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MPs to grill Merkel over VW 'dieselgate' scandal
Frankfurt am Main (AFP) - German lawmakers will question Chancellor Angela Merkel in March on how much she knew about Volkswagen's dieselgate emissions cheating scandal before it became public knowledge, an MP told AFP on Thursday.
Volkswagen admitted in September 2015 that it installed software in 11 million cars worldwide that reduced emissions of harmful nitrogen oxides when it detected the vehicle was undergoing regulatory tests.
American environmental authorities had revealed the emissions cheating earlier the same month.
But "there are an increasing number of indications that the Chancellery and Chancellor Merkel were occupied with this question well before 2015," Green Party MP Oliver Krischer told AFP.
He said members of a Bundestag (German parliament) inquiry committee would ask the chancellor on March 8 about the government's role in setting EU-wide emissions regulations, as well as a 2010 meeting with then-California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger about the topic.
Parliament documents show that alongside Merkel, MPs on an inquiry committee have summoned a clutch of serving and former ministers to give evidence.
The minister-president of the federal state of Lower Saxony -- home to VW's Wolfsburg headquarters and a Volkswagen shareholder to the tune of almost 12 percent -- will also give evidence.
MPs hope to shed light on the government's relationship with carmakers going back as far as 2007, two years after Merkel first took office.
"We need to finally get transparency about the cronyism between the federal government and the car industry," Krischer said.
Volkswagen has set aside around 18 billion euros ($19 billion) to cover the costs of the emissions scandal, but analysts have warned the final bill could be much higher.
The firm has already agreed a $14.7-billion settlement in the US, but still faces litigation in Germany, France, and South Korea.
EU politicians are also piling on pressure for the firm to compensate European customers.
After reporting a group loss of 1.6-billion-euros in 2015, the Volkswagen brand this year announced a massive restructuring that will see it shed 30,000 jobs by 2020 and re-orient itself towards electric cars.
Brazil's new coach: Bring on Germany, Italy and Spain
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazil's new coach is tearing up South American World Cup qualifying. In six matches in charge, Adenor Leonardo Bacchi — known universally as Tite (pronounced Chi-Chi) — has won all six.Now he's offering to challenge Europe's best, including defending champion Germany, as the five-time World Cup winners prepare for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, where they are likely to be among the favorites."Let's play against Italy away," Tite said Monday in a 35-minute interview with… chat_bubble_outline Read More...
China slams North Korea's nuclear test but unlikely to do much
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un provides field guidance during a fire drill of ballistic rockets by Hwasong artillery units of the KPA Strategic Force, in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang September 6, 2016. KCNA/Files via Reuters China criticized North Korea's nuclear test on Friday but Beijing is unlikely to follow up with strong action because its influence is limited and it believes the United States and South Korea share… chat_bubble_outline Read More...
Who is No 1 among the three biggest banks?
BIDV is the No 1 bank in terms of total assets and VietinBank is No 1 in stockholder equity, networks and high pay for workers, while Vietcombank is the most admired, as its valuation is twice as high as that of Vietinbank and BIDV. VietinBank, Vietcombank and BIDV are among the top three banks in Vietnam, with others following far behind. During the same time, Vietcombank asset increased by 78.7 percent, from VND414 trillion to VND750 trillion, while VietinBank from VND503 trillion to… chat_bubble_outline Read More...
Neighbors denounce woman who tied children to yard
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Iraqi forces poised to launch operation to retake Mosul
IRBIL, Iraq (AP) — Iraqi forces appear poised to launch their most complex anti-IS operation to date: retaking the country's second-largest city of Mosul. While the country's military has won a string of territorial victories that have pushed the Islamic State group out of more than half the territory the group once held, some Iraqi officials worry that the Mosul fight has been rushed and if the city is retaken without a plan to broker a peace, it could lead to more violence.HOW WE GOT… chat_bubble_outline Read More...