Volkswagen to pay up to $87 million in Australia for scandal

A service vehicle is parked at a Volkswagen dealership in Sydney, Monday, Sept. 16, 2019. Volkswagen has agreed to pay up to 127 million Australian dollars ($87 million) to settle an Australian class action stemming from the 2015 diesel emissions scandal, the German automaker and a lawyer said Monday. (AP)
Updated 16 September 2019

Volkswagen to pay up to $87 million in Australia for scandal

  • The settlement was announced in the Federal Court in Sydney on Monday
  • Volkswagen said in a statement that it made no admission of liability in the settlement

CANBERRA, Australia: Volkswagen and a law firm say the German automaker has agreed to pay up to 127 million Australian dollars ($87 million) to settle an Australian class action stemming from its 2015 diesel emissions scandal.

The settlement was announced in the Federal Court in Sydney on Monday and has yet to be approved by a judge. Maurice Blackburn law firm says Volkswagen will pay between AU$87 million and AU$127 million, depending on how many owners of the affected 100,000 vehicles sold in Australia join the class action.

Volkswagen said in a statement that it made no admission of liability in the settlement. Volkswagen has paid 30 billion euros ($33.5 billion) in fines and civil settlements around the world after it installed software on diesel vehicles to cheat on emissions tests.


Philippines to charter flight to bring home citizens from Lebanon

Updated 08 August 2020

Philippines to charter flight to bring home citizens from Lebanon

  • Remains of four who died in Tuesday’s massive blast in Beirut also to be repatriated

MANILA: The Philippines will soon be sending a chartered flight to Lebanon to bring back Filipinos impacted by a massive explosion at the port of Beirut as early as next week, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said on Saturday.

“The DFA is paying P15,000,000 ($305,643) from its funds for a chartered Qatar Air flight to repatriate from Beirut. The Philippine Embassy in Beirut is negotiating it and disbursing the amount. Aug. 16 is [the date set for] arrival,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said, adding that the flight will also bring home the remains of four Filipinos who died in Tuesday’s blast.

Around 400 Filipinos from Lebanon are expected to return following the catastrophic explosion, which decimated the Lebanese capital.

On Friday, Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Sarah Lou Arriola said that President Rodrigo Duterte was responding to the “clamor of Filipinos in Lebanon” and that the “chartered flight is the most concrete, immediate and timely assistance” that the DFA could provide given the current situation there.

Reports state that the deadly explosion was caused by a cargo of 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate, stored at a warehouse in the port of Beirut for years. 

The odorless chemical is commonly used as an agricultural fertilizer but is also used to make powerful bombs.

“With ground operations clearing more area and embassy personnel receiving additional reports, the department is taking in new inputs with regard to the status of the Filipino community in the country,” the DFA said in a statement. 

Data released by the DFA placed the number of Filipinos impacted at 48, with 42 wounded, four dead, and two missing.

“By day’s end yesterday, the number of injured oversees Filipino workers stands at 42, an increase of 11 from the previous report,” Arriola said.

Two of the wounded remained in critical condition and were being monitored at the Rizk Hospital.

“We were also alerted that another Filipino was reported missing, increasing the number to two. The number of Filipino fatalities, meanwhile, remains at four,” she added.

The DFA said that, earlier, it had expected the number of affected Filipinos to increase considering the magnitude of the Beirut destruction.

Even before the onset of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, the DFA had begun its repatriation activities from Lebanon to limit the worsening condition of Filipinos in the country due to economic woes. It has repatriated at least 1,508 Filipinos from Lebanon since December 2019.