MUMBAI: Ample monsoon rainfall in June accelerated planting of main crops such as rice and cotton, government data showed on Friday, though the current dry spell could slow down the pace of sowing in the coming weeks. Weather officials forecast monsoon rains would remain subdued in large parts of the country in the first half of July. Good rainfall this year is key to boosting a rural economy hit by delayed and lower rains last year, as well as keeping a lid on food inflation and giving India’s central bank more scope to cut lending rates. Though agriculture accounts for about 15 per cent of India’s $2 trillion economy, three-fifths of its 1.25 billion people depend on it for their livelihood. — Reuters UK private sector LONDON: Growth in Britain’s private sector eased to its lowest level since the end of last year during the three months to June, although optimism among companies surged, according to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI). The CBI said on Saturday its monthly growth indicator — based on separate surveys of manufacturers, retailers and services — fell to plus 14 in June, its lowest since December, from plus 33 in May. While manufacturing growth ticked up, the pace of expansion in services companies comprising the bulk of Britain’s private sector rowed back from a more than nine-year high in the three months to May. Despite June’s slowdown, output expectations for the next three months rose to their highest level since last August. — Reuters Toronto fuel strike MONTREAL: More than 200 flights were cancelled and hundreds of others delayed to and from Toronto’s largest airport on Friday after staff responsible for refuelling planes suddenly went on strike. There were chaotic scenes at terminals and boarding counters at Toronto Pearson International Airport, with some of the delays for several hours or more, causing travel misery for many. “As the fuel service provider experiences escalating labour shortages, aircraft movements have been significantly impacted — as of 5:00pm, 185 flights have been cancelled,” the airport statement said. The airport’s website showed more than 30 additional cancellations after that. — Reuters Credit Suisse plans ZURICH: New Credit Suisse AG Chief Executive Tidjane Thiam has told a Swiss newspaper he wants quick action to implement results of strategic review he is conducting at the Swiss bank. “Our investors have grown impatient given the pace at which we have moved. They expect quick change, and perhaps we must indeed move somewhat faster,” he said in an interview with the Neue Zuercher Zeitung printed on Saturday. He said he had no preference in principle for either wealth management or investment banking and that the strategy the bank develops this year would determine how much capital it needs for a robust balance sheet. — Reuters Services disrupted LONDON: The operator of the rail tunnel linking Britain and France says services were disrupted early Saturday after around 150 migrants tried to storm a French terminal in an attempt to board a Britain-bound freight. Eurotunnel says freight services were disrupted for a few hours after migrants tried to enter restricted areas port of Calais at about 2:00am local time. Some passenger services were also affected. The company on Saturday urged authorities to resolve the worsening migrant crisis in the region. The disruption caused a return of snaking lines of trucks and freighters to British highways, which saw thousands of drivers stuck this week because striking French workers crippled ferry crossings. — AP