Carillion could enter administration on Monday unless UK backs rescue

Cranes rise above Carillion’s Midland Metropolitan Hospital construction site in Smethwick. Shares in Carillion plunged almost 30 percent to a new low on Friday after Sky News reported it had put administrators on standby. (Reuters)
Updated 13 January 2018
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Carillion could enter administration on Monday unless UK backs rescue

LONDON: British building and services company Carillion could enter administration on Monday unless Britain’s government backs a rescue plan, Sky News reported on Saturday, citing sources.
Carillion said on Friday it remained in “constructive discussions” with its creditors and suggestions that they had rejected its business plan were incorrect.
A collapse of Carillion, which provides services to government departments including justice, health and education, and has built hospitals, roads and rail lines, would be felt across Britain and also in Canada and the Middle East where the 200-year-old company has worked on landmark projects.
Carillion declined to comment on Saturday’s Sky News report, which said government officials are due to meet on Sunday to discuss the company’s future.
Shares in Carillion plunged almost 30 percent to a new low on Friday after Sky News reported it had put administrators on standby, while a person familiar with the matter told Reuters that creditors did not like the plan put forward.
Tensions over the future of Carillion have been rising for weeks and on Thursday ministers overseeing everything from justice to transport, health and education met to discuss how they should respond to the possible demise of a business that plays a central role in British public life.


Mideast plays key role in Chinese export of armed drones, report says

Updated 17 December 2018
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Mideast plays key role in Chinese export of armed drones, report says

  • China has exploited America’s selective drone export policy to become an increasingly influential player in meeting demand
  • The report is entitled “Armed Drones in the Middle East: Proliferation and Norms in the Region”

BEIRUT: The use of armed drones in the Middle East, driven largely by sales from China, has grown significantly in the past few years with an increasing number of countries and other parties using them in regional conflicts to lethal effects, a new report said Monday.
The report by the Royal United Services Institute, or RUSI, found that more and more Mideast countries have acquired armed drones, either by importing them, such as Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, or by building them domestically like Israel, Iran and Turkey.
China has won sales in the Middle East and elsewhere by offering drones — otherwise known as UAVs or unmanned aerial vehicles — at lower prices and without the political conditions attached by the United States.
The report , entitled “Armed Drones in the Middle East: Proliferation and Norms in the Region,” said that by capitalizing on the gap in the market over the past few years, Beijing has supplied armed drones to several countries that are not authorized to purchase them from the US, and at a dramatically cheaper price.
“China, a no-questions-asked exporter of drones, has played and is likely to continue playing a key role as a supplier of armed UAVs to the Middle East,” it said.
The report explored where and how each of the states have used their armed drones and whether they have changed the way these countries approach air power. It found that Iran, the UAE and Turkey all changed the way they employ airpower after they acquired armed drones.
For Turkey and the UAE, armed drones enabled them to conduct strikes in situations where they would not have risked using conventional aircraft, it said. Iran developed armed drones from the outset specifically to enable to project power beyond the reach of its air force, which is hamstrung by obsolete aircraft and sanctions, the report added.
The report said it remains to be seen whether and how the loosening of restrictions on the exportation of armed drones by the Trump administration will alter dynamics in the region.
“Nonetheless, proliferation in armed UAVs in the Middle East is unlikely to stop and could, in fact, even accelerate,” the report said.