Updated Sep 23, 2019

Thomas Cook collapses: 150,000 travelers stranded

Thomas Cook check-in desks at London Gatwick Airport. Photo: Rick Findler/PA Images via Getty Images

Thomas Cook, the world's oldest travel firm, confirmed in a statement early Monday that it's gone into administration, immediately ceasing trading and operations.

Why it matters: Per the Financial Times, after weekend rescue package talks between Thomas Cook and the British government, lenders and shareholders broke down, the company's collapse left 150,000 travelers stranded abroad — as the Civil Aviation Authority puts together the "biggest emergency repatriation in peacetime."

What's happening: The collapse means 21,000 employees in 16 countries are set to lose their jobs, including 9,000 people in the United Kingdom, AP reports.

  • More than 600,000 travel bookings have been canceled, per AP, which notes an estimated 1 million future vacationers will be affected by booking cancelations. However, many should get refunds under a government travel insurance plan.
  • British Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said authorities had hired charter planes to fly customers back free of charge, per the BBC.

What they're saying: Thomas Cook CEO Peter Fankhauser said in the company's statement, "It is a matter of profound regret to me and the rest of the board that we were not successful" in negotiating a deal.

  • Schapps defended deciding against giving the 178-year-old British company a requested bail-out, telling the BBC it was a poor candidate for survival because of its substantial debts and focus on main street.

Background: Thomas Cook reported a first half-loss of 1.4 billion pounds ($1.7 billion)  earlier this year. The company blamed factors including a prolonged heatwave in 2018 and Brexit uncertainty.

  • It said Friday it needed 200 million pounds ($250 million) to avoid financial collapse, AP notes.
  • Thomas Cook's largest shareholder, the Chinese company Fosun, had planned to contribute 450 million pounds ($559) in a rescue deal, but the plan fell through, per the FT.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

Go deeper

Updated 12 mins ago - Politics & Policy

George Floyd protests: Unrest continues for 6th night across U.S.

A protest near the White House on Sunday night. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Most external White House lights were turned off late Sunday as the D.C. National Guard was deployed to assist and authorities fired tear gas at hundreds of protesters nearby, per the New York Times.

What's happening: It's one of several tense, late-night standoffs between law enforcement and demonstrators.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Journalists get caught in the crosshairs as protests unfold

A man waves a Black Lives Matter flag atop the CNN logo outside the CNN Center during a protest in response to the police killing of George Floyd, Atlanta, Georgia, May 29. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

Dozens of journalists across the country tweeted videos Saturday night of themselves and their crews getting arrested, being shot at by police with rubber bullets, targeted with tear gas by authorities or assaulted by protesters.

Driving the news: The violence got so bad over the weekend that on Sunday the Cleveland police said the media was not allowed downtown unless "they are inside their place of business" — drawing ire from news outlets around the country, who argued that such access is a critical part of adequately covering protests.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Tanker truck plows into Minneapolis protesters

The tanker after plowing into protesters on the shut-down bridge in Minneapolis on Sunday evening. Authorities said it appeared protesters escaped injury. Photo: Jeff Wheeler/Star Tribune via Getty Images

Minnesota authorities said in a statement they're investigating as a criminal matter what happened with a truck that "drove into demonstrators" on a Minneapolis bridge Sunday evening while the eight-lane road was closed for a protest.

What they're saying: Minnesota Department of Public Safety tweeted, "Very disturbing actions by a truck driver on I-35W, inciting a crowd of peaceful demonstrators. The truck driver was injured & taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries. He is under arrest. It doesn't appear any protesters were hit by the truck."