By Eric Beech and Victoria Cavaliere
(Reuters) – The mother of American journalist James Foley, who was purportedly beheaded by Islamic militants, said on Tuesday her son gave his life to expose the suffering of the Syrian people and she asked his kidnappers to release their other captives.
“He was an extraordinary son, brother, journalist and person,” Diane Foley said in a post on a website set up by the Foley family.
BRUSSELS/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The European Union and the United States on Tuesday announced further sanctions against Russia, targeting its energy, banking and defense sectors in the strongest international action yet over Moscow’s support for rebels in eastern Ukraine.
The measures mark the start of a new phase in the biggest confrontation between Moscow and the West since the Cold War, which worsened dramatically after the downing of Malaysian flight MH17 over rebel-held territory on July 17 by what Western countries say was a Russian-supplied missile.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday the Palestinian militant group Hamas had violated its own offer of a 24-hour humanitarian truce in Gaza.
Asked whether Israel would accept the truce offer, Netanyahu told CNN’s “State of the Union” program: “Hamas doesn’t even accept its own cease-fire, it’s continuing to fire at us as we speak.”
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – General Motors’ (GM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) legal department came under fire in a Senate hearing on Thursday, as lawmakers questioned why the automaker took more than 10 years to recall cars with ignition switch flaws while its lawyers worked on numerous cases involving deaths or injury caused by the malfunctioning switch.
Senator Claire McCaskill, chairwoman of the Senate Commerce subcommittee, questioned why GM’s general counsel, Michael Millikin, kept his job after a company review released last month criticized lower-level lawyers for not escalating the safety issue.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The newly elected No. 2 Republican in the House of Representatives said on Sunday he opposed renewing the charter for the U.S. Export-Import Bank, which helps finance exports of U.S. goods and services.
Representative Kevin McCarthy, the incoming House majority leader, told “Fox News Sunday” the bank’s role should be taken over by the private sector. Asked if he would allow the bank’s charter to expire at the end of September, McCarthy said: “Yes, because it’s something that the private sector can be able to do.”
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. lawmakers on Wednesday accused General Motors Co of a “disturbing pattern” of neglecting safety and revealed emails from 2005 in which a GM employee warned a “big recall” may be necessary over an ignition-switch problem that was only addressed this week.
GM Chief Executive Mary Barra faced tough questions about widespread safety failures at GM in her third public appearance before Congress since the automaker started recalling millions of vehicles in February.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. lawmakers on Wednesday slammed General Motors Co (GM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) for a “culture of secrecy” and said a company investigation that found top executives did not know for years about a deadly ignition switch defect does not absolve them of responsibility.
GM Chief Executive Mary Barra returned before a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee to face harsh questions about why the No. 1 U.S. automaker waited more than a decade to recall millions of vehicles with the defect linked to at least 13 deaths.
WASHINGTON, June 11 (Reuters) – Legislation to allow student
loan borrowers to refinance at lower interest rates failed to
clear a procedural hurdle in the U.S. Senate on Wednesday,
dooming a measure that was a Democratic priority ahead of
November congressional elections.
Democrats had said the bill would let holders of both
federal and private undergraduate loans – some with rates of 9
percent or higher – to refinance at 3.86 percent. Republicans
thought the legislation was too expensive.
WASHINGTON, May 21 (Reuters) – Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne said on Wednesday the
fallout from General Motors’ delay in recalling millions
of cars for faulty ignition switches has made automakers more
sensitive about safety issues.
“Given the nature of the events that we’ve seen in the last
three or four months, I think it is more than likely automotive
houses will now shift their attitude and be even more prudent
than they would have been under normal circumstances. And
probably beyond what is required,” Marchionne told reporters.
WASHINGTON, May 21 (Reuters) – Two former members of the
U.S. auto task force that helped restructure General Motors Co
in 2009 during its bankruptcy said they were not aware at
the time of the defective ignition switches linked to at least
Harry Wilson, speaking at a conference in Washington, said
the task force on which he served never met with lower level GM
engineers, adding that the crisis brought on by the faulty
switch showed the cultural problems at the largest U.S.