The U.S. Justice Department on Monday formally requested an emergency stay to put on hold a Texas judge's decision that temporarily blocked President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration from taking effect. U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen had issued a court order to halt the immigration actions, which would grant temporary relief from deportation for 4.7 million people who are in the United States illegally. The Justice Department said Hanen lacked authority to issue that preliminary injunction. Officials also filed on Monday to appeal his decision, and they asked that the immigration actions be allowed to move forward while the appeals process plays out.
(Reuters) - General Motors Co received another 33 claims for compensation for ignition switch defects in its cars in the past week, bringing the total to 4,345, according to the administrator of the company's compensation program. Through Friday, GM had received 479 claims for death, 292 for catastrophic injuries and 3,574 for less-serious injuries requiring hospitalization, according to a report from lawyer Kenneth Feinberg, hired by GM to administer the program. The number of claims found to be eligible for compensation so far is 151, the report said. Feinberg has so far determined that 57 deaths, nine severe injuries and 85 other injuries are eligible for compensation.
By Jeff Mason and Sarah N. Lynch WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama will direct the Department of Labor on Monday to proceed with new rules that would rein in conflicts of interests among Wall Street brokers who advise clients on retirement investments, administration officials said. “The president will call on the Department of Labor to establish updated rules of the road to make sure that responsible Americans who are saving for retirement are getting a fair share of returns on their savings,” Jeff Zients, Obama's top economic adviser, said in a conference call with reporters on Sunday. Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, a consumer advocate who some Democrats hope will challenge former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for the party's presidential nomination, is expected to attend.
(Reuters) - A winter storm pummeled the southern and western United States on Monday, forcing authorities to cancel flights and close schools as most of the country braced for another bout of freezing weather. A storm warning was issued from southeastern California through Louisiana as an arctic cold front expands south and east after dropping heavy snow on Colorado, the National Weather Service said. In Denver, residents were digging out from between six and 12 inches of snow (15-30 cm), while higher elevations in the Rocky Mountains got up to two feet (61 cm), the Service said. In Louisiana, Governor Bobby Jindal issued a state of emergency late Sunday due to the storm and potentially hazardous travel conditions, and schools and state offices in 23 Louisiana parishes were closed, his office said.
By Jo Winterbottom and P.J. Huffstutter CHICAGO (Reuters) - Across the U.S. Midwest, the plunge in grain prices to near four-year lows is pitting landowners determined to sustain rental incomes against farmer tenants worried about making rent payments because their revenues are squeezed. On Friday, tractor maker John Deere cut its profit forecast citing falling sales caused by lower farm income and grain prices. Many rent payments – which vary from a few thousand dollars for a tiny farm to millions for a major operation – are due on March 1, just weeks after the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimated net farm income, which peaked at $129 billion in 2013, could slide by almost a third this year to $74 billion. The costs of inputs, such as fertilizer and seeds, are remaining stubbornly high, the strong dollar is souring exports and grain prices are expected to stay low.
By Erwin Seba HOUSTON (Reuters) - The largest U.S. refinery strike in 35 years entered its fourth week on Sunday as workers at 12 refineries accounting for one-fifth of national production capacity were walking picket lines. Sources familiar with the negotiations said talks may resume by mid-week to end the walkout by 6,550 members of the United Steelworkers union (USW) at 15 plants, including the 12 refineries. The refinery work stoppage began on Feb. 1 when talks for a new three-year contract between the USW and lead oil company negotiator Shell Oil Co broke down. After the latest breakdown between the two sides, Steelworkers leaders targeted Shell, which is the U.S. arm of Royal Dutch Shell Plc, calling workers out at a chemical plant and three refineries in the company's Motiva Enterprises [MOTIV.UL] joint-venture with Saudi Aramco [SDABO.UL].