WINTER WEATHER ADVISORIES

1 AM UNTIL 4 PM THURSDAY

WINTER WEATHER ADVISORIES remain for Van Buren, Kalamazoo, Calhoun, Jackson, Allegan, Barry, Eaton, Ottawa, Kent, Ionia, Muskegon, Montcalm, Oceana, and Newaygo counties from 1 AM until 4 PM Thursday afternoon.  Snow, sleet, and freezing rain develop shortly after midnight and prior to your Thursday morning commute.  Roads will be slippery; freezing rain and sleet ultimately transition to snow by late morning or midday Thursday.  Ice accumulations and the timing make this event impactful for all travelers.  Snowfall accumulations ... Holland to Lansing and north: 1" to 2" ... south of that line including Kalamazoo: less than 2/10" of ice, very little snow.

Stay with wwmt.com for your weather this afternoon and always!

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What happened to the outrage?

Updated: Friday, April 11, 2014
What happened to the outrage? story image
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - The world is still waiting for the internal report to put the finger on just why it took General Motors up to ten years to issue a recall for 2.5 million cars that may have fatally faulty ignition switches.

It's a problem the world's largest automaker more or less now concedes is to blame for at least 31 crashes and 13 deaths.

But for 10 years, GM simply sat on the problem.

Tonight in Tom's Corner, our Tom Van Howe wonders what in the world has happened to outrage.

=====================

Maybe we're just numb. But the last century was replete with people standing up and shouting about what they thought was wrong, unjust, unfair, and demanding action.

But not so much anymore. The voices of outrage have turned into whispers.

Maybe its because the new century began with the war in Iraq--as completely misguided vengeance for the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center.

We were told by experts there were no weapons of mass destruction there, and there weren't. The 9/11 hijackers were Saudi Arabian...not Iraqi.

If one objected, that person was unpatriotic.

Then Afghanistan. Death, destruction, and torture--something we believed we didn't do.

Now we know that we did. Enthusiastically.

Then came the drones, raining death on both terrorists and wedding parties. We worry they'll be used on us to watch, listen, and record.

And why not worry? Credit the fugitive whistle-blower Edward Snowden for tipping us off on the incredible reach of the national security agency.

We live in a world where almost nothing is private.

We endlessly debate immigration reform in a Congress that accomplishes almost nothing. Its no wonder Congress has an approval rating of about 10 percent.

Meantime we're breaking up families on a daily basis--deporting record numbers of people back to Mexico.

We continue extolling our right to bear arms while gun violence continues haunting the streets of our cities.

We don't vote much anymore. In off-year elections roughly 15 percent of us make decisions for all the rest.

Big money is completely taking over the battle for free and equal speech. Its no longer free nor equal.

Wall street continues unregulated.  And while the way we pay for healthcare has people on the right apoplectic, no one talks much about the high-and-still-soaring cost of healthcare.

So maybe its just domestic battle fatigue that has people shrugging their shoulders about the way General Motors shirked a life-and-death responsibility for a full decade.

Executives in Detroit knew back in 2004 there was an ignition switch problem in Chevy Cobalts and HHR's, and in Pontiac G7s, Pursuits, and Solstices, and Saturn Ions and Skys.

They knew before and after their bankruptcy and the ensuing bailout that if the switches were jarred or if the key had too heavy a ring on it, it could malfunction and turn off the engine--leaving the driver without air brakes, power steering, or operable airbags.

Result? A documented 31 crashes and 13 deaths.

Consumer Reports says there have been more than 300 deaths in GM cars with undeployed air bags.

And none of it should have happened. None of it.
 
This is a company kept alive by the American people who in return were given a hand gesture.

Has it made me angry? Absolutely. I feel as though I've been had. Trouble is, I don't know what to do with my anger.

Ever since the Supreme Court said corporations are people too, its taken the wind out of my sails.

I want to shout at somebody. I want to punch somebody.

But neither option seems very effective against one of the largest corporations. And how do you punch a corporation anyway?

Maybe if I ignore it...it'll all just go away.

In this corner, I'm Tom Van Howe.

Business News

Last Update on January 28, 2015 13:05 GMT

YAHOO-ALIBABA SPIN-OFF

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is spinning off the company's prized stake in China's Alibaba Group Holding in a move that will avoid paying billions in future taxes.

A newly formed entity called SpinCo will inherit ownership of Yahoo's 384 million Alibaba shares when the tax-free spin-off is completed toward the end of this year.

Tuesday's much-anticipated announcement about the management of Yahoo's 15 percent stake in Alibaba overshadowed Yahoo's results for the final three months of last year.

Yahoo's shareholders are far more interested in Mayer's plans for the Alibaba stake because it's currently worth about $39 billion. That's far more than the value of Yahoo's own online services, which have been struggling to generate more revenue for the past six years.

CHINA-ALIBABA

BEIJING (AP) -- Chinese regulators have accused e-commerce giant Alibaba of allowing sales of fake and shoddy goods and other mismanagement in a report that was withheld until now to avoid disrupting its U.S. stock market debut.

The report Wednesday by China's industrial regulator said Alibaba allowed unlicensed merchants to use its sales platforms and failed to protect consumers' rights adequately.

The report was the result of a meeting in July but said it was withheld to avoid affecting progress toward Alibaba's stock market listing in New York. The company went public in September after raising a record $25 billion in an initial public stock offering.

An Alibaba spokesman said the company was preparing a public statement about the report.

HEALTH OVERHAUL POLL

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A new poll says most Americans would want Congress to restore federal subsidies for millions buying health care coverage under President Barack Obama's health care law if the Supreme Court invalidates some of that aid.

A poll by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation says more than 6 in 10 would want Congress to restore the assistance.

That could mean Republicans would face a complex political landscape if the Supreme Court annuls part of Obama's health care law this year. Republicans want to repeal and replace that law.

The court is expected to rule in June whether the law allows federal subsidies only to people buying coverage from state-run marketplaces, and not from Washington's HealthCare.gov.

The federal government runs the marketplace in 37 states, covering more than 7 million people.

ALBERTSONS-SAFEWAY-FTC

NEW YORK (AP) -- Supermarket chain Albertsons says U.S. regulators have approved its purchase of competitor Safeway Inc.

The companies say the deal has been cleared by the Federal Trade Commission and should close within five business days.

Albertsons, which is privately held and part-owned by Cerberus Capital Management, agreed to buy Safeway in March for $7.64 billion in cash. The FTC said the sale would hurt consumers in 130 markets by reducing competition, and in December the companies said they would sell 168 stores in eight states.

Most of the stores will be bought by Haggen, a chain based in the Northwest. Haggen will expand to 164 locations from 18.

Excluding the stores that are being sold, Safeway had about 1,300 locations under names including Safeway, Tom Thumb and Carrs. Albertsons had about 1,100 stores under its own name as well as Acme, Jewel-Osco, and others. The companies have about 250,000 employees combined.

WINTER WEATHER-ECONOMIC IMPACT

NEW YORK (AP) -- Experts say New York City's businesses lost about $200 million following the fizzled snowstorm and decision to shut down the transit system. City officials argued it was better to err on the side of caution.

Moody's Analytics economist Adam Kamins says consumers who would have otherwise made other major purchases on Tuesday will likely do so a day or two later. And he notes that many employees forced to stay home were able to telecommute.

Experts say the biggest impact would be on small businesses and hourly workers such as taxi drivers and restaurant workers. The city's 24,000 restaurants could lose millions.

MARIJUANA-TAXES

DENVER (AP) -- Colorado's marijuana experiment was designed to raise tax revenue for the state and its schools, but a state law may give some of the money directly to residents.

The voter-approved constitutional amendment requires Colorado to pay back taxpayers when the state collects more than the limit in a formula based on inflation and population growth.

But lawmakers don't want to put pot taxes back into people's pockets.

Republicans usually want tax dollars returned to taxpayers, but they say marijuana should pay for itself, and general taxes shouldn't pay for things like increased drug education.

Lawmakers might ask voters to exempt pot taxes from the refund requirement. Otherwise, Colorado would have to refund more than $30 million of the $50 million in recreational pot taxes it has collected.

Lawmakers would decide if the money would go to all taxpayers or just people who bought pot.

AMERICAN EXPRESS-CUBA

NEW YORK (AP) -- American Express Co. says it plans to start doing business in Cuba after the Obama administration lifted a ban on U.S. banks and credit card companies operating on the island.

The New York company did not say on Tuesday when people could use American Express cards in Cuba. American Express currently has no terminals set up or merchant relationships there.

MasterCard Inc. last week became the first major U.S. credit card company to say it would start handling U.S. card transactions in Cuba. Visa Inc. did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.

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