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A Los Angeles County judge has found sufficient evidence to charge California resident, Kevin George Aziz Riad, with two counts of vehicular manslaughter for an accident that occurred while utilizing his Tesla's autopilot function.
According to information from the LAPD obtained by ABC, on December 29, 2019 Riad exited a freeway in Gardena, California while driving his partially automated Tesla Model S, ran a red light while going 74 mph and crashed into a Honda Civic.
Gilberto Alcazar Lopez, the driver of the Civic, and his passenger Maria Guadalupe Nieves-Lopez were on a first date at the time of the crash and both died as a result of their injuries.
Evidence indicates that on the night of the accident, Riad was using his Tesla's Autosteer and the Traffic Aware Cruise Control was activated. A Tesla engineer called upon to provide panel analysis for the upcoming trial states that sensors within the car show that at the time of impact Riad only had one hand on the steering wheel, and did not even tap his brakes leading up to the crash.
"Riad did nothing to stop the crash," says Prosecutor Brandy Chase in a quote given to The Orange County Register.
Tesla engineer Eloy Rubio Blanco offered further insight on the functionality of the Tesla's autopilot saying that it only works properly if used by a "fully attentive driver, who has their hands on the wheel and is prepared to take over at any moment ... The system will only work if torque sensors in a steering wheel detect that someone is at the wheel."
Oregon congressman's campaign official improperly gained access to ballot counting facilities: complaint
On Friday, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported that Democratic congressional hopeful Jamie McLeod-Skinner has filed a complaint alleging a member of the campaign for Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-OR) improperly gained access to a ballot counting facility in Clackamas County before it had opened.
"On Thursday, McLeod-Skinner filed a formal complaint with the Oregon Secretary of State’s office — as reported by Willamette Week — alleging that someone from Schrader’s campaign was allowed to observe the ballot counting process before the office opened," reported April Erlich. "[Clackamas County Clerk Sherry] Hall told reporters that a Schrader campaign representative was let into the building around 7 a.m., but they shouldn’t have entered the building until it opened at 8:30 a.m. Someone from McLeod-Skinner’s campaign wasn’t allowed into the observer’s area until after 8:30 a.m."
“It’s possible someone used their badge to get in and someone else followed them in,” said Hall, according to the report. “It could have been someone who doesn’t work in the elections office.”
"The observer’s room is a long hallway where visitors can watch the ballot counting process through glass pane windows," noted the report. "Observers can only get into the building using a badge; a security protocol that appeared lax on Wednesday, the day after election day. OPB staff and other visitors were able to enter the observer’s room without a badge, and no one was requiring visitors to fill out a sign-in sheet."
Schrader, a moderate who had to be guilted into supporting key elements of President Joe Biden's agenda by local activists, is seeking election to Oregon's newly-drawn 5th Congressional District, which on the newly redistricted map contains some territory that never has been represented by him.
As of Friday evening, McLeod-Skinner, a more liberal challenger, is leading the vote by 20 points, although there are tens of thousands of ballots left to count.
'Fear-driven alliance': Conservative explains why far-right CPAC 'opportunists' and 'paranoids' are meeting in Hungary
The rise of authoritarianism and fascism growing within the Republican Party was discussed by the opening panel on MSNBC's "The Reidout" on Friday.
Host Joy Reid noted how the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) is being held in Hungary this year, which is ruled by strongman Viktor Orbán.
"They have elections, of a sort, but also hamper voters' abilities to make informed choices and heavily control the outcome that the elections are essentially a show," she explained. "These are the autocratic dreams of a far-right leader obsessed with solidifying a Christian monoculture and who, in 2014, declared his intention to build an illiberal new state citing China, Russia and Turkey as role models. Flash forward to today where CPAC, the once conservative gathering that is now simply a cesspool of the far-right running amok, is holding its conference in Budapest."
For analysis, Reid interviewed conservative writer Tom Nichols.
Nichols warned "there is a nihilistic, fear-driven alliance here with a group of opportunists, and I want to get back to this issue of about Hungary, the really dangerous thing here is that some of these people believe very deeply in -- in some of this stuff and yet others, and I would say people like [Tucker] Carlson and Matt Schlapp and some of the other people capering about in Budapest, don't believe in any of this and don't believe in anything of this other than the extension of their own personal power and wealth.
"And when you have this coalition of shallow, empty opportunists along with with a group of paranoids, basically, then you have a really dangerous movement because each side has to keep upping the ante to kind of justify why they are doing the things they are doing," he explained.
"A lot of this is an act, but the problem is you then paint yourself into a corner... You have to start actually trying to put forward policies and carry things out that, that make you look as if you believe the things that you're doing. And then after a while, whether it's an act or its opportunism is no longer relevant: You have become the thing you've been prancing about and pretending to be," he explained.
Watch the segment below or at this link.
Tom Nichols www.youtube.com