Train dis­as­ter: A new com­pet­i­tive era: Hook-handed cleric strug­gling in jail: “Net neu­tral­ity” scrapped: The truth is out there:

The Week - - News -

Pierce County, Wash­ing­ton

At least three peo­ple were killed on Mon­day when a pas­sen­ger train de­railed on a bridge across a high­way in Wash­ing­ton State, plung­ing sev­eral car­riages onto the road be­low. The Am­trak train was trav­el­ling at 80mph, 50mph over the speed limit in that zone, when it jumped the rails south of Seat­tle. All those who died had been on the train, although sev­eral ve­hi­cles on the busy In­ter­state 5 were hit by the fall­ing car­riages. Pres­i­dent Trump’s ini­tial re­sponse was to send a tweet say­ing that the de­rail­ment showed why his in­fra­struc­ture in­vest­ment plan needed rapid ap­proval. Ten min­utes later, he tweeted that his “thoughts and prayers” were with those af­fected. The train was mak­ing its first run on a new fast route link­ing Seat­tle and Port­land.

Wash­ing­ton DC

Pres­i­dent Trump has in­tro­duced his na­tional se­cu­rity strat­egy in a speech de­pict­ing a world in which the US is pit­ted against ri­val pow­ers, such as Rus­sia and China, that are seek­ing to erode US val­ues and in­flu­ence. “Whether we like it or not, we are en­gaged in a new era of com­pe­ti­tion,” he said. “We recog­nise that weak­ness is the surest path to con­flict, and un­ri­valled power is the most cer­tain means of de­fence.” Although he also called for “great part­ner­ships” with China and Rus­sia, his ad­min­is­tra­tion’s se­cu­rity strat­egy doc­u­ment ac­cuses China of us­ing “eco­nomic ag­gres­sion” to weaken the US, and hints that the US might con­sider us­ing nu­clear weapons to counter “non-nu­clear strate­gic at­tacks”. Trump’s speech made no men­tion of cli­mate change, pre­vi­ously con­sid­ered a ma­jor strate­gic threat to the US.

Flo­rence, Colorado

The Is­lamist hate preacher Abu Hamza is ap­peal­ing to be re­turned to a Bri­tish jail on the grounds that the “in­hu­man” con­di­tions at his su­permax prison in the US breach his hu­man rights. The Egypt-born cleric was jailed in the UK in 2006 for in­cit­ing mur­der and later ex­tra­dited to the US, where he was con­victed of ter­ror­ism of­fences and sen­tenced to life. Im­pris­oned in Colorado, he lives in soli­tary con­fine­ment in a spe­cial unit, where he is al­lowed out of his tiny cell for only an hour a day – and even then is con­fined to a cell-sized cage. His lawyers say the dou­ble am­putee, who is blind in one eye and di­a­betic, isn’t get­ting the med­i­cal care he needs, and that he’d go back to Bel­marsh prison in Lon­don “in a sec­ond”.

Wash­ing­ton DC

The US tele­coms reg­u­la­tor has de­cided to re­scind the rules – im­posed dur­ing the Obama era – that guar­an­tee “net neu­tral­ity”. This is the prin­ci­ple that in­ter­net ser­vice providers (ISPS) must treat all in­ter­net traf­fic equally, and can­not choose to al­ter data speeds in or­der, for in­stance, to slow down the de­liv­ery to con­sumers of a TV show be­ing streamed by a ri­val com­pany. The three Repub­li­can-nom­i­nated mem­bers of the five-strong reg­u­lat­ing com­mis­sion voted to end net neu­tral­ity on the grounds that it places a need­less bur­den on ISPS without ben­e­fit­ing con­sumers. How­ever, Demo­cratic crit­ics say the change, which will now be chal­lenged in the courts, will give too much power on­line to big cor­po­ra­tions ( see page 55).

Wash­ing­ton DC

The Pen­tagon has re­vealed that be­tween 2007 and 2012 it ran a se­cret pro­gramme to in­ves­ti­gate sight­ings of ap­par­ent UFOS. Of­fi­cials said that the Ad­vanced Avi­a­tion Threat Iden­ti­fi­ca­tion Pro­gram had re­ceived gov­ern­ment fund­ing of $22m a year. The mil­i­tary in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cer in charge, Luis El­i­zondo, said it had iden­ti­fied air­craft that were “seem­ingly de­fy­ing the laws of aero­dy­nam­ics” – and that in his view, “there is very com­pelling ev­i­dence that we may not be alone”.

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