FROM Ralph Vartabedian
Whither High-Speed Rail? The California High-Speed Rail Authority still promises a bullet train that will take a little more than two and a half hours to run between L.A. and San Francisco. But funds for the $68 billion project are proving hard to come by . Public support is down, there’s a lot of opposition from homeowners and landowners along the proposed route, and the project is at least two years behind schedule.
LA to Las Vegas… by Rail? Since 2007, a company called XpressWest has been pushing for a bullet train from Los Angeles to Las Vegas along Interstate 15. It hasn't been able to raise money from private sources or get a loan from Washington. Now it's proposing a new, somewhat longer, route, making the trip by way of Palmdale, and a group of Chinese companies has come up with $100 million.
A First Step for L.A.-San Francisco High-Speed Rail Governor Jerry Brown was sworn in for an unprecedented fourth term this morning. One of his pet projects has been a bullet train between L.A. and San Francisco. The rail line finally breaks ground tomorrow, but considering the legal challenges and delays it’s faced and the funding that still needs to be secured, is it really on track to becoming a reality?
More Slow-Downs for High-Speed Rail Construction of California's new high-speed rail system was supposed to be underway by now, and LA Metro is already preparing Union Station to make the connection. But will there be anything to connect with. We get some background from Roger Rudick, with KCRW's Independent Producer Project , and speak with reporter Ralph Vartabedian who's been following the story for the Los Angeles Times .
Will California Really Get High Speed Rail? The state legislature has given Governor Brown and President Obama a victory by approving $4.7 billion in bonds to begin building a bullet train from Los Angeles to San Francisco. That sewed up an additional $3.3 billion in federal money. But the total project will cost at least $68 billion and take decades to finish — if the rest of the money can ever be found.
Obama Reassures Nation on Radiation, Nuclear Safety The United States and Japan have different interpretations of radiation readings from the nuclear power plant at Fukushima. President Obama said that he did not expect harmful levels of radiation to reach the West Coast, and added that nuclear power is still part of America's energy future.
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.
Replacing Obamacare: Now you see it… now you don’t As the Senate deliberates replacing Obmacare, health coverage for millions of people is at stake. There've been no public hearings, and a draft measure won't be made public. Is the House version so unpopular that that Senate is hiding a version that looks much the same?
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.