Morning Read 4/26: Trump calls Holocaust-deniers “accomplice to evil’

President Donald Trump called out Holocaust-deniers Tuesday [Max Goldberg]

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INTERNATIONAL


US SETS UP MISSILE DEFENSE IN S. KOREA AS NORTH SHOWS POWER

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Hours after a display of North Korean military power, rival South Korea announced Wednesday the installation of key parts of a contentious U.S. missile defense system meant to counter the North.

South Korea’s trumpeting of progress in setting up the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense system, or THAAD, comes as high-powered U.S. military vessels converge on the Korean Peninsula and as a combative North Korea signals possible nuclear and missile testing.

North Korea conducted live-fire artillery drills on Tuesday, the 85th anniversary of the founding of its million-person Korean People’s Army. On the same day, a U.S. guided-missile submarine docked in South Korea. And the USS Carl Vinson aircraft supercarrier is also headed toward the peninsula for a joint exercise with South Korea.

The moves to set up THAAD within this year have angered not only North Korea, but also China, the country that the Trump administration hopes to work with to rid the North of nuclear weapons. China, which has grown increasingly frustrated with North Korea, its ally, and Russia see the system’s powerful radars as a security threat.

South Korea said in a statement Wednesday that unspecified parts of THAAD were installed. It said that Seoul and Washington have been pushing to get THAAD quickly working to cope with North Korea’s advancing nuclear and missile threats. According to the Yonhap news agency, the parts include two or three launchers, intercept missiles and a radar. [AP]

Trump administration to brief full U.S. Congress on North Korea policy

U.S. lawmakers want to leave briefings on North Korea on Wednesday with something many think has been absent in the Trump administration so far: a clear strategy for dealing with a major national security threat.

As a standoff escalated over the reclusive Asian nation’s development of nuclear weapons and long-range ballistic missiles, President Donald Trump invited all 100 members of the Senate to attend the session with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and Marine General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

While administration officials typically travel to the Capitol building to brief lawmakers on national security issues, on Wednesday the entire Senate will hop on a bus to the White House where four top officials will meet with them simultaneously. The same four officials will then go to Capitol Hill to brief the entire House at 5 p.m. EDT, a senior House aide said.

“I hope and expect that it is worth the time of the trip and that we’ll hear things we don’t know, and that we’ll come out of it better informed. We’ll see,” said Senator Chris Coons, a Democratic member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

The meeting was set for one day after a North Korean holiday on Tuesday marking the 85th anniversary of the founding of its army. While North Korea has in the past staged nuclear or missile tests to mark the day, this year it conducted a major live-fire exercise. [REUTERS]

China launches first home-built aircraft carrier amid South China Sea tension

China launched its first domestically built aircraft carrier on Wednesday amid rising tension over North Korea and worries about Beijing’s assertiveness in the South China Sea.

State media has quoted military experts as saying the carrier, China’s second and built in the northeastern port of Dalian, is not expected to enter service until 2020, once it has been kitted out and armed.

Foreign military analysts and Chinese media have for months published satellite images, photographs and news stories about the second carrier’s development. China confirmed its existence in late 2015.

The launch follows China’s celebration on Sunday of the 68th birthday of the founding of the Chinese navy, and comes amid renewed tensions between North Korea and the United States over Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs.

Little is known about China’s aircraft carrier program, which is a state secret.

But the government has said the new carrier’s design draws on experiences from the country’s first carrier, the Liaoning, bought second-hand from Ukraine in 1998 and refitted in China. [REUTERS]

Iranian ‘attack craft’ approaches US Navy destroyer in Persian Gulf

An Iranian “fast attack craft” approached a US Navy destroyer Monday in the Persian Golf, prompting the American vessel to change course and fire warning flares.

While the foreign vessel did not come any closer than 1,000 meters, it was close enough for the USS Mahan to sound its danger signal and ready its weapons as it shifted course to avoid the Iranian ship, Fox News reported late Tuesday.

In January, the same US vessel fired three warning shots at a group of Iranian ships that approached it at high speed in the Strait of Hormuz.

Iran has previously harassed US Navy ships in the Persian Gulf and around the Strait of Hormuz, with the most notable case being Iran’s capture in January 2016 of 10 US Navy sailors who had drifted into Iranian waters after experiencing mechanical problems.

The strait is a narrow waterway, connecting the Persian Gulf to the Indian Sea, through which a fifth of the world’s oil supply passes.

Iran has previously threatened to close off the strait over tensions with the US, a move that would lead to turmoil in global oil markets. [ToI]


NATIONAL


‘Full-scale terror attack drill’ will take place Wednesday across DC region

WASHINGTON – Law enforcement officials, emergency managers and first responders will take part in a “full-scale exercise” Wednesday to help them prepare for possible terror attacks in the D.C. region. The planned drill will take place at six undisclosed locations around suburban Maryland, Northern Virginia and the District, though officials are not releasing specific details about where or exactly what will take place.

The drill was announced by the Metropolitan Council of Governments on Tuesday. It’s scheduled to start between 7:30 am and 8:30 am.

In a news release, the organization said the exercise is meant to “help protect residents by preparing for an attack involving multiple target locations and teams of perpetrators.” It will include hundreds of police, fire crews, and emergency medical service personnel, as well as volunteer actors.

Residents in neighborhoods where the exercises will take place were being notified in advance to expect activity. The locations include neighborhoods in northeast and southeast D.C., Prince George’s County, Arlington and Fairfax counties.

“Law enforcement officials practice and exercise their skills on their own regularly because that’s the best way to ensure we are always ready to respond quickly and professionally,” Scott Boggs, Managing Director of Homeland Security and Public Safety at COG, said in a statement.

Boggs added that there’s no reason to be alarmed, as the exercise would take place in a controlled environment. [FOX]

Air travel to U.S. drops in first quarter, Canada, Mexico gain

Air passenger arrivals in the United States fell in the first quarter of the year, while arrivals in Canada and Mexico rose, according to data from travel analysis company ForwardKeys.

Travelers from the Middle East and Europe were possibly deterred by uncertainty over President Donald Trump’s travel ban on citizens of six Muslim-majority nations, as well as the strong dollar, it said on Wednesday.

Long-haul arrivals in the U.S. dropped by 4.3 percent in the first quarter, ForwardKeys, which analyses 16 million flight booking transactions a day from major global reservation systems, said.

On Tuesday, Emirates airline signaled that its U.S. expansion plans were on hold until demand recovers from a slowdown that the airline has blamed on Trump’s travel restrictions.

Meanwhile, Canada and Mexico both saw arrivals increase 6.1 percent in the first quarter and bookings for arrival in the second quarter are up 15.7 and 19.8 percent, driven by bookings from the Netherlands, China, Britain and Germany. [REUTERS]

Rising Home Prices Raise Concerns of Overheating

The U.S. housing market’s red-hot recovery from the depths of the crash five years ago is fueling concerns among economists and real-estate brokers that home prices are overheating.

A dearth of new construction and strong demand from buyers are pushing up prices twice as fast as the rate of income growth, the latest data show, a level economists said is unsustainable.

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index released Tuesday showed that in February home prices rose 5.8% from the same month a year earlier. That put prices nearly 40% above their level at the bottom of the housing crash in February 2012.

At the same time, incomes rose 3% in February from the same month a year earlier, and are up 12% since February 2012, according to the Labor Department.

Some local markets have experienced extreme swings. Home prices in San Francisco have vaulted 98% from their low point during the bust and now stand nearly 7% above their earlier record in 2006 at the height of the previous housing boom.

In Dallas, home prices have risen by nearly 53% from their low during the recent bust and are now 35.5% above their previous high. In Denver, prices are now 59% above their previous lows and 36.5% above their previous high.

In some markets, bidding wars are breaking out. Agents said some buyers are kicking in extra cash when properties don’t appraise for the asking price, and some are waiving their right to home inspections.

“It can’t be sustained,” said David Berson, chief economist at Nationwide Insurance and a former chief economist at mortgage giant Fannie Mae, referring to the frenzied buying. “It can’t go on forever.”

The five-year stretch since the 2012 bottom marks the third-fastest period of home-price growth in data going back to 1895, according to David Blitzer, managing director of S&P Global.

One of the main drivers has been the lack of home construction. Labor shortages, zoning regulations, rising prices of lumber and other building materials, and caution among builders have kept a lid on construction activity in recent years. The supply of homes for sale in March was down 6.6% from a year earlier, the National Association of Realtors reported last week. [WSJ]

A New York hotel deal shows how some public pension funds help to enrich Trump

Public pension funds in at least seven U.S. states have invested millions of dollars in an investment fund that owns a New York hotel and pays one of President Donald Trump’s companies to run it, according to a Reuters review of public records. That arrangement could put Trump at risk of violating an obscure constitutional clause, some legal experts say.

The Trump SoHo Hotel and Condominium in Manhattan is an upscale 46-story property owned by a Los Angeles investment group, the CIM Group, through one of its real estate funds.

The possible problem for Trump lies in the fact that state- and city-run pension funds have invested in the CIM fund and pay it a few million dollars in quarterly fees to manage their investments in its portfolio, which includes the Trump SoHo, according to state investment records.

In return for marketing and managing the hotel-condo, CIM pays Trump International Hotels Management LLC 5.75 percent of the SoHo’s operating revenues annually.

That payment chain merits closer scrutiny because it could put Trump at risk of falling foul of a little-known constitutional rule prohibiting the flow of money from states to the pockets of a sitting president, five ethics and constitutional law experts interviewed by Reuters said.

No other public pension fund investments in Trump-affiliated businesses have been reported.

The White House referred comment to the Trump Organization, the parent conglomerate for Trump’s businesses, which did not respond to repeated calls and emails for comment. [REUTERS]


LOCAL


Trump to mark 1st trip to NYC as president aboard the Intrepid

WASHINGTON — President Trump will make his first trip back home to New York City as commander-in-chief next week to mark the anniversary of a World War II milestone.

Trump will visit the Big Apple May 4 abroad the USS Intrepid, an aircraft carrier converted to a maritime museum, for the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea.

The battle was a victory for US and Australian forces in stopping the Japanese advance.

Trump will hold a meeting with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull aboard the Intrepid.

Trump looks forward to showcasing the “enduring bonds, deep friendship and close alliance” between the US and Australia, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Tuesday.

Trump hasn’t been back to New York City since being sworn in as president Jan. 20. [NYP]

New York City’s Subway System Violates Local and Federal Laws, Disability Groups Say

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority discriminates against people with disabilities because of its widespread lack of elevators and electric lifts in the subway system, rendering it significantly more inaccessible than other cities with large public transportation systems, according to two lawsuits filed on Tuesday.

The plaintiffs, a group of disability organizations and disabled residents who brought the lawsuits as a class action in state and federal court, say that the city’s subway system is one of the least accessible public transportation systems in the United States, with the lowest accessibility rate — 24 percent — among the country’s 10 largest transit systems.

More than 75 percent of the city’s 472 subway stations do not have elevators, lifts or other methods that make them accessible for people who use wheelchairs, mobility devices or are otherwise unable to use stairs. Of the approximately 112 stations that are designated as wheelchair-accessible, only 100 currently offer working elevator service for passengers traveling in different directions, the lawsuits charge.

The lack of elevator service in the city’s subway system has been a longstanding problem. Michelle A. Caiola, the litigation director for Disability Rights Advocates, which is representing the plaintiffs, said the legal challenge comes after many futile attempts to achieve a resolution with the transit agency. [NYT]


POLITICS


Five key moments from Trump’s first 100 days

Here’s a look at five key moments from the start of Trump’s presidency.

Trump orders missile strike in Syria

Trump’s enforcement of President Obama’s red line in Syria was an aggressive gamble that appears to have paid off.

The targeted missile strike against Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces for using chemical weapons represented a major shift in U.S. foreign policy, and it has altered the perception of Trump’s presidency on a number of fronts.

After eight years of attacking Obama for “leading from behind” and diminishing U.S. standing abroad, Republicans were nearly unanimous in cheering a military strike they said would put foreign dictators on notice.

Trump also won praise from many Democrats, who complimented the president for acting on humanitarian grounds.

Polls show the public supports the strike, although there is widespread opposition to the U.S. becoming further entangled in Syria’s civil war.

The travel ban

Trump acted quickly to fulfill his promise to “keep radical Islamic terrorists” out of the country, signing an order on his eighth day in office temporarily halting travel from seven Muslim-majority countries and indefinitely suspending admissions of Syrian refugees.

The order triggered nationwide protests at airports, with demonstrators decrying the order as a ban on Muslims. A federal court quickly blocked the order from taking effect.

The decision highlighted the chaos and confusion that often reigned in the early weeks of Trump’s presidency.

Trump tried to move forward six weeks later by signing a revised ban. But a federal judge in Hawaii blocked its enforcement just hours before it was set to take effect.

Although it remains on hold, the travel ban is emblematic of Trump’s reliance on executive power during his first 100 days in office. He’s already signed nearly three dozen orders and memoranda, setting his agenda and reversing many Obama-era policies.

Healthcare flop

Trump turned to healthcare for his first big win in Congress but ended up taking a major loss.
The president decided to back a bill drafted by House GOP leaders, known as the American Health Care Act, that would repeal ObamaCare and replace it with a more conservative system centered around giving people tax credits to help them purchase insurance.

But the plan ran into a buzzsaw of opposition from moderate Republicans, who said it would leave too many uninsured, and ultraconservatives, who blasted tax credits in the bill as a new entitlement program.

Trump entered office boasting of his famed dealmaking skills and at one point gave the House an ultimatum: pass the bill or I’ll move on from healthcare.

The gambit failed, and Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) was forced to pull the bill from the floor due to a lack of support.

Trump fires national security adviser Michael Flynn

Flynn, a retired U.S. army lieutenant general and the former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, was among Trump’s first major appointments.

He lasted 24 days, the shortest tenure ever for a national security adviser.

Flynn, who had long been viewed with skepticism by the foreign policy establishment, was asked to resign after misleading Vice President Pence about the nature of a conversation he had with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak after the election.

Pence said in a television interview that Flynn did not discuss the possibility of lifting sanctions on Russia during the campaign. That was revealed to be false after U.S. intelligence officials leaked details of the discussion to The Washington Post.

The episode was revealing on a number of levels.

It showed that even Trump’s longtime loyalists are not immune to getting axed. And it underscored the administration’s difficulties with leaks, which have bedeviled the White House from the start.

Flynn has volunteered to be interviewed by the FBI and congressional committees probing links between Trump campaign officials and Russia, but he has asked for immunity from prosecution in exchange.

The House and Senate Intelligence committees haven’t taken him up on the offer.

Trump accuses Obama of wiretapping

Trump’s March 4 tweets backfired spectacularly.

For weeks, Trump’s claim that Obama had his “wires tapped” at Trump Tower during the election dominated the White House press briefings, political talk shows and discourse on Capitol Hill, with many pressing the White House for evidence.

The wiretapping allegation was publicly refuted by FBI Director James Comey and National Security Agency Director Michael Rogers at a congressional hearing and may have been a driving factor in Chairman Devin Nunes’s (R-Calif.) fumbling of the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation of Russian meddling in the election.

Nunes has since recused himself from the investigation.

Trump’s conservative allies have sought to defend the claims, saying that the president was not being literal and that the allegations underscore a broader truth — that so-called “deep state” actors are working to undermine the president.

They point to the scores of media reports about wide-ranging investigations into alleged Trump ties to Russia, some of which rest on the incidental surveillance of Trump campaign officials.
The incidental intelligence collection helped fuel a controversy around Obama’s former national security adviser, Susan Rice, who is reported to have revealed Flynn’s name in intelligence reports. Trump suggested she might have committed a crime.

But that storyline and the debate over surveillance continue to be overshadowed by Trump’s wiretapping claim. The controversy has become a touchstone for Trump’s critics, who say the president is prone to believing conspiracy theories while playing fast and loose with the facts. [THEHILL]

Trump to order review of national monuments

President Donald Trump is set to order the review of tens of millions of acres of land and water set aside as national monuments by the past three presidents on Wednesday, a move that environmental groups warn will undermine a crucial conservation tool and open up sensitive areas to fossil fuel development.

The review will be conducted by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and will encompass the dozens of monuments created over the past 21 years, although the main focus will be on President Barack Obama’s designation last year of Bears Ears National monument, as well as the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument protected by President Bill Clinton in 1996. Both of those are in Utah, and the state’s lawmakers have pressed to revoke the monument status for the two sites, which are believed to hold fossil fuel resources.

But Zinke sought to quell concerns that the executive order would roll back conservation protections provided by 1906 Antiquities Act, saying the Trump’s order “does not strip any monument … or loosen any environmental conservation on any land or marine areas.”

Yet environmental groups fear the review is a simply a pretense to unwind the federal protections in the future, since both Trump and Zinke have supported growing U.S. fossil fuel output. [POLITICO]

Republicans aim to revive health care with new amendment

(CNN) House Republicans are hoping they can revive Obamacare negotiations once again.

GOP lawmakers in the House have taken the crucial step of putting their latest hope for a health care compromise on paper, circulating legislative text that could launch yet another round of health care talks just in time for the last of President Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office.

A draft amendment obtained by CNN, first reported by Politico, gives renewed insight into where the GOP may be moving next. The amendment would allow states to seek waivers to weaken several key Obamacare insurance reforms that protect those with pre-existing conditions, including the benefits insurers must cover in their policies and the ban on allowing carriers to charge more based on a person’s health background.

The amendment is an effort to once again try and bridge the gap between hardline conservatives in the House Freedom Caucus and more moderate Republican members — a divide so wide that that when the compromise first emerged last week GOP aides remained skeptical that it would be enough to get leadership to the 216 votes it needs to pass the bill.

The amendment was negotiated between Tuesday Group leader Tom MacArthur, a New Jersey Republican, and House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, with consultation from the White House and House leadership. But there is still little proof that the amendment will finally be the breakthrough that gets the health care bill passed in the House. [CNN]

U.S. judge blocks Trump order to restrict funding for ‘sanctuary cities’

A U.S. judge on Tuesday blocked President Donald Trump’s executive order that sought to withhold federal funds from so-called sanctuary cities, dealing another legal blow to the administration’s efforts to toughen immigration enforcement.

The ruling from U.S. District Judge William Orrick III in San Francisco said Trump’s Jan. 25 order targeted broad categories of federal funding for sanctuary governments and that plaintiffs challenging the order were likely to succeed in proving it unconstitutional.

Reince Priebus, Trump’s White House chief of staff, told reporters the administration was taking action to appeal the ruling, adding: “The idea that an agency can’t put in some reasonable restrictions on how some of these monies are spent is something that will be overturned eventually.”

“It’s the 9th Circuit going bananas,” Priebus said, referring to the West Coast judicial district where the judge ruled. “We’ll win at the Supreme Court level at some point.”
A formal White House statement on the ruling was withering in its criticism of Orrick, saying “an unelected judge unilaterally rewrote immigration policy for our nation” and handed “a gift to the criminal gang and cartel element in our country.”

“This case is yet one more example of egregious overreach by a single, unelected district judge,” the White House said. [REUTERS]

Flynn May Have Violated Law, House Oversight Chiefs Say

WASHINGTON — Leaders of the House Oversight Committee said former national security adviser Mike Flynn may have violated the law by failing to obtain required permission from the Army and State Department before receiving money from entities associated with the Russian and Turkish governments.

Mr. Flynn also failed to disclose payments from a Russian state television network when he renewed his security clearance last year, as was required, one of the committee leaders said.

The panel’s Republican chairman, Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah, and Democratic ranking member, Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, said they are asking the Defense Department to determine whether Mr. Flynn, a former three-star Army general and head of the military’s Defense Intelligence Agency, must return payments he received after leaving the military for work linked to foreign governments.

“I see no information or no data to support the notion that Gen. Flynn complied with the law,” said Mr. Chaffetz in a joint news conference with his Democratic counterpart at the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday, after viewing classified documents provided by the Defense Department. [WSJ]


CULTURE


TRUMP: THOSE WHO DENY HOLOCAUST ARE ACCOMPLICE TO EVIL

NEW YORK – Those who deny the Holocaust are accomplices to this horrible evil, US President Donald Trump said in a powerful keynote speech to the Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Days of Remembrance ceremony held in the capitol on Tuesday.

“Denying the Holocaust is only one of many forms of dangerous antisemitism that continue all around the world,” he said. “This is my pledge to you: we will confront antisemitism, we will stamp out prejudice, we will condemn hatred, we will bare witness and we will act. We will never ever be silent in the face of evil again.”

The week-long memorial event at the museum, which will end on Sunday, was first held in 1979 and then later established by Congress as a time for civic commemorations and special educational programs that help citizens remember and draw lessons from the Holocaust. By speaking at the annual ceremony, Trump joined a decadeslong tradition of presidents taking part in the event.

“I’m deeply moved to stand before those who survived history’s darkest hour,” the president told the many Holocaust survivors in the room. “You survived the ghettos, the concentration camps and the death camps, and you persevered to tell your stories.”

As president of the United States, Trump pledged to “always stand with the Jewish people” and with Israel.

Many in the Jewish community had been skeptical ahead of Tuesday’s speech. The president has been criticized for his handling of antisemitism and the relationship with the community.

In January, Trump gave a speech for International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which omitted any mention of the Jewish people and most recently, earlier this month, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer had to publicly apologize for saying that Adolf Hitler did not use chemical weapons in the Holocaust.

In Tuesday’s address, Trump also paid tribute to survivor Elie Weisel, who past away last July, pointing out that this year marks the first remembrance of the Holocaust without him. “His absence leaves an empty space in our heart, but his spirit fills this room,” the president said.

As in every year, six candles were lit by Holocaust survivors, each accompanied by a member of Congress, in memory of the victims. The annual observance also recognized the American troops who liberated the Nazi concentration camps by opening with a procession of flags from each of the US Army divisions that were involved. [JPOST]


FINANCE


World stocks hit record high as corporate America shines

World stocks hit a record high on Wednesday after strong earnings and the prospect of tax cuts for corporate America pushed U.S. shares to stratospheric levels and the euro held on to recent gains as political concerns in France ebbed.

European shares pulled back slightly from 20-month highs as some disappointing corporate results weighed on the market but Asian stocks powered ahead.

Against a strengthening dollar, the euro held on to the bulk of the gains made earlier this week; it fell 0.13 percent to $1.0911, but is still up 1.72 percent from Friday’s close.

The gains earlier this week came after centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right leader Marine Le Pen this weekend made it through to the second round of French presidential elections, considerably reducing the risk of a French exit from the single currency.

Against a backdrop of receding concern over the French presidential elections, U.S. President Donald Trump struck a conciliatory note and flagged tax cuts, boosting investor optimism and demand for risky assets.

“On top of (the French election result) we have had a very decent set of corporate earnings in the U.S. and that helped push the market further along the same direction,” said Investec economist Philip Shaw.

“I am unsure how further along we really are on the tax cutting agenda, but it is certainly not doing market sentiment any harm,” he added.

Further details on President Trump’s tax cutting plans are expected to be announced later on Wednesday, potentially reviving reflation bets.

The threat of a U.S. government shutdown this weekend also receded after Trump backed away from demanding Congress include funding for his planned border wall with Mexico in a spending bill.

The slew of positive news pushed the Nasdaq composite to a record high on Tuesday while the Dow and S&P 500 brushed against recent peaks. [REUTERS]

Uber Plans to Test Flying Cars Within Three Years

Uber Technologies Inc. on Tuesday detailed ambitious plans to take to the skies with flying cars, as the ride-hailing company is reeling from a series of controversies including a lawsuit that could impede its crucial self-driving vehicle initiative.

At a conference in Dallas, far from the San Francisco headquarters where Uber executives are grappling with the biggest crisis in its history, Chief Product Officer Jeff Holden announced that Uber intends to test flying cars within three years near Dallas and Dubai.

The announcement follows a white paper Uber published in October laying out its vision of a network of flying vehicles that can help commuters avoid traffic by zipping above crowded freeways and streets.

The ride-hailing company on Tuesday said its goal is to lower commute times and transportation costs. It hopes to experiment with the first versions of vehicles that can vertically take off and land. Mr. Holden said Uber has the regulatory muscle and logistical know-how to be a leader in flying-car transport.

Still, the announcement left much unclear, including the extent of the planned testing. It will likely be many years before a full fleet of such vehicles could be deployed, considering regulatory and technological hurdles. [WSJ]

04/26/2017 10:29 AM by David Kinzer
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