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(MENAFN - AFP) US airlines are flying high again, reporting surging profits and returning cash to shareholders as they reap the benefits of an industry-wide merger wave wrought by the financial crisis.

The biggest US airline by revenue, American Airlines, Thursday notched its highest quarterly profit in history following its acquisition of smaller rival US Airways. Earnings ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Ireland's Ryanair and Greece's Aegean Airlines are among more than 15 applicants who have made a non-binding expression of interest to buy loss-making Cypriot flag-carrier Cyprus Airways, officials said Thursday.

"The interest has surpassed our expectations but we need to point out that, at the present stage, we are simply recording that interest, so it doesn't ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Sculptures thought to be by masters Degas and Rodin have been found in the flat of the late German art collector whose priceless hoard included Nazi-looted works, investigators said Thursday.

Images of the works, once their origins are verified, will be published in the online inventory www.lostart.de to help trace their rightful owners in case they were once ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Proposed pay cuts, declining ticket sales, dire reviews and threatened strike action, the Metropolitan Opera in New York is embroiled in perhaps its ugliest crisis in 30 years.

As the wealthiest opera company on the planet and the biggest classical music organization in the United States, the Met dwarfs counterparts in Europe with a budget of nearly $327 million.

Yet ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Ricardo Salgado, recently forced to quit as head of stricken Portuguese bank Banco Espirito Santo, was arrested on Thursday in connection with money laundering, the chief prosecutor's office told AFP.

Salgado was arrested early in the day at his home near Lisbon, a day after several premises of the Espirito Santo group were searched on Wednesday.

The ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Industrial giant Caterpillar Thursday reported slightly higher quarterly profits as gains in its construction segment overcame continued declines in mining.

Caterpillar, which sells machinery to a range of sectors including construction, oil and gas, and housing, said second-quarter profits were $999 million, up four percent from the year-ago period.

Chief ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) General Motors is crying and Ford is laughing: The top US automakers posted wildly different earnings Thursday, the first hurt by recalls, the second lifted by new cash from Europe.

The stock market told the tale: GM shares plunged 3.7 percent to $36.03 in afternoon trade, while Ford rose 0.8 percent to $17.93.

GM, America's largest automaker, saw ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Facebook stock jumped to record highs Thursday as strong earnings from the leading social network sparked fresh buying.

The shares were up 5.6 percent at $75.30 in late morning trade, well above the record of $72.03 hit on March 10.

Facebook said Wednesday profits leapt to $791 million during the three months ended June 30 in a 138 percent increase from ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Argentina denied Thursday it was considering paying a "guarantee" to hedge funds demanding full payment on defaulted bonds as it held crunch talks to prevent a new default.

With less than a week to go to either pay up or risk being declared in default, the Argentine government stuck to the defiant tone it has struck throughout its legal wrangling with the funds, ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) American, Russian and some European carriers resumed flights to Israel Thursday after a two-day freeze amid fears that rocket fire from Gaza was endangering commercial air traffic into Tel Aviv.

But some European airlines continued to suspend their flights, out of security concerns around Ben Gurion International Airport.

Officials in Washington lifted ...

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