A key component in the government’s plan to revitalize nationalized automakers General Motors and Chrysler is coming into focus.
The US House of Representatives on Tuesday approved a “cash for clunkers” bill that aims to boost new auto sales by allowing consumers to turn in their gas-guzzling cars and trucks for vouchers worth up to $4,500 toward more fuel-efficient vehicles, according to The Associated Press.
President Barack Obama has encouraged Congress to approve consumer incentives for new car purchases as part of the government’s work to restructure General Motors and Chrysler.
Up to $4,500 just to trade in for a newer model? Now there’s an incentive plan that former GM CEO Rick Wagoner could have only dreamed about.
Again, the question arises: where is all the money to fund these programs coming from?
After a decade-long search, a team of Baltic Sea divers has discovered the wreckage of a Soviet submarine that sank with dozens of sailors aboard during World War II, according to The Associated Press.
They found the S-2 submarine near the Aland Islands between Sweden and Finland in February but only announced it Tuesday because they wanted to confirm the identity of the vessel, team member Marten Zetterstrom said.
He said all 50 crew members died when the vessel exploded in January 1940, probably after hitting a mine.
The submarine was last spotted at surface level by a lighthouse keeper on the Market island, west of the Aland archipelago, said Markus Lindholm, an Aland-based expert who studied pictures of the wreck, according to The Associated Press.
He said the keeper’s notes of the incident have been preserved and describe how the vessel headed north before diving and entering a Finnish minefield, after which an explosion was heard.
The Soviet Union attacked Finland in late 1939, in what became known as the The Winter War. Although the Soviet forces had four times as many soldiers as the Finns, 30 times as many aircraft and 218 times as many tanks, the Finns were able to hold out until March 1940.
Although the Finns ended up giving up about 9 percent of their territory to the Soviets under the terms of the Moscow Peace Treaty, the Soviets suffered heavy losses in the conflict and their fighting ability was brought into question.
The inability of the Red Army to make quick work of the Finns is seen as a determining factor in Nazi Germany’s decision to launch Operation Barbarossa, its invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941.