Putin has lost faith in Trump’s promise to improve US-Russia relations

Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin said President Donald Trump’s promises to improve US-Russia relations have stalled because of political firestorms currently engulfing the Trump administration.
Speaking to international journalists on Friday, Putin offered a veiled criticism of ongoing US investigations, like the one targeting Russian meddling in the 2016 US election, and said he believes Trump’s hands are tied because of that.;
During his campaign, Trump argued for a warmer embrace of Russia — often ignoring bipartisan calls to acknowledge the Kremlin as an enemy of the US.

Russian President Vladimir Putin says his hopes for improved relations with the US under President Donald Trump are all but dashed.

Putin blamed political firestorms that are currently engulfing the Trump administration, and offered up a veiled criticism of the ongoing Russia investigation, which he said prevents Trump from pursuing stronger ties with Russia.

Putin made those comments during talks with international journalists on Friday.

Indeed, the ongoing investigation of Russia’s meddling in the 2016 US election has made it difficult for Trump to wrap his arms around Putin.

Trump’s promises during the 2016 campaign to take a more diplomatic approach toward Russia have been complicated in part by the main Russia probe being conducted by special counsel Robert Mueller, and inquiries into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.

Additionally, the steady drumbeat of news about Trump associates, near and far, entertaining Russian operatives before, during, and after the US election have also made the prospect of the US cozying up to Russia less likely.

Recent US sanctions on the Kremlin and the Trump administration’s move in March to expel 60 Russian diplomats from the US also haven’t helped.

Putin’s remarks on Friday show just how far his hopes for a restart with the US have diminished. It was less than a year ago that Russian state …read more

Source:: Business Insider

Farmers ecstatic after province calls off northeast bridge project

The potatoes are safe and the farmers are ecstatic.

Alberta officially backed away Friday from a contentious river bridge project that threatened to take out either a popular northeast market garden or many of their neighbours.

That had Janelle Herbert of Riverbend Gardens shocked and relieved. “That’s crazy. I feel like it’s surreal,” said Herbert, who’s been fighting this bridge project since the public learned about it in about 2011.

“Now we can invest without this uncertainty,” said her husband, Aaron Herbert. They supply a variety of vegetables to eight farmers markets in Edmonton and the surrounding area, plus many local restaurants.

The contentious river bridge was planned as a new connection between Edmonton and Fort Saskatchewan, north of Anthony Henday Drive. But it’s been replaced by a new heavy haul bridge near Redwater.

“I think that’s the optimal solution,” said Alberta Transportation Minister Brian Mason in an interview. “The best location for a heavy haul bridge would not be in the middle of an urban area.”

Mason delivered the news after announcing the alternative $90 million Vinca Bridge to energy industry executives and regional mayors.

It will serve overweight traffic travelling from the manufacturing shops of south Edmonton and Nisku to the oilsands of Fort McMurray, cutting out the nearly 200-km detour trucks currently take to the Duvernay Bridge near Two Hills.

Other upgrades ease congestion

Mason said this new bridge means heavy-haul capacity is no longer needed in northeast Edmonton.

The northeast bridge was also supposed to ease congestion for commuters to Alberta’s Industrial Heartland, but the previously announced $200-million to $300-million effort to twin the Fort Saskatchewan crossing of the North Saskatchewan River at Highway 15 is a better solution there.

It should be under construction starting in 2019 and includes other highway improvements in the area.

This change in direction comes in the middle of a …read more

Source:: Edmonton Journal

Inside the climate change lawsuit pitting Big Oil against San Francisco and Oakland

On May 24th, the line outside of Courtroom 12 at the United States District Court in San Francisco was dense enough that two lawyers behind me worried they wouldn’t get seats. So, they jumped ahead in the line to witness the latest volley in San Francisco and Oakland’s fight against the fossil fuel industry.

The two cities are suing five major oil companies in an effort to hold them financially responsible for their role in global warming. The oil companies — Chevron, ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, Royal Dutch Shell, and BP — don’t deny that climate change is happening, but they do argue that they can’t be sued for it. And that’s what Thursday’s hearing in front of Judge William Alsup was about: whether the case should be dismissed.


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Source:: The Verge – All Posts

Driver slams into three on Portland sidewalk

By Gillian Flaccus and Steven Dubois | Associated Press

PORTLAND, Ore. — A driver rammed into three women walking on a sidewalk Friday in downtown Portland, critically injuring one of them, before speeding away and getting arrested within hours of the crash, authorities said.

Someone called 911 after spotting a blue SUV that matched the description of the vehicle that struck the women near a light-rail station close to Portland State University, police Sgt. Pete Simpson said.

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Police have not yet determined a motive and know little about the man, who was cooperative during his arrest, Simpson said. Authorities said they were getting a search warrant to seize the car with a crumpled hood and have yet to rule out intoxication, mental health problems or a medical incident as the reason for the crash.

The names of the suspect and victims have not been released.

Sgt. Chris Burley said one victim was in critical condition at a hospital and another was in serious condition. The family of the third woman asked that no updates be given about her health.
Police have not said how fast the 2005 Mazda Tribute was traveling or how long it spent on the sidewalk before speeding off.

Witness Christopher Bond said he was standing on the sidewalk when he saw the SUV hit at least two women. He estimated it was traveling about 45 mph.

Bond said he turned to help, and the driver “gunned it,” nearly hitting him.

Kat Caputo was talking to a friend by the light-rail station when she heard a commotion and turned around. She saw two women lying on the sidewalk and another leaning against a brick wall. Others were shouting that a …read more

Source:: The Mercury News