Worldwide News with Ray 9/22/2015

Worldwide News with Ray  9/22/2015

Campaign 2016, Volkswagen in BIG trouble, and other news from Ray

Hi, this is Ray Mossholder in the reachmorenow headquarters in Fort Worth Texas.

Pope Francis arrived within this past hour at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland to begin his six-day, three-city visit trip to the U.S. The Pope will be officially greeted on the White House lawn tomorrow at 9:15 AM Eastern time. This is the 1st time Pope Francis is been in America.

As soon as Pope Francis stepped out of the plane he was greeted by President and Mrs. Obama, accompanied by their 2 daughters and Michelle’s mother. Though the red carpet was rolled out and group of a little more than 100 people stood in a corralled area chanting “Ho ho, hey hey, welcome to the USA”, the Pope and the Obama’s were whisked away into the air terminal as quickly as possible. The Pope did stop to greet some Catholic cardinals and bishops who had arrived to welcome him and he greeted some children too. Pope Francis is scheduled to be in America for 6 days in 3 different cities – Washington DC, New York City, and Philadelphia.

Meanwhile, evangelist Franklin Graham has called President Obama’s guest list for Pope Francis’ welcome tomorrow morning “disgraceful and obviously inappropriate.” 

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The guest list for a planned event at the White House’s South Lawn to welcome the Pope on his first full day in the U.S. on Wednesday includes Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of Network, a “Catholic social justice lobby” which supports abortion and euthanasia; Bishop Gene Robinson, former Episcopal bishop of New Hampshire who is the first openly gay Episcopal bishop in the country; Mateo Williamson, a former co-head of the transgender caucus of Dignity USA; and also activists from the LGBT group GLAAD.

Graham wrote on his Facebook page Saturday. “Is there no end to the lengths the president will go to in order to push his sinful agenda?”

The Vatican has taken offense, according to The Wall Street Journal. The presence of some figures is especially irritating, and unnamed senior Vatican official was quoted as saying. The Holy See worries that any photos of the pope with such guests could be interpreted as an endorsement of their activities. The official also wondered if the White House has invited any representatives of the U.S. anti-abortion movement.

Speaking to reporters, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Thursday he didn’t know who all have been invited. He added that no one should draw any conclusions on specific guests “because there will be 15,000 other people there too.”

Radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh wrote on his website noting that “some people are saying that this is perfectly Obama.”

“He’s got the pope coming, and he wants to insult the pope, put pressure on the pope, and challenge the pope, ’cause the Catholic Church — and Obama’s a leftist, and leftists hate the Catholic Church,” he wrote. “Do not doubt me on that. The Catholic Church is in the top five of all-time biggest enemies for the American left and the worldwide left. And so here it is, a a designed effort to humiliate, challenge, make nervous, make the pope uncomfortable.”

In June, after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage will be legal across the country, Graham said Obama is leading the nation on a sinful course. The president called the ruling a “victory for America.” Prior to the court’s decision, Obama had said, “There has been an incredible shift in attitudes across the country.”

“But, says Graham, it is definitely not a shift for the good of America. The shift in attitudes he refers to is the moral decline we are seeing manifest daily around us.”

“Accepting wrong as right—accepting sin as something to be proud of. Yes, that’s definitely a shift. Should we be surprised that he thanked the LGBT community for all that they had helped him accomplish during his time as president?” Graham noted that Obama said, “A lot of what we’ve accomplished over these last six and a half years has been because of you.”

About the only thing more that Obama could do to offend the pope is to sit with him for a screening of the Rocky Horror movie!

 

Carly Fiorina’s strong performance at last week’s primetime Republican debate has catapulted her into second place behind Donald Trump in the race for the GOP presidential nomination, a new CNN/ORC national poll shows.

According to the survey, conducted three days after the Sept. 14 debate, Fiorina has 15 percent support among Republican and Republican-leaning voters, up from just 3 percent in August. The former Hewlett-Packard chief executive is one point ahead of retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson (14 percent), down 5 points from the previous poll.

Meanwhile, support for Trump’s candidacy — which stood at 32 percent in August — has slipped to 24 percent, the new poll shows.

Meanwhile, support for Trump’s candidacy — which stood at 32 percent in August — has slipped to 24 percent, the new poll shows.

Trump, Fiorina and Carson are the only candidates in the Republican field who have not held public office.

Trump speaks at the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition Forum in Des Moines, Iowa, on Saturday. (Photo: Brian C. Frank/Reuters)

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who appeared to score points on foreign policy during the debate, is fourth, at 11 percent — up from 3 percent in August.

 

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who was once leading the crowded GOP field, registered less than half a percentage point of support among Republican voters, the CNN/ORC poll found. Yesterday he withdrew himself from the presidential race. Here is how each candidate stands in most polls at this moment:

 

  1. Donald Trump – 24%

  2. Carly Fiorina – 15%

  3. Ben Carson – 14%

  4. Marco Rubio – 11%

  5. Jeb Bush – 9%

  6. Ted Cruz – 6%

  7. 6. Mike Huckabee – 6% (tied)

  8. Rand Paul – 4%

  9. Chris Christie – 3%

  10. John Kasich – 2%

Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson said yesterday that he “absolutely” stood by his comments about not supporting a Muslim president, while also clarifying that he was referring to Muslims who had not rejected Islamic Sharia law.

“We don’t put people at the head of our country whose faith might interfere with them carrying out the duties of the Constitution,” the retired neurosurgeon told Fox News’ Sean Hannity.

“Now, if someone has a Muslim background, and they’re willing to reject the tenets of Shariah law and to accept the way of life that we have in America, and clearly will swear to place our Constitution above their religion, then of course they will be considered infidels and heretics, but at least I would then be quite willing to support them,” Carson added.

Earlier Monday, GOP frontrunner Donald Trump — who himself has faced criticism for not correcting a questioner who called President Obama a Muslim — told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren that he could support a Muslim president. 

Trump also addressed the controversy that arose when he chose not to correct a town hall questioner in New Hampshire who called Obama a foreign-born Muslim. Trump said he considered challenging the questioner at the time, but chose not to.

“Somebody was asking a question and actually making a statement, and it’s not my job to defend the president,” Trump told Van Susteren. “The president is capable of defending himself … If somebody says something about me, Greta, he’s not defending me, that’s for sure.”

Carson came under heavy criticism for his initial remarks, which were broadcast on NBC’s “Meet The Press” Sunday. Carson, a devout Christian, told moderator Chuck Todd a president’s faith should matter to voters if it runs counter to the values and principles of America.

Carson also doubled down on his comments in a statement posted on Facebook late Monday, in which he fired back at his fellow Republican candidates who criticized him.

“Those Republicans that take issue with my position are amazing,” the Facebook statement said. “Under Islamic Law, homosexuals – men and women alike – must be killed. Women must be subservient. And people following other religions must be killed. I know that there are many peaceful Muslims who do not adhere to these beliefs. But until these tenants are fully renounced … I cannot advocate any Muslim candidate for President.”

Carson added, jokingly, “I also can’t advocate supporting Hillary Clinton either by the way.”

The GOP candidates who criticized Carson’s initial statement included Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who told Hannity, “I don’t believe anybody should be disqualified from the presidency because of their denomination or because of their faith.”

Earlier Monday, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush said the remarks were “not productive”, and former New York Governor George Pataki compared Carson’s statement to anti-Catholic campaigning against John F. Kennedy in 1960.

 

Top Democrats increasingly believe Joe Biden is going to enter the presidential race, setting up a battle with Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination. 

The Democrats — including former administration officials, strategists and donors — say they foresee the vice president causing a problem for Clinton, who has recently suffered a series of setbacks because of the email controversy that has plagued her campaign. 

While one former senior aide to President Obama predicts that much of the bleeding and hemorrhaging for Clinton has passed since she apologized for using a private email server while secretary of State, “it solidified a storyline that she’s untrustworthy and she’s got stuff to hide and that could hurt her.”

And as one strategist and Clinton supporter said: “People are still really nervous about the email situation. With the Clintons, you just don’t know where the other shoes are and when they’re going to drop.”

And that has created an opening for Biden for those who are “looking for the best alternative” to Clinton, the strategist said.

Should he decide to run, the foundation for a campaign is already in place. Steve Schale, a Florida-based Democratic strategist who helped Obama win twice in the Sunshine State, recently signed on as an adviser to the super-PAC that is trying to sway Biden to run for president. The group, Draft Biden already has three to five paid staffers in each of the early states and recently ramped up its digital advertising.

“I don’t think there’s any reason to think this thing isn’t pretty wide open,” Schale said in an interview.

In an interview published yesterday with America Media, a Catholic news organization, Biden said he was carefully weighing the decision with his family.

“You have no right, as an individual, to decide to run,” Biden said. “Your whole family is implicated, your whole family is engaged and so, for us, it’s a family decision. And I just have to be comfortable that this will be good for the family.”

Biden made similar comments when he appeared on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” two weeks ago. At the time, he discussed how his son Beau Biden’s death in May had taken a toll on the family.

A CNN poll released Monday showed Clinton expanding her lead nationally against Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a fellow contender for the Democratic nomination whom recent polls show is leading Clinton in both Iowa and New Hampshire. 

The national poll was interesting in part because it suggested Biden’s entry into the race could hurt Clinton 

It showed Clinton winning 42 percent of Democratic primary voters compared to 24 percent for Sanders and 22 percent for Biden who isn’t even in the race. Clinton’s edge expanded, winning a majority of supporters with Biden out of the race. 

Privately, Democrats acknowledge consternation about the email controversy and Clinton’s slow response and clean-up of the situation. And they worry about what might happen during the rest of the campaign. “It was sloppy and unnecessary,” one top Democratic donor said of the controversy.

In an interview on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday, Clinton, who considers the vice president a friend, said her campaign is not preparing for a Biden run. “This is such a personal decision and the vice president has to sort it out,” Clinton said on the program.

“Hillary Clinton has proven that she’s a much better candidate when she has a strong competitor,” said Democratic strategist Jamal Simmons. “In 2008, she got better as Obama got stronger. If she wins, she’ll be ready to take on an active, energized and hungry Republican Party.”

The surging popularity of Senator Bernie Sanders has done little to alleviate the chief concern that Democrats have about his presidential bid: Namely, that he’s simply unelectable on a national stage. But supporters say Sander’s rising momentum and populist message will carry him to the White House. 

Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist, has spent a career operating largely from the left-most fringes of the Democratic Party with which he caucuses, stirring worry that he simply couldn’t compete against a Republican perceived as a more establishment figure.

“No matter how well you think of Bernie — and all of us do — … when the politics of it all hits the road, I don’t feel — and I feel most members don’t feel — that he can be elected,” said Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.).

The doubts have nothing to do with policy. Indeed, Sanders’ career-long advocacy for economic and social justice — a vision of wider safety nets, higher wages, universal healthcare and corporate policing — overlaps almost directly with the policy priorities of Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and her liberal-leaning Democratic Caucus on Capitol Hill. 

Pelosi said last week “I’m proud of what Bernie is saying out there, and it’s a reflection of what we fight for here.”

But with that in mind, not a single Democrat in either chamber has endorsed the No. 2 primary contender. The dynamics surrounding Sanders’ campaign present Democrats with an uncomfortable question: If the candidate trumpeting the party’s agenda most loudly and clearly is unelectable, what does it say about the agenda, itself?

Democratic Representative from Maryland, Steny Hoyer, another Clinton backer, said the answer lies in political expediency. He said he supports Sanders’ economic agenda to a tee. But he also remembers too well the losing presidential campaigns of liberals George McGovern and Eugene McCarthy — both of whom he supported in the Civil Rights era — as well as the saga surrounding Ralph Nader, the consumer-rights advocate turned third-party candidate he blames for securing George W. Bush’s victory in 2000. “Some argue, and I do, that Ralph Nader cost us that election … and I don’t have time for that. And I think that’s what members are saying: That I don’t have time for fringes, at this point. And that’s where Bernie is, and it’s regrettable.”

“Mine and Bernie’s philosophies regarding the disparity of economic well-being of America’s citizens [are] in direct alignment with each other. I agree with him — [but] I support Hillary Clinton.”

Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) suggested Sanders’ fierce advocacy has left little room for compromise, even with other Democrats. Sometimes I have the feeling that “It’s my way or the highway is what Bernie is all about.”

Representative Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas), who has not endorsed a primary candidate, said Sanders is doing “a great job” bringing the Democrats’ policy agenda into the public eye. But he’s concerned how the “socialist” label attached to the senator will play in a national election. That’s a question that many of us have had.”

Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.), a 2016 Senate candidate who has not endorsed a primary contender, characterized Sanders as one of Congress’s most effective legislators, saying all claims that he’s unelectable are “politically motivated attacks” designed to undermine his bid.

“Bernie has the appeal of being able to demonstrate to people that he can get good things done. He is not some kind of liberal stick figure; he’s someone who has a record of actual accomplishment,” Grayson said. “If Bernie’s the nominee, then Bernie very likely will be the next president of the United States.”

Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) echoed that message, warning that Democrats, by doubting Sanders’ viability as a candidate, risk undermining the party’s agenda.

“The expectation that he will fade, I think, is not true because the agenda he’s putting forward, instead of tamping down momentum, it’s increasing momentum. … He’s ignited the base in a way that we haven’t been able to do for six years,” said Grijalva, the head of the Progressive Caucus who has not yet endorsed in the primary. “So I would be very careful to marginalize the man. Because in a sense then you’re marginalizing the message.”

Asked why Sanders hasn’t won any Democratic endorsements, Grijalva predicted that would soon change. “It’ll come,” he said.

Sanders has a long history of defying the odds, and at no instance more dramatically than now. 

The 74-year old, who launched his candidacy in May with little fanfare, has seen his star rise quickly over the summer. He’s raised tens of millions of dollars, mostly in small donations; his speeches have attracted the largest crowds of any candidate of either party; and, aided by the email scandal dogging Clinton’s campaign, he has skyrocketed in the polls.

The latest CBS News/New York Times poll found that Clinton still holds a resounding edge, but her popularity has fallen from 58 to 47 percent in the last month as Sanders’ numbers have jumped from 17 to 27 percent.

Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) predicted Sanders’ support would only grow as people become more familiar with his message. He said Sanders is doing “a great job” making the case for the Democrats policy platform — “and articulating it better than Hillary Clinton, too.” 

Gutierrez, who has officially endorsed Clinton, suggested he’s ready to spread his support around. “I said I liked Hillary Clinton, but you know what? I like Bernie Sanders, too,” he said.

 

The new star of the GOP field, Carly Fiorina, has shifted emphasis on a few hot-button issues since her unhappy first outing in electoral politics, when she lost by 10 percentage points in a bid to oust incumbent Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif) in 2010.

The Golden State’s voters are famously liberal and Fiorina — to her credit, in the eyes of many conservatives  — didn’t moderate her positions to cater to their sensibilities.

The former Hewlett Packard CEO’s stock is rising fresh off a strong performance at this week’s GOP presidential debate.

Fiorina’s biggest applause line of the debate came from a robust denouncement of the controversial Planned Parenthood videos, and of Democratic politicians who support the group. Carly said “I dare Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama to watch these tapes. Watch a fully formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking, while someone says we have to keep it alive to harvest its brain. This is about the character of our nation, and if we will not stand up and force President Obama to veto this bill, shame on us.” 

While some critics pointed out that the graphic scene she described doesn’t appear in the publicly-released videos, Fiorina said Friday on ABC’s “Good Morning America” that the scene she described was characteristic of what is occurring and that she’s seen the images she referenced. “Rest assured that human lives are being aborted, fully formed, in order to harvest body parts. Rest assured that this erodes at the character of our nation.”

But even though Fiorina was also emphatically opposed to abortion during the 2010 bid, her rhetoric on the issue was notably softer. During a debate two months before the election, she framed the issue as one of states’ rights and showed deference to the voters.

“I am a strong believer in states’ rights, I think voters’ have to make some of these very difficult decisions,” she said.

“I am prepared to trust the voters’ judgment on offshore drilling, I am prepared to trust the voters’ judgment on the right to choose.”

Just a few minutes before, she also said that she was open to certain types of stem cell research.

“I am comfortable with federal funding for adult stem cell research, which shows more promise according to many scientists. And I’ve also been very clear in saying if embryos were going to be destroyed in any event, that I have no trouble with research,” she said.

“It is when embryos are produced for the purposes of destruction, for the purposes of stem cell research that I have a great deal of difficulty.”

Fiorina has shifted to the right regarding her support of the DREAM Act, the name collectively given to measures at both the federal and state level that would provide legal status and a pathway to citizenship for children brought to America illegally by their parents.

“I would support the DREAM Act because I don’t believe we can punish children who through no fault of their own are here trying to live the American dream,” she said in 2010, before adding that she does not support “amnesty” for those in America illegally.

Fiorina still supports the DREAM Act, lauding it on a campaign swing through Iowa in August,according to NBC. But she told Yahoo in May that America must prioritize securing the border first — any action taken before that would only make matters worse.

Fiorina can, nonetheless, offer an effective rebuttal to those who would say that she has changed tone to appeal to a more conservative electorate in the GOP primary.  In some cases she has actually moved toward the center, while on a number of issues, there is no discernible change at all.

On same-sex marriage, for example, Fiorina wanted a constitutional amendment enshrining the principle that marriage was between one man and one woman during the 2010 race, while she did support civil unions. She also objected when a judge in California struck down Proposition 8, a same-sex marriage ban that had been passed by plebiscite in 2008.

These days, Fiorina makes plain her disagreement with the Supreme Court decision, in June of this year, that legalized same-sex marriage. But she appears to have, in effect, given up the fight, accepting there is no realistic chance of an amendment to reverse the high court’s stance.

Meanwhile, her positions the Affordable Care Act, and on the general fiscal principles that would underpin her economic policies have remained essentially unchanged from the conservative mainstream.

Even some Democratic strategists in the Golden State note that she made little effort to appeal to liberal Californian sensibilities. “She was ultra-conservative,” said Garry South, a longtime Democratic strategist in California. Fiorina took, basically, the classic right-wing position on everything.”

Another Democratic strategist, Nathan Ballard, gave Fiorina a qualified compliment, noting that the margin of her loss to Boxer — 10 percentage points — was substantial but not as catastrophic as might have been expected given the businesswoman’s embrace of full-on conservative positions.

“When you think of what an ideological mismatch she is with California voters, she did a pretty decent job,” Ballard said. “She is much more conservative than the average Californian voter. In California, we have a species of Republican that is socially liberal and fiscally conservative. Carly has never pretended to be a member of that species.” 

 

GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump on Saturday said he’s not “morally obligated to defend the president” against inaccurate claims from supporters.

Trump, who is leading in the polls for the Republican nomination, blasted out a series of tweets amid mounting criticism because he did not cut off an event attendee in New Hampshire who alleged Obama is a Muslim, as well as not an American. The questioner added that “we have training camps growing where they want to kill us. That’s my question, when can we get rid of them?”

Many have said Trump should have followed the lead of 2008 GOP presidential nominee John McCain, who cut off a woman who made similar comments about Obama during that election. But Trump has a history with the birther movement, fueling questions about Obama’s citizenship during the 2012 election, which eventually spurred Obama to release his long-form birth certificate to end any doubt that he was born in Hawaii in 1961. However, doubts continue among many Americans who believe there are gaping flaws with that certificate.

In response to his critics, the Donald send out 3 tweets:

Tweet 1 – Am I morally obligated to defend the president every time somebody says something bad or controversial about him? I don’t think so!

Tweet 2 – This is the first time in my life that I have caused controversy by NOT saying something.

Tweet 3 – If someone made a nasty or controversial statement about me to the president, do you think he would come to my rescue? No chance!

The White House said the exchange wasn’t surprising given Trump’s history.

Even rival GOP candidate Jeb Bush came to Obama’s defense in a speech Friday night in Michigan.”Barack Obama is a talented man — and by the way he’s an American, he’s a Christian — his problem isn’t the fact that he was born here or what his faith is,” Bush said, according to reports. “His problem is that he’s a progressive liberal who tears down anybody that disagrees with him.”

In response to all that, Donald Trump invited all of Twitter to ask him anything. What could possibly go wrong?

Armed with the hashtag #asktrump, hundreds of Trump fans asked the GOP presidential frontrunner about his policies — and thousands of more trolls asked him about his “opportunistic racism,” his opinions on Jay Z lyrics and, of course, his hair.

The billionaire politician visited Twitter’s New York office Monday to record video answers to about a dozen of the more serious questions: No, he will not collect the presidential salary if elected; Yes, he is pro-second amendment; and yes, he will make college “very affordable.”

But the thousands of jeering, hilarious questions the candidate left unanswered stole the show, including the one that asked “Are you aware that you look like a loaf of bread?”

Here are more

 

“Why is it that you’re a millionaire in your hair looks like you just came out of a circus tent?”

 

“Deport all immigrants? Where will your wife be going?”

 

“If elected, will you replace all of the toilet paper in the White House bathrooms with Trump gold–plated 3–ply sheets?”

 

“Can you promise every American a free ice cream sandwich?”

 

“How would you feel about replacing all cabinet members with well-trained dogs?”

 

 

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations – Samantha Power – today met privately with Naghmeh Abedini, the wife of American Pastor Saeed Abedini who has been imprisoned in Iran for nearly three years because of his Christian faith.

Naghmeh requested the meeting with Ambassador Power to urge the U.S. government to continue working to secure the freedom of her husband. 

Along with Naghmeh, America Center of Law and Justice International Legal Director Tiffany N. Barrans attended the 30-minute meeting, which occurred at Ambassador Power’s office at the U.S. Mission in New York City. Ambassador Power told Naghmeh that she remains committed to Pastor Saeed’s case and pledged to continue to raise this issue with Iran and other countries at the United Nations.

Afterward Naghmeh said “I was encouraged to meet with Ambassador Power and to have her voice and her support for the unjust imprisonment of my husband, Pastor Saeed,” said Naghmeh after the meeting. “I entered this meeting with much prayer and hope that the Lord would use it to open doors for Saeed’s freedom.”

The ACLJ, which represents the Abedini family, continues to reach out globally in its ongoing effort to seek the release of Pastor Saeed.

At the United Nations, more than 260,000 letters to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon are on their way to the U.N. requesting international pressure on Iran to adhere to international human rights laws and free Pastor Saeed. 

Tomorrow, Naghmeh pleads with members of Parliaments from around the world on behalf of her husband at a meeting in New York.

American Center of Law and Justice president Jay Sekulow asks you to join the global community in prayer for Pastor Saeed Abedini on September 26th – which marks the anniversary of the third year of imprisonment for this U.S. citizen. Jay says you could host a prayer vigil or find one at a location near you.

 

PHILADELPHIA — The ability of Pennsylvania’s embattled attorney general to carry out her job was thrown into question Monday as the State Supreme Court issued a temporary suspension of her law license.

The attorney general, Kathleen G. Kane, 49, is facing a battery of criminal charges, accused of leaking grand jury information to embarrass political enemies and then committing perjury, obstruction and other crimes in a cover-up.

Ms. Kane, a Democrat, has denied the charges and said on Monday that she would not step down. But some Democratic politicians have joined Republican leaders in calling on her to do so.

Ms. Kane was seen as a rising Democratic star when she was elected in 2012, after a campaign in which she accused her predecessor of moving too slowly to indict and arrest Jerry Sandusky, the Pennsylvania State University assistant football coach who was convicted that year on dozens of counts of child abuse.

She was both the first woman and the first Democrat to be elected attorney general in Pennsylvania since the office became elective in 1980.

But she quickly became mired in vicious disputes with some former top prosecutors, with charges flying back and forth about cases mishandled or improperly dropped. As she re-examined the handling of the Sandusky case, her investigators also discovered that numerous officials in the attorney general’s office and other state agencies had shared pornographic and racially offensive emails; a Supreme Court justice was forced to resign as a result.

But in August, the Montgomery County district attorney charged Ms. Kane with illegally leaking information to the news media about grand jury proceedings in a 2014 case, then lying about it. That case had involved former state prosecutors with whom she was feuding.

In refusing to leave office, Ms. Kane has said she is the victim of a vendetta by an “old boys’ network” of political and legal rivals.

In Monday’s ruling the State Supreme Court, acting on a recommendation from a legal disciplinary board, voted unanimously to suspend Ms. Kane’s law license.

In a brief statement, the court also said that its order “should not be construed” as removing Ms. Kane “from elected office.”

But the State Constitution says that the office of attorney general is open only to members of the bar, creating an uncertain situation.

 

BERLIN (AP) — The crisis enveloping Volkswagen AG, the world’s top-selling carmaker, is escalating today as the company issued a profit warning following a stunning admission that some 11 million of its diesel vehicles worldwide were fitted with software at the center of a U.S. emissions scandal.

In a statement, the German company said it was setting aside around 6.5 billion euros ($7.3 billion) to cover the fallout from the scandal that is tarnishing VW’s reputation for probity and seriously undermining its share price. There was no mention of any fines or penalties.

In the wake of its statement, VW’s share price was down another 17.6 percent at 110.20 euros and near a four-year low. The fall comes on top of Monday’s hefty 17 percent decline and means the company has lost an eye-watering 25 billion euros or so in just two days of frenzied trading.

The trigger to the company’s market woes was last Friday’s revelation from the U.S.’s Environmental Protection Agency that VW rigged nearly half a million cars to defeat U.S. smog tests.

 

(AP) In this March 12, 2012, file photo, a Volkswagen New Beetle is lifted inside…
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The company then admitted that it intentionally installed software programmed to switch engines to a cleaner mode during official emissions testing. The software then switches off again, enabling cars to drive more powerfully on the road while emitting as much as 40 times the legal pollution limit.

In its statement Tuesday, Volkswagen gave more details, admitting that “discrepancies” related to vehicles with Type EA 189 engines and involved some 11 million vehicles worldwide.

Volkswagen said that new vehicles with EU 6 diesel engines currently on sale in the European Union comply with legal requirements and environmental standards.

CEO Martin Winterkorn issued an apology on Sunday for the U.S. scandal, promised an internal investigation and acknowledged that his company had “broken the trust of our customers and the public.”

VW’s troubles are not confined to the U.S., though.

South Korea said Tuesday it would investigate emission levels of Volkswagen diesel vehicles in the wake of the rigging scandal in the U.S. that has heaped pressure on Winterkorn. The German government is to also conduct new emissions tests in VW’s diesel cars, while France called for a wider Europe-wide investigation into Volkswagen’s practices — and into those of French carmakers.

Even before Tuesday’s statement, a member of Volkswagen’s supervisory board suggested that heads will roll in the wake of the scandal, though he said it was too soon to start assigning blame.

Speaking on Germany’s Deutschlandfunk radio, Olaf Lies, I need to know Lies, who is also the economy minister of the German state of Lower Saxony, which holds a 20 percent stake in Volkswagen, said he was sure there would be “personal consequences” once the investigation is complete.

The shockwaves from the scandal enveloping Volkswagen were being felt far and wide across the sector as traders wondered who else may get embroiled. Germany’s Daimler AG, the maker of Mercedes-Benz cars, was down 6 percent, while BMW AG fell 5.3 percent. France’s Renault SA was 5.5 percent lower.

 Campaign 2016, Volkswagen in BIG trouble, and other news from Ray

Worldwide News with Ray  9/22/2015