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Los Angeles will get $2 billion in federal funds to build ‘subway to the sea’

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By Sharon Bernstein

SACRAMENTO, California (Reuters) – The federal government will spend $2 billion to extend a subway line under Los Angeles’ storied Wilshire Boulevard, an effort to ease congestion in one of the country’s most transited corridors and to eventually link downtown to the beach with a “Subway to the Sea.”

The project is meant to improve traffic in a part of the city where it can take hours to go just a few miles, with train stations to be built at major cultural attractions, including museums and the glitzy shopping areas of Beverly Hills.

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Backers hope at some point to expand the subway all the way to a station near the beach in Santa Monica.

“Where the car used to be king, we say, ‘Look out, you don’t have to get in your car,'” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said on Wednesday at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. to announce the funding.

The backing from the U.S. Department of Transportation comes after decades of controversy pitting supporters of public transportation against opponents who complained about traffic, but feared that the subway’s construction would disrupt local residents and businesses and cause safety problems.

A portion of the subway, a 6.5-mile (10.5-km) hop from downtown to Western Avenue in Koreatown, was completed in 1996, but opposition from affluent West Side residents and concern about a 1985 methane explosion that blew up a clothing store near Wilshire Boulevard stymied further progress.

Congressman Henry Waxman, who for years opposed extending the subway through his increasingly congested West Los Angeles district, hailed the project on Wednesday, saying it would transform Los Angeles.

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“It will mean a whole new experience for people to be able to get around,” said the California Democrat. “They’ll be able to get on a Metro in downtown L.A. and in a short period of time get to West Los Angeles.”

The funding approved on Wednesday includes a grant for $1.2 billion and a loan of $821 million.

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission hopes to break ground on the first leg of the project by the end of this year, taking the full-sized rail line to the Los Angeles County Museum and further west to La Cienega Boulevard.

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Since the first stretch of subway – just four miles long – opened in 1993, the region has built a wide patchwork of connected systems, including trains, light rail and dedicated busways.

(Reporting by Sharon Bernstein; editing by G Crosse and Cynthia Johnston)

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[Image: “People Boarding The Subway In Los Angeles. Union Station To Hollywood,” via Shutterstock]


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Alabama Republican: ‘I want to see more people’ get coronavirus

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On Thursday, Alabama Senate President Pro Tempore Del Marsh suggested that he wanted more people to get coronavirus — because he thinks America would develop "herd immunity" and reduce the spread enough to protect more vulnerable populations.

"I'm not as concerned so much as the number of cases. In fact, quite honestly, I want to see more people, because we start reaching an immunity the more people have it and get through it," said Marsh. "I don't want any deaths, as few as possible, say, I get it, but those people who are susceptible to the disease, especially more serious pre-existing conditions, elderly population, those folks, we need to, you know, do all we can to protect them. But I'm not concerned, I want to make sure that everybody can receive care."

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The Secretary of Defense was briefed on Russian bounty on American soldiers — proving it isn’t the hoax Trump said it was

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Last week, President Donald Trump finally heard the news that the Russian government was giving cash to Afghanistan's Taliban forces to murder American soldiers.

Initially, he began with Step one in the Trump list of processing a scandal: denial.

"Nobody briefed or told me, @VP Pence, or Chief of Staff @MarkMeadows about the so-called attacks on our troops in Afghanistan by Russians, as reported through an "anonymous source" by the Fake News @nytimes. Everybody is denying it & there have not been many attacks on us. Nobody's been tougher on Russia than the Trump Administration. With Corrupt Joe Biden & Obama, Russia had a field day, taking over important parts of Ukraine - Where's Hunter? Probably just another phony Times hit job, just like their failed Russia Hoax. Who is their 'source'?" tweeted Trump on June 28.

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Here’s why Trump contradicted his own White House on the Supreme Court rulings

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Following the Supreme Court's pair of 7-2 decisions rejecting President Donald Trump's claim to have absolute immunity from subpoenas, he blasted the ruling on Twitter, claiming he being unfairly targeted and the victim of "prosecutorial misconduct." However, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany released a statement saying that "President Trump is gratified by today’s decision."

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