Wednesday, February 24, 2010

FP morning post 2/24

Toyota CEO: We grew too fast

Top news: In his prepared testimony for an appearance before the House Government and Oversight Reform Committee, Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda apologizes for the manufacturing flaws that led to the global recalls of thousands of the auto giants cars and says that the company's rapid expansion may be to blame.

"We pursued growth over the speed at which we were able to develop our people and our organization," Toyoda said. "I regret that this has resulted in the safety issues described in the recalls we face today, and I am deeply sorry for any accidents that Toyota drivers have experienced."

Toyoda has initially declined to appear before the comittee but acquiesced as the scandal continued to spin out of control. The committee is expected to grill him over the chain of events that led to the flaws, an unusual position for Toyoda who, like most Japanese CEOs, is primarily a figurehead whose involvement with day-to-day operations is minimal.

Toyoda's testimony is also being anxiously watched in Japan, where he is seen as representing far more than just the company that bears his name. One Japanese business paper editorialized that Toyoda, "will carry a message from Japan Corp. and Japan's manufacturing sector to the rest of the world, not just from Toyota."

Environment: Britain's weather office has proposed producing an entirely new body of weather data open to public scrutiny and peer-review in the wake of the "Climategate" scandal

  • Africa
Middle East
  • Iran's government offered a formal reply to the IAEA nuclear enrichment proposal but the two sides remain deadlocked.
  • The Untied Arab Emirates has released the names of 15 more suspects in the killing of Hamas official Mahmoud al-Mahbhouh.
  • The son of a jailed Hamas leader who now lives in the United States, claims to have spied for Israel.
  • Google executives were convicted in Italy of allowing the video of a boy with Down's syndrome being bullied to be uploaded to YouTube.
  • Major strikes over government austerity measures are expected to bring Greece to a standstill today.
  • British Prime Minister Gordon Brown will apologize today for a now infamous government program that send impoverished children to Australia and New Zealand following World War II.
  • Cuban dissident Orland Zapata Tamayo died in prison after an 80-hour hunger strike to demand better conditions.
  • The six Haitian orphans who have been seized by Haitian authorities on their way to the United States will continue their journey.
  • A voodoo ceremony in honor of earthquake victims was attacked by a mob in Port-au-Prince.
-By Joshua Keating


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