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Volkswagen told to pay $4.3-billion fine in emissions cheating case

A US federal court charged six former executives of the German automaker with fraud in connection with the 2015 matter.

A federal court in Washington indicted six Volkswagen executives and imposed a penalty of $4.3 billion (Rs 28,000 crore approximately) on the company on Wednesday in connection with the 2015 emissions cheating scandal. This is the highest fine imposed by the government on any automaker, reported Associated Press. In 2014, Toyota was levied a $1.2-billion (Rs 7,000 crore approximately) penalty in a safety issues case.

Besides, Volkswagen has agreed to appoint an independent monitor to supervise control measures over the next three years. The government said that although Volkswagen had publicly admitted to the fraud on September 18 last year, its employees continued to delete computer files and other proof. “Volkswagen obfuscated, they denied and they ultimately lied,” said Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

Company employees have been asked to cooperate with ongoing investigations. The United States Justice Department said at least 40 Volkswagen employees were involved in destroying evidence of the fraud. More employees could be arrested in the coming days.

The six employees indicted include a former head of development of the Volkswagen brand and the head of engine development. While Oliver Schmidt, one of the six convicts, was arrested in Florida, last week, the others are likely in Germany, reported The New York Times.

The company has terminated several top executives after the scandal came to the fore, reported Washington Post. However, a company spokesperson refused to comment on the employment status of the six indicted employees.

The German automaker had fitted as many as six lakh cars in US with a software to fool emissions tests. Investigators said that the cars emitted more than 40 times the legal limit of nitrogen oxide.

Emissions discrepancies in Volkswagen cars were first identified in 2014 during a research conducted by West Virginia University. The case came to light in August 2015 when a company employee defied supervisors and informed US regulators about the software.

Wednesday’s verdict brings Volkswagen’s total fines to around $20 billion (Rs 1,33,000 crore approximately), reported Washington Post. In June last year, Volkswagen had reached a deal with US regulators to pay up to $14.7 billion (nearly Rs 9.98 lakh crore) and compensate owners of vehicles affected by its diesel emissions cheating scandal.

The German automaker had said it would either repair or buy back polluting vehicles and pay each owner $10,000 (approximately Rs 6.8 lakh). The deal set aside $10 billion to repair or buy back around 4,75,000 polluting Volkswagen vehicles and to compensate each owner with an additional payment of between $5,100 (approximately Rs 3.5 lakh) and $10,000.

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Children's Day is not for children alone

It’s also a time for adults to revisit their childhood.

Most adults look at childhood wistfully, as a time when the biggest worry was a scraped knee, every adult was a source of chocolate and every fight lasted only till the next playtime. Since time immemorial, children seem to have nailed the art of being joyful, and adults can learn a thing or two about stress-free living from them. Now it’s that time of the year again when children are celebrated for...simply being children, and let it serve as a timely reminder for adults to board that imaginary time machine and revisit their childhood. If you’re unable to unbuckle yourself from your adult seat, here is some inspiration.

Start small, by doodling at the back page of your to-do diary as a throwback to that ancient school tradition. If you’re more confident, you could even start your own comic strip featuring people in your lives. You can caricaturise them or attribute them animal personalities for the sake of humour. Stuck in a boring meeting? Draw your boss with mouse ears or your coffee with radioactive powers. Just make sure you give your colleagues aliases.

Pull a prank, those not resulting in revenue losses of course. Prank calls, creeping up behind someone…pull them out from your memory and watch as everyone has a good laugh. Dress up a little quirky for work. It’s time you tried those colourful ties, or tastefully mismatched socks. Dress as your favourite cartoon characters someday – it’s as easy as choosing a ponytail-style, drawing a scar on your forehead or converting a bath towel into a cape. Even dinner can be full of childish fun. No, you don’t have to eat spinach if you don’t like it. Use the available cutlery and bust out your favourite tunes. Spoons and forks are good enough for any beat and for the rest, count on your voice to belt out any pitch. Better yet, stream the classic cartoons of your childhood instead of binge watching drama or news; they seem even funnier as an adult. If you prefer reading before bedtime, do a reread of your favourite childhood book(s). You’ll be surprised by their timeless wisdom.

A regular day has scope for childhood indulgences in every nook and cranny. While walking down a lane, challenge your friend to a non-stop game of hopscotch till the end of the tiled footpath. If you’re of a petite frame, insist on a ride in the trolley as you about picking items in the supermarket. Challenge your fellow gym goers and trainers to a hula hoop routine, and beat ‘em to it!

Children have an incredible ability to be completely immersed in the moment during play, and acting like one benefits adults too. Just count the moments of precious laughter you will have added to your day in the process. So, take time to indulge yourself and celebrate life with child-like abandon, as the video below shows.


This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of SBI Life and not by the Scroll editorial team.