Volkswagen AG (ADR) could face extra $1 billion fines in emission chaos

According to latest publications Volkswagen AG (ADR) fines in its diesel-emissions scandal could surge another $1 billion as it is heading closer to an agreement to resolve claims related to bigger and luxury diesel vehicles.

Back in summer, German giant finalized a roughly $10 billion transaction to recompense drivers of 475,000 diesel-powered vehicles with 2-liter engines that disrupt U.S. emissions laws. But the parties have taken longer to reach a pact over a smaller number of 3-liter diesel cars.

Reports said Volkswagen, which is closely working with the U.S. authorities, has reportedly agreed to buy-back about 20,000 so-called first-generation cars of the 3-liter model, and to sort the remaining 60,000 second-generation cars.

A VW spokeswoman said Sunday, “the parties are making substantial progress toward a resolution for affected 3.0L TDI V6 vehicles” and that the discussions “remain subject to a confidentiality order of the court.”

Meanwhile a Justice Department spokesman said, “We’re pleased with the progress made in settlement discussions and we’re optimistic for a resolution soon.”

Furthermore Volkswagen, government agencies and plaintiffs’ lawyers are still working to put the 3-liter deal on paper. A federal judge told the parties in court Friday to finalized a transaction, and set another hearing for Monday morning.

However under separate discussions with lawyers for consumers, the 3-liter drivers will also likely get extra compensation irrespective of whether their cars are bought back or adjusted.

The vehicles comprise latest Volkswagen AG (ADR), Audi and Porsche cars and SUV’s. They are generally more dearer than the 2-liter cars and emit lower levels of the prohibited toxins at issue in the diesel cars, which makes the second-generation vehicles possibly easier to bring up to emissions standards.

Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) signed Bollywood superstar ShahRukh Khan to entice India

Online streaming giant Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) is taking massive strides to compete with likes of Amazon’s to attract consumer in highly populated India.

Netflix just announced that it has coupled with one of India’s most loved film stars, ShahRukh Khan. Amazon AMZN, also recently hurled its video service worldwide and publicized a strong slate of Indian original series.

According to reports from India, Netflix will exclusively stream all the latest movies starring Khan around the world, as a part of this pact. That will be the start of a “long-term relationship” between the online streaming company and Shah Rukh Khan’s famous production company Red Chillies Entertainment, the firms said in a statement. This agreement will give Netflix subscribers entrance to plenty of superstars library films as well as his upcoming movies to massive Indian theaters over the next three years. Reports further said that the first title coming to Netflix is “Dear Zindagi,”.

“ShahRukh Khan is the most sought-after actor in the Indian film industry, and has played a huge role in bringing Indian cinema to the world stage,” said Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos in the statement. Netflix also released a YouTube video teasing the deal with “King Khan.”

Netflix, NASDAQ:NFLX, NFLX, Amazon, AMZN

Lonza Group AG struck the $5.5 billion deal to takeover Capsugel

BASEL, Switzerland-based Lonza Group AG announced that it had agreement in place to buy Capsugel, a maker of drug capsules, from private-equity company KKR & Co. The transaction is reportedly worth $5.5 billion including debt refinancing.

A pharmaceutical giant said it foresees the deal to speed up growth and increase earnings in the first full year following close. The transaction, which comprises the refinancing of about $2 billion of Capsugel’s existing debt, has already been sanctioned by the boards of both firms.

This news came just days after Lonza announced it was in talks to takeover Capsugel, the report that KKR was approaching an agreement to sell the business.

Meanwhile Capsugel, based in Morristown, N.J., makes capsules used for the delivery of drugs and food supplements. Its designs are used in vitamins, over-the-counter drugs, dietary supplements and prescription medicines. KKR bought Capsugel from pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. for $2.4 billion in 2011.

In the meantime Lonza is a producer of an extensive range of chemical, health care and personal-care merchandises and has been searching for a promising deal. The acquisition of Capsugel will extend the range of manufacturing and development services it can offer to drug makers.

Furthermore the firm said in a statement that it projected to attain operating collaborations of 30 million Swiss francs or $31.6 million and tax synergies of 15 million francs a year by 2019 from the deal and 100 million francs a year in top line synergies in the mid-to-long term.

Moreover Lonza Group also said that the transaction would be helpful for core earnings per share in the first full year post-close.

The deal is predicted to close in the second three month period of 2017.

Uber set to test driverless cars in San Francisco

International ride hailing company Uber said it is set to start an experimental driverless-car program in San Francisco, almost three months after it started a similar trial in Pittsburgh in September.

According to reports, Uber will use a driverless Volvo XC90 SUVs in San Francisco. A spokeswoman for the company said the program is beginning with “a handful of cars,” though she did not specify the number of cars. However all these car will have a “vehicle operator” in the front seat along for the ride, she said.

San Francisco passengers asking for an UberX (the lower-cost ride) might be paired with a self-driving Uber. If the rider is matched with a self-driving car, they will get a notification and will have a chance to cancel the ride and request a standard UberX ride. Three passengers can fit in a self-driving Uber.

“Expanding our self-driving pilot to San Francisco allows us to continue to improve our technology through real-world operations,” Uber’s Anthony Levandowski said in a blog post.

San Francisco comes with its “own nuances,” he said, with more bikes on the road, high traffic density and narrow lanes for the self-driving cars to navigate.

Furthermore Uber is not the only company in its pursuit to manufacture driverless cars a day-to-day reality. The likes of Tesla Motors Inc. Google and most of the luxury car makers have revealed suites of unconventional driver-assistance systems, with Tesla vowing to launch a driverless car-sharing network sometime in the future.

Moreover Ford Motor Co. announced in August that it anticipates to sell a driverless car in five years’ time.

Alphabet Inc. also announced recently that it would trigger its driverless technology from a research unit to a money-making unit, signaling that the technology might be getting closer to being commercially workable. Alphabet named the new segment Waymo.

Marks & Spencer chairman Robert Swannell set to step down

Marks & Spencer Group announced in a statement that its chairman has decided to step down next year after six years in the role.

During his time, Mr. Robert Swannell, an Ex-investment banker, has administered a tricky period at the high street retailer, hiring a long-term staffer Steve Rowe to take over as chief executive a year ago from former boss Marc Bolland.

Mr. Swannell, who turned 66 this year acted as an adviser to M&S helping to stave off a bid effort by the Topshop boss, Sir Philip Green, during his 30 years in banking at Schroders and Citigroup. He joined the company’s board as a non-executive in late 2010 and was selected as a chairman a few months later, taking over from Sir Stuart Rose.

His exodus is another phase in the changing of the top executive since Bolland stepped down in the spring. Rowe has since tracked back on some of Bolland’s key initiatives, including international expansion.

Swannell said: “A year ago we chose Steve Rowe as our chief executive. Steve completed a thorough analysis of the business and developed a detailed plan to build a simpler and more relevant M&S.

“This plan is now under way and I feel that it is the right time for the business to look for a new chairman. It is a real privilege to chair this iconic company and I will continue to do so until my successor is in place.”

More over reports said that M&S’s senior independent director, Vindi Banga, will now head the process to find and appoint the next company’s chairman.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) struggling to make Beats X earphones on mass scale as the delivery postponed until next year

According to the latest publications Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) Beats X earbuds, initially publicized at September’s iPhone event, are improbable to hit the shelves until early 2017.

iPhone-maker originally planned to dispatch the $149 earphones in “Fall 2016”, but one of the company’s reseller sent out an email claiming that Apple now estimates shipments “will take at least 2-3 months.”  According to this report, the new timeframe for launch would be sometime in February or March.

Meanwhile the upcoming Beats X comprises Apple’s W1 chip for simple pairing with iOS devices and a “Fast Fuel” feature for rapid recharging. The manufacture claims user will get “2 hours of playback after just 5 minutes of charging and up to 8 hours after just 45 minutes of charging.” Moreover to these two exclusive features, they’re pretty much a standard neckbuds that many other tech companies are launching, so it’s not easy to decide what Apple could be having difficulties with. The W1 technology has already been combined in two shipping Beats products: the Solo 3 headphones and the Powerbeats3 Wireless sport earphones.

This news arrives amid Apple’s other new wireless ear buds, the Air Pods, continue in limbo with no firm announcement date after the company already missed its launch target on those, too. Ever since launching an iPhone with no headphone jack, Apple’s officials have pushed the message that the forthcoming of audio is wireless.

Furthermore the Apple (AAPL) iPhone 7 was launched almost three months ago. Apple has been struggling to send two of those wireless products on time. It is observed by the analysts that something is throwing a serious wrench into manufacturing Beats X ear buds at much larger scale.

Qantas Airways Limited set to start a longest no-transit flight from London to Australia

Australian national carrier Qantas Airways Limited said in a statement that now it will take its passengers from London to Australia without a transit with its new service stating from March 2018.

The carrier said it will connect Perth, in the west of the country, to the London using Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners. The distance of 9,000 mile will take 17 hours.

Tourism minister Steven Ciobo said, from now onward Perth will be a hub for travelers from eastern Australia going to the UK and the new service would boost employment and tourism in Australia, a segment growing three times quicker than the rest of the national economy, and one that supports 580,000 jobs.

He also mentioned that the UK was country’s third-largest source of global visitors, with 660,000 people travelling from there to Australia in 2015.

“When Qantas created the Kangaroo Route to London in 1947, it took four days and nine stops,” Qantas chief executive officer Alan Joyce said.

“Now it will take just 17 hours from Perth non-stop.”

Meanwhile Perth is considered as one of the most isolated city in the world as its closest city of one million people is Adelaide – 1,207 miles (2,104km) away. However, Auckland in New Zealand is even more remote with Sydney it’s closest, some 1,337 miles (2,153km) away

The city was properly developed in 1829 when the Swan River Colony was established by the British government. Native people had however lived in the area for thousands of years.

Furthermore Qantas Airways Limited said in a statement that the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners used on the route will be able to carry 236 passengers and the new flights will make up the longest non-stop passenger route in the world.

21st Century Fox closing to acquire the remain shares of Sky

According to reports, CROYDON, UK-based 21st Century Fox Inc. closing down to take over the rest of Sky PLC, the U.K.’s market-leading pay-TV provider, as Fox again tries to combine its holdings years after its previous effort was disillusioned by a phone-hacking scandal

Bothe media companies said in a statement that they had reached an initial agreement for GBP10.75 per share in cash but that there still are certain issue need to be finalized before conclusion. The $14 billion offer was a 40% premium to Sky’s Dec. 6 concluding price. The 21st Century Fox already owns 39.1% of the company.

If finalized, the agreement would value all of Sky at about $23 billion. Fox has until Jan. 6 to say whether it will make a proper offer.

Back in 2011, News Corp. withdrew its bid to take full control of Sky after a scandal over the reporting policies at one of its U.K. newspaper titles raised government and public uproar over the deal.

News Corp. has since worked in two divisions, 21st Century Fox and News Corp. Both News Corp and Fox remain largely controlled by Rupert Murdoch and his family.

The Murdoch family has recently again shown interest in Sky. In January, James Murdoch was appointed as Sky chairman, four years after he had stepped down from the role. He is also the chief executive of 21st Century Fox.

This agreement in case of completion would unite Fox’s content business with Sky’s direct-to-consumer access in Europe. Sky is a paid-television and internet-service provider. The firm was originated back in 1990 when Sky Tv merged with British Satellite Broadcasting to generate the U.K.’s biggest digital-subscription pay-TV provider. It was called as British Sky Broadcasting, or BSkyB, until last year, when it altered its name to simply Sky to replicate its developing European footprint.

Tata Steel Limited pledges assurance to shelter UK’s facilities

Tata Steel Limited have announced that it is set to retain production and jobs at Port Talbot and other steelworks across the UK.

This news have put a bar on eight months of vagueness for workers in these facilities who faced losing their jobs when Tata’s UK business was put up for sale.

According to the latest reports Tata held talks with unions on Wednesday and announced that it was “an important step forward” for its prospect in the country. However workers still have to consent to pension’s variations and will be balloted.

Meanwhile union representatives, Roy Rickhuss of Community Union said in his statement that “The past year has been incredibly difficult for steelworkers and their families.

“When Tata announced in March that they planned to sell the steelworks, no one knew if they would have a job by Christmas.

“This proposal would secure jobs for years to come and bring serious investment not just to Port Talbot but to steelworks across the UK.

“Reaching this stage of the process is a credit to the hard work of our members who never gave up the fight to ‘Save Our Steel’ – it was their jobs on the line and it has been their campaign that has brought Tata to this position.”

However he said the pension proposal was “a serious concern” with union reps assenting to ballot all members on the proposal in the New Year.

Furthermore Tata’s workers may well have fallen to 6,300 in Wales but it is planned to inject about £200m a year in wages alone.

Not just that there are so many of other type of jobs reliant on on the steel company and a supply chain likely to be worth £3.3 billion a year to Wales.

Tata Steel Limited employees almost 7,000 people in Wales and more than 4,000 in Port Talbot.

Tesla Motors, (NASDAQ:TSLA) set to offer replacement of overheating chargers

Electric car-maker giant Tesla Motors, (NASDAQ:TSLA) announced that it is set to recall some of the charging adapters after two customers complained that units have overheated.

According to company’s statement, no injury was reported neither any property was impaired in occurrences that happened in November involving the NEMA 14-30 charging adapter, The recall involves NEMA 14-30, 10-30 and 6-50 adapters, which were sold separately.

“Although there have been no incidents with NEMA 10-30 or 6-50 adapters, they have some common elements with the NEMA 14-30, so we will be replacing those as well,” Tesla said.

Tesla said that the holders of the 14-30 adapter, which was made between August 2012 and January 2014, will get another one from the firm within the next couple of weeks. The company vended about 2,000 of those chargers.

In the start of 2014, Tesla claimed that it advanced its charging software and 14-50 adapter to stop overheating during charging.

Meanwhile Company instructed against continuing to use the 14-30 until a new deivice arrives. “Instead charge your car in a different way, such as with a Tesla Wall Connector or NEMA 14-50 adapter (if you have one), or by Supercharging,” Tesla said.

Furthermore Owners of 10-30 and 6-50 units can keep on using them until new chargers are produced. Tesla said. The company also said it will take about three months.

However this recall doesn’t include the Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) Wall Connector, Universal Mobile Connector or NEMA 14-50 or 5-15 adapters that come standard with the company’s cars, Tesla said.