MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (AP) — Authorities launched a criminal investigation Monday into the cause of an explosion that killed five people at a power plant under construction, saying they could not rule out criminal negligence. "If everything went right, we wouldn't all be here right now," Middletown Mayor Sebastian Guiliano said.
TOKYO (AP) — Toyota says it is recalling about 437,000 Prius and other hybrid vehicles worldwide to fix brake problems — the latest in a string of embarrassing safety lapses at the world's largest automaker. "I don't see Toyota as an infallible company that never makes mistakes," President Akio Toyoda said at a press conference Tuesday in Tokyo.
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut's governor is calling for a review of state safety codes following a deadly explosion at a power plant in Middletown. Rell announced Monday that she is creating two panels — one to identify the cause and origin of Sunday's explosion at the Kleen Energy Systems plant and any contributing factors, such as construction problems, worker safety issues and licensing or permitting matters.
MATTOON, Ill. (AP) — Caterpillar Inc., the world's largest maker of mining and construction equipment, plans to join a coalition of companies planning to build an experimental clean-coal power plant known as FutureGen, key politicians announced Monday. Gov. Pat Quinn and Sen. Dick Durbin said the addition of Caterpillar comes on the heels of a decision by Chicago-based Exelon Corp.
NEW YORK (AP) — General Motors said Monday its new lineup of heavy-duty diesel pickups will be capable of running on a biodiesel blend fuel. The pickups will run on B20 fuel, which is a mix of 20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent conventional diesel. The new Duramax engine, which can run on the biodiesel blend, will power the redesigned 2011 Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra heavy-duty pickups, as well as the Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana full-size vans.
DUGWAY, Utah (AP) — Lockheed Martin Corp. said Monday it and Kaman Corp. successfully demonstrated an unmanned helicopter designed to resupply troops in Afghanistan. The defense contractor said it conducted a series of remote-control flight tests for the K-MAX aircraft last week in subfreezing temperatures at the U.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Endeavour and six astronauts rocketed into orbit Monday on what's likely the last nighttime launch for the shuttle program, hauling a new room and observation deck for the International Space Station. The space shuttle took flight before dawn, igniting the sky with a brilliant flash seen for miles around.
NEW YORK (AP) — Weakness in Western energy-producing states helped raise the average U.S. county's economic stress in December to its highest point since the recession began in December 2007, according to The Associated Press' monthly analysis of conditions in more than 3,100 U.S. counties. States such as Alaska, Wyoming and Montana lost jobs related in part to a drop in energy and mining exploration.
BEIJING (AP) — China has found another 170 tons of tainted milk powder in an emergency crackdown that has made it increasingly clear many products discovered in the country's 2008 milk scandal were repackaged for sale instead of destroyed. The growing number of cases in recent weeks challenges the government's earlier promise to overhaul its approach to food safety after hundreds of thousands of children in that scandal were sickened by milk products tainted with an industrial chemical.
SEATTLE (AP) — Boeing Co.'s giant 747-8 freighter should make its first flight Monday after performing well on taxi tests and reaching a top speed of about 103.5 mph, the company said. At 250 feet long, the plane is the largest Boeing has ever built and about 18 feet longer than the existing 747-400 jumbo jet.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Toyota has friends in high places in Washington, including some of the very people now investigating the Japanese automaker. The company has sought to sow good will and win allies with lobbying, charitable giving, racing in the American-as-apple pie NASCAR series and, perhaps most important, creating jobs.
MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (AP) — A Connecticut fire official says at least 95 percent of the nearly 100 workers who were at a power plant that exploded are accounted for. Middletown Deputy Fire Marshal Al Santostefano said Monday that most of the workers are accounted for, judging by conversations with contractors and labor union officials.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Chinese businessman who sold phony Cisco computer parts to U.S. buyers has been sentenced to 2½ years in federal prison. The U.S. attorney's office in Los Angeles announced the sentence Friday against Yongcai Li. He also was ordered to repay nearly $800,000 to Cisco Systems Inc.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Jim Doyle says a bill he signed into law will help the state increase access to federal bonds and create hundreds of jobs in Wisconsin. Doyle signed the bill Friday at Energy Composites, a wind blade manufacturing plant in Wisconsin Rapids. The bill allows cities and counties to tap into unused bonding authority given under the federal stimulus law.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Auto parts supplier SL America will add 300 jobs in a $35 million expansion at its SL Tennessee LLC plant in Clinton. A statement from Tennessee economic development director Matt Kisber's office said the new jobs in the planned $35 million expansion will be created by the end of 2010.