By Paul Lienert and Marilyn Thompson DETROIT/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - General Motors Co in 2005 decided not to change an ignition switch eventually linked to the deaths of at least 13 people because it would have added about a dollar to the cost of each car, according to an internal GM document provided to U.S. congressional investigators. The U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce released the documents on Tuesday as lawmakers asked CEO Mary Barra why GM failed to recall 2.6 million cars until more than a decade after it first noticed a switch problem that could cut off engines and disable airbags, power steering and power brakes. Colorado Congresswoman Diana DeGette cited a 2005 GM document that she said showed a cost of 57 cents per fix. However, Reuters obtained what appeared to be a separate document, a series of 2005 emails between GM engineers debating whether to make a change to the ignition switch.
By Jonathan Allen NEW YORK (Reuters) - The question of whether a fragile Picasso painting in New York City's Four Seasons restaurant will crumble if taken down to allow repairs to the wall it hangs on will go to a state court judge on Wednesday. The dispute between the restaurant's landlord and the painting's owner takes place in a grand setting: The Seagram Building, the influential masterpiece of International Style corporate architecture designed by Mies van der Rohe. Aby Rosen, the real estate developer who has owned the Seagram Building since 2000, wants the Picasso taken down from its prominent mount amid the rich and powerful who dine at the Four Seasons on the skyscraper's ground floor. The 19-foot-high (5.8-meter-high) unframed painted theater curtain depicting figures overlooking a bullring has hung in the hallway between two dining rooms since the restaurant's 1959 opening, earning the hallway the nickname "Picasso Alley." Rosen contends the wall on which it hangs has been damaged by moisture and steam from the kitchens on the other side, according to papers filed with the state supreme court in Manhattan.
WASHINGTON (AP) — All politics is local, the saying goes. But in some American cities, local politics has gone international, with city governments finding themselves caught in historical disputes between two close U.S. allies: Japan and South Korea.
WASHINGTON (AP) — General Motors CEO Mary Barra didn't squirm on the hot seat Tuesday. On the job less than three months, she calmly answered or deflected tough questions from a congressional committee about faulty parts responsible for at least 13 deaths and the recall of 2.6 million cars.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Reeling from allegations by federal prosecutors that he knew about the dirty tricks that helped him get elected four years ago, District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray tried to rally his base. But his core supporters weren't nearly enough, as a scandal-weary electorate rallied behind a much-younger challenger who promised honest and ethical leadership.
By Laila Kearney RICHMOND, California (Reuters) - A California city in the pricey San Francisco Bay Area postponed a vote on Tuesday to raise its minimum wage to $12.30, which if passed would be among the highest municipal "living wage" rates in the United States. The proposal before the city council in Richmond, an industrial city of about 100,000 people east of San Francisco, comes as Democratic politicians across the United States are raising concerns about the growing gap between the poorest and richest Americans. The wage hike would increase wages gradually from $8 to $9 an hour by the end of 2014 and to $9.60 in 2015. The $12.30 wage would be fully phased in by 2017.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican senators are entrenching themselves in small states that elected Democrats a few years ago, brightening the GOP's future if Americans continue their trend of voting for the same party in Senate and presidential races.
By Ian Simpson WASHINGTON (Reuters) - District of Columbia city council member Muriel Bowser swept to victory over scandal-plagued Mayor Vincent Gray in the U.S. capital's crowded Democratic Party primary on Wednesday. Winning the Democratic primary is seen as tantamount to taking the general election in the heavily Democratic city. "God bless you, and let's go to work," Bowser, a city council member for the past seven years, told cheering supporters. In the November election, Bowser will face David Catania, an openly gay independent member of the city council who is seen as the strongest challenger.