Nissan's profit flat over inspection scandal, legal costs

Published: Tuesday, November 07, 2017 @ 11:48 PM
Updated: Tuesday, November 07, 2017 @ 11:47 PM

TOKYO (AP) — Japanese automaker Nissan Motor Co.'s fiscal second-quarter profit slipped 3 percent despite growing sales because of costs related to improper vehicle checks in Japan and a massive global air-bag recall in the U.S.

The news conference Wednesday announcing the results at the company's Yokohama, Japan headquarters was overshadowed by the scandal over systematic faulty inspections, which surfaced last month. The scandal has resulted in more than a million vehicles being recalled to be checked again in Japan, and has caused some production at all six Nissan plants in Japan to be halted.

Nissan Chief Executive Hiroto Saikawa again bowed deeply, apologizing to customers, dealers, partners and government authorities for the recent faulty inspections scandal.

Nissan has acknowledged unqualified people had been systematically carrying out vehicle checks. Adding to the embarrassment, the company acknowledged that, even after the scandal had surfaced, the dubious checks had continued.

Nissan, allied with Renault SA of France, reported Wednesday a July-September profit of 141.6 billion yen ($1.2 billion), down from 146.1 billion yen the same period last year.

Quarterly sales rose 8.5 percent to 2.89 trillion yen ($25.4 billion).

"We promise to do our utmost to win back people's trust," Saikawa told reporters.

He said production had resumed as of Wednesday at all plants in Japan after the tests had been corrected.

But the third-party investigation that is set to report to the Japanese government, which he had hoped would be ready, will not be completed until next week, he said.

When the report is completed, Saikawa said he hoped to explain to reporters what had been behind the long ongoing illegal tests.

The problem does not affect Nissan vehicles sold outside Japan. Nissan has acknowledged that not enough had been done to ensure inspection staff was aware of inspection requirements.

Also weighing on profit are litigation costs in the U.S. over Takata Corp. air-bag recalls. The auto industry has been rocked by the massive recall that involves some 100 million air-bag inflators worldwide. The defect has been linked to 19 deaths and dozens of injuries.

Takata was forced into bankruptcy amid lawsuits, multimillion-dollar fines and crushing air bag recall costs.

Nissan's Saikawa said order cancellations were coming in by the hundreds in Japan because of the scandal and the production stoppage.

He had been scheduled to outline the company's ambitious strategy over the next several years. But Saikawa barely glossed over the main points for that, appearing more focused on apologizing for the inspections scandal.

___

AP Business Writer Yuri Kageyama can be reached at https://twitter.com/yurikageyama

Her work can be found at https://www.apnews.com/search/yuri%20kageyama

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Some Ohio school districts arm staff, but don't tell public 

Published: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 2:25 AM

A teacher is shown how to handle a handgun by an instructor during a training session.
George Frey/Getty Images
A teacher is shown how to handle a handgun by an instructor during a training session.(George Frey/Getty Images)

Several school districts in Ohio have armed staff and teachers in an effort to prevent school shootings, but some of those districts have not told parents, students and taxpayers about the firearms in their buildings.

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On Wednesday, President Donald Trump said that if one of the victims, a football coach, in last week’s Florida school shooting had been armed “he would have shot and that would have been the end of it.”

The move to arm teachers is growing in Ohio, even if the public has no idea.

In August 2017 some superintendents said they are aware of districts that have armed staff and teachers without making the move public.

“It’s way more prevalent than people realize,” Mad River Schools Superintendent Chad Wyen said. His district trained and armed employees last year. “Sixty-three out of 88 counties in Ohio have a district with a response team.”

While some details — types and locations of weapons and names of trained staff — are undisclosed as part of Mad River’s safety plan, the mere fact that students and parents know guns are in the building is more information than other Ohio districts provide publicly.

“We decided to be transparent,” said Chris Burrow, superintendent of Georgetown Exempted Village Schools in Brown County, east of Cincinnati, in a 2017 interview. “We went to training this summer, and there were districts that did not tell their communities.”

The superintendents did not specify which schools they knew implemented gun training but did not tell the public.

Burrow’s staff follows a path already blazed by Edgewood City Schools in Butler County, which adopted a concealed carry policy in 2013.

Superintendents who have armed their teachers and staff have largely expressed positive results.

“We had others that just had a lot of questions, especially people who are hesitant around guns,” Burrow said. “I did have a few staff members who said, ‘I don’t know if I can work here.’”

“We worked through it,” he said. “They weren’t as adamantly opposed as they were before.”

Four years after bringing guns into Sidney City Schools, Superintendent John Scheu said more than 90 percent of the staff who first volunteered have stayed with the program. He said the district has no issue finding educators willing to bear arms.

“As a matter of fact, we have a waiting list,” Scheu said.

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Hero German shepherd takes bullet for teenager in home invasion

Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 8:50 PM

(KIRO7.com)
(KIRO7.com)

When burglars violently broke into a Des Moines, Washington, home mid-afternoon on Wednesday, a teenager hid in a closet and held onto his dog.

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But Rex -- a 2-year-old German shepherd -- ran downstairs to protect the 16-year-old.

The dog confronted the burglars, who beat him until he was bloody. The dog ran back upstairs.

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With the dog out of sight, the home invasion continued as the two burglars trashed the house room by room. When they came into the bedroom where the teen and the dog were hiding in the closet, and the teen was on the phone with 911, the dog stood up to them with the little strength he had left.

>> Related: Police: Des Moines teen calls 911 from closet during home invasion

He threw himself at the burglars, the teen's family wrote on a GoFundMe page, and was shot at least three times in the neck, leg and knee.

As the sound of sirens became audible, the burglars ran away.

Officers found smashed sliding door glass when they went into the home to get the teen outside safely. They also found Rex, who at first looked dead.

While SWAT teams looked for the suspects, Rex was taken to the animal hospital. 

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He was eventually taken to BluePearl, where he is in the veterinary intensive care unit, receiving pain medication, antibiotics and wound care, with round-the-clock monitoring of his vital signs.
After making it through the night, the dog is now in stable condition.

As Rex recovers, people on social media have taken to calling him a "hero dog" for intervening between the burglars and the teenager.

"My nephew was protected by his eternal friend until the last bit of strength he had in him to do what his unconditional, loving instinct told him to," family member Susy Cadena said on the GoFundMe page.

The family started crowdfunding after paying large sums of money for X-rays and urgently needed medication for Rex. They hope to raise $10,000 to cover the expenses.

"Our family cannot let Rex the hero dog go without us fighting as hard as he did, to his very last bit of a strength while protecting my nephew," Cadena said.

Meanwhile, officers are still looking for the suspects, and they are trying to figure out why the house was targeted.

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Armed Stoneman Douglas resource officer 'never went in' during Florida shooting

Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 5:35 PM

Armed Stoneman Douglas Resource Officer Resigns

The school resource officer at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School has resigned, according to Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel.

[View the story "Stoneman Douglas resource officer resigns after investigation" on Storify]

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Follow along with our live updates as we learn more

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NC woman wins $1 million scratch-off jackpot

Published: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 12:48 AM

The 7 Biggest Jackpots in U.S. History

Winner, winner, before that chicken dinner.

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A North Carolina woman is $1 million richer after buying a scratch-off ticket while purchasing her meal, WRAL reported.

Sayanna Bragg bought a dozen chicken wings and a soft drink at a Durham convenience store and decided to purchase a Million Dollar Fever scratch-off ticket. 

When she got to her car, Bragg began to scratch the ticket.

“When I saw the fire symbol, I knew I won something,” she told WRAL. “I was hoping it was at least $10, that way I’d win my money back, or even $100. When I saw what it was, I cried tears of joy. I jumped out of the car and ran back into the store yelling ‘I did it! I hit $1 million.’”

The store clerk at the Cruizers store confirmed that the ticket was a million-dollar winner. Bragg did not hesitate, driving to the state lottery headquarters in Raleigh to claim her winnings.

Bragg decided to take the lump-sum payout and cleared $423,000 after taxes, WRAL reported.

Bragg said she plans to use some of her winnings to take a trip to Jamaica.

“I’m going to take a long vacation,” Bragg told WRAL. “I have family in Jamaica, so I want to go back and see them. This is a day I’ll never forget.”

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