‘Hyperploop’ may link L.A. to S.F.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Imagine strapping into a car-sized capsule and hurtling through a tube at more than 700 mph — not for the thrill of it, but to get where you need to go.
On Monday, billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk unveiled a transportation concept that he said could whisk passengers the nearly 400 miles between Los Angeles and San Francisco in 30 minutes — half the time it takes an airplane.
If it’s ever built.
His “Hyperloop” system for travel between major cities is akin to the pneumatic tubes that transport capsules stuffed with paperwork in older buildings.
In this case, the cargo would be people, reclining for the ride.
The system would feature a large, nearly air-free tube. Inside, capsules would be pulled down the line by magnetic attraction.
Capsules would float on a cushion of air they create — like an air hockey table in which the puck produces the air instead of the surface. To minimize friction from what air is in the tube, a powerful fan at the front of each capsule would suck air from the front to the rear.
“Short of figuring out real teleportation, which would of course be awesome (someone please do this), the only option for super fast travel is to build a tube over or under the ground that contains a special environment,” Musk wrote in his proposal, posted online. On a conference call Monday, Musk said that if all goes right, it could take seven to 10 years for the first passengers to make the journey between California’s two biggest metro areas.
Minorities wrongly targeted by NYPD
NEW YORK (AP) — The nation’s largest police department illegally and systematically singled out large numbers of blacks and Hispanics under its controversial stop-and-frisk policy, a federal judge ruled Monday while appointing an independent monitor to oversee major changes, including body cameras on some officers.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he would appeal the ruling, which was a stinging rebuke to a policy he and the New York Police Department have defended as a life-saving, crime-fighting tool that helped lead the city to historic crime lows. The legal outcome could affect how and whether other cities employ the tactic.
“The city’s highest officials have turned a blind eye to the evidence that officers are conducting stops in a racially discriminatory manner,” U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin wrote in her ruling. “In their zeal to defend a policy that they believe to be effective, they have willfully ignored overwhelming proof that the policy of targeting ‘the right people’ is racially discriminatory.”
Stop-and-frisk has been around for decades in some form, but recorded stops increased dramatically under the Bloomberg administration to an all-time high in 2011 of 684,330, mostly of black and Hispanic men. The lawsuit was filed in 2004 by four men, all minorities, and became a class-action case.
Kidnapper, killer fired twice at cops
SAN DIEGO (AP) — A close family friend suspected of abducting a 16-year- old girl after killing her mother and younger brother fired his rifle at FBI agents before they killed him deep in the Idaho wilderness, authorities said Monday.
Hannah Anderson didn’t know her mother and brother were dead until she was rescued from 40-year-old James Lee DiMaggio, San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore said.
“I can’t make it any clearer: She was a victim in this case. She was not a willing participant,” Gore said at a news conference with Hannah’s father, Brett Anderson.
During a shootout with the FBI, DiMaggio fired at least once and perhaps twice, the sheriff explained.
Hannah Anderson reunited with family in San Diego to begin what her father said would be a slow recovery. He thanked the horseback riders who reported seeing the pair near an alpine lake, saying the search might have taken much longer without them.
“She has been through a tremendous, horrific ordeal,” said Brett Anderson.
The massive search spanning much of the Western United States and parts of Canada and Mexico probably would have taken longer if not for a sharp-eyed retired sheriff and three other horseback riders in the rugged backcountry hadn’t seen the pair Wednesday.
Man charged in killings, abduction
JOHNSTON, R.I. (AP) — Police on Monday charged a man with killing his girlfriend and her adult daughter and then kidnapping her young son, touching off a search that ended when the 2-year-old was found wandering alone outside.
Daniel Rodriguez broke into the home of Evelyn Burgos, 40, on Sunday before fatally shooting her and her 25-year-old daughter, Vanessa Perez, and abducting Isaiah Perez, Johnston Police Chief Richard S. Tamburini said.
Isaiah Perez was found unharmed Sunday night after a police officer spotted him at a public housing complex in Providence, about 10 miles from the town where his mother and sister were killed. He was taken to the hospital and was temporarily placed in the care of state child welfare officials.
Rodriguez, who is either 27 or 28, was arraigned Monday on two counts of murder as well as on burglary, kidnapping and gun charges. He was arrested in Providence on Sunday and is being held without bail; police did not give an address for him. Rodriguez had no comment as he was led out of the Johnston Police Department to be taken to the state prison.
Authorities said Rodriguez is Burgos’ boyfriend but not the boy’s father.
Technology stocks rise on Wall Street
NEW YORK (AP) — Corporate deal stories and technology stocks were bright spots on Wall Street Monday on a day when the indexes ended relatively flat.
BlackBerry jumped after the struggling smartphone maker said it would consider a sale. Dole Foods rose after its CEO said he would take the company private and Steinway Musical Instruments gained after receiving a new buyout offer.
Apple, another smartphone maker, was also in the news. The tech giant’s stock rose after the blog AllThingsD said the company would release the latest version of its iPhone on Sept. 10. The stock’s rise helped make technology stocks the leading gainers in the Standard & Poor’s 500 index.
Still, those gains weren’t enough to push the broad-market index up for the day.
The S&P fell 1.95 points, or 0.1 percent, to close at 1,689.47. The Dow Jones industrial average closed down 5.83 points, or less than 0.1 percent, at 15,419.68.
Stocks had opened lower after logging their biggest weekly loss in almost two months. By late morning the losses had been pared, and the S&P and Dow remained marginally lower throughout the day.
Apple rose $12.91, or 2.8 percent, to $467.30. The company makes up 7.9 percent of the Nasdaq composite and its advance pushed the index up 9.84 points, or 0.3 percent, to 3,669.95.
Newmont Mining was the biggest gainer in the Standard & Poor’s 500 index after the prices of gold and silver advanced. Gold rose for a fourth day on reports of increased demand from China. Silver gained the most in three weeks.
Stocks have been treading water this month as companies finished reporting earnings for the second quarter and investors considered when the Federal Reserve will start to ease back on its economic stimulus. The U.S. central bank is buying $85 billion a month to keep long-term interest rates low. Many analysts expect that it will start reducing those purchases as soon as next month.
The tepid August follows big gains for stocks for July, when the S&P 500 rose 5 percent, its best month since January.
Stocks climbed last month after Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke reassured investors that the Fed would only ease back on its stimulus once the economy is strong enough to handle it. The Fed’s stimulus has been a major factor driving a bull market for stocks that has lasted more than four years.
Any pullback in stocks now is presenting investors with a buying opportunity, said Doug Cote, chief market strategist with ING U.S. Investment Management.
“There will be some near-term volatility, but it’s a buying opportunity and a chance to get fully invested in the market,” Cote said.
The S&P 500 is up 0.2 percent this month. For the year, it’s up 18.5 percent.
Investors will get further clues about the strength of the economy this week when the U.S. Commerce Department publishes its July retail sales figures Tuesday. There will also be data on the housing market, industrial production and the Philadelphia Fed’s survey of manufacturing on Thursday.
The market’s reaction to the reports may be muted as many market participants are likely to be on vacation this week, said David Kelly, chief global strategist at JPMorgan Funds.
“When everybody is at the beach, it takes a louder bang to get the BlackBerries to start humming,” Kelly said.
Sluggish economic growth figures from Japan, the world’s third-largest economy, disappointed investors and weighed on the stock market in early trading.
The 2.6 percent annualized second-quarter growth rate recorded in Japan was below the 3.8 percent rate recorded in the first quarter and the 3.6 percent predicted by analysts. Japan’s main stock index, the Nikkei, fell 0.7 percent on the news.
In commodities trading, the price of gold rose $22, or 1.7 percent, to $1,334.20 an ounce. Silver gained 93.2 cents, or 4.6 percent, to $21.34 an ounce.
Among mining stocks, Newmont Mining advanced $1.39, or 4.7 percent, to $30.90.
The price of oil fell 14 cents, or 0.1 percent, to $106.11 a barrel.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.62 percent from 2.58 percent Friday. The dollar rose against the euro and the Japanese yen.
In deal news, BlackBerry gained $1.02, or 10.5 percent, to $10.78. Steinway climbed $3.36, or 9.3 percent, to $39.59 after an investment firm topped an earlier offer from Kohlberg & Co. Dole rose 68 cents, or 5.3 percent, to $13.49, after the company’s CEO said he would take the company private in a deal that values it at $2.1 billion.