The Cable

(CNN): Qatar Airways has long been at odds with American Airlines. Now it wants to buy a big chunk of the U.S. carrier.

"Qatar Airways indicated that it has an interest in acquiring approximately a ten percent stake," American Airlines said in a statement on Thursday, adding that Qatar wanted to buy at least $808 million of the company's stock.

American (AAL), along with Delta (DAL) and United Airlines (UAL), has repeatedly accused Qatar Airways and its big regional rivals -- Emirates and Etihad of the United Arab Emirates -- of enjoying massive government subsidies that have helped them become leading global players.

The U.S. carriers want President Trump's administration to review the Open Skies agreements that allow the Gulf carriers to fly freely from the United Arab Emirates and Qatar to any U.S. destination. They claim the airlines rapid expansion in the U.S. is hurting American jobs. The Gulf airlines deny those claims.

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(Barbados Today) Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler is now totally out of his depth in terms of his leadership of the economy.

This was the strong suggestion made today by one his predecessors – former Prime Minister Owen Arthur  – who accused Sinckler of “bungling” his own recent Budget announcements and of creating a mass of economic confusion and uncertainty in the country.

Arthur was responding to reports that Sinckler, on the heels of his May 30 Financial Statement and Budgetary Proposals, was now promising to undertake a review of the $542 million austerity package he announced in Parliament a mere three weeks ago.

This is with a view to offering relief, where possible, to members of the private sector who are bitterly opposed to his plan to massive increase in the National Social Responsibility Levy from two per cent to ten per cent, as well as to impose a two per cent levy on foreign exchange transactions.

While warning that the tax on foreign exchange rate transactions may eventually be deemed a non-starter, Arthur complained that with the July 1 implementation date for the new levies fast approaching, there was still way too much uncertainty surrounding the announced fiscal measures.

“We are in danger of having our economic policies characterized by an absence of clarity of purpose and certainty of incidence,” he warned, while pointing out that it was not only the measures, but also the process by which they were to be implemented that was now the subject of great confusion.

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(Reuters) Ford Motor Co. will export the next-generation Focus compact car from China to North America in 2019, rather than from Mexico as earlier planned, saving the company $500 million, a top executive said on Tuesday.

It is the first major manufacturing investment decision made by new Chief Executive Officer Jim Hackett, who succeeded Mark Fields in late May. Discussion about the small-car production shift from Mexico to China began "a couple months ago" under Fields, said Joe Hinrichs, president of global operations.

The decision also signals a shift in strategy at Ford, which is responding to low fuel prices and to U.S. consumer demand by de-emphasizing small cars while boosting U.S. production of trucks and SUVs.

Ford on Tuesday said it would invest $900 million at its Kentucky truck plant to build the redesigned Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator full-size SUVs this fall. It plans to export the Navigator to China and has contingency plans to build more of the big SUVs at an Ohio plant if demand grows.

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LONDON (AP) -- Oil prices fell further to a new 7 month low on Wednesday, with the international benchmark for crude sliding below $46 a barrel.

That is just below the price seen in November, when OPEC and 10 other oil-producing countries agreed to cut their production to combat a growing supply glut and push the market up.

While Russia, Saudi Arabia and other nations involved in the deal have met their targeted cuts, an unforeseen increase in U.S. supply has countered these efforts. With the glut persisting, the outlook for oil prices has been dampened.

"As we see it, it is not the events that are putting pressure on prices, but above all the shift in sentiment, the previous optimism appearing to have virtually evaporated," analysts at Commerzbank wrote in a note to clients. They predict persistent negative sentiment could push the international benchmark, Brent, below $45 per barrel.

On Wednesday, it was down 8 cents at $45.94 a barrel in London trading.

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(Reuters) Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS):  Stakeholders from across the region are currently in St. Kitts and Nevis attending a regional Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) Project Workshop on Advancing the Nagoya Protocol in countries of the Caribbean.

Sylvester Belle, Chief Conservation Officer in the Department of Environment, explained that the Nagoya Protocol on "access to genetic resources and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits rising from the utilization is a supplementary agreement to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), which entered into force in October, 2014".

Alistair Edwards, Permanent Secretary in the Department of Environment, said that the workshop is timely and beneficial, as the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis ratified the CBD on December 29, 1993, almost 25 years ago.

"The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis recognized the importance of the protocol and is cognizant of the fact that its implementation will create greater legal certainty and transparency for both providers and users of genetic resource," said the permanent secretary. "While researchers and prospective researchers would benefit from a system where conditions for assessing our genetic resources are more predictable and streamlined, the government and people of St. Kitts and Nevis as providers of these resources would be in a better position to ensure that the sharing arrangements are facilitated."

Mr. Edwards emphasized that by "helping to ensure benefit sharing, the Nagoya Protocol creates incentives to conserve and sustainably use genetic resources and therefore enhances the contribution of biodiversity to develop human well-being."

The permanent secretary commended a number of institutions, including but not limited to, the United Nations, the United Nations Environment (UNE), International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Global Environment Fund (GEF), as well as key regional and international partners such as the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), the CARICOM Secretariat, and CBD, for their participation and partnership for making such a timely and beneficial initiative possible

The workshop will run for two days from Monday 19 through Tuesday 20 June, after which two days of national consultation on the Nagoya Protocol will be held on Wednesday 21 and Thursday 22 June. The meeting is hosted by the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis in collaboration with the International Union for Conservation of Nature, Regional Office for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean (IUCN-ORMACC) with support from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the GEF.

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