Volkswagen Emissions Fallout Begins: and it’s Really, Really Bad

Tangible damage has already begun on a grand scale for the company since the announcement, as its stock has plunged over 35 percent by midday trading on Tuesday, including closing down 18 percent on Monday, already dropping the company’s value by nearly $17 billion even before Tuesday’s announcement. The scandal and costs associated with EPA-ordered recall will likely cost the company at least that much factoring in federal penalties from the U.S. as well as in other nations. In addition, the amount of civil liability and class-action lawsuits could also range in the billions.

FBI Launches Investigation into 1MDB Malaysia State Development Fund

Najib and Malaysian authorities have undergone exhaustive means to curtail the domestic investigation into allegations that the prime minister funneled money from the fund into his personal account through Swiss banks and the Middle East. The regime gutted the committee appointed to investigate the allegations, shut down a news source, replaced the deputy prime minister and attorney general, and arrested former members of Najib’s political party, including Khairuddin Abu Hassan as he was preparing to travel to the U.S. to urge investigators to help with the probe.

Class I Recall SynCardia Systems Freedom Driver

The FDA issued its most serious level of recall, a Class I, on SynCardia Systems Total Artificial Heart Freedom Driver due to a potentially deadly defect.Part of the driver may fail, causing the artificial heart to stop pumping blood. This can result in serious injuries, up to and including death, if the patient is not immediately connected to a new driver.

California Judge Rules for UFW in Battle against Gerawan Farming

Soble ruled that the ballots will not be counted, writing, “As a result of the employer’s unlawful support and assistance, I am setting aside the decertification election and dismissing the decertification petition.” Gerawan attorney Ron Barsamian admitted to the violation, however claiming that it was not the crux of the issue, saying “The payment to the decertification petitioners to go to Sacramento was from a source outside Gerawan and may be a technical violation, but it also fails to consider the fact that they were going anyway. The money didn’t make them decide.” The case became the lengthiest labor hearing ever in the state of California, involving over 100 witnesses and six months of testimony.

EPA to Volkswagen: Das Cheaters!

The company faces a potential $37,500 fine by the EPA for each Clean Air Act violation. That could lead to the automaker facing as much as $18 billion in federal penalties in total. To put that in comparison, General Motors just agreed to a $900 million federal penalty on Thursday after a Justice Department criminal investigation over its ignition-switch defect that led to at least 124 deaths, and Toyota agreed to a $1.2 billion penalty last year after several deaths were attributed to an acceleration defect.

Come Clean! Detergent Pods are Dangerous to Kids

The convenient laundry detergent pods are actually dangerous to your children. More and more toddlers are being accidentally poisoned each year because they mistake the pods for teething toys or candy, bite down and wither inhale or eat the detergent inside. ASTM International, a global standards development organization, just released the first standard for laundry detergent pods.


Despite the aggressive posture of AB InBev and the venture capital group 3G Capital run by Lemann, the potential transaction will face a mountain of obstacles even if SAB Miller is a willing partner. AB InBev currently controls nearly half of the U.S. beer market with SAB Miller controlling nearly 30 percent. All major corporate mergers must face a Justice Department antitrust review. Diana Moss, the president of the American Antitrust Institute says “The competitive harm is pretty scary. The concern is higher prices for consumers.”

Brad Pitt Has Wood, Sues for $500,000

Please note this is not the usual response my someday-husband has in such situations. However, this time the wood is bad and is causing many Katrina survivors in the Lower 9th Ward a lot of stress. See, Brad has a huge heart-on for the area and a charitable organization, Make It Right, dedicated to helping.

FDA Pulls Four R.J. Reynolds Cigarette Brands from Market

The FDA cited various reasons for the violations in its press release. As an example, the agency cited that the filter on the Camel Crush Bold cigarettes contain a capsule that when crushed, releases additional menthol flavoring. The agency found that the feature creates a significant difference from products that existed prior to the law. The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids president Matthew Myers praised the decision, believing that the Camel Crush cigarettes “deliver menthol differently and at higher levels, have added sugars and other sweeteners, new filters, and tested differently for harmful and potentially harmful constituents.” According to Myers, Camel is the most popular cigarette brand among young smokers.

Car Manufacturers Agree to Make Automatic-Braking a Standard Feature

A recent IIHS study estimates that injury claims could be reduced by as much as 35 percent by implementing the technology. A comparative study of Volvo insurance claims found that property damage claims involving vehicles with automatic-braking systems were 15 percent lower than vehicles without the systems. IIHS president Adam Lund said about automatic-braking systems, “Most crashes involve driver error. This technology can compensate for the mistakes every driver makes because the systems are always on alert.”