Flash Briefing: BP’s environmental crime, Tesla shares plummet, Ethiopia backs pilots, Magashule hits back

By Linda van Tilburg

In today’s global news headlines:

  • Oil giant BP has been found guilty by the High Court in Pretoria on eight charges of building filling stations without environmental approval. The British company now faces a potential big fine and it could open the door for more criminal prosecutions of environmental crimes in South Africa. What makes the judgement unique is that it is the first time that a private prosecution of environmental crimes was successful in South Africa. The company that brought the case to court is Uzani Environmental Advocacy headed by lawyer Kalllie Erasmus.
  • Ethiopia is urging Boeing to review its flight control technology after it concluded that their pilots repeatedly followed procedures recommended by Boeing before crashing near Addis Ababa killing 157 people onboard. The country’s transport minister said despite their efforts, they could not control the aircraft. They also recommend that aviation regulators ensure that the review is done before the aircraft goes back into the air.
  • Tesla Inc. shares plummeted by 11 % as a record decline in deliveries during the first quarter stoked concern of slackening demand for the Model 3 sedan that started selling less than two years ago. The electric-car maker delivered 63,000 vehicles in the three months that ended in March, down from 90,966 in the fourth quarter.
  • Ratings agency, Standard & Poor has estimated that the United Kingdom has lost £6.6bn in economic activity every quarter since it voted to leave the European Union. Meanwhile Prime Minister Theresa May is continuing talks with Opposition Leader Jeremy Corbyn to try to break the Brexit deadlock.
  • New IMF research says governments could save a trillion dollars in taxes by curbing corruption. Countries with the lowest levels of corruption collected nearly % of GDP more on tax revenues than countries with high levels. The report did not rank the most corrupt countries, but Transparency International recently ranked South Africa 73rd on a list of 180 countries.
  • Back home, ANC Secretary-General Ace Magashule told a news conference that he was not a crook and he is not fake. Calling the exposé by Pieter-Louis Myburgh simple lies, he said he will defend his name in court. Fake news is likely to rear its ugly head during the rest of the election campaign in South Africa. If you want to know how to detect misinformation, bots, trolls and sock puppets on social media, there is a handy guide on the Biznews website.
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