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GM, safety agency face Congress over recalls PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by DEE-ANN DURBIN, AP Auto Writer   
Monday, 31 March 2014 06:32

DETROIT (AP) — If GM knew it had a problem, why wasn't something done to fix it?

Congress will seek the answer to that question and others this week as it presses General Motors CEO Mary Barra and federal regulators about their handling of a safety defect in the Chevrolet Cobalt and other small cars. GM has recalled 2.6 million cars for a faulty ignition switch, which it links to 13 deaths.

The hearings — before a House subcommittee Tuesday and a Senate subcommittee Wednesday — will likely be tense and emotional. At least a dozen family members of victims will attend, wearing blue shirts featuring a photo of 16-year-old Amber Marie Rose, who was killed in a 2005 Cobalt crash, and the words "Protect Our Children." Barra will surely apologize, as she has before, for the loss of life.

Barra may try to limit her answers to Congress, citing an ongoing internal review and government investigations. For his part, Friedman may try to shift blame from his agency to GM, saying the company withheld information. Either approach could annoy committee members, who will want to know why the system failed and ensure consumers that they're adequately protected no matter what car they drive.

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Monday is the deadline to sign up for health law PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by The Associated Press   
Monday, 31 March 2014 06:14

Monday is the deadline to sign up for private health insurance in the new online markets created by President Barack Obama's health care law. So far, about 4 out of every 5 people enrolling have qualified for tax credits to reduce the cost of their premiums.

Here's what you need to know:

— The deadline is at midnight EDT for the states where the federal government is running the sign-up website; states running their own exchanges set their own deadlines.

— You can sign up online by going to HealthCare.gov or your state insurance exchange. If you don't know what your state marketplace is called, HealthCare.gov will direct you.

—You can call 1-800-318-2596 to sign up by phone or get help from an enrollment specialist.

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Surfboard, sailboat innovator 'Hobie' Alter dies PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Associated Press   
Monday, 31 March 2014 06:16

PALM DESERT, Calif. (AP) — Hobart "Hobie" Alter, who helped popularize surfing and sailing with the development of the foam surfboard and the "Hobie Cat" sailboat, has died. He was 80.

Alter died Saturday at his Palm Desert home, according to a statement on the Hobie sporting goods website. A cause of death was not disclosed. The Orange County Register said he had been battling cancer.

"He wanted to make a living without having to wear hard-soled shoes or work east of California's Pacific Coast Highway," the statement said. "By 'making people a toy and giving them a game to play with it' he was able to realize this dream. And in the process, he introduced the world to an outdoor lifestyle and collection of products that made things just a bit more fun for all of us."

The self-taught innovator and surfer had his start in the early 1950s carving wooden surfboards in the garage of his family's Laguna Beach home.

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Another Apple-Samsung skirmish heads to court PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by MARTHA MENDOZA, AP National Writer   
Monday, 31 March 2014 06:13

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — The fiercest rivalry in the world of smartphones is heading back to court this week in the heart of the Silicon Valley, with Apple and Samsung accusing each other, once again, of ripping off designs and features.

The trial will mark the latest round in a long-running series of lawsuits between the two tech giants that underscore a much larger concern about what is allowed to be patented.

"There's a widespread suspicion that lots of the kinds of software patents at issue are written in ways that cover more ground than what Apple or any other tech firm actually invented," Notre Dame law professor Mark McKenna said. "Overly broad patents allow companies to block competition."

The latest Apple-Samsung case will be tried less than two years after a federal jury found Samsung was infringing on Apple patents. Samsung was ordered to pay about $900 million but is appealing and has been allowed to continue selling products using the technology.

Last Updated on Monday, 31 March 2014 06:15
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