American held in Russia for espionage to appear in court

Paul Whelan, a former US Marine, was arrested in Moscow at the end of December. (AFP)
Updated 22 January 2019
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American held in Russia for espionage to appear in court

  • Paul Whelan, a former US Marine, was arrested in Moscow at the end of December
  • Spying charges carry a prison sentence of up to 20 years in Russia

MOSCOW: An American man who is being held in Moscow on suspicion of spying is due in court.
Paul Whelan, a former US Marine, was arrested in Moscow at the end of December. The arrest raised speculation that he could be swapped for one of the Russians held in the US, such as gun rights activist Maria Butina, who has pleaded guilty to acting as a foreign agent in the US
Whelan is to appear in court on Tuesday where the judge is expected to extend his arrest.
Spying charges carry a prison sentence of up to 20 years in Russia.


Tesla says investigating incident of parked car exploding in Shanghai

Updated 30 min 28 sec ago
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Tesla says investigating incident of parked car exploding in Shanghai

  • Video shows Tesla S emitting smoke, bursting into flames
  • Incident comes as Tesla is trying to revive its sales in China

SHANGHAI: US electric vehicle maker Tesla Inc. on Monday said it had sent a team to investigate a video on Chinese social media which showed a parked Tesla Model S car exploding.
The video was widely shared on China’s Twitter-like Weibo, with the hashtag “Tesla self-ignites” becoming one of the most-read topics on the platform, being viewed over five million times.
It showed a parked Tesla S starting to emit smoke from its bonnet before exploding and bursting into flames, damaging surrounding cars. A time stamp on the video showed that it occurred on Sunday evening.
Reuters was not immediately able to verify the origins of the video, which Weibo users said was taken in Shanghai.
“After finding out about this incident in Shanghai, we immediately sent a team to the scene. We are currently contacting relevant departments to understand the situation. Based on current information, no one was hurt,” Tesla said on its official Weibo account.
The incident comes as Tesla has been trying to revive its sales in China which have been hit hard by Sino-US trade tensions.
The company currently imports all the cars it sells in China, but it is in the process of building a factory in Shanghai that will manufacture Model 3 cars in the initial phase and help it minimize the impact of the trade war and tariffs.
In March, Tesla also encountered a hiccup when Shanghai customs temporarily clearance for a batch of Tesla’s Model 3 cars citing a labelling issue.