<!--StartFragment--> <!--StartFragment--> <!--StartFragment--><strong> FINANCIAL TIMES<br /></strong><strong>QINETIQ TO SELL UK UNDERWATER SYSTEMS ARM <br /></strong>Qinetiq, the defence research group, has agreed to sell its UK underwater systems business for &pound;23.5m as it continues to restructure its European division. Atlas Elektronik will take over the business, which makes sonar acoustic counter measures for customers such as the Royal Navy, protecting about 220 jobs in Dorset. The sale marks Qinetiq&rsquo;s first disposal in some time. The company, which was formerly the UK&rsquo;s national research centre and was privatised in 2006, has made more than 15 acquisitions in the past five years, building a dynamic business in the US. <br /><br /><strong> SINGAPORE AIRLINES HIT BY 92 PER CENT FALL IN PROFITS <br /></strong>Singapore Airlines, the world&rsquo;s biggest carrier by market value, warned yesterday that the recent outbreak of swine flu could delay a recovery in air travel as it reported a 92 per cent drop in quarterly earnings. &ldquo;Advance bookings indicate that the drop in demand for air travel is levelling out. However, the probability of a sustained recovery has been set back by uncertainties arising from the Influenza A (swine flu) epidemic,&rdquo; the company said. <br /><br /><strong> BRANSON HITS OUT AT BA/AA TIE-UP <br /></strong>Sir Richard Branson warned yesterday that British Airways&rsquo; planned transcontinental venture with American Airlines could imperil Virgin Atlantic Airways, the carrier he founded 25 years ago, if it wins approval from US regulators. In his most searing critique yet of his rivals&rsquo; proposal, Sir Richard said the venture would grant these rivals a dominant share of key take-off and landing slots at London&rsquo;s Heathrow Airport, the world&rsquo;s most important international gateway. <br /><br /><strong> THE TIMES <br /></strong><strong>OIL DEMAND FORECAST TO FALL TO 28-YEAR LOW <br /></strong>The International Energy Agency (IEA) yesterday forecast that world oil demand will fall to its lowest level in 28 years and said that economic recovery would remain &ldquo;elusive&rdquo;. The Paris-based agency said demand would fall by 2.6m barrels per day this year, its sharpest decline since 1981, with recent rises in oil prices. <br /><br /><strong> THOUSANDS FLEE ACROSS LAGOON UNDER FIRE FROM TAMIL TIGERS IN SRI LANKA <br /></strong>Thousands of Sri Lankan civilians waded across a lagoon under fire from Tamil Tigers yesterday to escape a tiny strip of coastline where the Army has surrounded the rebels in what appears to be the final stages of a 26-year civil war. The United Nations estimates that there are up to 50,000 civilians trapped in the area. <br /><br /><strong> THE DAILY TELEGRAPH <br /></strong><strong>CHINA'S YUAN SET TO USURP DOLLAR AS WORLD'S RESERVE CURRENCY <br /></strong>The Chinese yuan is preparing to overtake the US dollar as the world&rsquo;s reserve currency, economist Nouriel Roubini has warned. Professor Roubini, of New York University's Stern business school, believes that while such a major change is some way off, the Chinese government is laying the ground for the yuan's ascendance. <br /><br /><strong> MANDELSON CALLED IN TO HELP RECOUP &pound;400M DUBAI DEBT <br /></strong>Builders and engineers responsible for the luxury developments that turned Dubai into a desert boom town have called on the British government to help them recover hundreds of millions of pounds in unpaid debts. ACE said some members have been offered just 65 cents on unpaid fees by the emirate developer, Nakheel. <br /><br /><strong> WALL STREET JOURNAL <br /></strong><strong>SPANISH GDP POSTS RECORD DECLINE AFTER CONSTRUCTION BUBBLE BURSTS <br /></strong> Spain&rsquo;s economic output fell at its fastest rate on record in the first quarter, following the collapse of the country&rsquo;s decade-long construction boom, data showed yesterday. Gross domestic product fell 1.8 per cent on a quarterly basis -- the third-consecutive quarterly contraction -- and 2.9 per cent on a year-to-year basis. DRUG MAKERS TRY TO EASE RECESSION'S PAIN Drug makers are expanding programs to help people afford medicines, amid a prolonged recession and efforts in Washington to overhaul the US health-care system. Pfizer said yesterday that it would provide more than 70 of its drugs for free to Americans who have lost their jobs since the beginning of the year. <br /> <!--EndFragment--> <!--EndFragment--> <!--EndFragment-->