Clinton breaks Keystone silence, says she opposes pipeline By KEN THOMAS and CATHERINE LUCEY5 hours ago Associated Press Videos Clinton on Keystone XL: ‘I Oppose it’News Clinton on Keystone XL: ‘I Oppose it’ DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Hillary Rodham Clinton said Tuesday she opposes construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, breaking her longstanding silence over a project criticized by environmentalists as a threat to the planet’s climate.Related Stories
The Democratic presidential candidate said she decided to speak out after concluding the ongoing debate over whether the pipeline should be built had become a distraction to larger efforts to fight climate change.That distraction, she said, is „unfortunately, from my perspective, one that interferes with our ability to move forward to deal with the other issues. Therefore I oppose it.”Clinton’s announcement came as she has ceded ground in some polls to Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who has long opposed the project. It also followed the appearance of protesters at some of her recent campaign events holding signs that read, „I’m Ready for Hillary to say no KXL.”The former secretary of state had previously said she shouldn’t take a position on the issue, because she didn’t want to interfere with the Obama administration as it considers whether to allow construction of a pipeline that would transport oil from Canada’s tar sands to refineries on the Gulf of Mexico.The announcement was viewed with disappointment in Canada, where Prime Minister Stephen Harper has said as recently as last month that he was confident the next U.S. president would approve the project.Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks during a community forum on healthca …”This is not a debate between Canada and the U.S.,” said Stephen Lecce, a spokesman for Harper. „We know the American people support the project. We will not engage in presidential primary debates.”Less reluctant was Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush, who said on Twitter that Clinton’s decision proves she „favors environmental extremists over U.S. jobs.”Spurred on by environmental activists and liberals who play a key role in the Democratic primaries and vigorously oppose the pipeline project, Clinton had expressed impatience in recent weeks over the Obama administration’s drawn-out deliberations.Her campaign said the White House was briefed on Clinton’s position prior to her comments and she privately made her opposition to the pipeline known when she discussed her plans with labor officials in recent weeks.Clinton is scheduled to raise money in California over three days beginning Sunday and was sure to face questions from donors on why she had yet to stake out a position.Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks during a community forum on healthca …Tom Steyer, a leading environmentalist and top Democratic donor, said it was a „clear example of people power overcoming the special interests” and credited Clinton for joining with „thousands of Americans calling on President Obama to reject the Keystone XL pipeline in favor of building an American economy powered by clean energy.”Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, said Clinton was being „blatantly dishonest” when she said her role at the State Department had prevented her from taking a position. Concern about Vice President Joe Biden political future played a role, too, he said.”Clearly, Hillary Clinton’s rapid decline in the polls and the prospect of the vice president entering the race caused her to change course,” Priebus said in a statement.Clinton announced her decision moments after Pope Francis arrived in Washington at the start of a closely watched visit to the United States. Her opposition came in response to a question from a Drake University student attending a forum on prescription drugs.”I was in a unique position having been secretary of state, having started this process and not wanting to interfere with the ongoing decision making,” Clinton said. „I thought this would be decided by now and therefore I could tell you whether I agree or disagree. But it hasn’t been decided and I feel now I’ve got a responsibility to you and other voters who ask me about this.”Map shows the proposed Keystone pipeline route; 2c x 4 inches; 96.3 mm x 101 mm;Clinton’s main rivals for the Democratic nomination have campaigned against the project. Sanders, who has surpassed Clinton in some polls in Iowa and New Hampshire, said in a statement he was „glad that Secretary Clinton finally has made a decision and I welcome her opposition to the pipeline. Clearly it would be absurd to encourage the extraction and transportation of some of the dirtiest fossil fuel on the planet.”Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, who trails Clinton and Sanders by a wide margin in polls, used the moment to criticize the Democratic front-runner, saying her late-breaking opposition to Keystone is akin to how she arrived at her positions on gay marriage, offering driver’s licenses for people not living in the country legally and the Syrian refugee crisis.”On issue after issue,” O’Malley said in a statement, „Secretary Clinton has followed — not forged — public opinion. Leadership is about stating where you stand on critical issues, regardless of how they poll or focus group.”Clinton said she would roll out a plan aimed at fighting climate change in a few days and noted proposals released earlier in the campaign that would bolster solar energy and produce more renewable energy.She said the nation had „a lot of work to do” and that shifting to more renewable energy would create jobs._Thomas reported from Washington._Follow Ken Thomas and Catherine Lucey on Twitter: https://twitter.com/KThomasDC and https://twitter.com/catherine_lucey
Peri-Pope! White House streams pope’s arrival using PeriscopeDylan StablefordSeptember 22, 2015Pope Francis walks the red carpet upon his arrival in Maryland. (Periscope/@WhiteHouse)President Barack Obama and the first family greeted Pope Francis upon his arrival in the United States on Tuesday, and the administration used the historic occasion to test out its Periscope skills.The White House captured the pontiff’s walk down the stairs from his plane and across the tarmac at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland via its official account on the live-streaming mobile application.And, like plenty of first-time Periscope users, it took awhile for the White House staffer holding the phone to realize you can film in a horizontal, landscape view.Meanwhile, those following the Alitalia flight’s path from Cuba to the United States online were briefly alarmed when the plane appeared to circle several times above North Carolina. According to the Atlantic, officials said the “reason the plane started circling was that Obama and Biden are running late to the greeting ceremony.” BuzzFeed News later reported that the official White House itinerary circulated onSeptember 21 said the the pope was arriving at 4 p.m., meaning the president and vice president were on time.
Pope starts U.S. trip with modesty, tone of conciliation By Scott Malone and Philip Pullella3 hours agoU.S. President Barack Obama (R) welcomes Pope Francis to the United States as the Pontiff shakes hands …By Scott Malone and Philip Pullella WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Pope Francis launched his first visit to the United States with a characteristic gesture of humility on Tuesday, and sent a conciliatory message to the world’s wealthiest nation about his frequent criticism of capitalism.After a red carpet welcome by President Barack Obama at an air base near the capital, the 78-year-old Argentine headed off to Washington not in a limousine as is customary but in a modest Fiat.School children cheered the pontiff as his Alitalia plane landed, chanting „We love Francis, yes we do. We love Francis, how about you?”Obama, his family and Vice President Joe Biden greeted the pope in an honor given to few foreign dignitaries.The pope’s motorcade ride in the black Fiat 500L was in sharp contrast to the way that U.S. presidents and visiting world leaders sweep into town in limousines and large SUVs after arriving at Joint Base Andrews air base.U.S. President Barack Obama (L) welcomes Pope Francis to the United States upon his arrival at Joint …The six-day visit to America gives Francis a chance to showcase some of his favorite themes like compassion and simplicity in the world’s most powerful country.The pontiff has often taken aim at capitalism, but on the plane bringing him from Cuba he said it would be wrong to presume that his concerns about economic injustice make him a leftist.“Maybe an explanation was given that led to the impression that I am a bit to the left but it would be an error of explanation,” Francis told reporters.The first Latin American pope has electrified liberal-leaning U.S. Catholics, Democrats and many non-Catholics with a shift in emphasis toward concern for the poor and immigrants and his appeals for action against climate change. But his criticism of unbridled capitalism has unsettled U.S. conservatives.The leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics, Francis said his teachings on economic fairness and climate change are „all in the social doctrine of the Church.”U.S. President Barack Obama (R) welcomes Pope Francis to the United States as the Pontiff shakes han …”It is I who follow the Church,” he said.Francis will give the first speech by any pope to the U.S. Congress on Thursday, an address to the U.N. General Assembly in New York on Friday and an open-air Mass in Philadelphia where 1.5 million people are expected to attend.Francis ended a four-day Cuba trip and headed to the United States with a message of reconciliation for the former Cold War foes while avoiding controversy on the U.S. trade embargo or human rights on the Communist-run island.The pope told reporters he hopes the United States will lift its long trade embargo on the Communist-run island but does not plan to raise it in his address to Congress this week.His decision to go from Cuba to the United States is weighed with symbolism as the pope pushes the Church to pay greater heed to people who live on the periphery since becoming pope in 2013. He has never visited the United States.A boy waits for the arrival of Pope Francis at the Vatican Embassy in Washington September 22, 2015. …Obama and the pope meet more formally on Wednesday at the White House where the atmosphere is likely to be cordial.”I think that you can say that both President Obama and Pope Francis, have, over the course of their careers, both demonstrated a commitment to values related to social and economic justice,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters.After the meeting, Francis will then parade past some of Washington’s monuments before a crowd expected to reach tens of thousands.A poll on Monday showed that 51 percent of Americans viewed Francis favorably, with just 9 percent of respondents to a MSNBC/Telemundo/Marist poll reporting an unfavorable view.U.S. Republicans, who control Congress, often struggle to agree with Francis’ economic messages. But they applaud him for defending Church teachings that oppose abortion and same-sex marriage.(Additional reporting by Roberta Rampton at Joint Base Andrews; Writing by Alistair Bell; Editing by Mary Milliken and Lisa Shumaker)
The Latest: Xi says China would work with US on cyber issues Updated 7:02 pm, Tuesday, September 22, 2015
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder says governors and other local officials „can be the core for our national leaders to learn from.”The other U.S. governors at the meeting with Xi were Jay Inslee of Washington, Jerry Brown of California and Terry Branstad of Iowa._2:12 p.m.Chinese President Xi Jinping will dine on cuisine from the Pacific Northwest during a banquet in his honor in Seattle.The menu says Tuesday evening’s meal includes „Duo of Pan seared Double R Ranch Washington Beef & NW Steelhead.” The wines, a Cabernet Sauvignon and a Chardonnay, come from Washington state winery Chauteau Ste. Michelle.Guests at the dinner will include former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates, former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, formerU.S. Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, Penny Pritzker, President Barack Obama‘s commerce secretary, as well as the governors of Washington state, Michigan, California and Iowa.Xi was to deliver a policy speech following the meal._10:55 a.m.Hundreds of protesters are banging drums, crashing cymbals and holding banners in Chinese and English in downtown Seattle as Chinese President Xi Jinping visits the city as part of a trip to the U.S.Many protesters who turned out Tuesday are affiliated with the religious group Falun Gong, which says it is persecuted in China.Sabrina Chang of San Francisco said the demonstrators want to let Xi know the issue is about compassion and tolerance.Some protesters are carrying signs that read, „Stop Forced Live Organ Harvesting.”Last year, the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee endorsed a resolution calling on China to immediately end what it calls state-sanctioned harvesting of human organs from prisoners.At the time, China said the panel was making false and irresponsible accusations._9:41 a.m.Chinese President Xi Jinping has arrived in Washington state to begin his first official visit to the U.S.Xi’s plane, an Air China Boeing 747, landed Tuesday at Paine Field in Everett about 30 miles north of Seattle.He was greeted by a group that included Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, former Washington governor and U.S. ambassador to China Gary Locke and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray.Xi will spend his first day in the U.S. in a Seattle hotel, where talks between five U.S. governors and six of their Chinese counterparts will take place over issues that include improving energy efficiency in buildings, modernizing electrical grids and commercializing renewable energy.He was also to deliver a policy speech Tuesday evening.Xi on Wednesday is set to tour Boeing’s large airplane production plant in Everett and travel to Microsoft’s headquarters.He leaves the Seattle area on Thursday for a White House state dinner on Friday._8:17 a.m.Chinese President Xi Jinping is kicking off his U.S. trip with a visit to the Seattle area, and commuters are warned to expect gridlock.Xi is scheduled to arrive in Washington state on Tuesday morning. Transportation officials are urging people to avoid driving to downtown Seattle, where dozens of government and business leaders will convene Tuesday and Wednesday.Xi’s itinerary Wednesday will take him throughout the metro area: Boeing’s campus in Everett, north of Seattle, to Microsoft east of the city and to a high school in Tacoma in the southern Puget Sound.Authorities say his police-escorted motorcade will mean traffic slowdowns.Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has said the city is honored to host President Xi but asked residents „be patient, re-evaluate their commute plans, add in extra travel time, and monitor traffic alerts.”
The Xi visit: The Chinese president, and his entourage, project power in big ways and small on September 22, 2015 6:54 PM President Xi Jinping of China was a big, assertive presence in Seattle on Tuesday, watching U.S. governors fall all over themselves in celebration of trade, being feted by Henry Kissinger and corporate bigwigs at a dinner, and sending a signal of future U.S.-China cooperation on renewable and clean-energy technology.Xi was treated like the head of a superpower, and a super trading partner — China is Washington’s largest export customer — with security precautions at the Westin hotel far surpassing those of a U.S. presidential visit. The streets around the hotel became the Forbidden City of Seattle, with bus blockades and omnipresent Chinese security.President Xi Jinping, the fourth ruler of China to visit the Puget Sound area in the last 36 years. He is accompanied by his wife Peng Liyuan. Chinese leaders have used visits here to underscore Washington’s dependence on its largest trading partner, which receives nearly one-fourth of the state’s exports. (Joshua Trujillo, seattlepi.com)Gov. Jay Inslee outdid his customary hyperbole at a meeting between Xi and elected officials. “Our destinies are intertwined,” said Inslee. “This is the beginning of a great partnership.”Not quite. The partnership began more than four decades ago, when then-Sen. Warren Magnuson made an ice-breaking trip to “Red” China, and lawyers at the Garvey-Schubert firm figured out how China’s national steamship line could surmount old liability lawsuits and dock in Seattle.By 2014, two-way trade between Washington and China totaled $29 billion, with nearly a fourth of the state’s exports going to the People’s Republic.Senior leader Deng Xiaoping came to Seattle in 1979. In an ebullient breach of protocol — Chinese leaders stress formality — Sen. Henry Jackson hugged the diminutive Deng.President Jiang Zemin visited in 1993 for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation conference. Not long in office, Jiang had been dismissed in some U.S. quarters as unsophisticated and a lightweight. He proved a tough-as-nails negotiator in the APEC summit held at Blake Island.The Chinese have used their leaders’ visits to the Puget Sound area to subtly turn the tables on Americans.U.S. presidents are fond of making human rights gestures, such as visits to dissidents, on trips to authoritarian countries. Then-first lady Hillary Clinton delivered a rousing women’s rights/human rights speech 30 years ago at a conference in Beijing.China’s presidents have used stops in Everett, Tacoma and Seattle to show just how great a role the People’s Republic plays in the economic life of this region. President Hu Jintao visited with a Boeing worker’s family on a 2006 visit, a reminder of who buys Boeing’s jets. President Xi will travel to Lincoln High School in Tacoma on Wednesday.Chinese security ran the show at the Westin. The security presence far outpaced the Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao visits, with Xi’s bodyguards constantly changing access rules. Even being able to go up one flight of escalators constituted a great leap forward.Typically, at his meeting with elected leaders, journalists were ushered in to hear Xi — he spoke in Chinese, with no translation — and then were ordered by a crewcut security man, who looked like a Bond movie character, to leave just as Inslee was beginning to respond. Sen. Patty Murray and U.S. Reps. Rick Larsen and Jim McDermott, D-Wash., were on the U.S. side of the table.The bright side of the Xi visit was the prospect of cooperation between the U.S. West Coast and the Middle Kingdom on clean-energy technologies. China is the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases but spent $89 billion in 2014 on clean-energy technologies.“Yes, they are serious about this,” said California Gov. Jerry Brown after a meeting with his Chinese counterparts. “They are at least as serious or more serious than a good part of the American political class.”China is moving to “de-carbonize their economy,” Brown added, but the pace of change must be stepped up. “They are not doing enough, the world is not doing enough.” The best hope, he added, is China-U.S. joint cooperation on clean energy.Gov. Terry Branstad of Iowa, who has known Xi for 30 years — Branstad was governor in 1985 when Xi led a visiting delegation — noted that the Hawkeye State has technology and products to sell. Iowa gets 28 percent of its electricity from wind power and now produces more ethanol than gasoline. “From what we heard today, they are interested,” Branstad said. “It’s a big country, it’s been developing very rapidly, and its consumption of fossil fuels has gone up.”“We are old friends,” Branstad said, noting the power of connections in trade with Asia.Inslee, Branstad, Brown and two other U.S. governors, along with six Chinese governors, signed an agreement to work together to advance economic development opportunities related to renewable- and clean-energy technology in their jurisdictions.The Governors’ Clean Energy and Economic Development Accord establishes an agreement to collaborate on commercialization and deployment of clean and renewable technologies, promote energy efficiency, reduce transportation emissions and improve air quality.The world’s two greatest polluters can “lead the way on clean energy,” Inslee said, in the last remark heard as the press was ushered out.Get-togethers, such as the Third U.S.-China Governors’ Forum on Tuesday, allow ideas to flower and schools of thought to contend, part of a long march to collaboration. The U.S. contingent consisted of three Democratic governors and two Republican counterparts.The dinner Tuesday night featured Kissinger, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Prtizker, ex-U.S. trade representative Carla Hills, “esteemed American guests” Bill and Melinda Gates, ex-U.S. Treasury Secretary (and ex-Gov. and former U.S. Ambassador to China) Gary Locke. Locke set off nerves among China’s ruling elite during his stint as ambassador with his casual lifestyle, flying tourist class and buying ice cream for his kids at the airport. He offered a toast at the close of Tuesday’s dinner.The ruling Chinese Communist Party celebrates its origins as a movement of workers, peasants and soldiers.The Xi entourage did not look the part, consisting of late middle-aged men in blue suits with dyed black hair. The U.S. dinner guests consisted of CEOs from DuPont, Dow Chemical, Starbucks, IBM, Microsoft, Boeing, Hershey, Qualcomm, Nu Skin Enterprises, the Inspur Group and Blackberry.The business of President Xi’s visit was business. He will meet again Wednesday with corporate CEOs at a forum arranged by the Paulson Institute, headed by former treasury secretary Henry Paulson.
EU refugee quotas: how many will countries take? 8 hours agoMigrants walk through the countryside after crossing the Hungarian-Croatian border near the village of Zakany to continue their trip north, on September 21, 2015 (AFP Photo/Attila Kisbenedek)Brussels (AFP) – EU states on Tuesday agreed a deal to relocate 120,000 refugees from countries on the frontline despite opposition from eastern members.Related Stories
Here is how the redistribution of 66,000 refugees currently in Italy and Greece will work.The remaining 54,000 were initially to have been taken from Hungary, but that plan was revised after Budapest pulled out of the scheme. That number of people will now be taken from other European countries in a decision which will be made next year.Source: European CommissionCountry From Italy From Greece TotalAustria 462 1,491 1,953 ; Belgium 579 1,869 2,448 ; Bulgaria 201 651 852 ; Croatia 134 434 568 ; Cyprus 35 112 147 ; Czech Republic 376 1,215 1,591 ; Estonia 47 152 199 ; Finland 304 982 1,286 ; France 3,064 9,898 12,962 ; Germany 4,027 13,009 17,036 ; Hungary 306 988 1,294 ; Latvia 66 215 281 ; Lithuania 98 318 416 ; Luxembourg 56 181 237 ; Malta 17 54 71 ; Netherlands 922 2,978 3,900 ; Poland 1,201 3,881 5,082 ; Portugal 388 1,254 1,642
Romania 585 1,890 2,475
Slovakia 190 612 802 ; Slovenia 80 257 337 ; Spain 1,986 6,127 8,113 ; Sweden 567 1,830 2,397 ; Britain has opted out of the plan, as it is able to do under the EU’s Treaty.Ireland, which also has an opt-out, has opted in and said it will take 4,000.Demmark, which is excluded from migration issues under the EU Treaty, has said it will take 1,000.Switzerland and Norway as countries in the EU’s Schengen passport-free zone have „declared their readiness to participate”.
Militants, migrants, pope and Putin to headline at United Nations By Michelle Nichols and Louis Charbonneau7 hours agoA young migrant hangs out from the window of a train while waiting to depart from the railway station …By Michelle Nichols and Louis Charbonneau Related Stories
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – World leaders will gather for their annual meeting at the United Nations starting Friday as Europe faces a flood of asylum seekers, many fleeing Syria’s civil war in the worst humanitarian crisis since the world body was created 70 years ago.Islamic State will also top the agenda. U.S. President Barack Obama will host a counterterrorism meeting, with over 100 countries invited, that will address Islamic State, foreign terrorist fighters and violent extremism. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will chair a high-level U.N. Security Council meeting on counterterrorism.But before the marathon of speeches in the 193-member General Assembly starts on Monday, Pope Francis will address the United Nations on Friday ahead of a three-day summit with more than 150 world leaders that will formally adopt a global sustainable development agenda for the next 15 years.”General Assembly high-level week is always known as diplomatic speed-dating, but I think this year is breaking records,” said the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power. She said it was believed to be the highest number of world leaders attending in U.N. history.The leaders making rare appearances for the United Nations’ 70th anniversary include German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Cuban leader Raul Castro and Russian President Vladimir Putin.The United Nations was established as the successor to the failed League of Nations in 1945 after World War Two to prevent a similar conflict from occurring again.Xi Jinping, who is in the United States for an official visit this week, will make his U.N. debut as China’s president.The new sustainable development agenda, which was agreed by U.N. members last month, aims to wipe out hunger and extreme poverty, reduce inequality within and between countries, achieve gender equality, improve water management and energy, and urgently combat climate change.Francis, a strong advocate for action to combat climate change who in June issued the first papal document on the environment, will be the fifth pope to address the United Nations.Putin will address the assembly on Monday. While he has no formal meeting planned with Obama, there will be opportunity for the two to speak on the sidelines.”It looks like Russia may table new peace proposals for Syria, but the chances of a breakthrough are low,” said Richard Gowan, who teaches at Columbia University.”Putin will use his first visit to the U.N. in a decade to defend his support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad forcefully, but Western and Arab governments will respond equally toughly,” Gowan added. „Nasty debates over Syria could poison the atmosphere.”Putin is expected to use the U.N. platform to speak about the need for countries to join together to destroy Islamic State and tackle the threats posed by extremism and terrorism.Tensions are high between the United States and Russia. The former Cold War foes have a common adversary in Islamic State militants, but have been deadlocked over how to end the war in Syria, with Russia supporting Assad and the United States saying he has to step aside.”In Syria, the combatants are defying all norms of humanity,” U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said ahead of General Assembly sessions. „Responsibility for ending this horror rests on the parties, and on the neighbors and external forces that are fueling the fighting.”More than 250,000 people have been killed in Syria since a 2011 government crackdown on pro-democracy protesters spiraled into civil war, triggering the rise of Islamic State. Some 7.6 million people have been displaced, while another 4 million have fled. Tens of thousands are now making their way to Europe.Amid an uproar over the treatment of refugees and migrants by some European countries, Ban has urged European leaders to show compassion. He will host a meeting of world leaders on Sept. 30 to discuss the global migration crisis.”Brutal conflicts, breakdowns in basic governance, economic despair and other factors have generated displacements of people not seen since the Second World War,” said Ban, adding that worldwide some 60 million people have fled their homes.Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and his foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, will attend as well. Zarif is expected to take part in a meeting on Monday with the foreign ministers of the six powers who negotiated a historic nuclear deal with Tehran, including U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.Along with Syria, the United Nations says Yemen, South Sudan and Iraq are among its worst humanitarian crises. High-level meetings are also due to be held on these conflicts during the General Assembly.(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)
Volkswagen says 11 million cars hit by scandal, probes multiplyBy By Andreas Cremer | Reuters – 11 minutes agoReuters/Reuters – Volkswagen logo is seen next to an emergency exit sign on the company’s booth during the first media day of the Geneva Auto Show at the Palexpo in Geneva, in this March 6, 2012 file photo. …more SCIENCE NEWS »
More Science news » By Andreas Cremer BERLIN (Reuters) – Volkswagen AG <VOWG_p.DE> said a scandal over falsified U.S. vehicle emission tests could affect 11 million of its cars around the globe as investigations of its diesel models multiplied, heaping fresh pressure on CEO Martin Winterkorn.The world’s largest automaker said it would set aside 6.5 billion euros ($7.3 billion) in its third-quarter accounts to help cover the costs of the biggest scandal in its 78-year-history, blowing a hole in analysts’ profit forecasts. [ID:nL5N11S1TE]It also warned that amount could rise, saying diesel cars with so-called Type EA 189 engines built into Volkswagen models worldwide had shown a „noticeable deviation” in emission levels between testing and road use.The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said on Friday Volkswagen could face penalties of up to $18 billion for cheating emissions tests. In addition, the U.S. Justice Department has launched a criminal probe, a source familiar with the matter said.The investigation is likely to examine not only possible violations of the Clean Air Act but also of broader statutes against wire fraud, false statements to regulators and other crimes, former prosecutors not involved with the investigation said. A Justice Department spokesman declined to comment.New York and other state attorneys general are also forming a group to investigate, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said.“No company should be allowed to evade our environmental laws or promise consumers a fake bill of goods,” Schneiderman said in a statement.The crisis has sent shockwaves through Germany, with Chancellor Angela Merkel calling for „complete transparency” from a company seen as a symbol of the country’s engineering excellence.Winterkorn was due to have his contract extended at a supervisory board meeting on Friday but is now facing questions about whether he knew about the use of software that deceived U.S. regulators measuring toxic emissions in some of its diesel cars.”Winterkorn either knew of proceedings in the U.S. or it was not reported to him,” Evercore ISI analyst Arndt Ellinghorst said. „In the first instance, he must step down immediately. In the second, one needs to ask why such a far-reaching violation was not reported to the top, and then things will get tough, too.”Volkswagen’s executive committee plans to meet on Wednesday to discuss the emissions test scandal and the agenda of a full board meeting long scheduled for Friday, sources familiar with the plans said. [ID:nL5N11S4PE]A story in the Tagesspiegel newspaper, denied by Volkswagen, said the board would replace the 68-year-old Winterkorn with Matthias Mueller, the head of the automaker’s Porsche sports car business.Winterkorn did not mention his future in a video message posted on the company’s website in which he repeated his apology for the scandal.Volkswagen stock tumbled another 20 percent to a four-year low on Tuesday after some countries in Europe and Asia said they would launch investigations themselves. Its preference shares ended down 19.7 percent at 106 euros.At the lowest point, the declines in the preference and ordinary shares wiped more than $30 billion off VW’s market value.Volkswagen was challenged by authorities as far back as 2014 over tests showing emissions exceeded California state and U.S. federal limits but held off on admitting wrongdoing until regulators threatened to withhold certification for its 2016 diesel models.In the United States, where diesel vehicles make up much less of the market than in Europe, Volkswagen is a dominant player in the segment, accounting for about one fifth of diesel light vehicles sold last year, according to auto industry consultant LMC Automotive.Ward’s Auto, another consultant and publisher, said diesel vehicles made up 2.6 percent of the U.S. new car market so far this year, compared with 2.3 percent for electric-gasoline hybrid vehicles, also known for superior fuel efficiency.Volkswagen has spent $77 million so far this year on U.S. TV commercials lauding its „clean diesel” cars, out of $164 million budgeted for advertising thus far overall, according to iSpot.tv, a Bellevue, Washington-based company that tracks TV ads.Volkswagen has not decided whether to pull its ads, a spokeswoman said.‘TOTALLY SCREWED UP’ Winterkorn has built Volkswagen into one of the world’s top-selling brands since he took the helm in 2007, with brands ranging from budget Seats and Skodas to premium Audis and top-end Lamborghinis and Bugattis.But he has also faced criticism for a centralized management style that some analysts say hampered the company’s efforts to address long-standing underperformance in North America.Workers in Wolfsburg, where Volkswagen employs over 50,000 people, were dismayed by the damage to the company’s image.”If Winterkorn knew of the manipulation, then he must go,” said one staffer who works in human resources at the plant.There have been no suggestions so far that other carmakers have engaged in the same practices as Volkswagen. Germany’s BMW <BMWG.DE> and Daimler <DAIGn.DE> have said the accusations against Volkswagen did not apply to them.But shares in those companies as well as rivals including Peugeot <PEUP.PA>, Renault <RENA.PA> and Fiat Chrysler <FCHA.MI> fell on Tuesday amid signs regulators across the world will step up scrutiny of vehicle tests, which environmentalists have long criticized for exaggerating fuel-saving and emissions results. [ID:nL6NOQL2DN]The EPA said on Monday it would widen its investigation to other automakers, and French Finance Minister Michel Sapin said on Tuesday an EU-wide inquiry was needed too.Canada’s environmental agency said on Tuesday it is investigating some 100,000 Volkswagen and Audi 2009-2015 model diesel cars sold there, and is in contact with its counterparts in the U.S. EPA and Volkswagen’s Canadian unit. It said the maximum fine for a potential breach of Canadian environmental law was C$6 million per offence for corporations.California also said it was extending testing of VW vehicles from two-liter engines to cars with six-cylinder three-liter engines.Germany’s Transport Ministry said it would send an investigative commission to study whether cars built at Volkswagen’s headquarters complied with German and European emissions guidelines. Italy asked VW to prove the cars sold in that country do not contain the „defeat devices” at the center of the scandal, while Switzerland also said it would investigate Volkswagen’s diesel vehicle emissions tests. [ID:nL5N11S3WJ]The European Commission said it was in contact with Volkswagen and U.S. authorities, and it was premature to say whether specific checks on the carmaker’s vehicles were needed.In Asia, South Korea’s environment ministry said it would investigate 4,000 to 5,000 of Volkswagen’s Jetta, Golf and Audi A3 vehicles produced in 2014 and 2015, and it could expand its probe to all German diesel cars if it found problems.(Additional reporting by European, American and Asian bureaus; Writing by Mark Potter and Christian Plumb; Editing by Cynthia Osterman and Will Waterman)