The German trade surplus is stifling the economic growth in the rest of Europe, Michael Ivanovitch writes.
US issues warrant to seize Iranian tanker off Gibraltar
The United States has issued a warrant to seize an Iranian oil tanker caught in the standoff between Tehran and the Westin a last ditch effort to prevent the vessel from leaving Gibraltar.
The Grace 1 was seized by British Royal Marines at the western mouth of the Mediterranean on July 4 on suspicion of violating European Union sanctions by taking oil to Syria.
Gibraltar lifted the detention order on Thursday after the British territory’s chief minister said he had secured written assurances from Tehran that the cargo would not go to Syria.
But with the vessel and its 2.1 million barrels of oil free to leave, the United States launched a separate legal appeal to impound the ship on the grounds that it had links to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which it designates as a terrorist organization.
A federal court in Washington issued a warrant to seize the tanker, the oil it carries and nearly $1 million.
“A network of front companies allegedly laundered millions of dollars in support of such shipments,” the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, Jessie Liu, said in a news release.
“The scheme involves multiple parties affiliated with the IRGC and furthered by the deceptive voyages of the Grace 1.”
The U.S. State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment on how the warrant, which was addressed to “the United States Marshal’s Service and/or any other duly authorized law enforcement officer,” may be enforced.
The Pentagon declined to comment, as did Britain’s Foreign Office.
Asked on Friday about the U.S. intervention, Gibraltar’s chief minister, Fabian Picardo, said that would be subject to the jurisdiction of Gibraltar’s Supreme Court. “It could go back to the court absolutely.”
The Gibraltar Chronicle newspaper reported that the vessel was unlikely to sail before Sunday, citing an unnamed source who added that it was waiting for six new crew members including a captain to arrive.
The Grace 1 had its name erased and it was no longer flying a Panama flag.
Iranian state television had quoted Jalil Eslami, deputy head of the country’s Ports and Maritime Organisation, as saying the tanker would depart for the Mediterranean after being reflagged under the Iranian flag and renamed Adrian Darya.
Trump having dinner with Apple CEO Tim Cook
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks with Tim Cook, chief executive officer of Apple Inc., during an American Workforce Policy Advisory board meeting in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, March 6, 2019.
Al Drago | Bloomberg | Getty Images
President Donald Trump tweeted on Friday that he plans to have dinner with Apple CEO Tim Cook.
“Having dinner tonight with Tim Cook of Apple. They will be spending vast sums of money in the U.S. Great!” he tweeted on Friday.
It’s not the first time that Cook and Trump have dined together. The two moguls have met several times, and last August Cook had dinner with Trump in Bedminster, New Jersey, at Trump’s golf club.
Trump was in in Bedminster, New Jersey, this week, according to media reports.
The second part of Trump’s tweet is referring to a press release Apple put out on Thursday in which it described the money it spent on U.S.-based suppliers and vendors.
In the release, Apple said it employs 90,000 people in the United States, and spent $60 billion on U.S. suppliers.
Apple opposes tariffs on imports from China, one of Trump’s primary issues. It assembles many of its products in China. Earlier this week, the Trump administration granted a temporary reprieve on some products imported from China that were due for a 10% tariffs, including iPhones and MacBook laptops.
Bank of America estimated that if 10% tariffs were to be placed on the iPhone and other major Apple goods that Apple could face a drop of 50 to 75 cents per share per year.
Apple didn’t immediately return a request for comment.
Bugatti reveals its most powerful supercar yet: The $10 million Centodieci
Bugatti debuted its most powerful supercar at Pebble Beach on Friday: a $10 million,1,600 horsepower throwback to the ’90s that sprints from 0 to 62 mph in 2.4 seconds.
The French carmaker is making a splash at Monterey’s annual auto week. The Centodieci is the company’s latest coachbuilt super car commemorating Bugatti’s 110th anniversary.
Unlike Bugatti’s $18.7 million La Voiture Noire, which was built for grand touring, the Centodieci was built for speed. The company is making just 10 of the Centodiecis, which feature Bugatti’s 8.0-liter W16 engine. The company added an extra air inlet to help cool the engine.
It pays tribute to the EB110, the company’s famous supercar of the 1990s. The La Voiture Noire, which literally translates to the black car, and a white Centodieci are both on display at “The Quail: A Motorsports Gathering” car show in Monterey, California, on Friday.
“With the Centodieci we pay homage to the EB110 super sports car which was built in the 1990s and is very much a part of our tradition-steeped history,” Bugatti President Stephan Winkelmann said in a press release. The EB110 is the only Bugatti produced under former Italian owner Romano Artioli at a factory in Campogalliano, Italy, and not at the company’s famous chateau in Molsheim, France.
The Centodieci races from zero to 62 mph in 2.4 seconds, to 124 mph in 6.1 seconds and to 186 mph in 13.1 seconds. Like its cousin the Chiron, Bugatti electronically limited the top speed of the car to 236 mph.
It’s about 44 pounds lighter than the Chiron. Bugatti did that with a lot of carbon fiber. The car’s windshield wipers and stabilizers both use the material, creating a power-to-weight ratio of just 2.5 pounds per horsepower. With more than 200 pounds of downforce, Bugatti said it corners like the Bugatti Divo — a car built for cornering.
The Centodieci’s design echoes the EB110’s with familiar styling cues like the five circular air intakes toward the back of the car. Bugatti also designed all-new LED headlights to further evoke the Italian wedge shape of the previous car.
“The challenge was not to allow oneself to be captivated too much by the design of the historic vehicle and work solely in retrospect, but instead to create a modern interpretation of the shape and technology of that time,” said Achim Anscheidt, head designer at Bugatti.
The car’s white color is also no coincidence.
“With the communication paint finish in white, we’re demonstrating a powerful contrast with the La Voiture Noire – the black car just presented in March: two completely opposing yet related forces, like yin and yang,” said Winkelmann.
Bugatti made only one La Voiture Noire, which already has a buyer even though the car won’t be ready for at least 2½ years. It plans to build 10 Centodiecis, which will cost roughly $10 million after taxes.
Bugatti’s output is generally very limited, with the company producing just 70 cars a year. It only plans to make 500 of its Chiron supercar, and more than 400 of those were already spoken for as of April, according to the company.
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