Volkswagen To Plead Guilty, to pay 4.3 Billion in Emissions Scheme Settlement
NPR – Volkswagen has agreed to pay $4.3 billion to settle civil and criminal allegations over its diesel emissions cheating scheme involving some 590,000 vehicles in the U.S. The company has also agreed to plead guilty to three criminal felony counts.
The settlement amount includes $2.8 billion in criminal penalties and $1.5 billion in civil claims, according to a statement from the Justice Department, which announced the deal Wednesday in Washington, D.C. The company also agreed to work with an independent monitor for a period of three years.
Taiwan scrambles jets, navy as China aircraft carrier enters Taiwan Strait
Reuters – Taiwan scrambled jets and navy ships on Wednesday as a group of Chinese warships, led by its sole aircraft carrier, sailed through the Taiwan Strait, the latest sign of heightened tension between Beijing and the self-ruled island.
China’s Soviet-built Liaoning aircraft carrier, returning from exercises in the South China Sea, was not encroaching in Taiwan’s territorial waters but entered its air defense identification zone in the southwest, Taiwan’s defense ministry said.
Army Leaker Chelsea Manning On President Obama’s “Short List” for Commutation
NBC – President Barack Obama has put Chelsea Manning, the former Army intelligence analyst serving a 35-year sentence for leaking classified material, on his short list for a possible commutation, a Justice Department source told NBC News.
Here Are the State and Federal Databases That Could Hurt Immigrant Communities in Trump’s Administration
Rewire – While running for the nation’s highest office, President-elect Donald Trump made a series of promises that terrified marginalized communities.
He vowed to deport millions of undocumented immigrants and repeal programs such as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), President Obama’s executive action on immigration that offers some migrants who arrived in the United States as children work permits and temporary relief from deportation. Trump also said he would ban Muslims from entering the United States (though he seems to have waffled some in his position) and would create a “watch list” to “defeat Islamic terrorism,” which many have interpreted to mean a registry of Muslims in the country or attempting to enter the country.
Rick Perry, Trump’s Energy Pick, to Divest of Multiple Holdings
Texas Public Radio – In an ethics disclosure filed this week in Washington, Perry said he would sell off his holdings in several energy companies, including interests valued at $100,000 to $250,000 in Energy Transfer Partners, the Dallas-based company behind the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline. He also said he would unload similarly valued holdings in Dakota-related Sunoco Logistics Partners. Perry resigned from the boards of both companies, for which he was paid a combined $171,000 in board director fees in 2016, according to the report.