CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuelans have been scrambling for dollars for weeks, taking refuge in the greenback as their own currency is in free fall. Rather than address the economic imbalances behind the bolivar's plunge, the government is going after the bearers of the bad news — it's taking down websites people use to track exchange rates on the black market.
Australian carrier Qantas said it would axe 1,000 jobs and warned of "immense" challenges ahead in a shock profit downgrade Thursday, flagging a half-year loss of up to Aus$300 million (US$271 million). Chief executive Alan Joyce said conditions had seen a "marked" deterioration and the airline was battling "extraordinary circumstances" including record fuel costs, a strong Australian dollar and fierce competition from subsidised rivals. Qantas shares at one point plummeted 17 percent to 99.5 cents on the news, which comes just months after the carrier returned to a modest Aus$5 million annual profit in August following a strategic tie-up with Emirates. "The challenges we now face are immense," Joyce said in an update to the Australian stock exchange.