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Volkswagen expansion talks at standstill in Tennessee PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by ERIK SCHELZIG, Associated Press   
Tuesday, 08 April 2014 06:16

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Expansion talks at Volkswagen's lone U.S. plant have ground to a halt amid disagreements about the role of organized labor at the factory in Tennessee.

An acrimonious vote in February at the plant in Chattanooga resulted in the narrow defeat of the United Auto Workers union.

Since then, the union has challenged the outcome of the vote with the National Labor Relations Board; a top labor representative on Volkswagen's supervisory board told Chattanooga workers that U.S. Sen. Bob Corker and Gov. Bill Haslam "interfered outrageously" in the election; and the governor has suggested that the state has been unable to engage in negotiations with a VW official with final decision-making power.

State incentives for expanding the plant would have to be approved by the state Legislature, which is preparing to adjourn for the year in the next few weeks. But Haslam told reporters last week that there were no active talks with the German automaker.

The governor's comments came in the aftermath of revelations that the state's $300 million incentive package offered to Volkswagen in August contained the caveat that the money was subject to labor talks "being concluded to the satisfaction" of the state.

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Crews work to clear Great Lakes shipping pathways PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by CHARLES D. WILSON, Associated Press JOHN FLESHER, Associated Press   
Tuesday, 08 April 2014 05:59

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — U.S. and Canadian Coast Guard crews kept up their battle Monday to clear pathways for vessels hauling vital raw materials on the ice-clogged Great Lakes, where a shipping logjam forced a weeklong shutdown of the nation's largest steel factory.

Traffic remained largely at a crawl after a winter that produced some of the heaviest ice on record across the five inland seas, where more than half the surface area remained solid this week. Icebreaking ships slogging across Lake Superior were still encountering ice layers 2 feet to 3 feet thick. In some areas, wind and wave action created walls of ice up to 14 feet high.

United States Steel Corp.'s plant in Gary, Ind., had resumed limited operations after receiving a shipment over the weekend of iron ore from a company mill near Detroit, which was sending one additional load, spokeswoman Courtney Boone said.

Two ships were scheduled to arrive Tuesday with ore from mines in northern Minnesota following a two-week voyage across Lake Superior, which ordinarily would take three days.

Other companies were hoping their supplies would be adequate to avoid significant disruptions.

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U.S. hits Takeda, Eli Lilly with $9 billion penalty PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Associated Press   
Tuesday, 08 April 2014 06:13

TOKYO (AP) — A U.S. jury ordered Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. and Eli Lilly to pay $9 billion in punitive damages over a diabetes medicine linked to cancer, but Japan's biggest drugmaker said Tuesday it will "vigorously challenge" the decision.

The District Court, Western District Louisiana, ordered a $6 billion penalty for Takeda and $3 billion for its business partner and co-defendant Eli Lilly. It also decided $1.5 million in compensatory damages in favor of the plaintiff.

The legal fight turned on whether Actos, which is a drug used to treat type-two diabetes, caused a patient's bladder cancer and by implication was responsible for other cases of the cancer.

Kenneth Greisman, a general counsel at Takeda, said in a statement that the company disagrees with the verdict and that the evidence did not support the causal link between Actos and bladder cancer.

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Getty Museum returns ancient manuscript to Greece PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Associated Press   
Tuesday, 08 April 2014 05:57

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The J. Paul Getty Museum will return a 12th century New Testament manuscript to a monastery in Greece after museum officials said they only recently learned it was stolen decades before the museum acquired it in 1983.

Getty officials said Monday that although the Byzantine illuminated New Testament was acquired as part of a larger, well documented collection, recently uncovered records from 1960 indicate it was removed from the monastery illegally.

It will remain at the Getty Center until June 22 as part of an exhibition called "Heaven and Earth: Byzantine Illumination at the Cultural Crossroads" before returning to Greece, along with numerous other objects on loan for the show.

The announcement of its return was made a day ahead of Tuesday's scheduled press preview of the exhibition that is to be attended by Greek Minister of Culture Panos Panagiotopoulos.

"We applaud the Getty for their responsiveness to this matter," Panagiotopoulos said in a statement. "Their decision to return this precious Byzantine manuscript honors the spirit of our 2011 Framework for Cultural Cooperation."

In recent years, the museum has returned several artifacts to Greece, Turkey and Italy that the nations complained were taken from their countries illegally.

Museum officials say they have never knowingly acquired any artifacts whose provenance was in dispute.

In the case of the New Testament, officials said its disappearance was never reported to authorities and thus was never listed on any database of stolen art.

"Over the past six weeks, the Getty Museum has worked cooperatively with the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports to understand the recent history of this manuscript and to resolve the matter of its rightful ownership in a timely fashion," Timothy Potts, director of the J. Paul Getty Museum, said in a statement. "Based on new information that came to light through this process, the museum decided that the right course of action was to return the manuscript to the Holy Monastery of Dionysiou from which it disappeared over 50 years ago."

Panagiotopoulos said the manuscript was copied in 1133 by the scribe Theoktistos and is considered a masterpiece of Middle Byzantine art.


Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 
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