Pilot of missing Malaysian flight an aviation tech geek
Sun, 09 Mar 2014 08:32:37 -0400
By Niluksi Koswanage KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - The pilot of a Malaysia Airlines jet that went missing on Saturday enjoyed flying the Boeing 777 so much that he spent his off days tinkering with a flight simulator of the plane that he had set up at home, current and former co-workers said. Zaharie Ahmad Shah, 53, captain of the airliner carrying 239 people bound for Beijing from the Malaysian capital, had always wanted to become a pilot and joined the national carrier in 1981. Airline staff who worked with the pilot said Zaharie knew the ins and outs of the Boeing 777 extremely well, as he was always practicing with the simulator. That is the kind of guy he is," said a Malaysia Airlines co-pilot who had flown with Zaharie in the past.
PM: Won't budge '1 centimeter' from Ukrainian land
Sun, 09 Mar 2014 08:32:07 -0400
KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — As separatists in Crimea kept up pressure for unification with Moscow, Ukraine on Sunday solemnly commemorated the 200th anniversary of the birth of its greatest poet, with the prime minister vowing not to give up "a single centimeter" of Ukrainian territory.
Co-op to hike pay for top executives - report
Sun, 09 Mar 2014 08:29:42 -0400
Britain's Co-operative Group is set to pay up to 3.66 million pounds in pay and benefits to its chief executive this year and hike the salaries of other senior executives, the Observer newspaper reported on Sunday. Citing documents prepared for the group's remuneration and appointments committee, the Observer said big payouts for Chief Executive Euan Sutherland and his fellow directors are based on comparisons with similar sized listed companies. According to the paper, the documents say the salary packages for directors are necessary because of the problems faced by the group amount to an "executive agenda (that) is possibly the most complex one facing a large business in the country today." The Observer said that under the latest pay proposals, Sutherland will be paid a base salary of 1.5 million pounds this year, plus a 1.5 million pounds retention payment. Richard Pennycook, Chief Operating officer will receive a 900,000 pounds salary and a further 900,000 retention payment while six other executives will be paid between 500,000 pounds and 650,000 pounds, according to the Observer.
Malaysia investigators probe possible airport security lapse
Sun, 09 Mar 2014 08:23:45 -0400
By Niluksi Koswanage KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Malaysian officials are poring over CCTV footage and questioning immigration officers and guards at Kuala Lumpur's international airport, concerned that a security breach may be connected to the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. Suspicions that the Beijing-bound Boeing jet, which vanished on Saturday with 239 people on board, may have been hijacked or bombed have risen after at least two passengers were found to be using stolen passports, though Malaysia's government stressed it was considering all possibilities. Malaysian investigators, assisted by the FBI, are probing the identities of four passengers in particular, two Malaysian officials with knowledge of the investigation told Reuters. The four comprise two travelers with European passports, possibly Ukrainian, in addition to two travelling on stolen Austrian and Italian passports, the sources said.
Bank of England's Carney faces grilling over foreign exchange scandal
Sun, 09 Mar 2014 08:17:08 -0400
By William Schomberg and William James LONDON (Reuters) - Mark Carney faces probably his toughest questioning so far as Bank of England governor next week when lawmakers will seize on a foreign exchange scandal to press their demands for tighter oversight of the central bank. Carney arrived from Canada last July as an outsider with a mandate to shake up the 320 year-old institution, from monetary policy to its relationship with the powerful banks of the City of London. A group of influential members of parliament wants Carney to change the way the Bank polices itself too. Their long-standing frustrations with what they say is the Bank's outdated governance system broke out again last week when the Bank suspended an official amid an internal review into whether Bank staff turned a blind eye to possible manipulation of key rates by foreign exchange traders.
Afghan VP, ex-Northern alliance commander, dies
Sun, 09 Mar 2014 08:16:11 -0400
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghan Vice President Mohammad Qasim Fahim, a leading commander in the alliance that fought the Taliban who was later accused with other warlords of targeting civilian areas during the bloody conflict, died Sunday. He was 57.
Bank of England to hold independent inquiry into FX fixing claims - report
Sun, 09 Mar 2014 08:14:33 -0400
The Bank of England may appoint a judge, academic or senior financial industry executive to run an independent inquiry into its actions in relation to allegations it allowed manipulation of the foreign exchange market, the Sunday Telegraph reported. The bank has already appointed the law firm Travers Smith to prepare a report on the affair which will be made public. However, the Sunday Telegraph said Travers Smith is on a fact finding exercise rather than an inquiry. The Bank has suspended an employee as part of an internal probe into what Bank officials knew about alleged manipulation of key currency rates by traders.
'What bailout exit?' Portuguese ask, braced for more hardship
Sun, 09 Mar 2014 08:05:05 -0400
By Andrei Khalip LISBON (Reuters) - Portugal's international bailout is expected to end in mid-May. That won't mean the end of hardship for the Portuguese. To avoid a repeat of the 78 billion euro ($108 billion) financial rescue agreed in May 2011 with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, Lisbon cannot let up on shrinking its budget gap and trimming a huge sovereign debt. That means it will be easier than in the past couple of years to meet goals imposed on Portugal by existing bailout terms and European treaties between now and 2017. Still, with a population intent on making ends meet - and a general election due in the middle of next year - assurances from Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho often fall on deaf ears.
Unilever buys majority share in China water business
Sun, 09 Mar 2014 07:42:08 -0400
Dutch food and cosmetics giant Unilever said on Sunday it has bought a majority stake in Chinese water purification company Qinyuan in its biggest investment in the country in a decade. "We are delighted to be making this strategic investment –- a majority stake in Qinyuan -– our biggest acquisition in China for more than 10 years," Unilever chief executive Paul Polman said in a statement. Rotterdam-based Unilever, which last year clocked up a net profit of 4.84 billion euros ($6.56 billion), declined to put an amount on the deal or disclose the size of its stake. Qinyuan last year made almost 140 million euros in sales in China's rapidly-expanding water purification market, which has grown more than 20 percent a year over the last three years, Unilever said.
Ukraine PM says he will go to U.S. to discuss Crimea crisis
Sun, 09 Mar 2014 07:41:14 -0400
KIEV (Reuters) - Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk said on Sunday he would go to the United States this week to discuss the standoff with Russia over Ukraine's southern region of Crimea. "I am going to the United states to hold top-level meetings on resolving the situation unfolding in our bilateral and multilateral relations," Yatseniuk said at the start of a government meeting in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev. He did not immediately give any dates and provided no other details of the visit. I (Reporting by Natalia Zinets, Editing by Timothy Heritage)
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