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Clyde K. Valle

Clyde is a business graduate interested in writing about latest news in politics and business. He enjoys writing and is about to publish his first book. He’s a pet lover and likes to spend time with family. When the time allows he likes to go fishing waiting for the muse to come.

According to the International Monetary Fund, the US and UK economies will expand more slowly in 2017 than previously predicted.

The IMF said “weaker-than-expected activity” in Q1 of 2017 meant the UK would grow by 1.7%, compared with an earlier 2% forecast.

The IMF also revised down its US growth forecast from 2.3% to 2.1%.

However, the IMF’s overall global economic predictions – of 3.5% growth in 2017 and 3.6% in 2018 – remain unchanged.

The UK growth forecast for 2018 remains unchanged at 1.5%, but US growth for next year is now predicted to come in at 2.1%, instead of the 2.5% previously forecast.

In its latest World Economic Outlook, the IMF said the “pick-up in global growth” that it had anticipated in its previous survey in April remained “on track”.

However, the IMF added that while the global growth projection was unchanged that masked “somewhat different contributions at the country level”.

IMF Cuts US Economy Growth Forecasts

It said that the main factor behind its downward revision for US growth in 2018 was “the assumption that fiscal policy will be less expansionary than previously assumed, given the uncertainty about the timing and nature of US fiscal policy changes”.

“Market expectations of fiscal stimulus have also receded.”

President Donald Trump’s administration had been widely expected to pursue policies including tax cuts and infrastructure investment to try to boost the US economy.

However, the chances of Trump’s administration being able to push through these policies now appears less likely.

The IMF’s outlook for several eurozone economies was brighter than initially thought, with countries including France, Germany, Italy and Spain seeing growth forecasts revised up.

The biggest eurozone revisions were for the Spanish and Italian economies. Spain is now forecast to grow 3.1% in 2017, up from the previous prediction of 2.6%. Italy’s 2017 growth forecast has risen from 0.8% to 1.3%.

Greece Bailout: IMF and EU Reach Common Position on How to Proceed

The euro area as a whole is expected to grow by 1.9% in 2017, up from 1.7%.

The IMF said first-quarter growth in many of those countries was better than expected, and that there was evidence of “stronger momentum in domestic demand than previously anticipated”.

China’s growth projections have also been revised up, reflecting, the IMF says, “a strong first quarter of 2017 and expectations of continued fiscal support”.

Its 2017 forecast has risen from 6.6% to 6.7%, while growth in 2018 is now expected to be 6.4% instead of 6.2%.

The IMF hailed China’s “policy easing and supply-side reforms”, including efforts to reduce excess capacity in the industrial sector.

North Korea’s economy surged at its fastest pace in 17 years, despite sanctions over its nuclear and missile programs.

According to the Bank of Korea, North Korea’s GDP grew by 3.9% in 2016 compared with 2015.

The growth stemmed largely from mining and energy, as well as an increase in exports to China.

The US has been urging China to cut trade with North Korea as tensions mount over Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions.

China is North Korea’s only major ally, trading partner and aid donor.

Image source Wikimedia

US Bans Traveling to North Korea

Lim Ji-hyun: Celebrity North Korean Defector Returns to Pyongyang

Last week China issued data suggesting trade with North Korea was not as strong as implied by President Donald Trump.

However, while China has stopped coal imports from North Korea, it has continued to trade iron, iron ore and other commodities.

Although North Korea doesn’t publish economic data, South Korea’s central bank releases GDP figures every year, based on data from its Ministry of Unification and the National Intelligence Service.

The 2016 GDP data is the highest growth rate since the 6.1% recorded in 1999.

The last year’s performance is a turnaround from 2015, when the North Korean economy contracted by 1.1% after a fall global commodity prices hit the value of its coal and iron ore exports.

North Korea is among the world’s poorest countries with per capita gross national income standing at 1.5 million won ($1136) a year. South Korea’s per capita income is more than twenty times that.

International tensions over North Korea’s were ramped up further last week after the test of a long-range missile, which it is believed was capable of reaching Alaska.


Audi is offering a free software upgrade for 850,000 diesel cars in order to improve emissions.

The German auto maker said the upgrade would “improve emissions behavior in real driving conditions further beyond existing legal requirements”.

Audi added it was convinced the program would counteract possible bans on diesel cars.

Image source Wikimedia

In recent days, rivals Mercedes and Daimler issued recalls involving three million vehicles.

VW Emissions Scandal: Company to Provide Two Year Guarantee for Europe Cars

VW Emissions Scandal: CEO Mathias Muller Investigated by Stuttgart Prosecutors

The Audi recall affects cars fitted with six- and eight-cylinder diesel motors meeting the Euro 5 and Euro 6 emissions criteria, including some models made by parent company Volkswagen and sister company Porsche.

The upgrade is available for Audi cars with affected engines in Europe and other markets outside North America.

The Reuters news agency reported that German car industry officials and politicians had agreed to improve diesel vehicles’ emissions through software updates in order to avoid diesel bans in cities.

The US and China have failed to agree on trade after contentious talks in Washington.

The two sides did not issue a joint statement or action plan after the meeting and canceled scheduled press conferences.

The US was critical of China’s trade surplus and demanded “more fair” trade arrangements.

Separately, President Donald Trump indicated that tariffs on Chinese steel were still a possibility.

In his opening remarks to the annual US-China Comprehensive Economic Dialogue, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross criticized China’s $347 billion trade surplus with the US, saying it was not the product of market forces.

Donald Trump Says US Could Solve North Korea Nuclear Threat Without China’s Help

In a brief statement after the talks, Secretary Ross and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin offered few details and little indication of any progress on contentious issues.

Image source Flickr

The statement said: “China acknowledged our shared objective to reduce the trade deficit which both sides will work cooperatively to achieve.”

The contentious issue of steel tariffs was expected to be a difficult topic at the talks, but the two sides did not issue any statements on this.

The US blames China’s excess capacity for a global steel glut that is hurting US producers, and has threatened to impose tariffs.

US Steel stocks were sharply higher as investors interpreted silence on the issue as an increased likelihood of US action on Chinese steel.

Donald Trump Questions Whether US Should Continue One China Policy

According to Reuters, after the market closed, President Trump told a reporter that steel tariffs “could happen”.

Experts thought it was unlikely that the talks would produce any significant agreements on the most thorny issues.

In addition to steel, the US was expected to push China on its subsidies for state-owned enterprises.

China was expected to focus on US refusals to sell Beijing advanced technology products.

It was unclear whether the talks covered US demands for China to put more pressure on North Korea over its nuclear and missile program.

President Trump has previously signaled that China might obtain improved trade terms in exchange for help on North Korea.

In May, the US and China reached a trade deal that opens the Chinese market to US credit rating agencies and credit card companies.

China also agreed to lift its ban on US beef imports and accept US shipments of liquefied natural gas.

Spanish Football Federation President Angel Maria Villar Llona and his son have been held as part of a corruption investigation, police in Spain say.

Angel María Villar Llona, a former soccer player, was arrested on suspicion of embezzling funds, El Pais and Efe news agency reported.

He has been president of the association since 1988.

His son, Gorka Villar, was among a number of other people also arrested during a number of raids on July 18.

Spain’s High Court told Reuters that one of its investigating magistrates and anti-corruption prosecutors were leading the probe.

Spanish media report that the allegations centre on the falsification of documents and skimming profits from international soccer matches.

Image source Wikimedia

There has been no comment yet from Angel María Villar, 67, or his lawyers.

In his time as president of the federation, Spain’s men’s soccer team has won two European championships as well as the 2010 World Cup, becoming one of soccer’s dominant forces.

Angel María Villar has also served on the council of soccer’s world governing body FIFA for the past 29 years, but was reprimanded by FIFA for failing to comply with its internal inquiry into the 2018/22 World Cup bidding process.

He was acting president of UEFA, Europe’s soccer association, while its chief Michel Platini was under investigation. He lost out on the presidency in an election last year.

UEFA and FIFA said they were aware of the reports.

Gorka Villar served as the director-general of the South American soccer confederation CONMEBOL before standing down last year.

Before standing down, Gorka Villar had been accused of extortion by a number of Uruguayan soccer clubs.


Netflix shares surged on July 17 after the company announced it now had about 104 million subscribers, a larger-than-expected number that boosted revenues.

According to the company’s bosses, the gains were a sign that investment in new shows and movies was paying off as online television becomes more popular.

Netflix is behind shows such as 13 Reasons Why, about teen suicide, and political drama House of Cards.

The company CEO and co-founder Reed Hastings said it was “the rewards of doing great content”.

Netflix Shares Jump 20% on Record Number of Subscribers

Netflix shares rose more than 10% in after-hours trading following the announcement of its second-quarter earnings.

It said it added about 5.2 million members during the quarter, mostly from overseas.

International members now account for about half of Netflix subscribers.

Netflix Goes Live in Nearly Every Country in the World

Netflix has cultivated those audiences with movies such as Okja, a movie made by one of South Korea’s top directors about a young girl’s quest to recover a giant companion from a multi-national corporation.

The company also said it expected international members to help boost profits for the year – a first for that part of the business.

The growth helped Netflix to report a 32% rise in second quarter revenues to $2.8 billion, and it expects revenues to reach nearly $3 billion in the third quarter.

Netflix profits for the second quarter of 2017 were $65.6 million, up about 60% year-on-year.


Roger Federer has become the first man to win Wimbledon eight times and extended his record to 19 Grand Slam titles after beating Croatian Marin Cilic.

The 35-year-old Swiss won 6-3 6-1 6-4 as 28-year-old Marin Cilic struggled with a blister on his left foot and broke down in tears during the second set.

Roger Federer, 35, finished the contest in one hour and 41 minutes to claim his first Wimbledon title since 2012.

Wimbledon 2012: Roger Federer wins his 17th Grand Slam title after beating Andy Murray

The No 3 becomes the oldest man in the Open Era to win at the All England Club.

Roger Federer surpasses Pete Sampras and William Renshaw, who won their seventh titles in 2000 and 1889 respectively, with only Martina Navratilova still ahead in terms of Wimbledon singles titles on nine.

Image source Wikimedia

The Swiss has won two of the three Grand Slam titles so far this year, having returned from a six-month break to win the Australian Open in January.

With 19 major titles he extends his lead over Rafael Nadal in the men’s game to four, and now stands joint-fourth on the all-time list with Helen Wills Moody, five behind Margaret Court on 24.

Australian Open 2017: Roger Federer Wins His Fifth Title after Beating Rafael Nadal in Final

Among his long list of achievements, Roger Federer became the first man since Bjorn Borg in 1976 to win the Wimbledon title without dropping a set.

The tournament favorite from the outset, he was rarely troubled over the course of seven matches, and Marin Cilic was not in the condition to provide a serious test.

Roger Federer was playing in his 11th Wimbledon final and Marin Cilic his first, and the gap in experience showed from the early stages.

Marin Cilic later revealed that it was emotional rather than physical pain at that stage, but he was clearly in some distress and there was little he could do to stop Roger Federer racing into a two-set lead after just 61 minutes.

A medical time-out was taken before the start of the third set and this time strapping and padding applied to Marin Cilic’s left foot.

A first retirement in a men’s singles final since 1911 appeared likely but Marin Cilic struggled on, while Roger Federer probed for the break that would surely end his wait for a Wimbledon title.

Fourteen years on from his first victory, there were signs of nerves when he served for the title for the first time since 2012.

A wall collapsed at Senegal’s Demba Diop stadium at the end of the League Cup final between Stade de Mbour and Union Sportive Ouakam killing eight people and leaving injured at least 49.

Fighting started in the capital Dakar between rival fans and police responded by using tear gas, which led to panic, a stampede, and the wall collapse.

Some soccer fans were throwing projectiles including stones at others.

Besiktas Stadium Twin Bomb Attack Kills At Least 38 in Istanbul

Pictures circulating online appear to show people scrambling over a low wall amid clouds of gas.

Image source AFP

Local news agency APS reported that ambulances and firefighters were at the scene.

With the score 1-1 after 90 minutes, Mbour scored in the first period of extra time to win 2-1, and violence broke out at the final whistle.

Cheikh Maba Diop, whose friend died in the incident and who helped move people out of the stadium, told AFP: “All of a sudden when the wall fell… we knew exactly that some of our own had lost their lives because the wall fell directly on to people.”

A spokesman for Senegal’s President Macky Sall said that campaigning for upcoming elections would be suspended on July 16 as a mark of respect, and that there should be “punishments serving as a warning”.


Garbine Muguruza won her first Wimbledon title after beating five-time champion Venus Williams.

The 23-year-old Spanish player saved two set points and won the last nine games in a 7-5 6-0 victory under the Centre Court roof.

Garbine Muguruza denied Venus Williams, 37, a first major title for nine years, which would have made her the oldest female Grand Slam champion in the Open era.

Image source AFP

Venus Williams Involved in Florida Fatal Crash

It is 14th seed’s second Grand Slam title after her French Open triumph over Serena Williams in 2016.

“I had the hardest match today against Venus,” said Garbine Muguruza.

“She’s such an incredible player. I grew up watching her play – sorry,” she added, to the watching American.

“I feel incredible to be able to play her here. Of course I’m nervous because I always dreamed about winning it, but I was composed.”

Having lost to Serena Williams in the 2015 final, Garbine Muguruza becomes the second Spanish woman to win the Wimbledon singles title after her coach, Conchita Martinez.

Garbine Muguruza is also the first woman to beat both Williams sisters in Grand Slam finals.


Former FIFA official Chuck Blazer has died at the age of 72, his lawyers have announced.

Chuck Blazer, who was banned from all soccer activities for life in 2015, had been suffering from cancer.

In 2013, he pleaded guilty to bribery, money laundering and tax evasion but agreed to help investigators expose corruption in FIFA.

Image source Sports Illustrated

A larger-than-life character, he was ex-chief of CONCACAF, North and Central American soccer’s governing body.

FIFA Corruption Scandal: Former Official Chuck Blazer Admits Taking Bribes

Chuck Blazer’s information led to charges against 14 other current or former FIFA officials, and contributed to the downfall of FIFA President Sepp Blatter.

His lawyers said in a statement: “We are truly saddened by the passing of our client and friend, Chuck Blazer.

“His misconduct, for which he accepted full responsibility, should not obscure Chuck’s positive impact on international soccer.”

FIFA Corruption Scandal: Ex-VP Jack Warner to Reveal All About Soccer Corruption

Chuck Blazer served on FIFA’s executive committee from 1997 to 2013, during which time he pocketed millions to fund a globe-trotting VIP lifestyle.

A 2013 report by CONCACAF’s integrity committee said he had received more than $20.6 million in commissions, fees and rental payments from the organization between 1996 and 2011.

Chuck Blazer’s personal excesses included two apartments in New York’s Trump Tower, one of which was exclusively for his cats.


Elon Musk has shared the first images of Tesla’s Model 3 after it came off the assembly line.

The electric car company’s co-founder and chief executive tweeted a picture captioned “First Production Model 3” on July 8.

Elon Musk followed it up with another Model 3 photo, this time in color, outside the Tesla factory site in California.

Image source Twitter

The Model 3 is Tesla’s first mass-market car and the first 30 owners will get in the driver’s seat on July 28.

Model 3: Tesla Unveils Its Lowest-Cost Vehicle to Date

The four-door Model 3 will then be available to the public, with a base price of $35,000, almost half that of the Tesla’s next-cheapest model.

Tesla’s share price more than doubled between December and late June as investors backed Elon Musk’s strategy to transform the low-volume luxury electric car maker into a producer for the crowded mass-market, but has since fallen back.

Elon Musk: Tesla Model 3 Pre-Orders Total 276,000

Registrations for new Tesla cars in California, its largest market, were down 24% in April compared with April 2016, according to IHS Markit data. Tesla responded by calling the figure “cherry-picked” data.

Image source Twitter

Tesla reported that first-half 2017 global deliveries for all its models rose to 47,100. That was at the lower end of its predicted sales range of 47,000 to 50,000.

In its last full financial year results, Tesla made a loss of $889 million.

Elon Musk’s tweeted images follow news last week that Volvo would become the first traditional vehicle manufacturer to phase out the petrol and diesel powered combustion engine, in a move toward hybrid and electric car production.


Footage has emerged showing that Venus Williams was driving lawfully during a car crash that led to the death of 78-year-old Jerome Barson, police say.

According to a surveillance video obtained by Palm Beach Gardens police in Florida, Venus Williams’ car entered the intersection on a green traffic signal.

An earlier police report had said Venus Williams, 37, was at fault and “violated the right of way of [the other driver]”.

Venus Williams’ lawyer said the fatal crash on June 9 was an accident.

Jerome Barson’s family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the tennis star.

Venus Williams Involved in Florida Fatal Crash

New video evidence has revealed that Venus Williams had the right of way as she entered the intersection of Northlake Boulevard in the city of Palm Beach Gardens, according to the police report.

However as she proceeded, the report says, Venus Williams was forced to brake to avoid a collision with an oncoming vehicle, which delayed her from clearing the junction.

Image source Flickr

As the tennis star then began to move forwards, a second vehicle – traveling in a different direction – entered the intersection on a green traffic signal, and the two cars collided.

“This updated information, based upon new evidence, is still under investigation,” the police statement said.

Jerome Barson had been travelling with his wife who was driving their vehicle at the time. He was taken to hospital but died two weeks later from his injuries.

The wife was also taken to hospital but survived.

The initial police report said that no other factors such as drugs, alcohol or mobile phone distractions were being investigated.

Was Serena Williams drunk at Wimbledon 2014?

Venus Williams, a seven-time Grand Slam champion, reportedly told police she did not see the couple’s car and she was driving slowly. She was not arrested in connection with the crash.

On July 3, when questioned by reporters about the crash, Venus Williams broke down in tears, and said: “There are no words to describe how devastating [it is]. I’m completely speechless.”

Venus Williams’ lawyer Malcolm Cunningham told CNN in a statement: “Ms. Williams entered the intersection on a green light. The police report estimates that Ms. Williams was travelling at 5mph when Mrs. Barson crashed into her.

“Authorities did not issue Ms Williams with any citations or traffic violations. This is an unfortunate accident and Venus expresses her deepest condolences to the family who lost a loved one.”

Venus Williams is currently playing her 20th Wimbledon tournament in London, where she is seeded 10th.


Venus Williams has been involved in a car crash that led to the death of a 78-year-old man in Florida.

The Palm Beach Gardens police are investigating a fatal crash involving the tennis star.

A man was taken to hospital after the accident on June 9 and died two weeks later from his injuries.

Police believe Venus Williams, 37, was at fault but her lawyer says it was an accident. She has not been cited or charged.

The man who died, Jerome Barson, was traveling with his wife who was driving their car through an intersection when the collision happened.

Image source Flickr

Venus Williams’ car suddenly darted into their path and was unable to clear the junction in time due to traffic jams, according to witness statements in a police report obtained by media.

Jerome Barson’s wife was also taken to hospital but survived.

Serena and Venus Williams slurs: Shamil Tarpischev gets $25,000 fine

“[Venus Williams] is at fault for violating the right of way of [the other driver],” the report said, adding that there were no other factors like drugs, alcohol or mobile phone distractions.

The seven-time Grand Slam champion reportedly told police she did not see the couple’s car and she was driving slowly.

Venus Williams’ lawyer Malcolm Cunningham told CNN in a statement: “Ms Williams entered the intersection on a green light. The police report estimates that Ms Williams was travelling at 5mph when Mrs. Barson crashed into her.

“Authorities did not issue Ms Williams with any citations or traffic violations. This is an unfortunate accident and Venus expresses her deepest condolences to the family who lost a loved one.”

Next week, Venus Williams is due to play her 20th Wimbledon tournament in London, where she is seeded 10th.

Venus Williams and her sister Serena have dominated the women’s game for two decades.

Sony Music has announced it will start pressing its own vinyl releases again for the first time since 1989.

The company will resume in-house domestic vinyl production at a Japanese factory south-west of Tokyo by March 2018.

Sony Music is one of the big three global record companies.

The move comes amid renewed demand for old-fashioned black plastic records, which now occupy a key market niche.

Image source Max Pixel

At one time, the vinyl format had been expected to disappear after the rise of CDs, digital downloads and streaming.

During vinyl’s long decline from the late 1980s onwards, many record factories closed down, with production confined to a few specialist independent companies.

However, this year, global vinyl revenue is expected to hit $1billion, with many consumers swearing by its supposedly superior sound quality.

Kesha’s Sony Music Slavery Case Dismissed by New York Court

Vinyl records have been growing in popularity again in recent years, boosted by events such as Record Store Day in April every year, for which record companies produce special limited-edition singles and albums.

Sony Music’s move comes a few months after it equipped its Tokyo studio with a cutting lathe, used to produce the master discs needed for manufacturing vinyl records.

It has not yet said which titles it will be pressing in vinyl, but big sellers in the format these days are a mixture of classic back-catalogue items and modern releases by new bands.

The IMF has cuts its growth forecasts for the US economy due to uncertainty about White House policies.

The organization now expects growth of 2.1% in 2017 and 2018, against earlier estimates of 2.3% in 2017 and 2.5% in 2018.

The forecast is also below the 3% rate targeted by the White House.

Proposals such as cuts to spending on programs that benefit low and middle income households could lead to even slower growth, the IMF warned.

“The consultation revealed differences on a range of policies and left open questions as to whether the administration’s proposed policy strategies are best suited to achieve their intended purpose,” the IMF said.

US Economy Adds 211,000 Jobs in April 2017

The US is enjoying its third longest economic expansion since 1850.

However, the US is having trouble adjusting to the challenges produced by technology and demographic changes, the IMF said.

The US economy is also “effectively” at full employment, making further growth difficult, the IMF said. Meanwhile poverty and income divisions have inhibited demand.

The organization said it supported ideas such as tax reform, family leave policies and investment in infrastructure as a way to boost growth.

US Economy Slows Dramatically in Q1 2017

However, the IMF cautioned against some of the other measures supported by the Trump administration.

It urged the US to preserve the current system of financial oversight, maintain a commitment to free trade and retain recent gains in health insurance coverage.

The IMF’s earlier forecasts had assumed the economy would receive a boost from the Trump administration’s policies, but it has now dropped those assumptions.

The IMF said: “During the Article IV consultation it became evident that many details about these plans are still undecided.

“Given these policy uncertainties, the IMF’s macroeconomic forecast uses a baseline assumption of unchanged policies.”

North Korea has rejected South Korea’s offer to form a unified team for the 2018 Winter Olympics.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in backed proposals for a collaboration after it was suggested by sports minister Do Jong-hwan.

However, North Korean International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Chang Un has dismissed the idea – saying there was not time to negotiate a deal.

The PyeonChang Games, in South Korea, will take place from February 9 to 25.

North Korea and OSuth Korea have played in the same team before – at the 1991 World Table Tennis Championships.

Image source YouTube

However, Chang Un told local media: “It took us 22 rounds of talks to set up that joint [table tennis] team… it took us five months.

“That’s the reality we face.”

Winter Games 2018: South Korea Olympic Chair Cho Yang-ho Resigns

South Korea’s sports minister had suggested a joint ice hockey team – even going as far as to suggest they might allow the north to host skiing events – to help make the 2018 games a “peace Olympics”.

President Moon Jae-in, who advocates greater dialogue with South Korea’s neighbors, then put forward the idea of a wider unified Olympic squad.

How Chang Un said the games should not be used for political purposes, adding: “As an expert of the Olympics, it is a little late to be talking about co-hosting. It’s easy to talk about co-hosting, but it is never easy to solve practical problems for that. It’s the same for forming a joint team for ice hockey.”

South Korean officials have said they continue to be open to the idea.

The two sides remain technically at war as the fighting at the end of the Korean War in 1953 did not end with a peace treaty. Tensions have risen recently following repeated missiles tests carried out by Pyongyang.


Takata has filed for bankruptcy protection in the US and Japan.

The Japanese car parts maker is facing billions of dollars in liabilities over its defective air bags, which have been linked to at least 17 deaths worldwide.

Some of the air bags contained faulty inflators which expanded with too much force, spraying metal shrapnel.

Takata Agrees to Pay $1BN Settlement over Exploding Air Bags Scandal

Key Safety Systems (KSS) has bought all of Takata’s assets, apart from those relating to the air bags.

The $1.6 billion deal was announced after Takata filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the US, with similar action taken in Japan.

Takata Airbag: Honda to Recall Additional 20 Million Faulty Airbags

KSS CEO Jason Luo: “Although Takata has been impacted by the global airbag recall, the underlying strength of its skilled employee base, geographic reach, and exceptional steering wheels, seat belts and other safety products have not diminished.”

More than 100 million cars with Takata air bags, including around 70 million vehicles in the US, have been recalled since concerns first emerged in 2007. It is the biggest safety recall in automotive history.


Boris Becker has been declared bankrupt by a London bankruptcy court.

Boris Becker, 49, owed a company of private bankers a large sum and the court registrar said there was not enough credible evidence that he could pay.

His lawyers asked for a final chance to pay with the funds from remortgaging a property in Majorca.

The three-time Wimbledon tennis champion, now a coach and TV pundit for the BBC and other media, was not at the hearing in London.

The bankruptcy application was made by Arbuthnot Latham in connection with a debt owed to them for nearly two years.

In a statement, Boris Becker said he was “surprised and disappointed” that Arbuthnot Latham had chosen to bring the proceedings against him.

Image source Wikipedia

“This order relates to one disputed loan which I was due to repay in full in one month’s time,” he said.

“It is disappointing that my request for today’s hearing to be postponed until this time was refused. My earnings are well publicized and it is clear that I have the means to repay this debt.

“The value of the asset in question far exceeds the debt owed to Arbuthnot Latham.”

Boris Becker’s lawyers had asked for another 28-day adjournment after saying that they expected the Majorca property deal to be completed in a month’s time.

However, the registrar rejected the plea and said: “It is not often the case that a professional person has a judgment (debt) outstanding against them since October 2015. This is a historic debt.

“One has the impression of a man with his head in the sand.”

Boris Becker’s advocate, John Briggs, said: “He is not a sophisticated individual when it comes to finances. I am asking for a real last chance for Mr. Becker to come good. It has just taken longer than anticipated.”

Since retiring from tennis, Boris Becker has worked in business and the media and he also coached former world No 1 Novak Djokovic for three years from 2013.


Uber founder and CEO Travis Kalanick has resigned after pressure from shareholders.

Travis Kalanick’s resignation comes after a review of practices at the company and scandals including complaints of harassment.

Last week Travis Kalanick said he was taking an indefinite leave of absence following the sudden death of his mother in a boating accident.

He will remain on Uber board.

Five major Uber investors demanded Travis Kalanick’s immediate resignation as chief executive, the New York Times reported.

Travis Kalanick reportedly said: “I love Uber more than anything in the world and at this difficult moment in my personal life I have accepted the investors request to step aside so that Uber can go back to building rather than be distracted with another fight.”

Uber‘s board said in a statement: “Travis has always put Uber first. This is a bold decision and a sign of his devotion and love for Uber.

“By stepping away, he’s taking the time to heal from his personal tragedy while giving the company room to fully embrace this new chapter in Uber’s history. We look forward to continuing to serve with him on the board.”

Dan Primack, business editor of the Axios news service, was one of the first to report the investor demands for Travis Kalanick to go.

The editor said a group of investors, but particularly Bill Gurley of venture capitalist company Benchmark, had put pressure on Travis Kalanick to resign.

“It’s important to note: Travis controlled the board in terms of votes, so really, it was a vey big uphill climb for [Bill] Gurley and the other investors to get this done,” Dan Primack said.

Uber’s future prospects were now “pretty bright”, Dan Primack added.

Uber has been searching for a chief operating officer, but now can seek out Fortune 500 chief executives to take over the top spot, he said.

The ride-hailing company has had a series of recent controversies, including the departure of other high-level executives.

Eric Alexander, the former head of Uber’s Asia-Pacific business, left after a report that he had obtained the medical records of a woman who was raped by an Uber driver in 2014.

Eric Alexander reportedly shared them with Travis Kalanick, senior vice-president Emil Michael and others.

Eric Alexander was fired earlier this month, and Emil Michael later left Uber.

Board member David Bonderman made a sexist remark at a meeting about workplace practice recommendations last week and then resigned as a director.

In February, the company said it was investigating “abhorrent” harassment claims made by former Uber engineer Susan Fowler.

This month Uber said it had fired more than 20 staff and had taken action against others following a review of more than 200 HR complaints that included harassment and bullying.

There has also been a lawsuit from Google’s parent company, Alphabet, over alleged theft of trade secrets related to driverless cars.


José Mourinho has denied tax fraud in Spain, saying the government had ratified his tax affairs.

The Manchester United manager was accused by prosecutors of defrauding Spain of €3.3 million ($3.6 million) in taxes while he was Real Madrid coach from 2011 to 2012.

A prosecutor said José Mourinho, 54, did not declare income from image rights in order to get an “illicit benefit”.

A statement released on José Mourinho’s behalf said he “has not received any notification”.

Photo Getty Images

It added: “To this date, neither the Spanish tax authorities, nor the public prosecutor have contacted Jose Mourinho or his advisers who were hired for the inspection process.”

The statement also said José Mourinho “paid more than €26 million in taxes, with an average tax rate of over 41%” during the three years until May 2013 and that he “entered into a settlement agreement” with the Spanish tax authorities after a change of rules in 2015.

José Mourinho has been accused of two counts of tax fraud – €1.6 million in 2011 and €1.7 million in 2012. The Madrid prosecutor said the case was presented to a local court.

Other prominent soccer figures have been accused of tax fraud in Spain in recent months.

Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo, who played under José Mourinho Mourinho and shares the same agent, is accused of defrauding tax authorities of €14.7 million, by also hiding his income from image rights.

Cristiano Ronaldo denies the accusations and is threatening to leave Spain. The Portuguese is set to give evidence in his case on July 31.


Amazon has announced that it is buying Whole Foods in a $13.7 billion deal that marks its biggest push into traditional retailing yet.

The online retail giant, which has been experimenting with grocery offerings, will buy the upscale supermarket for $42 a share.

Founded in 1978 in Texas, Whole Foods was a pioneer of the move towards natural and organic foods.

Whole Foodshas grown to more than 460 stores in the US, Canada and the UK, and employs about 87,000 people globally.

Image source Wikimedia

Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos said: “Millions of people love Whole Foods Market because they offer the best natural and organic foods, and they make it fun to eat healthy.

“Whole Foods Market has been satisfying, delighting and nourishing customers for nearly four decades – they’re doing an amazing job and we want that to continue.”

Whole Foods has been under pressure from investors amid declining same-store sales. Last month, the company named a new chief financial officer and new board members.

In April, activist investor Jana Partners called Whole Foods’ shares undervalued, noting “chronic underperformance”.

The price being paid by Amazon marks a 27% premium to the level Whole Foods’ shares closed at on June 15.

The takeover deal is expected to be completed in the second half of the year.

Whole Foods CEO John Mackey said: “This partnership presents an opportunity to maximize value for Whole Foods Market’s shareholders, while at the same time extending our mission and bringing the highest quality, experience, convenience and innovation to our customers.”

John Mackey is expected to stay on as chief executive.

Eurozone ministers have agreed to unlock the latest tranche of Greece’s bailout cash.

The bailout fund will disburse 8.5 billion euros to Greece, they said in a statement.

The latest tranche of the international bailout will help avert a fresh debt crisis in July when the next €7 billion euro repayment of loans becomes due.

The payment is still subject to parliamentary approvals in some countries.

IMF Director Christine Lagarde said she would propose an approval in principle to her executive board.

The International Monetary Fund wants clarity on longer-term debt relief for Greece once the current funding scheme, worth up to 86 billion euros, runs out next year.

Christine Lagarde said the IMF was ready to participate to the third bailout program for Greece after the meeting of eurozone finance ministers in Luxembourg which capped months of negotiations.

However, the IMF could join the program with a financial support “in the range of $2 billion” only after a full deal on additional measures of debt relief for Greece, she said.

Time was beginning to press for this payment. Greece has repayments on other loans due next month, which it could not otherwise have made.

The decision reflects economic policy actions already taken by Greece and the new commitment by the IMF’s managing director Christine Lagarde to recommend that her board contribute financially to this bailout.

An IMF contribution was politically important for Germany, especially to strengthen the perceived credibility of the bailout.

The eurozone group welcomed the financial and structural reforms enacted by Greece, including income tax and pension reform.

Germany’s parliament will discuss the bailout deal on June 16, finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said.

Greek finance minister Euclid Tsakalotos said the agreement would allow market access ‘in due course’.


Takata is reportedly filing for bankruptcy after its faulty air bags led to the biggest safety recall in automotive industry.

The filing could come next week in both Japan and the US, where it has a subsidiary and is seeking a buyer.

The Japanese car parts maker shares were temporarily suspended on the Tokyo stock exchange because of the news.

Takata faces billions of dollars in liabilities over the recall.

So far, about 100 million Takata air bags, which can rupture with deadly force and spray shrapnel at passengers, have been recalled globally.

Takata’s faulty air bags have been linked to at least a dozen deaths and more than 100 injuries worldwide.

Japan’s Nikkei newspaper estimates Takata faces liabilities exceeding 1 trillion yen ($9 billion).

Takata has not commented on the reports in Japan, from sources close to the case, of imminent bankruptcy.

The company is said to be in talks about a potential deal with US auto parts maker Key Safety Systems. The latter may buy some of its assets under a restructuring plan.

In January, Takata agreed to pay $1 billion in penalties in the US for concealing dangerous defects in its exploding air bags. It also pleaded guilty to a single criminal charge.

Takata paid a $25 million fine, $125 million to people injured by the air bags and $850 million to carmakers that used them. However, it still faces the possibility of more lawsuits.

Most major auto makers, including GM and VW, have been affected.

Honda Motor, which as Takata’s biggest customer is one of the worst affected, started recalling their popular Accord and Civic models in 2008 because of the air bags.


Volkswagen will provide a two year guarantee for the cars in Europe fitted with emissions cheating devices which it agreed to modify.

According to the auto maker, the two year guarantee will cover exhaust and emissions control parts.

The European Commission has been putting pressure on VW to compensate customers over its emissions scandal, but the company has refused.

And European class action lawsuits are picking up steam.

The guarantee has conditions attached -it will only cover certain car parts in vehicles that have been driven for under 250,000km (about 155,000 miles), and will depend on the service history of the car and the age of the affected parts.

In September 2015, VW admitted to US regulators that it had cheated on emissions tests there using software installed in as many as 11 million diesel vehicles sold worldwide – the majority of them in Europe.

In the aftermath of the diesel emissions scandal, VW agreed to modify millions of vehicles in Europe which were equipped with the software capable of undermining the emissions testing process.

In the US, VW agreed to pay substantial compensation and buy back cars.

However, emissions controls are not as tight in Europe, and VW has resisted paying compensation, despite pressure from the European Commission.

The Federal Reserve has raised its key interest rate by 0.25% for the second time this year.

It voted to raise its key rate target to a range of 1% to 1.25%.

That is the highest level since 2008, when policymakers cut rates to encourage borrowing and spending after the financial crisis.

The central bank also said it would begin cutting its bond holdings and other securities this year.

The Fed cited continued US economic growth and job market strength as reasons for raising its benchmark interest rate.

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said on June 14: “Our decision … reflects the progress the economy has made and is expected to make.”

The rise was widely anticipated after a low unemployment rate, but other economic indicators, including inflation, have been weaker.

Data showed US consumer prices unexpectedly fell in May and retail sales recorded their biggest drop in 16 months.

This has raised questions about the bank’s future course.

US stock markets the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ edged down at the close.

However, the rate increase was already priced into most stocks.

Image source Flickr

The Fed policymakers have been grappling with when and how to alter the policies put in place after the 2008 financial crisis to boost economic activity.

At the time, they cut interest rates and bought up US treasuries and mortgage-backed securities to keep rates low.

The Fed has a $4.2 trillion portfolio of Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities, most of which were purchased in the wake of the financial crisis and recession.

In 2014, the Fed stopped its bond purchase program, known as quantitative easing, but it has continued to reinvest the assets on its books.

On June 14, policymakers said they aim to reduce that balance sheet, by reinvesting payments from those securities only above certain caps, totaling $10 billion.

The cap would escalate in three month intervals. It would start implementing those policies this year, assuming economic growth continues.

Janet Yellen said she’s not sure how far the committee will want to reduce the holdings over the long run, but she said they would be levels “appreciably below” those seen in recent years though larger than before the financial crisis.

The Fed raised interest rates for the first time since the crisis in December 2015.

Policymakers acted in December 2016 and again in March.

The June 14 decision was made with an 8-1 vote, with Neel Kashkari, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, dissenting. Neel Kashkari also voted against the March rise.

Interest rates remain low by historic standards. The board expects to raise rates at least three times this year.

The moves depend on the strength of the economy, which has been mixed.

On June 14, the US Labor Department reported that prices for goods excluding food and energy increased by 1.7% from May 2016, slowing steadily from earlier in the year.

That fell short of the Fed’s target of 2%.

Janet Yellen said the bank is aware of the shortfall and it was “essential” to move back to the target.

However, she said this year’s data may be skewed by one-off factors, such as lower prices on cell phone plans.

“It’s important not to overreact to a few readings,” she said.

“Data on inflation can be noisy.”

For US consumers, interest rate increases tend to lead to increased borrowing costs.