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Interview: Gov. Rick Snyder looks back on 2013

Updated: Thursday, December 19, 2013 |
Interview: Gov. Rick Snyder looks back on 2013 story image
LANSING, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Governor Rick Snyder sat down with Newschannel 3's David Bailey in this one-on-one interview Wednesday.

The Governor took a look at the controversial so-called 'rape insurance' bill that just passed the state legislature, took a look back at 2013, and more.
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Last Update on May 01, 2015 18:19 GMT


WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. construction fell in March as an increase in nonresidential construction was offset by declines in home building and government projects.

The Commerce Department says construction spending dropped 0.6 percent in March after being flat in February. Construction activity has fallen or shown no gain in four of the past five months, a sign of the economic toll from a severe winter.

For March, housing construction dropped 1.6. Both single-family construction and apartment construction contracted. Spending on government projects fell 1.5 percent, the third straight decline.

The only good news in March is a 1 percent rise in nonresidential construction, with gains in the building of hotels and office buildings.

Economists are forecasting a rebound in coming months as warmer weather boosts activity.


WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. factories expanded in April at the same pace as in March, but manufacturers are starting to curtail hiring in a possible sign of weakness.

The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, says its manufacturing index was unchanged at 51.5.

The index had dropped in the prior five months. Still, any reading above 50 signals expansion.

U.S. manufacturers have faced a drag in recent months from falling oil prices and a rising dollar.

New orders and productivity improved in April, but the hiring component of the index slipped below 50 to 48.3, suggesting the possibility of layoffs and less hiring.


WASHINGTON (AP) -- Optimism about the job market lifted U.S. consumer sentiment in April to its second-highest level since 2007.

The University of Michigan's sentiment index rose to 95.9 from 93 in March. Only January's reading of 98.1 has been higher since 2007, the year the Great Recession began. Over the past five months, sentiment has been, on average, at its highest level since 2004.

Richard Curtin, chief economist of the Michigan survey, attributed the April increase to optimism over consistently low inflation and low interest rates and improving prospects for jobs and incomes.

The index found that consumers expect interest rates to rise from current historically low levels but only modestly. And they expect any economic damage from higher rates to be offset by the benefits of more jobs and incomes.


UNDATED (AP) -- Demand for small and midsize SUVs is driving up auto sales.

General Motors, Ford, Toyota, Fiat Chrysler and Nissan all reported U.S. sales gains in April as buyers flocked to crossover SUVS that handle like cars and sit up higher. But the gains came at the expense of small and midsize cars.

General Motors sales rose 5.9 percent, with sales of the Chevrolet Equinox midsize SUV soaring 42 percent.

Ford had its best April in nine years, gaining 5 percent. Sales of the revamped Ford Edge midsize SUV were up 78 percent from a year ago.

A 20 percent increase in Jeep sales helped push Fiat Chrysler's U.S. sales up about 6 percent.

Toyota sales rose just 1.8 percent but the Japanese automaker saw record April sales of the RAV4 small SUV and Highlander midsize SUV.

At Nissan, sales were up 5.7 percent, as sales of the Nissan Rogue SUV rose 45 percent.

Volkswagen, which lacks strong SUVs, saw sales fall about 3 percent.


DETROIT (AP) -- Under pressure from U.S. safety regulators, Ford is expanding a recall of small and midsize cars to fix door latches that may not stay closed.

The recall now covers almost 546,000 Ford Fusions and Lincoln MKZs from the 2013 and 2014 model years, and Ford Fiestas from 2011 to 2014.

Ford says a broken spring part can stop the doors from latching properly. The doors also can unlatch while the cars are in motion, increasing the risk of injury.

Ford reported two minor injuries from unlatched doors bouncing into people when they tried to close them. There also was one crash when a door opened and hit another vehicle in a parking lot.

Dealers will replace all four door latches for free.


WOONSOCKET, R.I. (AP) -- CVS Health's first-quarter earnings, fueled by specialty drug claims, climbed 8 percent and easily topped Wall Street expectations.

The Woonsocket, Rhode Island, company said Friday that revenue from its pharmacy benefits management business jumped 18 percent to nearly $23 billion. Driving sales were pricey specialty drugs, which are complex medicines that can represent treatment breakthroughs but often at a much higher cost than other drugs. Those sales helped offset slower growth from the company's drugstore segment, where revenue climbed 3 percent.

Pharmacy benefits managers help negotiate the prices that customers pay for prescription drugs. They are seen as a key component in the push to contain soaring costs from specialty drugs.

Overall, CVS Health earned $1.22 billion, up from $1.13 billion in last year's quarter. Earnings in the most recent quarter, adjusted for one-time gains and costs, were $1.14 per share. That was better than the per-share earnings of $1.08 that Wall Street had expected, according to a survey by Zacks Investment Research.


NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of the parent company of KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut are soaring after a prominent investor said he's taken a stake in the company thinks it could soon recover from years of trouble in China.

The letter from Daniel Loeb's Third Point hedge fund to investors drove Yum shares to an all-time high of $90.73 early Friday. The stock settled down slightly and was up $3.58, or 4.2 percent, to $89.56 in morning trading.

Third-Point did not disclose specifics on its stake in the company.

Louisville, Kentucky-based Yum gets much of its revenue from China, where it is still recovering after a TV report allegedly showed one of its suppliers using expired meat. A bird-flu outbreak and competition have also hampered the company's efforts in China.


WASHINGTON (AP) -- A federal appeals court has overturned a federal rule that exempted backup generators from air pollution controls for up to 100 hours per year.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled Friday that the Environmental Protection Agency failed to justify the exemption for generators that run on air-polluting diesel fuel and typically provide power during emergencies.

The rule was challenged by Delaware officials along with several environmental advocacy groups and power suppliers. They argued that the rule was encouraging office buildings, companies and other large consumers to use more power from backup generators in non-emergency situations, displacing cleaner power.

The appeals court agreed, saying the EPA did not respond to concerns that the rule undermined the reliability of the power grid and increased pollution.


WASHINGTON (AP) -- New safety rules are coming for oil trains to reduce the risk of fiery crashes. The requirements by U.S. and Canadian officials include stronger tank cars.

The rules require tank cars within 5 years to have an outer shell, a thermal lining and thicker steel walls to prevent them from rupturing in an accident.

Most oil trains also must have electronically controlled brakes by 2021 that stop all a train's cars at the same time, instead of sequentially.

The oil industry has opposed the stronger tank car design, while railroads have fought the new braking requirements. Both have billions of dollars on the line.

There've been dozens of fiery oil train crashes in recent years, including one that killed 47 people in Canada.


CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is hoping to hit the right notes over new rules enforcing an ivory ban that snagged a pair of teenage bagpipers at the Canadian border.

In August, Campbell Webster and Eryk Bean of New Hampshire were returning from a competition in Canada when their pipes were taken at Highgate Springs, Vermont. The reason: They contained small pieces of ivory.

The U.S. prohibits importing ivory taken after 1976. The boys' pipes were both older than that but were seized anyway.

They got their pipes back the next day, in time to fly to Scotland for the world championships.

Craig Hoover, of U.S. Fish and Wildlife, says the ivory ban will remain in place but the new rule will make accommodations for things like musical instruments.


BERLIN (AP) -- European aviation company Airbus says it is taking legal action following reports it was targeted by German and U.S. intelligence agencies.

The company, which makes civilian and military aircraft and is a fierce rival of U.S. manufacturer Boeing, said in a statement Friday it will file a criminal complaint with prosecutors in Germany against "persons unknown." That's a common procedure in Germany which requires authorities to investigate.

Germany had pledged to cooperate with lawmakers investigating claims that the country's foreign intelligence agency helped the U.S. National Security Agency eavesdrop on European officials and companies.

Germany reacted angrily two years ago to reports that the NSA spied on senior German officials. But a parliamentary panel created to probe these claims has since uncovered uncomfortable allegations about Germany's own spy agency.


MILAN (AP) -- Dozens of people are protesting the opening of Milan's Expo 2015, torching parked cars, smashing bank and store windows and clashing with riot police far from the world's fair sprawling grounds.

Protesters split off from a generally non-violent march Friday, a few hours after Italian Premier Matteo Renzi inaugurated Expo, which runs through October and features pavilions from nations large and small, rich and poor.

Police fired tear gas and unleashed water from trucks to try to scatter the violent protesters in downtown Milan. Hooded protesters tossed bottles and incendiary devices at police and journalists, set rubbish bins afire and smashed pavement. Firefighters worked to extinguish the blazes.

Some marchers' placards protested a high-speed rail line construction in northern Italy as well as Expo and other "big projects."