Blockbuster could go bust
Troubled video-rental chain Blockbuster Inc could file for bankruptcy protection, a Wall Street Journal article reported. Citing unnamed sources, the Journal said Blockbuster is working with creditors to develop a bankruptcy restructuring plan that would free it of debt and allow the company to keep some stores open and focus more on digital distribution. If Blockbuster misses an interest payment on Sept. 30, more than US$900 million in debt will be due in full.
Dell to release second tablet
Dell chief executive Michael Dell said on Wednesday the firm would release a second tablet computer to compete in a hot market dominated by Apple’s iPad. Dell made the announcement during an on-stage presentation at Oracle’s annual OpenWorld conference in San Francisco, but gave no details about the gadget, its price or when it would hit the market. Industry insiders believe the new tablet will have a seven-inch touchscreen and run on Google Inc’s Android software.
New Mexico plant planned
Volkswagen unveiled plans on Wednesday to invest US$550 million in a new plant in Mexico to help the giant German automaker strengthen its position in the North American market. The announcement came jointly with Mexican President Felipe Calderon, who said the plant would be a “next generation” engine facility in the central state of Guanajuato, to supply the assembly plant in Puebla and a US facility in Tennessee. Volkswagen aims to triple is US sales by 2018 to 1 million annually and hopes to overtake Toyota as the world’s biggest automaker. The German firm produced 325,000 vehicles in Mexico last year and hopes to boost that by 35 percent this year.
Unicredit looking for CEO
The chairman of Italy’s largest bank, Unicredit, said a new chief executive for the lending giant would be found “quickly,” following a shareholder rebellion that has weighed down investor confidence. “The succession to Alessandro Profumo will be handled quickly, but with great care,” Dieter Rampl said in a letter to company employees. The bank’s share price has fallen 6.11 percent in the past two days to 1.823 euros (US$2.44). Profumo was ousted on Tuesday at an emergency board meeting. Rampl has temporarily taken over Profumo’s duties.
Franz gets Lufthansa CEO job
Deutsche Lufthansa AG on Wednesday named Christoph Franz, the head of its passenger airline business and the man who presided over the restructuring of Swiss International Airlines, as its new chief executive. Franz, 50, will take over as chief executive on Jan. 1, Germany’s biggest airline said. His term will run through May 31, 2014. Franz will replace Wolfgang Mayrhuber, who has led the company since 2003.
Nissan, Renault to cut costs
Japan’s Nissan Motor and its partner Renault of France will jointly develop a platform for at least 10 models to consolidate suppliers and cut procurement costs, a report said on Wednesday. The two companies, which intend to design the common platform for medium-sized sport utility vehicles and sedans, also plan to standardize 70 key components, including windows and brakes, the Nikkei reported. The key components account for about 80 percent of the total cost of parts and materials, the report added.
HONG KONG SECURITY: The president blasted regulations requiring Taiwanese agents or political organizations to provide information on their Hong Kong-related activities President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday warned of countermeasures should controversial Chinese national security legislation imposed on Hong Kong undermine or harm Taiwanese interests. Article 43 of the legislation empowers the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to serve written notices to Taiwanese political organizations or individual agents to furnish information on their Hong Kong-related activities, including their personal particulars, finances, assets, expenditure and capital in the territory. Failure to comply or providing false or incomplete information can result in a fine of HK$100,000 (US$12,903) or imprisonment of six months or two years respectively. Tsai said that Taiwan would keep a close watch on how
JUST QUESTIONS: Expelled reporter Ai Kezhu said that every member of Southeast Television had complied with the law and had not appeared on any talk shows Two Chinese reporters yesterday left Taiwan after the government revoked their accreditation and ordered them to leave amid a probe into allegations that several Chinese media outlets have set up studios and produced political talk shows in Taiwan. The two reporters — Ai Kezhu (艾珂竹) and Lu Qiang (盧薔) — worked for Fujian Province-based Southeast Television and arrived in Taiwan in December last year. The Mainland Affairs Council has launched an investigation after local media reported that Chinese broadcasters — including China Central Television, Southeast Television and FJTV — had set up studios in Taipei and produced political talk shows. Council Deputy Minister
PROBE LAUNCHED: An officer who served as a supervisor in the drill died in an apparent suicide after the accident, which was caused by unexpected waves Two marines who were on Friday injured in a military exercise in the waters off Kaohsiung passed away yesterday, Navy Command said. The marines — surnamed Tsai (蔡), 26, and a sergeant surnamed Chen (陳), 36 — were in a seven-member Marine Corps team that encountered rough seas during a simulated response to enemy forces landing on Taiwan. Their rubber craft overturned in waters off Taoziyuan (桃子園) beach in Zuoying District (左營), injuring four of the marines. They were rushed to hospital, where three of them — Tsai, Chen and a 34-year-old sergeant — were taken to an intensive care unit
‘SIGNAL TO ALLIES’: The US Navy’s exercises are not in response to those carried out by China, the commander of the strike group led by the USS ‘Ronald Reagan’ said Two US aircraft carriers were yesterday conducting exercises in the disputed South China Sea, the US Navy said as China also carried out military drills that have been criticized by the US Department of Defense and neighboring states. China and the US have accused each other of stoking tension in the waterway at a time of strained relations over everything from COVID-19 to trade to Hong Kong. The USS Nimitz and USS Ronald Reagan were carrying out operations and exercises in the South China Sea “to support a free and open Indo-Pacific,” the navy said in a statement. It did not say exactly