Global stocks rebound … British Airways CEO retires … Facebook again declines to limit political ad targeting
BEIJING (AP) – Global stock markets and oil prices rebounded today as anxiety over potential U.S.-Iranian conflict eased. In early trading, London and Frankfurt opened higher. Shanghai and Hong Kong closed higher. Markets sank Wednesday after Tehran launched missiles at bases housing Americans in Iraq in retaliation for the killing of an Iranian general. Anxiety subsided after reports indicated no Americans were killed and President Donald Trump said Iran “appears to be standing down.” Wall Street is expected to open higher with Dow and S&P futures up nearly 0.4%.
UNDATED (AP) – The parent company of British Airways and Iberia says its longtime CEO Willie Walsh is retiring. International Airlines Group, also know as IAG, says Iberia’s chief executive Luis Gallego (guy-AY’-goh) will replace Walsh. IAG’s share price on the London stock exchange rose more than 1% after the announcement. IAG made a net profit of 2.9 billion euros ($3.2 billion) in 2018. The company is continuing to expand, announcing in September it had agreed to buy Spanish rival Air Europa for 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion). áStrikes have recently disrupted services at British Airways.
BEIRUT (AP) – A Lebanese official says prosecutors have issued a travel ban for fugitive ex-Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn (gohn), following an interrogation related to an Interpol-issued red notice. The judicial official said Lebanon received last week an Interpol-issued wanted notice, which is a non-binding request to law enforcement agencies worldwide that they locate and provisionally arrest a fugitive. Ghosn arrived in Lebanon on Dec. 30 after being smuggled out of Japan. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to reporters.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Facebook has decided not to limitáhow political ads are targeted to specific groups of people, as Google has done. Nor will it ban political ads, as Twitter has done. And it still won’t fact check them, as it’s faced pressure to do. But the company says it is adding some controls for users so they can see fewer political and social issue ads in their news feed. It is also making it easier to search for ads in its ad library, where it saves political ads for seven years.
PARIS (AP) – Rail workers, teachers, doctors, lawyers and others have joined a nationwide day of protests and strikes to denounce French President Emmanuel Macron’s plans to overhaul the pension system. The protests come during a key week of negotiations between the government and unions about the changes. Street protests are being staged today in Paris and others French cities, while railway strikes are entering their sixth week. The Eiffel Tower is shut as employees joined the protest and some schools were closed. So far, the government is sticking to plans to raise the full retirement age from 62 to 64, the most criticized measure.