Virgin and Partners Want to Build Up Rail Travel in Florida

Cheap gasoline and the interstate road system are all very well, but they’ve caused congestion, pollution, urban sprawl and many road deaths. In contrast, Florida railway passengers can sip champagne or beer and make use of the free Wi-Fi. Ticket prices are reasonable. Once constructed, the Miami to Orlando journey should be slightly more than three hours. In good traffic, driving takes a bit longer than that.

…Building on existing rail corridors where possible, 1  and operating trains at slower speeds, has cut costs and overcome potential regulatory holdups in Florida.

Virgin Trains Billionaires Want to Restore Glory of U.S. Railroad – Bloomberg



Holi: The legends behind India’s festival of color

Although a Hindu festival, Holi is celebrated by Indians across the country and is a great equalizer. Children can douse elders with water, women splash men with color and the rules of caste and creed are briefly forgotten with everyone taking part.

The evenings are spent visiting friends and family.

Holi: The legends behind India’s festival of color | CNN Travel


Court upholds ex-Chicago officer Jason Van Dyke’s sentence for Laquan McDonald shooting

The Illinois Supreme Court on Tuesday let stand a prison sentence of less than seven years for a white Chicago police officer convicted of killing black teenager Laquan McDonald that many criticized as far too lenient.

…The 40-year-old Jason Van Dyke, the first Chicago police officer sentenced for an on-duty shooting in a half century, could go free in as little as three years with credit for good behavior behind bars.

McDonald was carrying a small knife in 2014 when Van Dyke exited his squad car and almost immediately opened fire. Police video released in 2015 showed Van Dyke firing 16 bullets into McDonald, many after the 17-year-old had crumpled to the ground.

…Asked whether Van Dyke’s comparatively light sentence was an illustration of racial disparities in sentencing, Raoul paused before saying: “Suffice to say that I believe the sentence was inconsistent with the law.”

…In his seven-page explanation, Neville added that allowing a sentence that’s not grounded in proper law undermines the public’s sense of justice.

Court upholds ex-Chicago officer Jason Van Dyke’s sentence for Laquan McDonald shooting

If an officer armed with a gun fears for his safety when confronted with a teenager with a knife, that officer has no business wearing a badge.

All of Trump’s Humiliating Financial Lies Are About to Be Exposed

In 2004, shortly after Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts defaulted on hundreds of millions of bonds, causing steep losses for Deutsche clients, Trump asked the bank’s commercial real-estate group to lend him more than $500 million to build a 92-story skyscraper in Chicago. It did, but not before employees determined, among other things, that Trump was massively inflating his assets.

…In patented Trump fashion, shortly before the bulk of the loan was due in November 2008, he sued the bank to get out of repaying, demanding $3 billion in damages and arguing that Deutsche had, in part, caused the financial crisis and was therefore to blame for his inability to sell hundreds of condo units.

…Deutsche Bank dispatched a team to Trump Tower to inspect Mr. Trump’s personal and corporate financial records. The bankers determined he was overvaluing some of his real-estate assets by as much as 70 percent, according to two former executives.

All of Trump’s Humiliating Financial Lies Are About to Be Exposed | Vanity Fair


Antwon Rose was no thug, his mom says, and the late teen shouldn’t be on trial. The cop who killed him is.

Following a drive-by shooting in June in nearby North Braddock, Pennsylvania, the 30-year-old policeman pulled over a car that matched a description from the drive-by.

Antwon was in the car. Unarmed, he ran. Rosfeld opened fire, hitting the teen in the face, right arm and back, court record show. Evidence suggested Antwon was not the gunman in the previous shooting, and Rosfeld made inconsistent statements about whether he believed Antwon had a gun, records show.

Antwon Rose was no thug, his mom says, and the teen is not on trial. The ex-cop who killed him is – CNN


Oklahoma sheriff and all of her deputies resign in protest over dangerous jail conditions

Nowata County Sheriff Terry Sue Barnett tendered her resignation on Monday after a judge mandated her to reopen the county jail after high levels of carbon monoxide sent four of her employees to the emergency room last month.

…Twelve members of the Nowata County Sheriff’s Office staff, including deputies and civilian employees, resigned with Barnett on Monday. Even the K-9 officer, Ranger, quit and signed his resignation letter with a paw print, Barnett said.

The sheriff’s office said five people currently remain on the staff with dispatchers sourcing 911 calls and delegating them to stations nearby.

…In the resignation letter, Barnett also detailed other dangerous conditions in the “inadequately budgeted” jail, including exposed wires in the shower areas that have shocked inmates, mold throughout the jail and offices, and “improper” plumbing that often causes methane gas to permeate the jail.

…Judge Gibson declared Barnett’s resignation “void” on Tuesday, but the sheriff said that is not within his right.

“I do not work for the judge. The judge is an elected official. I am also an elected official,” Barnett told reporters. “I do not believe we live in a country where we can be ordered to go to work when I have already tendered my resignation.”

…”The Nowata County Jail is a ticking time bomb of constitutional liability,” DeMuro said in a statement. “If the county thinks it has budget problems now, it better wake up because somebody is going to die in that jail.”

Oklahoma sheriff and all of her deputies resign in protest over dangerous jail conditions