WHAT THE OTHER PAPERS SAY THIS MORNING

FINANCIAL TIMES

SHIPOWNER THREATENS TO SEIZE CHINA VESSELS
One of Greece’s most high-profile shipowners has threatened to seize ships belonging to China’s biggest shipping company, after it halted payments on high-priced charter contracts. George Economou said that Cosco’s stance over contracts struck during the 2008 shipping boom might reflect a failure to understand the importance of honouring past deals.

MINERS AND INVESTORS JOIN YUKON GOLD RUSH
Canada’s Yukon territory has again become a magnet for miners seeking the next gold rush. Drawn by the soaring gold price, exploration companies have staked more than 85,000 claims in the territory since January, compared with 83,000 for the whole of 2010 and 10,000-15,000 in a normal year, according to the Yukon Mining Recorder’s office in Whitehorse.

TECHNOLOGY DEALS BACK TO PRE-RECESSION LEVELS‎
Deals in the technology and telecoms industry have returned to pre-recession levels this year, thanks to a number of big acquisitions such as AT&T’s $39bn purchase of T-Mobile. After two years in the doldrums, the value of merger and acquisition activity in the sector is close to levels last seen in 2008.

AIRSHIP DEVELOPMENT SET FOR TAIL WIND
A British company will take a big step towards returning airships to commecial service after more than 70 years today when it announces its first customer in a deal that could lead to orders for up to 45 air vehicles worth more than £2bn. Hybrid Air Vehicles, a privately owned company based in Cranfield, has signed an agreement with Canada’s Discovery Air.

THE TIMES

LINDT UNWRAPS SALES DECLINE IN BRITAIN
You might think that nobody could resist the appeal of the gold foil-wrapped rabbits that appear magically on shops’ shelves at Easter, or those familiar soft-centred Lindor chocolate balls, but apprently Britons can — and are. The Swiss chocolatier Lindt & Sprüngli has said in its latest results that Britain is the only market that failed to meet its expectations in the first half — blaming the “especially difficult economic climate”.

NEW FUND KEEN TO DECANT VINTAGE RETURNS
A fund management company in Shanghai has become the first in China to merge the twin passions of the country’s emerging wealthy elite: a bottle of full-bodied premier cru and eye-watering returns on investments.

The Daily Telegraph

PENTAGON EVACUATED AS STRONG EARTHQUAKE RATTLES WASHINGTON
A strong earthquake measuring 5.9 struck the US east coast on Tuesday, rattling buildings in downtown Washington and causing evacuations of buildings as far away as New York. An earthquake of at least 5.9 magnitude and centred in Virginia shook much of the east coast, being felt as far as Canada and prompting the evacuation of buildings in Washington.

LUMINAR DITCHES AUDITOR PWC AMID DEBT TALKS
The company said it wanted a “fresh audit relationship”, as the accountants had been working with it since 2003. It had gained approval to re-elect PwC as auditor just six weeks ago at its annual meeting. The company is at a critical point in debt talks with its lenders, after difficult trading for the whole of this year.

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

AMERICAN HURRICANE SET TO CHURN NORTHWARD
US authorities warned yesterday that Hurricane Irene could threaten the entire East Coast, not just the South East, as the powerful storm churns northward in the Atlantic Ocean over the next several days. Authorities cautioned it is difficult to project the path of a hurricane beyond 48 hours.

WEALTHY FRENCH PUSH FOR EXTRA TAX ON RICH
France's richest woman, who recently ran into trouble for allegedly evading taxes, said Tuesday she wished to stand by her country as it is going through hardships, urging the government to create a one-time levy on the nation's most well-off taxpayers. Liliane Bettencourt, along with 15 other wealthy individuals, made the unusual plea for a special though "reasonable" tax.