- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 18, 2010

GERMANY

Hamburg mayor stepping down

BERLIN | Hamburg Mayor Ole von Beust said on Sunday he was stepping down, becoming the sixth Christian Democrat (CDU) state leader to leave office in the last 10 months.

Mr. von Beust is quitting after nine years leading the northern port city, Germany’s second largest city after Berlin.

His departure is a setback for Chancellor Angela Merkel and her center-right coalition. Mrs. Merkel and the federal government have slumped in opinion polls since the 2009 election due to slow progress in tackling needed financial and economic reforms.

Other CDU state leaders to leave in the last year include Thuringia state premier Dieter Althaus, Baden-Wuerttenberg’s Guenther Oettinger, Christian Wulff of Lower Saxony, Hesse’s Roland Koch and Juergen Ruettgers of North Rhine-Westphalia.

BRITAIN

Air show tests health of market

FARNBOROUGH | Boeing Co.’s long-anticipated 787 jet touched down on British soil Sunday, tipping its wings to the crowd and building buzz at the Farnborough International Airshow, the industry’s premier event.

The arrival of the blue-and-white 787 after years of delay underlined hopes that the two-year downturn in the aviation and defense industry is nearing a bottom. Boeing Chief Executive Jim McNerney claimed that the 787 would be “the way planes are going to be built for the next 80 years.”

But he acknowledged that delivery of the aircraft - already more than two years overdue because of production problems - could slip into 2011. He blamed administrative delays.

“End of the year is the plan,” Mr. McNerney said. “There could be some paperwork that pushes it into next year.”

Concerns remain about the slow global economic recovery and sharp cuts to national defense budgets.

New orders for commercial aircraft are likely to be restrained and restricted to buyers from strong emerging markets in the Middle East and Asia, while activity on the defense side of the show is expected to be muted.

Boeing and its archrival Airbus, meanwhile, head into the event facing growing challenges to their duopoly in the mid-sized civilian jet market from smaller manufacturers, including Canada’s Bombardier and Brazil’s Embraer.

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