DETROIT – General Motors is switching sides in the legal fight against California's right to set its own clean-air standards, abandoning the Trump administration as the president's term nears its close.
CEO Mary Barra said in a letter Monday to environmental groups that GM will no longer support the Trump administration in its defense against a lawsuit over its efforts against California's standards. And GM is urging other automakers to do the same.
The move is a sign that GM and other automakers are anticipating big changes when President-elect Joe Biden takes office in January. Already at least one other large automaker, Toyota, said it may join GM in switching to California's team.
In her letter, Barra wrote the company agrees with Biden's plan to expand electric vehicle use. Last week, GM said it is testing a new battery chemistry that will bring down electric vehicle costs to those of gas-powered vehicles within five years.
Ex-'Jeopardy' champ to interim host
“Jeopardy!” record-holder Ken Jennings will be the first in a series of interim hosts replacing Alex Trebek when the show resumes production next Monday.
Producers announced Monday Jennings, who won 74 games in a row and claimed the show's “Greatest of All Time” title in a competition last year, will host episodes that air in January.
A permanent host for Trebek, who died of cancer Nov. 8, will be named later.
Judge OKs cut to Planned Parenthood
A federal appeals court ruled Monday that Texas and Louisiana can cut off Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood clinics – a move supported by opponents of legal abortion, but opposed by advocates who said it affects a variety of non-abortion health services for low-income women.
The ruling was handed down by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans. While it expressly reversed decisions in Texas and Louisiana, it also affects Mississippi, which is under 5th Circuit jurisdiction. The issue is likely to go next to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Buffalo diocese, 2 ex-leaders sued
New York Attorney General Letitia James on Monday sued the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo and two former church leaders, alleging they covered up allegations of sexual misconduct and misused charitable assets by supporting predatory priests who were allowed to retire or go on leave.
The lawsuit against the diocese, former Bishop Richard Malone and former Auxiliary Bishop Edward Grosz follows a two-year investigation. It found church leaders sheltered accused priests by letting them step away from ministry rather than follow mandated procedures that would subject them to possible removal from the priesthood by the Vatican.
Report: Netanyahu meets bin Salman
Israeli media reported Monday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu flew to Saudi Arabia for a clandestine meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, which would mark the first known encounter between senior Israeli and Saudi officials.
The reported meeting was the latest move by the Trump administration to promote normalized ties between Israel and the broader Arab world.
The Israeli news site Walla, followed quickly by other Hebrew-language media, cited an unnamed Israeli official as saying that Netanyahu and Yossi Cohen, head of Israel's Mossad spy agency, flew Sunday night to the Saudi city of Neom, where they met with the crown prince. The prince was there for talks with visiting Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Yemen rebels strike Saudi oil facility
Yemen's Houthi rebels said they struck a Saudi oil facility in the port city of Jiddah early Monday with a new cruise missile, just hours after the kingdom finished hosting its virtual Group of 20 leaders summit.
The kingdom acknowledged the attack hours later. Videos of a small explosion at a Saudi Arabian Oil Co. facility in Jiddah had circulated on social media all day and a satellite photo confirmed damage at the site.
A projectile struck a fuel tank at the Jiddah distribution station and ignited a fire about 3:50 a.m., an unnamed Energy Ministry official said in a statement carried by the state-run Saudi Press Agency.
Col. Turki al-Maliki, a spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition fighting the Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen, blamed the rebels for what he called “a cowardly attack which not only targets the kingdom, but also targets the nerve center of the world's energy supply and the security of the global economy.”