People gather with flags reading "NO TAV (No to high speed trains)" in front the law court of Chambery, southeastern France. Photo: AFP Tens of thousands of people rallied this weekend in the north Italian city of Turin to support a planned high-speed train line to Lyon that faced years of opposition, especially from environmental groups. But will the project go ahead? Between 30,000 to 40,000 people packed the city's Castello plaza, one of the largest in the capital of Piedmont region, in the first large-scale demonstration in favour of the TAV Lyon-Turin railway. The protest came after Turin city authorities, lead by the anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S), in September approved a motion demanding a halt the project. The Piedmont regional government has ruled in favour of the TAV. Italian and French transport ministers are expected to meet on Monday to discuss the project. "Turin is closing itself off, this is why we thought we … [Read more...] about Will the high-speed train service from Lyon to Turin ever really happen?
Lyon public transport
Business leaders are expected to lead a rally on Saturday urging Rome to forge ahead with the €8.6 billion tunnel through the Alps for the line linking Turin to Lyon, which has already been partially dug. The rail link will reduce travel time between Milan and Paris from almost seven hours to just over four. As well as being attacked by environmentalists, the line has been criticised as a misuse of public funds and the anti-establishment Five Stars Movement (M5S) had pledged to block it if elected. But its government partner, the right-wing League, favours the venture and the movement now fears the so-called TAV ('treno ad alta velocità', or high-speed train) may join the growing list of promises it has been forced to break. With furious M5S voters burning its flag over other perceived betrayals, analysts have warned a go-ahead on the line could be devastating, particularly for populist leader and deputy prime minister Luigi Di Maio. READ ALSO: Italy's deputy PM … [Read more...] about Italy’s government divided over Turin-Lyon train line
Previous Next 1 of 7 The first self-driving vehicle many people will experience firsthand may not be a car, but rather a public shuttle. While they may not be as sexy as sleek autonomous sports cars zipping down a highway, slower, boxy shuttles present more of a practical–and less risky–self-driving electrified solution to moving people around cities. But these shuttles will confront the same hurdle that all autonomous vehicles will face: a high price tag. “The price is so high today,” Christophe Sapet, the CEO of French autonomous vehicle company Navya, told Digital Trends. “You can’t imagine how someone could afford $200,000 or $500,000 for a self-driving car.” Instead of selling vehicles for private ownership, Navya’s strategy is to build small, electric autonomous shuttles with a $300,000-plus cost that can be amortized over time by municipalities, campuses, and large corporate parks working on smart city-style … [Read more...] about Boxy shuttles, not cars, will be people’s first taste of autonomous vehicles
Today, three shorter items to carry us into the weekend. One, Facebook has hired a new head of global policy and communications to replace Elliot Schrage. It’s Nick Clegg, the former deputy prime minister of the United Kingdom. Clegg is a former European Commission trade negotiator, where he played a role in punishing tech companies for anticompetitive behavior — most notably Google, which received a $5 billion fine for issues involving Android. With Facebook currently in the crosshairs of European regulators over a wide range of issues, Clegg brings a perspective and a clout that the company has previously lacked. British people have a proud tradition of loathing their elected leaders, and they eagerly traded zingers about Clegg on Friday morning, many of which are funny only if you have a solid grasp of British politics. (It helps to know that Clegg presided over a collapse in support for his party, the Liberal Democrats, and that the party abandoned a pledge to oppose … [Read more...] about Facebook hired a new public defender, and he should start with WhatsApp
France will see the return of nationwide strikes and street protests for the first time since June on Tuesday but what impact will they have? Around 100 protests are planned across the country as trade unions call on the public to show their anger at the government's social policy. Two of the more hardline leftist trade unions Force Ouvrier and the CGT have called on workers, pensioners and students to join their protest against the government's policies which they claim are "destroying France's social model". For these trade unions the government's policies follow "a logic of individualization which undermines solidarity and social justice". They also "attack once again the weakest, most precarious and the poorest," read a statement from the unions. With the government planning reforms of the pension and benefits system the unions hope to flex their muscles and send a warning to President Emmanuel Macron. Yet it's unlikely Tuesday's protests will be much of a concern o the … [Read more...] about What impact will Tuesday’s protests and strikes have in France?