Tokyo, Jan 12 (AP/UNB) — Nissan Chief Performance Officer Jose Munoz, who took a leave of absence a week ago, has resigned, the first high-profile departure at the Japanese automaker publicly acknowledged as related to the arrest of former Chairman Carlos Ghosn.
Munoz said in a statement on LinkedIn Saturday he made the decision after serious thinking because the company was "involved in matters that have and will continue to divert its focus," referring to Ghosn's case.
Munoz is among several executives media speculated might succeed Ghosn, who led Nissan for two decades.
Nissan confirmed the resignation, effective immediately.
There have been other recent departures from Nissan, but Nissan has denied they were related to Ghosn's case.
Munoz, a Spaniard who oversaw Nissan's global strategies, worked for Nissan for 14 years.
"I love the company, my talented co-workers and Nissan's industry-leading dealers," he said.
Ghosn, arrested Nov. 19, has been charged with breach of trust and falsifying financial reports and remains detained in Tokyo. He rebutted each allegation and asserted his innocence in a Tokyo court earlier this week, his first public appearance since his arrest.
The court rejected a request by prosecutors late Friday that Ghosn not be allowed to receive visitors, paving the way for his family to see him for the first time since his arrest. Until now, Ghosn could only see prosecutors, embassy officials and his lawyers.
In Japan, suspects are routinely held for months until their trials start. No trial date has been set for Ghosn.
Baghdad, Jan 11 (Xinhua/UNB) - Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi on Thursday met with visiting Iranian Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zanganeh over further cooperation in the sectors of oil and energy.
According to a statement by Iraqi Prime Minister's office, Mahdi hailed the relations between the two neighboring countries to serve the interests of both peoples.
For his part, Zanganeh also voiced the need to further develop the bilateral relations, saying he hoped more cooperation could be achieved.
Zanganeh and his delegation arrived in Iraq's capital Baghdad on Thursday morning, a day after a visit by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Iraq.
Washington withdrew from the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal last May and imposed a new round of sanctions against Iran on Aug. 7, 2018.
On Nov. 5, the United States announced the second package of anti-Iran sanctions covering the sectors of oil, energy and banking.
London, Jan 10 (AP) — Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte says he is working with France, Germany and other nations to help his British counterpart Theresa May win Parliament's approval for her divorce deal with the European Union.
Speaking Wednesday night after meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in the Dutch port city of Rotterdam, Rutte said he and his European allies are striving "to help my British colleague to bring the vote next week to a successful outcome."
Rutte did not elaborate on what he and other leaders are doing to help win support for May's Brexit deal in the deeply divided British House of Commons.
However Rutte stressed that "the present deal on the table is, I think, the best deal."
British lawmakers have dealt Prime Minister Theresa May her second defeat in two days in battles over the government's plans for Brexit.
The House of Commons voted for a motion designed to prevent the government delaying key decisions as Brexit approaches on March 29. The measure says that if Parliament rejects the divorce deal May has agreed with the European Union, the government must come up with a "Plan B" within three days.
The government previously had 21 days to report back to Parliament.
Lawmakers are due to vote on May's deal on Tuesday, and look likely to reject it.
Opponents of the agreement suspect the government may try to run down the clock, to leave Parliament facing a last-minute choice between May's deal and a no-deal Brexit.
On Tuesday, lawmakers voted to put curbs on the government's ability to spend taxes on no-deal measures.
A top European Parliament leader is appealing to lawmakers in London to show "responsibility" as they resume consideration of Britain's divorce deal with the European Union.
Many British lawmakers detest the deal agreed between Brussels and Prime Minister Theresa May. Britain is due to leave the EU March 29, and fears have risen that it may do so without a deal in place.
Manfred Weber, a German conservative who heads the biggest group in the European Parliament, said in Berlin Wednesday that "it's Britain's move. Our colleagues in Britain's lower house carry great responsibility now — the agreement is on the table."
News agency dpa reported that Weber said everyone must realize that a no-deal withdrawal on March 29 would "lead to very difficult, perhaps even chaotic situations."
The British government is bringing its little-loved Brexit deal back to Parliament, a month after postponing a vote on the agreement to stave off near-certain defeat.
Lawmakers are beginning five days of debate Wednesday on the agreement with the European Union setting out the terms of Britain's departure from the bloc on March 29.
A vote, initially slated for December, is scheduled for Jan. 15.
But opposition remains strong from both pro-Brexit and pro-EU U.K. lawmakers. Brexiteers are urging the government to ramp up preparations for leaving the EU without a deal.
But many lawmakers, and businesses, say that could cause economic turmoil.
The de-facto deputy Prime Minister, David Lidington, said the only way to avoid a disruptive no-deal "is for Parliament to endorse and ratify a deal."
Bangkok, Jan 8 (AP/UNB)— Shares rose in early European trading after a mixed day Tuesday in Asia in the absence of official updates on China-U.S. trade talks in Beijing.
KEEPING SCORE: The DAX in Germany gained 0.3 percent to 10,777.42 and France's CAC 40 was up 0.4 percent at 4,737.69. Britain's FTSE 100 picked up 0.5 percent to 6,847.14. Wall Street looked set for gains, with the future contract for the Dow up 0.4 percent at 23,603.00 and that for the S&P 500 also 0.4 percent higher at 2,560.90.
ASIA'S DAY: Japan's Nikkei 225 index gained 0.8 percent to 20,204.04 and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong added 0.2 percent to 25,875.45. Australia's S&P ASX 200 gained 0.7 percent to 5,722.40 and the South Korean Kospi gave up 0.5 percent to 2,026.23. India's Sensex gained 0.2 percent lower to 35,906.68. Shares fell in Taiwan, Indonesia and Thailand but rose in Singapore.
CHINA-US TRADE: An official Chinese newspaper warned Washington not to demand too much from Beijing as talks on ending their tariff war entered a second day Tuesday with no word on possible progress. Investors have been encouraged by the resumption of the talks between Beijing and Washington on a dispute over technology that has resulted in both sides imposing penalty tariffs on billions of dollars' of each other's exports. Those duties are likely to rise in March if no progress is made. The two-day working level talks were due to wrap up Tuesday.
ANALYST'S VIEWPOINT: "Against the backdrop of negotiations held in Beijing, the optimism from U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who sees 'a very good chance' for a reasonable settlement with China has kept the sun shining over equities on Wall Street," Jingyi Pan of IG said in a commentary.
ENERGY: Oil prices continued their recent rally. U.S. crude gained 6 cents to $48.58 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It rose 1.2 percent to $48.52 per barrel in New York. After sinking to an 18-month low of $42.53 a barrel on Dec. 24, the price of U.S. crude rose for seven of the last eight trading days. Brent crude, used to price international oils, picked up 13 cents to $57.46 per barrel after rising 0.5 percent in London.
CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 108.98 yen from 108.73 yen. The euro slipped to $1.1446 from $1.1475.
Beijing, Jan 7 (AP/UNB) — Tesla Inc. broke ground Monday for a factory in Shanghai, its first outside the United States.
CEO Elon Musk said Monday on Twitter that the company will start production in China of its Model 3 and a planned crossover by the end of the year.
Tesla announced plans in July to build the Gigafactory 3 facility in China, the biggest electric vehicle market, despite trade tension between Beijing and Washington. That followed Beijing's announcement it would end restrictions this year on foreign ownership of electric vehicle producers in an effort to spur industry development.
"Looking forward to breaking ground on the @Tesla Shanghai Gigafactory today!" said Musk on Twitter. "Aiming to finish initial construction this summer, start Model 3 production end of year & reach high volume production next year."
China's state broadcaster CCTV showed Musk and other Tesla and local officials attending a chilly ceremony in the rain Monday in Shanghai's outskirts.
The Shanghai factory will produce "affordable versions of 3/Y for greater China," Musk said. The company refers to a planned crossover that has yet to receive a formal name as the Y.
Higher-priced models will be built in the United States for export to China, Musk said.
Tesla, based on Palo Alto, California, global automakers including General Motors Co., Volkswagen AG and Nissan Motor Corp. that are pouring billions of dollars into manufacturing electric vehicles in China.
Local production would eliminate risks from tariffs and other import controls. It would help Tesla develop parts suppliers to support service and make its vehicles more appealing to mainstream Chinese buyers.
Tesla said in October it had signed an agreement for a 210-acre (84-hectare) site in the Lingang district in southeastern Shanghai.
Shanghai is a center of China's auto industry and home to state-owned Shanghai Automotive Industries Corp., the main local manufacturer for GM and VW.
Tesla has yet to give a price tag but the Shanghai government said it would be the biggest foreign investment there to date.
The company faces competition from Chinese brands including BYD Auto and BAIC Group that already sell tens of thousands of hybrid and pure-electric sedans and SUVs annually.
Until now, foreign automakers that wanted to manufacture in China were required to work through state-owned partners. Foreign brands balked at bringing electric vehicle technology into China to avoid having to share it with potential competitors.
The first of the new electric models being developed by global automakers to hit the market, Nissan's Sylphy Zero Emission, began rolling off a production line in southern China in August.
Lower-priced electric models from GM, Volkswagen and other global brands are due to hit the market starting this year, well before Tesla is up and running in Shanghai.