02112016Thu
Last update: Thu, 11 Feb 2016 11am

North America

World - North America

US lawmakers dial up pressure on in-flight call plan WASHINGTON: US regulators girded for a vote Thursday which could allow in-flight phone calls, as debate heated up in Congress and elsewhere on the issue.Federal Communications Commission chairman Tom Wheeler, in comments prepared for a congressional hearing Thursday morning, defended his agency's moves on reforming what he called "an outdated rule" banning in-flight calls."If the basis for the rule is no longer valid, then the rule is no longer valid," Wheeler said."I understand the consternation caused by the thought of your onboard seatmate disturbing the flight making phone calls. I do not want the person in the seat next to me yapping at 35,000 feet any more than anyone else. But we are not the Federal Courtesy Commission. Our mandate from Congress is to oversee how networks function."Wheeler and other FCC commissioners were set to appear at the morning hearing in the House of Representatives, and vote later in the ...

World - North America

Air Canada orders 61 Boeing 737s for $6.5bn MONTREAL: Air Canada announced Wednesday it had placed a firm $6.5 billion order for 61 Boeing 737 MAX narrow-body aircraft, with options on 18 more planes and purchase rights for 30 others.The order -- which comes as the airline seeks to replace its aging Airbus A320 and A321 fleet -- concerns 33 of the MAX 8 version of the 737, and 28 of the MAX 9 aircraft with substitution rights between them as well as ...

World - North America

US judge approves ResCap's plan to end its bankruptcy NEW YORK: A US Bankrutpcy Court on Wednesday approved Residential Capital's plan to exit Chapter 11 putting the mortgage lender on track to end its 19-month bankruptcy before year's end. The former Ally Financial Inc subsidiary received the green light on the plan at a hearing in the US Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan, eight days after it struck a deal resolving objections from a group of bondholders. The plan, based on ...

World - North America

US budget deal lowers risk of damage to creditworthiness: Fitch NEW YORK: Fitch Ratings said the bipartisan US budget deal hashed out on Tuesday still leaves US sovereign credit vulnerable to a downgrade, but reduces the risk of damaging the economy or perceptions of US creditworthiness. The deal, Fitch said in a statement on Wednesday, also suggests a lower risk of the kind of political brinkmanship that led to a partial government shutdown in October. "But the proposal does not increase the federal ...

World - North America

New poll gives Obama dismal numbers WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama's disapproval rating has hit a record high, due mainly to the disastrous debut of his health care law, an NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll released Wednesday said.A total of 54 percent of those surveyed disapprove of how he is doing his job, which is the highest mark in his presidency. That is up from 51 percent in late October, said the survey.The numbers are also dismal on specific aspects of his ...

World - North America

Mexico Senate debates disputed oil reform MEXICO CITY: Mexico's Senate opened a debate Tuesday on controversial legislation to break the country's oil monopoly by allowing foreign firms to drill for crude for the first time in 75 years.The bill, which has sparked demonstrations, is the centerpiece of President Enrique Pena Nieto's sweeping reform drive, which has led to new laws in tax collection, telecommunications and education in an effort to revitalize Latin America's second biggest economy.The latest reform would let private ...

World - North America

US boosts mental health funding, year after Newtown WASHINGTON: US Vice President Joe Biden announced a $100 million boost in funding for mental health services on Tuesday as he met families of children killed in the Newtown school shooting, the White House said."The fact that less than half of children and adults with diagnosable mental health problems receive the treatment they need is unacceptable," Biden said, adding that he and President Barack Obama had made access to mental health care a "priority."Half the ...