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#France halts warship delivery to #Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin France has suspended the delivery of the first of two Mistral-class warships to Russia "until November" after fierce criticism from its allies given the crisis in Ukraine.

Read more: #France halts warship delivery to #Russia

   

#India near to signing French fighter jet deal

India's air force chief has said that a $22bn fighter jet deal with French company Dassault Aviation is to be concluded imminently after several missed deadlines and delays.

Read more: #India near to signing French fighter jet deal

   

#Halliburton to pay $1.1bn for US Gulf spill

Halliburton says it has agreed to pay $1.1bn to settle a substantial portion of claims arising from its role in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Read more: #Halliburton to pay $1.1bn for US Gulf spill

   

#Malaysia Airlines cuts 6,000 jobs in overhaul

Malaysia Airlines will cut 6,000 workers and remove itself from the Malaysian stock exchange as part of a $1.9bn overhaul to revive its damaged brand after being hit by double passenger jet disasters.

Read more: #Malaysia Airlines cuts 6,000 jobs in overhaul

   

#Google drones: tech giant plans robot fleet

Google is building a fleet of drone aircraft that can bypass earthbound traffic so packages can be delivered to people more quickly in the United States.

Read more: #Google drones: tech giant plans robot fleet

   

Indian banks connect poor to banking sytem

India's state-owned banks are conducting a massive campaign to open millions of accounts for poor Indians who are off the financial grid and vulnerable to black market money lenders.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi officially launched the programme on Thursday, saying it would give the poor "renewed strength to fight poverty".

"When a bank account is opened, it's a step towards joining the economic mainstream," said Modi, who swept to power in May after an election campaign that promised an end to corruption, a revival in economic growth and a fairer society.

The programme may eventually help sideline extortionate money lenders or unscrupulous banks, some of which are blamed for driving tens of thousands of impoverished farmers to suicide each year over debts amounting to just a few thousand dollars.

Tens of thousands of people have applied to open accounts since August 15, when Modi announced the campaign in his Independence Day speech to the nation, bank managers said.

Modi had urged banks in a recent letter to "try your best to ensure that no one is left without a bank account." The goal is to sign up 150 million people by 2018. About half of India's 1.2 billion people lack bank accounts.

"There is an urgency to this exercise, as all other development activities are hindered by this single disability," Modi's letter said, according to his website.

The four-year programme may also help beat back the endemic corruption affecting almost every level of Indian bureaucracy, by channelling government welfare and work payments directly into the accounts of individuals rather than through regional and local offices.

The accounts are unique in that they would stay open without penalty if empty, a key condition for keeping enrolled the hundreds of millions of impoverished Indians earning about a dollar a day or less.

As an incentive, the federal government is providing Rs 100,000 ($1,650) in life insurance to every account holder.

Dozens of state banks with more than 100,000 branches countrywide are participating.

   

Australia's Qantas reports record $2.6bn loss

Qantas Airways has reported its biggest financial loss so far, after writing $2.4bn off the value of its fleet due to a company restructure.

Read more: Australia's Qantas reports record $2.6bn loss

   

Russian hackers suspected in US bank attack

The FBI is investigating a hacking attack on JP Morgan and at least one other bank, according to reports citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter.

Read more: Russian hackers suspected in US bank attack

   

Lagarde questioned in French fraud probe

Christine Lagarde, the chief of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), has been placed under formal investigation in a corruption probe that dates back to her days as France's finance minister.

Read more: Lagarde questioned in French fraud probe

   

#India investigative unit drops coal scam case

India's Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has said it is to close a coal scam case against billionaire Kumar Mangalam Birla and a former top bureaucrat that surfaced in 2012 after a government auditor's report.

Read more: #India investigative unit drops coal scam case

   

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