Hyundai issues US recall
Hyundai Motor Co, South Korea’s largest automaker, will recall about 139,500 cars in the US because of steering issues that could result in a loss of or reduction in maneuvering capability, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said. The model-year 2011 Sonata sedans manufactured between Dec. 11 last year and Sept. 10, are subject to the plan, the agency said in a statement on its Web site. Hyundai Motor America informed the agency it is voluntarily initiating a safety recall of Sonata sedans to inspect the steering issues, Hyundai Motor said in an e-mailed statement yesterday.
Ford plans new China plant
US auto giant Ford Motor Co said on Saturday that it signed an agreement with Chinese officials to open a second engine plant in the southwestern city of Chongqing. Plant construction is set to begin next year, with engine production scheduled to begin in 2013, the company said in a statement. The US$500 million investment will be funded entirely by Changan Ford Mazda Automobile Ltd (CFMA) — a three-way joint venture involving Ford, Changan Motors and Mazda Motor Co — and located in Chongqing’s New North Zone. “With the additional capacity of 400,000 units at the new plant, CFMA is more than doubling its existing engine capacity of 350,000, to 750,000 engines annually,” Ford said.
German banks worry officials
European Commission officials are worried about the fragility of three regional banks in Germany, the weekly Der Spiegel reported on Saturday. A letter from the commission to State Secretary to the Ministry of Finance Joerg Asmussen expresses concerns about the threat that WestLB, BayernLB and HSH Nordbank might pose to market stability. “For the commission, it is indispensable to have the certainty that rescued institutions are viable in the long term and that they do not represent a permanent threat to the stability of the financial markets,” the letter said. Describing the three banks’ latest results as “disappointing,” the letter adds: “Given the good current conditions, these figures, in the three cases, are not convincing.”
China starts inter-bank loans
China has begun allowing banks to sell loans to each other, in a move designed to reduce financial risks and help banks meet stricter capital requirements, the central bank said on Saturday. The interbank loan transfer system launched in Shanghai will also help improve monetary policy transmission and strengthen control in the financial sector, People’s Bank of China Governor Zhou Xiaochuan (周小川) said in a statement. The system launched amid growing concerns among policymakers about the potential for an explosion of bad debts in the banking sector, after new loans nearly doubled to 9.6 trillion yuan (US$1.4 trillion) last year.
UAE says RIM talks ‘positive’
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is “very optimistic” about reaching an accord with Research in Motion Ltd (RIM) to solve a dispute about BlackBerry services in the country, Abu Dhabi Executive Council secretary-general Mohammed Ahmed al-Bowardi said. “Talks are very advanced and positive,” al-Bowardi told reporters in Abu Dhabi yesterday. “We are very optimistic it will be resolved before the deadline.” BlackBerry Messenger, e-mail and Web browsing services will be halted in the UAE on Oct. 11.
INCREASED RISK: The Omicron BA.2.75 subvariant has higher immune evasive capacity, but the CECC is more concerned about newer subvariants such as XBB and BQ.1 With the peak season for infectious respiratory diseases coming to an end, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday said that details of the next phase of lifting COVID-19 masking rules — removing the mask requirement in most indoor settings — are to be announced this week. Discussions on lifting other COVID-19 restrictions are also being held, including further easing border control measures, home isolation requirements and revising the definition for reporting cases, while also downgrading COVID-19 to a lower category of notifiable communicable disease, said Deputy Minister of Health and Welfare Victor Wang (王必勝), who heads the CECC. As the daily
GUT FEELING: In the leaked memo, US Air Force General Mike Minihan urged mobile command personnel to go to a firing range, shoot at a target and ‘aim for the head’ A four-star US Air Force general has warned of a conflict with China as early as 2025 — most likely over Taiwan — and urged his commanders to push their units to achieve maximum operational battle readiness this year. In an internal memorandum that first emerged on social media on Friday, and was later confirmed as genuine by the Pentagon, Air Mobility Command Commander General Mike Minihan said that the main goal should be to deter “and, if required, defeat” China. “I hope I am wrong. My gut tells me we will fight in 2025,” Minihan said. Minihan said that Taiwan’s presidential election
PEACE AND STABILITY: The two nations called for the peaceful resolution of cross-Taiwan Strait issues through dialogue without the threat or use of force or coercion The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday thanked France and Australia for voicing their support for Taiwan, saying that peace across the Taiwan Strait is crucial to the stability and prosperity of international society. France and Australia on Monday pledged to deepen ties with Taiwan and reiterated their support for its participation in international organizations at this year’s Foreign and Defense Ministerial Consultations in Paris. The meeting between French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Catherine Colonna, French Minister of the Armed Forces Sebastien Lecornu, Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Penny Wong (黃英賢) and Australian Minister for Defence Richard Marles was the second
DEMOCRATIC SYSTEM: Czech president-elect Petr Pavel said his nation stands firmly on the side of democracy and would boost cooperation with Taipei in all aspects Czech president-elect Petr Pavel spoke by telephone with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday, a highly unusual move given the lack of formal ties and a diplomatic coup for Taipei. Tsai spoke with Pavel for 15 minutes in a harmonious atmosphere, Presidential Office spokeswoman Lin Yu-chan (林聿禪) said, adding that Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) was also present during the conversation. Lin quoted Pavel as telling Tsai that Taiwan is a trustworthy partner, adding that the Czech Republic stands firmly on the side of democracy and supports Taiwan in maintaining a lively democratic system free from authoritarian coercion. The Czech Republic would