In Brief: Gun demand on rise
US GUNMAKERS such as Smith & Wesson are boosting firearms sales by building weapons that are more accurate and easier to use, with gun-related US patents at a 35-year high.
Demand is growing in North America as lawmakers discuss limiting sales after mass shootings at public venues such as schools. Ownership is particularly rising among women and the elderly. "There's money to be made and everybody wants to protect their moneymaker," said Larry Hyatt, owner of Hyatt Guns in Charlotte, North Carolina.
INSIDER TRADING TRIAL
French media group Lagardere and German carmaker Daimler are to be sent to trial in France on suspected insider trading of shares in Airbus parent EADS, Europe's largest plane manufacturer.
Insider trading refers the buying and selling of shares by those with knowledge of influential corporate information, before that information reaches the general public. Lagardere and Daimler, both former industrial shareholders in Europe's largest aerospace group, have been under investigation for years over the matter.
DRONE DELIVERY IDEA
AMAZON is testing drones to deliver goods as the world's largest online retailer works to improve efficiency and speed in getting products to consumers.
Chief executive Jeff Bezos unveiled the plan and said the drones, called octocopters, can carry as much as 5lbs within a 16km radius of an Amazon "fulfilment centre" – the company's large warehouses. Amazon may start using the drones, which can make a delivery within 30 minutes, within five years. "It will work, and it will happen, and it's gonna be a lot of fun," he added. Amazon has been ramping up ways to get products to consumers faster as it tries to keep shoppers coming back to buy from its web store. Delivery drones are already being used by the Australian company Zookal to deliver textbooks.
CAR SALES STABILISING
Car sales in France and Spain showed further signs of stabilising last month after a prolonged recession in much of Europe pushed demand to a two-decade low.
Signs of economic recovery in even some of the worst affected countries, such as Spain, have led to a pick-up in demand in recent months. New car sales in Spain jumped 15.1pc year on year in November, the third month of increase in a row and helped by government subsidies, car manufacturers' association Anfac said.