DETROIT -- The government is getting closer to selling all of its General Motors Co. stock.
The Treasury Department said in its August report to Congress that it sold $811 million worth of GM common stock last month.
The report dated Tuesday said the government has recovered about $35.4 billion of the $49.5 billion bailout it gave the Detroit automaker. That means taxpayers are still $14.1 billion in the hole.
When the government finally sells all of its shares, it will end a sad chapter in GM's history. The company nearly ran out of cash in 2008 and needed government money to survive a trip through bankruptcy reorganization. Since then GM has posted 14 straight profitable quarters.
Church bombing victims honored: House and Senate leaders on Tuesday awarded Congress' highest civilian honor to four girls killed in the Alabama church bombing nearly 50 years ago that became a watershed moment in the civil rights movement. The Congressional Gold Medal went to Addie Mae Collins, Carole Robertson and Cynthia Wesley, who were all 14, and Denise McNair, who was 11. The ceremony came five days before the 50th anniversary of their deaths inside the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham. The girls were killed in the explosion of a bomb planted outside the church by white supremacists.
Firefighters gain upper hand: Firefighters gained the upper hand Tuesday on a wildfire in Northern California that destroyed 30 homes and forced about 600 people out of their homes, fire officials said. The Clover Fire broke out Monday near the rural community of Happy Valley in Shasta County and was quickly fanned by gusty winds, growing to nearly 11 square miles. However, lighter winds Tuesday allowed firefighters to focus on corralling the blaze. "The fire is not doing much and that is what we call very good news," California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokesman Mike Witesman said.Officials said that at its peak, the flames spread at 500 acres an hour.
Dies after being left in SUV: A 5-month-old boy died after being left in an SUV parked outside the family's Southern California home, and authorities said the boy's father might have forgotten about him. The Los Angeles Times reported (http://lat.ms/15TcqJt ) the man drove home Monday with his son but left the infant in the vehicle when he went inside the house in Carson. The father later left the house but took a different car. He called police in a panic when he realized where the boy was. Deputies rushed to the family home and tried to save the infant, but it was too late. The child was pronounced dead at the scene. No arrests have been made. An autopsy is expected later this week.
De Blasio tops mayoral primary: New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio has emerged as the surprising top choice in the Democratic mayoral primary but could still face weeks before becoming his party's nominee. The chaotic campaign to replace Mayor Michael Bloomberg was plunged into uncertainty early today. With 97 percent of precincts reporting, de Blasio has 40.2 percent of the total vote, which puts him just above the 40 percent threshold needed to avoid an Oct. 1 runoff. If he cannot maintain that, he'll face former city comptroller Bill Thompson, who has 26 percent, in a one-on-one showdown with the winner facing Republican nominee Joe Lhota. Election officials will recount the votes and tabulate absentee ballots, and it may take more than a week before it is known whether a runoff is needed.
Corker cites "laughingstock:" Volkswagen would become a "laughingstock" if it goes through with a deal to have the United Auto Workers represent workers at its Tennessee plant, U.S. Sen. Bob Corker said Tuesday. The Tennessee Republican told Associated Press in a phone interview that he was dismayed when VW last week sent a letter to employees regarding its discussion with the UAW about creating a German-style works council at the Chattanooga plant. Corker, who played a large role in persuading Volkswagen to build its lone U.S. assembly plant in the city where he was once mayor, said he hopes the company pulls back from its decision to engage in talks with the UAW.
FDA issues positive review: The Food and Drug Administration has issued a positive review of a breast cancer drug from Roche that could soon become the first pharmaceutical option approved for treating early-stage disease before surgery. In documents posted online, FDA scientists said women who received the drug Perjeta as initial treatment for breast cancer were more likely to be cancer-free at the time of surgery than women who received older drug combinations. Although the results come from mid-stage trials of the drug, FDA scientists recommended accelerating approval of the drug. That step is reserved for groundbreaking drugs to treat life-threatening diseases.
Koreas set to restart factory park: North and South Korea agreed today to restart operations at a jointly run factory park that Pyongyang shut down in April during a torrent of threats, the latest sign of easing animosity between the rivals. Wariness, however, still lingers in Seoul and Washington over Pyongyang's springtime provocations, which included warnings of nuclear strikes against the allies, and the North's repeated vows to push ahead with nuclear weapons and missile work. The Koreas also plan reunions this month of families divided by the Korean War, and last week restored a military communications channel at the border.