Financial
Foundations commit $330M-plus to save Detroit art PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by COREY WILLIAMS, Associated Press   
Monday, 13 January 2014 16:35

DETROIT (AP) — National and local foundations have committed more than $330 million toward the pensions for Detroit's public workers in an effort to stave off the sale of city owned-pieces as part of a historic bankruptcy, mediators said Monday.

Other foundations were expected to soon announce their participation in a plan to help solve two of the bigger issues facing the insolvent city. Nearly 130 individuals also have contributed to a fund established with a Detroit-area community foundation, said the mediators, a group of attorneys and current and retired judges.

Federal Judge Gerald Rosen, the chief mediator between the city and its creditors, has asked foundations and others to raise $500 million to protect pieces in the Detroit Institute of Arts while assisting pensioners who are expected to lose some benefits in the city's restructuring.

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Airbus logs record 2013 but still behind Boeing PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by JAMEY KEATEN, Associated Press   
Monday, 13 January 2014 07:30

TOULOUSE, France (AP) — After tallying a record number of airplane orders and deliveries last year, Airbus is admittedly facing a high bar in 2014.

The European aerospace conglomerate said Monday it delivered 626 planes last year, a company record but still 22 fewer than U.S. rival Boeing Co.

The companies enjoyed a banner year as airlines gobbled up their offerings to renew or build their fleets, cut fuel costs and plan for continued growth in air travel.

Airbus' orders last year rose to 1,619, more than twice its expectations, leading some executives to caution against any precise predictions about how many they'll tally this year. The order backlog — jets it plans to deliver in coming years — sits at a record 5,559.

"The market was extremely bullish ... more bullish than John or me would have thought, and probably Boeing," said Airbus' top executive Fabrice Bregier, meeting with journalists along with commercial director John Leahy.

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NTSB: 400,000 gallons of oil lost in ND derailment PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by JAMES MacPHERSON, Associated Press   
Monday, 13 January 2014 16:29

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Federal investigators have determined that 400,000 gallons of oil was lost last month when a train derailed and caught fire in North Dakota, according to a report released Monday.

The derailment on Dec. 30 has highlighted concerns about shipping crude by rail. It also led to a safety alert from the U.S. Department of Transportation warning about the potential high volatility of crude from the Bakken oil patch in eastern Montana and western North Dakota.

According to the National Transportation Safety Board's preliminary report released Monday, the eastbound train derailed after crashing into a grain car that had fallen onto the track after a westbound train carrying soybeans derailed. The NTSB is studying what role a broken axle might have played in the derailment of the grain train.

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Macedonia prey to global racket in holy icon theft PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by KONSTANTIN TESTORIDES, Associated Press   
Monday, 13 January 2014 07:29

LAZAROPOLE, Macedonia (AP) — The sumptuous altar screen in this village church rises in tiers of crimson, royal blue and gold leaf, all the way up to a crucifix flanked by dragons. Near the top, icon niches gape empty like blown-out windows.

The two dozen paintings were torn out in April, apparent victims to an art theft racket catering to rising international appetite for Orthodox religious paintings — a market worth tens of millions of dollars.

Arse Gligurovski, caretaker of the 19th-century church of St. George high in the Macedonian massif, says that every time he looks at the desecrated altar screen he feels as if "the robbers have ripped out and taken away our souls."

Among the 30 icons stolen from the church in Lazaropole, high in the Macedonian massif, were 23 by the 19th-century Dico Zograf — one of the nation's most famous painters. Zograf's works can sell for tens of thousands of dollars on the black market.

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