Sayonara, F1: Japanese engine giant Honda announces Formula 1 departure after 2021 season - RT
One of the most prominent engine manufacturers in Formula 1, Honda, has sensationally announced its decision to end its participation in F1 from the end of the 2021 season to focus on zero-emission technology.
The Japanese manufacturers, who have won six F1 constructors' championships and five drivers' championships, and have powered cars to 77 race victories, confirmed they would be stepping away from the world's premier four-wheeled racing series after next year's championship season. Confirming that the company had made the decision at the end of September, Honda Motor CEO Takahiro Hachigo addressed the media in an online press conference to explain that the decision was not related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. "On behalf of Honda, I would like to express our gratitude again to both Red Bull Racing and Scuderia AlphaTauri for enabling us to fulfil our ambitions of winning F1 races."Speech by Takahiro Hachigo, CEO of Honda Motor Co., Ltd. is now available. pic.twitter.com/a3JVmFd4Pl — Honda Racing F1 (@HondaRacingF1) October 2, 2020 "This is not a result of the coronavirus pandemic but because of our longer-term carbon-free goal," he said. The manufacturer returned to the sport in 2015 as the engine suppliers to the Red Bull Racing team, but that partnership looks set to come to an end with the company set to turn its attention to developing zero-emission technologies including batteries and fuel cells. The news will likely have come as a crushing blow to the Red Bull Racing team, which is struggling to make headway as they attempt to usurp Mercedes' dominance at the head of the Formula 1 field. "We understand how difficult it has been for Honda Motor Company to reach the decision," said Red Bull team principal Christian Horner. "We understand and respect the reasoning behind this." Also on rt.com'Gargantuan crash': F2 driver scrambles from car before it BURSTS INTO FLAMES after collision in Sochi race (VIDEO)
Award-winning Japanese actress Yuko Takeuchi dies in apparent suicide - RT
Japanese actress Yuko Takeuchi has been found dead at her home in Tokyo following an apparent suicide. The 40-year-old mother of two won several Japanese Academy Awards.
Reports in Japanese media indicate Takeuchi was found by her actor husband Taiki Nakabayashi at their home in Shibuya Ward after she took her own life. Takeuchi appeared in numerous Japanese films and TV shows. She also won several awards throughout her career, including scooping the best actress in a leading role award three years in a row, between 2004 and 2007, in the Japanese Academy Awards. The actress shot to prominence in the Asuka television series and was the face of numerous commercials. She appeared in the film Ring and played a female Sherlock Holmes in the 2018 HBO series Miss Sherlock, which was broadcast in several countries. Like this story? Share it with a friend!
NFL star Joshua Bellamy charged with $1.2 MILLION covid relief fraud, allegedly used virus loans to fund luxury shopping spree - RT
As millions of Americans faced unemployment this summer, ex-New York Jets wide receiver Joshua Bellamy ripped off the taxpayer to the tune of $1.2 million, spending fraudulent virus relief loans on gambling and luxury clothes.
Bellamy was arrested in Florida on Thursday and charged with wire fraud, bank fraud, and conspiracy to commit wire and bank fraud. According to an indictment against him, the football star conspired with ten other defendants to file fraudulent loan applications for more than $24 million in forgivable Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans under the $2.2 trillion CARES Act. Also on rt.comGift from Trump? More than 100 Austrians get US Treasury stimulus cheques by mistakeThe loans were intended to help small businesses pay their workers during the shutdown, but Bellamy apparently had other plans. Bellamy drew down a loan of $1.2 million for his company, Drip Entertainment LLC, and allegedly purchased more than $104,000 in luxury goods with the cash, visiting Gucci, Dior, and Armani stores, and buying bling at jewelers. He also spent more than $64,000 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, and withdrew over $302,000 in cash, per the indictment. He also allegedly sought loans on behalf of his family and friends. In total, the fraud ring prepared at least 90 applications, approximately 42 of which were approved and funded. $17.4 million was actually handed out, with alleged ringleader Phillip J. Augustin — a football talent manager — helping the conspirators with their dodgy paperwork in exchange for kickbacks from their loans. Also on rt.comHollywood producer charged with defrauding Covid-19 aid program, stealing from studioUnlike most bank loans, the PPP loans can be completely forgiven — interest and all — if the business spends the proceeds on payroll, mortgages, rent or utilities within a designated period. Since March, nearly $650 billion has been made available for PPP loans. Bellamy is not the only business owner to try to get a share of that fortune for free though. In a memo last week, House Democrats warned that nearly $3 billion worth of these loan applications raised red flags when checked against a federal database. The Justice Department meanwhile has brought more than 40 cases involving false applications, while the Small Business Administration’s inspector general has launched “hundreds” of its own cases against alleged fraudsters, per a Politico report. One man in Nevada pretended to pay his family and friends as ‘employees,’ submitted the paperwork, and used his loan to buy a house. Another man in Houston, Texas, invented a fake company and bought a Lamborghini and a Rolex watch, before spending “thousands” at strip clubs. Despite the growing number of fraud cases, House Republicans have called the program a “resounding success,” and said the level of fraud that occurred was “minimal” compared to most government disaster relief programs. Like this story? Share it with a friend!
Saudi Aramco profits crash 73% as coronavirus sinks oil market - RT
The world’s biggest oil exporter, Saudi Aramco, has reported massive losses for the second quarter, with its net profit nosediving 73.4 percent, as the Covid-19 outbreak crippled global demand for crude.
The oil giant’s net profit plunged to 24.6 billion riyals ($6.6 billion) for the three months to June 30, from 92.6 billion riyals ($24.7 billion) in the same period of 2019, according to a regulatory filing published at the Tadawul exchange where its stock trades. For the whole first half of the year, Saudi Aramco said its net income plunged to 87.1 billion riyals ($23.2 billion) down 50 percent from 175.9 billion riyals ($46.9 billion) one a year ago. Also on rt.comCrude prices slide on oversupply fears as major oil producers set to ramp up production“Strong headwinds from reduced demand and lower oil prices are reflected in our second quarter results,” CEO Amin Nasser said, adding that the company is trying to adapt to the unprecedented conditions created by the pandemic. “We are seeing a partial recovery in the energy market as countries around the world take steps to ease restrictions and reboot their economies.” The financial results, which were even worse than analysts predicted, however, did not sink the company’s stock. After the company presented the report on Sunday, its shares were up slightly by 0.15 percent. Notably, the company’s shares fell much less this year than those of its overseas peers. While Saudi Aramco stock slipped around six percent, those of Exxon Mobil were down 38 percent, while Shell declined by half. Most energy companies have taken a painful blow from the coronavirus pandemic as lockdowns to contain the spread of the deadly virus limited travel and halted production, crushing demand for crude and sending oil prices into a tailspin. In April, US crude futures entered into negative territory for the first time in history. While crude prices have already bounced from April lows thanks to output cuts agreed on by OPEC+ producers, they are still down around 30 percent from a year earlier. Saudi Aramco went public last year, with its IPO becoming the largest in history. The oil giant has long held the position of world’s most valuable company – until last week, when it was dethroned by US tech giant Apple. For more stories on economy & finance visit RT's business section
‘Victory for environmental justice’: Activists rejoice after $8bn Atlantic Coast Pipeline NIXED amid long-running legal battle - RT
Two energy companies behind the controversial 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline slated to run from West Virginia to North Carolina, said they are scrapping the project after it has been on hold for years due to legal challenges.
In a joint statement on Sunday, Dominion Energy and Duke Energy announced that they pull the plug on the project, which was first announced in 2014 and has faced fierce opposition from landowners and environmental activists, arguing that the 600-mile (970km) pipeline would cause irreparable damage to the land and wildlife. The developers, who argued that the pipeline is a better option environment-wise, since it was set to replace retiring coal-fired power plants with “environmentally superior, lower cost natural gas-fired generation,” have been embroiled in a long-running legal war with those who did not want to settle for second best. Also on rt.comThe US has a lot of natural gas that may have to stay in the ground due to never-ending legal battles to get pipelines builtActivists pointed out that the laying of the pipeline would involve mass removal of trees and damage to mountain slopes in its path, potentially increasing risks of landslides. In addition to that, opponents of the development cast doubt on the notion that there is a sufficient demand for gas the pipeline was set to transport. The developers said that the last straw that forced them to abandon the project was a recent decision of a district court in Montana “overturning long-standing federal permit authority for waterbody and wetland crossings.” The move was backed by an appellate court’s ruling in late May, “indicating an appeal is not likely to be successful.” The companies said that they believe the Montana court decision is bound to serve as a precedent, prompting more legal woes for the developers. This new information and litigation risk, among other continuing execution risks, make the project too uncertain to justify investing more shareholder capital Constant legal wranglings have almost doubled the cost of the mega-project from the original estimate of $4.5 billion - $5 billion to $8 billion. It was already lagging some three and a half years behind the schedule when it was ultimately cancelled on Sunday. The announcement of the project’s demise has sparked celebrations among its opponents. Also on rt.comCan Moscow finish Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline despite US sanctions? Never say never says Gazprom“If anyone still had questions about whether or not the era of fracked gas was over, this should answer them,” Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune said. Today is a historic victory for clean water, the climate, public health, and our communities In a joint statement with Reverend William Barber II, Former Vice President Al Gore, who has also been an outspoken opponent of the pipeline, denounced the now-defunct project as an embodiment of “the injustice of race, the injustice of ecological devastation, the injustice of poverty.” Todays victory against the Atlantic Coast Pipeline is testament to the power of frontline communities. I was proud to stand alongside @RevDrBarber, my daughter @KarennaGore, & courageous leaders in Union Hill, VA in this fight. Here's our joint statement. https://t.co/HpFilHRxDq — Al Gore (@algore) July 5, 2020 “Today we see a victory for environmental justice,” he said. Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!
Wirecard goes bust after arrest of former boss over missing billions - RT
Wirecard goes bust after arrest of former-CEO over missing billions
The legal proceedings have been opened in Munich “due to impending insolvency and over-indebtedness,” Wirecard said, adding it was also evaluating whether insolvency applications would have to be filed for its subsidiaries. The company controls a bank in Munich as well as a card-issuing unit in the UK. On Monday Wirecard revealed that €1.9 billion ($2.1 billion) of cash on its balance sheet had gone missing. It has further admitted that the cash (roughly a quarter of its assets) probably never existed in the first place. Wirecard’s ex-CEO Markus Braun has been arrested on suspicion of having artificially inflated the company's balance sheet and sales through fake transactions. Prosecutors said the chief executive wanted, in this way, to make the firm appear stronger and more attractive for investors and customers. Also on rt.comFormer CEO of scandal-hit Wirecard arrested on suspicion of falsifying revenue German prosecutorsBraun, who led Wirecard for 18 years, stepped down last week after auditors Ernst & Young (EY) made an announcement on Thursday about the missing billions from the company’s accounts. The firm was scheduled to publish Wirecard’s 2019 annual report on Thursday but said it would not be able to, because it could not confirm the existence of €1.9 billion in cash balances on trust accounts. Braun said that Wirecard had been the victim of fraud, pointing to irregularities at two unnamed banks. Wirecard had been claiming that the missing amount was held in a trust account in the Philippines. However, the central bank of the Philippines said that none of the missing money ever entered its financial system and that Wirecard used the names of the country’s two biggest banks (BDO and BPI) to try to mislead eventual investigators. Also on rt.comWirecard crisis deepens as company claims missing billions may not existBraun has since been released on a five-million-euro bail bond and has to report to police once a week. Wirecard shares, which have lost 90 percent of their value in less than a week, were suspended on the Frankfurt stock exchange. The fintech company thus became the first sitting member of Germany's blue-chip share index DAX to go out of business. For more stories on economy & finance visit RT's business section