World Briefs: Ambani among top 10 richest worldwide

Mr Mukesh Ambani
Mr Mukesh Ambani

Ambani among top 10 richest worldwide

NEW DELHI • Asia's richest man has entered a new league of wealth. The net worth of Mr Mukesh Ambani, chairman of Reliance Industries, has jumped to US$64.5 billion (S$90.1 billion), making him the only Asian tycoon among the world's top 10 richest people.

He overtook Mr Larry Ellison of Oracle Corp and France's Ms Francoise Bettencourt Meyers, the wealthiest woman, to reach the No. 9 spot, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Mr Ambani, who owns 42 per cent of Reliance, has benefited from a flurry of investment into the company's digital unit, Jio Platforms, which Reliance said has made it net-debt free ahead of a March 2021 target.

The shares of the Indian conglomerate have doubled from a low in March, just as other billionaires have been hit by the pandemic's impact.


Parts of Africa, Asia to witness solar eclipse

PARIS • Skywatchers along a narrow band from West Africa to the Arabian Peninsula, India and southern China will witness today the most dramatic "ring of fire" solar eclipse to shadow the Earth in years.

Annular eclipses occur when the Moon - passing between the Earth and the Sun - is not quite close enough to our planet to completely obscure sunlight, leaving a thin ring of the solar disc visible.

They occur every year or two.


Boeing flouted safety rules: Whistle-blower

WASHINGTON • Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) flouted regulations and ignored systemic safety concerns in the original certification of the 737 Max jetliner, a company whistle-blower told a United States Senate committee.

In a letter dated June 5, Mr Curtis Ewbank, a flight-deck engineer who worked on the Max, called on the US regulator to modernise its oversight and create an independent channel for engineers to raise safety issues.

"The 737 Max's original certification was accomplished with hand-waving and deception to hide the numerous ways the 1960s-era design of the 737 does not meet current regulatory standards or a modern concept of aviation safety," he wrote.

The FAA and Boeing are working through the final steps to end a grounding imposed in March after two fatal accidents that killed 346 people.


Iran blocking checks by nuclear inspectors

WASHINGTON • International nuclear inspectors and the United States have accused Iran of hiding suspected nuclear activity, the first time in more than eight years that Teheran has been accused of obstructing inspections, paving the way for a new confrontation with Western powers.

The accusation came in a resolution passed on Friday by the board of governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency, after its new director-general Rafael Grossi reported that Iranian officials had repeatedly blocked inspectors and "sanitised" a site they wanted to visit beginning last July.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on June 21, 2020, with the headline 'World Briefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe