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US readies sanctions on Russia, aid for Ukraine

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is preparing to ratchet up sanctions on Russia and boost assistance for the Ukrainian military in the coming days, U.S. officials said Wednesday, as Ukraine struggles to contain a pro-Russian uprising in its eastern cities.

GM faced a Cadillac ignition switch issue in 2006

By Paul Lienert and Eric Beech DETROIT/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - General Motors engineers reported accidentally turning off ignition switches in a Cadillac SRX with their knees more than eight years ago, and they ordered a similar fix to a similar problem in smaller, cheaper cars linked to 13 deaths, according to documents from parts maker Delphi Automotive. The documents, provided to U.S. safety regulators, show GM used the same part, from the Cadillac Catera, to make ignition switches more difficult to turn off on the 2007 Cadillac SRX and the 2007 Saturn Ion and Chevrolet Cobalt. The documents are the first indication that GM's luxury Cadillac brand may have experienced ignition-switch problems similar to those that triggered the recall earlier this year of 2.6 million GM compacts, including the Cobalt and Ion. GM did not immediately respond to requests for clarification.

GM exploring compensation program for recall: lawyer

The lawyer, Kenneth Feinberg, said in an interview on CNBC that, based on his initial conversations with GM, "they are asking for me to help develop some sort of program that might be used to compensate eligible claimants." GM Chief Executive Mary Barra said in testimony before Congress on April 1 that the company had hired Feinberg to help explore its options following the recall. GM since then has declined to say whether it would be creating some kind of victims compensation fund, which some members of Congress and consumers have been pushing for. In a related development on Wednesday, GM said it would ask a federal court to bar lawsuits related to actions before its 2009 bankruptcy, signaling a tougher stance toward legal claims stemming from the recall. GM declined to comment directly on Feinberg's remarks.


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