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Tesla might have real competition soon—meet the Lucid Air

Still a couple of years from production, but the prototype is very convincing.

Formula 1 in 2017 means fat tires and wide wings

Lap times should be 3-5 seconds faster, but will the racing be any better?

McLaren and BMW team up to build engines again

The plan: develop even higher specific output engines without losing sight of emissions.

Cop filmed killing fleeing suspect testified he felt “total fear”

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Excerpts from Michael Slager's testimony. A white South Carolina police officer on trial for shooting an African-American man in the back—in a video of the killing that has been watched millions of times online—took the witness stand in his own defense and said he was gripped with "total fear." Michael Slager, a 35-year-old North Charleston officer, is on trial for killing Walter Scott, 50, who was pulled over in April 2015 for a routine traffic stop.
Scott, who had a warrant for his arrest, fled the Mercedes-Benz he was driving, was chased into a field, and was then shot and killed as a passerby secretly captured the shooting on video.

The footage prompted the police to change their response to the killing, and charges were eventually levied. "In my mind at that time was, people don't run for a broken tail light.

There's always another reason," he testified Tuesday, sometimes in tears. "I don't know why he ran.
It doesn't make any sense to me." "My mind was like spaghetti," the officer said in his self-defense testimony. Slager faces anywhere from 30 years to life if convicted of murder, and a term of between two and 30 years if convicted of voluntary manslaughter.

The monthlong trial continued Wednesday in a Charleston, South Carolina, court.

The defense team was unsuccessful earlier in trying to keep jurors from seeing the video that a local man took as he happened upon the scene while he was walking to work. The officer testified that after the brief chase, a struggle ensued, and he fired his Taser on Scott.

Then Scott grabbed his Taser, the officer said. "He rips it out of my hand," Slager testified, adding: "I knew I was in trouble.
I was scared. "I was in total fear that Mr.
Scott didn't stop, continued to come towards me," he said.
Feidin Santana, a 24-year-old South Carolina man, came upon the scene and began filming at about this point in last year's confrontation.
Santana had said that another police officer on the scene "told me to stop" recording. After Slager said there was a confrontation over the Taser, Slager said he readied his firearm. "At that point I pulled my firearm and pulled the trigger," he testified. "I fired until the threat was stopped as I was trained to do. "I didn't know if I hit him.
I didn't know if he tripped or fell," Slager said. Scott was shot five times in the back. The video shows the officer placing a Taser next to the dead man, whom Slager had handcuffed. He said he wasn't trying to plant evidence, but was following police procedure to take stock of their weapons. "I must have dropped it by Mr.
Scott's body.
I don't remember doing that," he said. Closing arguments are expected to begin Wednesday, after which the case will go to the jury for deliberations. Listing image by YouTube

Defense tries to exclude video from trial of cop shooting man...

reader comments 58 Share this story [embedded content] Jury selection in a local Charleston, South Carolina, courthouse entered its second day Tuesday in the murder trial of a 34-year-old fired North Charleston police officer who was secretly captured on video shooting a fleeing suspect multiple times in the back. The defense is trying to keep jurors from seeing the video, calling it "factually deficient." Michael Slager. Pool photo via Getty Images Michael Slager, a white North Charleston officer, is accused of killing Walter Scott, 50, a black man who was pulled over in April 2015 for a routine traffic stop. Scott had a warrant for his arrest, fled the Mercedes-Benz he was driving, was chased into a field, and was then shot and killed as a passerby secretly captured the shooting on video. For the most part, those are the general undisputed facts in a case that likely would have been swept under the rug without video evidence. Before the video surfaced, the police defended the officer's actions. As reported by the Post and Courier, the police said that "...a man ran on foot from the traffic stop and an officer deployed his department-issued Taser in an attempt to stop him. That did not work, police said, and an altercation ensued as the men struggled over the device. Police allege that during the struggle the man gained control of the Taser and attempted to use it against the officer. The officer then resorted to his service weapon and shot him..." The defendant's attorney is sticking with that story. The defense is trying to have the video excluded, saying in a Tuesday court motion that it is "highly prejudicial, inflammatory, and factually deficient." "The video of the shooting taken on April 4, 2015 is unreliable, technically inadequate, limited in scope, and extremely unrepresentative of the events at issue,” according to the motion. The South Carolina man who used his phone to record a video of Slager fatally shooting Scott said that another officer who arrived on the scene ordered him to stop recording. The film went viral days later, and the police agency changed its public story. In short, Slager's defense is that the video doesn't capture the whole story and that he was acting in self-defense. If the judge allows the video, the defense is asking that it not be shown in slow motion because "recent peer reviewed social scientific studies have shown that slow motion videos are inherently prejudicial." Walter Scott. Slager faces 30 years in prison if convicted. Prosecutors had opted not to seek the death penalty for a killing that has been viewed online millions of times. They said the nature of the charges against Slager did not make him eligible. Moments after the shooting, Slager went on the police radio and said, "Shots fired and the subject is down. He took my Taser." The video, however, shows what looks like Slager placing a Taser next to the dead man's body. What's more, sound inside the police vehicle captured by dashcam records Slager phoning his wife. "Hey. Hey, everything's OK. OK? I just shot somebody," Slager said, according to the recording. "He grabbed my Taser, yeah. Yeah," he said, according to the recording. "He was running from me... I'm fine." In the wake of the video surfacing, the police agency had purchased body cams for the department's officers. Jury selection is expected to conclude Tuesday or perhaps Wednesday. Listing image by YouTube

Lax emissions standards in EU have regulators scrambling

OxfordianPoliticians and regulators in the European Union are finding many instances of automakers using loopholes to circumvent emissions standards.

Although so far only Volkswagen has been found using software to cheat the emissions tests specified by regulators, other automakers including Jeep, General Motors, and Mercedes-Benz are taking advantage of regulatory gray areas for diesel vehicles sold in the EU, according to a report from the New York Times. Specifically, the Times noted that EU regulations allow car makers to kill the emissions control system on diesel vehicles if there's a risk that running the emissions control system could cause engine damage—“which in some cases is nearly all the time,” the paper wrote. Cold weather is often cited as a reason to deactivate emissions control in the interests of extending the life of the engine (car companies in the US used such a justification against the accusations of environmentalists as early as the 70's).

But a German study found a Jeep Cherokee sold by Fiat Chrysler in Europe turned off certain emissions controls when the car experienced temperatures as high as 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Recently, an independent investigation by a German environmental lobbying group, the magazine Der Spiegel, and a German TV program called Monitor found that Opel's Zafira was turning off emissions controls at high altitude and at speeds greater than 87 mph. Opel has denied that it's done anything illegal in designing its diesel cars. The German government is now proposing rules changes in the EU to narrow the loopholes given to automakers selling diesel vehicles.
Still, the rules won't entirely close those loopholes in a region where diesel is much more popular than in the US (a situation brought about in part by Volkswagen in the 90's). Since Volkswagen's cheating scandal was made public, diesels have been watched for their nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions, but Germans are also troubled by carbon dioxide emissions from diesel and gas-powered cars alike.

According to Bloomberg, Germany's Deputy Economy Minister Rainier Baake said recently that all new cars registered in Germany have to be emissions-free by 2030 if the country wants to meet its strict environmental goals. “Fact is, there’s been no reduction at all in CO2 emissions by transport since 1990,” Baake said at a climate forum in Berlin recently. "We don’t have any answers to cut truck emissions right now but we do have answers for cars," the minister added.

The German government has recently started to offer incentives for electric vehicle buyers more aggressively, including cash incentives that the country's Environment Ministry hopes will put 500,000 electric vehicles on the road by 2020.