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Air France pilots vote to extend strike by a week PARIS: Air France pilots have voted to extend for another week a strike over their airline's push to develop a low-cost subsidiary they fear will undermine their jobs, their main union said Saturday.The stoppage, which has already run for nearly a week, is already the longest suffered by Air France in 16 years.More than half of the company's flights have been scrapped, disrupting the travel plans of tens of thousands of passengers. The airline says it is losing up to 15 million euros ($19 million) per day.The industrial action is to protest Air France's focus on its budget subsidiary, Transavia, launched to compete with no-frills airlines the likes of easyJet, which are increasingly grabbing marketshare for flights around Europe and the Mediterranean.Air France pilots, who earn up to 250,000 euros a year, are worried they will be supplanted by cheaper labour flying for Transavia France.Their principal union, SNPL AF Alfa, ...

Nissan USA aims to keep electric battery production WASHINGTON: Japanese automaker Nissan is dismissing speculation that it intends to scale back electric car battery production at its US plant in Tennessee.Nissan's ambitious electric vehicle program has been a signature initiative of Carlos Ghosn, the chief executive at both Renault and Nissan."The Renault-Nissan Alliance remains 100 percent committed to its industry-leading EV program," spokesman Travis Parman said in a statement."This global commitment continues for the foreseeable future, and we have not taken any decision ...
Shells leave Ukraine's coal miners digging for survival VILKHIVKA: They spend much of their day clearing their gardens of shrapnel, digging up potatoes or chopping wood to prepare for the fast-approaching winter.The coal miners of the village of Vilkhivka in eastern Ukraine haven't been working for months, forced to down tools by the shells they say are still falling almost every day."As miners, we used to get coal for the stove," says Pavel Krivonosov, 64, who despite his age still used to work ...
Prada to open fewer stores in 2014 after H1 profit drops HONG KONG: Prada SpA will open fewer stores than previously planned this year, the Italian luxury goods group said on Friday, after reporting a 21 percent fall in its first-half net profit.The company said it did not see significant improvements in the luxury market in the coming months and forecast a second half broadly in line with the first six months to end-July, without specifying if it was referring to sales or profit.In April Prada ...
Turkey working to produce electricity from pistachios ISLAMABAD: Turkey, the world's third-largest producer of pistachios, will gather biogas from the nuts, which are related cashews, to produce electricity.Production will begin initially in Gaziantep, a southeastern city of more than a million people that is one of the most important agricultural centers in the country, Anadolu Agency reports.Among Gaziantep's features are numerous pistachio orchards.Scientists in Turkey have been working to produce biogas from pistachios on an experimental level for more than three years ...
Alibaba's Ma rides 'Forrest Gump' story to riches NEW YORK: In his long road to riches, Alibaba founder Jack Ma says his inspiration has been the film character "Forrest Gump.""I like that guy. I've been watching that movie about 10 times," Ma said in an interview with CNBC as his Chinese online firm made its historic Wall Street trading debut on Friday."Every time I get frustrated, I watch the movie."Ma said the lesson he learned from the blockbuster featuring Tom Hanks was "that ...
Air France strike extends into weekend PARIS: French travellers were facing a weekend of travel disruption, as pilots at Air France announced Friday they were extending their strike, their longest since 1998.The company said it will have to scrap 55 percent of its flights on Saturday, when pilots' unions will also announce whether the strike will continue into a second week.Pilots have downed tools in protest at the airline's plans to develop its low-cost subsidiary Transavia France, whose pilots cost considerably ...


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Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-1.434 bln
Exports $1.930 bln
Imports $3.364 bln
WeeklySeptember 18, 2014
Reserves $13.525 bln