CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 29, 2013 |
The California bullet train project has reasonable ridership and revenue forecasts, according to a new report by the Government Accountability Office, but it could be doing a better job at producing cost estimates. The report, which was leaked Thursday to the news media, appears to run counter to widespread criticism of the state rail authority's ridership revenue estimates and is likely to provide a dose of good news to the controversial project. But at the same time, the 90-page report renews concerns about future funding for the $68.4-billion venture.
February 8, 2013 |
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - A suicide bomber blew himself up at a military checkpoint outside the northern Mali city of Gao on Friday, in the first sign that Al Qaeda-linked militias may be adopting new tactics since being driven back by a French-led invasion. A man on a motorcycle approached a group of soldiers at a military checkpoint and detonated explosives, according to a military officer contacted by The Times. The attack was confirmed by Gao Mayor Sadou Diallo in a telephone interview.
January 30, 2013 |
SEGOU, Mali - French forces seized control of the town of Kidal in northeastern Mali, the last remaining urban stronghold in the country for Islamic militants, officials said Wednesday. The overnight offensive was the latest success in advances that have seen Al Qaeda-linked militants ousted from two major cities, Gao and Timbuktu, since Saturday, officials said. Unlike the previous operations, Malian soldiers were not involved in Kidal, according to French news reports, after a rebel group said it would not accept the Malian army in the town.
January 26, 2013 |
SEGOU, Mali - French and Malian forces on Saturday drove Al Qaeda-linked Islamists out of a key city in northern Mali, a major advance in France's campaign against insurgents in the West African nation. The French military in Paris announced the capture of Gao, according to news agency reports. Gao is the largest city in the north and the most important Islamist stronghold to fall since French forces arrived this month. The fall of Gao followed an operation involving French special forces, who took control of the airport and a bridge outside the city.
December 12, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - Because of a law passed during the presidency of Ulysses S. Grant, the federal government does not collect royalties from gold, silver, copper and other minerals extracted from public land, a source of revenue that could potentially generate hundreds of millions of dollars for the federal budget, government auditors reported Wednesday. Although the government collects billions of dollars in royalties from fossil fuels extracted from federal lands and waters, it does not even collect information from hard-rock mine operators about the amount or value of the minerals they take from public land because there are no royalty requirements, according to the report by the Government Accountability Office.
December 6, 2012 |
Would you be less likely to spend a dollar if it were a coin instead of a bill? The Government Accountability Office is counting on it. According to a November report on the benefits of permanently replacing the $1 bill with a $1 coin, the GAO estimated the government could save up to $4.4 billion over 30 years because of consumers' habit of reaching for their wallets instead of into their pockets. “What we found is that people use coins differently,” said Lorelei St. James of the GAO. “You're more likely to have dollar coins and hold those … those are going to go into your coin jar. With dollar bills you typically don't do that.” It costs about 5 1/2 cents to make a $1 bill and about 18 cents to produce a $1 coin, according to the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Mint . So where are the savings?