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GM cutting 4,000 workers in latest round of restructuring

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General Motors Co on Monday said it was starting to hand pink slips to about 4,000 salaried workers in the latest round of a restructuring announced in late November that will ultimately shrink its white-collar workforce in North America by 15 percent out of 54,000.

Two people briefed on the cuts said GM is cutting hundreds of jobs at its information technology centers in Texas, Georgia, Arizona and Michigan and more than 1,000 jobs at its Warren, Michigan Tech Center. GM is filing new required mass layoff notices with state agencies and disclosed the cuts to lawmakers.

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The largest U.S. automaker announced in November it would cut a total of about 15,000 jobs and end production at five North American plants. The cuts include eliminating about 8,000 salaried workers, or about 15 percent.

GM cut about 1,500 contract workers in December and said 2,300 salaried workers accepted buyouts, officials said.

“These actions are necessary to secure the future of the company, including preserving thousands of jobs in the U.S. and globally. We are taking action now while the overall economy and job market are strong, increasing the ability of impacted employees to continue to advance in their careers, should they choose to do so,” GM spokesman Pat Morrissey said, adding the bulk of the cuts should be completed in the next two weeks.

Morrissey said GM would provide salaried workers with severance packages and job placement services.

GM is also cutting its executive ranks by 25 percent and last week laid off three senior people in its Washington office and some other small salaried layoffs previously took place.

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President Donald Trump and U.S. and Canadian lawmakers have blasted GM’s plans to end production at plants in Ontario, Michigan, Ohio and Maryland. GM said in November it would end U.S. and Canadian production of the Chevrolet Cruze, Volt, Impala, the Buick LaCrosse and the Cadillac XTS and CT6 sedans.

Trump, who made a 2017 speech near GM’s Lordstown Assembly plant in Ohio, said in November the company had “better” find a new product for that plant.

But GM Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra wrote last week: “We are more convinced than ever that our strategy is sound and in the long term.”

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Last month, Comprehensive Logistics said it would cease operations at its facility in Lordstown that provides logistics and warehousing, impacting about 180 jobs. Magna International Inc is also laying off about 120 people at its Lordstown Seating Systems plant that makes seats for GM vehicles.

Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by David Gregorio

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New Zealand may postpone general election after 4 test positive for COVID-19: PM Jacinda Ardern

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New Zealand locked down nursing homes nationwide Wednesday after a 102-day streak without the coronavirus ended, as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the outbreak could force her to postpone next month's general election.

Ardern said authorities were scrambling to trace anyone who had been in contact with four Auckland residents who tested positive Tuesday, ending the dream run in which the virus had been contained at New Zealand's borders.

A three-day stay-at-home order for Auckland, New Zealand's biggest city with a population of 1.5 million, was announced on Tuesday night and went into force at lunchtime on Wednesday.

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2020 Election

Android phones to get ‘ShakeAlert’ earthquake warnings — and phones may double as tremor detectors

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Android phones will receive warnings triggered by a "ShakeAlert" earthquake early-warning system implemented on the West Coast by the US Geological Survey and partners.

ShakeAlert uses signals from hundreds of seismometers across the state to trigger warning messages that "an earthquake has begun and shaking is imminent," according to the system's website.

"We saw an opportunity to use Android to provide people with timely, helpful earthquake information when they search, as well as a few seconds warning to get themselves and their loved ones to safety if needed," principal software engineer Marc Stogaitis said in a blog post.

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2020 Election

‘Don’t talk about racism, racist’: Trump scorched after claiming Biden-Harris campaign has a ‘racism problem’

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President Donald Trump continued to lash out at Kamala Harris after the California Democrat was chosen to join the 2020 Democratic Party ticket as presumptive nominee Joe Biden's running mate.

At a news conference following the selection, Trump complained about Harris being "nasty."

After 10 p.m. on Monday, Trump tweeted out an attack ad claiming "Joe Biden has a racism problem."

Here's some of what people were saying about Trump's line of attack:

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