Quest: The heroes behind aviation's safest year

Quest's Profitable MomentAs a road warrior who spends many days in the air, I read with keen interest the surv...

Posted: Jan 5, 2018 1:37 PM
Updated: Jan 5, 2018 1:37 PM

Quest's Profitable Moment

As a road warrior who spends many days in the air, I read with keen interest the surveys showing 2017 was the safest year on record for commercial aviation (defined as the world's commercial airliners). Sadly, there were deaths on cargo flights and in private general aviation, but there were no crashes resulting in deaths on the world's airlines.

This is in an achievement. It has only come about because of the enormous amount of hard work and investment in aviation that has ensured it remains the safest form of travel. (It's a shame President Trump chose to try to take credit for this remarkable result when the true heroes are the men and women who toil to make flying safe).

So -- on this first letter of the year -- let me give a shout out to: the plane makers who build machines that withstand the forces of nature as we hurtle through the air; the mechanics and engineers who maintain these flying machines in peak condition; the pilots and their instructors who ensure the highest levels of qualifications and -- not least nor last -- the air traffic controllers who manage the ever-increasing number of planes in the skies.

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Make no mistake -- this level of safety hasn't happened by accident. It is the result of a laser focused obsession by an industry that knows the perils of getting it wrong.

I flew more than 250,000 miles in 2017, and expect to do a similar amount this year. To all who keep us safe: Thank you.

Corporate America shares some tax savings

Bank of America. Comcast. Wells Fargo. Southwest.

These blue chip companies decided to give workers bonuses after President Trump signed the new tax bill into law. Utility Dominion Energy even plans to give $1.3 billion to customers of the South Carolina electric company SCANA that it plans to buy.

But only a handful of major firms have actually announced plans to use tax savings to help Main Street. Many more are expected to buy back more stock instead so they can boost earnings per share.

And some Wall Street strategists warn that even that lift to earnings will prove to be only temporary.

America could get crowned oil king this year

Russia and Saudi Arabia have dominated the global oil landscape for four decades. But for the first time since 1975, the U.S. could soon surpass both as the world's top oil producer.

The U.S. shale oil industry has rebounded nicely from the crash of two years ago thanks to higher prices and better technology. President Trump wants to accelerate this trend by cutting regulation.

Regardless of the driver, booming domestic oil output has lessened the need to rely on crude from unstable places like Venezuela and the Middle East.

Dow tops 25K. Rally shows no sign of ending

New year. Same stock gains.

The Dow powered through the 25,000 level for the first time Thursday. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq hit new all-time highs, too.

The market has cruised past several big milestones in the past year, largely due to optimism about the economy and President Trump's pro-business policies. Many experts think strong earnings growth will keep the party going -- and that Netflix and other hot techs will continue to lead the rally.

The market momentum could lead to more IPOs on the resurgent NYSE in 2018 as well.

Iceland's new equal pay law marks a first

Iceland is serious about getting rid of the gender pay gap.

On Monday, a law went into effect that requires employers in the Nordic country to prove they pay men and women who work in the same jobs equally. If they don't, they could be fined.

While discrimination based on gender is already illegal in many countries, Iceland is the first nation to make firms obtain equal pay certification from the government.

Quick takes

6 ways life will change in Saudi Arabia in 2018

Pakistan cozies up to China on trade after Trump tweet

Australia wants to sell pot to the world

U.S. and South Korea to begin talks to renegotiate trade deal

Mexicans in the United States are sending a record amount of cash home

The maker of Marlboro cigarettes in the U.K. wants to give up on smoking

What's next

New tech in 2018: The annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) kicks off in Las Vegas next week. Several companies will debut the latest gadgets, games and apps for the new year.

Big banks, companies start reporting earnings: JPMorgan, Bank of America, PNC, and Wells Fargo report fourth quarter earnings next week. BlackRock and Delta Air Lines also reports their financials.

Potential Trump trade action on steel: The Trump administration could announce sweeping tariffs on imports of steel as soon as next week. The legal deadline for the Commerce Department's investigation into whether steel imports risk U.S. national security comes on Sunday January 14. It's an unusual investigation and intended to show President Trump's tough stance on trade.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 61516

Reported Deaths: 1701
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin19472835
Ramsey7658267
Dakota4480106
Anoka3739115
Stearns290620
Washington215545
Nobles17656
Olmsted174723
Scott157419
Mower11032
Rice10388
Blue Earth9275
Wright8925
Carver8733
Clay78540
Sherburne7328
Kandiyohi6981
St. Louis57019
Todd4262
Lyon4253
Freeborn3601
Steele3512
Nicollet34213
Benton3203
Watonwan3080
Winona26416
Beltrami2410
Crow Wing23914
Le Sueur2241
Martin2075
Chisago2041
Goodhue1979
McLeod1970
Otter Tail1973
Cottonwood1780
Becker1611
Pipestone1579
Polk1544
Waseca1490
Itasca14712
Douglas1431
Carlton1380
Unassigned13441
Pine1290
Dodge1280
Isanti1280
Murray1221
Chippewa1061
Morrison931
Wabasha920
Brown892
Faribault870
Jackson860
Meeker862
Rock850
Sibley842
Koochiching793
Pennington751
Cass732
Mille Lacs713
Fillmore650
Renville655
Lincoln580
Grant563
Swift551
Roseau520
Yellow Medicine520
Pope480
Norman410
Aitkin401
Houston400
Kanabec371
Redwood360
Hubbard340
Wilkin343
Marshall290
Mahnomen271
Wadena270
Red Lake240
Big Stone220
Lake210
Stevens180
Clearwater140
Traverse110
Lac qui Parle80
Cook50
Lake of the Woods40
Kittson30

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 49024

Reported Deaths: 930
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk10351207
Woodbury372752
Black Hawk313466
Linn239988
Johnson210719
Dallas188835
Buena Vista179412
Scott172714
Dubuque168631
Marshall144626
Pottawattamie132526
Story116714
Wapello90433
Muscatine84848
Webster8138
Crawford7303
Sioux6373
Cerro Gordo63417
Warren5691
Tama55329
Jasper47926
Wright4731
Plymouth4639
Clinton4103
Dickinson3824
Louisa37814
Washington30010
Boone2593
Hamilton2481
Franklin24110
Bremer2277
Clarke2023
Clay1961
Carroll1931
Emmet1924
Des Moines1862
Hardin1840
Shelby1841
Marion1740
Benton1601
Poweshiek1598
Floyd1572
Jackson1561
Allamakee1554
Mahaska14017
Cedar1331
Guthrie1325
Jones1322
Buchanan1291
Henry1274
Hancock1222
Madison1222
Butler1212
Humboldt1181
Lee1173
Pocahontas1162
Delaware1151
Lyon1142
Harrison1091
Cherokee1081
Clayton1043
Iowa981
Taylor980
Winneshiek971
Page940
Monona910
Kossuth900
Mills890
Jefferson860
Palo Alto860
Sac850
Fayette840
Winnebago840
Calhoun832
Osceola830
Grundy791
Mitchell780
Union771
Cass741
Monroe747
Lucas714
Worth660
Davis602
Montgomery594
Chickasaw540
Appanoose493
Howard490
Fremont420
Greene420
Keokuk371
Van Buren361
Ida310
Adair300
Audubon281
Decatur230
Ringgold221
Wayne201
Adams160
Unassigned30
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