In a sign of how competitive small cars have become, Honda is putting out a redesigned Civic just 19 months after the previous one hit showrooms. Honda forced through the changes in about half the time it normally takes after critics slammed the car's boxy styling, cheap interior, and noisy ride. By Auto Writers Tom Krisher and Dee-Ann Durbin.
â¿¿ AUTO SHOW-HOT CARS â¿¿ The Los Angeles Auto Show opens to the public Friday. Here are some of the most talked-about vehicles that will be making their world debuts at the event. By Auto Writers Dee-Ann Durbin and Tom Krisher. Eds: Updates Wednesday's list of hot cars from the LA Auto Show.
FACTORY FIRE-TRIANGLE ECHOES
NEW YORK â¿¿ Terrified women leaping to their deaths. Locked exits trapping workers. Piles of clothing blocking stairwells to safety. The fire that raced through a garment factory in Bangladesh last week and killed 112 workers bore eerie echoes of another inferno that burned more than a century ago: the Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire in New York City. While the 1911 Triangle fire spurred the modern-day organized labor movement and workplace safety improvements, experts question whether the same will happen in Bangladesh. By Meghan Barr.
DHAKA, Bangladesh â¿¿ The owner of Bangladesh factory ravaged in fire says he didn't know it needed emergency exits, a sign of how far removed the leaders of the nation's garment industry are from issues of worker safety. By Julhas Alam.
AP photos, video, audio.
MARKETS & ECONOMY:
PENDING HOME SALES
WASHINGTON â¿¿ An index measuring the number of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes in October jumped to nearly its highest level in almost six years. Steady job gains and record-low mortgage rates have made home buying more attractive. By Economics Writer Christopher S. Rugaber.