Auto review: VW Atlas Cross Sport has what it takes to run with the best 5-seat midsize SUVs
Volkswagen hit a trifecta with the Atlas Cross Sport five-passenger SUV: Looks, value and features.After struggling to cash in on the SUV boom for years, VW’s model line has caught up with the American customer. SUVs accounted for 52% of 2019 US vehicle sales, over-indexing at 53% of VW’s U.S. business, a radical turnaround from when the German brand struggled with vehicles that were the wrong size, price or both for American tastes.With the appealing Cross Sport on sale now, SUVs’ share of VW U.S. sales should be even higher this year.VW will surely continue to add SUVs — every automaker will...
Detroit Free Press
40% of California car dealers in survey say they can hold out for only 1-3 more months
Many businesses are barely hanging on because of the restrictions put in place to blunt the spread of the coronavirus and the auto industry is no exception.In an online survey of new car dealers in California, 40% of the respondents said their operations during the crisis are sustainable for only one to three more months.“It’s a cash flow business,” said Brian Maas, president of the California New Car Dealers Association, the trade organization that conducted the survey. “When you press pause on that and there’s no money coming in and no customers coming in, it’s difficult to keep folks on sta...
The San Diego Union-Tribune
Danny Westneat: 'It will not go forgotten': One business and its tale of two landlords during the coronavirus crisis
Michael Sauvage has a tale of two landlords. In his story lies an urgent question as the coronavirus ravages local economies:Where should the burden lie?Sauvage runs a few teriyaki diners around Seattle, called BB’s Teriyaki Grill. Like most in the restaurant business, he’s being bled dry by the government’s shutdown of in-store dining.“Our sales are off 80%,” he said the other day as he was delivering some takeout teriyaki to the UW Medical Center. “I’m trying to be creative and just hang on here.”So last month he asked his landlords for some help on the rent. The responses he got back floore...
The Seattle Times
Border Patrol 'welcomes' investigation into birth at Calif. station
SAN DIEGO — Customs and Border Protection pushed back Thursday on a complaint from a Guatemalan woman who gave birth at a Border Patrol station in Chula Vista.The woman's complaint, filed Wednesday by the American Civil Liberties Union and Jewish Family Service, asked the Department of Homeland Security Office of the Inspector General to investigate what happened since Border Patrol's account of the situation at the time was so different from the woman's version of events.CBP disputed the woman's story on Thursday in a statement, saying that Border Patrol agents follow the agency's detention s...
The San Diego Union-Tribune
Grand Princess passengers sue cruise line, alleging negligence in coronavirus handling
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Passengers of a Princess cruise ship filed a lawsuit Wednesday, alleging the cruise line demonstrated negligence in its response to the coronavirus outbreak by operating cruises that led to the sickening of dozens of people and at least three deaths, including a Placer County man.Plaintiffs in the case were passengers on the Grand Princess, which departed San Francisco on Feb. 11 for a round trip to Mexico. At least four passengers became ill and started showing symptoms, according to the lawsuit, “likely exposing dozens of other passengers to the virus.”The lawsuit was fi...
The Sacramento Bee
Falcons GM Dimitroff homeschools for a most important draft
Now that it is mandated that he work from home, Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff has not cleared out such luxuries as a bed or a kitchen sink to make room for the oversized draft board. He hasn’t broken any neighborhood covenants by parking a CIA-surplus satellite truck in the driveway as a backup in case the internet goes out. Not yet anyway.Earlier this week Dimitroff uprooted his laptop during a media video conference and conducted a quick tour of where he’ll help mold the Falcons’ future come April 23-25.Draft Central appeared to be a room off his home office that consisted of a co...
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Senators want details from Amazon on firing of New York coronavirus protest organizer
Was Christian Smalls fired from Amazon for violating a quarantine or because he helped organize a walkout to protest safety conditions at a New York warehouse where employees had been diagnosed with COVID-19?Five U.S. senators sent Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos a series of questions in a letter Wednesday focusing on Smalls’ dismissal, which he and other politicians, as well as union leaders, have described as retaliation.Seattle-based Amazon has repeatedly insisted Smalls was fired “for putting the health and safety of others at risk and violations of his terms of his employment,” as company spokeswom...
The Seattle Times
Former Venezuelan attorney general implicated in US bribery case in Miami
MIAMI — A former Venezuelan attorney general has been implicated in a major U.S. corruption case accusing a one-time oil contractor of using South Florida banks to funnel bribes to her to block criminal charges against his companies in Venezuela.Although the former high-ranking official is not named in a Miami criminal case, sources familiar with the U.S. investigation say Luisa Ortega Diaz is “Venezuela Official 1” in a charging document and is suspected of accepting bribes from Carlos Enrique Urbano Fermin. His companies did business with subsidiaries of the national oil company, PDVSA, and ...
Commentary: COVID-19 'Shock Doctrine' has begun
In some places, the need for a collective response to the coronavirus crisis is bringing out the best of humanity, as people and mutual aid groups work to help and protect others.Unfortunately, some people are already using this crisis to push through devastating changes that will enrich polluters and harm public health.Take the $2 trillion relief package Congress passed to provide emergency aid to people and businesses facing an economic downturn from the crisis.There are commendable elements of the bill, such as its expansion of unemployment benefits and its direct cash payments. But while o...
Tribune News Service
The feds fell short on PPE, so everyday Americans stepped up
States are desperate for medical supplies, governors are pleading with the federal government to secure dwindling lifesaving equipment, and the number of novel coronavirus cases continues to rise nationally.But emerging from this crisis has been a widespread effort by small businesses, university labs and everyday Americans to create personal protective equipment for vulnerable health care professionals who are keeping patients alive and fighting the contagion.In Illinois, many manufacturers are retooling to make essential medical supplies for local hospitals: N95 masks, hand sanitizer and sec...