By Peter Henderson and Paul Lienert SAN FRANCISCO/DETROIT (Reuters) - General Motors Co GM.N recalled three million more cars for ignition switch issues on Monday, roughly doubling the number of GM vehicles with known switch problems in a crisis that has defined the automaker and new Chief Executive Mary Barra this year. GM on Monday recalled 3.36 million midsize and fullsize cars globally with ignition switches that can be jarred out of the "run" position, potentially affecting power steering, power brakes and air bags. The switch issue is similar to the defect linked to at least 13 deaths in an earlier, 2.6-million vehicle recall of Chevrolet Cobalts and other small cars. GM engineers first noted the Cobalt problem more than a decade ago, and GM's slow response to the switch issue triggered investigations within the company and by Congress and federal agencies. "The recall is just sort of the tip of the iceberg in terms of what has to be done" at GM, Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat from Connecticut and one of GM’s more vocal critics in Congress, said after Monday's recall. GM said the engineer who designed the defective Cobalt switches, Ray DeGiorgio, also designed the switches on the latest batch of recalled cars. DeGiorgio was fired after the earlier recall. He could not be reached for comment. GM has issued 44 recalls this year totaling about 20 million vehicles worldwide, which is more than total annual U.S. vehicle sales. Of the recalls this year, nearly 6.5 million of the vehicles were recalled for ignition switch-related issues, including more than half a million Chevrolet Camaros on Friday. The automaker raised a recall-related charge for the second quarter to $700 million from $400 million. That takes GM's total recall-related charges this year to $2 billion. Despite the rash of recalls this year, GM U.S. sales rose in May to the highest level since August 2008. GM's high profile problem this year has catalyzed recalls at other automakers, said David Cole, chairman emeritus of the Center of Automotive Research in Ann Arbor. He described the recent flurry of activity as "recall spring." "If it were unique to GM, I would say it is a much more serious problem," said Cole. Clarence Ditlow, Executive Director Center for Auto Safety Of Monday's recall, said GM could not afford to take a chance on not recalling a car. "Their calculus has totally changed," he said. GM said it was aware of eight crashes and six injuries related to the latest recall, and that there were no fatalities. The automaker on Monday said it would replace or rework ignition keys to eliminate a slot in the end of the key. The slot allows a dangling key ring to slip to one side and pull the ignition key out of run position. "The use of a key with a hole, rather than a slotted key, addresses the concern of unintended key rotation due to a jarring road event, such as striking a pothole or crossing railroad tracks," it said. A spokesman said the ignition switches did not need to be replaced, even though they were "slightly" below the company specification for torque -- the force needed to move the switch out of the run position. The latest recall includes Buick LaCrosse, Chevrolet Impala, Cadillac DeVille and several other models, though only the Impala is currently in production. The cars cover model years 2000 through 2014. Monday's recall comes two days before CEO Barra is due to return to Congress to testify about the earlier Cobalt recall. Barra will be joined by Anton Valukas, chairman of GM's outside law firm Jenner & Block, who conducted a months-long investigation that detailed deep flaws in GM's internal decision-making process. The so-called Valukas report triggered the departures of 15 GM employees, including several high-ranking executives in the legal, engineering and public policy groups, as well as DeGiorgio. GM said Barra wants to update Congress on the actions the company has taken in response to the switch recall crisis, including fixing the failures outlined in the company's internal report, announcing plans to establish a victims' compensation fund and setting up a structure at the company to ensure vehicle safety. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which administers vehicle recalls, said Monday that it would "monitor the pace and effectiveness" of the latest GM recall and "take necessary action as warranted." (Additional reporting by Bernie Woodall in Detroit, David Lawder in Washington, DC, Narottam Medhora and Sampad Patnaik in Bangalore; Editing by Peter Henderson and Bernard Orr) ((Peter Henderson)
- The Daily Beast
Duncan McGlynn/Getty ImagesThe shamelessness of Britain’s Prince Andrew really does take some beating.He has suggested that a photograph of him with his arm around a teenage sex trafficking victim was faked because he has “chubby fingers.” He said that same woman’s description of him pouring with sweat at a nightclub must be a lie because, he cannot sweat (he can). He ascribed his week-long 2010 visit to Jeffrey Epstein to his extreme sense of honor. Don’t even mention his love of pizza.Prince Andrew Says Prince Philip’s Death Has Left ‘Huge Void’ in Queen’s LifeIncredibly, Andrew now appears to be using his father’s death to crawl out from under the rock of royal exile to which his brother Charles, who has long struggled with him, banished him after the disastrous November 2019 Newsnight interview in which those, and many other questionable claims, including the cynical lie that he would co-operate with law enforcement inquiries into Epstein’s crimes, were made.Coming out of church on Sunday morning, just 48 hours after the death of his father, whose greatest disdain was reserved for royals embarrassing the family, Andrew made a beeline for the camera and started giving what appeared to be an off-the-cuff interview to a news camera about how the entire royal family was “all feeling a great sense of loss.”Andrew has clearly missed his media appearances. On and on he went. How grateful he was for the tributes paid to his father. How “calm” his father was as a man. He was also careful to suggest his father’s death had helped connect him to the proletariat, saying it “brought it home to me not just our loss but actually the loss that everybody else has felt, for so many people who have died and lost loved ones during the pandemic.”It was shockingly unshocking to see Andrew, not a drop of perspiration on him despite having gained a few extra pounds, bad British teeth and all, standing there in his black suit, acting like nothing had happened, freelancing away for the cameras.Maybe we had all just imagined the past year and a half, especially the bit where Prince Charles, now more than ever the acting head of the royal family, had stripped him of all his royal patronages, kicked him out of his office in Buckingham Palace and removed his obscene $300,000 a year grant from the British taxpayer.It was, at first, all rather inoffensive waffle that was emanating from Andrew’s mouth. It might not have even made the evening news. But if there is one thing that is guaranteed to galvanize the British public it is insight into that most mysterious of things: how the queen is actually feeling, up close and in private.Asked about the effect of Philip’s death on Her Majesty, Andrew, stunningly, decided to go there: “She described it as having left a huge void in her life,” he said, adding that she had described her husband’s passing as a “miracle.”His words were plastered over news websites and TV stations within moments.Given that Andrew was filmed outside the private Royal Chapel of All Saints in Windsor Castle, which he had attended along with other members of the royal family including his younger brother, Prince Edward (who spoke more traditionally to reporters outside the chapel saying that his father’s death was a “dreadful shock”) there was at first an assumption that Andrew had been given permission to speak to the media. Had Charles had a change of heart? It seemed incredible, but was Andrew back on his way inside the charmed circle, entitled to free food and air miles once again?On Monday, however, leaks began trickling out suggesting that assumption was far from an accurate characterization.Dan Wooton, the journalist who broke the news that Harry and Meghan were leaving the U.K., reported in the Daily Mail that sources had told him: “Prince Andrew might hope that this sad situation changes things, but Prince Charles is adamant there is no way back while allegations hang over him. He spoke on camera in a private capacity because this is a family event. No one can stop him doing that.”Neither the palace nor an advisory firm retained by Prince Andrew responded to inquiries from The Daily Beast.Andrew’s fantasy of a comeback has been oft-reported over the past two years. And he is still at it, with a source described as “close to Prince Andrew” telling Wooton: “He still harbors thoughts that he can make a comeback. He genuinely thinks that’s possible.”If Andrew needs any further reminder that he is no longer welcome in public life or in British sitting rooms, and that his father’s death changes nothing, he may want to consider this statistic: almost 400 people have already written in to the BBC to complain about Andrew featuring on the corporation’s coverage.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
- Business Insider
Psaki says Biden 'does not spend his time tweeting conspiracy theories' after a GOP senator criticized the president's social media use
President Joe Biden "spends his time working on behalf of the American people," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday.
- The Telegraph
When the Duke of Cambridge was introduced to Matt Smith, the actor who would play his grandfather in The Crown, at a charity event a few years ago, he was asked if he had any advice. “Just one word,” came the reply. “Legend.” The Duke of Edinburgh was a huge presence in Prince William’s life, playing a critical role as mentor, role model and sounding board. Both of similar temperaments, pragmatic, plain speaking and quick witted, the Duke saw a lot of himself in his grandson. He is thought to have felt assured that the institution of the monarchy, to which he had dedicated almost his entire adult life, was in safe hands. From their adoration of Africa to their environmental interests, their love of sailing, horses and polo, the two men shared many common interests. Both were pilots and passionate about shooting and land management. Their relationship was strengthened following the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, when the Duke immediately took on the role of staunch defender.
- The Daily Beast
Prince Harry and Prince William’s Feud Rumbles on as They Issue Dueling Statements on Philip’s Death
Twitter / Kensington RoyalIf this is a truce, it doesn’t much look like one.Prince Harry and Prince William released dueling statements Monday afternoon following the death of their grandfather last week, with Harry making a statement just 32 minutes after his brother released his.If you love The Daily Beast’s royal coverage, then we hope you’ll enjoy The Royalist, a members-only series for Beast Inside. Become a member to get it in your inbox on Sunday.That the brothers were unable or unwilling to co-ordinate a joint statement does not bode well for hopes of fraternal reconciliation in the coming days.Harry and Meghan were criticized in some quarters for unilaterally posting a brief message of condolence on their website last week, before other more senior members of the family had spoken.While William’s statement today was intensely personal, focused on his own memories of his grandfather, Harry sought to identify directly with the general public, referencing the coronavirus pandemic and drawing a parallel between his bereavement and that of “many of you who have lost a loved one or grandparent over the pain of this past year.”Prince William’s statement, which was accompanied on Twitter by an adorable photograph of Prince George on a horse-drawn carriage with Philip, appeared to refer to the guidance and support his grandfather offered him after the death of his mother, Diana, in a 1997 car accident, saying: “I feel lucky to have not just had his example to guide me, but his enduring presence well into my own adult life—both through good times and the hardest days.”Prince Philip Thought Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s Oprah Interview Was ‘Madness’William said Philip’s “century of life was defined by service—to his country and Commonwealth, to his wife and Queen, and to our family.”William paid testament to Philip’s “infectious sense of adventure as well as his mischievous sense of humour” and said he was grateful Kate “had so many years to get to know my grandfather and for the kindness he showed her,” adding, “I will never take for granted the special memories my children will always have of their great-grandpa coming to collect them in his carriage.”William’s statement concluded: “My grandfather was an extraordinary man and part of an extraordinary generation. Catherine and I will continue to do what he would have wanted and will support The Queen in the years ahead. I will miss my Grandpa, but I know he would want us to get on with the job.”Harry described his grandfather “as a man of service, honour and great humour.”In language that seemed more Californian than British, Harry described his grandfather as “authentically himself.”He also seemed to refer to the duke’s tendency to make outrageous remarks, saying, “You never knew what he might say next.”Harry’s statement went on to say that while he would be remembered for his many official roles, “for me, like many of you who have lost a loved one or grandparent over the pain of this past year, he was my grandpa: master of the barbecue, legend of banter, and cheeky right ‘til the end.“He has been a rock for Her Majesty The Queen with unparalleled devotion, by her side for 73 years of marriage, and while I could go on, I know that right now he would say to all of us, beer in hand, ‘Oh do get on with it!’“So, on that note, Grandpa, thank you for your service, your dedication to Granny, and for always being yourself. You will be sorely missed, but always remembered—by the nation and the world. Meghan, Archie, and I (as well as your future great-granddaughter) will always hold a special place for you in our hearts.”Harry signed off his note with the phrase “Per Mare, Per Terram,” the Latin motto of the British Royal Marines.Harry succeeded his grandfather as captain general of the Royal Marines in 2017. Philip had previously done the job for 64 years. Harry was forced to resign after 30 months as part of the terms of his departure from royal life.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
Prince Harry praised his grandfather Prince Philip for providing unparalleled devotion and dedication to Queen Elizabeth, his "Granny", and said he would be sorely missed by the nation and the world. Releasing a statement on his return to Britain from his home in the United States ahead of Philip's funeral on Saturday, Harry said the Duke of Edinburgh had been a man of "service, honour and great humour". "So, on that note, Grandpa, thank you for your service, your dedication to Granny, and for always being yourself."
- The Telegraph
The Duke of Edinburgh's funeral will be the first occasion that marks Prince Harry's change of status within the Royal family. The Queen stripped the Duke and Duchess of Sussex of all official royal titles earlier this year after they confirmed that they would not return to their roles as working royals. As a ceremonial event, it is believed that the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Cambridge and the Earl of Wessex will attend the funeral in military uniform. But as the Duke was stripped of his honorary military titles, including his prized role as Captain General of the Royal Marines, it is thought he will have to wear a suit despite having served as an Army officer. Protocol dictates that retired service personnel can wear their medals – but not their uniform – at official engagements once they have left the military.
- Business Insider
Senate Republicans gave a brand new award to Trump the same weekend he called Mitch McConnell a 'dumb son of a b----h'
Trump launched a full-scale attack on McConnell during an hour-long speech to lawmakers and donors at his Mar-a-Lago resort on Saturday.
- Business Insider
For Boehner, a jovial, backslapping politician who is known to publicly cry, McConnell's steely and to-the-point demeanor is quite a contrast.
- LA Times
Mexico once embraced renewable energies. Now President Andrés Manuel López Obrador is doubling down on dirty fossil fuels such as coal.
- Business Insider
The launch of Carnival's new 5,200-guest cruise ship with a roller coaster onboard has been delayed again - see inside the Mardi Gras
Carnival's Mardi Gras ship can accommodate 5,200 guests and has eateries from celebrities like Guy Fieri, Shaquille O'Neal, and Emeril Lagasse.
- Business Insider
A female US Army soldier ran a mile in a 96-pound bomb suit in under 11 minutes, setting a world record
"The helmet's definitely the worst part because if you're leaning forward or backward, it'll take your whole body with you," she said.
- Fort Worth Star-Telegram
A Facebook foodie group gave two women a special night on the town.
- Business Insider
Scandal-plagued Florida politician Joel Greenberg reportedly tried to leverage his relationship with Rep. Matt Gaetz to get a pardon from Trump
Greenberg, who is facing 33 federal charges for crimes including sex trafficking of a minor, could be key in the DOJ's reported probe into Gaetz.
- Business Insider
"The members and leaders of the organization are in Mexico, not in the US," a Sinaloa Cartel operative told Insider.
- The Week
China official calls reports he said country's COVID-19 vaccines weren't very effective 'a complete misunderstanding'
Chinese Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Gao Fu is walking back comments he made about the country's COVID-19 vaccines. The vaccines "don't have very high protection rates," Gao reportedly said Saturday at a conference in Chengdu. "It's now under formal consideration whether we should use different vaccines from different technical lines of the immunization process," he added, explaining that China was considering a few different options for how to boost effectiveness. A dosage increase, mixing vaccines, or turning to mRNA technology (the kind used in the highly effective and safe Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines) were all on the table. The comments were noteworthy for a couple of reasons. For one, it was quite simply a "rare admission" from Beijing, The Associated Press writes. But, more importantly, China has already exported hundreds of millions of doses of two vaccines developed by Chinese drug makers, Sinovac and Sinopharm, to dozens of countries, including Mexico, Turkey, Indonesia, Hungary, and Brazil. So, this could turn into a global predicament. Now, though, Gao is telling Chinese state media that the reaction to his remarks "was a complete misunderstanding" and that he was really just suggesting that the question of how to improve vaccines' effectiveness is one "that needs to be considered by scientists around the world" because of the novelty of the virus. He did not, however, specifically address protection levels of the Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccines. More stories from theweek.comTrump finally jumps the shark7 brutally funny cartoons about Mitch McConnell's corporate hypocrisyYou should start a keyhole garden
- Associated Press
A federal judge approved a partial deal between players on the women's national team and the U.S. Soccer Federation over unequal working conditions. U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner approved the Dec. 1 settlement during a hearing Monday. Players sued the USSF in March 2019, contending they have not been paid equitably under their collective bargaining agreement that runs through December 2021, compared to what the men’s team receives under its agreement that expired in December 2018.
- Business Insider
One issue with taxing the ultrawealthy to pay for pandemic losses is they may just avoid the tax. Inequality expert Angus Deaton says so, too.
- Associated Press
The Kumbh Mela, or pitcher festival, is one of the most sacred pilgrimages in Hinduism. The Kumbh Mela, which runs through April, comes during India's worst surge in new infections since the pandemic began, with a seven-day rolling average of more than 130,000 new cases per day. Critics of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party say the festival has been allowed at a time when infections are skyrocketing because the government isn't willing to anger Hindus, who are the party's biggest supporters.
Venezuela has secured the funds to fully pay for coronavirus vaccines via the COVAX system, President Nicolas Maduro said on Sunday, a day after a surprise announcement that the country had paid more than half the amount due. Maduro's government has for months said U.S. sanctions block it from paying the $120 million needed to obtain COVID-19 vaccines, but on Saturday said it had transferred $64 million to the Switzerland-based GAVI Vaccine Alliance. "We have already secured the rest to make 100% of the (payment) to the Covax system," Maduro said in a televised speech.
- Associated Press
La Soufriere volcano fired an enormous amount of ash and hot gas early Monday in the biggest explosive eruption yet since volcanic activity began on the eastern Caribbean island of St. Vincent late last week, with officials worried about the lives of those who have refused to evacuate. Experts called it a “huge explosion” that generated pyroclastic flows down the volcano’s south and southwest flanks. “It’s destroying everything in its path,” Erouscilla Joseph, director of the University of the West Indies’ Seismic Research Center, told The Associated Press.