World Briefs: OneWeb files for bankruptcy

OneWeb files for bankruptcy

TOKYO • Satellite operator OneWeb has filed for bankruptcy, becoming one of the first companies backed by SoftBank Group to seek court protection from its creditors after high costs and competition led to a cash crunch.

The company listed liabilities and assets of more than US$1 billion (S$1.4 billion) each in its Chapter 11 petition in US Bankruptcy Court in White Plains, New York. OneWeb had been in advance discussions earlier in the year for a fresh investment, it said on Friday. But the discussions fell apart after the pandemic sent markets into a tailspin, it said.

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Iran planning to boost missile speed, power

TEHERAN • Iran's Defence Minister Amir Hatami said yesterday that the country is planning to enhance the speed and explosive power of its missiles.

The accuracy of Iran's ground-to-ground missiles has improved and the country will upgrade their quality in the current Iranian calendar year, Mr Hatami was quoted as saying. Iran is also working on cruise missiles to be deployed while on the move, he added.

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Less air pollution in China in Jan, Feb

BEIJING • Chinese cities continued to see improvement in air quality in the first two months this year, data showed.

For 337 cities monitored by the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, the share of average good air quality days stood at 78.3 per cent between January and February, up 7.4 percentage points year on year, the ministry said in a statement.

The average PM2.5 density, a key indicator of air pollution, decreased by 13.1 per cent from a year ago to 53 micrograms per cu m in the period.

The average PM2.5 density in Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei and the neighbouring regions went down 15.7 per cent from the same period last year, with the share of average good air quality days rising 11.6 percentage points to 47.3 per cent.

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NRA sues over closing of gun stores in California

LOS ANGELES • The US Rifle Association (NRA) accused California's governor and the sheriff of Los Angeles County in a lawsuit of taking away constitutional rights to firearms by shutting gun stores during the coronavirus outbreak.

"The circumstances posed by the novel coronavirus outbreak are noteworthy, but do not excuse unlawful government infringements upon freedom," the NRA said in a complaint it filed on Friday in Los Angeles federal court along with two individuals, a retail shop and three firearms advocacy groups.

Guns have been flying off the shelves amid the pandemic even as states are divided over whether gun stores should stay open like petrol stations and pharmacies, a New York Times report said.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on March 29, 2020, with the headline 'World Briefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe