Obama casts his vote for 2014 midterm elections early in Chicago

Barack ObamaChicago : President Barack Obama has cast his vote early for the 2014 midterm elections.

Obama voted on Monday at a community center named after the late Dr Martin Luther King Jr. Near his family's home on Chicago's South Side. He says it's exciting and that he loves voting.

Obama is not discussing his vote. But he says the most important job in a democracy is the job of citizen.

Obama and other Democrats have been urging their supporters to vote early this year instead of waiting until Election Day.

They're hoping to turn out Democratic-leaning voters including minorities and young people who frequently skip voting in midterm years.

General Motors recalls about 60,000 Chevy Malibu cars

Chevrolet-MalibuChicago, Nov 16 : Leading US automaker General Motors Corporation issued two recalls for about 60,000 Chevrolet Malibu sedans due to problems with power seat wiring and the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system.

According to a report, the Detroit-based auto giant is recalling 14,930 Malibu cars of the 2013 model from North America because wiring beneath the seats can catch fire, reported Xinhua Friday.

Modi's long shadow creates a rift in Chicago

Narendra-ModiChicago, Sep 22 : The shadow of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, and his alleged complicity in the 2002 communal riots in his state, has created a controversy here with the Council for a Parliament of the World's Religions (CPWR) withdrawing its support to the 150th birth anniversary celebrations of Swami Vivekananda.

The CPWR was formed in 1893 and organized the conference which Vivekananda addressed in Chicago that year.

Vivekananda's birth anniversary celebrations are to be held here on Sep 27-28, under the banner of "World Without Borders" with the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and several temples among its sponsors.

Cook County bond downgraded to A1 over pension liabilities

Cook County bond downgraded to A1 over pension liabilitiesGlobal rating's agency, Moody's Investors Service has announced its decision to downgrade general obligation rating for Cook County to A1 from Aa3 due to concerns over its increasing pension liabilities.

The credit ratings agency also said that it has maintained the negative outlook on the lower rating due to difficulties by the county for obtaining necessary pension reform through the state legislature. The agency said that the pension contributions were lower than the actuarially required contributions in the county.

Toyota recalls 342,000 trucks

Toyota-MotorsChicago, Aug 8 : Toyota Motor Corp. is recalling 342,000 Toyota Tacoma trucks made during 2005-11 for faulty seat belts, the company said.

Toyota said screws that attach the seat belt pre-tensioner to the retractor within the assembly can become loose due to repeated and forceful closing of the access door, which may lead to detachment of the pre-tensioner and the retractor spring cover from the seat belt retractor, thus affecting seat belt performance, reported Xinhua.

Ford fined $17.35 mn over late recall

Ford-MotorChicago, August 2 : US automaker Ford Motor Corporation has agreed to pay a penalty of $17.35 million because it did not notify the customers of a defect in a timely manner, media reported.

In 2012, Ford recalled about 423,000 Ford Escape and Mazda Tribute models made during the period of 2001-04 because the gas pedal could remain depressed even after the drivers removed their foot from the pedal, which could cause crashes.

However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Ford's recall "may have been untimely", Xinhua reported Thursday.

Four Indian Americans charged with healthcare fraud

Four Indian Americans charged with healthcare fraudChicago, May 15 : Four Indian Americans are among 89 people charged with healthcare fraud running into about $233 million in false billing after a nationwide strike in eight cities, according to federal authorities.

All the Indian Americans charged are from the Chicago area.

Ankur Roy, Akash Patel, and Dipen Desai, have been charged with six counts of health care fraud each in an indictment that was returned by a federal grand jury last Wednesday and unsealed Tuesday.

GM to build factory in China

General-MotorsChicago, May 8 : General Motors has been given green light by China to build a $1.3 billion factory in Shanghai, the automaker said.

The plant will be located in Shanghai's Jinqiao district, GM said in a statement Tuesday.

Construction is to begin in June, reported Xinhua citing the Chicago Tribune.

GM said the planned production capacity for the factory is 150,000 vehicles.

"We want to build where we sell. That is very important to us," said Alan Adler, a GM spokesman in Detroit.

GM profit falls

General-MotorsChicago, May 3 : General Motors said its profit fell 13.8 percent in the first quarter of 2013 from last year's $1 billion.

The largest US automaker reported net income of $865 million in the first quarter, or 58 cents a share, which beat analysts' expectations, reported Xinhua.

GM earned an adjusted $1.4 billion in North America before interest and taxes in the first quarter. Company officials attributed weaker profit in North America to GM's numerous new vehicle launches and a drop in wholesale deliveries as it changes over plants.

More green cards, but none for siblings, adult children

us-green-cardsChicago, April 19 : The proposed changes to the US immigration law submitted on Wednesday by the "gang of eight", the bi-partisan group in the US Senate, would increase the number of employment based green cards, directly benefitting applicants from India and China.

Hi India stands by report on US team's India trip

Hi India stands by report on US team's India tripChicago, April 1 : An ethnic Indian newspaper here says it stands by its report that organisers of the US delegation to India that met Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi had canvassed for participants in the trip at prices ranging from $3,000 to $16,000.

"Hi India published the article on the basis of factual information available to it from various sources," said Hemant Brahmbhatt, publisher of the Chicago based newspaper which published a report on the US Congressional delegation's visit to India, in a statement.

Boeing technical workers approve four-year labor agreement

Boeing technical workers approve four-year labor agreement In a Monday statement, the union representing the technical workers of Chicago-based Boeing Co. - the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace - revealed that a new four-year labor agreement with the company has been overwhelmingly approved by the workers in a recent vote.

The four-year labor contract, which was earlier rejected by the Boeing technical workers in a February 19 vote, will replace pensions with a 401(k) retirement plan for new appointments at the company.

General Motors 2012 profit drops

General Motors 2012 profit dropsChicago, Feb 15 : General Motors Co. earned $4.86 billion in 2012, down from a record $7.59 billion in 2011, Detroit News quoted GM as saying.

The Detroit automaker earned $2.92 per share for the year, down from $4.58 a share in 2011, reported Xinhua.

GM's revenue rose by $1.3 billion in the fourth quarter to $39.3 billion and increased one percent in 2012 to $152.3 billion.

Big losses in Europe and lower vehicle prices in North America market are major reasons behind the automaker's profit slip in 2012.

Boeing applies for 787 Dreamliner test flights

Boeing-CoChicago, Feb 6 : Boeing Co. has submitted an application with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for permission to conduct test flights of its 787 Dreamliner after recent incidents revealed safety issues of the new aircraft, a media report said.

In response, FAA said only that it is evaluating Boeing's request, reported Xinhua citing Chicago Tribune.

Boeing, headquartered in Chicago, said that it is making progress in finding a solution to the battery problems that grounded the 787 fleet in January.

Headley worked for terrorist outfits for seven years

Headley worked for terrorist outfits for seven yearsBarcelona, Jan 25 - The first public glimpse of Colombian singer Shakira's new baby came in a Twitter post by his father, Spanish soccer standout Gerard Pique, who put up a photo of little Milan Pique Mebarak's feet.

Labeled "Milan's feet", the image shows the newborn shod in expensive sneakers with his name embroidered in the red and blue colours of Pique's club, FC Barcelona.

US to exhume Indian-American lottery winner's body

Urooj-KhanChicago, Jan 9 : US authorities investigating the sudden death of an Indian immigrant businessman in Chicago who had won a $1 million lottery jackpot want to exhume his body to know if he was murdered.

Cook County Medical Examiner Stephen J. Cina has sent a sworn statement to prosecutors laying out why he wanted the body of Hyderabad-born Urooj Khan, 46, exhumed, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The state attorney's office is planning to file papers in civil court asking a judge to approve the exhumation of Khan's remains, the newspaper said citing spokesperson Sally Daly.

Ford Q2 net income down

Ford Q2 net income downChicago, July 26 - Ford Motor Company has reported the US automaker posted a profit of $1.04 billion in the second quarter of the year, or 26 cents per share, down by 57 percent from the same period last year.

Though Ford still managed to continue its 12-quarter streak of notching a pre-tax operating profit, the company's second quarter net income of the year was far below the $2.4 billion reported for same period a year ago, reported Xinhua.

McDonald's net income goes down

McDonald's net income goes downChicago, July 24 - McDonald's Corp. reported Monday a four-percent year-over-year profit decline for the 2012 second quarter as a higher US dollar and slowing global economy affected company performance.

According to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, McDonald's second-quarter net income totalled $1.347 billion, or $1.32 per share. That compared to the $1. 41-billion profit notched in the same period last year, or $1.35 per share, reported Xinhua.

Meanwhile, McDonald's reported quarterly sales gains in all its three international regions.

Chrysler sales jump

Chrysler sales jumpChicago, March 2 - Chrysler Group LLC reported a 40 percent increase in February while Ford Motor Co.'s sales rose 14 percent and General Motors Co. added 1.1 percent beating analyst expectations, as US customers snapped up smaller cars to offset high gas prices, Detroit News reported Thursday.

Chrysler Group LLC reported its US auto sales jumped 40 percent last month as the company's car sales more than doubled. It was Chrysler's best February in four years and its 23rd consecutive month of sales growth.

Chrysler brand sales soared 114 percent, with both the Chrysler 300 and 200 sedans posting triple-digit sales gains.

Less sterilization could reduce infection in hospitals, expert

Less sterilization could reduce infection in hospitals, expertA leading health expert has said that using less sterilisation agents and avoiding excessive antibiotic use could actually reduce the level of infection in hospitals as it would allow good bacteria to remain in the atmosphere.

Jack Gilbert of Argonne National Laboratory in Chicago and head of the Earth Microbiome Project, has recommended opening windows in hospitals to allow friendly bacteria found outdoors to enter wards and reduce the amount of infections.

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