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Arizona governor suspends Uber’s ability to test self-driving cars

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The governor of Arizona on Monday suspended Uber’s ability to test self-driving cars on public roads in the state following a fatal crash last week that killed a 49-year-old pedestrian.

The decision to block Uber Technologies Inc’s is a blow to the ride-hailing company, which sees its future success reliant on driverless vehicles, and trails competitors such as Alphabet Inc’s Waymo in developing the technology.

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Arizona had been a key hub for Uber, with about half of the company’s 200 self-driving cars and a staff of hundreds.

In a letter sent to Uber Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi and shared with the media, Governor Doug Ducey said he found a video released by police of the crash “disturbing and alarming, and it raises many questions about the ability of Uber to continue testing in Arizona.”

Police and safety regulators are investigating the March 18 fatality in which a woman crossing a four-lane road at night was struck and killed by an Uber self-driving SUV. The incident has focused new attention on the lack of clear safety standards for such vehicles.

Ducey called the crash “an unquestionable failure.”

“In the best interests of the people of my state, I have directed the Arizona Department of Transportation to suspend Uber’s ability to test and operate autonomous vehicles on Arizona’s public roadways,” Ducey said.

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The letter strikes a dramatically different tone from late 2016, when Ducey invited Uber to his state with celebration, saying “Arizona welcomes Uber self-driving cars with open arms and wide open roads.” At the time, a banner was hung on a building in Phoenix welcoming Uber.

Uber moved its driverless cars to Arizona from San Francisco after California regulators shut down the self-driving fleet for not having the proper permits.

Uber, which had already pulled its self-driving cars off the road after the accident, said in a statement on Monday that it will “keep a dialogue open with the Governor’s office to address any concerns they have.”

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Reporting by David Schwartz; Writing by Heather Somerville; Editing by Sandra Maler and Michael Perry


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French directors guild to propose suspending Polanski

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A French organisation of more than 200 film-makers said Monday it will propose new rules for members charged or convicted of sexual violence, which could lead to the suspension of French-Polish director Roman Polanski.

The board of the ARP directors' guild voted to present to its members "new procedures to suspend any member facing legal charges, and expel any member convicted, especially for crimes of a sexual nature," said Pierre Jolivet, ARP president.

The proposed rules for suspension "would affect Roman Polanski whose judicial case is still open in the United States and for which he has been charged," Jolivet added

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Trump official Mina Chang quits after being busted inflating her resumé

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President Donald Trump has lost another top official in his State Department, days after Marie Yovanovitch testified the department had been "hollowed out."

"Mina Chang, a high-ranking State Department staffer who vaulted into the public spotlight after NBC reported she had inflated her resumé, has resigned from her position," Politico reported Monday.

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Popular right-wing radio host says he was fired in the middle of his show for criticizing Trump

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Liberals and progressives aren’t the only ones right-wing media can be unfair to: they can also be horribly unfair to conservatives. And one of them appears to be radio host Craig Silverman, who says he was fired by Denver’s KNUS 710 AM on Saturday for criticizing President Donald Trump on the air.

As much as right-wing outlets complain about “political correctness” and hypersensitive liberal “snowflakes” who are intolerant of other points of view, those same outlets often expect their employees to be in total lockstep politically — which, in 2019, often means not saying a word against Trump. According to Silverman, he was doing a segment on the late right-wing attorney Roy Cohn (who represented Trump in the 1970s) when KNUS’ program director entered the studio and told him, “You’re done.”

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