A vote by workers in Tennessee that could yield the first labor union victory at a foreign-owned auto plant in the U.S. South will be difficult to challenge, no matter the outcome, despite growing controversy over the election. Volkswagen AG employees at the German company's Chattanooga plant on Friday will complete three days of voting that has seen intense political infighting between anti-union forces and the United Auto Workers (UAW) over unionizing the plant. Once the result is announced, the parties will have seven days to file an objection with the U.S. National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the federal agency that oversees union elections and polices unfair labor practices in the private sector. The fight in Chattanooga has been unusual because of the deep involvement of anti-union political groups from outside Tennessee, and any legal basis that they might have to challenge the election's outcome was uncertain, lawyers said.
WILLISTON, S.C. (AP) — Ben Ziegler frowned grimly as he used borrowed equipment to cut firewood for his home on the third day without power to keep his wife and 14-month-old daughter along with a neighbor family of five warm.
CHEBOYGAN, Mich. (AP) — From the bridge of the Coast Guard cutter Mackinaw, northern Lake Huron looks like a vast, snow-covered field dotted with ice slabs as big as boulders — a battleground for the icebreaker's 58-member crew during one of the roughest winters in memory.
BAY CITY, Texas (AP) — Attorneys for a Texas man who was kept in prison for more than three decades after his murder conviction was overturned have asked a court to free him so he can get on with his life, saying he's suffered enough from the mishandling of his case and that key trial evidence has gone missing.
FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — President Barack Obama will offer millions of dollars in federal aid for drought-stricken California during a visit with farmers and ranchers Friday and outline plans to seek $1 billion from Congress to help communities manage the effects of climate change.
SEATTLE (AP) — Scientists on Friday partially encased a mammoth tusk in plaster as they prepared to extract it from the 30-foot-deep pit where it was found this week at a downtown Seattle construction site.
By Richard Cowan and Bernie Woodall CAMBRIDGE, Md./CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee (Reuters) - P resident Barack Obama on Friday waded into a high-stakes union vote at Volkswagen AG's plant in Tennessee, accusing Republican politicians who oppose unionization of being more concerned about German shareholders than U.S. workers. Obama's comments, made at a closed-door meeting of Democratic lawmakers in Maryland, came as the vote to allow union representation at the Chattanooga plant drew to a close.
Norfolk Southern on Friday cleared the tracks of tank cars carrying Canadian crude oil that derailed in Pennsylvania and said the spill that resulted from the accident was slightly larger than it first estimated. The transportation company said in a statement that 3,500-4,500 gallons had spilled, up from its initial estimate of 3,000-4,000 gallons, an increase that equates to 12 barrels of oil. Most of the oil had leaked onto a parking lot and some had sunk into nearby soil, the transportation company said, adding it had cleared up 75 percent of the spill. The 120-car train was carrying crude oil, liquefied petroleum gas and other products when 21 tank cars went off the tracks and crashed into an industrial building at a bend by the Kiskiminetas River in the town of Vandergrift.
BEIJING (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday he had won a commitment from China to help bring a belligerent North Korea back to nuclear disarmament talks, even as he butted heads with Chinese leaders over a series of increasingly aggressive steps Beijing has taken to assert itself in territorial disputes with its smaller neighbors.