsterdam’s main railway station. We are used to them but in other countries they are far from usual.’ 

It is not known how much the export of cycle expertise and products is currently worth but, Harms said, the 60 partners of his network are all involved in projects abroad.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Saudi Aramco tips difficult 2020 as virus hits quarterly profit

Yahoo – AFP, May 12, 2020

Aramco was listed on the Saudi stock market in December following the world's
largest initial public offering but has since been hit by a slump in world oil prices
as the coronavirus pandemic has sent the world into recession (AFP Photo/
Fayez Nureldine)

Riyadh (AFP) - Energy giant Saudi Aramco on Tuesday posted a 25 percent slump in first-quarter profit and said the coronavirus crisis which triggered a crash in oil prices would weigh heavily on demand in the year ahead.

Aramco was listed on the Saudi stock market in December following a historic $29.4 billion initial public offering -- the world's largest -- but since then has faced a torrid environment.

Oil prices slumped to nearly two-decade lows in March, losing almost two-thirds of their value as the coronavirus pandemic sent the world into recession.

Prices plummeted further in April amid a price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia as the major producers scrambled to secure market share.

"The COVID-19 crisis is unlike anything the world has experienced in recent history and we are adapting to a highly complex and rapidly changing business environment," CEO Amin Nasser said in a statement.

Aramco said that a steep decline in global demand for energy and prices caused by the pandemic would undermine its full-year results.

"Longer term we remain confident that demand for energy will rebound as global economies recover," Nasser said.

The world's largest listed firm posted a net profit of 62.5 billion riyals ($16.66 billion) in the three months to March, compared to $22.2 billion a year earlier.

The company said the drop in earnings mostly reflected a decline in crude oil prices, as well as shrinking margins in the refining and chemicals businesses.

Price war truce

During the price war in April, Saudi oil production soared to a record 12.3 million barrels per day, pushing stockpiles to unsustainably high levels and causing chaos on global oil markets.

However, top producers agreed last month to slash output by 9.7 million bpd to try to arrest the freefall.

During the crisis, prices for benchmark West Texas Intermediate dipped below zero for the first time ever as abundant supplies wiped out storage capacity in the United States.

The coronavirus lockdowns, which have kept billions of people in their homes in order to contain the pandemic, have sapped global demand by more than 20 million bpd.

On Monday, Riyadh announced it would cut output by more than it had pledged -- shaving an additional 1.0 million bpd -- providing markets with a much-needed boost as the world economy cautiously emerges from the shutdown.

The move means that in June, Aramco production will drop to 7.5 million bpd -- its lowest level since mid-2002, according to analysts.

Aramco said Tuesday that its first quarter revenues were calculated on the basis of an average production of 9.8 million barrels per day and an average oil price of $51.8 a barrel.

However, factoring in the cuts in May and June, profits in the coming quarters are likely to plummet, meaning that Saudi state revenues, which heavily rely on Aramco results, will take a substantial hit.

The kingdom, which has posted a budget deficit since 2014, resorted to austerity measures on Monday, tripling value-added tax to 15 percent, delaying or cancelling projects and abolishing citizens' cost-of-living allowance.

The cuts risk stoking public resentment over an already high cost of living and demands for greater scrutiny of major projects such as the proposed purchase of English Premer League football club Newcastle United.

Industry reeling

Almost all global energy giants, including Exxon Mobil, Chevron and BP, have reported huge losses in the first quarter.

Aramco, which is responsible for the stewardship of Saudi's huge energy reserves, has relied on its extremely low production costs to remain profitable.

The company said however that capital spending will be trimmed this year, in a range between $25 billion and $30 billion, down from $32.8 billion in 2019.

Investors brushed off the drop in profits as Aramco's share price closed the day up 1.3 percent at 31.30 riyals.

Since the start of the year, Aramco shares have lost 11.2 percent and its current market value stands at $1.67 trillion, way down from levels of just over $2 trillion that it hit soon after listing.

Aramco, which is headquartered in the eastern city of Dhahran, last year posted a 20.6 percent decline in its annual net profit to $88.2 billion due to chronically low oil prices and production levels.

Thursday, April 30, 2020

Boeing to cut staff, plane output after big Q1 loss

Yahoo – AFP, April 29, 2020

Boeing announced sweeping cost-cutting measures after reporting a first-quarter loss
of $641 million following the hit to the airline business from the coronavirus pandemic
(AFP Photo/SCOTT OLSON)

New York (AFP) - Boeing announced sweeping cost-cutting measures Wednesday after reporting a first-quarter loss of $641 million following the hit to the airline business from the coronavirus pandemic.

The aerospace giant plans to reduce its workforce by 10 percent through a combination of voluntary and involuntary layoffs and will slash production of its main commercial planes, including the 787 and 777, Chief Executive David Calhoun said in a message to employees that accompanied an earnings release.

"The aviation industry will take years to return to the levels of traffic we saw just a few months ago," Calhoun said. "We have to prepare for that."

Calhoun said the job cuts would be deeper -- more than 15 percent -- in commercial airplanes and services, as compared with defense and space systems, where the business has been more stable.

The quarterly loss of $641 million compared to profits of $2.1 billion in the year-ago period. Revenues fell 26.2 percent to $16.9 billion.

Total debt at the end of the quarter was $38.9 billion, up from $27.3 billion at the end of December.

Calhoun said the belt-tightening was needed to maintain adequate liquidity at a time its revenues are depressed, adding that the company is "exploring potential government funding options" in the wake of COVID-19.

Boeing has previously called for $60 billion in government support for the US aerospace industry. Federal relief legislation includes $17 billion aimed at Boeing. Calhoun has previously balked at the idea of the US taking a stake in Boeing.

The loss reflected "abnormal production costs" connected to the temporary suspension of Puget Sound manufacturing operations due to COVID-19 and due to the suspension of production of the 737 MAX, which remains grounded following two deadly crashes.

Boeing said the pandemic crisis has hit demand for new planes and services, with airlines delaying purchases of jets, slowing delivery schedules and deferring elective maintenance.

It will cut production of the 787 from 14 per month to 10 per month in 2020 and gradually to seven per month by 2022.

Boeing also will trim output on the 777 and lower its targets for the 737 MAX.

"We have done a tremendous job of increasing our production rates and services offerings in recent years," Calhoun said. "But the sharp reduction in our demand for our products and services over the next several years simply won't support the higher levels of output."

Boeing shares jumped 4.1 percent to $136.36 in pre-market trading.