Review: Stone back in bold form with ‘Savages’

first_imgThe sun, in its various hues and levels of intensity, plays an important role in Oliver Stone’s latest, “Savages.” This film image released by Universal Pictures shows Benicio Del Toro, left, and Salma Hayek in a scene from “Savages.” (AP Photo/Universal Pictures, Francois Duhamel) This film image released by Universal Pictures shows Blake Lively, left, and Benicio Del Toro in a scene from “Savages.” (AP Photo/Universal Pictures, Francois Duhamel) This film image released by Universal Pictures shows John Travolta , left, and Taylor Kitsch in a scene from “Savages.” (AP Photo/Universal Pictures, Francois Duhamel) In the beginning of this tale of sex, drugs, money and power, it illuminates an idyllic decadence. It warms everything in a glow that suggests anything is possible, in a way that’s hazy and almost hallucinatory. But such a lifestyle can’t be maintained forever — that’s just the way these stories tend to go. And so eventually, especially in the film’s bloody desert climax, the sun bakes everyone mercilessly, bleaching away the colors and revealing the characters’ true natures.Regardless of which side of the battle they’re on, it’s clear they’ve all become savages.Sounds intense, and Stone’s film is indeed a lurid, pulpy film noir but with an erotic, even dreamlike California beach vibe. It’s an intriguing contrast, this mixture of a genre and an aesthetic that may not necessarily sound like they’d blend well together, but the result is the most explosively poppy film Stone has made in a long time.“Savages” is darkly funny and stylishly violent but never reaches the overwhelming level of audiovisual assault of, say, “Natural Born Killers,” for example. Directing from a script he co-wrote with Shane Salerno and Don Winslow (based on Winslow’s novel), Stone draws us into this glamorous yet seedy world and draws strong performances from his eclectic ensemble cast.Taylor Kitsch and Aaron Johnson co-star as best friends and business partners Chon and Ben, young surfer-dude bad-asses who got rich quick growing a particularly strong strain of pot. Chon, an ex-Navy SEAL, came home after fighting in Afghanistan with the potent seeds and, understandably, some residual jumpiness from the war. Ben, who studied botany at UC Berkeley, turned those seeds into a small, independent empire, but he’s a pacifist with philanthropic goals.The two live in a spectacular Laguna Beach home with endless views of the Pacific Ocean. They also happily share the affections of their mutual girlfriend, the gorgeous, blonde O (Blake Lively), a nouveau riche Orange County princess who benefits from this arrangement in every possible way. (And there is a whole lotta masculine, muscular nudity in this film, just FYI — nearly as much as there was last week in “Magic Mike.”)Everyone’s happy until the leader of a Mexican cartel, the regal but ruthless Elena (a fantastic, scenery-chewing Salma Hayek) tries to expand her territory by taking over their business. First, she sends her trusted right-hand man (an elegant Demian Bechir) to approach them with a gentlemanly (if well-armed) proposition. When they politely decline, with phrasing that will come back to haunt them, she sends one of her heavies (Benicio Del Toro, amusingly cartoony) to make her point a little more clear.Then things start to get really ugly for these beautiful people.Kitsch is in one mode — he’s the trigger-happy, intense muscle of the operation — but he’s consistent and believable. Johnson fares better — his character has more shading — and he proves once again how versatile he is following roles as young John Lennon in “Nowhere Boy,” the nerdy superhero of “Kick-Ass” and the handsome but illiterate boiler repair man in “Albert Nobbs.”Lively, meanwhile, continues to expand on the unexpected glimmers of strength she revealed in 2010’s “The Town,” in contrast to her glamorous persona on- and off-camera. She’s called upon for more physical and emotional rigors than ever before and, for the most part, rises to Stone’s challenge. As our guide through this shadowy world, she’s also saddled with delivering the film’s sometimes-smothering narration; some lines that perhaps read better on paper clang on the ear, like the one in which she states that she had orgasms while Kitsch’s character had “wargasms.” Approaching such language (and the voiceover in general) from the perspective that it’s intended as a fundamental piece of film noir-style filmmaking makes it more relevant, though not necessarily more tolerable.Among the other colorful characters with something at stake in this increasingly are John Travolta as a DEA agent on the take and Emile Hirsch as the genius who finds complicated ways to hide the guys’ money.Stone clearly has a pro-drug message here — or at least an anti-war-on-drugs message: Everything falls apart once controls start being exerted. That’s unsurprising, given the open way in which he’s discussed drug use throughout his life. What is surprising is the fact that he’s not beating us over the head with it. “Savages” is an enjoyably gratuitous romp, but with something to say.“Savages,” a Universal Pictures release, is rated R for strong brutal and grisly violence, some graphic sexuality, nudity, drug use and language throughout. Running time: 129 minutes. Three stars out of four.___Motion Picture Association of America rating definitions:G — General audiences. All ages admitted.PG — Parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children.PG-13 — Special parental guidance strongly suggested for children under 13. Some material may be inappropriate for young children.R — Restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.NC-17 — No one under 17 admitted.last_img read more

New Colfax district head says future of arts district will come…

first_img A gallery vistor looks at Karl Hatchett Jr.’s artwork Friday evening, Sept. 14 along East Colfax Avenue. This month’s art walk in the Aurora Arts District included the launch of a new lighting system on the exteriors of buildings along the strip, along with a formal dedication by Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan. (Marla R. Keown/Aurora Sentinel) Weil remembers walking from his home to the Aurora Fox theater when it was still a cinema to see the premiere of “Star Wars.” He recalls his routes through the sidestreets surrounding the Colfax corridor, the strolls from his home near 17th Avenue and Florence Street, near City Park and Aurora’s first fire station. Most of all, he remembers the walking.As the newly appointed manager of an arts district that’s seen its share of ups and downs in the past decade, Weil says that kind of accessibility is a key to the neighborhood’s future.“It has changed a lot, but there’s still the sense of neighborhood and community. There’s still the walkability,” said Weil, who starts as the managing director of the recently redubbed Aurora Cultural Arts District this week. “The people who are really going to appreciate this district the most are right in its backyard.”Weil, a painter, sculptor and public artist, now lives and works in the River North Art District, a trendy stretch of galleries, studios and shops he cofounded in an industrial neighborhood north of downtown Denver in 2005. Weil went on to work on branding and building the 40 West Arts District built around the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design and the Edge Theatre in Lakewood. Weil’s newly formed position in his hometown is just one of many recent change-ups at the Aurora Cultural Arts District that ACAD leaders and local business managers say hint at a new era for the neighborhood.“I can actually see stuff happening,” said Charles Packard, executive producer at the Aurora Fox theater. “This is the first time that I’m involved in the push, and just being closer to it gives me more optimism … For me, having been here for 13 years, this feels like the real deal.”Beyond the new $200,000 lighting project that started in September, the face and feel of the district is starting to morph. Longtime anchors like the Aurora Fox theater, the Red Delicious Press and the Downtown Aurora Visual Arts gallery are still going strong, but the area also boasts new arrivals like the Vintage Theatre and the Collection gallery. Officials rolled out the new title of Aurora Cultural Arts District earlier this year, following the election of former Aurora lawmaker Bob Hagedorn as board president. What’s more, city officials announced this week that ACAD representatives put in a successful bid for the former TOSA gallery space at 1400 Dallas St. that will serve as a community arts center and Weil’s new headquarters.“There’s a pretty great infrastructure in place, as far as the connection between the neighborhood and the city of Aurora,” Weil said. “I come from a strong branding and marketing background … That is sort of my first step, to get my head around how they’ve been presenting themselves.”City officials say the changes in the district are part of a bigger resurgence along the stretch based on new retail spaces and economic development. The promise of a nearby light rail station and the upcoming expansion of Iola, Fulton and Kingston streets into the Stapleton neighborhood have also played a part.“I think what we’re seeing now is some very clear signs that healthy economic markets are resurging,” said Moira Dungan, a senior development project manager with the city. “I think there’s some pent-up demand. There’s a lot of interest from investors. I don’t know if it’s the new light rail or new streets, but markets have been pent up and there’s money available to do things.”Such hopeful visions may feel familiar for anyone who’s followed the progress of the neighborhood since the city created an urban renewal area in 2001. The city’s arts district has seen plenty of fits and starts. The past decade has seen the construction of the Martin Luther King Jr. Library on East Colfax Avenue and Dayton Street, as well as the Florence Square apartment buildings across the street. But starting in 2008, the recession put its own pressures on the area. Venues like TOSA and the Shadow Theatre closed down, and artists like Kim Harrell and Theresa Anderson left their digs on East Colfax to find studio space elsewhere.But in the past year, the district has been on a kind of rebound, hosting events, festivals and shows that have drawn audiences from Denver and beyond. The Aurora Fox has hosted cutting-edge shows and regional premieres, productions that have garnered awards and acclaim from Denver newspapers and television stations. The Vintage Theatre has had its own critical successes with shows like “RFK,” and even the new gallery dubbed “The Collection” at 9801 E. Colfax Ave. has drawn attention for its ambitious mix of artwork, classes and live music.Before its most recent reinvention as “The Collection” last year, the building served as a home base for a community art project led by Denver artist Phil Bender. But under the guidance of manager Satya Wimbish, the small space next to the Florence Apartments has started bringing in bigger crowds.“I want people to want to come back, to come work on their art work or their music. I want to allow people who wouldn’t usually have an opportunity a chance to be able to display their work,” Wimbish said. “We’re at a place now where we’ve got people coming together again and getting excited about the district and getting excited and wanting to be involved.”But Dungan said the new energy is just part of a longer process that started with the creation of an urban renewal district in 2001 and continued with construction projects like the Martin Luther King Jr. Library and the Florence Square apartments.“I don’t think these things are linear, they’re a spiral,” Dungan said. “We’ve been exercising the same strategies. I just think the environment has shifted.” Gallery vistors look at Morgan Barbary’s artwork Friday evening, Sept. 14 along East Colfax Avenue. This month’s art walk in the Aurora Arts District included the launch of a new lighting system on the exteriors of buildings along the strip, along with a formal dedication by Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan. (Marla R. Keown/Aurora Sentinel) Tracy Weil, an artist and co-founder of the RINO Arts District in Denver, will start as the new managing director of the Aurora Cultural Arts District this week. Weil’s newly formed position in his hometown is just one of many recent change-ups at the Aurora Cultural Arts District, shifts that ACAD leaders and local business managers say hint at a new era for the neighborhood. (Marla R. Keown/Aurora Sentinel)center_img AURORA | This 16-block stretch of East Colfax Avenue wasn’t so different when Tracy Weil was a kid going to West Middle and Aurora Central High schools. Reach reporter Adam Goldstein at or 720-449-9707last_img read more

Patenting genes: Justices tackle big health issue

first_imgWASHINGTON | The Supreme Court seemed worried Monday about the idea of companies patenting human genes in a case that could profoundly reshape the multibillion-dollar biomedical industry and U.S. research in the fight against diseases like breast and ovarian cancer.Justices argued not only about snipping DNA strands but also about chewing the leaves of Amazonian jungle plants, the shaping of baseball bats and the ingredients of chocolate chip cookies as they tried to figure out whether companies can gain government protection — and profits — for their work with human genes.The ability to claim control of genetic information found inside every American could hang on the nine justices’ decision later this summer, a ruling that could affect the intersection of science and the law for years to come.“The issue here is a very difficult one,” Justice Samuel Alito said.Abstract ideas, natural phenomena and laws of nature cannot be awarded patents, the legal protection that gives inventors the right to prevent others from making, using or selling a novel device, process or application. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has been awarding patents on human genes for almost 30 years, but opponents of Myriad Genetics Inc.’s patents on two genes linked to an increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer say such protection should not be given to something that can be found inside the human body.“Finding a new use for a product of nature, if you don’t change the product of nature, is not patentable,” said lawyer Christopher Hansen, arguing against the patents. “If I find a new way of taking gold and making earrings out of it, that doesn’t entitle me to a patent on gold. If I find a new way of using lead, it doesn’t entitle me to a patent on lead.”Several organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union, the Association for Molecular Pathology, a number of doctors and researchers and some people at risk for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer, have challenged the patents.But Myriad argues — and the patent office and a federal appeals court have agreed — that the company’s genes can be patented because the DNA that Myriad isolated from the body has a “markedly different chemical structure” from DNA within the body.“What was ‘merely snipped’ out of the body here is fundamentally different in kind from what was in the body,” Myriad lawyer Gregory A. Castanias said. “The most important reason it’s different in kind is that it cannot be used in the body to detect the risk of breast and ovarian cancers.”The company has used its patent to come up with its BRACAnalysis test, which looks for mutations on the breast cancer predisposition gene, or BRCA. Those mutations are associated with much greater risks of breast and ovarian cancer. Women with a faulty gene have a three to seven times greater risk of developing breast cancer and also a higher risk of ovarian cancer.Myriad sells the only BRCA gene test. Opponents of its patents say the company can use its patents to keep other researchers from working with the BRCA gene to develop other tests.In such matters, companies can have billions of dollars of investment and years of research on the line. Their advocates argue that without the ability to recoup their investment through the profits that patents bring, breakthrough scientific discoveries to combat all kinds of medical maladies wouldn’t happen. That concerned several justices.“Why shouldn’t we worry that Myriad or companies like it will just say, ‘Well, you know, we’re not going to do this work anymore?’” Justice Elena Kagan asked.Hansen said that a company could get recognition for its work and that money for research would always be available, a statement that Justice Anthony Kennedy said wasn’t sufficient.“I don’t think we can decide the case on, ‘Don’t worry about investment. It’ll come,’” Kennedy said.Justices attempted to break the argument down to an everyday level by discussing things like chocolate chip cookies, baseball bats and jungle plants.Castanias, the Myriad lawyer, argued that the justices could think about the gene question like a baseball bat. “A baseball bat doesn’t exist until it’s isolated from a tree. But that’s still the product of human invention to decide where to begin the bat and where to end the bat,” he said.That didn’t work for Chief Justice John Roberts.“The baseball bat is quite different. You don’t look at a tree and say, well, I’ve cut the branch here and cut it here and all of a sudden I’ve got a baseball bat. You have to invent it, if you will,” Roberts said. “You don’t have to invent the particular segment of the strand. You just have to cut it off.”The court moved on to body parts. Said Justice Sonia Sotomayor, “If you cut off a piece of the whole in the kidney or liver, you’re saying that’s not patentable, but you take a gene and snip off a piece, that is? What’s the difference between the two?”Castanias tried again, comparing the company’s patented genes to medicine.“It’s important to note that molecules have been patented for a very long time. That’s what drugs are. And drugs are often made by taking one molecule and another molecule, both of which are known, reacting them in a test tube,” he said. “Reactions have been around 100 years just like snipping has been, but they make something new and useful and lifesaving from that.”Roberts still wasn’t convinced. “Well, I don’t understand how this is at all like that, because there you’re obviously combining things and getting something new. Here you’re just snipping, and you don’t have anything new, you have something that is a part of something that has existed previous to your intervention,” he said.That was the ruling of the original judge who looked at Myriad’s patents after they were challenged by the ACLU in 2009. U.S. District Judge Robert Sweet said he invalidated the patents because DNA’s existence in an isolated form does not alter the fundamental quality of DNA as it exists in the body or the information it encodes. But the federal appeals court reversed him in 2011, saying Myriad’s genes can be patented because the isolated DNA has a “markedly different chemical structure” from DNA within the body.The Supreme Court threw out that decision and sent the case back to the lower courts for rehearing. That came after the high court unanimously threw out patents on a Prometheus Laboratories Inc. test that could help doctors set drug doses for autoimmune diseases like Crohn’s disease. The justices said the laws of nature are unpatentable.But the federal circuit upheld Myriad’s patents again in August, leading to the current review.The court will rule before the end of the summer.The case is 12-398, Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc.last_img read more

Anchor pulled from inlet might be from 1792 voyage

first_imgPORT TOWNSEND, Wash. |” Experts will examine an anchor recovered from Puget Sound north of Seattle to determine if it was from one of the earliest ships to explore Northwest waters.The anchor was found six years ago by sea-cucumber diver Doug Monk, who formed Anchor Ventures with amateur historian Scott Grimm to bring it to the surface. It was in Admiralty Inlet off Whidbey Island.The Seattle Times and the Peninsula Daily News report the 900-pound anchor might be the one lost by the HMS Chatham, a Royal Navy survey brig. The ship accompanied the HMS Discovery as British explorer George Vancouver’s charted the West Coast in 1792.The anchor was taken Monday to the Northwest Maritime Center in Port Townsend. It will be prepared for shipping to Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, where experts will try to determine whether it’s really the anchor lost 222 years ago.last_img read more

Oil or cheese at Hanukkah? These dumplings embrace both

first_imgMany of the signature dishes of Hanukkah involve either cheese or frying in oil… Or both! Since I like to have it all, I created these fried sweet cheese and almond dumplings — a luscious dessert — featuring both ingredients. Happily, they are easy to make, requiring no special equipment other than a deep fat thermometer.Basically, these are blintzes in wonton wrappers. The filling consists of ricotta, cream cheese, eggs, sugar and spritzes of lemon and vanilla, all combined with almond paste. In the olden days, it would have featured farmer’s cheese, not ricotta, but the former isn’t easy to find in today’s supermarkets. If anyone in your home is allergic to nuts, just leave out the almond paste.As noted, the filling is encased in wonton wrappers, which can be found alongside the grocer’s Asian produce, or in the dairy or frozen foods sections. They’re a great and versatile item, but they tend to dry out quickly. Be sure to always keep them covered in plastic wrap, unwrapping only a few at a time as you stuff them. This recipe won’t require a whole package of wrappers. If you carefully wrap and freeze the unused ones, they’ll be good to go in a future recipe.Shaping the wrappers into triangles is the only time-consuming part of this recipe. You want to be sure to seal the edges of each triangle tightly so that the filling doesn’t spill out into the hot oil. The glue is provided by the white of a single egg. If one of your triangles should happen to split as it fries, just lift it out gently, park it on the side until you’ve finished frying the sealed wontons, then give it another shot in the oil. I discovered that split triangles seem to reseal themselves as they rest.As always with deep-frying, be sure that your pan is deep and filled with no more than 2 inches of oil, and that the temperature is maintained at 325 F. Also, don’t crowd the pan with too many wontons at once; it’ll make the temperature dip and you’ll end up with soggy triangles.The raspberry sauce is a speedy little delight made from defrosted frozen raspberries that are crushed, then flavored with a bit of sugar. You’re welcome to swap in blueberries, strawberries, finely-chopped peaches, or any of your favorite fruits. If you have the time and inclination to refine this part of the recipe, you can puree the berries, then put them through a sieve to remove the seeds before adding the sugar. Whatever you do, don’t skip the sauce; it provides a tart balance to the sweet wontons. This Oct. 12, 2015 photo shows fried sweet cheese and almond dumplings in Concord, N.H. This dish is from a recipe by Sara Moulton. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead) This Oct. 12, 2015 photo shows fried sweet cheese and almond dumplings in Concord, N.H. This dish is from a recipe by Sara Moulton. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)center_img FRIED SWEET CHEESE AND ALMOND DUMPLINGSStart to finish: 1 1/2 hoursMakes about 36 wontons1 cup thawed frozen raspberries2 tablespoons plus 1 to 2 teaspoons sugar, divided1 1/2 ounces almond paste4 ounces cream cheese1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese1 large egg, separated2 teaspoons grated lemon zest1/2 teaspoon vanilla extractHefty pinch table saltCornstarch36 square (3-inch) wonton wrappersVegetable or canola oil, for fryingIn a small bowl, use a fork to mash the raspberries, then stir in 1 to 2 teaspoons of the sugar, or to taste. Set aside.In a medium bowl, use a fork to mash the almond paste. Add half the cream cheese and mash until fairly smooth. Add the remaining cream cheese, the ricotta, remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar, the egg yolk, lemon zest, vanilla and salt, then mix well (there will still be small lumps of almond paste left in the mixture).In a small bowl, use a fork to beat the egg white. Line a baking sheet with kitchen parchment and sprinkle with cornstarch.On a cutting board or work surface, arrange several wonton wrappers. Mound 2 level teaspoons of the filling in the middle of each wrapper, then use a pastry brush dipped in the egg white to moisten the edges of the wrappers. Fold one of the corners of each wrapper over the filling until it meets the opposing corner and forms a filled triangle. Press the edges together to form a tight seal, then gently transfer the filled wrappers to the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining ingredients. For a video demonstrating this technique, go to .In large, deep saucepan over medium-high, heat 2 inches of oil to 325 F.When the oil is hot, use a slotted spoon to carefully lower 4 to 5 dumplings into the oil. Fry, carefully turning them several times, until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Use the slotted spoon to transfer them to paper towels to drain. Repeat with the remaining dumplings. When they are all cooked, you can return them briefly to the hot oil in batches, for about 15 seconds, to reheat before serving. Serve hot with the raspberry dipping sauce.Nutrition information per dumpling: 80 calories; 40 calories from fat (50 percent of total calories); 4.5 g fat (1.5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 15 mg cholesterol; 70 mg sodium; 7 g carbohydrate; 0 g fiber; 1 g sugar; 2 g protein.EDITOR’S NOTE: Sara Moulton was executive chef at Gourmet magazine for nearly 25 years, and spent a decade hosting several Food Network shows. She currently stars in public television’s “Sara’s Weeknight Meals” and has written three cookbooks, including “Sara Moulton’s Everyday Family Dinners.”last_img read more

EPA moves to regulate climate-warming airliner pollution

first_imgWASHINGTON | Jet engine exhaust from airliners endangers human health and adds to climate change, the government found Monday in taking the first step toward regulating those emissions.The Environmental Protection Agency said it will use its authority under the Clean Air Act to impose limits on aircraft emissions.FILE – In this Dec. 16, 2015 file photo, a passenger jet comes in for a landing and in view of a line of planes waiting to takeoff, at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. U.S. environmental regulators are moving to limit emissions from aircraft, ruling that jet engine exhaust is endangering human health by warming the planet. The Environmental Protection Agency announced Monday that it will use its authority under the Clean Air Act to regulate aircraft emissions. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)Jet engines spew significant amounts of greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide and methane, into the upper atmosphere, where they trap heat from the sun. But proposed rules such as imposing fuel-efficiency standards have faced stiff opposition from aircraft makers and commercial airlines.Aircraft emissions were not addressed as part of the landmark global climate agreement agreed to in Paris in December.“Addressing pollution from aircraft is an important element of U.S. efforts to address climate change,” said Janet McCabe, EPA’s acting assistant administrator for air and radiation.McCabe said aircraft are the third largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. transportation sector, and that is expected to increase. Cars and trucks already are regulated.The EPA’s findings do not apply to small piston-engine planes or to military aircraft.A U.N. panel in February recommended new emissions standards for international flights that require an average 4 percent reduction in fuel consumption during the cruising phase of flight. The new regulations from the International Civil Aviation Organization require that new aircraft designs meet the standards beginning in 2020, and that designs already in production comply by 2023.Environmental groups have criticized those new international standards as too weak to actually slow global warming. Planes burn the most fuel during takeoffs and landings. Cruising at high altitudes is the most fuel-efficient period.Environmentalists say aviation accounts for about 5 percent of global greenhouse emissions, though the U.N. and EPA cite studies concluding it’s actually less than 2 percent.The EPA finding announced Monday is expected to result in fuel-efficiency standards for domestic carriers, which critics call long overdue. The EPA acted after a coalition of environmental organizations filed notice of their intent to sue the agency over its inaction.“People should not have to choose between mobility and a healthy climate,” said Marcie Keever, legal director for the environmental group Friends of the Earth. “Now it’s time for the Obama administration to issue a strong rule, to hold the aviation industry accountable.”Though environmental groups are pushing EPA to adopt stricter standards, the airlines and aircraft manufactures want to U.S. to adopt the more modest reductions proposed for international routes.U.S.-owned airliners account for nearly one-third of all aircraft pollution worldwide. While carbon emissions from land-based sources are largely in decline, pollution from airplanes is projected to triple by 2050 without stricter limits.A spokeswoman for the aviation industry said U.S. air carriers have already been making strides to burn less fuel and generate less harmful exhaust.“As aviation is a global industry, with airlines operating internationally and aircraft manufacturers selling their aircraft in international markets, it is critical that aircraft emissions standards be set at the international level and not imposed unilaterally by one country or set of countries,” said Jean Medina, of the group Airlines for America.Follow Associated Press environmental writer Michael Biesecker at read more

Museum planned in suburban New York to honor Navy SEALs

first_imgSAYVILLE, N.Y. | A new museum is being planned in suburban New York to honor Navy SEALs.Officials say the museum could open in 2018 at a county park on eastern Long Island.It will be named for Lt. Michael P. Murphy . The Medal of Honor recipient died along with 18 others in a gun battle in eastern Afghanistan in June 2005.Their story was chronicled in the book and film, “Lone Survivor.”The museum would be the third honoring SEALs. The others are in Fort Pierce, Florida and Coronado, California.New York state Sen. Thomas Croci (KROW’-chee) says a $400,000 state grant will help fund the project. The total cost is estimated at up to $4 million. A foundation named for Murphy will lead the fundraising project.last_img

Hunt is on for chainsaw attacker who wounded 5 in Swiss…

first_img The police shut down the old town of Schaffhausen in Switzerland, while they search for an unknown man who attacked people, on Monday, July 24, 2017. Swiss police say five people have been hospitalized, two of them with serious injuries, following the apparent attack in the northern city of Schaffhausen. (Ennio Leanza/Keystone via AP) The police shut down the old town of Schaffhausen in Switzerland, while they search for an unknown man who attacked people, on Monday, July 24, 2017. Swiss police say five people have been hospitalized, two of them with serious injuries, following the apparent attack in the northern city of Schaffhausen. (Ennio Leanza/Keystone via AP) The police shut down the old town of Schaffhausen in Switzerland, while they search for an unknown man who attacked people, on Monday, July 24, 2017. Swiss police say five people have been hospitalized, two of them with serious injuries, following the apparent attack in the northern city of Schaffhausen. (Ennio Leanza/Keystone via AP) This undated images released by the KAPO Schaffhausen shows the alleged attacker who injured several people in Schaffhausen Switzerland Monday, July 24, 2017. An unkempt man armed with a chainsaw wounded five people Monday at an office building in the northern Swiss city of Schaffhausen and then fled, police said. A manhunt was on for him. (KAPO Schaffhausen via AP) The police shut down the old town of Schaffhausen in Switzerland, while they search for an unknown man who attacked people, on Monday, July 24, 2017. Swiss police say five people have been hospitalized, two of them with serious injuries, following the apparent attack in the northern city of Schaffhausen. (Ennio Leanza/Keystone via AP) The police investigate in the old town of Schaffhausen in Switzerland, where they search for an unknown man who attacked people, Monday, July 24, 2017. Swiss police say several people have been hospitalized, two of them with serious injuries, following the apparent attack in the northern city of Schaffhausen. (Ennio Leanza/Keystone via AP) BERLIN | A man armed with a chainsaw wounded five people at a health insurer’s office Monday in the northern Swiss city of Schaffhausen, police said, triggering a manhunt for a suspect described as aggressive and psychologically unstable.Suspect Franz Wrousis, 51, has two previous convictions for weapons offenses and no fixed residence, authorities said. A dog-walker said she had seen him in the woods near Schaffhausen for the last few weeks.The attacker wounded two insurance agency employees in their ground-floor office in the old town of Schaffhausen on Monday morning, said Christina Wettstein, a spokeswoman for insurer CSS. Authorities said their lives were not in danger.Revising earlier statements, police said one CSS employee was seriously injured and the other was slightly injured. Another three people were slightly injured in the attack, police said, but there was no information on them.The perpetrator had fled by the time police arrived. Authorities sealed off the city’s old town until mid-afternoon but kept up their manhunt.Swiss police ruled out terrorism.“This was first and foremost a crime against this insurance agency,” senior regional police official Ravi Landolt told reporters, though there was no exact word on the suspect’s motive.“We have information that this man is dangerous, that he is aggressive and, shall we say, psychologically disturbed,” Landolt added.Swiss media reported that Wrousis was a CSS client. Switzerland has a system that requires residents to have mandatory health insurance with private health insurers.Prosecutor Peter Sticher said Wrousis has two previous convictions for offenses against weapons laws, one from 2014 and 2016. He didn’t elaborate or say where they were committed, but said Wrousis has no previous record in the small northern canton (state) of Schaffhausen, near the German border.Wrousis was previously registered as living in Graubuenden canton, in Switzerland’s southeast. He apparently lives mostly in woods, Landolt said.Police released old photos of Wrousis standing among trees in a green T-shirt and black jeans. They described him as being about 1 meter 90 centimeters tall (6.2 feet) and said he is now partly bald and unkempt.They later released another photo of Wrousis, which they said was taken immediately before the attack. The image shows him walking along a street in a green jacket carrying a large black bag, which they said may have contained the chainsaw.On Monday afternoon, police found the Volkswagen minivan with registration plates from Graubuenden that the suspect was believed to be driving. They did not elaborate on its condition or say if anything else was found in it.Schaffhausen is a city of about 36,000 people north of Zurich.Therese Karrer, who often walks her dog in woods south of Schaffhausen, said she saw the suspect several times in the last few weeks.“I talked to him a few times and walked by his car every day with our dog,” said Karrer, who lives in the village of Uhwiesen.Karrer said Wrousis showed up three or four weeks ago in the forest and chatted with her once when he was having breakfast behind his car.“He may have been a little strange, but he wasn’t unfriendly,” she said. “I never felt threatened.”last_img read more

Edmunds: These 6 new SUVs are worth the wait

first_img FILE- In this March 6, 2018, file photo, the New Hyundai Santa Fe is presented during the press day at the 88th Geneva International Motor Show in Geneva, Switzerland. The 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe is a complete redesign of the outgoing Santa Fe Sport. This compact SUV will offer a range of engines, including a diesel option. Considering Hyundai’s success with recent redesigns, we have high hopes for the new Santa Fe. (Martial Trezzini/Keystone via AP, File) 1 of 4 HYUNDAI SANTA FE AND SANTA FE XLWe have high hopes for the redesigned 2019 Santa Fe. The lineup includes a two-row compact SUV and the larger three-row Santa Fe XL. Both look modern and upscale inside and out and should be very competitive with SUVs from Honda and Toyota.Three engines will be available, including a 232-horsepower turbocharged gas engine and a 200-horsepower turbodiesel. The latter, along with optional load-leveling suspension, should make the Santa Fe a capable tow vehicle. The Santa Fe also offers a new Safe Exit Assist feature that can lock a door if it senses a passenger is about to swing it open in the path of an oncoming vehicle.Pricing on either SUV is not yet available. The Santa Fe Sport currently goes for about $25,000 while the Santa Fe is $31,000.ACURA RDXThe newest generation of Acura’s compact luxury SUV looks to be its biggest step forward. The 2019 RDX will feature Acura’s agility-enhancing all-wheel-drive system, a new look, lots of interior storage space and a nicely appointed cabin. Acura has also replaced the RDX’s dual-screen infotainment setup, which was clunky and outdated. The new system uses a clean, high-definition screen and a touchpad controller.Further equipped with luxury features, such as a panoramic sunroof, heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats, a head-up display and a premium audio system, the RDX should be one of the best new Acuras in years.No pricing information is available for the newest Acura RDX, but the current generation starts at $36,000.SUBARU ASCENTThose in need of a capable family hauler will have a new choice to consider: the 2019 Ascent. Subaru’s three-row SUV is packed with features to keep both driver and passengers happy. With up to eight USB ports available, the Ascent can keep everyone’s devices charged. Three-zone climate control and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration are all standard, as are traffic-adaptive cruise control and a frontal collision mitigation system.With a $31,995 base price, the Ascent can also be optioned with lots of luxury-oriented comforts, including cooled front seats, second-row sunshades, and a premium Harman Kardon sound system. With 260 horsepower, standard all-wheel drive and a 5,000-pound towing capacity, the Ascent should make a compelling midsize choice.LEXUS UXAnother new subcompact luxury SUV, the 2019 Lexus UX takes a different approach to the segment with its overstated, aggressive styling. Inside, you’ll find a sleek design reminiscent of Lexus’ flagship LC 500 coupe, as well as a digital gauge cluster. Both a 168-horsepower gasoline engine and a 176-horsepower hybrid with all-wheel drive will be available.The UX is a high-tech little SUV. It can use GPS information to adjust the vehicle to road conditions and maximize fuel efficiency. And it can be outfitted with an adaptive suspension to enhance ride comfort and handling precision.Pricing is not yet available.JAGUAR I-PACEIf you wanted an all-electric SUV, your only choice up until now was the Tesla Model X. But Jaguar will give you another option with its 2019 I-Pace. The I-Pace should provide about 240 miles of driving range on a fully charged battery and yield a sports-car-worthy 0-60 mph sprint of about 4.5 seconds.The I-Pace doesn’t offer a lot of cargo space, but it comes with a luxuriously appointed interior and a sleek-looking tech interface. Before incentives, the I-Pace should come in around $70,000, which also makes its price tag smaller than the Model X’s.EDMUNDS SAYS: Though there’s no shortage of good SUVs available now, it’s worth taking note of new models hitting dealer showrooms this summer and fall. One could end up suiting your needs the best.This story was provided to The Associated Press by the automotive website Edmunds. Will Kaufman is an associate staff writer at Edmunds. Instagram: @didntreadthestyleguide.Related links:— 2019 Volvo XC40 Review— 2019 Lexus UX First Look— 2019 Acura RDX Prototype First Look— 2019 Subaru Ascent First Look— 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe First Look— 2019 Jaguar I-Pace Test Drive FILE- In this Jan. 26, 2018, file photo, a Volvo XC40 sits on display during a press preview of the Philadelphia Auto Show at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia. Volvo XC40 is a subcompact SUV that offers plenty of safety and technology features, and it’s been built to make the most of its available space. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File) If you’re in the market for a new SUV, it’s important to know not only what’s available now but also what’s coming. Here are six SUVs going on sale in the next several months that we at Edmunds think are worth waiting for.Why these six? One thing they have in common is the latest technology. On top of updated infotainment systems, every vehicle on this list offers a full suite of advanced safety features. Some have a few more tricks up their sleeves, and all offer something unique in the hopes of winning your hard-earned dollar.VOLVO XC40Volvo’s newest SUV is the subcompact 2019 XC40. It offers plenty of safety and technology features, and it’s been built to make the most of its available space. Some useful highlights include an integrated trash bin, a hook for holding takeout food, and door pockets that can fit a 15-inch laptop. Acceleration comes from a punchy 248-horsepower turbocharged engine. And a hybrid model is coming.Volvo is also using the XC40 to pioneer its new subscription-based Care By Volvo service. Similar to a pay-as-you-go phone plan, consumers pay a fixed monthly fee to get the XC40 with nearly everything covered, including insurance, and the option to change to another vehicle in as little as one year.The XC40 Momentum — the only trim available at launch — comes with a price tag of $35,200. Future base pricing starts at $33,200. FILE- In this March 6, 2018, file photo the New Lexus UX is presented during the press day at the 88th Geneva International Motor Show in Geneva, Switzerland. The 2019 Lexus UX is a high-tech subcompact SUV with aggressive styling. (Cyril Zingaro/Keystone via AP, File) FILE- In this Nov. 29, 2017, file photo, the 2019 Subaru Ascent is displayed at the Los Angeles Auto Show in Los Angeles. The 2019 Subaru Ascent is a family-friendly three-row SUV with 5,000 pounds of towing capacity and up to eight USB ports to keep everyone’s devices charged. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)last_img read more

No chaser: Bourbon tops Whiskey in Westminster whippet upset

first_img Cheslie Pickett Smithey, runs with her Whippet named Bourbon, as they compete in the Best of Breed event at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show on Monday, Feb. 11, 2019, in New York. A top-winning whippet is out of Westminster, knocked off by, of all dogs, his own sister. Whiskey had won the big National Dog Show televised on Thanksgiving Day and the AKC event shown on New Year’s Day. But his bid for a Triple Crown of dogdom ended when he was topped by littermate Bourbon in the breed judging this afternoon. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E) Whiskey had won the prized National Dog Show televised on Thanksgiving Day and the prominent AKC event shown on New Year’s Day. But his bid for a Triple Crown of dogdom ended when he was topped by littermate Bourbon in the breed judging.“She’s the new kid on the block,” handler Cheslie Pickett Smithey said.Bourbon advanced to the hound group competition at Madison Square Garden on Monday night. The toy, herding and nonsporting champ also will compete — Biggie the pug, who had fans chanting his name at the Garden last year, advanced to the evening session.More than 2,800 dogs in 203 breeds and varieties were entered. The best in show will be picked Tuesday.For Pickett Smithey, the win was a bit bittersweet. She teared up talking about the result because she and her husband, Justin Smithey of Sugar Valley, Georgia, co-own both dogs. He guided Whiskey in the ring.“I just hate beating Whiskey,” she said.Last year, Whiskey won the breed at Westminster, and Bourbon was awarded best of opposite sex. This time, the 3-year-olds switched places.“We’re as proud as we can get,” he said.Whiskey wasn’t sour after the upset. The littermates are “best buds,” Cheslie said, and nuzzled outside the ring when it was over.Whippets are similar to greyhounds, only smaller. They’re known for their tremendous running speed, but Bourbon was completely under control. She was more mesmerized by the meat treats Cheslie fastened to her arm with a rubberband.At one point, she sensed Bourbon needed a little extra.“Go get me the fish,” she told an assistant from inside the ring.This year’s Westminster features two new breeds, the grand basset griffon Vendeen (grahnd bah-SAY’ grih-FAHN’ vahn-DAY’-ahn) and the Nederlandse kooikerhondje (NAY’-dehr-lahn-seh KOY’-kehr-hahnd-jeh).There were 57 golden retrievers entered, but just one sloughi — who was a no-show. Whiskey the Whippet listens to commands from his handler Justin Smithey during the Best of Breed event at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show on Monday, Feb. 11, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E) Biggie the pug poses for photos at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, Monday, Feb. 11, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Nat Castaneda) NEW YORK | Straight up, this was a Westminster Kennel Club surprise: Bourbon over Whiskey.A big-winning whippet was bounced from America’s top pooch pageant Monday — knocked off, in fact, by his own sister.last_img read more