Earnings at GM, the biggest US automaker, fell 14.3 percent from the year-ago period to $1.47 billion as the company reported operating losses in both Europe and South America. GM also announced no fresh financial hit from recalls announced in the wake of the faulty ignition scandal. "Strong global sales and growing margins in North America and China helped GM deliver very solid third-quarter results," said GM chief executive Mary Barra. "Despite industry challenges in Russia and South America, our earnings were on plan as we continue to execute our customer-focused strategy."
Heads rolled in Russia Thursday over the plane crash that killed the CEO of French oil giant Total, with top airport managers resigning and four more staff detained. The driver of the snowplough that collided with Total boss Christophe de Margerie's plane as it was taking off from a Moscow airport late Monday was also ordered to be held behind bars for two months. The new staff detained include a trainee air traffic controller who reportedly directed the doomed plane, her supervisor, the heads of the air traffic controllers at Vnukovo airport and runway cleaners. Vnukovo airport also said its general director and his deputy had resigned "due to the tragic event" after the management was accused of "criminal negligence" by investigators.