08 May 2007. Historic return for NI Assembly. Northern Ireland has a new power-sharing government in an historic day at Stormont. DUP leader Ian Paisley and Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuinness took office as first and deputy first ministers as five years of direct rule ended. Tony Blair and Bertie Ahern witnessed the creation of the new executive. (Source: BBC)
04 May 07. The Philippines’ success in beating out China for the site of Texas Instruments Inc.’s new $1bn assembly plant highlights the country’s economic revival and challenges the conventional view that China is Asia’s most cost-effective factory floor. The semiconductor giant’s investment also is a vote of confidence in the Philippines’ recent financial stability. And shows how international companies are now looking at alternatives to investing in China. Texas Instruments’ executives visiting Manila Thursday said the highly skilled workers at its existing chip plant in the Philippines persuaded the company to open a second plant there, despite intense competition to attract Texas Instruments’ investment from other Asian nations. While China continues to be a major draw for technology companies — Intel Corp. in March said it was planning a $2.5bn chip-wafer manufacturing facility there — Texas Instruments’ decision to build another semiconductor testing and assembly plant in the Philippines may also reflect how rising costs in China are encouraging investors to consider other locations. (Source: WSJ)
07 May 07. Azure Dynamics Corporation announced that the Head Office in Toronto as well as the UK Kenilworth office and service centre will be closed. A new corporate head office will be opened in the heartland of the North American automotive industry.
3 May 07. Surface Ships: Availability. The Armed Forces’ Minister said (3 May 07) that it was not MoD policy to publish details of the readiness states of individual RN vessels or types. The only exceptions were HMS INVINCIBLE (Very Low Readiness) and ships in refit, which were currently: HMS GLOUCESTER & LIVERPOOL (Type 42); HMS CUMBERLAND (Type 22); HMS SOMERSET & IRON DUKE (Type 23); HMS CHIDDINGFOLD (Hunt Class) and HMS GRIMSBY (Sandown Class – accident repair). The seven in refit are all at Low or Very Low Readiness and are about to be joined by HMS ST ALBANS (Type 23), which is preparing for refit.
Comment: Terms such as Reduced Readiness, Extended Readiness or Mothballed are used by the media but not by the RN. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0718, 07 May 07)
24 Apr 07. The Tank Museum has appointed Norwest Holst to design and build a new 5000sqm display hall in a contract worth £10m. The new display hall is a key element of The Tank Museum’s £16m Heritage Lottery Fund sponsored redevelopment project, entitled At Close Quarters. The project will also see Norwest Holst rebuilding and significantly improving the Tank Museum Arena, and other external facilities.
JOB LOSSES AND STRIKES
07 May 07. Reid exit ‘allows huge changes’. Speculation now focuses on who will be in Mr Brown’s top team. John Reid’s decision to quit as home secretary “is a sign of the change to come” when Tony Blair leaves Number 10, says Labour chairwoman Hazel Blears. Ms Blears, who hopes to become Labour’s deputy leader, welcomed the prospect of a “huge amount of change” bringing new “dynamism” and a “renewal of ideas”. Mr Reid was the last heavyweight to rule out challenge for the leadership. Gordon Brown is now seen as a near certainty to succeed Mr Blair as prime minister when he steps down next month. Mr Blair is expected to resign as Labour leader on Thursday this week, but will stay as prime minister while the seven week process of choosing his successor takes place. (Source: BBC)
04 May 07. Richard Nanula, the former chief financial officer of biotechnology company Amgen Inc., has left Boeing’s board of directors. Boeing did not give a reason for Nanula’s departure. He had been a Boeing board me