Hong Kong stocks fall 1.20% by lunchAgence France-Presse 12:43 pm | Tuesday, September 30th, 2014
HONG KONG— Hong Kong slipped 1.20 percent Tuesday morning as a pro-democracy demonstration that has shut down sections of the financial hub moved into a third day.
The benchmark Hang Seng Index fell 278.55 points to 22,950.66 by the break on turnover of HK$40.56 billion ($5.23 billion).
US stocks dip as Hong Kong weighs on sentiment
Hong Kong protesters set deadline for government
Aquino to businessmen: Nothing to fear of additional authorityBy Kristine Angeli Sabillo | INQUIRER.net 12:12 pm | Tuesday, September 30th, 2014
MANILA, Philippines—President Benigno Aquino III on Tuesday assured reportedly worried businessmen that the additional authority he is asking for will only address the country’s looming energy shortfall.
“I am aware that investors in the energy sector are worried about these measures distorting the market, but let me assure you: Government intervention is meant only to address the shortage,” Aquino said during the Energy Smart Philippines 2014 held in Pasay City.
“The sole goal of this initiative is to make sure our economy does not lose its momentum in the event of an energy shortage,” he explained.
Aquino gave his speech more than two weeks after he had asked Congress for additional authority to contract generating capacity amid looming power shortage in the summer of 2015.
Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla had told Congress they expect a shortage of around 300 megawatts to 800 megawatts.
The President explained that the government’s goal was to have reliable power, “preferably clean and reasonably priced.”
However, he admitted this was easier said than done, requiring the “balancing of multiple priorities” as the economy grows and demand for energy soars.
“Such a situation necessitates steps to ensure energy supply if a shortfall does arise, which is why we have asked Congress for a joint resolution authorizing the national government to contract additional generating capacity,” he said.
During the last Senate hearing on the joint resolution, business groups expressed their preference for the Interruptible Load Program (ILP), which sources additional energy from the extra power produced by generating sets of private companies.
In his message, Aquino recalled his recent visit to the United States where he gave a speech before the United Nations Climate Summit.
“I spoke of our country’s experience with the new normal caused by climate change, about how countries like ours, despite being less industrialized, bear a disproportionate amount of the burden,” he said.
He said the energy sector was a key component in the country’s growth.
Despite being a developing country seeking to bolster its industrialization, Aquino said the Philippines aims to further lower its carbon emissions.
Saying that his administration remains committed to the country’s renewable energy program, he enumerated related projects, including the San Carlos Solar Energy Facility.
“We are looking to incentivize the entry of around 450 more megawatts of solar power, with the Department of Energy (DOE) endorsing to the Energy Regulatory Commission the expansion of the installation target for solar power under the Feed-in-Tariff System,” he said.
Other programs involve the distribution of compact fluorescent lamps and the promotion of e-tricycles, which is being spearheaded by the Department of Energy.
“Right now, the DOE is in the process of procuring 3,000 e-tricycles, which we expect to be completed by next year. This will be the first step towards our goal of replacing 100,000 gas-fueled tricycles with electric ones, which will reduce our carbon footprint further, as well as our dependence on oil,” he said.
Among those exhibited at the event is a sample of the e-jeepney, which already had its test run from SM North Edsa to Katipunan.
Trillanes backs emergency powers for Aquino in dealing with energy crisis
Special powers for Aquino pressed
Aquino wants emergency powers to solve power crisis
Originally posted: 10:55 am | Tuesday, September 30th, 2014
Qantas puts world’s largest plane on longest routeAssociated Press 11:28 am | Tuesday, September 30th, 2014
FORT WORTH, Texas — Qantas is putting the world’s biggest passenger plane on the world’s longest airline route.
A Qantas Airbus A380 touched down Monday at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport about 15 hours after leaving Sydney, Australia, on the 8,578-mile journey.
The double-deck, four-engine jet was greeted with a water-cannon salute, then taxied to a two-story gate that was configured just for the behemoth.
The inaugural flight carried a full load of 484 passengers, according to a Qantas spokesman.
DFW is a large airport with connecting flights throughout the US and Latin America, making it ideal for the plane and the route. But the A380’s size also limits its appeal. Smaller planes such as Boeing’s latest, the 787, are more economical on many routes.
Qantas previously flew the Sydney-Dallas route with the Boeing 747, which required a stopover in Brisbane, Australia.
“The 747 served us really well, but it doesn’t have the range of the A380,” said Qantas Senior Executive Vice President Vanessa Hudson. “The A380 is much bigger, so we can actually now provide 10 percent additional capacity.”
For travelers wishing to fly the new route, it won’t be cheap. Hudson said tickets are roughly $1,900 in economy; double that for the roomier seats in premium economy; $7,000 for business class; and $12,000 to $13,000 for first class, where the airline tosses in a set of pajamas and a sheepskin mattress.
The special A380 gate at DFW will be used again on Wednesday, when Gulf airline Emirates begins flying the huge plane between Dallas and Dubai.
Asian shares broadly up, Qantas hit by huge net loss
Australia’s Qantas Airways to slash 1,000 jobs
Vietnam’s growth accelerates despite anti-China riotsAgence France-Presse 8:56 am | Tuesday, September 30th, 2014
HANOI–Vietnam’s economy grew at its fastest rate for three years in the first nine months of 2014, government figures showed Monday, despite deadly anti-China riots that targeted factories and threatened to dent foreign investment.
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew at 5.62 percent between January and September this year, up from 5.14 percent in the first three quarters of 2013 and 4.73 percent over the same period in 2012.
While noting the figures marked a “positive change” Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung called for further measures to boost the country’s economy in a statement on the government’s website.
“We have to concentrate on effectively dealing with shortcomings, weaknesses and difficulties that are hindering production, business and growth,” Dung said.
The government has targeted full-year growth of 5.8 percent.
In May anti-China riots rattled parts of the nation after Beijing moved a deep-water oil drilling rig into waters in the South China Sea claimed by Hanoi.
Some foreign-backed factories were set on fire, alarming investors who had previously been attracted to the communist country for its reputation for stability and security.
Immediately after the unrest, Dung pledged to step up economic reforms and prevent a repeat of the riots, promising assistance to affected businesses.
China withdrew the rig mid-July, a month earlier than initially expected, claiming it had successfully completed the drilling mission.
Although Chinese tourist arrivals have fallen dramatically since Beijing imposed a travel ban, the wider economic fallout from the riots appears to have been contained.
For years, Vietnam has struggled with sluggish growth due to structural problems including toxic loans paralyzing the banking sector and inefficient state-owned companies, which still dominate the economy.
Last year, Vietnam’s economy grew 5.42 percent, picking up speed slightly after its worst performance in more than a decade the previous year.
According to state media, the Vietnamese government has revised its GDP growth target to 6.2 percent for next year, higher than the earlier target of 6.0 percent.
Toyota recalls 690,000 pickups in US over fire riskAgence France-Presse 8:40 am | Tuesday, September 30th, 2014
WASHINGTON–Toyota on Monday said it was recalling about 690,000 Tacoma pickup trucks in the United States to fix a suspension system flaw that could result in vehicle fires.
The safety recall covers model years 2005-2011 Tacoma 4×4 and Tacoma PreRunner pickup trucks, the US unit of Toyota Motor Corporation said.
The trucks’ rear suspension system contains springs that could fracture due to stress and corrosion, it warned.
If the broken spring moves out of position and contacts the fuel tank repeatedly, it could puncture the tank, causing a fuel leak that increases the risk of a vehicle fire.
Toyota, the world’s largest automaker, said it was not aware of any fires, crashes, injuries or fatalities associated with the condition.
A Toyota spokeswoman told AFP that the company also was recalling about 100,000 of the Tacoma trucks outside the US.
US-traded shares in Toyota were down 0.6 percent at $117.95 in early-afternoon trade on the New York Stock Exchange.
It was the third safety recall issued by Toyota USA this month, bringing the total to 840,000 vehicles.
On Sept. 18, the Japanese automaker recalled 20,000 cars due to bad welding on a fuel delivery pipe in the engine compartment that could cause a fuel leak and subsequent fire.
That recall affected 2015 model year Lexus RX, the company’s luxury brand, and four 2014 model year brands: Avalon, Camry, Highlander and Sienna.
Toyota had said it knew of no fires, crashes, injuries or fatalities linked to the problem.
A Sept. 11 recall affected 130,000 of 2014 model year Tundra pickup trucks to fix a structure that could interfere with side air-bag deployment in the case of a crash. No crashes, injuries or deaths were reported.