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Who's responsible for the East Palestine train disaster?
Who's responsible for the East Palestine train disaster? | Pete Buttigieg | GZERO World

Who's responsible for the East Palestine train disaster?

It's been nearly four months since a Norfolk Southern train derailed in East Palestine, OH, setting off a public health crisis and sparking uncertainty and fear amongst the residents of this Ohio town. While the national news crews may have moved on, US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg insists that the United States government has not. "This is something we need sustained attention on" Buttigieg tells Bremmer in a wide-ranging interview for GZERO World. "Years from now, you could see health effects."

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The road to repair: Pete Buttigieg & crumbling US infrastructure
The road to repair: Pete Buttigieg & crumbling US infrastructure | GZERO World

The road to repair: Pete Buttigieg & crumbling US infrastructure

There's no sugarcoating it. America needs work. Not just when it comes to the state of democracy, either. A 2022 report found that 43,000 US bridges are “structurally deficient.” The report also found that those same bridges are crossed 168 million times a day. At the current rate, it would take 30 years to fix all of the country’s structurally deficient bridges. Do you feel lucky?

It's not a question Americans particularly want to ask themselves on every morning commute or summer road trip. The richest country in the history of the world should be able to keep its infrastructure updated and its roads intact. Globally, of course, the number of faulty bridges is much higher, but at least here in the United States, things may be starting to change. On November 6, 2021, Congress passed the Biden administration’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, which includes $550 billion for America’s roads, bridges, mass transit, rail, airports, and ports. On GZERO World, Secretary Pete Buttigieg discusses what he has called "the single largest dedicated bridge investment since the construction of the Interstate highway system."

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Podcast: Rebuilding American infrastructure with Pete Buttigieg

Transcript

Listen: In this episode of the GZERO World podcast, we’re bridging America’s divides, and we mean that literally. It’s infrastructure week on GZERO World, and Ian Bremmer is talking to Mr. Infrastructure himself: US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. They discuss the state of America’s roads, bridges, and tunnels, as well as the landmark legislation meant to upgrade them all. They also talk about how major technological advances in electric vehicles and industrial shipping are poised to change the ways we move, and the things we ship. Oh, and they talk 2024 and why the Secretary recently changed his permanent address to that swing state, Michigan.

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Ari Winkleman

What We’re Watching: US mulls China sanctions, Uzbek talks focus on ‘cooperation,’ US train strike averted

Will the US preemptively sanction China over Taiwan?

If you thought US-China ties couldn't get any icier, think again. Washington is reportedly mulling sanctions in a bid to deter Beijing from invading Taiwan — and nudging the EU to follow suit. No specifics yet, but the package would presumably target the Chinese military, which has upped the muscle-flexing ante near the self-ruled island since US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taipei in early August. Such a move would be similar to how the US and its allies warned Russia there would be a steep price to pay for invading Ukraine. Taiwan would welcome preemptive sanctions and has long called for the Americans and, more recently, the Europeans to do more to protect the island against Chinese aggression. But any sanctions would also rile Xi Jinping, who’s up for “reelection” next month and has vowed to reunite the island with the mainland before the 100th anniversary of the People's Republic in 2049 – by force, if necessary. While the White House has refused to comment, a sanctions plan could signal that US intelligence believes Xi might make a play for Taiwan sooner rather than later.

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Strong reactions in Malaysia to termination of KL-Singapore HSR project

January 05, 2021 5:00 AM

Two state governments have urged the government to continue with the project.

Experts say a KL-JB HSR line is redundant

January 03, 2021 5:00 AM

The cancellation of the high-speed rail project to link Kuala Lumpur and Singapore has raised speculation that the Malaysian government will instead build a KL to Johor Baru HSR line.

HSR project without S'pore stop is 'redundant', say experts

January 03, 2021 5:00 AM

A domestic high-speed rail network in Malaysia alone is not feasible and likely to end up a white elephant if it is built, transport analysts said.

Johor Menteri Besar hopes HSR will continue even with no S'pore link

January 03, 2021 5:00 AM

JOHOR BARU • The Johor government is hopeful that the high-speed rail (HSR) project will be continued, even if it is not linked to Singapore.

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