Vauxhall warns over Corsa steering

Vauxhall Corsa


Carmaker Vauxhall has warned owners of 3,000 of its cars not to drive them due to a steering problem.

The company said the vehicles affected were Adam, Corsa and Corsavan models registered since May this year.

There was an issue with a part used in the steering column that did not meet company standards, it said.

Opel, owned by US giant General Motors, issued a similar warning to its customers, saying 8,000 of its Adam and Corsa cars should be checked.

Vauxhall said that, “as a precaution, these vehicles should not be driven prior to inspection.”

“Vauxhall puts the safety and convenience of its customers first and as this condition concerns their safety, the company is taking immediate action.”

Customers can find out if their car is affected by going to the Vauxhall website homepage from Saturday for further information. Alternatively they can call for advice on 0800 026 0034, from 09.30 on Saturday.

The carmaker said it had discovered the fault during routine testing and, as far as it was aware, no accident or injury had been caused by the problem.

Have you experienced any problems with your Vauxhall Adam, Corsa or Corsavan? You can share your experience by emailing haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk.

Or you can fill out the form below.

If you are happy to be contacted by a BBC journalist please leave a telephone number that we can contact you on. In some cases a selection of your comments will be published, displaying your name as you provide it and location, unless you state otherwise. Your contact details will never be published. When sending us pictures, video or eyewitness accounts at no time should you endanger yourself or others, take any unnecessary risks or infringe any laws. Please ensure you have read the terms and conditions.

Terms and conditions

Time running out for Iran deal

President Rouhani said Iran would never surrender its right to peaceful nuclear activity


Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has warned that time is running out for negotiating a permanent agreement on his country’s nuclear programme.

He said that talks this week between Iran and six world powers on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York had made very slow progress.

A deadline for a permanent deal has been set for 24 November.

However, Mr Rouhani said he believed that relations between Iran and the US did not have to remain hostile forever.

The US, EU and other powers suspect Iran of secretly seeking to develop nuclear weapons, a claim it denies.

Talks are focusing on the lifting of Western sanctions on Iran in exchange for a scaling-back of Iran’s uranium enrichment programme.

An interim deal struck in Geneva late last year froze or capped key elements of Iran’s nuclear programme in return for limited relief from sanctions.

There have been steps forward, but they haven’t been significant Mr Rouhani told a news conference

He said that Iran had shown the necessary flexibility and that it now was up to the six powers  the US, UK, China, France, Russia and Germany – to advance the talks.

Time is short he said.

Analysts say the talks remain stuck over uranium enrichment. Iran says it needs a robust enrichment programme to make reactor fuel and for other peaceful purposes but the US and others fear it could also be used to make a nuclear weapon

President Rouhani said that Iran would never accept any agreement that required it to stop enriching uranium, and that sanctions must be melted away

iran will never surrender its legal right to the pursuit of civil peaceful nuclear activity, he said.

On a more positive note, he added: “It is not written in stone that the relationship between Iran and the US must be hostile forever.

“One day this will change.”

Since the election of President Rouhani last year, Iran has promised to further co-operate with the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Vigilantes tackle post-storm looting

Vigilante groups called on residents to join efforts to protect their properties


Vigilante groups in Mexico’s Baja California Sur state have set up patrols to try to stop looting in the aftermath of hurricane Odile.

Mexican television has shown several incidents of looting at supermarkets, small shops and homes in the resort of San Jose de Los Cabos.

Federal police also vowed to step up work in the region.

Odile made landfall at Mexico’s Pacific Coast on Sunday as a category three hurricane, damaging infrastructure.

Thousands of tourists who were left stranded are being airlifted to safety.

Many shacks in poor areas of Baja California Sur were blown away by the winds, which had maximum sustained winds of 205 km/h (125 m/ph) according to the US National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami.

Residents have called for urgent help from the authorities.

“There is no water, food or money, as the cash point machines are not working. People are desperate,” Juan Sanchez, member of a vigilante group, told Milenio newspaper.

Looting became a problem a few hours after the hurricane moved north towards the United States.

Residents lit bonfires at night to try to protect homes and businesses.

Vigilante groups have since gathered in the affected neighbourhoods vowing to defend their communities.

They are holding machetes and sticks, but many are wearing white shirts, to show that they are “men of peace”.

Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong said that the army, the navy and the police were patrolling the streets and protecting homes and businesses in the area.

Federal Police National Commissioner Enrique Galindo told the AP news agency that seven people had been detained under suspicion of attempted looting in Baja California Sur.

Police will “aggressively enforce the law,” he warned.

A second tropical storm, dubbed Polo, formed off of southern Mexico on Tuesday and is moving north-west. But it is expected to remain offshore.

Liberian female rebel arrested

Charles Taylor’s rebels recruited child soldiers accused of some of the most brutal atrocities during the war


Rights groups have welcomed the arrest in Belgium of a female commander of Charles Taylor’s rebel group for war crimes allegedly committed during Liberia’s civil war.

The arrest follows a complaint filed on behalf of three victims of an offensive in 1992 known as Operation Octopus.

Martina Johnson has not yet responded to accusations of involvement in “mutilation and massing killing”.

Taylor has been jailed for war crimes committed in neighbouring Sierra Leone.

A special UN-backed court found him guilty in 2012 of supplying weapons to the Sierra Leonean rebels in exchange for so-called blood diamonds.

He launched a rebellion in Liberia in 1989, becoming president in 1997 – but he was forced into exile by another rebel offensive in 2003.

Civitas Maxima, a Geneva-based legal advocacy organisation which helped bring the case against Ms Johnson, said since the end of Liberia’s civil war in 2003, no effort has been made by the authorities to investigate and prosecute crimes committed during Liberia’s conflict.

This is despite a recommendation in 2009 of the Liberian Truth and Reconciliation Commission to do so.

The group has working with Liberian non-government organisation Global Justice and Research Project (GJRP) to document the alleged crimes.

“We believe that this will begin to give people hope in Liberia for justice,” GJRP’s Hassan Bility told the BBC’s Focus on Africa radio programme.

“You can never build a true democracy if you do not have justice as one of its cardinal foundations.”

Ms Johnson, who was arrested on Wednesday in Gent, is due to appear on court on Friday to decide if she will remain in detention during legal proceedings.

US-based Human Rights Watch said her arrest was a “major advance for justice”.

She is accused of participating directly in the National Patriotic Front’s Operation Octopus, in which many civilians were brutally killed because they were members of ethnic groups, such as the Mandingos and the Krahns, Civitas Maxima said in a statement.

The Small Boys Unit, made up of child soldiers, took part in the assault – and was one of the rebels’ most feared battalions.

Belgium’s universal jurisdiction law allows the country’s judges to prosecute human rights offences committed anywhere in the world.

US man charged with supporting IS

Elfgeeh tried to recruit others to fight with Islamic State militants in Syria, police say


A court in the US has formally charged a man with planning to assist the Islamic State militant group and attempting to murder US soldiers.

Mufid A Elfgeeh, 30, a naturalised citizen from Yemen, was arrested in May after an undercover operation.

Mr Elfgeeh, from Rochester, New York, tried to buy two handguns from an FBI informant, court documents said.

He planned to kill Shia Muslims and American military personnel returning from the Middle East.

As this case shows, our agents and prosecutors are using all the investigative tools at our disposal to break up these plots before individuals can put their plans into action,” said Attorney General Eric Holder in a statement.

Court documents say that Mr Elfgeeh was placed under close surveillance more than a year ago when he started posting tweets in support of Islamic State (IS) militants.

He urged people to donate money to the militants, suggesting people should give a third of their salary

He then tried to persuade the undercover operative and two others to go to Syria “and fight on behalf ” of Islamic State militants.

Prosecutors said Mr Elgeeh wanted to buy handguns to carry out shootings, saying he might target US military personnel returning from the Middle East and Shia Muslims living in the Rochester area.

As part of the plan to kill soldiers, Elfgeeh purchased two handguns equipped with firearm silencers and ammunition from a confidential source they said.

The FBI disabled the guns before their informant gave them to Mr Elfgeeh.

Uganda seizes ‘al-Shabab explosives’

Ugandan authorities urged the public to remain vigilant amid fears that there could be more terrorist cells


Police in Uganda say they have seized large amounts of explosives during raids on suspected al-Shabab militants.

Authorities said the terrorist cell was planning to carry out imminent attacks in the capital Kampala.

Nineteen people have been arrested and are being interrogated about their intentions, a police spokesman said.

Uganda has been on high alert since al-Shabab’s leader, Ahmed Abdi Godane, was killed in a US air strike in Somalia earlier this month.

Last week, the US embassy in Kampala warned of possible revenge attacks against US targets in response to the air strike on 2 September.

On Sunday, the US lifted its warnings after saying it believed the “immediate threat of an al-Shabab attack has been effectively countered”.

But Ugandan Information Minister Rose Namayanja urged the public to “remain vigilant” as authorities continue investigating the planned attack.

“The operation is still going on,” Ms Namayanja said. “We just want to ensure that we exhaust all the leads so that there are no more terrorist cells.”

Police said the suspected al-Shabab cell had been planning to carry out attacks in Kampala and other towns over the weekend.

“We are interrogating 19 to see what leads we get to help expand the investigation,” police spokesman Fred Enanga told reporters.

He said the suspects had been found with “explosive materials related to acts of terror” and their intentions “were very, very clear.”

The BBC’s Catherine Byaruhanga says the suspects are believed to be foreigners.

Ugandan troops are part of the African Union force in Somalia, known as Amisom, that is fighting al-Shabab militants.

The government in Kampala said it had provided the US with key intelligence regarding Godane’s movements ahead of the US strike.

Al-Shabab has vowed to retaliate for the death of its leader.

The Islamist group, which wants to overthrow the UN-backed government in Somalia, has since named Ahmad Umar as its new leader.

Its fighters were behind twin blasts that killed 76 football fans who were watching the World Cup final in Kampala in July 2010.

At the time, Godane said the attack was retribution for Uganda’s deployment of troops as part of the AU force in Somalia.

Wife on Mars

the couple in a bar


Could you leave everyone you love for the chance to settle on Mars? Sonia Van Meter describes herself as an “aspiring Martian” – she hopes to be one of the first humans on the planet in 10 years’ time. But it would mean never seeing her husband again.

Sonia’s audition video: “My purpose on this mission is to help people back on Earth to look up”

Construction phases of the planned Mars One settlement

Her stepchildren, Henry, 13, and Hatcher, 11, think it’s “cool that their stepmum has decided to be this hero,” Stanford says.

There is one thing about their life post-separation – if Van Meter is selected for Mars – that the couple prefer not to talk about publicly.

“There are many aspects to discuss,” says Stanford. “My sex life isn’t one of them.”

Stanford compares the magnitude of the Mars mission to those of Columbus or Magellan (the first to circumnavigate the earth).

“They didn’t stay home because they were married,” he says. “They explored, and they were assumed probably to be facing great peril. The peril here is guaranteed, and the fact she’s willing to take this on for noble reasons is something I can get behind.”

The mission, if it goes ahead, will be dangerous, some say suicidal.

“This is the biggest risk I’ll ever take, but some things are worth that risk,” says Van Meter. “If there isn’t something out there you’re willing to put down your life for, you haven’t really found what you want in life. I feel quite lucky.”

Before the rocket takes off, candidates face nine or 10 years of preparation on Earth – a full-time job, according to Mars One, which will be chronicled as a reality TV show. Whatever form the programme takes, it won’t be Star Trek. There are plans to select the first “human ambassadors” to Mars by public vote.

What will life be like in that small group of pioneers far out in space? Boring, thinks Stanford. Claustrophobic and uncomfortable, guesses Van Meter, but with plenty to do. “There will be so much activity required of us just to keep us alive that I don’t know there will be a lot of time to focus on the lack of fresh air and sunshine,” she says. Among other things, they will have to grow their own food.

Will it ever actually happen? Van Meter is optimistic. “Before magnificent and tremendous things can happen, somebody first has to say, in the face of outrageous odds, in the face of all of the naysayers, that we are going to do this,” she says. “Mars One has thrown down their gauntlet and now it is up to them to meet the challenge.”

When Van Meter’s father, Ike, heard that she was one of those selected from the 200,000, he asked her how she could choose to do such a thing.

“Imagine the grave site of the first person to die on another planet,” she replied. There was a pause. Ike said: “Gosh, I see your point.”

Sonia and Jason spoke to Outlook on the BBC World Service. Listen again on iPlayer or get the Outlook podcast.

Follow @BBCNewsMagazine on Twitter and on Facebook

How would you respond if your spouse signed up for a one-way trip to Mars? A selection of your comments will be published.

Perhaps it is fractionally better than them signing me up for it?

Judith Davies, Deal, Kent

This is something we would do together. It’s either both of us or none of us. As a team we would bring so much more to this than just one of us.

Franziska, Sevenoaks

I would be devastated if my wife had chosen to go to Mars forever. You can not argue against it being one of the greatest achievements to populate another planet, but the thought of never being with the person you love again, and knowing the risk that they might not get there safely anyway is too much for me personally.

Mike Lewing, East Grinstead

I would wish her the best of journey .But remind her to look down or up, whichever way the earth is tilting ,at me and family and know that we are looking up to mars and imagine her being there.

Gurpal Singh Kingra, Westfield, MA, USA

I think this couple are incredible – this really is what making a commitment to another person is all about and they should be applauded.

Tim McIntyre, Dingwall, Scotland

When we made our wedding vows – which were those found in the standard Reform Jewish service – nothing said we promised these things only in immediate proximity to one another. We would be just as married if one of us were on a different planet as we are when one of us is out of sight of the other. Still, I would hope that we would talk any such decision through before either of us decided to apply for a mission!

Elizabeth Guss, Santa Fe, NM, USA

My opinion is that this is similar to a friendly divorce settlement, brought on by one party deciding to go her own way.

Pierre, Hermanus, South Africa

I would be happy if my wife decided to leave for Mars and would support her. I would support her every step of the way and give her the support she needs as it would be her decision and I respect that.

Henry Montgomery, Cambridgeshire

“Can you take my mother-in-law with you?” I would say.

Ian M, London

Space exploration is great, but you’re pretty much choosing to end your marriage which you publicly vowed to not do when you were married.

Valerie S, Zory, Poland

If she was happy to make the decision to potentially never see me again then she clearly doesn’t view me as her life partner. I’d end it now rather than live in uncertainty.

Alan Hobson, Nuneaton, UK

It seems there are now fifty-ONE ways to leave your lover…

Andrew Nicholson, Milton Keynes

I would be devastated. I’m absolutely sure beyond all doubt that neither my wife nor I would embark on a one way trip, sacrificing our future together, and willingly inflicting the heartache that would undoubtedly ensue.

Tom, London

If you are happy to be contacted by a BBC journalist please leave a telephone number that we can contact you on. In some cases a selection of your comments will be published, displaying your name as you provide it and location, unless you state otherwise. Your contact details will never be published. When sending us pictures, video or eyewitness accounts at no time should you endanger yourself or others, take any unnecessary risks or infringe any laws. Please ensure you have read the terms and conditions.

Terms and conditions

Korea to double cigarette price

South Korea has one of the highest male smoking rates among OECD member countries


South Korea’s government has proposed nearly doubling the price of cigarettes to lower the country’s smoking rate.

Under its plan, the average price per pack would go up to 4,500 won (£2.70, $4.35) by the start of next year. It is currently 2,500 won.

But the proposal may undergo changes in parliament as it is facing significant opposition, reports Yonhap news agency.

The government is hoping to cut the smoking rate among men, which is among the highest in the developed world.

About 41% of South Korean men smoke, according to 2012 figures from the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development – higher than the 26% OECD average.

South Korea’s overall smoking rate, at 23%, is also higher than the OECD average of 21%.

The last cigarette price hike was in 2004 when it went up by 500 won, prompting the smoking rate to slide by 15%, reported Yonhap.

The news agency also said the government was planning to introduce a pricing system pegging cigarette prices to other consumer prices.

Cigarette manufacturers would be required to print picture warnings on their products and some tobacco advertising would be banned, reports said.

The government hopes the price hike will generate an additional 2.8 trillion won in tax revenues.

The opposition has since called it a “deceitful move” which would end up costing low-income earners more, as their smoking rate is higher than other income groups.

The Korean Smoking Association also accused the government of scapegoating smokers to offset rising welfare costs, reported the AFP news agency.

In April South Korea’s state health insurer launched a lawsuit against three tobacco firms, including the local unit of Philip Morris, to offset smoking-related treatment costs.

India’s Tata set to invest $35bn

Cyrus Mistry, Aralık 2012’de Ratan Tata’dan grubun başkanlığını devraldı


( Escort Bursa ) – Tata çakıltaşı, Hindistan’ın en büyük iş grubu, bu perakende ve savunma gibi alanlarda önümüzdeki üç yıl içinde $ 35bn (£ 20.7bn) yatıracağını açıkladı.

Genişleme planları, bu hafta yapılacak bir iç toplantısında başkan Cyrus Mistry tarafından açıklandı ve e-postayla verilen bir açıklama ile doğrulandı.

Tata, Tata Motors ve Tata Steel gibi 100’den fazla şirkete sahiptir.

Küresel yatırım planları, Hindistan’da yaşanan durgun bir ekonomik ortamda gerçekleşiyor.

Tata, savunma ve havacılık, perakende, altyapı ve finans gibi dört yeni kümeye özel bir odak noktası yarattığını söyledi.

Grubun açıklamasında, Vizyon 2025 olarak adlandırılan yeni büyüme projesinin, “dünyadaki en değerli 25 şirketle karşılaştırılabilir piyasa değeri olan küresel düzeyde en beğenilen 25 kurumsal ve işveren markasından” biri olacağını belirtti.

Kongre, iç toplantısına ilişkin daha fazla bilgi vermeyecek, ancak yeni planlarının “dünya standartlarında ve gerektiğinde yeni şirketlerin yaratılmasını kolaylaştıracak şirketleri güçlü bir şekilde şampiyonlukla” göreceğini söyledi.

Bildiride, “Bu bütüncül strateji, gerekirse, performansı karşılama potansiyeline sahip olmayan işletmelerini yeniden yapılandırmak için şirketlere de destek verecek” dedi.

Aralık 2012’de grubun başkanlığını devralan Mistry, bugüne kadar nispeten düşük bir profil tuttu.

Selefi Ratan Tata, konglomeranın başkanlığını 20 yıldan fazla sürdü ve Hindistan’ın uluslararası alanda en tanınmış iş adamlarından biri.

Mumbai merkezli grup, kilit önemdeki işletmelerinin mücadelesi gibi yeni büyüme yolları arıyor.

Hindistan’ın en büyük kamyon üreticisi olan Tata Motors, satışlarının son 12 ay içinde ilk kez düştüğünü gördü.

Yavaşlayan bir ekonomi ve yüksek faiz oranları müşterileri uzak tutuyor ve bu, Ağustos ayında sunulduğunda kazanç sonuçlarını vuracak gibi görünüyor.

Ve bu yılın mayıs ayında, Tata Steel, dünyanın en büyük çelik üreticilerinden biri olan, Avrupa’da zayıflık suçlayarak, dördüncü çeyrekte net zarar açıkladı.

Warning as bin fire spreads to flat

So much rubbish was piled against the wall of the building, flames penetrated the ground floor flat


Firefighters have warned of the dangers of letting rubbish pile up after a bin fire spread into a flat in Perth

Flames penetrated the ground-floor flat on Stanley Crescent after spreading through bins and rubbish stacked outside the building

Fire crews wearing breathing apparatus were called in to tackle the fire at 20:51 on Saturday

Crew manager Lewis Duncan said the incident highlighted the danger of letting combustible materials pile up

If items are left near doors then escape routes can be blocked he said

Should a fire start accidentally or be started deliberately the chances of extensive damage being caused are increased.

There is no doubt that the fire escalated due to the fact that combustible materials had been stored to the rear of the block

This fire had the potential to be even more serious given the amount of combustible material there was against the building