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Talking Points

Lion Air, Boeing in war of words over plane order

Boeing’s first 737 MAX 9 jet was on display at the company’s delivery center in Seattle before a ceremony transferring ownership to Thai Lion Air.
Boeing’s first 737 MAX 9 jet was on display at the company’s delivery center in Seattle before a ceremony transferring ownership to Thai Lion Air.Elaine Thompson/Associated Press/File 2018


Lion Air and Boeing are heading into a $22b feud

The crash of a Boeing Co. plane that killed 189 people in Indonesia is spiraling into a $22 billion feud between the aircraft maker and one of Asia’s most influential aviation bosses. In a rare public dispute between the planemaker and one of its biggest customers, the head of PT Lion Mentari Airlines has threatened to cancel an order for billions of dollars worth of jets because of what he says is Boeing’s unfair reaction to the crash. The man standing up to the US aviation giant is Rusdi Kirana, Lion Air’s owner. Lion Air is the third-largest buyer of Boeing’s updated 737. But seven weeks after a two-month-old 737 Max jet operated by the carrier plunged into waters off Jakarta, Lion Air is drafting documents to scrap its $22 billion dollars of orders because, Kirana says, Boeing unfairly implicated his airline in the disaster. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Plan for new student loan system canceled

Just seven months before the scheduled release of a new technology system intended to simplify the repayment process for more than 35 million federal student loan borrowers, the Education Department is scrapping its plan and starting over. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos described the agency’s vision last year and called for proposals from vendors to build it. In September, the department named the companies that would advance to the next round of bidding. But seven companies, including Navient, filed legal challenges over the contracting process, saying it was filled with procedural errors. Navient and others asked the department to cancel its project proposal and restart the solicitation process. On Friday, the agency agreed to do that. It said in a court filing that it would post a new contract solicitation next month. — NEW YORK TIMES


bill includes King effort to bring fast internet to farms

A bill cosponsored by Maine’s independent senator that promises to help bring high-speed Internet to farms has passed Congress as part of the 2018 Farm Bill. Senator Angus King in May cosponsored the Precision Agriculture Connectivity Act of 2018, which he said is designed to promote precision agriculture and deployment of rural broadband. The bill directs the Federal Communications Commission to start a task force to find gaps in high-speed Internet connectivity in agricultural areas. Congress sent the 2018 Farm Bill to President Trump last week. Amanda Beal of Maine Farmland Trust previously said greater connectivity would improve access to markets for farmers in Maine and beyond. The proposal cites a goal of reaching 95 percent of agricultural land with fixed and mobile high-speed broadband by 2025. — ASSOCIATED PRESS