First Dutch king in 120 yrs as Queen abdicates throne
Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands abdicated on Tuesday, handing over to her eldest son, Willem-Alexander, who became the first King of the Netherlands in over 120 years. An estimated 25,000 well-wishers cheered outside the Royal Palace in Amsterdam as the abdication and automatic succession were broadcast live. The crowds had gathered in Dam Square from early on Tuesday to see the new King and his wife, Queen Maxima, as they stepped out onto the balcony of the Royal Palace. Beatrix blinked back tears as she presented her son. Some moments ago I abdicated from the throne. I am happy and thankful to present to you your new king, said Beatrix, 75, who now takes the title of princess. Wearing a sober purple dress, Beatrix signed the abdication document in front of the Dutch cabinet, Willem-Alexander and Maxima, who wore a pale rose-coloured dress with a shimmery skirt and enormous bow on her left shoulder.
Pak court bans Musharraf from public office for life
Lawyers say a Pakistani court has banned former military ruler Pervez Musharraf from running for public office for the rest of his life. One of Musharrafs lawyers, Saad Shibli, says he plans to challenge Tuesdays ruling in the Supreme Court. Judges had already barred Musharraf from running in the May 11 parliamentary election because of his actions while in power. The Peshawar High Court handed down the lifetime ban Tuesday after hearing an appeal by Musharrafs lawyers to allow him to run in the upcoming election.
Best Buy selling stake in European joint venture
Best Buy is selling its stake in its European joint venture to partner Carphone Warehouse Group in a cash-and-stock deal valued at 500 million. The consumer electronics company said on Tuesday that the deal allows it to streamline its business and strengthen its balance sheet. The chain said the sale doesnt suggest any similar action will be taken in its other international businesses. The transaction includes 420 million in and 80 million in Carphone stock. Best Buy will also pay Carphone 29 million related to existing agreements that will be terminated when the deal closes. Both companies boards approved the transaction, which is targeted to close by Junes end.
Regulator tells Heathrow airport to cut charges
Londons Heathrow Airport must cut the fees it charges airlines to reduce the substantial market power it has built up, the industrys regulator said on Tuesday, in a move which could lead to lower air fares for travellers. The UKs Civil Aviation Authority said Heathrow, the worlds third busiest airport in terms of passenger numbers, should cut take off and landing charges by inflation minus 1.3% between 2014 and 2019. Controlled by Spanish infras-tructure group Ferrovial , Heathrows 2012 profits rose 12% to 1.3 billion in February largely driven by an increase in the fees it charges airlines, its largest source of revenue.