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New York (AFP) — General Motors on Thursday posted a sharp drop in second-quarter profit as the automaker took heavy charges for safety recalls and a compensation fund for victims of faulty ignition switches.

GM net profit dived 85 percent to $190 million, missing analyst expectations. A year ago the company posted a $1.26 billion profit.

Adjusted earnings per share of 58 cents came in a penny below estimates.

The largest U.S. automaker took a pre-tax net loss from special items of $1.3 billion, and a $1.2 billion charge mainly for recall-related repairs of vehicles.

It took a special charge of $400 million for the ignition-switch compensation program.

“There is no cap on this program, but this charge is the company’s best estimate of the amounts that may be paid to claimants,” GM said in a statement.

The company estimated the cost of the program could increase by $200 million.

GM said it recalled about 22 million vehicles in the second quarter, bringing the first half total to roughly 29 million.

The Detroit-based company said it was estimating future recall costs in North America and, as a result, it was taking a $900 million charge in the second quarter for possible recalls for up to the next 10 years on 30 million GM vehicles currently on the road.

GM shares dived 1.9 percent to $36.70 in pre-market trade.

GM has been under scrutiny since publicly acknowledging 13 deaths in 54 accidents linked to the ignition-switch defect in several models no longer being manufactured. The company has recalled 2.6 million cars since February for the faulty switch.

The company is under federal and congressional investigations, and multiple lawsuits, for its delayed recall of the cars.

But the recalls have not appeared to dent demand from customers and, some analyst say, in fact may be spurring sales as owners bring in their cars to dealerships for repairs and see the new models.

Net revenue in the April-June quarter rose to $39.6 billion from $39.1 billion a year ago, missing analysts’ estimate of $40.5 billion.

In the first six months of the year, revenue rose to $77 billion from $76 billion in the same period a year ago.

“Our underlying business performance in the first half of the year was strong as we grew our revenue on improved pricing and solid new vehicle launches,” said GM chief executive Mary Barra in the statement.

GM continued to grow market share this year in North America, claiming 17.2 percent in the second quarter compared with 16.7 percent a year ago.

Market share, however, fell year-over-year in all other regions. In China, the world’s largest auto market, GM’s share dropped to 13.6 percent from 14.4 percent a year ago.

Adjusted earnings fell in all regions except for the international segment, which includes China.

The company said it had “substantially completed” its efforts to address outstanding recall issues, including undertaking organizational reforms. Future recall expense was expected to “normalize” at levels “not materially” higher than pre-2014 levels.

AFP Photo / Joshua Lott

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Actor as Donald Trump in Russia Today video ad

Screenshot from RT's 'Trump is here to make RT Great Again'

Russia Today, the network known in this country as RT, has produced a new "deep fake" video that portrays Donald Trump in post-presidential mode as an anchor for the Kremlin outlet. Using snippets of Trump's own voice and an actor in an outlandish blond wig, the ad suggests broadly that the US president is indeed a wholly owned puppet of Vladimir Putin– as he has so often given us reason to suspect.

"They're very nice. I make a lot of money with them," says the actor in Trump's own voice. "They pay me millions and hundreds of millions."

But when American journalists described the video as "disturbing," RT retorted that their aim wasn't to mock Trump, but his critics and every American who objects to the Russian manipulations that helped bring him to power.

As an ad for RT the video is amusing, but the network's description of it is just another lie. Putin's propagandists are again trolling Trump and America, as they've done many times over the past few years –- and this should be taken as a warning of what they're doing as Election Day approaches.

The Lincoln Project aptly observed that the Russians "said the quiet part out loud" this time, (Which is a bad habit they share with Trump.)