- - Wednesday, October 24, 2012

PARIS — The Paris appeals court on Wednesday ordered former Societe Generale SA trader Jerome Kerviel to spend three years in prison and pay back about $7 billion in damages for one of the biggest trading frauds in history.

Kerviel, 35, who never profited personally from his unauthorized trades, said he was a scapegoat for the bank and a victim of a financial system that runs on greed and profits. He said he will appeal his case to the highest court.

EUROPE

Bailout, layoffs: New pain ahead for EU automakers

PARIS — The extent of the European car industry’s troubles was laid bare Wednesday, when France’s government tossed a financial lifeline to the Continent’s No. 2 automaker, Peugeot Citroen, and Ford said it would shut a plant in Belgium, cutting 9,500 jobs.

Analysts say France’s $9.1 billion bailout, a three-year loan guarantee, represents a desperate attempt to avoid the sorts of layoffs that companies such as Ford Motor Co. are slowly accepting as inevitable.

The problem is that the region’s automakers are selling too few cars in Europe, where the financial crisis has caused demand to dry up, and have too many factories. Even Germany’s automakers, which weathered the economic downturn relatively well, are not immune.

AIRLINES

Singapore Airlines to end world’s longest flights

NEW YORK — The world’s longest commercial flight — Singapore to Newark, N.J. — is being canceled.

Singapore Airlines said it will end its nonstop flights between Singapore and Newark and Los Angeles. The two routes were flown on gas-guzzling Airbus A340-500s.

The airline found that the only way to make the route profitable was by configuring the plane with 98 business-class seats that sell for about $8,000 round-trip. Other airlines operate the same plane with about 250 seats in first, business and economy classes.

The new titles for longest distance and duration flights will go to a Qantas route between Sydney and Dallas and a Delta flight between Johannesburg and Atlanta.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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