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News : International Last Updated: Jul 21, 2014 - 1:01 PM


Monday Newspaper Review - Irish Business News and International Stories - - July 21, 2014
By Finfacts Team
Jul 21, 2014 - 10:22 AM

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Front page de Volkskrant, the Dutch daily, on the M17 Malaysian Airlines atrocity

Irish Independent

The long-delayed €3.4bn Corrib gas project has taken a significant step towards producing gas after tests confirmed all five Corrib wells are now ready to flow.

The tests came after Shell E&P Ireland flared gas for a 24-hour period (pictured) at the Ocean Guardian drilling rig about 80km off the Mayo coast.

The successful gas flare confirms the production capacity of the so-called P6 well and "means that all five Corrib wells are ready to flow", according to a spokesman for Shell Ireland.

Gas was originally expected to flow from the field in 2003. The project is now likely to be 12 years behind the original schedule and the outlay will be more than four times the initial estimate of €800m.

Ukrainian army tanks were reported to be launching an assault to break pro-Russian rebels' hold on the eastern city of Donetsk on Monday in the first major outbreak of hostilities in the area since Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down last week.

A separatist leader said Ukrainian government forces were trying to break into Donetsk and fighting was under way near the railway station.

Sergei Kavtaradze, of the rebels' self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic, said at least four tanks and armoured vehicles were trying to break through into the city.

A Ukrainian military spokesman said the operation was in progress but would not comment on reports of troops entering Donetsk. "The active phase of the anti-terrorist operation is continuing. We are not about to announce any troop movements," Vladyslav Seleznyov said.

Reuters journalists also saw two rebel tanks heading towards Donetsk railway station.

Ireland is set for a heatwave this week since temperatures are expected to hit a sizzling 25 degrees over five days, Met Éireann has advised.

Warm, humid and dry conditions are expected until the end of the week.

A forecaster told independent.ie: “This week certainly there’s a possibility of a heatwave. Temperatures will be up around 25 degrees over most of the week. It’ll be a pleasant, very warm, and humid week.”

A heatwave in Ireland is classified as five consecutive days of temperatures over 25 degrees.

Today will become warm with lowest temperatures reaching 20 degrees.

“It’s going to be quite humid and the nights will be humid as well with temperatures of 15 to 16 degrees, which can be uncomfortable for some,” the forecaster said.

THE success of the European Central Bank's as yet unused bond buying programme in easing market fears reflects the need for a fiscal union, the IMF's former Ireland mission chief has said.

In a paper published by think-tank Bruegel, Ashoka Mody argued the ECB's Outright Monetary Transactions (OMT) programme was a "politically pragmatic tool" to diffuse the euro zone crisis which also exposed key fault lines in the architecture of the euro.

OMT was unveiled in September 2012 after the ECB pledged to do whatever it takes to preserve the single currency. It calmed financial markets but stirred criticism from Germany's Bundesbank.

Irish Times

Britain’s biggest retailer Tesco said on Monday its chief executive Philip Clarke would quit, to be replaced by Unilever executive Dave Lewis, after it issued a profit warning.

Tesco said Mr Clarke would continue as chief executive until October 1st when he would step down from the board but will continue to be available to support the transition until the end of January 2015.

Tesco said current trading conditions were more challenging than it anticipated at the time of its first quarter interim management statement on June 4th, and that sales and trading profit in the first half of the year were below expectations.

Britain is prepared to take an economic hit from further sanctions against Russia because the costs of not acting would be greater, British finance minister George Osborne said today.

Mr Osborne said no one should doubt Britain’s resolve to punish those responsible for Thursday’s downing of a Malaysian jet, which killed 298 people.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday laid out what he called overwhelming evidence of Russian complicity in the disaster.

John Malone, the billionaire behind UPC-owner Liberty Global, has bought the five-star Westin Hotel in Dublin for €65 million. The acquisition is expected to close at the end of August 2014.

The Westmoreland Street hotel will be operated by Lalco Hotel Group under a franchise agreement with Westin Hotels & Resorts.

The Westin is the third hotel in Dublin to be acquired by Mr Malone and his Irish partners Lalco, operated by John Lally and Paul Higgins. The others are the Trinity City Hotel, Pearse Street and Hilton Hotel, Charlemont Place.

Lalco Hotel Group employs 1,100 people. As well as three hotels in partnership with Mr Malone, it also runs the Limerick Strand Hotel, the Harbour Hotel in Galway and the Glenlo Abbey Hotel and Golf Club among others.

Businessman Harry Crosbie lost up to €20 million investing in shares in Yahoo and AIB at the peak of the boom.

Mr Crosbie’s failed investment took place at a time when his company borrowings were on their way to more than €400 million as he sought to achieve an ambitious vision for Dublin’s docks.

Mr Crosbie first invested about €20 million in Yahoo in the middle of the last decade. He cut his losses after losing several million euro, switching to AIB shares, his principal lender at the time.

AIB’s share price then collapsed to almost zero because of its exposure to property developers. Mr Crosbie yesterday declined to comment on his stock market investments.

Irish Examiner

Private debt collectors are to be employed on an “ongoing basis” to chase up unpaid Dáil bar tabs running into tens of thousands of euro.

The decision has been taken by the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission, which runs Leinster House, after it was found that a small number of TDs and senators are consistently breaching credit limits.

The committee — which includes Ceann Comhairle Seán Barrett and Paddy Burke, Cathaoirleach of the Seanad — had requested a “progress report” on unpaid debts from the Oireachtas catering service.

The minutes of its May meeting state that “the commission agreed in principle to the recruitment of a credit controller who will have responsibility for this area on an ongoing basis”.

Europe

DutchNews.nl says: Dutch foreign minister Frans Timmermans is in New York on Monday to gather UN support for a united international approach to bringing the bodies of those killed in the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash back from Ukraine.

‘This is my first and most important task,’ Timmermans said on his Facebook page.

The minister said he will also strive to ensure the international community supports calls for a full, independent and international inquiry ‘so we can establish exactly what happened and call those responsible to justice.’

Timmermans said US secretary of state John Kerry and Britain’s foreign minister Philip Hammond have pledged their full support.

‘In these difficult times for our country, we are not alone,’ Timmermans said. ‘Our friends are at our side. And we will not rest until justice is done.’

BBC News: US Secretary of State John Kerry has said there is overwhelming evidence of Russian complicity in the downing of a Malaysia Airlines plane in Ukraine.

Mr Kerry called on Russia to take responsibility for the actions of the rebels, saying their handling of the dead had been "grotesque".

All 298 people on flight MH17 died when it was reportedly hit by a missile.

Russia has been accused of providing the rebels with an anti-aircraft system that was allegedly used in the attack.

The London Independent: Russian President Vladimir Putin has condemned what he says is the exploitation of MH17 for “mercenary objectives,” as rescue workers continue to plough through the remains of the downed plane and the UN Security Council prepares to vote on a resolution demanding full access to the Ukraine crash site.

In a statement posted to the Kremlin website, Mr Putin said that the crash was being manipulated by forces keen use it for their own purposes, without hinting as to who that might be.

He also said that his government supports an investigation run by a “full team of experts” working at the behest of UN agency the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

He criticised Ukraine for reigniting fighting with the rebels and said: "We can say with confidence that if fighting in eastern Ukraine had not been renewed on 28 June, this tragedy would not have happened.

"Nobody should or does have a right to use this tragedy for such mercenary objectives."

El País of Spain reports that the auditor of failed free wi-fi company Gowex, José Antonio Díaz Villanueva, voluntarily appeared before a judge in the High Court on Friday. Díaz Villanueva was subject to an international arrest warrant after police reported that they had been unable to locate him. Both the auditor and the disgraced founder of Gowex, Jenaro García, have been named as official suspects in an investigation into the company’s accounts.

Gowex, which had previously been touted by politicians as a Spanish business success story, was brought down by a damning report by the mysterious financial analysis company Gotham City Research. The report claimed that Gowex was falsifying its accounts, something that was initially denied by García, but he later admitted to be true. The value of the company’s stock tumbled and it has since filed for bankruptcy.

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