Stanford spent years cataloging items such as photos of a barefoot Mr. Jobs at work, advertising campaigns and an Apple II computer. That material can be reviewed by students and researchers interested in learning more about the company.

Silicon Valley leaders have a tradition of leaving their material with Stanford, which has collections of letters, slides and notes from William Hewlett, who founded Hewlett-Packard, and Andy Grove, the former chief executive of Intel.

Mr. Lowood said that he uses the Silicon Valley archives to teach students about the value of discovery. “Unlike a book, which is the gospel and all true, a mix of materials in a box introduces uncertainty,” he said.

After Mr. Jobs’ death in 2011, Mr. Isaacson, the author, published a biography of Mr. Jobs. Some at Apple complained that the book, a best seller, misrepresented Mr. Jobs and commercialized his death.

Mr. Isaacson declined to comment about those complaints.

Four years later, the book became the basis for a film. The 2015 movie, written by Aaron Sorkin and starring Michael Fassbender, focused on Mr. Jobs being ousted from Apple and denying paternity of his eldest daughter.

according to emails made public after a hack of Sony Pictures, which held rights to the film. She and others who were close to Mr. Jobs thought any movie based on the book would be inaccurate.

“I was outraged, and he was my friend,” said Mike Slade, a marketing executive who worked as an adviser to Mr. Jobs from 1998 to 2004. “I can’t imagine how outraged Laurene was.”

In November 2015, a month after the movie’s release, Ms. Powell Jobs had representatives register the Steve Jobs Archive as a limited liability company in Delaware and California. She later hired the documentary filmmaker, Davis Guggenheim, to gather oral histories about Mr. Jobs from former colleagues and friends. She also hired Ms. Berlin, who was Stanford’s project historian for its Apple archives, to be the Jobs Archive’s executive director.

Mr. Guggenheim gathered material about Mr. Jobs while also working on a Netflix documentary about Bill Gates, “Inside Bill’s Brain.” Mr. Slade, who worked for both Mr. Jobs and Mr. Gates, said he sat for an interview about one executive, stopped to change shirts and returned to discuss the other one.

Ms. Berlin assisted Ms. Powell Jobs in gathering material. They collected items such as audio of interviews done by reporters and early company records, including a 1976 document that Mr. Jobs and Steve Wozniak, Apple’s co-founder, called their declaration of independence. It outlined what the company would stand for, said Regis McKenna, who unearthed the document in his personal collection gathered during his decades as a pioneer of Silicon Valley marketing and adviser to Mr. Jobs.

Ms. Powell Jobs also assembled a group of advisers to inform what the archive would be, including Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive; Jony Ive, Apple’s former chief design officer; and Bob Iger, the former chief executive of Walt Disney and a former Apple board member.

Mr. Cook, Mr. Ive and Mr. Iger declined to comment.

Apple, which has its own corporate archive and archivist, is a contributor to the Jobs effort, said Ms. Berlin, who declined to say how she works with the company to gain access to material left by Mr. Jobs.

The archive’s resulting website opens with an email that Mr. Jobs sent himself at Apple. It reads like a journal entry, outlining all the things that he depends on others to provide, from the food he eats to the music he enjoys.

“I love and admire my species, living and dead, and am totally dependent on them for my life and well being,” he wrote.

The email is followed by a previously undisclosed audio clip from a 1984 interview that Mr. Jobs did with Michael Moritz, the journalist turned venture capitalist at Sequoia. During it, Mr. Jobs says that refinement comes from mistakes, a platitude that captures how Apple used trial and error to develop devices.

“It was just lying in the drawer gathering dust,” Mr. Moritz said of the recording.

It’s clear to those who have contributed material that the archive is about safeguarding Mr. Jobs’s legacy. It’s a goal that many of them support.

“There’s so much distortion about who Steve was,” Mr. McKenna said. “There needed to be something more factual.”

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Detroit Auto Show Returns After 3 Years, Focus On Electric Vehicles

President Biden announced $900 million to install EV chargers along 53,000 miles of U.S. highways, as the show returned after a COVID-19 hiatus.

The Detroit Auto Show is back after a three year pit stop due to COVID.  

The big focus this year is electric cars.

American Road Trip is going to be fully electrified, whether you’re driving coast-to-coast along I-10. Or on I-75 in Michigan. Charging stations will be up and easy to find as gas stations are now. 

President Biden helped jump-start the electric fanfare, announcing $900 million to install EV chargers along 53,000 miles of U.S. highways across 35 states.

They’ll need to be built quickly. EV sales are shocking analysts. They’re up 60% in the first quarter of the year. They account for about five percent of the sales, but they only make up one percent of the 250 million cars on the road.

But sales are kicking into overdrive. EV sales are expected to make up 30% of all car sales by the end of the decade, almost half by 2035 and the majority of sales in less than 30 years. 

Whether you prefer a sports car, truck, or SUV, there’s an electric version of everything. 

The big auto makes, like GM, are focusing on electric and pledging to only sell electric cars by the middle of the next decade.

One of the big deterrents, though, is cost.

The average gas-powered car costs about $48,000  while the average EV costs about $66,000.  

GM is trying to get cars into middle-class driveways, unveiling its new fully electric Equinox for just $30,000.

“We really think this is going to be a key point for EV adoption,” Equinox EV Chief Engineer Matt Purdy said. And we’re going to see that we’re priced right in the right segment with the right vehicle.”

All of the big automakers are betting big on electric.

GM is spending $7 million on new electric battery planes in Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee. Ford is writing a $11 billion check for EV plants in Tennessee and Kentucky, that will employ 11,000 people. Meanwhile, Telsa is building a new plant in Austin, Texas. And Stellantis is dropping more than $2 billion on a battery plant in Indiana.   

Ford basically split its company in half — half gas, half electric — and it’s already paying off.  

Last month, its EV sales jumped 307%, driven by its electric F-150 pick-up and Mustang models. It will sell 600,000 EVs this year and two million annually in just four years.  

Not to be left out in the dark, Stellantis, which owns Jeep, announced its new hybrid Jeep Grand Cherokee.

But not everything is electric. This year, they will also debut the Farwell Edition of the Chrysler 300, which is a large gas-powered sedan. 

Source: newsy.com

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Car Buyers Left With Few Options As Difficult Auto Market Persists

Stubborn inflation coupled with supply chain issues have made the auto market feel impossible for consumers.

Whether new or used, buying a car is tough these days. If you do find one, chances are the cost is sky-high.  

“The price of a used car was the price of a new car, pretty much,” potential car buyer Yesenia Maura said. 

A new report shows consumers paid an average $44,559 for a new, non-luxury car in August. And the average used car went for just under $32,000 in July. 

Stubborn inflation coupled with supply chain issues have made the auto market feel impossible for consumers.  

Now, many are holding on to the cars they already have for longer.  

“It used to be people would keep their cars eight years. Then it was 10 years. Now, it’s 12-14 years the average person is keeping their car for,” Ron Katz with Midas said. 

But it’s not just a problem for your average car buyer. Even police departments are having a hard time. 

“This past Monday, we were notified that Ford canceled all of our orders for 2022 police interceptors,” said Robert L. Ruxer III, law enforcement services division commander for the Colonial Heights, Virginia, police department.

The department was then given the chance to buy 2023 models instead. But that came at an extra cost of $7,500 per vehicle, which the city government ended up covering.  

It’s the latest example of automakers prioritizing their more expensive models at a time when potential buyers have fewer options. For example, Cadillac will soon debut a $300,000 electric vehicle.  

It’s a move that’s paying off for luxury car makers. Porsche, which is expected to go public by the end of the year, is expecting to see $39 billion in sales for 2022, up 20% from 2021. 

Meanwhile, consumers are left with fewer and more costly options. 

Source: newsy.com

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President Biden Touts Electric Vehicles At Detroit Auto Show

The president is expected to promote the new climate, tax and health care law that offers tax incentives for buying electric vehicles.

President Joe Biden, a gearhead with his own vintage Corvette, showcased his administration’s efforts to promote electric vehicles during a visit Wednesday to the Detroit auto show.

President Biden traveled to the massive North American International Auto Show to plug the huge new climate, tax and health care law that offers tax incentives for buying electric vehicles. He toured a mix of American-manufactured hybrid, electric and combustion vehicles from Chevrolet, General Motors, Ford, and Stellantis on a closed-off convention center floor, and greeted union workers, CEOs, and local leaders.

The Democratic president, who recently took a spin in his pine-green 1967 Stingray with Jay Leno for a segment on CNBC’s “Jay Leno’s Garage,” hopped into the driver seat of a bright orange Chevrolet Corvette Z06 — not an EV —and fired up its engine, alongside GM CEO Mary Barra.

“He says he’s driving home,” she joked.

President Biden then toured the new electric Ford Mustang Mach-E, marveling with Ford executive chairman Bill Ford at the model’s performance. “It’s amazing the speed,” President Biden said, adding, “Does it have a launch button?” He also explored less-flashy vehicles, like Ford’s all-electric E-Transit van and F-150 truck.

President Biden finally got behind the wheel of a Cadillac Lyriq all electric SUV, briefly driving it down an aisle in the blue-carpeted hall. It marked a rare occasion to drive — albeit at little more than a walking pace — for the president, who typically is transported in armored U.S. Secret Service vehicles when out in public.

“Jump in, I’ll give you a ride to Washington,” he joked to reporters. “It’s a beautiful car,” he added, “But I love the Corvette.”

While President Biden has been taking credit for the recent boom in electric vehicle battery and assembly plant announcements, most were in the works long before the Inflation Reduction Act was signed into law on Aug. 16. President Biden’s 2021 infrastructure legislation could have something to do with it — it provides $5 billion over five years to help states create a network of EV charging stations.

In Detroit, President Biden was to announce approval of the first $900 million in infrastructure money to build EV chargers across 53,000 miles of the national highway system in 35 states.

Under the law, electric vehicles must be built in North America to be eligible for a new federal tax credit of up to $7,500. Batteries for qualifying vehicles also must be made in North America, and there are requirements for battery minerals to be produced or recycled on the continent. The credits are aimed at creating a U.S. electric vehicle supply chain and ending dependence on other countries, mainly China.

Passage of the measure set off a scramble by automakers to speed up efforts to find North American-made batteries and battery minerals from the U.S., Canada or Mexico to make sure EVs are eligible for the credit.

In April, Ford started building electric pickup trucks at a new Michigan factory. General Motors has revamped an older factory in Detroit to make electric Hummers and pickups.

Long before legislators reached a compromise on the legislation, each company announced three EV battery factories, all joint ventures with battery makers. A GM battery plant in Warren, Ohio, has already started manufacturing. A government loan announced in July will help GM build its battery factories.

Ford said last September it would build the next generation of electric pickups at a plant in Tennessee, and GM has announced EV assembly plants in Lansing, Michigan; Spring Hill, Tennessee; and Orion Township, Michigan. In May, Stellantis, formerly Fiat Chrysler, said it would build another joint venture battery factory in Indiana, and it has announced a battery plant in Canada.

Hyundai announced battery and assembly plants in May to be built in Georgia, and Vietnamese automaker VinFast announced factories in North Carolina in July. Honda and Toyota both announced U.S. battery plants after the act was passed, but they had been planned for months.

President Biden has been talking for a long time about the importance of building a domestic EV supply chain, and that may have prodded some of the companies to locate factories in the U.S. But it’s also advantageous to build batteries near where EVs will be assembled because the batteries are heavy and costly to ship from overseas.

And auto companies are rolling out more affordable electric options despite battery costs. The latest came last week from General Motors, a Chevrolet Equinox small SUV. It has a starting price around $30,000 and a range-per-charge of 250 miles, or 400 kilometers. Buyers can get a range of 300 miles, or 500 kilometers, if they pay more.

The Equinox checks the North American assembly box. It will be made in Mexico. The company won’t say where the battery will be made but it is working on meeting the other criteria for getting the tax credit.

Additional reporting by The Associated Press.

Source: newsy.com

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Disney Releases Trailer For New “The Little Mermaid” Movie

The original hit Disney animated film was released back in 1989; the new film hits theaters in May 2023.

It’s been a weekend of big reveals at Disney’s D23 expo in Anaheim, California.

Fans of Disney, Marvel, Pixar, and Star Wars all have a ton of new movies and TV shows coming soon.

When it comes to movies, the trend of live-action remakes of classic animated films continues, and fans got a first look at a big one: “The Little Mermaid” starring Halle Bailey as Ariel.

The original hit Disney animated film was released back in 1989; the new film hits theaters in May 2023.

As for streaming shows, Baby Yoda lovers got a new trailer for season three of “The Mandalorian.”

The Star Wars series “Andor,” which comes out later this month, is a spy thriller prequel to the 2016 movie “Rogue One.”

And the man in the hat is back! Harrison Ford, the actor who played Indiana Jones, took the stage to show off some footage from the fifth Indiana Jones movie coming out next June.

The footage has not been released publicly yet, but Ford got very emotional talking about the movie, which he told the crowd is “fantastic”.

D23 wraps up on Sunday.

Source: newsy.com

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White House Flags Fly At Half-Staff To Honor Queen Elizabeth II

President Biden expressed gratitude for the queen’s consistency with the 14 U.S. presidents throughout her 70-year reign.

There’s a storied history between Queen Elizabeth II and U.S. presidents that reflects a deep bond between the two countries.

Over her 70-year reign, she met with 13 of 14 sitting presidents — with Lyndon Johnson being the exception.

“Queen Elizabeth II was a stateswoman of unmatched dignity and constancy who deepened the bedrock alliance between the United Kingdom and the United States. She helped make our relationship special,” President Joe Biden said in a statement after her passing.

Her official visits to the U.S. go back to 1951, when then-Princess Elizabeth was greeted by President Harry Truman in Washington.

“I think your visit will improve, if that’s possible, the cultural relations which exist between our two great countries,” he said.

Then in 1957, she visited as queen hosted by President Eisenhower at the White House. In 1976, during America’s bicentennial celebration, she attended a state dinner hosted by President Ford.

“Mr. President, the British and American people are as close today as two peoples have ever been,” the queen stated.

In 1991, she visited President George H.W. Bush and attended a state dinner. During her visit they planted a tree on the South Lawn of the White House, replacing one previously planted in honor of her father. Then in 2007, she visited the White House again meeting with his son, President George W. Bush.

“Administrations in your country and governments in mine may come and go but talk we will, listen we have to, disagree from time to time we may, but united we must always remain,” the queen stated during a toast.

Through the years, the queen was the constant.

“Queen Elizabeth really represents to our country the manifestation of the special relationship between the U.S. and Great Britain and for seven decades she has been the embodiment of that friendship,” said Anita McBride, former chief of staff to first lady Laura Bush and former assistant to George W. Bush, and a staff member in the George H.W. Bush administration. “The relationship I think she had with each of our presidents was one of great admiration and respect on their part, vis-a-vis her.”

McBride said of the relationship between the queen and the Bushes: “I think there was a long friendship, a bond that was very special.”

She recalled the care and attention that went into making the White House shine, and the excitement in the months of planning the visit with all hands on deck, down to coordinating colors of dresses.

“I think the other thing I remember about Queen Elizabeth’s visit in 2007 that was really meaningful to the Bushes was Queen Elizabeth and President George H.W. Bush visited the World War II memorial together,” said McBride. “Here are these two world leaders; of course, she was still a sitting world leader, he was a former, but who so much of their life, you know, was formed by that incredible pivotal, historical, dramatic event in world history.”

She said Laura Bush had a great respect for the queen, noting in private moments they had a sense of humor and laughed over their dogs. The 2007 visit was timed with the Kentucky Derby, which the queen attended. Laura Bush invited the winning jockey to White House for the state dinner, as the queen was an avid horse rider.

“What I particularly am grateful for, too, was Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip were very gracious to those of us on the staff of the White House who really had been deeply involved in the planning of her visit. And she invited us to come over to Blair House, so she could say thank you to us. And I felt it was my time to say thank you to her for what she meant, what she represented the great respect I had for her and, and really the privilege that it was to work on her visit. So I’ll always be grateful for that,” McBride said.

Over the years, Queen Elizabeth also welcomed U.S. Presidents to Great Britain, including the Nixons, Reagans, Kennedys, Clintons, Obamas, Trumps and President Biden, and met presidents in other locations — George H.W. Bush at a Baltimore Orioles game and the Reagans at their ranch in California.

“They, I think, in some ways were the closest relationship of a president and the Queen of England,” said Barbara Perry, the presidential studies director at the University of Virginia Miller Center, about the Reagans and the queen. “She asked if she could come visit them there because she wanted to go horseback riding with President Reagan as they had done at Windsor.”

Perry said each president seemed to find their own relationship with the queen.

“I really do think it went from this father-daughter relationship to a, perhaps, a son-and-mother or son-and-grandmother relationship, and that each president seemed to find sort of a special link with her and vice versa,” Perry said.

But it reflected a significant and important relationship for the countries.

“Well, for example, in the case of the Reagan administration, particularly important as the cold war comes to its height, and ends then with the vice president under Reagan, when he becomes president Bush 41 was the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Soviet Union,” Perry said. “But again, to maintain that Atlantic Alliance that is embodied in NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, that had been conceived by FDR and Winston Churchill, who was the first prime minister that that the queen served with, was really important to keep that alliance going particularly at the height and peak of the Cold War.”

Following Queen Elizabeth’s death, President Biden ordered flags to fly at half staff and visited the British embassy in Washington, D.C., where people had placed flowers outside.

“Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was more than a monarch. She defined an era,” the president said in a statement.

Former American presidents reflected on her legacy.

“Her dignity, graciousness, and sense of duty have been an inspiration,” former President Jimmy Carter stated.

“Throughout her remarkable 70-year reign, she led Britain through great transformations with unfailing grace, dignity, and genuine care for the welfare of all its people.  In sunshine or storm, she was a source of stability, serenity, and strength,” former President Bill Clinton stated.

“Queen Elizabeth ably led England through dark moments with her confidence in her people and her vision for a brighter tomorrow. Our world benefited from her steady resolve, and we are grateful for her decades of service as sovereign. Americans in particular appreciate her strong and steadfast friendship,” stated former President George W. Bush.

“Back when we were just beginning to navigate life as President and First Lady, she welcomed us to the world stage with open arms and extraordinary generosity. Time and again, we were struck by her warmth, the way she put people at ease, and how she brought her considerable humor and charm to moments of great pomp and circumstance,” former President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama stated.

“Her leadership and enduring diplomacy secured and advanced alliances with the United States and countries around the world. However, she will always be remembered for her faithfulness to her country and her unwavering devotion to her fellow countrymen and women,” stated former President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump.

Source: newsy.com

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President Biden To Help Unveil Obama White House Portraits

President Biden will be the rare president to host a former boss for the unveiling; he was Obama’s vice president.

It’s been more than a decade since President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, welcomed back George W. Bush and his wife, Laura, for the unveiling of their White House portraits, part of a beloved Washington tradition that for decades managed to transcend partisan politics.

President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, are set to revive that ritual — after an awkward and anomalous gap in the Trump years — when they host the Obamas on Wednesday for the big reveal of their portraits in front of scores of friends, family and staff.

The Obama paintings will not look like any in the White House portrait collection to which they will be added: They were America’s first Black president and first lady.

The ceremony will also mark Michelle Obama’s first visit to the White House since Obama’s presidency ended in January 2017, and only the second visit for Barack Obama. He was at the White House in April to mark the 12th anniversary of the health care law he signed in 2010.

Portrait ceremonies often give past presidents an opportunity to showcase their comedic timing.

“I am pleased that my portrait brings an interesting symmetry to the White House collection. It now starts and ends with a George W,” Bush quipped at his ceremony in 2012.

Bill Clinton joked in 2004 that “most of the time, till you get your picture hung like this, the only artists that draw you are cartoonists.”

Recent tradition, no matter the party affiliation, has had the current president genially hosting his immediate predecessor for the unveiling — as Clinton did for George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush did for Clinton and Obama did for the younger Bush.

Then there was an unexplained pause when Donald Trump did not host Obama.

Two spokespeople for Trump did not respond to emailed requests for comment on the lack of a ceremony for Obama, and whether artists are working on portraits of Trump and former first lady Melania Trump.

The White House portrait collection starts with George Washington, America’s first president. Congress bought his portrait.

Other portraits of early presidents and first ladies often came to the White House as gifts. Since the middle of the last century, the White House Historical Association has paid for the paintings.

The first portraits financed by the association were of Lyndon Johnson and Lady Bird Johnson, and John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy, said Stewart McLaurin, president of the private, nonprofit organization established by first lady Kennedy.

Before presidents and first ladies leave office, the association explains the portrait process. The former president and first lady choose the artist or artists, and offer guidance on how they want to be portrayed.

“It really involves how that president and first lady see themselves,” McLaurin said in an interview with The Associated Press.

The collection includes an iconic, full-length portrait of Washington that adorns the East Room. It is the only item still in the White House that was in the executive mansion in November 1800 when John Adams and Abigail Adams became the first president and first lady to live in the White House.

Years later, first lady Dolley Madison saved Gilbert Stuart’s portrait of Washington from almost certain ruin. She had White House staff take it out of the city before advancing British forces burned the mansion in 1814. The painting was held in storage until the White House was rebuilt.

President and first lady portraits are seen by millions of White House visitors, though not all are on display. Some are undergoing conservation or are in storage.

Those that are on display line hallways and rooms in public areas of the mansion, such as the Ground Floor and its Vermeil and China Rooms, and the State Floor one level above, which has the famous Green, Blue and Red Rooms, the East Room and State Dining Room.

Portraits of Mamie Eisenhower, Pat Nixon, Lady Bird Johnson and Lou Henry Hoover grace the Vermeil Room, along with a full-length image of Jacqueline Kennedy. Michelle Obama’s portrait likely will join Barbara Bush, Hillary Clinton and Laura Bush along the Ground Floor hallway.

The State Floor hallway one floor above features recent presidents: John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. Gerald Ford’s portrait and the likeness of Richard Nixon — the only president to resign from office — are on view on the Grand Staircase leading to the private living quarters on the second floor.

Past presidents’ images move around the White House, depending on their standing with the current occupants. Ronald Reagan, for example, moved Thomas Jefferson and Harry S. Truman out of the Cabinet Room and swapped in Dwight Eisenhower and Calvin Coolidge.

In the Clinton era, portraits of Richard Nixon and Reagan, idols of the Republican Party, lost their showcase spot in the Grand Foyer and were replaced with pictures of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Truman, heroes of the Democrats. Nancy Reagan temporarily moved Eleanor Roosevelt to a place of prominence in the East Room in 1984 to mark the centennial of her birth.

One of the most prominent spots for a portrait is above the mantle in the State Dining Room and it has been occupied for decades by a painting of a seated Abraham Lincoln, hand supporting his chin. It was placed there by Franklin Roosevelt.

Bill Clinton’s and George W. Bush’s portraits hang on opposing walls in the Grand Foyer.

Clinton’s would be relocated to make room for Barack Obama’s if the White House sticks to tradition and keeps the two most recent Oval Office occupants there, McLaurin said.

“That’s up to the White House, to the curators,” he said.

The association, which is funded through private donations and the sale of books and an annual White House Christmas ornament, keeps the portrait price well below market value because of the “extraordinary honor” an artist derives from having “their work of art hanging perpetually in the White House,” McLaurin said.

Details about the Obamas’ portraits will stay under wraps until Wednesday.

President Biden will be the rare president to host a former boss for the unveiling; he was Obama’s vice president. George H.W. Bush, who held Ronald Reagan’s ceremony, was Reagan’s No. 2.

Betty Monkman, a former White House curator, said during a 2017 podcast for the White House Historical Association that the ceremony is a “statement of generosity” by the president and first lady. “It’s a very warm, lovely moment.”

The White House portraits are one of two sets of portraits of presidents and first ladies. The National Portrait Gallery, a Smithsonian museum, maintains its own collection and those portraits are unveiled before the White House pair. The Obamas unveiled their museum portraits in February 2018.

Linda St. Thomas, chief spokesperson for the Smithsonian Institution, said in an email that a $650,000 donation in July from Save America, Trump’s political action committee, was earmarked for the couple’s museum portraits. Two artists have been commissioned, one for each painting, and work has begun, St. Thomas said.

Additional reporting by The Associated Press.

Source: newsy.com

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Judge Nixes No-Prison Deal In 2018 Limo Crash That Killed 20

Wednesday’s turnabout drew applause and tears from victims’ relatives and plunged limo company boss Nauman Hussain into legal uncertainty.

A judge rejected a plea agreement that would have meant no prison time for the operator of a limousine company involved in a crash that killed 20 people in upstate New York. Wednesday’s turnabout drew applause and tears from victims’ relatives and plunged limo company boss Nauman Hussain into legal uncertainty.

State Supreme Court Justice Peter Lynch, who was not presiding over the case when the deal was reached a year ago in Hussain’s case, called the agreement “fundamentally flawed.”

It would have spared Hussain prison time, angering the families of the people killed when brake failure sent a stretch limo full of birthday revelers hurtling down a hill in 2018.

The judge’s rejection caught lawyers and relatives off-guard.

“I can’t even put into words how I feel. Totally unexpected. Thank God,” said Jill Richardson-Perez, the mother of limo crash victim Matthew Coons. “I’m in a better place now.”

Kevin Cushing, who lost his son Patrick in the crash, said the families “have a hope for a bit of justice to be served in the future, where we didn’t have any justice served in the past.”

Defense attorney Chad Seigel said they were “shocked” and that the judge’s move was “unheard of.”

Hussain, who operated Prestige Limousine, had been charged with 20 counts each of criminally negligent homicide and second-degree manslaughter in what was the deadliest U.S. transportation disaster in a decade.

The agreement had called for Hussain to plead guilty only to the homicide counts, resulting five years of probation and 1,000 hours of community service. Lawyers for both sides said last year the plea agreement assured a resolution in a case that would have faced an uncertain outcome if presented to a jury.

Lynch noted that a state Department of Transportation out-of-service sticker had been placed on the limousine a month before the crash. State police recovered the sticker from Hussain’s car after his arrest. Prosecutors have argued that Hussain took the sticker off the limo’s windshield so that he could use it for more jobs.

To the judge, Hussain’s actions showed he knew the risk of putting the limousine on the road the day of the crash, and a guilty plea to only criminally negligent homicide does not reflect that. Lynch called the deal “completely disingenuous and unacceptable to this court.”

Lynch gave Hussain’s lawyers the choice of accepting a sentence of 1 1/3 to four years in prison or withdrawing his guilty plea. They chose the latter.

Seigel said afterward that the DOT sticker had “absolutely nothing to do with defective brakes.”

“Collectively, we made a decision that it would be in the best of all all involved — not only our client but the members of the community — to put this matter behind them. A little monkey wrench was thrown in that,” Seigel said. “So the judge forced our hand and we’re ready for trial.”

District Attorney Susan Mallery left court without commenting.

Hussain, who sat with his head lowered for much of the proceeding, declined comment afterward.

While the National Transportation Safety Board concluded the crash was likely caused by Prestige Limousine’s “egregious disregard for safety” that resulted in brake failure, the board said ineffective state oversight contributed.

Attorneys for Hussain say he tried to maintain the limousine and relied on what he was told by state officials and a repair shop that inspected it.

Axel Steenburg rented the 2001 Ford Excursion limousine for wife Amy’s 30th birthday on Oct. 6, 2018. The party group, ranging in age from 24 to 34, included Axel’s brother, Amy’s three sisters and two of their husbands, and close friends.

En route to a brewery, the limo’s brakes failed on a downhill stretch of road in Schoharie, west of Albany. The vehicle blew through a stop sign at over 100 mph and crashed into a small ravine.

The crash killed the limo driver, 17 passengers, and two bystanders outside the store.

Mallery’s office has said Hussain allowed passengers to ride in the limo despite having received “multiple notices of violations” from the state and having been told repairs were inadequate. State police said the vehicle should have been taken out of service because of brake problems identified in an inspection a month before the crash.

Under New York law, second-degree manslaughter entails conduct that “creates or contributes to a substantial and unjustifiable risk that another person’s death will occur” — a risk that the perpetrator consciously disregards. Criminally negligent homicide, on the other hand, involves failing to perceive such a risk, the judge noted.

The next court date has been set for Sept. 14. Hussain, who had been on interim probation, will go out on bail and be subject to GPS monitoring.

Additional reporting by The Associated Press.

Source: newsy.com

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Diana’s Car Auctioned As 25th Anniversary Of Her Death Nears

By Associated Press
August 27, 2022

Diana drove the black Ford Escort RS Turbo from 1985 to 1988.

A car driven by Princess Diana in the 1980s sold for 650,000 pounds ($764,000) at auction Saturday, just days before the 25th anniversary of her death.

Silverstone Auctions said there was “fierce bidding” for the black Ford Escort RS Turbo Series 1 before the sale closed. The U.K. buyer, whose name was not disclosed, paid a 12.5% buyer’s premium on top of the selling price, according to the classic car auction house.

Britain and Diana’s admirers worldwide are preparing to mark a quarter century since her death. She died in a high-speed car crash in Paris on Aug. 31, 1997.

Diana drove the Escort from 1985 to 1988. She was photographed with it outside boutique shops in Chelsea and restaurants in Kensington. She preferred to drive her own car, with a member of her security team in the passenger seat.

The RS Turbo Series 1 was typically manufactured in white, but she got it in black to be more discreet. Ford also added features for her security, such as a second rear-view mirror for the protection officer.

The car has just under 25,000 miles on it.

Last year, another Ford Escort that Diana used sold at auction for 52,000 pounds ($61,100).

Additional reporting by The Associated Press.

Source: newsy.com

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New Gas-Powered Cars Will Be A Thing Of The Past By 2035 In California

California’s Air Resources Board approved a sales ban of all new, gas-powered vehicles by 2035, which could slash the state’s emissions.

California is moving to ban the sale of gas-powered cars. 

The state’s Air Resources Board approved a timeline that requires 100% electric or hydrogen-powered new vehicle sales by 2035 and a minimum of nearly 70% by 2030. By 2026, the state will require 35% of all new cars sold to run on electricity or hydrogen. Automakers would be fined $20,000 for every new gas-powered car sold outside those benchmarks.

The policy still needs federal approval, which is considered very likely under President Joe Biden’s administration.   

Right now, about 16% of new cars sold in California are electric.

The move is huge for the country’s most-populous state. It could slash California’s car emissions in half by 2040.

But it’s also a harbinger of things to come for nearly a third of the U.S., with about a dozen other states likely to follow in California’s footsteps.

“The industry is undergoing the biggest shift that it’s ever taken since we switched from horses to cars,” said Tim Kuniskis, Dodge brand CEO. “The industry has invested a half a trillion dollars in this transition. This is the biggest shift that has ever happened in this industry.”

The massive new deadline lights a fire under car makers who are already having trouble pumping out electric vehicles fast enough to meet current demand.

Already, Ford is struggling to get models of its Lightning pickup truck off the line.

Incentivizing drivers to give up older, gas-powered cars in exchange for new battery-powered ones means coming up with more electric cars that drivers want to have, like the electric Dodge Charger, which is engineered to sound like its gas-powered ancestor.

“Horses and buggies went away because cars were better,” Kuniskis said. “The adaption to electrification is not going to happen from government subsidies. It’s going to happen when that is better than what they have today.”

California’s new plan applies to new car sales, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t smart minds trying to retrofit older, gas-powered cars.

In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Veronika Wright is converting a 1999 Jeep Wrangler to run on batteries, and she’s not planning to stop there. 

“I wanna be converting Jeeps, boats and also other industries,” Wright said.

It’s a sign of things to come for an industry in the midst of a planet-saving revolution.

Source: newsy.com

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