Fi­nance in Brief

The Guardian Weekly - - Finance -

All new cars launched by Volvo from 2019 on­wards will be par­tially or com­pletely bat­tery-pow­ered, in what the com­pany called a “his­toric end” to build­ing mod­els that only have an in­ter­nal com­bus­tion en­gine. Be­tween 2019 and 2021, the firm will in­tro­duce five 100% elec­tric mod­els, and en­sure the rest of its con­ven­tional petrol and diesel range has a hy­brid en­gine of some form. It is the first ma­jor man­u­fac­turer to make such a move. Car­mak­ers in­clud­ing Re­nault-Nis­san, BMW and VW have de­clared plans for elec­tric cars, sup­ported with gov­ern­ment grants.

The to­bacco man­u­fac­turer Philip Mor­ris will be forced to pay mil­lions of dol­lars in le­gal fees to Aus­tralia after its failed case against plain pack­ag­ing laws. Big to­bacco com­pa­nies have fought vig­or­ously against the plain pack­ag­ing laws ever since they were in­tro­duced by Ju­lia Gil­lard’s gov­ern­ment in 2011. By ban­ning lo­gos and dis­tinc­tive-coloured cig­a­rette pack­ag­ing, Aus­tralia’s laws went fur­ther than the ad­ver­tis­ing bans and graphic health warn­ings in­tro­duced in many other coun­tries.

Qatar Air­ways has joined other long-haul Gulf car­ri­ers in avoid­ing a US ban on lap­tops and large elec­tron­ics in aero­plane cab­ins, de­spite lo­gis­ti­cal chal­lenges amid a diplo­matic dis­pute with sev­eral Arab na­tions. The air­line did not re­spond to ques­tions about its new pro­ce­dures. Qatar Air­ways, Eti­had, Emi­rates and Turk­ish Air­lines all put pro­ce­dures in place to sat­isfy Amer­i­can au­thor­i­ties, which in­sti­tuted the ban in March across 10 Mid­dle East cities be­cause of con­cerns that ex­trem­ists could hide bombs in lap­tops.

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