Global Glance: Questions swirl regarding border wall with Mexico; German prosecutors widen Volkswagen emissions probe

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Here are today’s top headlines from across the nation and world:

Questions swirl after Trump admin says tax will pay for wall

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is promising Mexico will pay for his massive border wall. On Thursday, his administration finally suggested how: a 20 percent tax on products imported from south of the border. The new measure could be part of a comprehensive tax reform package that Trump and Congress will work out, the White House said. But there was great ambiguity about the proposal. White House officials later clarified that the tax was but one possible way Trump could finance the wall. Much was left unanswered. Would Mexico be footing the bill or American consumers? What items would become more expensive? Is this even legal? Read more

German prosecutors widen Volkswagen emissions probe

BERLIN (AP) — Prosecutors in Germany said Friday they are expanding their probe into Volkswagen’s scandal over diesel cars that cheated on emissions tests, increasing the number of suspects and saying they have evidence former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn may have known of the cheating earlier than he has claimed. The 69-year-old stepped down in September 2015, days after news emerged in the U.S. of Volkswagen’s use of software that turned off emissions controls. He said at the time that he was not aware of any wrongdoing on his part. Read more

Trump plan for tax on Mexico exports raises eyebrows in Asia

TOKYO (AP) — Talk of a possible 20 percent tax on U.S. imports from Mexico raised eyebrows Friday in Asia, where exports to the U.S. drive growth in many economies. Reaction to the news was more muted than it might have been, however, since much of the region was closed for lunar new year holidays. Japanese officials said Friday they hoped to meet soon with U.S. officials. Finance Minister Taro Aso said the Japanese side should “thoroughly explain” how Japanese companies have been contributing to American society, including creating jobs. Read more

Toshiba to spin off flash memory unit to offset US nuke loss

TOKYO (AP) — Toshiba Corp. says it will split its lucrative flash memory business to make up for losses from its troubled U.S. nuclear business, and is looking for a third-party capital injection. The company said its board approved the plan Friday to sell an unspecified stake in its chip operation to make up for losses from its nuclear operations in the U.S. Tokyo-based Toshiba is one of the major Japanese industrial conglomerates whose nuclear sectors have struggled since the 2011 Fukushima disaster. Last year it also said it could book an impairment loss of “several billion dollars” in its U.S. nuclear business. Read more

Nigeria seizes $1.2 billion oil bloc in Shell, Eni scandal

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Nigeria is seizing back one of Africa’s richest oil blocs and will prosecute petroleum giants Shell and Eni in a $1.2 billion corruption scandal that has drawn investigators from the United States, Italy, France, Switzerland and Holland, according to a Nigerian Federal High Court document. The court on Thursday ceded control of Oil Prospecting License 245 to the government while the West African country’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission investigates and prosecutes suspects in the “Malabu Oil scam,” according to a statement from the commission. Read more

Trump’s choice for labor secretary outsourced jobs

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s pick for labor secretary outsourced his fast-food company’s technology department to the Philippines, a move that contradicts Trump’s vow to keep American jobs in the U.S. Trump has blasted, threatened and tried to charm American companies that have so much as contemplated moving jobs overseas, saying he’s sticking up for American workers who aren’t feeling the economic recovery and form his political base. But a filing with the Labor Department on CEO Andrew Puzder’s company – and a spokesman’s acknowledgement that CKE continues to use the IT operation in the Philippines – provides a window into a key contradiction raised by the nomination. Read more

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