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.
Ex-FBI Director Comey tells his side of the story Today, former FBI Director James Comey came close to calling the President who fired him a liar. The White House denied the claim and called it insulting, but Republican Senators did not challenge Comey’s truthfulness. Many questions remain: did the President try to obstruct a federal investigation? Later, we’ll go behind the “velvet rope” for a look at 5-Star health care for the richest Americans.
Venezuela spirals into economic and political chaos Venezuela, a country whose potential for prosperity is unmatched, finds itself on the verge of civil war. What sustains the repressive government? With time running out, guest host León Krauze looks at what the international community can do to pull the country from the edge of collapse.
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.