Fiat Chrysler Names Jeep Boss to Replace Stricken CEO

Fiat Chrysler named on Saturday its Jeep division boss, Mike Manley, to take over immediately for Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne, who is seriously ill after suffering major complications following surgery.

The carmaker said British-born Manley, who also takes responsibility for the North America region, will push ahead with the midterm strategy outlined last month by Marchionne, who had been due to step down next April.

Marchionne, 66, was credited with rescuing Fiat and Chrysler from bankruptcy after taking the Italian carmaker’s wheel in 2004. On Saturday, he was also replaced as chairman and CEO of Ferrari and chairman of tractor maker CNH Industrial — both spun off from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in recent years.

“FCA communicates with profound sorrow that during the course of this week unexpected complications arose while Mr. Marchionne was recovering from surgery and that these have worsened significantly in recent hours,” the statement said.

FCA disclosed earlier this month that Marchionne, a renowned dealmaker and workaholic, was recovering from a shoulder operation. But his condition deteriorated sharply in recent days when he suffered massive complications that were not divulged.

Ferrari named FCA Chairman and Agnelli family scion John Elkann as new chairman, while board member Louis Camilleri becomes chief executive. CNH appointed Suzanna Heywood to replace Marchionne as chairman. All three companies remain controlled by the Agnellis.

Marchionne had previously said he planned to stay on as Ferrari chairman and CEO until 2021.

Deal focus

One of the auto industry’s longest-serving CEOs, Marchionne has advocated tie-ups to share the growing cost burden of developing cleaner, electrified and autonomous vehicles.

He resisted the comparatively easy option of selling off coveted brands such as Jeep, saying that would leave too big a problem with Fiat as “the stump that is left behind.”

But after being rejected by his preferred partner General Motors, he turned back to the task of cutting FCA’s debt — a goal he achieved last month — while maintaining that a merger for FCA was “ultimately inevitable.”

Investor hopes for a transformative deal had largely dwindled and are unlikely to hit the shares on Marchionne’s departure, according to Evercore analyst George Galliers.

“The valuation doesn’t suggest expectations of a buyout are high,” Galliers said.

Even without Marchionne, FCA will remain “culturally more open to dealmaking and savvy to potential capital market opportunities than much of the competition,” he added.

“A lot of that’s now ingrained, so I don’t think you lose everything he’s brought to the company overnight.”

Yet, Manley will have a tough act to follow.

Marchionne resurrected one of Italy’s biggest corporate names and revitalized Chrysler, succeeding where the U.S. company’s two previous owners — Mercedes parent Daimler and private equity group Carberus — both failed.

He has multiplied Fiat’s value 11 times since taking charge, helped by moves such as the spinoffs of CNH Industrial and Ferrari. The planned separation of parts maker Magneti Marelli, due this year, should further increase that value-generation.

He also flattened an inflexible hierarchy, replacing layers of middle management with a meritocratic leadership style. He slashed costs by reducing the number of vehicle architectures and creating joint ventures to pool development and plant costs.


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Tariffs Will Hurt Economy, IMF Warns, as Trump Threatens More

The International Monetary Fund warned world economic leaders on Saturday that a recent wave of trade tariffs would significantly harm global

growth, a day after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened a major escalation in a dispute with China.

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said she would present the G-20 finance ministers and central bank governors meeting in Buenos Aires with a report detailing the impacts of the restrictions already announced on global trade.

“It certainly indicates the impact that it could have on GDP [gross domestic product], which in the worst case scenario under current measures … is in the range of 0.5 percent of GDP on a global basis,” Lagarde said at a joint news conference with Argentine Treasury Minister Nicolas Dujovne.

In the briefing note prepared for G-20 ministers, the IMF said global growth might peak at 3.9 percent in 2018 and 2019, while downside risks have increased because of the growing trade conflict.

Her warning came shortly after the top U.S. economic official, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, told reporters in the Argentine capital there was no “macro” effect yet on the world’s largest economy.

Long-simmering trade tensions have burst into the open in recent months, with the United States and China — the world’s largest and second-largest economies — slapping tariffs on $34 billion worth of each other’s goods so far.

The weekend meeting in Buenos Aires comes amid a dramatic escalation in rhetoric on both sides. Trump on Friday threatened tariffs on all $500 billion of Chinese exports to the United States.

Mnuchin said that while there were some “micro” effects, such as retaliation against U.S.-produced soybeans, lobsters and bourbon, he did not believe that tariffs would keep the United States from achieving sustained 3 percent growth this year.

“I still think from a macro basis we do not see any impact on what’s very positive growth,” Mnuchin said, adding that he was closely monitoring prices of steel, aluminum, timber and soybeans.

G-7 allies

The U.S. dollar fell the most in three weeks on Friday against a basket of six major currencies after Trump complained again about the greenback’s strength and about Federal Reserve interest rate increases, halting a rally that had driven the dollar to its highest level in a year.

Mnuchin will try to rally G-7 allies over the weekend to join the United States in more aggressive action against China, but they may be reluctant to cooperate because of U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from the European Union and Canada, which prompted retaliatory measures.

Mnuchin said he would tell G-7 allies that the Trump administration was ready to make a trade deal with them and had placed a high priority on completing the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Mexico and Canada.

“If Europe believes in free trade, we’re ready to sign a free-trade agreement,” he said, adding that a deal would require the elimination of tariffs, nontariff barriers and subsidies.

“It has to be all three issues.”

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, however, said at the G-20 meeting that the European Union could not consider negotiating a free-trade agreement with the United States unless Washington withdrew its steel

and aluminum tariffs first.

Le Maire said there was no disagreement between France and Germany over how and when to start trade talks with the United States. Both agreed Washington needs to take the first step by eliminating tariffs, he said.

Previous session

The last G-20 finance meeting in Buenos Aires in late March ended with no firm agreement by ministers on trade policy, except for a commitment to “further dialog.”

German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said he would use the meeting to advocate for a rules-based trading system, but that expectations were low.

“I don’t expect tangible progress to be made at this meeting,” Scholz told reporters on the plane to Buenos Aires.

The U.S. tariffs will cost Germany up to 20 billion euros ($23.44 billion) in income this year, according to the head of German think-tank IMK.

Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said he hoped the debate at the G-20 gathering would lead to an easing of retaliatory trade measures.

“Trade protectionism benefits no one involved,” he said. “I think restraint will eventually take hold.”​

​Protests

Host country Argentina is one of the world’s most closed economies, after a string of populist leaders implemented tariffs and restrictions on foreign capital to protect domestic industry. Market-friendly President Mauricio Macri has removed many of those barriers, generating popular backlash as factory

employment has nosedived.

A currency crisis this year prompted Argentina to seek IMF financing, a political risk for Macri since many Argentines blame Fund-imposed austerity for making its 2001-02 economic collapse worse. Opposition politicians led a protest against Lagarde’s presence on Saturday.

“This deal will mean a tougher, more severe adjustment for working people,” said Nicolas del Cano, a lawmaker for the Socialist Workers’ Party, calling for a national strike to “defeat” the IMF deal.

Lagarde said on Saturday that Argentina was “unequivocally” making progress on its deficit reduction targets agreed to as part of the $50 billion deal.


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Кримський шахіст Карякін поїде на Всесвітню шахову олімпіаду у складі збірної Росії

Шахіст з Криму Сергій Карякін увійшов до складу збірної Росії, яка сформована для участі у Всесвітній шаховій олімпіаді 2018 року. Про це повідомляє проект Радіо Свобода Крим.Реалії з посиланням на прес-службу Російської шахової федерації.

За даними федерації, за цю команду також виступатимуть колишній чемпіон світу з шахів Володимир Крамник, а також Дмитро Яковенко, Микита Вітюгов і Ян Непомнящий.

Сергій Карякін – вихованець сімферопольської шахової школи. У 2004 році він став переможцем шахової олімпіади в складі збірної України.

У 2010 і 2012 роках грав у складі збірної Росії, отримавши «срібло», а в 2016 році – «бронзу».

Всесвітня шахова олімпіада триватиме з 23 вересня по 6 жовтня у грузинському Батумі.


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Поліція Чернігова вирішила пошукати, хто прив’язав чоловіка до стовпа

Поліція відкрила провадження у зв’язку з інцидентом у Чернігові, що трапився у п’ятницю, коли чоловіка прив’язали скотчем до стовпа і плювали на нього. Про це мовиться на Facebook-сторінці обласного управління відомства.

За цією інформацією, йдеться про хуліганство, вчинене групою осіб.

«Слідчим відділом Чернігівського відділу поліції ГУНП в Чернігівській області за погодженням з міською прокуратурою відкрито кримінальне провадження за ознаками кримінального правопорушення, передбаченого частиною 2 статті 296 Кримінального кодексу України (хуліганство). Санкція статті передбачає покарання у вигляді обмеження волі на строк до п’яти років або позбавлення волі до чотирьох років. Наразі поліція встановлює осіб, які прив’язали чоловіка до стовпа. Триває досудове розслідування», – йдеться у повідомленні, опублікованому у суботу, 21 липня.

Між тим, 20 липня речник обласної поліції Сергій Бриль зазначив у коментарі Радіо Свобода, що чоловік, якого прив’язали до стовпа, не мав ні до кого претензій і сам про це попросив, тож у поліції не було підстав відкривати провадження. Він зазначив також, що цей чоловік – нещодавно вийшов із колонії і є підозрюваним в іншому провадженні за статтею «хуліганство».

За інформацією патрульної поліції Чернігова,чоловіка, прив’язаного скотчем до дорожнього знака патрульні виявили на перехресті вулиць Шевченка і Міхнюка, приїхавши на виклик. За словами речника відомства Віталія Копистка, чоловіка звільнили, на місце приїхала також швидка, але від допомоги медиків той відмовився.

Інформацію про інцидент близько другої години дня поширили також на Facebook-сторінці «Національні дружини».

«Нещодавно Національні Дружини Чернігів в центрі міста затримали сєпара, який закидував пляшками стелу пам’яті Небесній Сотні. А вже сьогодні він прийшов до відділка писати заяву на наших хлопців», – йшлося у повідомленні «Нацдружин».

Окрім того, користувач Олександр Тарнавський транслював у Facebook, як реагують на прив’язаного чоловіка перехожі, супроводжуючи відеоряд своїми коментарями.

16 липня вночі цей же користувач оприлюднив на своїй сторінці відео із цим же чоловіком, який падає, підписавши, що його звалив з ніг «несподіваний порив вітру».


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Iran Leader Backs Suggestion to Block Gulf Oil Exports if Own Sales Stopped

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Saturday backed President Hassan Rouhani’s suggestion that Iran may block Gulf oil exports if its own exports are stopped and said negotiations with the United States would be an “obvious mistake.”

Rouhani’s apparent threat earlier this month to disrupt oil shipments from neighboring countries came in reaction to looming U.S. sanctions and efforts by Washington to force all countries to stop buying Iranian oil.

“(Khamenei) said remarks by the president … that ‘if Iran’s oil is not exported, no regional country’s oil will be exported,’ were important remarks that reflect the policy and the approach of (Iran’s) system,” Khamenei’s official website said.

Iranian officials have in the past threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz, a major oil shipping route, in retaliation for any hostile U.S. action.

Khamenei used a speech to foreign ministry officials on Saturday to reject any renewed talks with the United States after President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from a 2015 international deal over Iran’s nuclear program.

“The word and even the signature of the Americans cannot be relied upon, so negotiations with America are of no avail,” Khamenei said.

It would be an “obvious mistake” to negotiate with the United States as Washington was unreliable, Khamenei added, according to his website.

The endorsement by Khamenei, who has the last word on all major issues of state, is likely to discourage any open opposition to Rouhani’s apparent threat.

Khamenei also voiced support for continued talks with Iran’s European partners in the nuclear deal which are preparing a package of economic measures to offset the U.S. pullout from the

accord.

“Negotiations with the Europeans should not be stopped, but we should not be just waiting for the European package, but instead we should follow up on necessary activities inside the country [against U.S. sanctions],” Khamenei said.

France said earlier this month that it was unlikely European powers would be able to put together an economic package for Iran that would salvage its nuclear deal before November.

Iran’s oil exports could fall by as much as two-thirds by the end of the year because of new U.S. sanctions, putting oil markets under huge strain amid supply outages elsewhere in the world.

Washington initially planned to totally shut Iran out of global oil markets after Trump abandoned the deal that limited Iran’s nuclear ambitions, demanding all other countries to stop buying its crude by November.

But it has since somewhat eased its stance, saying that it may grant sanction waivers to some allies that are particularly reliant on Iranian supplies.

 


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Eastern, Southern Africa Most Affected by HIV Epidemic

A report by UNAIDS, “Miles to go—closing gaps, breaking barriers, righting injustices”, warns that the global response to HIV is at a critical point.  Eastern and southern Africa remain the regions most affected by the HIV epidemic, accounting for 45 percent of the world’s HIV infections and 53 percent of people with HIV globally.

An estimated 800,000 people in eastern and southern Africa acquired HIV in 2017, and an estimated 380,000 people died of AIDS-related illness, the report indicated.

Mozambique, South Africa and Tanzania accounted for more than half of the new HIV infections and deaths from AIDS-related illness in the region last year.

The survey also indicated that there was discrimination against HIV positive persons in healthcare settings, especially towards key populations.

Key populations include men who have sex with men, drugs users, transgender persons and sex workers, considered to be most at  risk at contracting HIV.

There are nearly 1 million sex workers estimated to need services in the region.

“For us it is important in fact we do have within NASCOP, a key population program, mainly targeting the key populations, the female sex workers, men who have sex with men and injecting drug users,” said Dr. Kigen Barmasai, the director at Kenya’s National Aids and STI Control Program, NASCOP “One, we know that this contributes to 33 percent of new infections in Kenya, from this key populations, of course the prevalence varies, we have prevalence from 29 percent in female sex workers to 18 percent among the injected drug users. So as a program we are working on this and we are spearheading the HIV prevention, treatment and care efforts to reverse the epidemic. For the last ten years we have been working on that.”

More than half of the people surveyed who inject drugs said they avoided health-care services, citing discrimination or fear of law enforcement authorities.

In Kenya homosexuality is illegal and being found guilty can lead to a sentence of up to 14 years in prison.  Sex work is also illegal in Kenya.

“The criminal nature of Key populations, and the acts of Key populations that make people shy away from accessing health care and even organizing, coming together so that they can organize,” said Grace Kamau, chairperson of the Key population consortium in Kenya. “The main thing is the criminal nature. People fear to be arrested”

The report said about two-thirds of all people living with HIV in the region were accessing antiretroviral therapy in 2017.

Kamau attributes the successes in reaching large numbers of Key populations in Kenya to availability of HIV resources made possible by donor funding, but she says more people are yet to be reached.

“One of the things we have in Kenya is private clinics that are donor funded,” said Kamau. “That is where the sex workers feel comfortable and that is where they access their services. And that is what has made the number to go high.”

The report indicates that there were 19.6 million people living with HIV in eastern and southern Africa at the end of 2017.

Out of this number 81% were aware of their HIV status, an increase from 77% in 2016.

West and central Africa continues to lag behind as statistics indicated AIDS-related deaths have fallen by only 24% in western and central Africa, compared to a 42% decline in eastern and southern Africa.

Nigeria has more than half of the HIV burden in the region and there has been little progress in reducing new HIV infections there in recent years.

 


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Cholera Threatens Cameroon

A cholera outbreak in Cameroon has claimed at least a dozen lives. Hundreds of people have been rushed to several hospitals in the central African state. It is feared some of the cases were imported from Nigeria and may contaminate refugees fleeing the Boko Haram insurgency. 

Arabo Saidou, the highest government official in charge of health in Cameroon’s north region says the first cases of cholera were reported along Cameroon’s border with Nigeria two months ago.

He says the disease has continued to spread since four cases of cholera were recorded in the northern Cameroon town of Mayo Oulo that borders Nigeria on May 18. He says many people, especially children, have been dying both in and out of hospitals.

In May, the Word Health Organization reported that Nigeria’s Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states had been experiencing recurrent cholera outbreaks since February, with a total of 1,664 suspected cases and 31 deaths.

Many people from the three Nigerian states travel to Cameroon for business. At least a hundred thousand are in Cameroon as refugees fleeing the Boko Haram insurgency, with over 90,000 at the Minawao refugee camp.

 

Issac Bayoro, a Cameroonian epidemiologist working in the Mokolo administrative area where the Minawao refugee camp is located says they are educating refugees to respect hygiene norms and are also screening Nigerians coming to the camp in a bid to protect not only the refugees but their host communities.

He says many people continue to defecate in the open air or in streams and river beds where both humans and animals go to find water to drink thereby facilitating the spread of cholera. He says hygiene is not respected as many people do not wash their hands with soap as advised. He says people should stop trusting the belief that an African is naturally vaccinated and can not die of dirt.

Cameroon’s ministry of health indicated that the disease quickly spread to Yaounde and Douala, major cities in the central African state. The case reported in Yaounde was of a teenager who travelled to Yaounde from northern Cameroon with his mother. He latter died in a hospital according to the government.

Thomas Tawe, a university student and resident of Yaounde says he fears cholera may spread rapidly in the city because just 30 percent of the population has access to good drinking water.

“In the city of Yaounde only those who can pay can have water. When you go into the quarters (neighbourhoods) you see that people are carrying water from inhygienic sources,” said Tawe. “If the water is contaminated, automatically we will be contaminated.”


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Fashion Industry Reinventing Itself by Embracing the Digital Age

For years denim jeans have been finished in foreign factories where workers use manual and automated techniques such as scraping with sandpaper or other abrasives to make the jeans appear worn and more comfortable to wear. But things are changing in the fashion world. As VOA’s Mariama Diallo reports, fashion companies are going digital to speed up the design and manufacturing process.


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New York City Bathroom Aims to Prevent Drug Overdoses

A specially-outfitted bathroom in New York City has been converted into a safe haven for drug users. The goal: to curb an overdose crisis that’s sweeping the United States. New data shows drug overdoses killed 47,000 people nationwide in the 12 month period that ended in November 2017. Aside from preventing such deaths, studies show facilities like the one in New York can also reduce HIV infections and emergency calls about overdoses. But the program has its critics. VOA’s Julie Taboh has more.


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FDA Approves Drug to Stop Some Malaria Relapses

U.S. regulators Friday approved a simpler, one-dose treatment to prevent relapses of malaria.

Standard treatment now takes two weeks and studies show many patients don’t finish taking every dose.

Malaria is caused by parasites that are spread to people through mosquito bites. Anti-malarial drugs can cure the initial infection, but parasites can get into the liver, hide in a dormant form and cause recurrences months or years later. A second drug is used to stop relapses.

The new drug, GlaxoSmithKline’s Krintafel, only targets the kind of malaria that mainly occurs in South America and Southeast Asia. Most malaria cases and deaths are in Africa, and they involve another species.

In testing, one dose of Krintafel worked about the same as two weeks of the standard treatment, preventing relapses in about three-quarters of patients in six months, the company said.

The Food and Drug Administration approved the drug for patients 16 and older, according to GlaxoSmithKline. The company said it’s the first new treatment in six decades for preventing relapses.

GlaxoSmithKline plans to apply soon for approval in Brazil, then other countries where the malaria type is common. It says it will sell the pills at low cost in poor countries.

Millions infected worldwide

Worldwide, malaria infects more than 200 million people a year and kills about half a million, most of them children in Africa. It causes fever, headache, chills and other flulike symptoms. The malaria type Krintafel targets causes about 8.5 million infections annually.

The British drugmaker, working with the World Health Organization, is also developing what could be the world’s first malaria vaccine, but early testing indicates it’s not very effective. Prevention now focuses on using insecticides and bed nets.


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