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Over the weekend, General Motors increased this year's vehicle recalls to 4.8 million — six times more than it recalled last year. But, for almost 10 years, it failed to recall Chevy Cobalts and other cars with defective ignition switches linked to at least 13 fatal accidents. Was there criminal action? We get the background as CEO Mary Barra prepares to testify on Capitol Hill starting tomorrow. Also, a UN 'Climate Change' report says entire planet being affected, and Cesar Chavez, warts and all. A recent biography reveals a more complex life than the new movie.

Banner image: Consulting materials engineer Mark Hood shows the ignition assembly which has a faulty 2005 ignition switch (black piece at left), in the mechanical testing laboratory at McSwain Engineering, Inc. in Pensacola, Florida, March 28, 2014. Photo: Michael Spooneybarger/Reuters

UN 'Climate Change' Report Says Entire Planet Being Affected 7 MIN, 49 SEC

More than 110 governments across the globe have now agreed that climate change already threatens the systems that support human existence, and that global action must be taken immediately. That's the latest report of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Eric Holthaus is a meteorologist who writes for Future Tense on Slate.com.

Eric Holthaus, Slate.com (@EricHolthaus)

GM on the Hot Seat — All Over Again 32 MIN, 42 SEC

For many years, General Motors knowingly installed ignition switches that failed to meet specifications in Chevy Cobalts and other small cars. Since then, at least 13 people have died in accidents linked to defective switches GM could have replaced for $2. GM has admitted that officials knew of defective ignition switches for almost 10 years before undertaking a massive recall this year. Now, there's a criminal probe and Congress is asking, 'what did GM executives — and federal regulators -- know and when did they know it?' Can Mary Barra, the company's new CEO, persuade Capitol Hill and millions of customers that GM has cleaned up its act since the federal bailout? 

Keith Naughton, Bloomberg News (@KeithNaughton)
David Shepardson, Reuters (@davidshepardson)
Maryann Keller, veteran independent auto analyst
John Heitmann, University of Dayton, Ohio (@jheitmann1)

GM Mary Barra's written testimony to Congress
Keller's 'Rude Awakening: The Rise, Fall and Struggle for Recovery of General Motors'
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on GM recall of ignition switches
Naughton on GM's supplier-squeezing days having given birth to flawed models
Shepardson on Democrats wanting to know why GM approved faulty ignition switches
Shepardson on NHTSA, GM missing red flags

Rude Awakening

Maryann Keller

Cesar Chavez Gets Close-up in a First-of-Its-Kind Biography 10 MIN, 36 SEC

book.JPGTen states recognize this as Cesar Chavez Day. In California, Colorado and Texas it's an official holiday. Arguably the most important Latino leader in US history, in the 1960's Chavez organized poor Mexican farm workers against rich California farmers using boycotts, marches and other forms of nonviolent action. In the process, he inspired a generation of activists for other causes as well as his own. This weekend, an admiring new biopic was released, but a new biography tells a more complex story. Miriam Pawel is author of The Crusades of Cesar Chavez.

Miriam Pawel, journalist and author (@miriampawel)

Pawel's 'The Union of Their Dreams: Power, Hope, and Struggle in Cesar Chavez's Farm Worker Movement'

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