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Another GM recall: 1.18M SUVs for air bag issue PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by DEE-ANN DURBIN, AP Auto Writer   
Monday, 17 March 2014 13:15

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors is recalling more than 1.5 million vehicles, including SUVs, vans and Cadillacs, for defective air bags and other problems.

The new recalls come as GM faces multiple investigations over its handling of a recall of more than 1.6 million small cars for defective ignition switches. The new recalls aren't related to that issue, but the company did say they're part of a broad product safety review prompted by the ignition switch problem, which is linked to 12 deaths.

GM expects to spend approximately $300 million in the first quarter to repair the vehicles in the new recalls as well as the vehicles in the small car recall. GM announced last month that ignition switches in older models of the Chevrolet Cobalt, Pontiac G5s, Saturn Ion, Chevrolet HHR, Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky need to be repaired.

The recalls announced Monday include:

— 1.18 million SUVs because their side air bags, front center air bags and seat belt pretensioners might not deploy if drivers ignore an air bag warning light on their dashboard. The recall includes the Buick Enclave and GMC Acadia from the 2008-2013 model years; the Chevrolet Traverse from the 2009-2013 model years; and the Saturn Outlook from the 2008-2010 model years. GM says no injuries are related to the defect.

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U.S. lags as commercial drones take off around globe PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by JOAN LOWY, Associated Press   
Monday, 17 March 2014 06:41

WASHINGTON (AP) — A small, four-rotor drone hovered over Washington Nationals players for a few days during spring training in Florida last month, taking publicity photos impossible for a human photographer to capture. But no one got the Federal Aviation Administration's permission first.

"No, we didn't get it cleared, but we don't get our pop flies cleared either and those go higher than this thing did," a team official said when contacted by The Associated Press. The drone flights ceased the next day. The official wasn't authorized to speak publicly and asked not to be named.

The agency bars commercial use of drones no matter how seemingly benign. The lone exception is an oil company that has been granted permission to fly drones over the Arctic Ocean, and it took an act of Congress to win that concession.

FAA officials say rules to address the special safety challenges associated with unmanned aircraft need to be in place before they can share the sky with manned aircraft. The agency has worked on those regulations for the past decade and is still months and possibly years away from issuing final rules for small drones, which are defined as those weighing less than 55 pounds. Rules for larger drones are even further off.

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Vodafone agrees to buy Spain's Ono for $10 billion PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by DANICA KIRKA, Associated Press   
Monday, 17 March 2014 08:11

LONDON (AP) — British telecommunications company Vodafone agreed on Monday to buy Spain's Ono for 7.2 billion euros ($10 billion) as it seeks to expand operations across Europe.

The deal is part of a broader trend of mergers and takeovers in Europe, where the mobile industry is split among some 150 major operators crisscrossing national lines — compared to just four in the United States.

Grupo Corporativo Ono S.A. provides phone, mobile and television services to 1.9 million customers and has the largest "next-generation network" in Spain, reaching 7.2 million homes, or 41 percent of the country. Vodafone says Ono has abundant spare capacity, giving it space to expand.

"Demand for unified communications products and services has increased significantly over the last few years in Spain, and this transaction - together with our fiber-to-the-home build program - will accelerate our ability to offer best-in-class propositions in the Spanish market," Vodafone Chief Executive Vittorio Colao said in a statement.

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Baseball auction offers ticket to 1867 convention PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by DAVID SHARP, Associated Press   
Monday, 17 March 2014 06:40

BIDDEFORD, Maine (AP) — A piece of sports history dating back to the 1867 meeting that institutionalized racial segregation in professional baseball is heading to the auction block.

Among the items up for sale by Saco River Auction Co. is a ticket to the Philadelphia baseball convention, which marked the drawing of a color line that wasn't eradicated for good until 80 years later by Jackie Robinson.

During the convention, the National Association of Base-Ball Players' nominating committee responded to a black team's request for membership by banning teams with black players.

The convention ticket, along with an 1870 Philadelphia Athletics season ticket and a painting of Cy Young in a Boston uniform believed to date to the early 1900s, will be sold Wednesday during an auction at Saco River's offices in Biddeford.

The convention ticket is the only one known to be in existence, said John Thorn, official historian for Major League Baseball.

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