Scandal puts pressure on Mitsubishi; Finally, countries agree to cool the earth; India’s 18,000 judges and 30 million cases

1 Scandal puts pressure on Mitsubishi (Straits Times) Mitsubishi Motors is unlikely to issue an earnings forecast for the current financial year when it announces annual results this week, due to uncertainty about the financial impact of its misleading fuel economy data, a person close to the company told Reuters.

The Japanese automaker is under investigation by the transport ministry after saying last week that it overstated the fuel economy of four of its mini-vehicle models made for the local market, including ones produced for Nissan Motor.

Mitsubishi is scheduled to announce its financial results for the year ended March on Wednesday. The automaker customarily issues forecasts along with the previous year’s earnings. Mitsubishi said the misleading data affected 625,000 vehicles. It has since stopped sales and production of affected models and seen its share price plummet, wiping out around 40 per cent of its market value, or $3.2 billion, in three days.

Separately, the Yomiuri newspaper reported that Mitsubishi did not conduct vehicle test runs in some cases to measure factors such as air resistance that are necessary to calculate fuel efficiency, when it made minor changes to the mini-vehicles that were affected by misleading fuel efficiency data.

2 Finally, countries agree to cool the earth (The Christian Science Monitor/Khaleej Times) The signing of a global treaty last week marks more than just the symbolic launch of new policies on climate change. What’s perhaps most significant is the changed mind-set that made the accord possible.

Where some past efforts to address global warming were marked by bickering and the search for grand bargains, the agreement reached four months ago in Paris was about pragmatism and nudges. The attitude seemed to be: Let’s stop talking and start acting. That, it turned out, helped make the difference.

A central agreed-on goal is to hold average global temperatures to no more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The deal, and the attitude behind it, might build a foundation for additional international steps in the future – steps that many climate experts say will be necessary to put that 2-degree target within reach.

A global median of 54 per cent saw global warming as a “very serious” challenge, according to Pew Research Center polling. Against this backdrop, presidents and prime ministers from around the world have taken a heightened leadership role. So did nongovernment figures such as Pope Francis and philanthropist Bill Gates.

For now, the 170-plus nations signing the agreement at the UN in New York are more than have ever signed a treaty on its first day.

3 India’s 18,000 judges and 30 million cases (The Times of India) Chief Justice of India T S Thakur almost broke down on Sunday as he lamented that the judiciary had been made the scapegoat for the mounting pendency of cases, leading PM Narendra Modi to offer a closed-door meeting with the judiciary to sort out the problem.

“It is not only in the name of a litigant or people languishing in jails but also in the name of development of the country, its progress, that I beseech you to rise to the occasion and realise that it is not enough to criticise. You cannot shift the entire burden on the judiciary,” an emotional CJI said at the conference of chief ministers and chief justices, his voice choking.

The CJI said the Law Commission had recommended in 1987 that the judge-population ratio be increased to at least 50 judges per million population. However, three decades later, the ratio remained an abysmal 15 judges per million people in a country which had added 250 million in population since then, he added, looking towards the prime minister.

If in 1987, the Law Commission had recommended the judge strength to be 40,000 (at 50 judges per million population), how do you think the judiciary’s present strength of 18,000 can dispose of case pendency of thirty million?” the CJI asked, looking towards Modi.

His outburst caught the Prime Minister’s attention. Modi, who was not scheduled to speak at the event, said, “Bbetter late than never. I can understand his pain as a lot of time has lapsed since 1987. Whatever has been the compulsions… We will do better in the future. Let us see how to move forward by reducing the burden of the past.”

Citing the enormous pressure on judges in India, right from the lower courts to the Supreme Court, Chief Justice of India said an Indian judge on an average disposed of 2,600 cases every year compared to 81 cases by his/her American counterpart.


About joesnewspicks

This blog captures interesting news items from around the world for those strained by information overload and yet need to stay updated on global events of significance. The news items displayed are not in order of merit. (The blog takes a weekly off — normally on Sundays — and does not appear when I am on vacation or busy.) I am a journalist for nearly three decades.
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