720 Martyrs in Deir Ezzor in 2018

720 civilians passed away in Deir Ezzor city and its rural in battles last year.

Deir Ezzor 24, an activists collective, reported the toll inflicted in Deir Ezzor governorate by regime forces, its militias, Russia, International Coalition and ISIS.

79 civilians were killed by regime forces and 10 others passed away in Russian airstrikes, while 235 persons were killed by ISIS.

Besides, Syrian Democratic Forces claimed the souls of 71 civilians. 305 persons passed away in the air strikes conducted by International Coalition warplanes.

Concerning the rest of the toll, 11 persons passed away in the fight between opposition factions and 9 others were shot dead by Gendarmes.

Syrian Press Center

GM to slash jobs and close eight plants

General Motors (GM) plans to halt production at five factories in North America and cut more than 14,000 jobs.

The US carmaker has also announced it will close three plants outside North America by the end of 2019.

The moves follow rising costs and slower car sales and come as the firm focuses on its line-up of trucks, electric and self-driving vehicles.

The company said the plan would help it save about $6bn (£4.7bn).

The cutbacks include a 15% reduction in the number of its salaried employees, including 25% fewer executives.

The five plants in North America alone employ about 7,000 people currently, including more than 6,000 shift workers.

“The actions we are taking today continue our transformation to be highly agile, resilient and profitable, while giving us the flexibility to invest in the future,” said GM chair and chief executive Mary Barra.

“We recognise the need to stay in front of changing market conditions and customer preferences to position our company for long-term success.”

Why is the company doing this?

26/11/2018 AFP/Getty ImagesImage copyrightAFP/GETTY
Image captionUS buyers have turned away from smaller cars in favour of SUVs and trucks

The production cuts come as buyers in North America have turned away from smaller cars to bigger vehicles such as SUVs and trucks, which now make up nearly 70% of total US car purchases.

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Ms Barra said GM wants to invest in electric and autonomous vehicles, which are expected to drive future industry growth.

She is also responding to rising costs – including from new tariffs on materials such as steel – while preparing the firm for the next downturn, after US car sales peaked in 2016.

What are the details?

GM said it is cutting production of the Buick LaCross, Chevrolet Impala and Cadillac CT6 and XTS – all sedans – as well as the Chevrolet Volt and older versions of the Silverado and Sierra.

The closures in North America include an assembly plant in Oshawa, Canada; facilities in Detroit and Warren in Michigan; a plant in Warren, Ohio and a site near Baltimore in Maryland.

It is also closing a factory in South Korea, as announced in February, as well as two other international facilities that were not specified.

Labour union members block gate 1 of the General Motors Oshawa plant in Oshawa, Ontario, on November 26, 2018. -Image copyrightAFP/GETTY
Image captionLabour leaders in the US and Canada said they would fight the cuts

General Motors currently employs about 54,000 salaried workers in North America – which means the cuts are likely to affect more than 8,000 salaried staff, in addition to more than 6,000 shift workers at the plants.

The firm had signalled some of its plans previously, offering voluntary buyouts to up to 18,000 workers in October.

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Analysis by Michelle Fleury

GM boss Marry Barra said the firm was embarking on the cuts to “keep ahead of changing market conditions”.

Some of those changing conditions have little to do with the White House.

But others do.

Take the tariffs on steel – a key component in the production of cars. They have pushed up GM’s costs by an estimated $1bn.

Then there are shifting trade agreements and the president’s proposal to raise tariffs on imported cars.

New tax cuts passed last year were designed to encourage companies like GM to invest at home, but today’s announcement signals the lower tax rates are not enough to offset rising expenses.

So while investors may cheer today’s moves as a boost to GM’s bottom line, they’re a blow to President Trump and his many boasts about bringing car industry jobs back.

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What is the response?

On Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he called Ms Barra to express his “deep disappointment” in the closure of the Canadian GM plant, which has been in the province of Ontario for a century.

In the US, Senator Sherrod Brown, a Democrat who represents Ohio, called the decision “corporate greed at its worst”.

Labour unions in the US and Canada also said they would press the company to allocate more work to the factories, instead of closing them.

“To be clear, [we do] not accept the closure of the plant as a foregone conclusion,” labour leaders at the Oshawa factory in Canada wrote to their members.

“Remember, our plant has been in this situation before with no product on the horizon and we were able to successfully campaign for continued operations.”

In the US, Terry Dittes, vice president of the UAW, said GM had made a “callous decision” that put “profits before the working families of this country”.

 

Source : BBC

Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn ‘arrested for misconduct’

Carlos Ghosn, the chairman of Nissan and one of the world’s most powerful motor industry bosses, is reportedly under arrest in Japan over allegations of financial misconduct.

Japanese media on Monday reported that the Brazilian-born executive had been held after prosecutors in Japan questioned him for various improprieties, including grossly under-reporting his income.

A towering figure in the car industry, Ghosn is credited with turning around several major manufacturers. He currently leads an alliance of Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi.

The Tokyo prosecutor’s office had no comment on the reports about Ghosn, who is also yet to comment.

Nissan, Renault boards to meet

Nissan’s board is now set to meet on Thursday, when it is expected to agree to sack Ghosn and Representative Director Greg Kelly, who is also reportedly under arrest, the company’s CEO Hiroto Saikawa said at a press conference on Monday.

In an earlier statement, Nissan said it had been investigating Ghosn and Kelly for months, after receiving a report from a whistleblower. The Japanese car giant has since uncovered misconduct going back several years, the statement said.

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How corrupt is your country?

“The investigation showed that over many years both Ghosn and Kelly have been reporting compensation amounts in the Tokyo Stock Exchange securities report that were less than the actual amount, in order to reduce the disclosed amount of Carlos Ghosn’s compensation,” it said.

“Also, in regards to Ghosn, numerous other significant acts of misconduct have been uncovered, such as personal use of company assets, and Kelly’s deep involvement has also been confirmed.”

The company said it had provided information to Japanese prosecutors and would recommend that the board of directors “promptly remove Ghosn from his positions”.

Later on Monday, Renault said its board would be meeting “shortly” to discuss the situation surrounding Ghosn, who serves as the company’s chief executive.

Mitsubishi also released a statement on Monday, saying the company would propose removing Ghosn as chairman.

Renault is one of France’s most iconic companies and a large employer [File: Philippe Wojazer/Reuters]

France ‘extremely vigilant’ on Renault stability

News of Ghosn’s reported arrest broke on Monday evening when Asahi Shimbun newspaper said he was being questioned by prosecutors and was likely to face arrest.

Japanese media later said Nissan’s headquarters in the city of Yokohama were being raided by Tokyo prosecutors.

Al Jazeera’s Natacha Butler, reporting from Paris, said the news has already affected the markets.

“There’s no doubt that shockwaves are reverberating around the global motor industry. In fact, here in Paris we saw shares in Renault plunge more than 12 percent to opening trade on Monday,” she said.

READ MORE

Rising petrol costs in France spur protests

On Monday, French President Emmanuel Macronsaid that Paris would remain extremely vigilant about the fate of Renault and its alliance with Nissan after Ghosn’s reported arrest.

Speaking at a news conference in Brussels, at the start of a two-day state visit to Belgium, Macron said: “It is too early to comment on the facts.”

But he went on to add that the French state, as a Renault shareholder, “will be extremely vigilant to the stability of the alliance and the group.”

Macron said his government would give “all its support” to employees of Renault, one of France’s major companies.

Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said France remained strongly committed to promoting the Nissan-Renault alliance and would respect presumption of innocence in Ghosn’s case.

“The key question for us is to ensure the stability of Renault and of the alliance between Renault and Nissan and so I am working on that with all the parties,” he told reporters in Belgium, adding that the French government would meet representatives from Nissan in the coming days.

“There is no concern over the stability or the future of Renault,” Le Maire said.

Major figure

One of the mostly highly-paid corporate bosses in Japan, Ghosn is known from overhauling Renault and Nissan starting in the 19902.

He began his career at French tyre manufacturer Michelin in 1976, before moving on to Renault in 1996 where his cost-slashing measures earned him the nickname “Le Cost Killer”.

He was parachuted in to Nissan and began a huge corporate overhaul when Renault acquired the then-ailing Japanese manufacturer in 1990.

Credited with saving Nissan from bankruptcy through a series of hardnosed measures, including closing plants and restructuring, Ghosn is a household name in Japan, where he is one of few high-profile foreign executives.

In 2016, he also took charge at Mitsubishi after Nissan threw it a lifeline following a mileage-cheating scandalthat hammered sales.

READ MORE

Mitsubishi admits rigging going back more than 25 years

“He really shook those companies up. He slashed jobs to maintain profit, so he’s really seen as something of an icon in the motoring industry,” said Al Jazeera’s Butler.

“If he is asked to stand down as chairman of Nissan, it will be a huge blow to him and his reputation.”

Ghosn is regarded as the glue which holds the sprawling alliance of Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi together and questions have been raised in the past about how his eventual departure might affect the coalition.

However, he has also faced opposition, including over his pay. Bloomberg reported Ghosn took home some $6.5m from Nissan in the most recent fiscal year, in addition to $8.5m from Renault and about $2m from Mitsubishi.

His compensation package from Renault prompted a spat with shareholders and criticism from Macron, when he served as France’s economy minister.

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA AND NEWS AGENCIES

Apec summit ends without statement over US-China division

An Asian economic summit has ended without a formal leaders’ statement for the first time because of US-China divisions over trade.

Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said “the two big giants in the room” had been unable to agree.

He said a chairman’s statement for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit would be released later.

The US and China are engaged in trade war and revealed competing visions for the region at the summit.

In his closing comments, Mr O’Neill said Apec would try to ensure “free and open trade” in the region by 2020.

During the summit, the US said it would join Australia in developing a naval base in Papua New Guinea (PNG), in an apparent move to curb China’s growing influence.

US Vice-President Mike Pence said the base would help “protect sovereignty and maritime rights in the Pacific islands”.

On Saturday Chinese President Xi Jinping took a swipe at the US’s America First policy by saying that countries that embraced protectionism were “doomed to failure”.

Xi at apecImage copyrightEPA
Image captionMr Xi (C) criticised the US’s America First policy

Source : BBC English

Exchange rates of foreign currencies and precious metals in the Syrian market

The exchange rate of one dollar in the city of Aleppo on Friday, 509 pounds for purchase and 511 pounds for sale, while the euro recorded 606 pounds for purchase and 610 pounds for sale, while the Turkish lira was 144 pounds for purchase and 146 for sale.

In Damascus, the exchange rate of the US dollar was 509 pounds for purchase and 511 pounds for sale, while the euro recorded 605 pounds for purchase and 610 pounds for sale, while the Turkish lira was 144 pounds for purchase and 146 for sale in the black market.

As for metal prices, the price of one gram of “18” gold was 15857 pounds for purchase and 15970 pounds for sale, while the record “21” 18500 pounds for purchase and 18600 pounds for sale, while the ounce of silver was 17.65 dollars and gold ounce 1290 dollars.

Syrian Press Center

Foreign exchange rates in the Syrian market

The exchange rate of the Syrian pound against the dollar and other currencies in the markets of Damascus and Aleppo has been slightly lower on Thursday

The exchange rate of one dollar in the city of Aleppo on Thursday, 514 pounds for purchase and 517 pounds for sale, while the euro recorded 612 pounds for purchase and 617 pounds for sale, while the Turkish lira reached 149 pounds for purchase and 151 sales.

In Damascus, the exchange rate of the US dollar was 513 pounds for purchase and 515 pounds for sale, while the euro recorded 611 pounds for purchase and 615 pounds for sale, while the Turkish lira reached 149 pounds for purchase and 150 for sale in the black market.

As for metal prices, the price of one gram of gold 18 caliber was 16286 Syrian pounds, while the caliber of “21” was 19000 Syrian pounds to record a silver ounce of 17.1 US dollars and a gold ounce of 1340 US dollars

Syrian Press Center

Foreign exchange rates in the Syrian market

The exchange rate of the Syrian pound had risen on Tuesday against the dollar and other currencies in the markets of Damascus and Aleppo.

The exchange rate of the US dollar in the city of Aleppo on Tuesday, 516 pounds for purchase and 519 pounds for sale, while the euro recorded 611 pounds for purchase and 617 pounds for sale, while the Turkish lira reached 149 pounds for purchase and 151 sales.

In Damascus, the exchange rate of the US dollar was 513 pounds for purchase and 515 pounds for sale, while the euro was 607 pounds for purchase and 609 pounds for sale, while the Turkish pound achieved 148 pounds for purchase and 149 for sale in the black market.

As for metal prices, the price of one gram of 18 caliber gold is 16029 Syrian pounds, while the caliber of “21” was 18,700 Syrian pounds to record a silver ounce of 17.1 dollars and a gold ounce of 1331 dollars.

Syrian Press Center

Foreign exchange rates in the Syrian market

Stability in the exchange rate of the Syrian Pound on Sunday, against the dollar and other currencies in the markets of Damascus and Aleppo.

The exchange rate of one dollar in the city of Aleppo on Sunday, 512 pounds for purchase and 515 pounds for sale, while the euro recorded 605 pounds for purchase and 611 pounds for sale, while the Turkish lira won 147 pounds for purchase and 149 for sale.

In Damascus, the exchange rate of the US dollar was 515 pounds for purchase and 517 pounds for sale, while the euro recorded 609 pounds for purchase and 613 pounds for sale, while the Turkish pound achieved 148 pounds for purchase and 149 for sale on the black market.

As for metal prices, the price of one gram of 18 caliber gold is 16029 Syrian pounds, while the caliber of “21” was 18,700 Syrian pounds to record a silver ounce of 17.1 US dollars and a gold ounce of 1306 US dollars.

Syrian Press Center

Foreign exchange rates in the Syrian market

 

A slight rise in the exchange rate of the Syrian Pound on Saturday against the dollar and other currencies and a slight decrease in the prices of gold in the markets of Damascus and Aleppo.

The exchange rate of one dollar in the city of Aleppo on Saturday, 514 pounds for purchase and 516 pounds for sale, while the euro recorded 610 pounds for purchase and 614 pounds for sale, while the Turkish lira reached 147 pounds for purchase and 149 for sale.

In Damascus, the exchange rate of the US dollar was 516 pounds for purchase and 518 pounds for sale, while the euro recorded 612 pounds for purchase and 616 pounds for sale, while the Turkish lira reached 148 pounds for purchase and 149 for sale in the black market.

As for metal prices, the price of one gram of gold 18 caliber was 16050 Syrian pounds, while the caliber of “21” was 18,800 Syrian pounds to record a silver ounce of 17.1 US dollars and a gold ounce of 1306 US dollars.

Syrian Press Center

Stability of the exchange rates and precious metals in Damascus and Aleppo

The exchange rate of US dollar and euro stabilized on Monday in the markets of Damascus and Aleppo with little difference in the exchange rate between the two cities.

The exchange rate of US dollar in the city of Aleppo, on Monday, was 526 pounds for purchase and 528 pounds for sale, while the euro was 620 pounds for purchase and 624 pounds for sale, while the Turkish lira reached 148 pounds for purchase and 149 for sale

In Damascus, the exchange rate of US dollar was 527 pounds for purchase and 529 pounds for sale, while the euro was 621 pounds for purchase and 625 pounds for sale, while the Turkish lira reached 148 pounds for purchase and 150 for sale.

The price of one gram of gold “18” was 16,200 Syrian pounds, while “21” recorded 18900 Syrian pounds to record a silver ounce 16.1 USD.

Syrian Press Center