The auto industry's air bag troubles deepened on Saturday as U.S. federal safety regulators said three big automakers will recall about 2.1 million older vehicles to fix defects that could cause air bags to deploy when they are not supposed to. The vehicles involved in the recall announced by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are made by Toyota Motor Corp, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and Honda Motor Co. There have been about 400 reported cases of inadvertent air bag deployments in the recalled vehicles, NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind said. The recall concerned a defective chip in air bag systems and the fix involved replacing the entire air bag module, including circuits manufactured by parts maker TRW Automotive Holdings, Rosekind said.
By Erwin Seba HOUSTON (Reuters) - Union leaders and oil companies were unable to agree on a new labor accord on Saturday for workers at 63 U.S. refineries as a deadline passed that could lead to a strike. The United Steelworkers union (USW) said in a text message sent to members that the latest offer from companies was "insulting and fails to address issues that matter to members." Royal Dutch Shell Plc, the lead negotiator for U.S. refinery owners, has said it does not comment on details of labor negotiations. The USW talks have been occurring against a backdrop of falling oil prices. The expiring national contract covers about 30,000 hourly workers at plants that together have two-thirds of U.S. refining capacity.
By Courtney Sherwood PORTLAND, Ore. (Reuters) - Two mountain climbers were rescued by helicopter on Saturday after they fell on Oregon's Mount Hood at an altitude of more than 10,000 feet (3,048 meters), and a third climber was helped down the mountain on foot, authorities said. The climbers, two men and one woman, were injured on the renowned peak when they fell in the Hog's Back region, the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office said in a statement. Authorities did not provide details on how far the climbers had fallen. Sheriff's deputies worked to reach the injured climbers in conjunction with Portland Mountain Rescue, who were in the area training at the time, and a team from the ambulance and helicopter rescue company AMR touched down to come to the climbers assistance within hours of their fall, officials said.
ROSWELL, Ga. (AP) — The daughter of late singer and entertainer Whitney Houston was found unresponsive, face down in a bathtub Saturday and taken to a hospital in the north Atlanta suburbs, police said.
Peace talks aimed at halting rising bloodshed in eastern Ukraine ended in failure Saturday, with Kiev's envoy saying pro-Russian separatists wrecked a deal by refusing to discuss an immediate ceasefire. The delayed talks in Minsk were "thwarted" after top rebel leaders stayed away and their negotiators also refused to discuss withdrawing heavy weapons, former Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma told Interfax Ukraine news agency. The negotiator for the rebel Donetsk People's Republic, Denis Pushilin, however, blamed Kiev for causing the collapse of the talks and said insurgent leaders would only agree a deal if Kiev's forces halt fire first.
BERLIN (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel has underlined the refusal of Greece's European creditors to consider forgiving part of the debt-ridden country's rescue loans, though she stressed in an interview published Saturday that Berlin's aim is to keep Greece in the eurozone.
NEW YORK (AP) — First lady Michelle Obama urged Hollywood to give a more accurate portrayal of veterans and defended the Oscar-nominated "American Sniper," which has received criticism for its depiction of war.
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A Connecticut panel developing a report on the Newtown massacre debated Friday whether the victims counted in the dedication should include the shooter's mother, a woman who has been faulted for contributing to the tragedy by fostering her son's fascination with guns.
Pro-Russian separatists vowed on Friday to push their latest offensive in eastern Ukraine further if truce talks with Kiev's pro-Western leaders fail as the bitter conflict killed another 19 civilians. Plans for the negotiations in the Belarussian capital Minsk were announced on Thursday, raising hopes of dialogue after the collapse of a September truce in a nine-month war that has killed over 5,100 people, according to the United Nations. "Should the negotiations collapse... the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics reserve the right to pursue their offensive until the entire Donetsk and Lugansk regions are freed" of Ukrainian troops, the rebel regions' main negotiators said in a joint statement. The urgent new round of talks in Minsk that had been agreed for Friday under pressure from European envoys was postponed due to disagreements over who should represent the rebel camp.
Al-Qaeda's affiliate in Syria battled Western-backed rebels Friday as the jihadists pressed their bid to seize control of northern areas, a monitoring group and rebels said. The fighting comes nearly three months after Al-Nusra Front expelled another group of Western-backed opposition fighters from Idlib province. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the jihadists launched their offensive against the Western-armed Hazem movement on Thursday in Aleppo province. "The jihadists expelled the rebels from Regiment 111, once a regime army base that Hazem had taken over," Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.
On Thursday, school President Philip Hanlon announced that starting March 30, all students, regardless of age, will be prohibited from possessing hard alcohol on campus. The school’s Greek societies have also been warned that they need to improve their behavior or risk being banned. The White House says the behavior has led to an “epidemic” of sexual assault on school campuses. According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 1,825 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die each year from alcohol-related unintentional injuries and 97,000 students are victims of alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape.
By Barbara Liston ORLANDO, Fla. (Reuters) - A Florida prosecutor announced on Friday he will not pursue an aggravated assault charge against former neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman stemming from a domestic incident earlier this month after the alleged victim recanted. Zimmerman, who was acquitted in 2013 in a fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager, has had several brushes with the law since his trial. His latest arrest on Jan. 9 in central Florida was in connection with a domestic disturbance involving his then-girlfriend who had accused him of throwing a wine bottle at her and smashing her cell phone during an argument. Zimmerman claimed he acted in self-defense when he shot and killed Trayvon Martin, 17, in February 2012, when he was patrolling as a neighborhood watch volunteer.