The Loadstar

  • US and Eurozone business growth slows, while China’s factories contract
    FavoriteLoadingAdd to favorites 22/05/2015
    MateMedia

    Growth has slowed across the major economic centres. The US and Eurozone have seen a slowdown in business while China’s manufacturing sector has also contracted. May has been a weak month. Analysts are suggesting that more aggressive stimulus packages should be invoked to give a little kick-start, particularly in China. And talking of China, it appears that everyone has now bought a smartphone – the market contracted by 8% compared with the previous quarter, for the first time. The key for the hi-tech market now is to make China’s consumers buy a better phone.

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  • Will China and Thailand’s Kra Isthmus canal agreement sink Singapore?
    FavoriteLoadingAdd to favorites 22/05/2015
    Norman Einstein/Jude Chan

    Another new canal project appears to be on the cards. At a cost of $28bn, the Kra Isthmus canal, which would cut through the Malay Peninsula in southern Thailand, could pose a grave threat to Singapore’s maritime industry. China and Thailand have reportedly signed an MoU over the 100-km long canal project, which would not only prevent ships from having to sail the pirate-infested waters of the Straits of Malacca, but would also cut 1,200km, or up to five days off routes – saving ships some $350,000 in fuel costs. Up to 40% of the world’s trade currently passes through the Straits of Malacca. Oddly, however, both China and Thailand have denied signing an agreement.

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  • Southwest handlers accused of drug smuggling; plus safety video fun
    FavoriteLoadingAdd to favorites 22/05/2015
    Screen shot 2015-05-22 at 13.22.56

    Two amusing Southwest Airlines stories today, as it’s a sunny holiday weekend here in the UK, and a little light relief is in order. First, three SWA handlers have been accused of helping to run a marijuana distribution network, using passenger bags as well as their cargo shipping staff discount. Evidence against the accused was not too hard to amass: one of them apparently posted an image on social media of cash and jewellery with the hashtag #drugmoney. And a Loadstar reader sent us this link, to an amusing pre-flight safety demonstration on a Southwest Airlines flight. For those of you who are all too familiar with the normal proceedings, this provides a refreshing new outlook: “Just do what we say – and no one gets hurt” on the “no-smoking, no complaining, no whining flight”.

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