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Airports security tightened worldwide

Airports have implemented full-body scanners in the aftermath of the Christmas day 2009 incident involving Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who is accused of attempting to blow up a Northwest airlines jet from Amsterdam to Denver, Colorado.

Backscatter image

Some people are concerned with exposure to radiation emitted by backscatter X-rays. At airports, lead vests are not used and people fear being exposed to “dangerous level of radiation if they get backscattered too often.”

The Health Physics Society (HPS) reports that a person undergoing a backscatter scan receives approximately 0.005 millirems of radiation; American Science and Engineering Inc. reports 0.009 mrems.

According to U.S. regulatory agencies, “1 mrem per year is a negligible dose of radiation, and 25 mrem per year from a single source is the upper limit of safe radiation exposure.”

Schiphol in the Netherlands was the first airport in the world to implement this device on a large scale after a test with flight personnel the previous year. On May 15, 2007 two of 17 purchased security scans were installed. Read More…

On this day January 1, 2002

Euro banknotes and coins become legal tender in twelve of the European Union’s member states.

euro_banknotesThe euro (currency sign: ; currency code: EUR) is the official currency of fifteen member states of the European Union (EU).

The states, known collectively as the Eurozone are: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, and Spain. Read More…

On this day October 7, 1919

KLM of the Netherlands is founded making it the oldest carrier in the world still operating under its original name.

A 1919 advertisement

A 1919 advertisement

The company stopped operating during the Second World War apart from the operations in the Dutch Antilles in the Caribbean.

The first KLM flight was on 17 May 1920, from Croydon Airport, London to Amsterdam carrying two British journalists and a number of newspapers.

It was flown by an Aircraft Transport and Travel Airco DH.16, callsign G-EALU, piloted by Jerry Shaw.

By 1926 it was offering flights to Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Brussels, Paris, London, Bremen, Copenhagen, and Malmo; using primarily Fokker F2 & Fokker F.III. KLM was also the first airline to fly to Manchester Airport, using a DC-2 via Doncaster. Read More…

Steelmaker Corus to cut 2000 jobs

Corus, the fifth largest steelmaker in the world is set to cut 2000 jobs in both the United Kingdom and The Netherlands. 123 jobs are reported to be going in The Netherlands with the remainder going in the United Kingdom. Corus have blamed the job cuts due to the “further deterioration” for the demand of steel in both the United States and Europe.Tata_logo

Corus chief Kirby Adams said “Any recovery in Europe appears to be some time off”. He added that Corus have to achieve long-term sustainable competitiveness. In January of this year Corus cut around 3,500 staff worldwide with 2,500 of them being British jobs.

Peter Hogg, a commercial director at Corus reported that Corus was surprised at the extent of the global recession. He added that it is clear a full recovery is years away. Read More…

Shell to Pay $15.5 Million to Settle Nigerian Case

Royal Dutch Shell settles a lawsuit for US$15.5 million over its alleged involvement in the executions of nine people, including environmental activist Ken Saro-Wiwa, in Nigeria.Shell_logo

The lawsuits are three separate lawsuits brought by the family of Ken Saro-Wiwa against Royal Dutch Shell, its subsidiary Shell Nigeria and the subsidiary’s CEO Brian Anderson, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York under the Alien Tort Statute, the Torture Victim Protection Act of 1992 and Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). Read More…

Citigroup in $1.4bn loss over LyondellBasell

Global chemical manufacturer LyondellBasell — the third-largest private chemical company in the world — has collapsed. The firm filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States, as well as the Dutch equivalent. They had failed to meet a January 4 deadline on postponed debt payments, and talks with creditors failed.

Headquartered in The Netherlands, LyondellBasell is owned by private equity tycoon Len Blavatnik, who had already refused the company a loan to help deal with debt resulting from a $12.7 billion merger between Basell International Holdings and Lyondell Chemical to create LyondellBasell Industries. Read More…

Eurozone in recession

The Eurozone is now officially in a recession, due to the recently released figures showing that, in the third quarter of 2008, the economy shrunk by 0.2%.

European Central Bank

European Central Bank

For a recession to be official, the economy must have shrunk for at least two consecutive quarters. This is the case as the Eurozone’s economy also shrunk by 0.2% in the second quarter of this year.

Howard Archer, the chief European economist for Global Insight commented on these results. “Not only did the third quarter contraction in GDP confirm that the Eurozone is now in recession, but latest data and survey evidence indicate that the fourth quarter is likely to see a sharper fall in GDP as the financial crisis bites harder,” he stated.

This development comes after two large countries in the Eurozone, Germany and Italy announced that they were in a recession. Read More…

Fortis partially nationalised

Fortis (Euronext: FORA, Euronext: FORB, LuxSE: FOR) is a banking, insurance, and investment management company, and is the 20th largest business in the world by revenue. The Benelux countries are Fortis’ home base and its strength. Fortis’ banking operations include network (retail), commercial, and merchant banking; its insurance products include life, health, and property/casualty lines.

On September 27, 2008 Filip Dierckx was named as the new CEO of Fortis, to be approved by a shareholder meeting, after the shares of Fortis dropped 35% in one week time. Fortis also was subject of discussion on an emergency meeting of the Dutch and Belgian minister of finance and financial regulators, and rumours about partial or total takeovers are spread. Read More…