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VW scandal widens to include 11M vehicles

VolkswagenVolkswagen said Tuesday that some 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide were fitted with software at the center of a U.S. emissions scandal, and that it is setting aside around $7.3 billion to cover the fallout.

The U.S.'s Environmental Protection Agency said Friday that VW rigged nearly half a million cars to defeat U.S. smog tests. The company then admitted it intentionally installed software programmed to switch engines to a cleaner mode during official emissions testing. The software then switches off again, enabling cars to drive more powerfully on the road while emitting as much as 40 times the legal pollution limit.


Volkswagen could face $18 billion penalties from EPA

Volkswagen finedVolkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE) faces penalties up to $18 billion after being accused of designing software for diesel cars that deceives regulators measuring toxic emissions, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said on Friday.

"Put simply, these cars contained software that turns off emissions controls when driving normally and turns them on when the car is undergoing an emissions test," Cynthia Giles, an enforcement officer at the EPA, told reporters in a teleconference.


Chile earthquake: 8.3-magnitude quake strikes off coast

Chile earthquakeA powerful 8.3-magnitude earthquake struck off Chile's coast on Wednesday, according to a preliminary assessment from the U.S. Geological Survey.

The quake's epicenter was about 55 kilometers (34 miles) west of Illapel, Chile, USGS said. It occurred around 7:54 p.m. (6:45 p.m. ET) and had a depth of 33 kilometers (20.5 miles).


Taliban Insurgents Raid Afghan Prison, Free Hundreds of Inmates

Taliban free Afghan prisonrsAn Afghan official says that more than 350 inmates have escaped after an attack by the Taliban insurgents on the main prison in eastern Ghazni province.

Mohammad Ali Ahmadi, deputy provincial governor of Ghazni, said Monday that insurgents wearing military uniforms launched a well-organized attack to free the inmates.

Ahmadi says the attack was started by a suicide bomber that then allowed other insurgents to get inside the compound.


Crowdfunding Campaign Ruled A Scam, Must Pay Back Victims

Crowdfunding campaign a fraudA Kickstarter campaign must repay money collected from supporters after failing to make good on promises and other rewards.

The Washington state Attorney General’s office ordered Atlius Management owner Ed Polchlopek III to pay $54,841 in restitution and civil consumer protection penalties to the state and 31 Washingtonian backers of the Asylum Playing Cards Kickstarter campaign.


NSA leaker Edward Snowden receives Norwegian freedom of expression honor

Snowden awaeded Norway prizeNSA leaker Edward Snowden received a prize Saturday from the Norwegian Academy of Literature and Freedom of Expression.

The former National Security Agency systems analyst received a standing ovation as a statuette and diploma were put on an empty chair during the award ceremony in the western Norway town of Molde.


Wes Craven, US horror filmmaker, dies aged 76

Wes CravenAmerican horror film director Wes Craven, creator of the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, has died aged 76.

A statement released by his family said Craven died at his Los Angeles home on Sunday from brain cancer.

Craven wrote and directed A Nightmare on Elm Street in 1984. His Scream franchise grossed over $300m (£195m) in the US alone.


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