By Barbara Goldberg NEW YORK (Reuters) - Yanking a bicycle from the docking station outside New York's Grand Central Terminal, a helmetless rider slung a golf bag full of clubs over his shoulder and, along with another rider wearing headphones but no helmet, merged into rush hour traffic. Against all odds - including novice riders, refusal to wear bike helmets and the daily crush of weaving, horn-blaring traffic - not a single rider in New York City's bike share program has been killed since it launched in May 2013, a Citi Bike representative said. In fact, experts say no fatalities have been logged in any U.S. public bike share program since the first one launched in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 2007. There are now programs in 36 cities, including Chicago, Minneapolis and San Francisco, with new services planned in Tampa, Florida, Boise, Idaho, Portland, Oregon, and elsewhere. While there is no central reporting clearinghouse for bike share fatalities, the safety record was confirmed by three alternative transportation experts: Susan Shaheen, co-director of the University of California at Berkeley's Transportation Sustainability Research Center; Russell Meddin, founder of the Bike-sharing World Map; and Paul DeMaio, founder of MetroBike, the nation's oldest bike-share consultancy. When New York's program, sponsored by Citibank, was launched in May 2013, critics and late-night television hosts shared dire predictions for riders, some of whom were only then learning to ride. At the time, then-city Comptroller John Liu called for mandatory bike helmets for adults to lessen "the human toll" but failed in his effort. "The Daily Show" host Jon Stewart joked that the bike share program sparked a new business idea called "Jon Stewart's Street Brain Removal Service." But no one has been killed and only 40 people have been hurt and required medical attention after 10.3 million rides, a Citi Bike representative said. "It's like pedaling a tank," said Thomas Brereton, 53, an accountant from suburban Westchester County who rides a Citi Bike from the Manhattan train station to his Brooklyn office. That is precisely why bike share riders across the United States remain safe - even after 23 million rides since 2007 through city streets where taxis screech into bike lanes to pick up passengers and texting pedestrians step obliviously into bikeways, experts say. "The bikes are heavy, with a very low center of gravity, wide tires, drum brakes that keep the braking system dry even in inclement weather, and the bikes are geared so it is difficult to gain considerable speed," Shaheen said. 'PHENOMENAL' That safety net has not extended to other cyclists. In New York, there were 18 bike fatalities in 2012, 12 in 2013, and 12 so far this year, said a city Department of Transportation spokeswoman. Even the accident rate in the bike share program is impressive, with about 10.5 crashes with or without injury per 1 million trips, Meddin said. "I believe that to be a phenomenal safety record and, coupled with the no U.S.A. fatalities, bike share has a better record than bicycling," Meddin said. Still, cities with bike share programs have a higher proportion of head injuries among bicycle-related injuries than cities without such programs, according to a recent study published in the American Journal of Public Health. While New York and many other cities don't provide helmets, some bike share programs are moving to change that, including Boston, which has had helmet vending machines since 2013. Less healthy than Citi Bike's safety record is its finances, with the number of annual memberships dropping from 105,359 in May to 96,318 in June, said a Citi Bike representative, who said July figures were expected to be similar. Negotiations are under way for a takeover by a new operator, REQX Ventures, with plans to expand further into Manhattan and Brooklyn, as well as into Queens, while boosting the $95 yearly membership fee to $140 or more, according to the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. Citi Bike, REQX Ventures and the city declined to comment. Both Brereton, the bike-riding accountant, and fellow Citi Bike member Adam Price, a clinical psychologist who regularly rides from Manhattan's Penn Station to his office near Gramercy Park, said they would willingly pay the higher annual fee, which would still cost less than a two-month weekday subway commute. Safety has not necessarily bred civility among riders of the popular bike share program on New York City's mean streets. "I've had a few races to the last bike on the rack, and it brought out an aggressiveness in me that is not usually there," said Price, 53, of Maplewood, New Jersey. "One rider who beat me to a bike apologized and told me where the nearest alternative station was. When I beat a different rider to a bike, I apologized - but he swore at me," he said. (Editing by Jill Serjeant and Douglas Royalty)
- Yahoo News
NBA player turned conspiracy theorist stages one-man pro-Trump protest amid inaugural security prepared for thousands
The extra security measures appeared to have kept many protesters away from the Capitol and inaugural activities, but not one man.
- Yahoo News
Republicans built up QAnon backer Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, but now are they afraid of what they created?
On the eve of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, freshman Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, the combative Georgia Republican known for her association with QAnon, was back on Twitter after a 12-hour suspension, and back to making waves.
- Yahoo News
Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States in Washington, D.C., Wednesday. In his inaugural address, Biden called for national unity and an end to the "uncivil war." He also signed 17 executive actions, rolling back measures enacted by President Trump.
- Yahoo News
With Joe Biden sworn in as president, the long wait for Donald Trump’s health care plan is now officially over. If he ever had one, no one ever saw it.
Capt. Scott Moss, who led the NOSC in Knoxville, was relieved of command by Capt. Dale Maxey.
- The Independent
Ms Harris is expected to move into the 128-year-old residence once a number of repairs have been made
Pat Cowan, a Republican official in west Texas, would rather blow up her party than see it controlled by “weak” Republicans who increasingly are distancing themselves from President Donald Trump since the U.S. Capitol riots he is accused of inciting. “You can’t tell those Republicans from the Democrats!” she scoffed in an interview at her home in Levelland, Texas.
- The Telegraph
Joe Biden’s daughter Ashley has said she will not have a job in her father's administration, unlike Ivanka Trump, in her first interview since the election. The only child of President-elect Biden and wife Jill, Ashley, a 39-year-old social worker in Delaware, said she instead wanted to use her new platform to ”advocate for social justice and mental health.” “I will not have a job in the administration,” she told NBC's Today Show, in what could be seen as a jibe at the current First Daughter, who, along with husband Jared Kushner, had adviser roles in the White House. “I do hope to bring awareness and education to some topics, subjects that are, you know, really important.” Ms Biden, who is married to plastic surgeon Howard Krein, was active in her father's presidential campaign, speaking at the 2020 Democratic National Convention, and hosting an event for women in Wisconsin.
Alexei Navalny, President Vladimir Putin's most prominent critic who was jailed at the weekend, on Tuesday released a video in which he and his allies alleged that an opulent palace belonged to the Russian leader, a claim the Kremlin denied. The allegations, which first surfaced in 2010 when a businessman wrote about them to then-President Dmitry Medvedev complaining of official graft, come as Navalny's supporters urge people to join nationwide protests on Saturday. Reuters reported in 2014 that the estate in southern Russia had been partly funded by taxpayer money from a $1 billion hospital project.
- Yahoo News Video
Alejandro Mayorkas, President-elect Joe Biden’s pick to head the Department of Homeland Security, said during his Senate confirmation hearing that he would execute Biden’s plan to stop building the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Mayorkas also said that CBP and ICE play “critical roles” in the federal government and that he wouldn’t abolish them.
- Architectural Digest
Mercedes-Benz’s Hyperscreen, General Motors’ Bright Drop, and Jeep’s Electric Wrangler were among the unveils that turned headsOriginally Appeared on Architectural Digest
- Associated Press
China imposed sanctions on nearly 30 former Trump administration officials moments after they left office on Wednesday. In a statement released just minutes after President Joe Biden was inaugurated, Beijing slapped travel bans and business restrictions on Trump’s secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, national security adviser Robert O’Brien and U.N. ambassador, Kelly Craft. Others covered by the sanctions include Trump’s economic adviser Peter Navarro; his top diplomat for Asia, David Stilwell; health and human services secretary, Alex Azar; along with former national security adviser John Bolton and strategist Stephen Bannon.
- The Week
And he's off -- to the crooning of Frank Sinatra and the escaped laughter of CNN anchors.President Trump departed with his family from Joint Base Andrews in Maryland on Wednesday, four years to the day after he took his oath of office. He got out of Dodge a few hours before President-elect Joe Biden's swearing-in ceremony and is headed to Florida to begin his post-White House life.As Trump's plane took off, Frank Sinatra's "My Way" blared, which was certainly on the nose. The whole scene amused CNN's coverage crew, who couldn't hold back a few chuckles. It's been a long four years, after all. > Just an incredible segue. pic.twitter.com/EJgQQv3qzi> > -- Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) January 20, 2021More stories from theweek.com Cheap, 'generic' drug reduces COVID-19 death risk by 75 percent, trials suggest Trump reportedly extended 24-hour Secret Service protection to his 4 adult children Bernie Sanders steals the inauguration with his grumpy chic outfit
The United States on Tuesday sanctioned a network of oil trading firms, individuals and vessels that have helped Venezuelan state-run oil company PDVSA sell crude mainly to Asia despite Washington's sanctions on the South American nation. The measure targets a network that the U.S. Treasury Department says helped the administration of President Nicolas Maduro, whose 2018 re-election Washington called a sham, broker the sale of hundreds of millions of dollars in Venezuelan oil.
- NBC News
Suspect William McCall Calhoun Jr. faces a host of charges stemming from the Jan. 6 pro-Trump riot at the U.S. Capitol Building.
- Associated Press
China’s Foreign Ministry described outgoing U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday as a “doomsday clown” and said his designation of China as a perpetrator of genocide and crimes against humanity was merely “a piece of wastepaper.” The allegations of abuses against Muslim minority groups in China's Xinjiang region are “outright sensational pseudo-propositions and a malicious farce concocted by individual anti-China and anti-Communist forces represented by Pompeo,” spokesperson Hua Chunying told reporters at a daily briefing.
Former California Rep. Randall "Duke" Cunningham was convicted of taking bribes from defense contractors.
- The Week
President Biden's inaugural address has won some high praise on Fox News.Fox News anchor Chris Wallace on Wednesday praised Biden's "great" inaugural address, going as far as to deem it the best he's ever watched in his life."I thought it was a great speech," Wallace said. "I've been listening to these inaugural addresses since 1961 -- John F. Kennedy, 'ask not.' I thought this was the best inaugural address I ever heard."Biden during his first address as president declared that "democracy has prevailed" and urged unity, saying politics "doesn't have to be a raging fire destroying everything in its path." Wallace noted the speech and the ceremony itself was especially meaningful coming exactly two weeks after a mob of former President Donald Trump's supporters stormed the Capitol building in an attempt to disrupt Congress' certification of the election results."It was a less an inaugural address and more part sermon, part pep talk," Wallace said.The Fox News anchor also called for those in the media to particularly take note of Biden's comment that "there is truth and there are lies, lies told for power and for profit, and each of us has a duty and a responsibility ... to defend the truth and defeat the lies.""Now he's gotta turn words, rhetoric into reality and action," Wallace added. "But I thought it was a great start." > Fox News's Chris Wallace: "This was the best inaugural address I ever heard." pic.twitter.com/W2tauGp5g5> > -- Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) January 20, 2021More stories from theweek.com Cheap, 'generic' drug reduces COVID-19 death risk by 75 percent, trials suggest Trump reportedly extended 24-hour Secret Service protection to his 4 adult children Bernie Sanders steals the inauguration with his grumpy chic outfit
A British prosecutor hired by the Hong Kong government to lead a case against democracy activists has pulled out after coming under pressure in Britain including 'disgraceful' comments by its foreign minister, city authorities said on Wednesday. David Perry, a Queen's Counsel, was due to lead the case against tabloid media magnate Jimmy Lai and several others, including veteran democracy activists Martin Lee and Margaret Ng. But Hong Kong's Department of Justice noted "growing pressure and criticism" of Perry in Britain for taking the case, adding in a statement that he had "concerns about such pressures and the exemption of quarantine" and "indicated that the trial should proceed without him".
- NBC News
The boy was pulled into the water Monday, while the National Weather Service warned that waves could swell to 25 feet.