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Experts: Islamic State 'death spiral' most dangerous part of fight for U.S. coalition

Experts: Islamic State 'death spiral' most dangerous part of fight for U.S. coalition

Business
Oct. 17 (UPI) -- Experts on the Middle East, terrorism and the Islamic State say that while the terrorist organization is in a "death spiral," the U.S.-led coalition battling the group is likely entering its most dangerous phase.The early signs of victory are beginning to circulate as the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, an alliance of Kurdish and Arab militias, drive IS out of its proclaimed capital of Raqqa, Syria.IS fighters were contained Tuesday in a stadium complex in the city as they attempt to make a last stand effort in a battle campaign the SDF began in June with air support from the U.S.-led coalition and the Russian government."They are getting desperate," chief Pentagon spokeswoman Dana W. White told reporters last week. "Civilians are running toward the Iraqi security fo...
Food price rises see inflation climb to 3%

Food price rises see inflation climb to 3%

Business
Inflation rose to 3% in September, its highest level in more than five years, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) measure of inflation rose from 2.9% in August thanks partly to higher food prices - adding to the squeeze on households as pay growth lags behind.But it will be welcomed by those receiving the state pension, as the September figure is used to calculate increases in the benefit next April under the Government's "triple lock" guarantee.It was the first time CPI inflation has reached 3% since April 2012. The Bank of England targets inflation at 2%.The CPI figure - which was in line with expectations - should bolster expectations that the Bank will hike interest rates next month, though some have cautioned against such a move at a time of t...
Valero awarded $157M fuel contract for Israel

Valero awarded $157M fuel contract for Israel

Business
Oct. 16 (UPI) -- In a new deal struck between the Defense Logistics Agency and Valero Marketing and Supply Co., Pentagon officials announced Friday the allocation of $ 157 million to the Texas-based company in search of various types of fuel.The contract is designed to be a fixed-price in terms of base cost, but the deal does take into account economic-price-adjustments, so the totality of the contract can be adjusted upward or downward depending on external market factors.The contract acquisition was said to be competitive among the four defense contracting companies who submitted proposals to the Defense Department. The award is a one-year base contract with a one-year option period, plus a 30-day carryover. Work will occur in Texas, with a completion data of Sept. 30, 2017.The work comp...
All pieces of a new European gas pipeline delivered

All pieces of a new European gas pipeline delivered

Business
Oct. 16 (UPI) -- The last of the 55,000 pieces of pipe needed to build a transit network from a giant gas field offshore Azerbaijan to Europe has arrived, developers said.The Trans Adriatic pipeline consortium announced Monday that the final section of the pipeline arrived in Thessaloniki, Greece. That means all pieces have reached their final destination in each of the three host countries; Greece, Albania and Italy."This is yet another key milestone towards successful realization of the project," TAP Project Director John Haynes said in a statement. "The entire logistics delivery process was carried out in line with the project schedule and to the highest safety standards."The 545-mile natural gas pipeline will start delivering gas from the Shah Deniz gas project offshore Azerbaijan to E...
Vauxhall plans 400 job cuts at Ellesmere Port as sales fall

Vauxhall plans 400 job cuts at Ellesmere Port as sales fall

Business
Vauxhall is cutting about 400 jobs at its Ellesmere Port car plant due to falling sales.The carmaker, now owned by France's PSA Group - maker of Peugeot and Citroen - is "facing challenging European market conditions," a spokesman said.Ellesmere Port, which makes the Astra models, will move staff from two production shifts to one in early 2018.PSA said that manufacturing costs at Ellesmere were higher than other "benchmark plants" in the group.Vauxhall employs about 4,500 people in the UK, with about 1,800 at Ellesmere Port. The company also has a factory at Luton, which makes vans.PSA became Europe's second biggest carmaker after Volkswagen in August when it completed the purchase of Vauxhall and German brand Opel from US car giant General Motors.UK Prime Minister Theresa May personally s...