EU ministers tepidly back air attacks on Syria, and a Chinese Marx statute in Trier is drawing flak. Delano’s breakfast briefing.
HSBC consolidates private banks in Europe
The banking giant HSBC will create a single unit for its European private banking businesses, combining its existing operations in Luxembourg, the Channel Islands, France, Germany, Switzerland and UK, reported Reuters. The new business will be led by a London-based executive, said the Financial Times.
Tesla Model 3 production idling
The electric carmaker Tesla is temporarily closing its Model 3 assembly line for the second time this year, according to Buzzfeed News. The shutdown at its Silicon Valley plant will last 4 or 5 days. Staff can use vacation days or take unpaid holiday. A spokesperson said the pause is needed for work that will “improve automation.” Tesla stopped production on the Model 3 for a week in late February, Bloomberg News said earlier.
Netflix: big jump in subscriptions & earnings
The video streaming service Netflix added 7.4m new subscribers during the first quarter of the year, bringing its total to 125m members, reported CNN, the Financial Times and Variety. Analysts had expected the firm to add 5m new customers. Revenues were up 40% and net income was up 63% year-on-year. Netflix said it expects to add 6.2m net new members during the second quarter.
EU foreign ministers, meeting in Luxembourg on Monday, voiced “understanding” rather than direct support for last weekend’s attack on Syria by France, the UK and US, reported the Irish Times. Some governments were concerned by lack of a mandate from the UN or Nato for the air strikes, which came in response to chemical attacks by Damascus.
Homesick cadets could get extra leave in Belgium
Belgian veterans have criticised “plans to let homesick cadets leave barracks and spend the night with family during their training,” according to the Telegraph. “You don’t go to a war zone with men who miss their mummies,” the daily quoted one former solider as saying. Belgium’s army is in the midst of a recruitment drive and has had problems retaining cadets. More than 3,800 recruits have dropped out over the past decade, the Telegraph said, with 16% “saying they quit because they missed family, friends and hobbies.”
Marx statue creates friction in Trier
A 5m bronze statue of Karl Marx, a gift from the Chinese government, was installed in the centre of Trier last week, Reuters reported. Marx was born in the nearby city 200 years ago, and the artwork will be formally unveiled on 5 May. Activists said displaying the sculpture in a prominent location is “disrespectful” to victims of communism.