Obama renews calls for nuclear reductions
BERLIN — Appealing for a new citizen activism in the free world, President Barack Obama renewed his call Wednesday to reduce U.S. and Russian nuclear stockpiles and to confront climate change, a danger he called “the global threat of our time.”
In a wide-ranging speech that enumerated a litany of challenges facing the world, Obama said he wanted to reignite the spirit that Berlin displayed when it fought to reunite itself during the Cold War.
“Today’s threats are not as stark as they were half a century ago, but the struggle for freedom and security and human dignity, that struggle goes on,” Obama said at the city’s historic Brandenburg Gate under a bright, hot sun. “And I come here to this city of hope because the test of our time demands the same fighting spirit that defined Berlin a half-century ago.”
The president called for a one-third reduction of U.S. and Russian deployed nuclear weapons, saying it is possible to ensure American security and a strong deterrent while also limiting nuclear weapons.
FBI: No sign of Hoffa’s remains in field
OAKLAND TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Beneath a swimming pool, under a horse farm and now a weed-grown field north of Detroit. For at least the third time in a decade, FBI agents grabbed shovels and combed through dirt and mud in the search for Jimmy Hoffa’s remains or clues to the disappearance of the former Teamsters boss.
Once again, the search was futile.
“Certainly, we’re disappointed,” Detroit FBI chief Robert Foley told reporters Wednesday as federal and local authorities wrapped up another excavation that failed to turn up anything that could be linked to Hoffa, who has been missing since 1975.
“Right now, the case remains open,” Foley said. “At this point, if we do get logical leads and enough probable cause that warrant the resources to do an investigation, then we’ll continue to do so.”
Sao Paulo, Rio officials reverse subway, bus fare hike
SAO PAULO (AP) — Leaders in Brazil’s two biggest cities said Wednesday they have reversed an increase in bus and subway fares that ignited protests across the nation.
However, many doubted the move would help abate the demonstrations that have moved well beyond the outrage over the fare hikes into communal cries against poor public services in Latin America’s biggest nation.
“This will represent a big sacrifice and we will have to reduce investments in other areas,” Sao Paulo Mayor Fernando Haddad said. He didn’t give details on where other cuts would occur.
Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes also confirmed the fare increase would be rescinded in that city.
Scattered street demonstrations continued in some parts of Brazil, including Rio’s sister city of Niteroi, as protesters demand improvements of the public services they receive in exchange for high taxes and rising prices.
Survey: Car quality dinged by tech glitches
DETROIT— Car buyers increasingly want high-tech features like voice recognition and navigation. But they’re not very forgiving of the car company when those systems fail.
The top complaints in J.D. Power’s closely-watched survey of new vehicle owners, released Wednesday, involved technologies that drivers are clamoring for. Voice recognition systems either didn’t recognize commands or didn’t work at all. Bluetooth systems had trouble connecting with drivers’ phones.
The result: Just when automakers had reached their highest-ever levels of quality — as they did in J.D. Power’s 2012 survey — technology glitches are dragging their scores down.
“I’ve had companies tell me they would rather develop a new car from the ground up than a new entertainment system,” said Tom Mutchler, program manager of vehicle interface at Consumer Reports.
By wire sources