Monday, February 19, 2018
News Roundup

VW workers in Tenn. reject union

VW workers in Tenn. reject union

Workers at a Volkswagen factory in Tennessee voted against union representation, a devastating loss that derails the United Auto Workers' effort to organize Southern factories.

The 712-626 vote released late Friday stunned many labor experts who expected a UAW win because Volks­wagen tacitly endorsed the union and even allowed organizers into the Chattanooga factory to make sales pitches.

The UAW for decades has tried without success to organize a foreign-owned plant in a region that's wary of organized labor. The loss now makes it even harder for the union to recruit members at another Southern factory.

"If they can't win this one, what can they win?" asked Art Schwartz, a former General Motors labor negotiator who now is a consultant in Ann Arbor, Mich.

There are a dozen or so assembly plants in the South.

Okla. man accused of porn site shakedown

An Oklahoma man who allegedly blackmailed women with nude and sexually explicit photos on his "revenge porn" website has been arrested and faces charges in California, Attorney General Kamala Harris announced Friday.

Casey Meyering, 28, of Tulsa allegedly ran the "revenge porn" website known as WinByState that featured photos either stolen from victims or posted by angry former boyfriends, Harris' office said.

In a kind of competition among states, the website encouraged men to post photos of women they used to date or of current girlfriends. The website required victims to pay $250 via a Google Wallet account to remove the photographs, the officials said. That financial account, registered at a nonexistent Beverly Hills storefront, was eventually traced to Meyering.

In December, a San Diego man was arrested for allegedly operating a similar website and shakedown operation. Kevin Bollaert, 27, is awaiting trial.

Elsewhere

San Francisco: San Francisco Bay Area health officials issued a public warning that a college student with measles could have exposed thousands of others when he attended classes and rode public transit.

China: Police in Xinjiang, the ethnically divided region in far western China, fatally shot eight people on Friday after what the state-run news media described as an attack by assailants armed with bombs made from gas cylinders. Three other attackers died in an explosion they set off, the reports said.

Britain: A police helicopter that plummeted into a Scottish pub in November, killing 10 people, suffered failure of both its engines from an as-yet-undetermined cause, investigators of the accident said Friday.

Central African Republic: Thousands of Muslims who tried to flee the violence in Central African Republic's capital, Bangui, were turned back by peacekeepers Friday, as crowds of angry Christians shouted "we're going to kill you all."

Times wires

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