Police treat Melbourne siege as ‘terrorism’

Australian police Tuesday said they were treating a deadly shooting and siege in Melbourne as a terrorist incident after the Islamic State group claimed responsibility.A man of Somali background was killed in a gun battle with police when he opened fir…

June 5, 2017

Airbus sees ‘very slow year’ for orders

This will be a “very, very slow year” for orders for Airbus, a top executive said Monday, but insisted business remained good for the European planemaker.”Will this year be a big year for orders? Absolutely not. It will be a very, very slow year for or…

June 5, 2017

Canada and Chile push gender equality through trade

Canada and Chile updated a 20-year-old free trade agreement Monday by adding a groundbreaking clause on gender equality to encourage women’s entrepreneurship and employment.The two countries said in a statement that they will commit to designing progra…

June 5, 2017

Trump will not block ex-FBI director’s testimony

Donald Trump will not use presidential powers to prevent ex-FBI director James Comey from testifying to Congress Thursday, the White House said, setting the stage for potentially explosive testimony later this week.The ousted FBI director will appear T…

June 5, 2017

Airline industry sees higher profits in 2017

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) increased its profit forecast for the global airline industry Monday, citing surging demand.Total profits for the group’s 275 member airlines are now expected to hit $31.4 billion this year, up more th…

June 5, 2017

US hotel chain warns travel ban hitting tourism

The US tourism industry faces the possibility of another “lost decade” of foreign visitors due to President Donald Trump’s travel ban, a leading hotel executive said Monday.

Jonathan Tisch, chief executive of Loews Hotel & Co., warned that policies viewed as hostile to foreign visitors could damage the US industry, much as a visa crackdown and other policies after 9/11 led to the loss of billions of dollars in revenues from overseas travelers.

“When it comes to a business as competitive as travel, we need to remember that words matter. Perceptions matter,” Tisch said at a hospitality conference hosted by New York University.

“In other words, it’s important to balance security measures designed to keep out people who mean us harm…with words and actions assuring legitimate travelers that we welcome them and their business.”

The remarks came as Trump doubled down on his controversial campaign to revive a ban on travelers from seven predominately Muslim countries, saying the measure was needed in the wake of the London attacks. The measure has been blocked in US courts.

Tisch’s remarks have been echoed by other leading hoteliers in recent months.

Hilton chief executive Christopher Nassetta, in an interview with CNBC on Monday, called for a “balanced” approach to foreign tourism that recognizes that the vast majority of visitors to the US want to come for the right reasons.

Tisch said it was still too soon to have hard data on the exact impact of Trump’s proposed ban, but one of Loews’ hotels in Miami has had groups cancel because they had attendees from a travel ban country.

He also cited cases of Emirates airline cutting flights to some US cities and projections of steep cutbacks in foreign travel to New York City.

“This is mostly anecdotal evidence,” he said. “We all hope the data on travel to the US remains positive. But no one can deny the tremendous uncertainty people feel about traveling to the US right now.”

Tisch endorsed Trump’s call for a $1 trillion infrastructure investment program, agreeing with the president’s assessment that US airports lag those in other countries and should have runways, gates and terminals upgraded.

June 5, 2017

US urges UN to investigate DRCongo murders

The United States on Monday urged the United Nations to establish a special investigation into the murder of two UN experts who had been gathering evidence of mass graves in the Democratic Republic of Congo. US Ambassador Nikki Haley, in Geneva for me…

June 5, 2017

Exit has ‘galvanized’ US support behind Paris accord

President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Accord has unwittingly “galvanized support” for American action to limit global warming, Canada’s environment minister said Monday.In an interview with AFP, Environment Mini…

June 5, 2017

Warriors big man Pachulia hopes to cap NBA career with title

Golden State Warriors center Zaza Pachulia plays a key inside role for the NBA’s winningest team, but they still can’t find a cap that fits him.The 33-year-old man-mountain from Tbilisi is trying to become the first player from the nation of Georgia to…

June 5, 2017

ArcelorMittal group wins Italy steel giant takeover

A consortium led by global steel giant ArcelorMittal has been chosen to take over Italy’s huge but struggling steel producer Ilva, the Italian government said Monday.Economic development minister Carlo Calenda said in a statement that the offer was wor…

June 5, 2017

NHL Predators coach calls for freeze on catfish

Nashville Predators coach Peter Laviolette on Monday urged the team’s fans to halt their habit of throwing dead catfish onto the ice as they prepared to host the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Stanley Cup.Predators fans hurled five catfish onto the ice at …

June 5, 2017

US near agreement in sugar dispute with Mexico, official says

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on Monday said his team is near to reaching an agreement with Mexico over the disputed sugar trade.The sides extended the deadline for sugar negotiations by 24 hours to allow them to complete final technical consultati…

June 5, 2017

US approves $1.4 bn slice of massive Saudi arms deal

The United States approved two large military contracts totalling more than $1.4 billion on Monday after promising Saudi Arabia a huge arms package to counter any threat from Iran.Last month, on his first foreign trip, US President Donald Trump visited…

June 5, 2017