Airbus Said to Deliver About 560 Planes Last Year With Late Push

Car bomb explodes in vegetable market in northern Syria – state media

Beirut (Reuters) – A car bomb exploded in a vegetable market in the Syrian town of Ras al-Ain with reports of several killed and wounded, the Syrian state news agency reported on Saturday.

There were no further details about casualties. Ras al-Ain lies on the Turkish-Syrian border in the north of Syria.

Cyclist who helped change auto-bicycle accident law still recovering from 2014 accident

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Algeria Acquits Ex-Spy Chiefs Jailed on Conspiracy, Ennahar Says

An Algerian military court acquitted two powerful ex-intelligence chiefs and the brother of former president Abdelaziz Bouteflika who’d been jailed on conspiracy charges, Ennahar Online reported.

Said Bouteflika, retired Lieutenant General Mohamed Mediene and Major General Athmane Tartag had been sentenced in September 2019 to 15 years on charges of conspiring against the military. They were declared innocent on Saturday after an appeal, Ennahar said.

The expedited 2019 trial came in the wake of Bouteflika’s resignation amid mass protests, as the North African nation’s authorities faced popular pressure to purge the old guard.

Bitcoin Breaches $30,000 as Rally Extends Into New Year

Bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency, topped $30,000 for the first time, just weeks after passing another major milestone.

The currency gained almost 6% on Saturday to reach nearly $31,000, before slipping back to about $30,800 as of 1:15 p.m. in London. It advanced almost 50% in December, when it breached $20,000 for the first time.

The latest gains top an eye-popping rally for the controversial digital asset in 2020, which rebounded sharply after a severe crash in March that saw it lose 25% amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Bitcoin has increasingly been “embraced in more global investment portfolios as holders expand beyond tech geeks and speculators,” Bloomberg Intelligence commodity strategist Mike McGlone wrote in a note last month. Proponents have seized on the narrative that the coin could act as a store of wealth amid supposed rampant central-bank money printing, even as inflation remains mostly muted.

Bitcoin should eventually climb to about about $400,000, Scott Minerd, chief investment officer of Guggenheim Investments, told Bloomberg Television in a Dec. 16 interview.

India’s Protesting Farmers Plan to Enter Capital on Republic Day

Farmers protesting against recent changes to India’s agriculture laws will enter the capital New Delhi with tractors and other vehicles on Jan. 26 if the government doesn’t meet their demands, according to a statement by farmer’s group Samyukta Kisan Morcha.

“We intend to be peaceful and we told the Government of India long ago during our talks that it has only two options – either repeal the three central farm acts or use force on us to evict us,” the statement said.

India celebrates its Republic Day on Jan. 26 with an annual parade in New Delhi.

Discussions between the government and protesters are set to continue on Monday, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said earlier this week. Protest sites outside New Delhi have turned into semi-permanent camps since the end of November.

Airbus Said to Deliver About 560 Planes Last Year With Late Push

Airbus SE was close to delivering 560 planes to customers as of Dec. 31, approaching the top end of its internal target in a year marred by the pandemic-induced collapse of air travel, according to people familiar with the matter.

The European planemaker delivered close to 550 aircraft as of Dec. 29, Bloomberg reported earlier, and continued that push during the last days of the month. The final audited tally is due for release next week, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing private information.

Airbus declined to comment before the audited figures are published. Auditors consider such factors as when the final bank transfer is made in determining when a plane can be considered delivered.

The 2020 total is well short of the record 863 aircraft that Airbus handed over to customers in 2019, but it still would be considered a success given the widespread groundings of fleets as Covid-19 wiped out demand for travel.

The deliveries put the Toulouse, France-based planemaker comfortably ahead of U.S. rival Boeing Co., which handed over 118 aircraft by the end of November.