Cars leak hazardous chemicals after freight train derails in Washington, D.C.

The Japan Times

WASHINGTON โ€“ A CSX freight train derailed Sunday morning in northeastern Washington, D.C., with several cars overturned and leaking hazardous liquids near the Rhode Island Avenue Metro Station, the District of Columbia Fire Department tweeted. The station and Rhode Island Avenue were closed as three cars were leaking liquids, the tweet said. It did not identify the substance, but said there was no fire. Photos on the fire department's Twitter account showed several cars lying on their sides by the tracks on the main train route into the city, including tank cars, bulk material cars and box cars. WUSA Television said that no injuries were reported.


'Stubborn' rain submerges Houston area in almost half meter of water

The Japan Times

HOUSTON โ€“ More than a foot (30 cm) of rain had fallen by Monday evening in parts of Houston, submerging scores of subdivisions and several major interstate highways, forcing the closure of schools and knocking out power to thousands of residents who were urged to shelter in place. Four fatalities appeared to be weather-related, authorities said. Sylvester Turner, mayor of the fourth-largest U.S. city, told residents to stay home to fend off a weather system he called "stubborn." More rain was projected over the next two to three days, although heavy downpours had subsided and only another half-inch (1.25 cm) was expected through Monday night, he said. Rain gauges in parts of Harris County, which includes most of Houston, showed water levels approaching 20 inches (50 cm) since late Sunday night, with slightly smaller amounts elsewhere in Southeast Texas as bayous and creeks overflowed their banks.


Victims in 'horrific' Pasadena car crash identified as local man and teen

Los Angeles Times

Authorities have identified the two motorists killed when their Ford Mustang wrapped around a light pole in Pasadena as a local man and teen. Reynold Chilel-Ramirez, 23, was driving about 7 a.m. when the Mustang collided with a mid-sized SUV at Lake Avenue and Villa Street, then struck a light pole and split in half. Ramirez was rushed to the hospital, where he died from his injuries. His passenger, Adelfo Chilel-Lopez, 17, was pronounced dead at the scene. "It was pretty horrific, especially for our first responders," said Lisa Derderian, a Pasadena Fire Department spokeswoman.


Police arrest 52 climate activists blocking railroad near Washington refineries

The Japan Times

SEATTLE โ€“ Authorities cleared the railroad tracks of protesters and arrested 52 climate activists Sunday morning in Washington state, after a two-day shutdown. About 150 people spent the night in tents and sleeping bags on the tracks near two refineries in northwest Washington, according to BNSF Railway spokesman Gus Melonas. They were asked to leave at about 5 a.m. and most gathered their belongings and left the area near Anacortes, Melonas said. "It was peaceful," he said. "Eighty percent removed their belongings and cleared out."


The Self-Driving Car Industry Goes to Washington

#artificialintelligence

A bevy of robocar-oriented companies has founded a lobby--a move than provides the single clearest sign that the industry is maturing. The lobby's chief, David Strickland, would like all regulatory decisions to be coordinated by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA). Strickland sure knows what to do: he's a former administrator of NHTSA--and yet another example of Washington's revolving door. The lobby is called the Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets, and it includes Google, Ford, Volvo, Uber and Lyft. It looks as if Google is the prime mover here.