VW rejects call to settle German class action

As lawsuits go, it's big.

Close to half a million car owners are registered to take on industry giant VW ...

In their bid to win a class action over its rigging of diesel emissions tests.

Interest in what is the first action of its kind in Germany is so intense that Monday's (September 30) hearing took place in a town hall ...

Rather than the usual courthouse, to allow for large numbers of observers.

The claim from the plaintiffs: that VW car owners were intentionally harmed by the firm's use of emissions-cheating engine software.

Lawyer Marco Rogert:

(SOUNDBITE) (German) LAWYER REPRESENTING PLAINTIFFS, MARCO ROGERT, SAYING:

"That's what we want to find out. We even believe that it was fraud."

VW's lawyer says their goal is to make clear consumers did not suffer any damage.

On Monday, the carmaker rejected a judge's call for a settlement.

Its vehicles, the firm said, are driven by hundreds of thousands of people every day.

In 2016, Volkswagen agreed to pay more than $25 billion in the United States over claims from owners, regulators, states and dealers and offered to buy back about 500,000 polluting vehicles.

In Germany, VW says, there is no legal basis for consumers to seek compensation.

Either way, dieselgate still casts its shadow.

Just last week, prosecutors indicted VW chief executive Herbert Diess, chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch and former CEO Martin Winterkorn ...

Accusing them of withholding market-moving information on the extent of the scandal.

  • Rep. Connolly says Democrats already have 'smoking gun' to impeach Trump
    Yahoo News

    Rep. Connolly says Democrats already have 'smoking gun' to impeach Trump

    A Democrat who attended most of the closed-door depositions over the past month said that while the beginning of public hearings will be instructive for Americans, President Trump has already given Congress all the evidence it needs to impeach him. The reconstructed partial transcript of Trump's July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky “is the smoking gun,” said Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., who has represented the Northern Virginia suburbs for the last decade. “It's right in front of us,” Connolly said in an interview with Yahoo News.

  • Venezuela ex-intel chief missing in Spain ahead of US extradition: police
    AFP

    Venezuela ex-intel chief missing in Spain ahead of US extradition: police

    Venezuela's former military intelligence chief has gone missing in Spain just days after a court approved a request for his extradition to the United States on drug trafficking charges, police said Wednesday. "They are currently looking for him," said a spokeswoman for Spain's national police, referring to General Hugo Armando Carvajal. Judicial sources said police had gone to his house in Madrid after Friday's court decision but could not find him.

  • Israeli airstrike kills Islamic Jihad commander in Gaza home
    USA TODAY

    Israeli airstrike kills Islamic Jihad commander in Gaza home

    Israeli airstrikes Tuesday killed a prominent senior commander of Islamic Jihad, a Palestinian militant group in the Gaza Strip, potentially threatening a major escalation of Israel's of cross-border violence with Iran-backed Palestinians. Bahaa Abu el-Atta and his wife died overnight in an airstrike on a house in Shajaiyah, Gaza City, Israel's prime minister's office said. Israel's Defense Forces said Abu el-Atta was the militant group's top commander in Gaza and had orchestrated several recent attacks against Israel.

  • 2020 Subaru Outback vs. 2019 Honda Passport in Photos
    Car and Driver

    2020 Subaru Outback vs. 2019 Honda Passport in Photos

    Freshly redesigned, Subaru's popular lifted wagon challenges Honda's mid-size Passport SUV in real-world usability and performance. From Car and Driver

  • An Air India flight was delayed nearly 12 hours after a stowaway rat was spotted in the cabin
    Business Insider

    An Air India flight was delayed nearly 12 hours after a stowaway rat was spotted in the cabin

    An Air India flight flying from Hyderabad to Visakhapatnam was delayed for 12 hours after a rat was spotted in the cabin. Flight AI-952 was due to depart at 06:10 a.m. on Sunday but after the rat was spotted passengers were told to disembark the plane— which did not leave until later in the day at 5.30 p.m. according to the Times of India. A domestic flight in India was delayed for 12 hours after a rat was spotted in the cabin as the flight was about to take off.

  • In Republican lawmaker’s impeachment tweets, a hidden message?
    Politico

    In Republican lawmaker’s impeachment tweets, a hidden message?

    The first letters of 23 of the Arizona Republican's tweets spell out “EPSTEIN DIDNT KILL HIMSELF” — a reference that many observers aren't willing to dismiss as a coincidence. The morbid acrostic, coincidental or not, reflects a repeated conspiracy theory-turned-meme over the death of the financier Jeffrey Epstein. Epstein was found dead in his jail cell in August, and a subsequent autopsy ruled his death a suicide.

  • 'Viva Felipe!': Communist-run Cuba welcomes Spanish king
    Reuters

    'Viva Felipe!': Communist-run Cuba welcomes Spanish king

    With cries of "Viva Felipe!" and "Viva Espana!" Cubans greeted King Felipe in Old Havana, the first state visit ever by a Spanish monarch to Cuba, Spain's former colony turned Communist-run nation. Earlier in the day, Felipe and his wife Letizia laid flowers at the monument in Havana to Jose Marti, a symbol of Cuba's struggle for independence from Spain, before meeting with President Miguel Diaz-Canel in the Palace of the Revolution.

  • William Taylor laughs at GOP question if Giuliani channel was 'as outlandish as it could be'
    The Week

    William Taylor laughs at GOP question if Giuliani channel was 'as outlandish as it could be'

    Republican counsel Steve Castor came to Wednesday's impeachment hearing with a curious line of questioning: could something extremely unusual have, theoretically, been even more unusual? Castor, the lawyer who questioned diplomat William Taylor on behalf of House Republicans during the public impeachment hearing, asked about what Taylor had previously described as a "confusing and unusual arrangement for making U.S. policy toward Ukraine" in the Trump administration, with there being a secondary, "highly irregular" channel including Rudy Giuliani operating outside of formal diplomatic processes. "In fairness, this irregular channel of diplomacy, it's not as outlandish as it could be," Castor said to Taylor.

  • Court rules against warrantless searches of phones, laptops
    Associated Press

    Court rules against warrantless searches of phones, laptops

    A federal court in Boston has ruled that warrantless U.S. government searches of the phones and laptops of international travelers at airports and other U.S. ports of entry violate the Fourth Amendment. Tuesday's ruling in U.S. District Court came in a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation on behalf of 11 travelers whose smartphones and laptops were searched without individualized suspicion at U.S. ports of entry. ACLU attorney Esha Bhandari said the ruling strengthens the Fourth Amendment protections of international travelers who enter the United States every year.

  • Could President Trump be impeached and removed from office — but still reelected?
    Yahoo News Video

    Could President Trump be impeached and removed from office — but still reelected?

    Never before has the United States had a president who was in a position to be reelected after impeachment — let alone convicted and removed from office, should that happen. But even in the hypothetical worst-case scenario, President Trump could still be reelected. The House of Representatives is beginning the public phase of its impeachment inquiry with the release of transcripts of previously secret testimony and then public hearings Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

  • The U.S. Navy canceled a routine Black Sea operation after Trump complained that it was hostile to Russia
    Yahoo News Video

    The U.S. Navy canceled a routine Black Sea operation after Trump complained that it was hostile to Russia

    Christopher Anderson, an aide to Kurt Volker, former special envoy to Ukraine, testified that the White House canceled a Navy freedom-of-navigation operation in the Black Sea after President Trump complained to then-national security adviser John Bolton about a CNN report that framed the operation as a counter to Russia, Politico reported.

  • Mom of Missing Florida Girl, 5, Charged With Child Neglect After Massive Search Uncovers a Child's Remains
    Time

    Mom of Missing Florida Girl, 5, Charged With Child Neglect After Massive Search Uncovers a Child's Remains

    The mother of a 5-year-old girl whose disappearance in Jacksonville, Fla., last week sparked a massive search was arrested Tuesday and charged with child neglect and giving false information to investigators, authorities said. The development comes after investigators uncovered the remains of a child, whom authorities believe to be 5-year-old Taylor Rose Williams, in a wooded area in Alabama between the cities of Linden and Demopolis — about 450 miles northwest of Jacksonville. “While indications are that this may be Taylor Williams, the exact identification of the victim will be made pending some detailed forensic analysis of those remains,” Jacksonville Sheriff Michael Williams said at a press conference Tuesday.

  • Damaged Hard Rock hotel will be completely demolished, New Orleans officials say
    USA TODAY

    Damaged Hard Rock hotel will be completely demolished, New Orleans officials say

    A month ago, the under-construction Hard Rock hotel in New Orleans' French Quarter partially collapsed, killing three and injuring dozens. The process will stretch through a busy tourist season in New Orleans that includes New Year's, the Sugar Bowl and Mardi Gras. A controlled demolition, according to New Orleans Fire Chief Tim McConnell, is the only safe way to bring down the damaged building.

  • 'Blossom everywhere': Hong Kong protesters evolve tactics
    AFP

    'Blossom everywhere': Hong Kong protesters evolve tactics

    From "be water" to "blossom everywhere", Hong Kong's black-clad pro-democracy protesters' tactics have evolved this week in their bid to overwhelm police by creating flashpoints in as many areas as possible. The campaign of massive disruption has seen small groups of protesters emerge all across the city of 7.5 million people from Monday to block intersections, vandalise shops, clash with police and damage the vital train network. "We must blossom everywhere to divert the police force," read an anonymous post on Wednesday morning on an internet message board popular with protesters, echoing other calls online.

  • 'Words matter': Trump accused of fuelling attacks on Hispanics as violent hate crimes hit 16-year high
    The Independent

    'Words matter': Trump accused of fuelling attacks on Hispanics as violent hate crimes hit 16-year high

    Violent hate crimes have climbed to a 16-year year high in the US, with a surge in attacks on Hispanics, according to FBI data. Reports of hate crimes dipped slightly in 2018 from an alarming increase the previous year, but violence rose as attacks increasingly targeting people instead of property. In its review of statistics collected from more than 16,000 law enforcement agencies, the FBI said there had been 7,120 hate crimes reported last year.

  • Korean survivor says Japan's no-show at 'comfort women' case in Seoul lacks honor
    Reuters

    Korean survivor says Japan's no-show at 'comfort women' case in Seoul lacks honor

    A South Korean woman who had been forced to work in a Japanese wartime military brothel said Japan lacked honor for failing to attend a South Korean court on Wednesday as it began hearing a civil case brought against its government by a group of victims. "I am a living proof of history," said Lee Yong-soo, the 91-year-old survivor, her voice quaking with emotion as she addressed a news conference held near the courthouse, before proceedings began. Reminders of Japan's 1910-45 colonization of the Korean peninsula are inflammatory for both sides.

  • The US is being hit by a frigid, early cold snap that has killed at least 6 people and could break 100 temperature records
    INSIDER

    The US is being hit by a frigid, early cold snap that has killed at least 6 people and could break 100 temperature records

    It said that "more than a hundred locations [are] expected to tie or set new low temperature records." At least six people have been killed, all from road collisions related to the cold temperatures. One victim, in Kansas, was an eight-year-old girl.

  • Study: Half Europe’s unauthorized migrants in Germany, UK
    Associated Press

    Study: Half Europe’s unauthorized migrants in Germany, UK

    At least 3.9 million unauthorized migrants — and possibly as many as 4.8 million — lived in Europe in 2017 with half of them in Germany and the United Kingdom, according to a study published Wednesday. The Pew Research Center said the number grew from 2014, when about 3-3.7 million resided in Europe, and peaked in 2015-16 during the refugee crisis when some 1.3 million people arrived, mostly from war-torn countries such as Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. Also, the European Union and Turkey signed a deal designed to keep millions of migrants in Turkey from coming to Europe, and many asylum seekers, especially Syrians, received asylum or residency rights in Germany and other European countries.

  • Feud Between Trump Advisers Underscores a White House Torn by Rivalries
    The New York Times

    Feud Between Trump Advisers Underscores a White House Torn by Rivalries

    In the three years since his election, Trump has never been accused of running a cohesive, unified team. In the emerging picture, the Trump White House is a toxic stew of personality disputes, policy differences, political rivalries, ethical debates and a fundamental rift over the president himself. The fault lines were most clearly evident Monday when Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, abruptly withdrew his effort to join a lawsuit over impeachment testimony after a sharp collision with his onetime colleague John Bolton, the former national security adviser.

  • Why China Loves Russia's Su-35 Fighter (And Might Buy Even More of Them)
    The National Interest

    Why China Loves Russia's Su-35 Fighter (And Might Buy Even More of Them)

    Yet Moscow is offering to sell more Su-35 fighters to Beijing – and Chinese media reports that Beijing may accept. China has already bought 24 Su-35s – an upgraded version of the Cold War Su-27 Flanker – in a 2015 sale worth $2.5 billion, according to Russian news agency TASS. We are expecting a response from China on our offer to purchase modern weapons and military equipment manufactured in Russia, including additional batches of Su-35 fighter jets, Russia's arms export agency told TASS back in the summer.

  • Warren Says Big Business Shouldn’t Worry About Her Presidency
    Bloomberg

    Warren Says Big Business Shouldn’t Worry About Her Presidency

    Warren's progressive proposals for reducing inequality, including a wealth tax, breaking up big technology and agriculture companies, as well as her $21 trillion plan to replace private health insurance with a government-run system, have raised concerns on Wall Street that her policies would be ruinous and push the U.S. too far to the left. As she has gained in the polls, she's come in for criticism from Wall Street executives and billionaires, including JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon, hedge fund billionaire Leon Cooperman and Microsoft Corp. founder Bill Gates. The Massachusetts senator, who has pledged not to take big-donor money to fuel her campaign, said the criticism from Wall Street reminded her of the opposition she faced when she proposed establishing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau after the financial crisis.

  • Tulsi Gabbard's lawyers sent a letter to Hillary Clinton demanding she retract Russia comments
    USA TODAY

    Tulsi Gabbard's lawyers sent a letter to Hillary Clinton demanding she retract Russia comments

    In the latest development of the feud between Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, lawyers for the Hawaii congresswoman sent a letter to Clinton demanding a retraction of comments alleging Gabbard is a "favorite of the Russians." A political firestorm was set off after Clinton's remarks, made during an October podcast interview, that triggered a bipartisan outpouring of support and defense of Gabbard, from President Donald Trump to 2020 Democratic rival Sen. Bernie Sanders.

  • A History of Modern American Architecture
    Architectural Digest

    A History of Modern American Architecture

    A new book surveys the stunning work of Ezra Stoller, the most prominent photographer of 20th-century American architecture Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest

  • Delhi smog hits 'emergency' levels as Britain's Prince Charles visits
    AFP

    Delhi smog hits 'emergency' levels as Britain's Prince Charles visits

    The Indian capital's notorious air pollution hit "emergency" levels again Wednesday, coinciding with a visit by Britain's Prince Charles. New Delhi has been choked on and off for weeks, as industrial and traffic pollution -- combined with smoke from crop stubble burning -- cast a toxic pall over the metropolis. For the second time in 10 days, the amount of 2.5PM -- the deadly tiny particles that get into the bloodstream and lungs -- hit "emergency" levels, nearly 20 times the safe limit set by the World Health Organisation.

  • Michael Avenatti faces new fraud charge in Nike extortion case
    Reuters

    Michael Avenatti faces new fraud charge in Nike extortion case

    Federal prosecutors on Wednesday unveiled a new fraud charge against lawyer Michael Avenatti, accusing him of lying to a client as part of his alleged effort to extort Nike Inc. The prosecutors also dropped two counts of conspiracy against Avenatti from the case, which was first made public in March, according to a superseding indictment filed in federal court in Manhattan. "I am extremely pleased that the two counts alleging I engaged in a conspiracy against Nike have just been dismissed by Trump's DOJ," Avenatti wrote on Twitter, referring to the U.S. Department of Justice under President Donald Trump.