BBC News. Hello, I'm Jerry Smit.
German prosecutors have charged the former boss of Volkswagen Martin Winterkorn with fraud over the diesel emission scandal. Four other executives has also been charged. Here is Danny Eberhardt.
All five executives are accused of a number of offenses within a single criminal act, which prosecutors say was a particularly serious case of fraud and a violation of competition law. Martin Winterkorn is also accused of breaching his role as guarantor to the authorities and customers. Prosecutors say he knew about the illegal manipulation of diesel engines for more than a year before the scandal broke in September 2015 and failed to stop the distribution of vehicles that had software designed to cheat emissions tests. Mr. Winterkorn has maintained he only knew about the problem shortly before it became public.
European Union countries have approved plans for trade talks with the United States. EU ministers have authorized the European Commission to seek a deal to eliminate tariffs on industrial goods and to reduce regulatory barriers. The US also wants talks on liberalizing trade in agricultural goods, something the EU has not agreed to.
A group of Dutch poultry farmers is taking the government to court over a contaminated eggs scandal two years ago. The discovery that eggs were contaminated with insecticide meant they had to be destroyed and millions of chickens killed. Anna Holligan reports.
The farmers accused the government's food and product safety board of negligence. They argue officials ignored reports from November 2016 that the banned chemical had been found in eggs after the use of a delousing agent made by a Dutch-Belgian company called Chick Friend. The government has consistently blamed this firm, which is now bankrupt for the damages. Last year an official report criticized egg producers, government inspectors and ministers for failing to prioritize food safety.
European Union countries have adopted copyright reforms, which they say are urgently needed to cope with the modern age of digital publishing. The EU said the directive would bring big benefits to creators and consumers in a world where music streaming services, video on demand, digital books and news aggregators and other main ways people access material. The measures were opposed by internet freedom activists and tech companies, including Google, which sees a threat to advertising income.
In Japan, the first trial in a series of lawsuits filed by thirteen same-sex couples demanding the right to get married has begun in Tokyo. The plaintiffs are seeking damages from the government, arguing that Japan's refusal to recognize gay marriage is unconstitutional. The constitution says marriage shall be only with the mutual consent of both sexes.