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Olathe-based Garmin moves to the New York Stock Exchange

NEW YORK – Olathe-based Garmin ushered in a new era on Wall Street on Tuesday morning.

Company executives were there to ring the opening bell on the New York Stock Exchange, symbolizing the company’s exit from NASDAQ. The transfer to the New York Stock Exchange comes today 21 years after Garmin’s IPO. The company initially went public on December 8, 2000.

The company employs 15,000 people in Olathe, along with thousands more in 34 countries around the world. It focuses on GPS navigation and wearable technology in the automotive, aviation, marine, outdoor and fitness markets.

“Garmin is thrilled to join the NYSE alongside many of the world’s most established and trusted companies,” said Cliff Pemble, President and CEO of Garmin. “Garmin occupies a unique position both as a well-respected consumer brand and as a strong industrial player. We believe this move complements our strong brand and will deliver significant, long-term value to our shareholders. “

The company is also reinvesting in Johnson County. He confirmed in October that he had purchased the property where the Great Mall of the Great Plains once stood. The property spans 193 acres on the northwest corner of 151st Street and Highway 169 in Olathe, and is less than two miles from Garmin’s international headquarters.


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Office Principles delivers new UK headquarters for international electronics group

Interior design consultancy Office Principles has handed over the renovated UK headquarters of the DiscoverIE Group in Surrey.

CAT B renovations to the approximately 6,800 square foot building at Surrey Research Park, Guildford, were completed following an 11-week project.

Office Principles modernized the existing offices in the two-story building to allow the coexistence of collaborative and focused workspaces.

The project combines the bold and dynamic branding of DiscoverIE with a muted Scandinavian-style palette, including wood flooring extending from the entrance to the building and lighter coloring throughout.

The upper floor houses six recently refurbished offices and two meeting rooms, including a “Zoom Room” for video conferencing, an open-plan workspace and a kitchen.

The lower level houses two newly renovated offices, two smaller meeting rooms, and a modular meeting room with marble-style wallcovering, wood flooring with inlaid carpet, and LED lighting.

Other features include the use of a combination of high-end furniture, with family-style tables and benches for team and project meetings, and private cubicles for individual work.

Further relaxation areas and flexible working areas have been refurbished on the ground floor, which contains a striking new reception area characterized by a new light box and full-height glazing that makes good use of natural light throughout. building.

Office Principles was chosen to carry out the project following a competitive bidding process. Despite the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, the interior design consultancy worked with DiscoverIE for over 12 months to develop the design concept through virtual meetings.

The work was coordinated with a renovation by the owner of the toilets, windows, doors and exterior signage and was completed on time and on budget.

Tom Parsons, Sales Director at Office Principles, said: “discoverIE asked us to renovate its existing UK headquarters following a lease renewal. We were selected primarily because of our impressive track record and the strength of our design, which allowed us to ensure on-time project delivery. Our team has successfully completed a renovation that retains the best elements of a traditional office with an avant-garde approach. It has created a versatile workspace that meets the needs of a modern and diverse workforce.


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Mossad chief visits US as Iran nuclear talks stall

Mossad chief David Barnea was due to travel to Washington on Sunday to discuss Iran with senior officials in the Biden administration.

The trip comes days after renewed negotiations halted to reinstate the 2015 agreement limiting Iran’s nuclear program in return for sanctions relief, with the United States saying the Iranians did not appear serious about concluding the move. ‘a deal.

The Haaretz daily reported that Barnea will seek to convince U.S. leaders not to seek an interim deal that does not see Iran revert to full compliance with the agreement, and will instead seek international support for tough sanctions against Tehran. .

The newspaper said the meetings were described as “extremely important”.

The espionage chief will stress that if an agreement with Iran is finally reached, Israel will not be bound by it and will continue its efforts to thwart the nuclear work of the Islamic Republic, according to the Ynet news site.

Barnea, who will act as Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s emissary, also reportedly intends to present Americans with new information on the Iranian program.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz will travel to the United States later in the week for talks which are also expected to focus on Iran.

Barnea’s trip follows his promise on Thursday that Iran will never acquire nuclear weapons. He also said that a bad deal between Tehran and the world powers would be “intolerable” for Israel.

The Iranian flag flies in front of the building of the International Center with the headquarters of the International Atomic Energy Agency, IAEA, in Vienna, Austria, May 24, 2021 (AP Photo / Florian Schroetter, FILE)

On Saturday, a US official said Iran had moved away from all of its previous compromises on relaunching the 2015 nuclear pact and that this would not allow Iran to “slow down” international negotiations while simultaneously stepping up its negotiations. atomic activities.

“We cannot accept a situation in which Iran is stepping up its nuclear program and slowing down its nuclear diplomacy,” the senior US administration official said, echoing a recent warning from Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Speaking to reporters after returning from Vienna, the official said Washington was not yet considering withdrawing from the indirect talks it resumed with Tehran last week in the Austrian capital, but hoped Iran would return. “with a serious attitude”.

In this week’s talks, the official said, Iran reneged on any compromises it had made in months of previous talks on relaunching the deal, while retaining the compromises made by it. others and looking for more.

Iran came to Vienna “with proposals that amounted to nonsense – any of the compromises Iran had offered here in the six rounds of talks pocketed all the compromises that others, and the United States in particular had done and then demanded more, “the senior official quoted by Reuters said.

He said it was not clear when talks would resume and that Washington was “preparing for a world in which there is no return to the JCPOA,” a reference to the agreement’s official name, the Plan. common global action.

He said more sanctions would likely come if Washington concluded that Iran had killed the negotiations.

The seventh round of nuclear talks ended on Friday after five days in Vienna, with delegations returning to their national capitals and due to return to Austria next week.

Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator Ali Bagheri Kani leaves Coburg Palace, venue of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) meeting to revive the Iran nuclear deal, in Vienna on December 3 2021 (Joe Klamar / AFP)

Iran’s chief negotiator, Ali Bagheri Kani, said the talks were on hold “because the opposing side had to consult their capitals to provide a documented and reasonable response to these [Iranian] the proposals. ”He said negotiations would resume in the middle of next week.

Blinken said on Friday that the negotiations had been halted because “Iran does not appear seriously at the moment to do what is necessary to return to compliance.”

And European diplomats have expressed “disappointment and concern” after Iran submitted two draft proposals that appeared to cancel months of dialogue.

Iran suspended talks in June after the election of ultra-conservative President Ebrahim Raisi.

The official argued on Saturday that the United States had shown patience in allowing a five-month break in the process, but meanwhile the Iranians “continued to step up their nuclear program in particularly provocative ways.”

When Tehran finally returned to the table on Monday, he said, it was “with proposals that amounted to any of the compromises Iran had offered in the six rounds of talks.”

He accused Iran of seeking to “pocket all the compromises that others – the United States in particular – had made, and then ask for more.”

The official said he believed countries close to Iran were also upset with Tehran’s positions during recent talks.

At this point, he said the United States will continue diplomatic efforts – but reaffirmed that it has “other tools” at hand if negotiations fail.

Coburg Palace, the site of Iranian nuclear talks, is pictured in Vienna on November 29, 2021 (Vladimir Simicek / AFP)

The landmark 2015 nuclear deal – initially between Britain, China, France, Germany, Iran, Russia, and the United States – began to unravel in 2018 when the U.S. President then Donald Trump withdrew and reimposed the sanctions, prompting Iran to start overstepping the limits of its nuclear program. the next year.

US President Joe Biden has said he wants to re-enter the deal, and the US has indirectly participated in the talks this week.

Iran insists its nuclear program is peaceful.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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Global tax deal leaves billion-dollar loopholes, Reuters analysis finds

DUBLIN, Dec. 3 (Reuters) – Leaders of the world’s largest economies have hailed a recent agreement to revise global corporate tax rules as the key to enabling multinationals to pay their fair share of tax.

The October agreement established a global minimum corporate tax rate of 15% aimed at limiting profit transfers to low-tax jurisdictions like Ireland, where many large international companies have their European headquarters. “It will remove incentives to move jobs and profits overseas,” US President Joe Biden said in early October.

But some companies could still use Ireland to lower their tax bill even after the deal goes into effect, according to tax experts and a Reuters review of the companies’ returns.

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Indeed, the new agreement will not prevent companies from benefiting from a strategy widely implemented in recent years that reduces taxes over a period of up to a decade or more. Ireland’s relatively generous tax breaks allow multinationals in the country to sell intellectual property, such as patents and trademarks, from one branch to another in order to generate deductions that can be used to protect profits future tax.

Companies that have generated deductions to reduce their taxable income by more than $ 10 billion each in recent years through this tax reduction strategy include U.S. technology companies Adobe Inc (ADBE.O) and Oracle Corp (ORCL. N), according to company statements.

Enterprise software provider Oracle declined to comment, and Adobe, creator of software such as Acrobat pdf-maker, did not respond to requests for comment. Both companies said they were in compliance with relevant tax laws.

The agreement, negotiated by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), is expected to enter into force in 2023. It has been signed by more than 130 jurisdictions, including Ireland.

The Irish Department of Finance has said Ireland’s tax treatment of intellectual property transactions is in line with that of other OECD countries.

In response to questions from Reuters, the OECD acknowledged that companies could continue to benefit from profit shifting strategies already in place, but that it expects companies to be unable to form such tax shields in the future. The approach typically relies on a business that also has a subsidiary in a country with a zero corporate tax rate, such as Bermuda, which allows the business to make the sale tax-free. By phasing out zero-tax jurisdictions for multinationals, the OECD expects the 15% global minimum tax to make the strategy more attractive.

“We are trying to design rules for the future,” said John Peterson, an OECD official.

Peterson added that the OECD cannot know for sure how individual country’s rules would interact with the global minimum tax. But he said the OECD is confident the abuse will be limited by requiring countries to calculate taxable income in accordance with accounting rules.

Tax experts say the impact of the deal remains uncertain as key details have yet to be agreed, including how to calculate the profit pot that needs to be taxed. Countries are currently debating waivers for certain tax breaks. In addition, jurisdictions could retain wide latitude in how they allow businesses to calculate taxable income, the specialists said.

“Where there is no accounting consistency there is room for play,” said Nicholas Gardner, tax partner at London law firm Ashurst.

The new rules are expected to be finalized next year and require legislative approval in some jurisdictions. This includes the United States, where several senior Republican politicians have expressed their opposition to the deal.

Malta is another country that allows multinationals to minimize taxes through intra-company sales of intellectual property. Malta’s finance ministry did not respond to requests for comment on its intellectual property tax breaks.

TAX SHIELD

International pressure has forced Ireland in recent years to phase out one of the world’s best-known tax loopholes, known as the “Irish Double”. intellectual property, according to tax advisers, economists and business returns.

Since 2015, multinationals have transferred hundreds of billions of euros of intellectual property to Ireland, economists say. This has led to large annual tax deductions for foreign companies linked to so-called intangible assets – over 45 billion euros in 2019, up from less than 2.7 billion euros in 2014, according to administration data. Irish tax. The data does not disaggregate how much of these deductions were related to intellectual property transactions within a company.

“Virtually all multinationals have moved intellectual property,” said Christopher Sibley, senior statistician at Ireland’s Central Statistics Office.

Profits protected from tax by US-based corporations typically come from sales in Europe, Asia and Africa, according to tax practitioners and company returns. The US Treasury loses because the products and services sold are based on research conducted and investments made in the United States, according to academics.

The US Treasury declined to say whether US companies would continue to profit from pre-existing tax strategies or profit from futures.

Adobe reserves most of its sales to non-US customers through an Irish subsidiary based in a four-story building in an office park outside of Dublin, according to company documents.

In 2020, Adobe Systems Software Ireland Ltd purchased the intellectual property of another subsidiary which was both a company registered in Ireland and a resident of Bermuda for tax purposes. The implementation meant that no tax was due on the $ 11 billion in profits from the sale. Meanwhile, Irish tax resident Adobe Systems Software Ireland recorded an expense of $ 11 billion that could be used to offset income taxes over a period of around eight years as it is a asset that depreciates over time, according to the accounts of subsidiaries.

Adobe paid $ 197 million in taxes on $ 3.1 billion in reported profits in Ireland in 2020 and sales of $ 5.6 billion, according to accounts from its main Irish unit. This equates to an effective tax rate of around half of the current statutory corporate tax rate of 12.5% ​​in Ireland, thanks to the impact of capital allowances.

Other U.S. companies that have racked up multibillion-dollar tax deductions on sales of intellectual property to affiliates over the past three years include semiconductor maker Analog Devices Inc (ADI.O), the maker medical device company Stryker Corp (SYK.N) and the Cadence software group. Design Systems Inc (CDNS.O), show the public accounts of their Irish subsidiaries.

Analog Devices and Stryker said they comply with tax rules and regulations, but declined to answer questions about their specific tax provisions. Cadence declined to comment.

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Tom Bergin reporting; Editing by Cassell Bryan-Low and Rachel Armstrong

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News: Appointment of the new IBAN board member, Michael Gaul, 01-Aug-2021

Michael Gaul, born in 1959 in Bad Kreuznach, Germany. He was appointed by the North Atlantic Council as a member of the Board of Directors of the International Board of Auditors effective August 1, 2021.

He graduated from the Faculty of Law of the Johannes-Gutenberg University in Mainz in 1985 and completed his practical legal training in the Land of Rhineland-Palatinate in 1988.

From 1985 to 1989 he worked as a freelance lawyer for German and American law firms and in 1989 was a trainee at the Federal Employment Service in Nüremberg.

He was appointed Judge (Public Prosecutor) and worked for the Ministry of Justice in Mainz from 1989 to 1991. He then became Deputy Head of the Section for International Privatization Policy and Public Management Administration at Federal Ministry of Finance in Bonn / Berlin from 1991 to 1998.

From 1998 to 2004, he served as Deputy Head of Finance, Economic Affairs and Personnel at the Permanent Delegation of the Federal Republic of Germany to NATO. In 2004, he was Chairman of the NATO Budget Committee in 2004.

He continued his career with NATO and became Chief Defense and Security Economics Officer in the Political Affairs and Security Policy Division from 2007 to 2010.

From 2010 to 2011, Michael Gaul worked as Senior Financial and Policy Advisor at the Permanent Delegation of the Federal Republic of Germany to NATO and served as Senior Advisor, Science for Peace and Security Program in the NATO Emerging Security Challenges Division from 2011 until 2017.

From 2017 until joining the International Board of Auditors of NATO, he was Chief Financial Officer, Headquarters and Staff of the Permanent Delegation of the Federal Republic of Germany to NATO .


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ClickUp to create 200 new jobs in Dublin

Two hundred new jobs are to be created in Dublin over the next two years thanks to the ClickUp productivity platform.

The American technology company will open a new European headquarters there as part of its international expansion.

The new roles will be in a range of areas including sales, customer success, marketing, support, finance and human resources and recruiting has already started.

The expansion comes just over a month after the San Diego-based company raised $ 400 million in Series C funding.

ClickUp said it chose Ireland because of the tech community established here and the availability of talent.

“We have been impressed with the deep expertise and large supply of multilingual tech talent in and around Dublin, and we consider our European office to play a vital role in ClickUp’s continued global expansion,” said Mark Stoddard , Head of International Operations at ClickUp.

“We are excited to bring ClickUp to Ireland and offer a diverse range of jobs, while adding to the already world-class tech community.”

Founded in 2017, ClickUp is an all-in-one software as a service platform that replaces individual workplace productivity tools with a single platform comprising project management, document collaboration, worksheets, chat and goals.

Its customers include Booking.com, Netflix and McDonalds and is used by 800,000 teams around the world, including 275,000 based in Europe.

The company plans to use its Dublin office to locate the product for its customers in France, Germany and Spain.

The investment was well received by Tánaiste and Minister of Enterprise Leo Varadkar and by IDA which supported him.

“Dublin remains a premier destination city for fast growing companies wishing to establish their European headquarters in order to internationalize their business and serve and grow their customer base,” said Martin Shanahan, CEO of IDA Ireland.

“Ireland has a proven track record as a very attractive destination for Software as a Service (SaaS) companies looking to access a well-established talent pool to scale quickly.

ClickUp tripled its revenue last year and quadrupled its number of users.

In total, it has raised $ 535 million in funding and is currently valued at over $ 4 billion.


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Xiaomi makes Beijing its EV headquarters alongside a new plant with 300,000 vehicles per year

Xiaomi Automotive recently signed a contract with a Beijing Economic and Technological Development Zone committee to establish all of its automotive business in the suburb of Yizhuang. With the aim of putting its first electric vehicle on the road in 2024, Xiaomi will establish its headquarters, R&D and manufacturing at the site which will be built in two phases.

Xiaomi Automotive is a relatively new company that was formed from the largest consumer electronics company, Xiaomi Communications Co. – the third largest producer of smartphones in the world.

Last March, we announced that Xiaomi Communications Co. was apparently looking to enter the growing electric vehicle market with its own brand of electric cars. At the time, there were rumors that the Chinese company Great Wall Motors would offer advice for the engineering process to speed up Xiaomi’s EV project.

Last September, the mega-manufacturer confirmed its new entry into electric vehicles by officially establishing industrial and commercial registration in China under the name Xiaomi Automotive Co. Ltd. With a team of 300 employees in place at the time, Xiaomi Group Founder, Chairman and CEO Lei Jun announced that Xiaomi Automobile had successfully registered with a capital of 10 billion yuan (~ 1.55 billion yuan). dollars).

At the time of its registration announcement, Xiaomi is reportedly still looking for an electric vehicle production partner. The research included 85 industry tours, in addition to in-depth meetings with over 200 automotive industry veterans from companies such as BYD, Great Wall Motor, Wuling Motors and SAIC.

Now it looks like Xiaomi will tackle the production of electric vehicles on its own, with the help of the Beijing Economic and Technological Development Zone.

Xiaomi Executives Sign Contract with Beijing Economic and Technological Development Committee

The new Xiaomi EV factory will be built in two phases

As reported by The South China Morning Post, Xiaomi’s contract for new installations will be built in Yizhuang, a suburb of the Chinese capital in the Beijing Economic and Technological Development Zone.

The same economic development zone is home to the facilities of several other big tech companies like Baidu and the country’s first chip foundry, Semiconductor International Manufacturing Corporation (SMIC).

The Chinese government announced the signing of the contract through its WeChat account and praised Xiaomi for embodying “outstanding Chinese technology” and wise manufacturing practices.

As part of the deal, Xiaomi will erect its facilities in two phases, each providing production of 150,000 EVs per year. In addition to production, Beijing’s footprint will also include Xiaomi Automotive’s head office, sales center and R&D facilities.

Economic zone officials says he will provide full support for Xiaomi Automotive, and is already pushing for an early start in construction to start production of electric vehicles earlier.

Xiaomi executives said the company already has 500 employees in place for its first electric vehicle project and remains on track to reach mass production at the newly announced facility sometime in 2024.

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19 years: the history of SWISS International Air Lines

SWISS International Air Lines is the national airline of Switzerland from its hub at Zurich airport. A key member of the Lufthansa Group and of the Star Alliance, SWISS flies more than 100 aircraft to a range of short and long-haul destinations. Also with a base of operations in Geneva, it will celebrate its 20th anniversary in March 2002.

The SWISS fleet currently consists of 102 aircraft. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple theft

SWISS was founded just under twenty years ago, in March 2002, although its roots go further back to a regional operator. With its headquarters in Basel, it succeeded Swissair as the national airline of Switzerland. Originally planning to join aworld, it ended up in the Star Alliance after its takeover by Lufthansa in 2007.

Formed 19 years ago

SWISS International Air Lines came into being following the bankruptcy of the former national airline Swissair in 2002. Swissair predated World War II and had flown Boeing 747s. Needing a new national airline , a carrier named Crossair stepped in to pick up the pieces of what the now bankrupt Swissair had left behind.

Crossair was the regional subsidiary of Swissair before the collapse of the former national carrier and dates back to 1975. The airline became SWISS after Swissair’s creditors sold the majority of the bankrupt carrier’s assets to Crossair, and it has began operations on March 31, 2002.

Swissair 747
Swissair has been the national airline of Switzerland for over 70 years. Photo: Getty Images

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BA / oneworld partnership failure

In a short time, the brand new SWISS International Air Lines began to consider the idea of ​​joining forces with other carriers. The idea was to help him grow and avoid one of the two other fates that the directors of the time had planned. Without a partnership, they feared that SWISS would either have to refocus as a niche carrier or be unrecognizablely downsize as an airline.

As such, it has initiated discussions with several major European airline groups. After not having achieved anything with Air France-KLM, SWISS turned instead to the British airline British Airways. In turn, he also spent a year trying to get into aworld, the alliance of which BA was a founding member. However, this ended up causing tensions with British Airways.

British Airways Boeing 757
SWISS and BA were unable to follow through on their plans. Photo: Aero Icare via Wikimedia Commons

The reason for the tension was the fact that SWISS and BA were competing on several key routes. Nevertheless, despite the objections of the British national carrier, SWISS finally obtained permission to join the alliance. However, the airline ultimately turned down the opportunity, citing what it believed to be a one-sided relationship with BA in terms of benefits.

Slowly acquired by Lufthansa

SWISS has announced that it will not join aworld in June 2004. Nine months later, it had concluded a new agreement with Lufthansa. This resulted in a gradual takeover which finally integrated SWISS into the Lufthansa group and its “Miles & More” loyalty program. Lufthansa took an initial 11% stake in SWISS in March 2005.

Over the next two years, Lufthansa increasingly took control of SWISS, gradually integrating its operations into the group. In April 2006 SWISS became a member of both the aforementioned Miles & More program and the Star Alliance. In July 2007, the takeover was officially completed and SWISS remains a member of the Lufthansa group today.

Lufthansa SWITZERLAND
The takeover of SWISS by Lufthansa took around two years. Photo: Aero Icare via Flickr

Subsidiaries and acquisitions

The mid-2000s also saw SWISS expand its activities in the form of the creation of a regional subsidiary. In addition, it also acquired several carriers in the years that followed. As regards the regional branch of SWISS, this was founded in September 2005 under the name Swiss European Airlines. It started its activities two months later, in November 2005.

While initially a regional carrier, the subsidiary was renamed Swiss Global Airlines in 2015. This reflects the fact that it had started to operate some long-haul services on behalf of its parent company, using the Boeing 777. In April 2018, SWISS merged the carrier into its own mainline operations, following a new harmonized working agreement.

At the same time, in 2008, SWISS also acquired Edelweiss Air and Servair. Edelweiss now serves as the leisure arm of the carrier, serving various holiday destinations both within and outside of Europe. Servair, meanwhile, focused on business travel. Renamed Swiss Private Aviation following its acquisition, it ceased operations three years later due to restructuring.

Edelweiss A330
Edelweiss was one of the two acquisitions of SWISS in 2008. Photo: Getty Images

History of the brand

Throughout its history, SWISS has maintained a simple but intelligent approach to its brand identity. Its first livery featured the Swiss flag on the tail of the aircraft. During this time, the fuselage was almost completely white. Towards the front of the plane, the name of the airline was printed in lowercase, with the name of the country in different languages ​​beside it.

Since 2011, SWISS has painted its planes with a slightly different take on this simple but effective paint scheme. The airline’s name is now printed in large red capital letters on the front of the fuselage, with the list of Swiss names in French, German, Italian and Romansh (the country’s four official languages) no longer present at its ratings.

SWITZERLAND, Boeing 777, Premium Economy
SWISS underwent a rebranding in 2011. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple theft

Recent developments

In recent years, SWISS has managed to operate a diverse and modern fleet, which Simple Flying took a closer look at earlier this year. While the data from ch-aviation.com shows that some older aircraft from the Airbus A320 and A340 families remain present, the airline is also an important operator of the new A220 series, which it has now flown for five years.

In recent months, SWISS has championed sustainability initiatives involving sustainable aviation fuel and reducing food waste. The airline has also had to deal with the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. Going forward, with a new premium economy cabin to be installed across its entire 777 fleet in 2022, next year promises to be a big year for SWISS.

What do you think of SWITZERLAND? Do you have any special memories of flying with the 19 year old airlines? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments.


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WHO names new variant of coronavirus ‘of concern’, naming it Omicron

Shares fell and oil prices plunged more than 10% on Friday as the emergence of a new variant of Covid-19 rocked global markets.

American markets, which were closed Thursday for Thanksgiving, were slammed during the shortened Friday trading session. The Dow Jones lost more than 1,000 points or 2.8%. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq lost almost 2%.

Asian markets led the way, with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index down 2.7%, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 was down 2.5%. European markets also sold off strongly, with the main indices, including the FTSE100, the French CAC40 and the German DAX being between 3% and 4%.

US oil futures fell more than 11% to trade below $ 70 a barrel. Brent crude, the world’s benchmark for oil, suffered a similar drop to around $ 73.

The new variant has been detected in South Africa, Botswana, Belgium, Hong Kong and Israel, prompting some countries to implement flight bans.

Although “high frequency market volatility is the norm these days,” CNN international trade correspondent Richard Quest said, the markets will likely be affected for a longer period of time.

“Longer term, yes, I would also expect markets to be volatile and nervous… because markets don’t like uncertainty,” he said.


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On the eve of resumed talks with Iran, UN nuclear watchdog says “no progress” has been made

VIENNA, Austria (AFP) – The United Nations nuclear watchdog said on Wednesday there had been “no progress” in talks with Tehran over disputes over the oversight of Iran’s atomic program, just days before the resumption of talks on relaunching the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

Rafael Grossi, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), told a quarterly meeting of the agency’s board that the talks he held in Tehran on Tuesday were not “inconclusive”, although they are “constructive”.

Grossi had sought to tackle constraints on IAEA inspections earlier this year, outstanding questions regarding the presence of undeclared nuclear material at sites in Iran and the treatment of IAEA personnel in the country. .

“Basically … we haven’t been able to move forward,” Grossi told reporters, saying the lack of agreement came “despite my best efforts.”

Behrouz Kamalvandi, spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, told Iranian television that his team “tried until the last moment” but there is still work to be done.

Among other officials in Tehran, Grossi met Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian.

International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Rafael Grossi (left) meets with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian at the Foreign Ministry headquarters in the capital Tehran on November 23, 2021 (Atta Kenare / AFP)

Amir-Abdollahian gave a positive gloss to the talks, telling the official news agency IRNA on Wednesday that a “joint statement” had been reached which would be released “as soon as possible”.

‘Dragging your feet’

Grossi’s visit preceded the scheduled resumption of negotiations between Tehran and world powers on Monday to revive the 2015 agreement that granted sanctions relief to Iran in exchange for restrictions on its nuclear program.

The United States said it was “disappointed” by the result of Grossi’s visit and said it was ready to negotiate in Vienna.

“But of course Iran’s failure to cooperate is a bad sign of its seriousness in successfully concluding our negotiations,” a US State Department spokesperson said.

The other members of the agreement – France, Germany, the United Kingdom, China, Russia and Iran – will participate indirectly in the United States.

The deal has gradually disintegrated since former US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the deal in 2018.

The following year, Iran retaliated by starting to walk away from its commitments under the deal, also known as the JCPOA.

TV cameras outside the “Grand Hotel Vienna” where closed-door nuclear talks are taking place in Vienna, Austria, June 20, 2021. (Florian Schroetter / AP)

US negotiator for the JCPOA talks, Rob Malley, has warned that Washington will “stand idly by” if Iran delays progress in the talks.

“Yes [Iran] continues to do what it seems to be doing now, which is dragging its feet at the nuclear diplomatic table and picking up its pace on its nuclear program… we will have to react accordingly, ”Malley told the American television channel NPR.

At the IAEA Board of Governors meeting, the EU issued a joint statement saying it was “deeply concerned about the inconclusive outcome of the talks” with Grossi.

The Russian representative said he supported “Grossi’s intention to continue working with the Iranian side and called on Tehran to do the same.”

“Excessively invasive”

One of the stages of the deal came earlier this year when Iran began restricting some IAEA inspection activities.

Iran and the agency currently have a temporary agreement that gives the IAEA access to monitoring equipment at Iranian nuclear facilities.

Images of the Natanz nuclear power plant broadcast by Iranian state television, April 17, 2021 (Screenshot / Twitter)

However, the agency warned that the deal is not a lasting solution and Grossi said it was “close to … the point where I would not be able to guarantee continuity of knowledge” of the nuclear program. Iranian if it continued.

Grossi also said he had expressed his concerns to Tehran about the security checks of IAEA inspectors, which the agency described as “excessively invasive.”

He noted that the IAEA and Iran had a legal agreement “which aims to protect inspectors from intimidation, from the seizure of their property.”

“Our Iranian colleagues have put in place a number of measures which are simply incompatible” with this, he said.

Give a Hanukkah gift that lights up

Here is a Hanukkah gift that sparks knowledge and ideas about Israel and the Jewish people.

A Times of Israel community gift membership entitles your recipient to a full year of membership benefits, at a special reduced price.

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That’s why we come to work every day – to provide discerning readers like you with must-see coverage of Israel and the Jewish world.

So now we have a request. Unlike other media, we have not set up a paywall. But since the journalism we do is expensive, we invite readers for whom The Times of Israel has become important to help support our work by joining The Times of Israel community.

For as little as $ 6 per month, you can help support our quality journalism while benefiting from The Times of Israel WITHOUT ADVERTISING, as well as access to exclusive content reserved for members of the Times of Israel community.

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