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General Motors forms new development team to speed up work on self-driving and electric cars

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General Motors Co said on Thursday it was creating a team to speed up development of self-driving and electric cars, as it moves to expand its line-up of such vehicles.

Doug Parks, GM’s vice president for global product programs, was named vice president for autonomous technology and vehicle execution, as of Feb. 1.

Parks will oversee efforts to develop new electrical and battery systems and software for the vehicles, and report to Mark Reuss, head of global product development, GM said in a statement.

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Parks has held several engineering and finance roles at the automaker since 1984. Prior to becoming vice president for global product programs in August 2012, he was executive director and group vehicle line executive for electric cars.

Sheri Hickok was named executive chief engineer for “autonomous joint ventures and fleet execution,” GM said. Hickok is currently chief engineer for “next generation” pickup trucks.

Pam Fletcher, GM’s executive chief engineer for electric vehicles, will take on additional responsibilities for strategic planning related to autonomous and electric vehicles.

GM plans to launch late this year the electric Chevrolet Bolt, which would run about 200 miles on a charge, priced at about $35,000. That is roughly double the range of other electric cars in that price range.

Earlier this month, GM said it was investing $500 million in ride-hailing company Lyft, and said it planned to work with Lyft to develop an on-demand network of driverless cars.

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(Reporting by Joseph White; Editing by Richard Chang)


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Trump economic task force member once called minimum wage law the ‘Black Teenage Unemployment Act’

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Art Laffer, a member of President Donald Trump's coronavirus economic task force who last year was honored with a Presidential Medal of Freedom, once referred to the federal minimum wage law as the "Black Teenage Unemployment Act" on Fox News while he attempted to claim that it made "no sense whatsoever."

"The minimum wage makes no sense whatsoever to me," Laffer told host Jenna Lee on the since-canceled Fox News show "Happening Now." "Honestly, it's just the teenage — 'Black Teenage Unemployment Act.' And this is the very group that we need to have jobs — not be put out of work because of a minimum wage. So, I'm very much in favor of, at least for teenagers, getting rid of the minimum wage."

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‘There is a wickedness in our president’: Conservative Christian decries ‘cruelty’ of Trump’s latest smear campaign

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Peter Wehner, a conservative Christian who is a former senior adviser to George W. Bush, has written a blistering column calling out President Donald Trump's "cruelty" in his latest smear campaign against MSNBC host Joe Scarborough.

Trump has spent the past several weeks demanding that Scarborough be investigated for the 2001 death of Lori Klausutis, a former congressional staffer who fainted and fatally hit her head while working in Scarborough's Florida office.

Even though there is no evidence of foul play in the case and even though Scarborough was in Washington D.C. at the time of her fainting, Trump has nevertheless persisted in making false allegations against the MSNBC host.

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Al Sharpton busts Trump’s hypocrisy on Morning Joe: ‘He chased Joe Scarborough like a hungry dog behind a bone’

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The Rev. Al Sharpton called out President Donald Trump for groveling for Joe Scarborough's approval for years, only to turn around and baselessly accuse him of murder.

The president claimed he'd always been haunted by the possibility that the "Morning Joe" had been involved in the 2001 death of former congressional staffer Lori Klausutis, but Sharpton dismissed that as nonsense.

....about whether or not Joe could have done such a horrible thing? Maybe or maybe not, but I find Joe to be a total Nut Job, and I knew him well, far better than most. So many unanswered & obvious questions, but I won’t bring them up now! Law enforcement eventually will?

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