Thursday Newspaper Review - Irish Business News and International Stories - - August 14, 2014
By Finfacts Team
Aug 14, 2014 - 9:43 AM

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Irish Independent

A captain lost control of a passenger plane after his artificial arm became detached as he was coming in to land, an accident report has said.

The detachment, on a Flybe flight from Birmingham, came as the Dash 8 aircraft, with 47 passengers on board, was approaching Belfast City Airport in gusty conditions.

Shortly before, the 46-year-old pilot had checked that his prosthetic lower left arm was securely attached to the yoke clamp which he used to fly the aircraft, with the latching device in place.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) report said the captain had disconnected the autopilot and was flying the aircraft manually.

THE doomed bid to build a national children's hospital on the Mater Hospital campus has squandered nearly €40m of taxpayers' money.

The catalogue of waste is revealed in the financial report of the development board set up to oversee the long-delayed project, which is now expected to be built on the site of St James's Hospital instead.

Comptroller and Auditor General Seamus McCarthy, who examined the 2012 accounts, said that "arising from the government decision to change the location of the hospital", it is likely that these €40m assets "are now impaired".

Fyffes is pushing ahead with its process to merge with Chiquita, despite this week’s shock rival bid for the US banana company.

Yesterday Irish fruit group Fyffes began posting proxy forms to shareholders – as well a prospectus for the combined companies – ahead of a shareholder ballot called for September 17 to approve the deal.

In March Chiquita and Fyffes agreed to merge in a deal to create the world’s biggest banana supplier.

But on Monday that deal appeared to have hit the rocks, after Chiquita received a surprise $610.5m (€456m) joint offer from Brazilian financier Safra and juicemaker Cutrale.

The Brazilian deal values Chiquita at 30pc more than the deal with Fyffes, and the US company has been given until tomorrow to respond.

Irish Times

Michael O’Flynn was in conciliatory form when he emerged from the High Court about 2.30pm yesterday.

He was pleased he had won his case hands down against a subsidiary of the Blackstone Group, an American investment giant with assets under management of $279 billion.

In a 74-page judgment Ms Justice Mary Irvine ruled in his favour, and was frequently critical of his opponent Blackstone subsidiary Carbon Finance.

Similar to other Silicon Valley tech companies, Apple has a workforce that is composed mostly of men, and most of them are white.

The company this week published statistics on the makeup of its workforce of 98,000 employees in terms of race, ethnicity and sex. It said 30 per cent of its employees worldwide were women. In the United States, where Apple is based, 55 per cent of the employees are white, 15 per cent are Asian, 11 per cent are Hispanic and only 7 per cent are black.

Apple joins a number of American firms, including Google, Facebook and Twitter, that have recently released so-called diversity reports in response to pressure from the civil rights activist the Rev Jesse L Jackson, who has called on tech companies to release this data about their workforces.

Apple’s report shows it is slightly more diverse than other tech giants, at least in terms of ethnicity. Apple’s percentage of white American workers (55 per cent) is lower than Google’s (61 per cent), Twitter’s (59 per cent) and Facebook’s (57 per cent).

The phasing out of contentious elements of Ireland’s corporation tax regime must be done in tandem with changes in other countries so as not to put Ireland at a competitive disadvantage, the American Chamber of Commerce Ireland has warned.

In a recent submission to the Department for Finance, the chamber, which represents US employers here, acknowledged the Government’s wish to ensure that Ireland’s tax regime is seen as “fair” internationally. However, it said there were a variety of views over the timing of any moves to change Ireland’s corporate residency rules.

The contribution comes in advance of recommendations from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which are likely to seek an overhaul of the international tax rules.

Irish Examiner

Affordable and sustainable repayment schedules are required to protect vulnerable consumers should a proposed state debt collection agency be established.

Public Expenditure Minister, Brendan Howlin has conducted a review of debt collection systems in the HSE, the Courts Service, local authorities and the Departments of Social Protection and Agriculture to identify potential savings that could be derived from the establishment of a central debt collection agency.

The report compiled by Mr Howlin’s Department outlines how more than €230m could be recouped from such a system but debt expert Michael Culloty of the Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS) says that any such organisation must take the needs of vulnerable debtors into account and ensure that they are provided with an affordable repayment schedule.


Euro Topics: West shows total ignorance: Ebola also poses a threat to the Western world, which must finally end its ignorance about the virus, the liberal Belgian daily Le Soir demands: "In the beginning the hopeless cases were the 'others'. They were far away, poor, ignorant and superstitious. They didn't stand a chance against the Ebola virus and for four decades quarantine was the only medicine. We let them die without even sparing a word for them. ... Very little research was carried out because there was no profit to be made and it produced next to no results. Why should we worry about those who live on the other side of the world, in neglected regions torn by incomprehensible wars? How can we fail to understand that the victims of Ebola and other inadequately combated diseases are our neighbours who come to us by road and in airplanes, and among whom we spend relaxing holidays?"

Virus must be fought at its roots: The first European to be infected in the Ebola epidemic raging through West Africa died on Tuesday. The Spanish missionary Miguel Pajares had been working in Nigeria with an NGO offering assistance to victims of the epidemic, which has claimed over 1000 lives since February. The left-liberal Spanish daily El País calls for an internationally coordinated campaign against the deadly virus: "The situation is so serious that the WHO's ethics panel has ruled that it is 'not only ethical, but a moral imperative' to try out on humans any method of treatment that has shown any kind of efficacy in animal tests. Never has international cooperation been more vital to prevent the spread of the epidemic in West Africa. This extremely dangerous virus must be fought at its roots in its places of origin."

Robin Williams' suicide typical for society: People only talk about the taboo topic of suicide when celebrities like US actor Robin Williams kill themselves, the liberal German Tagesspiegel laments: "More than 10,000 people take their own lives every year in Germany. That is almost three times the number of those who die in traffic accidents every year. … Victims of acts of violence, disasters, and Aids deaths - none of this compares with the suicide rate. And this is in a country which is not stricken by hunger or war, and in which the health system is in a passable state. But no one speaks up about it; there's no public debate on the subject. Suicide is the last taboo issue in modern society. … 'Freitod' (literally free death) - a word that was linked with the work of Friedrich Nietzsche and was banned by the Nazis - is still regarded as something unlawful, sinful, even criminal. … Suicides do not happen on the margins of society, but right in its midst."

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