VW chief says he is deeply sorry after EPA accuses firm of

by Paul Wiseman And Tom Krisher, The Associated Press Posted Sep 20, 2015 10:16 am MDT Last Updated Sep 20, 2015 at 1:40 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email WASHINGTON – The CEO of Volkswagen apologized Sunday and VW customers said they felt duped after the Environmental Protection Agency revealed that the German automaker skirted clean air rules by rigging emissions tests for about 500,000 diesel cars.“I personally am deeply sorry that we have broken the trust of our customers and the public,” Volkswagen chief Martin Winterkorn said in a statement. He said VW has ordered an investigation and promised that the company would co-operate with regulators.The EPA said Friday that VW used software that allowed its diesel cars to release fewer smog-causing pollutants during tests than in real-world driving conditions. The cars, built in the last seven years, include the Audi A3, VW Jetta, Beetle, Golf and Passat models. The agency ordered VW to fix the cars at its own expense. VW also faces fines that could add up to billions of dollars.VW edged out Toyota to become the world’s top-selling automaker the first half of 2015. But a hit to its reputation from the emissions revelations could hamper its efforts at a sales rebound in the U.S. Between 2013 and 2014, VW sales plummeted 10 per cent even as overall industry sales rose 6 per cent.The influential magazine Consumer Reports almost immediately suspended its “recommended” rating from the Jetta and Passat diesels until it can get a recall repair and re-test the cars.Volkswagen marketed the diesel-powered cars as being better for the environment. After the EPA announcement, the automaker withdrew ads for its diesel cars from youtube.com and asked dealers to stop selling 2015 diesel cars with 2.0-litre engines, according to a person familiar with the matter who requested anonymity.Some VW customers were furious.Zeeshan Shah, 39, of Fulton, Maryland, said that he bought a Volkswagen Diesel Passat 2015 model in July after he totalled his Jetta two years ago.“The selling point,” for the Diesel Passat was that the technology was so good, he said. Now, Shah said he plans to bring the car back to the local dealer to have it examined and doesn’t want to buy another Volkswagen. “Once they cheat you on this issue, what other issues can they cheat you on?” he said. “You don’t trust them.”________________________________________________________Krisher reported from Detroit.AP Business Writers Anne D’Innocenzio in New York and Dee-Ann Durbin in Detroit contributed to this story. VW chief says he is “deeply sorry” after EPA accuses firm of violating US clean air standards read more

Malaysia Indonesia Muslim groups call for Starbucks boycott

Malaysian Muslim women chat at Starbucks Coffee shop in Rawang outside Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Thursday, July 6, 2017. Muslim groups in Malaysia and Indonesia have called for a boycott of Starbucks because of the coffee chain’s support for LGBT rights. (AP Photo/Daniel Chan) JAKARTA, Indonesia – Muslim groups in Malaysia and Indonesia have called for a boycott of Starbucks because of the coffee chain’s support for LGBT rights.Malaysian group Perkasa, which supports a hard-line form of Islam and nationalism, this week called on its more than 500,000 members to stay away from Starbucks coffee shops. This week and last, leaders of Indonesia’s second largest mainstream Muslim group, Muhammadiyah, with an estimated 29 million members, denounced the chain.The groups were apparently reacting to comments made several years ago by former CEO Howard Schultz in support of gay rights that drew renewed attention amid an increasingly anti-LGBT climate in both of the predominantly Muslim countries.Perkasa said in a statement that the Malaysian government should revoke the trading license given to Starbucks and other companies such as Microsoft and Apple that support LGBT rights and same-sex marriage.Amini Amir Abdullah, who heads Perkasa’s Islamic affairs bureau, said Muslims should stay away from Starbucks because its pro-gay rights policy is against Islam and Malaysia’s constitution.Sodomy is illegal in Malaysia and punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Homosexuality is not illegal in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation, but a case before the constitutional Court is seeking to criminalize gay sex and sex outside of marriage.A boycott Starbucks hashtag was briefly popular on Twitter in Indonesia and shares of the company that operates Starbucks in the country fell sharply this week. But its stores in the capital Jakarta appeared as popular as ever.Gavin Bowring, a Malaysia analyst at risk consulting company Eurasia Group, said the boycott was unlikely to amount to much but reflected “a growing tendency toward conservatism and strict adherence to Islamic principles.” Malaysia, Indonesia Muslim groups call for Starbucks boycott by The Associated Press Posted Jul 6, 2017 3:18 am MDT Last Updated Jul 6, 2017 at 6:40 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

CCOVI lecture examines Niagara attitudes about wine

Michael Ripmeester, shown with a map of the Niagara wine region, says St. Catharines citizens feel ambivalent about the industry’s role in Niagara’s identity.Wine is an integral part in Niagara’s identity, but not everyone feels included in it.More than the Welland Canal or the Underground Railroad, Niagarans feel that tourism and wine defines the area. But it’s a dynamic that makes some feel excluded, said Michael Ripmeester, professor and chair of the Geography department.Those are the findings of a recent study by Ripmeester and Russell Johnston, professor in Communication, Popular Culture and Film. Ripmeester will present the findings on April 28 with “Memory in a bottle? Heritage, identity and wine in Niagara,” the first event of the Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture (CCOVI) Lecture Series. The series starts Jan. 19 and runs until April 28 at Brock.Ripmeester and Johnston interviewed hundreds of St. Catharines residents in 2005, 2008 and 2009 about what they thought defined Niagara. Rather than references to the War of 1812 or Laura Secord, many people associated Niagara with wine.But some residents feel ambiguous about that identity, Ripmeester said. In a traditionally blue-collar area where many are looking for work, the wine industry is seen as being for people with higher incomes.Some mentioned grapevines replacing historic orchards. Some cited the Niagara Grape and Wine Festival being renamed the Niagara Wine Festival. They mentioned tighter restrictions on parade participation, and the high cost of wine at the festival. Some felt the festival had been taken away from the community.“All of these things build a little bit of animosity,” Ripmeester said.Such sentiments are common in areas where gentrification has taken place, he said. Examples include Soho and Greenwich Village in New York City, or the spread of the Queen West area in Toronto, where “shops that were seen as being for everyday goods have been taken over by high-end coffee shops,” he said.Ripmeester hopes to interview residents in other areas of Niagara about wine and the region’s identity.The study’s findings have been published in a number of venues, including Covering Niagara: Studies in Local Popular Culture, edited by Prof. Barry Grant and adjunct professor Joan Nicks. Ripmeester also plans to publish A Companion to Niagara Wine with fellow Geography professors Christopher Fullerton and Phillip Gordon Mackintosh in 2011. The book contains contributions from about 17 Brock academics from various faculties.This year’s fourth annual CCOVI lecture series is the largest yet, with researchers, fellows and professional affiliates from across Canada participating.The lectures will be Wednesdays from 3 to 4:30 p.m. in MC H313. Admission is free and all are welcome.Click here to view a PDF of the full lecture series schedule. read more