World Briefs 09-28-12 Canadian GM workers accept new contract


TORONTO -- Canadian auto workers at GM have voted to accept the new contract that their union leadership negotiated last week, the union said Thursday.

The Canadian Auto Workers union said 73 percent of its GM members accepted the four-year deal. The union said about half of the 5,500 workers at GM Canada cast ballots.

The union leadership also reached an agreement with Ford last week and Chrysler this week. Ford workers voted in favor of their deal last weekend and Chrysler workers are set to vote on their tentative agreement this weekend.

GM and Chrysler matched the deal the union reached with Ford.

The contracts cut wages for new hires and freeze pay for current workers. But the contracts also give them lump-sum payments to cover inflation and for ratifying the deal.

The deals with the three Detroit automakers avoided strikes and the possibility production will move to the United States in the next four years.

Slovenia PM: No bailout needed: Slovenia Prime Minister Janez Jansa insisted that the Alpine nation does not need a bailout from the European Union, despite a crippling banking crisis that has unnerved investors and caused political gridlock. Jansa said Thursday that Slovenia can overcome the threat of bankruptcy on its own by quickly passing banking reform legislation and spending $3 billion to $4 billion euros buying bad debt from state-owned banks.

Conn. man kills masked son: State police in Connecticut say it will likely be a week before they're done with an investigation into the fatal shooting of a masked teenager by his father. The teen was shot outside a neighbor's house during what appeared to be an attempted burglary. Spokesman Lt. J. Paul Vance said today that police are trying to determine if the gun used by Jeffrey Giuliano, the father, was registered. Police said 15-year-old Tyler Giuliano was shot at about 1 a.m. Thursday in New Fairfield. Initial reports say a woman who was alone in the house believed someone was breaking in and called the teen's father, who lives next door. Police said he grabbed a gun and went outside to investigate. They say the father fired his gun when the masked youth went at him with a weapon. He then discovered it was his son.

Bracing for big 150th crowd: The 150th anniversary of the decisive Civil War battle in Gettysburg is nine months away, but national park officials in Pennsylvania, tourism planners and hotels are bracing for what is expected to be a huge turnout. Gettysburg tourism office spokesman Carl Whitehill said Thursday many hotels in the immediate area have sold out, and they are expecting some 4 million visitors over the course of the year, or about a third more than usual. Typically, the battle's anniversary draws some 5,000 re-enactors. But the figure next July 1-3 could be three times higher. Fought in early July 1863, Gettysburg is considered the turning point of the Civil War, as the Northern army was able to repel Gen. Robert E. Lee and the Confederate Army.

May squash tomato trade deal: The Commerce Department on Thursday indicated it may side with Florida tomato growers and squash a 16-year-old trade agreement with Mexico. The move would allow U.S. growers to seek anti-dumping duties on imports of fresh tomatoes from Mexico. Tomato growers in Florida have sought to have the agreement ended, arguing that it is outdated and that Mexican imports are crippling the domestic industry. Mexico's government says such a move would damage its trade relations with the United States, its partner in the North American Free Trade Agreement. It said the country's trade in tomatoes with the United States was worth over $1.8 billion in 2011.

To boost social network privacy: California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a pair of privacy bills making it illegal for employers and colleges to demand access to social media accounts. Brown announced on Thursday that he signed AB1844 by Assemblywoman Nora Campos, a Democrat from San Jose. The bill prohibits employers from demanding user names and passwords from employees and job applicants. The restriction does not apply to passwords or information used on employer-issued electronic devices.

Goebbels love letters fail to sell: A Connecticut auction house says the love letters and other pre-war writings of Adolf Hitler propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels have failed to sell. Alexander Historical Auctions says it offered the letters, school papers and dramatic works of Goebbels on Thursday. The collection spans the period from Goebbels' childhood to shortly before he joined the Nazi party in 1924. Auction officials had hoped it would sell for more than $200,000. Auction house president Bill Panagopulos says an overseas phone bidder made an offer that was too low and he's disappointed. He says the collection will remain for sale, possibly at a lower price once he talks to the owner. The thousands of pages include Goebbels' college dissertation, report cards, poems, school essays and letters from relatives, friends and girlfriends.

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