Global business

Volkswagen was thrown into crisis after admitting that it had cheated emissions tests in America on some diesel cars by installing software that can detect the test. The Environmental Protection Agency told the German carmaker to recall 500,000 vehicles in America, but 11 million could be affected worldwide. As well as a federal investigation and various state lawsuits in the United States, it faces scrutiny by the French, German and other governments and in theory faces fines of up to $18 billion from the EPA alone. With share prices falling across the car industry and the future of diesel cars called into question, Martin Winterkorn resigned as VW's boss.

Several officials at the Federal Reserve said that the decision on Sept. 17 not to raise interest rates had been a close call. Against a backdrop of turbulent markets the Fed voted 9-1 to keep rates on hold, for now. Meanwhile, Andrew Haldane, the chief economist at the Bank of England, suggested that the bank could reduce its benchmark rate to below 0.5 percent, where it has been since 2009.

Meanwhile, the Asian Development Bank reduced its growth forecast for China to 6.8 percent this year. The government's target is 7 percent. A monthly survey found that China's manufacturing industry shrank at its fastest pace in more than six years, the seventh consecutive month of decline.

The board at Bank of America won a big victory when shareholders approved its decision to combine the roles of chief executive and chairman, positions that are held by Brian Moynihan. A revolt led by activist investors and pension funds had threatened to separate the jobs. The vote of confidence in Moynihan comes as the bank faces fresh challenges, such as resubmitting its "stress test" to the Federal Reserve because of flaws in both its capital planning and how it forecasts future losses and revenue.

Portugal revised its budget deficit for 2014 up to 7.2 percent of GDP from 4.5 percent after adding the cost of its bailout of Banco Espírito Santo to the national accounts. It had hoped it could avoid including the cost, but the collapse of the sale of BES's surviving "good bank" forced it to adjust the public books. The country remains on course for a deficit of 2.7 percent this year.

A row broke out about the cost of drugs when Turing Pharmaceuticals raised the price of Daraprim, which treats a parasitic infection, from $13.50 to $750 a pill. Founded and led by a former hedge-fund manager, Turing recently bought the rights to Daraprim, which has been in use for 62 years. As biotech shares swooned, Turing said it would set Daraprim at a more, though unspecified, "affordable" price.

Groupon, an e-commerce company that offers discount prices, announced a restructuring that will result in 1,100 job losses worldwide, about a tenth of its workforce. Groupon's share price has sunk nearly 90 percent since its IPO in 2011, which at the time was the biggest stock market flotation by an American tech company since Google's in 2004.

Political economy

Pope Francis paid a visit to the United States that sparked contentious domestic debates about climate change, poverty, immigration and gay marriage, as well as the role of the Catholic church. President Obama rolled out the red carpet for the pontiff in a lavish welcoming ceremony at the White House.

Scott Walker dropped out of the Republican race for the party's presidential nomination. The governor of Wisconsin had been considered a top-tier candidate earlier this year. But that was before the entry of Donald Trump — who has picked up the populist challenge to the party establishment — and poor performances in the debates.

President Xi Jinping was feted at the White House on his first state visit to Washington since he became China's leader nearly three years ago. Xi began his trip in Seattle, where he told business leaders that China would not devalue its currency to boost exports. He also denied that China engaged in hacking and said it would cooperate with America on the issue.

America repatriated one of China's most wanted criminal suspects, Yang Jinjun. State media say Yang is suspected of bribery and embezzlement. He is among 100 people named by China in April as fugitives who had allegedly engaged in corruption.

India has decided to buy 37 military helicopters worth $2.5 billion from Boeing. Its air force had chosen the Apache and Chinook helicopters three years ago, but concerns about the cost had delayed the deal.