With no paparazzi or parties, Paris prepares for virtual fashion week

PARIS – Paris is usually abuzz during its prestigious Haute Couture presentations in July, its hotels heaving with fashionistas and monuments turned into catwalk venues. But in a makeover caused by the coronavirus crisis, top designers will instead be experimenting next week with online showcases to try to keep clients hooked. Brands from Christian Dior to Valentino are pressing ahead with collections and shows through an organised schedule of videos running from July 6-8. That…

"With no paparazzi or parties, Paris prepares for virtual fashion week"

Scaled-down Czech film festival opens in empty auditorium

PRAGUE – A Czech film festival disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic unveiled a scaled-down programme of movies on Friday with an opening ceremony in an empty auditorium and a star-free red carpet. The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, central and eastern Europe’s leading movie extravaganza, announced in April it was cancelling its main events as the novel coronavirus shuttered cinemas and mass gatherings. Restrictions have since eased, allowing the festival’s president, actor Jiri Bartoska, to…

"Scaled-down Czech film festival opens in empty auditorium"

Cycling: Quintana hit by car during training, sustains possible knee injury

– Former Giro d’Italia winner Nairo Quintana has been hit by a car during training in Colombia and went to a hospital with a possible knee injury, his Arkea-Samsic team said on Friday. “Nairo Quintana has been hit by a vehicle during training, we will give you more information about his condition as soon as possible,” the French outfit said in a statement. The 30-year-old Colombian, who won the Giro in 2014, the Vuelta in…

"Cycling: Quintana hit by car during training, sustains possible knee injury"

French finance minister urges Daimler to reconsider plan to sell Hambach site

PARIS – French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire urged German carmaker Daimler on Friday to reconsider plans to sell its factory in Hambach, France. The carmaker said earlier on Friday it would seek to sell the factory where it produces electric and combustion-engined variants of its two-seater Smart vehicles, as part of an overhaul of its production system. “Daimler must keep all options open, including keeping the site,” Le Maire said.

"French finance minister urges Daimler to reconsider plan to sell Hambach site"

Turkey’s Erdogan rejects criticism over status of Hagia Sophia

ANKARA – Criticism of Turkey over the possible conversion of Istanbul’s landmark Hagia Sophia monument from a museum to a mosque “is an attack on Turkey’s sovereignty”, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday. Erdogan has proposed restoring the mosque status of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, a building at the heart of both the Christian Byzantine and Muslim Ottoman empires and today one of Turkey’s most visited monuments. “Accusations against our country about Hagia Sophia…

"Turkey’s Erdogan rejects criticism over status of Hagia Sophia"

Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz to streamline global production network

FRANKFURT – Daimler will seek to sell its factory in Hambach, France, as part of an overhaul of its production system, the German carmaker said on Friday, resulting in a restructuring charge of hundreds of millions of euros in the second quarter. The move comes as the auto industry faces overcapacity and plunging demand for new cars in Europe. The restructuring charge will be a three-digit million euro amount, the company said. Daimler, which owns…

"Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz to streamline global production network"

Euro zone business slump eased in June as lockdowns relaxed

LONDON – The plunge in euro zone business activity caused by lockdowns imposed to stop the spread of the coronavirus eased sharply last month as more businesses reopened and people ventured out, a survey showed on Friday. Around 11 million people have been infected by the virus globally, but as the number of daily reported cases has fallen across much of Europe governments have loosened restrictions on people’s movement. To support ravaged economies the European…

"Euro zone business slump eased in June as lockdowns relaxed"

Britain and India’s Bharti win auction for OneWeb satellite company

LONDON – Britain has joined forces with India’s Bharti Global to buy the collapsed satellite operator OneWeb, with the two sides pledging $1 billion between them to develop a constellation that could boost broadband and other services. Under the deal announced on Friday, Britain will invest $500 million and take a significant equity share in OneWeb while Bharti will invest the same amount and provide commercial and operational leadership. The deal means the two sides…

"Britain and India’s Bharti win auction for OneWeb satellite company"

Suspects in Ghosn’s Japanese escape stand trial in Turkey

ISTANBUL – Seven suspects went on trial in Turkey on Friday over their alleged involvement in former Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn’s dramatic escape from Japan to Lebanon via Istanbul at the end of last year. Ghosn, once a titan of the global auto industry, had been arrested in Japan in late 2018 and charged with underreporting his salary and using company funds for personal purposes, charges he denies. The ousted chairman of the alliance of…

"Suspects in Ghosn’s Japanese escape stand trial in Turkey"

Insurer AXA says made investment portfolios greener in 2019

LONDON – French insurer AXA said it reduced the temperature score of its investments in 2019, bringing them closer to alignment with the targets of the Paris Agreement on climate change. The so-called “warming potential” of its investments, a measure of their contribution to climate change, had fallen to 2.8 degrees Celsius from 3 degrees Celsius in 2018, AXA said in its 4th Climate Report released on Friday. The Paris Agreement, struck in 2015, aims…

"Insurer AXA says made investment portfolios greener in 2019"