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Renault scraps Ghosn’s pension as scandal deepens

PARIS ( ) – Renault blocked former chief executive Carlos Ghosn’s pension on Wednesday, as the French carmaker said an internal probe had identified “questi上海夜生活onable and concealed practices” by the fallen auto industry hero.

Renault, which had initially questioned alliance partner Nissan’s accusations against Ghosn following his November arrest, also confirmed it had alerted prosecutors over suspect payments to a Middle Eastern distributor.

Ghosn is awaiting trial in Japan on charges that he failed to report $82 million in Nissan pay he had arranged to receive after retirement. He has also been indicted for temporarily transferring personal investment losses to Nissan and steering $14.7 million in compa,上海高端夜生活在那里Octavien,ny funds to a Saudi business associate.

The former Renault-Nissan boss has denied any wrongdoing.

Renault contacted French prosecutors late last week after uncovering millions of euros in payments described as dealer incentives to Omani distributor Suhail Bahwan Automobile (SBA), sources close to the company earlier told .

The file sent to prosecutors shows that much of the cash was then channeled to a Lebanese company controlled by Ghosn associates, the sources said. Nissan previously found that its own regional subsidiary made questionable payments of more t,上海夜网邀请码Hadley,han $30 million to SBA.

Renault said on Wednesday it had “informed the French judicial authorities of potential issues concerning payments made to one of Renault’s distributors in the Middle East.”

An internal investigation found “questionable and concealed practices and violations of the group’s ethical principles”, the company added. Its joint audit with 43.4 percent-owned partner Nissan is due to report final conclusions by the end of April.

Ghosn, credited with having revived both Renault and Nissan, was sacked by the Japanese firm within days of his arrest and was forced out as Renault chairman and CEO in January. In his resignation letter, he also notified the board that he was entitled to his pension, a person close to the company said.

“But his lawyers got it wrong,” the source said after a board meeting on Wednesday.

Ghosn’s resignation means he “is not entitled to any pension” from his defined-benefit plan worth 765,000 euros ($859,000) annually for life, Renault announced.

The company also recommended that shareholders block 224,000 euros in Ghosn’s variable pay for 2018, and approved governance changes reducing the size of the board to 18 members from 20 after he formally exits as a director in June.

Renault previously axed Ghosn’s 30 million euros in deferred and severance pay in the wake of his indictment.

The 65-year-old promised on Wednesday to “tell the truth” at a news conference next week, taking to Twitter to announce his first briefing since being released on bail.

Former Daimler executive Annette Winkler will join the board to replace Cherie Blair, the wife of British former prime minister Tony Blair, Renault said. She ,上海夜生活乌托邦Ida,and director Philippe Lagayette are both stepping down in June.

India’s Jet grounds much of its fleet as it awaits bailout funds

NEW DELHI ( ) – India’s Jet Airways has been forced to ground more than three quarters of its fleet after failing to pay lessors as it awaits bailout funds promised by ,上海夜生活怎么玩Jacob,state-run banks.

Jet struck a deal to escape bankruptcy earlier this year in which State Bank of India (SBI) and other lenders were to pump $218 million into the firm and temporarily own a majority stake in the airline.

But Jet has not got any of the funds so far and has not paid its employees for March, a person with direct knowledge of the matter said on Wednesday.

Once India’s leading full-service airline, Jet was founded 25 years ago by Naresh Goyal at a time when state-run carrier Air India was the only real formidable opponent. In recent years, however, Jet has struggled to compete with low-cost carriers such as IndiGo and SpiceJet that now dominate Indian skies.

GROUNDED

Jet’s operational fleet stood at 28 aeroplanes as of Wednesday, a company spokesman told , versus 119 planes last year.

At least 69 aircraft have been grounded due to money owed to lessors, according to stock exchange filings by Jet, while the remainder are out of service for maintenance.

Some lessors with direct knowledge of the matter said Jet had told them it would pay for one month’s rental and maintenance by the end of last week, but no payment had been received.

“We already have five to six months of delinquencies and we were promised just one month and even that hasn’t been paid. This is very disappointing,” said one of the people, who declined to be identified due to the sensitivity of the matter.

Jet did not respond to specific queries on lessor and salary payments but said in a sta,夜上海419龙凤论坛Earl,tement that the airline has informed the aviation regulator it is operating a curtailed schedule.

For a graphic on Jet Airways planes hamstrung by lessor defaults, s上海夜生活ee – tmsnrt.rs/2HWffZk

For an ,上海夜网千花Fabian,interactive graphic on Jet’s fleet grounding, click here tmsnrt.rs/2IdxKb7

In a statement late on Wednesday, former Jet chairman Goyal, who resigned from the airline’s board last month but still holds a 25.5 percent share in the company, said he was cooperating with the Indian lenders and had agreed to their terms in a timely manner.

“I have … signed on the dotted line as required to ensure release of the much needed funds committed by the lenders, in order to secure a sustainable future for Jet Airways,” Goyal said.

PRECARIOUS SITUATION

The Jet rescue plan itself is also facing difficulties. It was based on a directive issued by the country’s central bank last year but India’s top court quashed that directive on Tuesday.

SBI and Jet did not respond to requests for comment on the court ruling.

Madhukar Ladha, an equity analyst at Mumbai-based firm HDFC Securities, said he did not see Jet’s rescue package being in peril as the deal was already agreed.

After the bailout was announced, Jet told India’s aviation regulator it would not ground any more planes and would fly 40 more aircraft by the end of April, taking its operational fleet to 75 planes.

But late on Tuesday, Jet grounded 15 planes.

With a smaller operating fleet, Jet has given pilots and cabin crew the option of flexible working days and taking extended leave with or without pay, according to a note to staff seen by .

Even as the aircraft groundings are currently impacting Jet’s operations, the airline needs to rationalize its fleet and focus on profitable routes, said HDFC Securities’ Ladha.

“The situation remains precarious,” he said.

Zinke’s sock tweet may have violated U.S. campaign law

WASHINGTON ( ) – Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on Tuesday deleted a photo of a sock he was wearing with President Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” campaign slogan on it after realizing he may have violated a law that prohibits federal employees from engaging in political activity.

While attending a meeting of the Western Governors Association at South Dakota’s Mount Rushmore, Zinke tweeted a photo of his leg covered with a sock with Trump’s image on it a,上海021夜网Hadleigh,nd his Make America Great Again campaign slogan.

“Breaking in new socks on a hike with the governors today,” the official @SecretaryZinke Twitter account said.

Several tweeters and watchdog groups were quick to observe that donning campaign-style apparel while conducting official business is a violation of the Hatch Act.

The Campaign for Accountability responded to the @SecretaryZinke tweet with a link to a March 5 letter posted by the Office of Special Counsel (OSC), which updated its guidance on the Hatch Act in light of Trump confirming he will run for re-election.

“While on duty or in the workplace, employees may not: wear, display, or distribute items with the slogan ‘Make America Great Again’ or any other materials from President Trump’s 2016 or 2020 campaigns; use hashtags such as #MAGA or #ResistTrump in social media posts or other forums; or display non-official pictures of President Trump,” the letter said.

Later in the afternoon, Zinke replaced his earlier tweet on his official account with a photo of the same sock with “Make America Great Again” blacked out.

“Earlier I tweeted a pic of my new socks not realizing it had what could be viewed as a political slogan. I’ve delet,上海夜玩网论坛Lance,ed it and apologize for the mistake. I remain excited about all the incredible policy work POTUS is doing,” the tweet said.

Watchdog groups and Democratic lawmakers have been eying Zinke’s official and political activities.

Earlier this month, the Office of Special Counsel cleared Zinke of allegations of improper political activity under the Hatch Act when he spoke to the Las Vegas Golden Knights, a profession,夜上海419龙凤论坛Pamela,al hockey team owned by one of his campaign donors, in June 2017.

In March, two Democratic lawmakers asked for an OSC investigation into whether Zinke viol上海夜生活ated the Hatch Act when he traveled to Pennsylvania to announce funding for a coal mine reclamation site in February. Several local Republican politicians attended, including Rick Saccone, who ran in a high-profile special election in the neighboring district just days later.

The Interior Dept. was not immediately available for comment.