News on the go: April 2, 2014

Carrie Blazina

President Barack Obama said Tuesday the health-care enrollment period had had an unexpected comeback and 7.1 million people had signed up so far under the Affordable Care Act. Obama insisted the act was “here to stay” and asked during a press conference with Congressmen who support the act why opponents are “working so hard for people to not have health insurance.” Democrats who are up for re-election, however, remain wary that the law is so unpopular that it could affect their re-election chances. Read full story.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday restarted campaigning for more United Nations recognition of a Palestinian state despite saying months earlier he would stop. The decision might derail peace-talk efforts U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has been conducting, but Kerry said it’s “completely premature” to say the peace talks are canceled. Abbas said he remains committed to the peace talks, but he said he was compelled to act because Israel had failed to meet a March deadline of releasing Palestinian prisoners.

General Motors CEO Mary Barra testified before a House subcommittee on Tuesday about 13 traffic deaths related to a faulty ignition switch that was not recalled for 10 years. Barra acknowledged GM had taken too long before recalling the part, which would have cost 57 cents to fix. GM has recalled 2.6 million cars since February because of the switch, which can cause the engine to turn itself off unexpectedly and therefore make the vehicle difficult to control. Read full story.

Congress passed a bill Tuesday to provide $1 billion in loan guarantees to Ukraine and to sanction Russia for annexing part of Ukraine. The bill sanctions Russia by freezing assets, revoking visas of Russian officials and penalizing those who are responsible for human-rights offenses against anti-government protesters. President Barack Obama is expected to sign the bill.

Contact Carrie Blazina at [email protected].