Posts tagged with "ABC News"

Elon Musk’s Boring Company ditches plans for Sepulveda tunnel

November 29, 2018

The Boring Company—the brainchild of Tesla founder Elon Musk—has ditched its plans to build a massive, 2.7-mile subterranean tunnel under the Westside of Los Angeles.

However, the company intends to continue “play ball”—with a number of other projects in the works, including an underground tunnel called the Dugout Loop for fans going to games at Dodger Stadium.

In addition, The Boring Company still has a Test Tunnel in the works, which would run for about two miles from a parking lot at Musk’s SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, the company’s website said.

The abandoned Sepulveda tunnel—which had been intended to alleviate surface traffic on bumper-to-bumper California highways and streets—would have run from a Boring Company property on Sepulveda Boulevard to Washington Boulevard in Culver City, ABC News reported on November 27. The company came up with the idea for the project in 2017.

The company withdrew plans for the Sepulveda test tunnel this week, after several residents’ groups, led by the Brentwood Residents Coalition, brought suit against the City of Los Angeles over its plan to exempt the project from environmental reviews.

ABC local news in California (KABC) ran a statement provided by the Boring Company on November 27: “”The parties (The Boring Company, Brentwood Residents Coalition, Sunset Coalition, and Wendy-Sue Rosen) have amicably settled the matter of Brentwood Residents Coalition et al. v. City of Los Angeles (TB- The Boring Company). The Boring Company no longer seeks the development of the Sepulveda test tunnel and instead seeks to construct an operational tunnel at Dodger Stadium.”

Research contact: ama@businessinsider.com

Three cheers: USA, Canada, Mexico support new trade deal

October 2, 2018

The United States. and Canada have agreed on a deal to restore the 24-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to its traditional structure as a trilateral bloc, Bloomberg reports.

U.S. and Canadian negotiators negotiated around-the-clock over the past weekend, September 29-30, to make a Sunday deadline that would allow the countries to sign the deal as their final act before Mexico’s outgoing President Enrique Pena Nieto leaves office at the end of November.

The new deal will be called the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), according to a joint statement by  Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer that was issued late Sunday night.

“USMCA will give our workers, farmers, ranchers, and businesses a high-standard trade agreement that will result in freer markets, fairer trade and robust economic growth in our region. It will strengthen the middle class, and create good, well-paying jobs and new opportunities for the nearly half billion people who call North America home,” the statement said.

According to a report by Reuters, Canada has agreed to provide U.S. dairy farmers access to about 3.5% of its $16 billion annual domestic dairy market. Although Canadian sources said its government was prepared to offer compensation, dairy farmers reacted angrily.

“We fail to see how this deal can be good for the 220,000 Canadian families that depend on dairy for their livelihood.” Pierre Lampron, president of Dairy Farmers of Canada, said in a statement.

“This has happened, despite assurances that our government would not sign a bad deal for Canadians.”

The deal also requires a higher proportion of the parts in a car to be made in areas of North America, paying at least $16 an hour, a rule aimed at shifting jobs from Mexico.

The new deal will need the approval of Congress, and it is not likely to reach a floor vote until the next session of Congress in 2019. The top Democrat in the House was not endorsing the deal just yet.

Democrats will closely scrutinize the text of the Trump Administration’s NAFTA proposal, and look forward to further analyses and conversations with stakeholders,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement.

With control of both the House and Senate at stake in November, it is unclear if Congress will support the deal, ABC News reported.

However, Trump was optimistic, telling reporters he thinks it will pass “easily.”

Research contact: @jendeben

McCain does not want Trump at funeral

May 9, 2018

In recognition of the continuing ill will between Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) and President Donald Trump, the ailing legislator and war hero—age 81 and battling aggressive brain cancer—has let it be known to the White House that he does not want the POTUS to attend his funeral. Vice President Mike Pence has been invited in Trump’s place.

The beef between the two men began during Trump’s presidential campaign, when the candidate said of the former Navy pilot, who had been held as a prisoner of war by the North Vietnamese at the Hanoi Hilton, “I like people who weren’t captured.”

But the relationship became truly icy last summer, after the Senator cast a pivotal vote that defeated GOP attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act at 2 a.m. on Friday, July 27.

Following that vote, McCain’s  favorability rating rose to 58% among the American public, according to Gallup—with a surge in Democratic favorability more than making up for a decline among McCain’s fellow Republicans.

At the same time, President Donald Trump had a rating of 36%, after he made remarks questioning McCain’s military service at the Family Leadership  Summit on July 15.

He’s a war hero because he was captured,” Trump told moderator Frank Luntz—a remark that was followed by some boos from the nearly 2,000 attendees of the event on the campus of Iowa State University, ABC News reported.

McCain spent five and a half years as a P.O.W.; deferments enabled Trump to dodge service in Vietnam entirely.

Trump also did not attend the recent funeral of former first lady Barbara Bush in Houston, Texas—supposedly  in order “to avoid disruptions due to added security, and out of respect for the Bush Family and friends attending the service,” the White House said last month. First lady Melania Trump attended the service instead, along with former Presidents George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and former first lady Hillary Clinton.

Now, NBC News reports, Former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush have been requested by McCain to be eulogists at his funeral service, which is to be held at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C..

Research contact: @RebeccaShabad

Republicans strongly support citizenship question on 2020 Census

April 5, 2018

On March 26 Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced that he would reinstate a question on legal U.S. citizenship that has not appeared since 1950 on the 2020 Census questionnaire.

The change in policy was greeted by great consternation on the part of Democrats—but was lauded by Republicans. Indeed , a poll of 1,000 U.S. adults released on March 30 by the Republican-leaning Rasmussen Reports organization found that 89% agree that it’s at least “somewhat important” for the government to get as accurate account of U.S. citizens as possible—including 69% who believe that it’s “very important.” Only 25% disagree.

Democrats counter that fewer people will respond to a survey that includes a citizenship question—and that America will collect less population data as a result. Test surveys conducted by the Census Bureau in late 2017 found that some immigrants were afraid to provide information to U.S. Census workers because of fears about being deported.

The Census data is highly important because it is used to determine representation in the U.S. House of Representatives, as well as federal spending allocations and electoral votes by state.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra was the first to file a suit contesting what he called “a bad idea” on March 26, according to ABC News.

The next day, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said he would lead a coalition of 18 states, six major cities and the U.S. Conference of Mayors in filing a lawsuit against the Trump administration for inclusion of the question.

At a press conference announcing the suit, Schneiderman commented, “This is a blatant effort to undermine the Census. Someone from the Trump administration knocking on your door asking about your citizenship status would provoke real fear.”

Schneiderman said the decision to add the question “directly targets” states with large immigrant populations, according to a same-day report by The Guardian.

In an interview with Fox Business, Ross asserted that the question was added at the request of the Department of Justice to protect minorities. “The Justice Department feels they need it so that they can enforce section two of the voting rights act, which protects minority voters,” said Ross.

Research contactinfo@rasmussenreports.com

77% see mental health screening, not gun control, as solution to mass shootings

February 21, 2018

Most Americans believe that the nation could have prevented the massacre of 17 students and staff members on Valentine’s Day at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, based on findings of an ABC News/Washington Post poll released on February 20.

However, when considering the cautionary, legislative steps that could have been taken, gun control takes a backseat to psychiatric services among the respondents: While more than half (58%) of the 808 respondents said stricter gun laws could have prevented the shooting, a larger number (77%) said better mental health monitoring and treatment would have averted it.

Specifically, allowing teachers to carry guns— called an “opportunity and an option” by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos last week—is much lower on the list of preventative steps than mental health care: Just 42% percent believe that armed staff members could have prevented the killings.

Desire for action is evident in this poll, produced for ABC News by Langer Research Associates: 77% of U.S. adults say that Congress is not doing enough to try to stop such shootings, and 62 percent say the same of President Donald Trump.

According to ABC, many people feel “strongly” that action to date has been inadequate: 59% in the case of Congress; 50% as relates to Trump.

The public’s especially broad endorsement of improved mental health screening and treatment is in line with another result: Americans by a 2-to-1 margin blame mass shootings mainly on problems identifying and treating people with mental health problems, rather than on inadequate gun control laws.

Still, compared with a 2015 ABC News/Post survey, somewhat fewer mainly blame mental health screening (down 6 points) and somewhat more blame inadequate gun control laws (up 5 points). Greater concern about mental health screening over gun laws was 63-23 percent then, vs. 57-28 percent now.

Banning assault weapons—the alleged shooter in Parkland wielded a semiautomatic AR-15-style rifle— remains a more divisive issue, with nearly even numbers on both sides (50% in support and 46% percent opposed).

Opinions on banning assault weapons are marked by especially sharp differences among demographic groups: 55% of women support a ban, compared with 43%of men. That reflects a vast gap between white women (60% support) and white men (39%). There is no such gender gap among non-whites. The gap widens further, when looking at support for an assault weapons ban among college-educated white women (65%) versus non-college-educated white men (36%).

Research contact: heather.m.riley@abc.com

U.S. voters: Trump has done little in year since election

November 7, 2017

A poll released this week by ABC News and the Washington Post finds that most American’s think that Donald Trump has achieved little in the first year after his upset win in the 2016 presidential election— yet most think the Democratic Party isn’t presenting any realistic alternatives.

According to a report on the Bloomberg website, the researchers found that Trump is carrying big deficits on a number of key issues and personal attributes. Some 55% of respondents say he’s not delivering on major campaign promises, up from 41 percent at his 100-day mark in April.

Views of Trump as a strong leader have dropped to 40% now from 53% at 100 days, the pollster say. And as Trump travels to Asia, fully two-thirds of those surveyed don’t trust him to act responsibly in handling the situation with a nuclear-armed North Korea. A small majority (53%) say America’s leadership in the world has gotten weaker under Trump.

After Trump’s first 100 days, 56% of voters said he’d accomplished anywhere from “not much” to “little or nothing” as president. The number of dissatisfied respondents now has risen to 65%. A similar number say Trump lacks the personality and temperament to serve effectively.

The survey was conducted Oct. 29-Nov. 1 by Langer Research Associates via landline and mobile phones, among a random sample of 1,005 adults. The results have a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 points.

Research contact: info@langerresearch.com

Nearly half of Americans think Trump worked with Putin to win presidency

November 6, 2017

Just 30% of Americans believe that the alleged wrongdoing in the 2016 Trump campaign ended with the three campaign workers who were charged by Special Counsel Robert Mueller last week—and about half (49%) of respondents to a new ABC News/Washington Post poll suspect that President Donald Trump, himself, broke the law, the news organizations reported on November 2.

The poll found substantial support for the Mueller investigation, with 58% of respondents approving of how the special counsel is handling it; and more—68% —approving of the filing of federal charges against Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, and his associate Rick Gates. Both pleaded not guilty in a federal court on October 30.

In addition, Mueller’s team revealed on October 30 that George Papadopoulos, a  former campaign foreign policy adviser, had been cooperating with them for several months, after pleading guilty to charges of perjury in his interviews about the campaign.

While about half of respondents said that Trump was involved in the criminal activity; 19% said they believe that their opinion is supported by evidence, while 30% said it’s only their suspicion. Forty-four percent said they doubt that Trump committed a crime.

Moreover, just 37% think Trump is cooperating with the investigation, A majority (51%) of respondents said that he is not cooperating; another sizable share (12%) have no opinion.

Trump’s core supporters, however, remain overwhelmingly in his favor. Among those who voted for him last year, only  6% suspect him of law-breaking in the campaign. They say that the president’s repeated claims that he is not personally under investigation and that his campaign did not collude with Russia are true.

The telephone survey of 714 adults was conducted October 30 through November 1 on behalf of the news organizations by Langer Research Associates.

Research contact: info@langerresearch.com