U.S. airlines start cutting flights due to UK, Ireland restrictions By Reuters

© Reuters. A Delta Air Lines Boeing 737 plane sits at the gate at LAX airport in Los Angeles

By David Shepardson and Tracy Rucinski

WASHINGTON/CHICAGO (Reuters) – United Airlines Co (O:) said late Saturday it would begin cutting flights to the United Kingdom after Washington expanded travel restrictions to Britain and Ireland, and Southwest Airlines (N:) moved toward flight cuts as the coronavirus outbreak sapped demand.

Delta Airlines Inc (N:) also said it planned to start cutting flights to the United Kingdom.

Southwest, one of the few U.S. airlines still flying a full schedule, said it was “seriously considering” cutting flights.

While airlines scrambled to stem losses and protect jobs, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the government would “immediately” start working with Congress to support the airline and cruise industries, both hard hit by the spiraling crisis.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said restrictions on the UK and

Read More

U.S. should ‘think twice’ before returning 1MDB funds to Malaysia, says ex-PM Mahathir By Reuters

© Reuters. Malaysia’s former PM Mahathir speaks during an interview in Kuala Lumpur

By A. Ananthalakshmi and Rozanna Latiff

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – The United States should “think twice” before giving Malaysia back the money recovered from an anti-kleptocracy probe into state fund 1MDB, former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad said on Friday, as the party accused of graft at 1MDB was back in power.

Mahathir, 94, abruptly resigned last month before being replaced by Muhyiddin Yassin, whose coalition includes the former ruling party United Malays National Organisation despite voters rejecting UMNO in the 2018 general election amid a backlash over the multi-billion dollar scandal at 1MDB.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) says over $4.5 billion was looted from 1MDB under UMNO prime minister Najib Razak, who is now on trial for allegedly receiving some of the stolen money.

The DoJ, in its biggest ever anti-kleptocracy case, has recouped about

Read More

Stocks crash as pandemic panic sweeps markets By Reuters

© Reuters. People are seen on a pedestrian overpass with an electronic board showing the Dow Jones and S&P 500 indexes, following an outbreak of the novel coronavirus in the country, at Lujiazui financial district in Shanghai

By Tom Westbrook

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Global stock markets crashed on Friday, ending a years-long bull run, with coronavirus panic selling hitting almost every asset class and leaving investors nowhere to hide.

Half a trillion dollars in liquidity from the U.S. Federal Reserve and the promise of more were not enough to calm the fear that has wiped some $14 trillion from world stocks in a month.

On Friday, Japanese stocks were in freefall and markets from Seoul to Jakarta punched through downlimit circuit breakers.

The Nikkei () dropped as far as 10{403cc565fa3cc21393751b9dcd44ef172eb53ec18650f129cafdd18bff67f4a7} and is heading for its worst week since the 2008 financial crisis. Not one stock on the index is in

Read More

Ban on European travel to U.S. will batter airlines, already roiled by coronavirus By Reuters

By Lisa Baertlein and David Shepardson

LOS ANGELES/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The new U.S. ban on foreign citizens entering the country if they have traveled to Europe in recent weeks will heap more pressure on airlines already reeling from the coronavirus pandemic, hitting European carriers the hardest, analysts said.

The 30-day restrictions from Friday, which exclude Britain, are similar to those that went into effect targeting China on Feb. 1, and come after the outbreak’s rapid spread across the European continent and in the United States.

Industry watchers warned the move could also create chaos at dozens of airports across Europe as passengers attempt a last-minute rush to fly to the United States before the ban takes effect.

Flights from Europe can still operate to a limited number of U.S. airports with enhanced screening under measures announced on Wednesday evening. But only U.S. citizens, permanent residents and immediate family members will

Read More

In blow to ex-attorney general Sessions, Trump endorses challenger in Alabama By Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – In a blow to former attorney general Jeff Sessions’ attempt to reclaim his seat in the U.S. Senate, President Donald Trump on Tuesday endorsed his challenger for the Republican nomination in Alabama, Tommy Tuberville.

“He will be a great Senator for the people of Alabama. Coach Tommy Tuberville, a winner, has my Complete and Total Endorsement,” Trump wrote in a post on Twitter.

As a senator from 1997 to 2017, Sessions was an early congressional backer of Trump’s bid for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.

Trump, a businessman turned reality television personality, was considered a long shot in the race. After his surprise victory, he named Sessions the attorney general of the United States, the nation’s top law enforcement official.

Although the two were closely aligned on Republican priorities for his presidency, Trump soured on his onetime ally after Sessions recused himself from overseeing the FBI’s probe

Read More

IKEA tests selling through third party for the first time, on Tmall in China By Reuters

By Anna Ringstrom

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – IKEA on Tuesday started selling its products on Alibaba’s (N:) Chinese e-commerce platform Tmall, the first time the world’s biggest furniture retailer has sold through a third party in its 77-year history.

The move is aimed at reaching more shoppers in a country where shoppers to a larger extent than elsewhere favor multi-brand online platforms.

IKEA said it saw its virtual store on Tmall – initially a six-month test across the east coast provinces of Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Anhui, and the city of Shanghai – as a complement to its own stores, online store and shoppable app.

“We see this as a good opportunity to become accessible for many more in China, especially in light of what the Chinese digital environment looks like,” Tolga Oncu, head of retail at Ingka, which owns most IKEA stores worldwide, told Reuters.

“We are testing this to see

Read More