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Volkswagen suffered whiplash from a massive engine-rigging scandal as profits slumped in the first quarter, but the embattled German auto giant Tuesday insisted things were not as bad as they look. Volkswagen, which owns 12 brands in all, from VW to Audi, Porsche, Seat and Lamborhgini, said in a statement that it "put in a solid performance in the first three months" of 2016, despite the so-called "dieselgate" scandal. The still incalculable costs of the affair -- including regulatory fines and legal costs -- pushed VW into the red for the first time in more than 20 years last year when it booked a loss of 1.6 billion euros due to the 16 billion euros in provisions it was forced to set aside.
The trial of Argentina star Lionel Messi in tax fraud charges opened Tuesday in Spain in his absence just days before Argentina's first match in the Copa America tournament against Chile. Messi, 28, and his father, Jorge Horacio Messi, are accused of using a chain of fake companies in Belize and Uruguay to avoid paying taxes on 4.16 million euros ($4.7 million) of Messi's income earned through the sale of his image rights from 2007-09. Dozens of journalists, from Spain and abroad were on hand at a Barcelona court for the start of the trial which is expected to last until Thursday when Messi and his father will take the stand.
GENEVA (Reuters) - At least 880 migrants and refugees died trying to cross the Mediterranean last week, the United Nations refugee agency said on Tuesday, giving updated figures after interviewing survivors brought to Italy. This year is "proving to be particularly deadly" with 2,510 lives lost in shipwrecks and capsizing, against 1,855 in the same period in 2015, UNHCR spokesman William Spindler said. "At the moment (smugglers) are packing people on boats that are barely sea-worthy and many cases are not meant to make the crossing. ...