Volkswagen brand sales dip in wake of scandal

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Volkswagen's flagship brand saw global auto sales fall 5.3 percent in October in the wake of a scandal over cars equipped with software that let them cheat on U.S. diesel emissions tests.

It appeared that economic downturns in Brazil and Russia caused as much or more damage than the scandal to the month's figures. Volkswagen has been trying to limit sales damage in the United States by offering existing Volkswagen owners $2,000 off if they trade their old car in for a new VW model.

dungeness crabs
AP Photo/Eric Risberg

Boats sit idle as algae threatens Dungeness crab season

San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf typically bustles this time of year as workers prepare to haul millions of pounds of Dungeness crab that are a tradition at Thanksgiving and other holiday meals.

But crab pots are sitting empty on docks, boats are idled and fishermen are anxiously waiting for California authorities to open the lucrative Dungeness crab season.

Colorado disputes key part of EPA mine spill report

DENVER (AP) — Colorado officials say they didn't endorse an Environmental Protection Agency cleanup operation that caused a massive spill of toxic wastewater from an inactive mine, disputing a key claim by federal agencies that state experts signed off on the plan.

State officials neither approved nor disapproved of the operation, according to a Sept. 2 letter to the EPA from Mike King, executive director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources. The Associated Press obtained the letter through an open records request.

Madrid sets parking, speed restrictions to control pollution

MADRID (AP) — Street parking for non-residents has been banned in central Madrid and speed limits reduced on access highways in a bid to reduce pollution levels that have left the city covered with a murky brown cap that can be seen from afar.

The town hall said Friday it was applying the restrictions after three days of excess levels of nitrogen dioxide.

Alarm over Delhi pollution doesn't stop Diwali fireworks

NEW DELHI (AP) — The fireworks have fizzled. The festival lights are coming down. What's left of the Hindu holiday of Diwali in the Indian capital — already considered the world's most polluted — is a toxic haze that has residents gagging for oxygen and hiding indoors.

Air pollution levels across New Delhi on Thursday, a day after the ancient festival of lights, were described as severe-to-critical, up to eight times higher than what India deems acceptable and 20 times what's recommended by the World Health Organization.

Regulators OK plan to dismantle Hudson PCB cleanup plant

FORT EDWARD, N.Y. (AP) — Federal regulators have approved General Electric's plan to dismantle a Hudson River PCB cleanup plant used during six years of dredging, which concluded this fall.

The Environmental Protection Agency says Thursday that its approval allows GE to begin dismantling the 110-acre sediment processing plant and restore the site as outlined in the plan. The demobilization plan will continue into 2016.

Brazil fines Volkswagen $13 million over emissions scheme

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — The Brazilian government says its environmental protection agency has fined Volkswagen $13 million over the German automaker's emissions cheating scheme.

Brazil's Ibama environmental agency also is requiring Volkswagen to present a plan for recalling vehicles sold here that contain software that turns on pollution controls during government tests and turns them off while on the road.

China's gray smog has a blue lining: Air improves this year

BEIJING (AP) — Lawyer Wu Congsi has asthma and keeps air purifiers whirring away in his office, home and car to counter Beijing's hazardous smog. He prefers to stay inside unless the sky is blue. But this year, he's been able to regularly walk the 15 minutes or so to work.

That's because of some good news that so far has gone little noticed outside of China: The air in Beijing — and across the rest of the country — has improved so far this year.

German transport agency is testing emissions on 23 brands

BERLIN (AP) — Germany's Federal Motor Transport Authority says it's testing the emissions of vehicles made by 23 foreign and domestic brands following revelations that Volkswagen installed software on some 11 million vehicles allowing them to fake emissions results.

The agency said Wednesday since late September it's been examining about 50 diesel-powered vehicles, based on German test statistics and tips about heightened emissions.

India sees clean cooking as climate action that saves lives

GANORA SHEIKH VILLAGE, India (AP) — Kamlesh feeds the flames of a crude clay cookstove with kindling, kerosene and sunbaked discs of cow dung. She breathes in the billowing smoke, as she does for hours every day. Her eyes water and sting. Her throat feels scratchy and sore.

Kamlesh is one of hundreds of millions of Indian housewives who, with the simple act of cooking family meals, fill their homes every day with deadly airborne pollutants. The constant exposure to indoor air pollution kills some 4.3 million people every year across the world — 30 percent of them in India.


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