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General Motors joins call for U.S. to address climate change

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General Motors, the largest US automaker, on Wednesday joined a call for the United States to take greater action on climate change as it said that environmental concerns were critical for business.

General Motors became the first automaker among 40 US companies in a joint appeal for policymakers in Washington to lead a “coordinated effort” against climate change, after the failure of earlier legislative proposals.

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“We want to be a change agent in the auto industry,” Mike Robinson, GM vice president of sustainability and global regulatory affairs, said in a statement.

GM is the maker of the Chevrolet Volt, the first electric plug-in car on the US market, and has set company-wide goals that includes reducing energy intensity by 20 percent over the decade to 2020.

The stance marks a turnaround. Detroit’s Big Three long protested fuel economy standards and produced gas-guzzling trucks and sports utility vehicles as their Japanese competitors made inroads with eco-friendly cars.

The so-called Climate Declaration, launched in April, also includes major companies such as online retailer eBay, tech giant Intel, coffee leader Starbucks and numerous makers of sportswear.

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The declaration warns that climate change is a real threat and urges action so that the United States can “remain a true superpower in a competitive world,” although it does not endorse specific proposals.

President Barack Obama has vowed new efforts by the world’s largest economy to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases blamed for the planet’s rising temperatures and increasingly frequent disasters.

Efforts for nationwide restrictions on emissions have failed in Congress, with lawmakers of the rival Republican Party questioning the science behind climate change and saying that action would be too costly.

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2020 Election

Deval Patrick considering a last-minute presidential bid: report

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Yet another Democrat is considering a late entry into the 2020 presidential campaign.

"Former Gov. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts has told Democratic officials that he is considering making a last-minute entry into the 2020 presidential race, according to two Democrats with knowledge of the conversations, the latest evidence of how unsettled the party’s presidential primary is less than three months before the Iowa caucuses," The New York Times reported Monday.

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Mick Mulvaney needs to get a lawyer: CNN’s Jim Acosta

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On Monday's edition of CNN's "The Situation Room," chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta said that acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney needs to hire a lawyer separately from the White House counsel, following new reports that the attorney for former National Security Adviser John Bolton is rejecting a legal alliance with him.

"There are reports that Mulvaney was sort of on thin ice as a result of that disastrous press briefing that he gave a couple of weeks ago," said anchor Wolf Blitzer. "Why does he need a private attorney, why isn't he represented by the White House counsel?"

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Uber chief walks back comment about murder of Saudi journalist Khashoggi

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Uber chief Dara Khosrowshahi apologized on Monday after he called the assassination of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, in which Riyadh admitted responsibility, a "mistake."

"There's no forgiving or forgetting what happened to Jamal Khashoggi & I was wrong to call it a 'mistake,'" Khosrowshahi tweeted Monday morning as he walked back his remarks Sunday in an interview with Axios.

"I said something in the moment I don't believe. Our investors have long known my views here & I'm sorry I wasn’t as clear on Axios."

Khashoggi, a columnist for The Washington Post, was strangled and dismembered at the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul on October 2, 2018, prompting harsh criticism of the country and de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

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