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Abe inspects maglev train test line with Kennedy

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe inspected a magnetically levitated train system's test line Saturday with U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy. Abe, who offered support for the United States to introduce maglev technology in a meeting with President Barack Obama in February last year, invited Kennedy to join the inspection of Central Japan Railway Co.'s line in Yamanashi Prefecture west of Tokyo.

Japan PM takes US ambassador on 314-mph diplomatic date

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took US ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy on a test ride of Japan's super-fast magnetic train on Saturday, showcasing the "Maglev" technology Tokyo hopes to sell to its ally. "I hope ambassador Kennedy will enjoy the full package of Japan -- the blizzard of cherry blossoms, Mount Fuji and the state-of-the-art technology," a relaxed-looking Abe said ahead of the ride. As the distinctive white and pink petals of the blossom swirled in the breeze, the pair boarded at the Yamanashi Maglev Test Line near Mount Fuji.

Month-long mystery of Flight 370 wears on some air travellers, though others have 'no fear'

JAKARTA, Indonesia - The Indonesian mother of three had flown without her kids before, but this was the first time she gave her eldest a to-do list in case something happened on the flight she and her husband were taking. "I never worried like this before what happened with the missing Malaysia Airlines plane," Yulveri, who like many Indonesians uses only a single name, said at Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta International Airport.

Month-long mystery of Flight 370 wears on some air travellers, though others have 'no fear'

JAKARTA, Indonesia - The Indonesian mother of three had flown without her kids before, but this was the first time she gave her eldest a to-do list in case something happened on the flight she and her husband were taking. "I never worried like this before what happened with the missing Malaysia Airlines plane," Yulveri, who like many Indonesians uses only a single name, said at Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta International Airport.

Documents show GM's early knowledge of switch defect

By Eric Beech, Paul Lienert and Richard Cowan WASHINGTON/DETROIT (Reuters) - General Motors engineers were well aware of serious problems with ignition switches in GM small cars, but rejected several opportunities to make fixes, according to dozens of confidential documents released on Friday by a Congressional committee investigating the deadly defect. Parts supplier Delphi Automotive also repeatedly tested switches and found they did not meet GM specifications, according to emails and other memos.

GM head knew of steering problem in 2011

General Motors chief executive Mary Barra was told in 2011 of steering problems on cars involved in this year's recall and linked to 13 deaths, a document released Friday showed. US lawmakers published an internal email, dated October 3, 2011, from a GM engineer to Barra, who at the time was head of product development at the largest US automaker. The email includes a New York Times article of the same date about the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's investigation of steering problems with the Saturn Ion.

New documents show GM slow to act on recalls; CEO was aware of separate safety issue

DETROIT - Documents released by a House subcommittee show that managers and employees at General Motors were often slow to react to safety problems — and that one part of GM often didn't know what another was doing. One of the documents is an email showing that General Motors CEO Mary Barra was made aware of power steering problems with the Saturn Ion back in October of 2011, when she was head of product development. It took the company more than two years to recall the cars for that problem.

GM stock hits 10-month low after Standard & Poor's raises doubts about credit rating upgrade

DETROIT - Shares of General Motors Co. sank to a 10-month low Friday amid continuing fallout from a mishandled recall of 2.6 million small cars. Standard The stock fell $1.37, or 4.1 per cent, to close at $31.93, with most of the decline in the middle of the afternoon. It's the first time the shares have dropped below GM's 2010 initial public offering price of $33 since June of last year.

IATA wants crackdown on unruly flight passengers

The International Air Transport Association urged governments Thursday to take stronger action against unruly passengers on commercial flights. The International Civil Aviation Organization agreed at a diplomatic conference last week on changes to the Tokyo Convention of 1963, which provides the legal framework for dealing with passengers whose unruly or otherwise disruptive behavior leads to violence or threatens flight safety.

Rules to make crashed buses easier to escape still not adopted 15 years after recommendation

WASHINGTON - Safety standards to make large buses easier for passengers to escape after a crash have not been adopted 15 years after accident investigators called for new rules. A tractor-trailer truck and a bus transporting high school students collided late Thursday near Orland, Calif. Ten people were killed in a fire that consumed both vehicles. Someone kicked out a bus window, and many of the 40 or so students aboard squeezed through before the vehicle burst into flames.
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