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Current location: Scotland
Member since: Mon Sep 7, 2009, 12:57 AM
Number of posts: 5,715

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White House struggles with muting function for 22 minutes on Iran conference call with reporters

It took the White House 22 minutes to figure out how to enable the "listening only" feature on a conference call on Thursday in which senior administration officials announced that President Trump would continue to waive nuclear program-related sanctions, keeping the deal intact.

"This White House can't even run a f*cking conference call," a reporter on an unmuted phone line angrily exclaimed to the entire call. "They don't know how to mute their line."

"It's the illegitimate media that doesn't know how to conduct themselves. They can't mute their f*cking phones," an unidentified official said. "Mute your phones."

Another White House official repeatedly attempted to quiet the noisy line "so the people in charge" could talk.


What America can learn from a bridge in Scotland

Americaís infrastructure - the nationís bridges, airports, dams, or levees - needs wide-scale repair and renewal.

The UKís new Queensferry Crossing bridge, connecting Edinburgh to Fife in Scotland, offers an example on how to do it. Three good practices contributed to the high quality process and outcomes: the UK planners diagnosed the problem early; took their time with careful design upfront; and built and sustained an inclusive coalition of stakeholders. The evidence speaks for itself.

The Queensferry Crossing - a three-tower cable-stayed bridge with a length of 1.7 miles - opened in early September, well within budget and with a manageable 8 month time delay. This is a rare occurrence among bridges. According to research at the University of Oxfordís SaÔd Business School, nine out of 10 fixed links (bridges and tunnels) suffer an average cost overrun of 34% and a time delay of roughly 2 years.

Contrast the Queensferry bridge with that of the Bay Bridge (East span) in California, which connects the city of San Francisco to Oakland.


Note: When the author refers to "UK planners", "Scottish government" and "parliament", he means the SNP-led Scottish Parliament in Holyrood, Edinburgh, not the UK government based in Westminster, London, which had nothing to do with this project.
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