Daily Dispatches
An auto worker assembles an SUV at the General Motors auto plant in Arlington, Texas.
Associated Press/Photo by LM Otero
An auto worker assembles an SUV at the General Motors auto plant in Arlington, Texas.

Midday Roundup: Park your GM SUV outside, in case it catches fire

Newsworthy

Fire hazard. General Motors is facing more safety troubles as it recalls a group of SUVs to fix power window switches that can catch fire. The recall, detailed in documents posted by federal safety regulator this week, covers about 189,000 vehicles in North America. It includes mostly 2006 and 2007 model years of the Chevrolet TrailBlazer, GMC Envoy, Buick Rainier, Isuzu Ascender, and Saab 97-X. The parts to repair the vehicles won’t be ready until October at the earliest. In the meantime, GM is telling dealers to stop selling the affected models and warning owners to park their vehicles outdoors until they are fixed.

Tax exempt. A new report claims few Americans will actually pay Obamacare’s individual mandate penalty. The Congressional Budget Office says that of the estimated 30 million uninsured Americans in 2016, only 4 million will end up paying a fine. Due the law’s low popularity, the Obama administration has allowed 14 different hardship exemptions to the requirement that everyone have health insurance, explains Heritage Foundation’s Aylene Senger. Many experts believe that without the individual mandate forcing young, healthy people to buy insurance, premiums will skyrocket.

Spurned subpoena. Looks like the Internal Revenue Service is not the only government agency that can’t keep track of emails. On Wednesday, the Department of Health and Human Services admitted it could not recover some emails related to the abysmal launch of Healthcare.gov in October. The HHS claims it lost some emails belonging to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services administrator Marilyn Tavenner due to inconsistent archiving practices within the department. The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform subpoenaed the emails in October.

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Government buyout. The Malaysian government plans to take over Malaysia Airlines in an attempt to save the nation’s flagship carrier from economic disaster. The airline suffered from poor financial performance even before this year’s double tragedies: the still unexplained loss of Flight 370 over the Indian Ocean and the destruction of Flight 17 as it flew over the conflict zone in eastern Ukraine. The airline is withdrawing from the country’s stock exchange in preparation for becoming a state-owned enterprise.

Scandal-versary. Today is the 40th anniversary of President Richard Nixon’s resignation. One of two CBS crew members allowed in the room during Nixon’s resignation speech recalled feeling out-of-place and “scared to death” in the Oval Office that day. The Washington Post has a long list of pop-culture references to Nixon since he left office, including actors who have portrayed him, from Anthony Hopkins to John Cusack. And a Twitter account is imagining how the former president, who died in 1994, would respond to current events today.

The Associated Press and Jim Henry contributed to this report.

Lynde Langdon
Lynde Langdon

Lynde lives in Wichita, Kan., with her husband and two daughters. She holds degrees from the University of Missouri in journalism, Russian, and business administration. She is in a long-term, committed relationship with the Lutheran church. Follow Lynde on Twitter @lmlangdon.

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