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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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LIVE COVERAGE: Multiple victims reported in Southern California school shooting

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Police are searching for a shooter who opened fire at southern California high school.

The Santa Clarita Valley sheriff's office tweeted Thursday around 8 a.m. local time that shots had been fired at Saugus High School.

Saugus was placed on lockdown, along with nearby elementary schools.

Multiple victims were reported at the school, although few details were released.

The shooter remains at large.

Students evacuate after shooting at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita, California. https://t.co/D6PjO6Y4F7 pic.twitter.com/YD3iGA7Ol5

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After surprise ruling, firearm-makers may finally decide it’s in their interest to help reduce gun violence

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Mass shootings have become a routine occurrence in America.

Gun-makers have long refused to take responsibility for their role in this epidemic. That may be about to change.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 12 refused to block a lawsuit filed by the families of the Sandy Hook Elementary mass shooting victims, clearing the way for the litigation to proceed. Remington Arms, which manufactured and sold the semiautomatic rifle used in the attack, had hoped the broad immunity the industry has enjoyed for years would shield it from any liability.

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CNN panel blows up Lindsey Graham’s ‘hearsay’ talking points: ‘He knows what he’s saying is nonsense’

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Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Thursday lashed out at the House of Representatives' impeachment inquiry and argued that it was completely illegitimate because it was relying on "hearsay" testimony from witnesses such as George Kent and Bill Taylor.

CNN's John King reacted to Graham's latest tirade by taking all his talking points apart piece by piece, starting with his accusation that evidence can't be gathered from hearsay. In particular, King pointed to the role that hearsay played in the impeachment of former President Bill Clinton.

"He's talking about hearsay -- Number One, this is not a court of law, Congress is not a court of law," he said. "Number Two, I would remind Lindsey Graham, Linda Tripp heard about [Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky] from a friend."

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