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2 dead, 36 hurt after bus hits fire truck, more vehicles

LAPLACE, La. — A bus full of construction workers hit a firetruck on an elevated highway Sunday, killing two people and injuring 36, several of them seriously, Louisiana State Police said. The ladder truck from St. John the Baptist Parish, west of New Orleans, had parked across the right lane of Interstate 10 to block traffic while police investigated an earlier wreck involving a pickup truck that had skidded on the wet road, crashing into both guardrails about 6:40 a.m., Trooper Melissa Matey said. The 2002 Eldorado National party bus hit the fire truck and then rear-ended a 2012 Toyota Camry, pushing it into a flatbed trailer being towed by a 2016 Chevrolet Silverado, Matey said. She said the bus then veered behind the fire truck and into the first pickup truck, …

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Rosberg wins eventful Belgian GP, closes gap on Hamilton

By Jerome Pugmire, AP Sports Writer SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, Belgium — Nico Rosberg won an incident-packed Belgian Grand Prix featuring a chaotic start, wild overtaking, a heavy crash, safety cars, and a red flag. The Mercedes driver's win on Sunday saw him close the gap on teammate Lewis Hamilton, who finished third behind Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo. Rosberg started from pole position with teen driver Max Verstappen on the front row. Hamilton started from the back row with Fernando Alonso, after both incurred multiple grid penalties for extra engine part changes this weekend. Verstappen was involved in a first-turn collision with both Ferraris that shaped the race. It had a beneficial effect on Hamilton and Alonso, who avoided the early carnage in front of them, then gained places when the safety car came out after Danish driver Kevin Magnussen's …

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Mathematician solves the puzzle of the perfect parking lot

From grocery stores to shopping malls, congested parking lots can be a nightmare – but a few simple tricks could do away with long delays. A professor has revealed the math behind a perfect parking lot, including the angle of the spaces, direction of traffic flow, and even the shape of the building. Based on his analysis, the expert says designs should favour one-way traffic and a diagonal space layout rather than a grid to optimize efficiency. 'For a large car park, a 45 degree bay angle leads to an efficiency saving of 23%,’ the math professor writes. According to David Percy, a mathematics professor at the University of Salford, grid-based parking lots aren’t the most efficient design. Writing for The Conversation, Percy explains how a space angled at 45 degrees can help to ease …

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China plans to use carbon credits to boost production of new energy vehicles

China is considering a mandate that would require automakers to either produce more electric vehicles or else to purchase carbon credits from their counterparts, emulating California's zero-emission vehicle mandate and changing from a subsidy-driven approach to a credit-based one. China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) recently released a draft of the mandate entitled "Measures for New Energy Vehicles Carbon Quota Implementation." The measures will be tested in 2017 and are slated to go into effect in 2018. The proposed rules require that automakers produce or import new energy vehicles in proportion to the number of fossil fuel autos they sell. Companies that fail to achieve carbon dioxide emissions reduction targets will be required to buy credits or pay fines at three to five times the average price of the credits. Every company …

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High-speed trains in China to get Wi-Fi in Dec.

Chinese passengers taking high-speed rail are soon to end their days suffering from weak network signals as Wi-Fi is to be installed on the trains in December, Xinhua News Agency reports. Satellite transceivers, devices used for transmitting Wi-Fi signals, have been installed on trains for further testing. It is estimated that the Wi-Fi will be officially up and running by December. The transceiver was developed by the 29th research institute of China Electronics Technology Group Corporation (CETC). Zhang Jie, a senior engineer from the institute says that the highest speed of high-speed trains in China now runs at 350 km per hour, and their technology helps the Wi-Fi signal to be uninfluenced by a train traveling under 500 km per hour. However, the number of users should not surpass 700, but since current high-speed …

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6 things to love about the Ranger XLT AT

Text and Photos by Eric Tipan After the global reveal of the all-new Ranger with the T6 body in 2010, Ford Philippines immediately knew they struck gold. The Ranger was the first truck to show that you don’t have to look plain to be heavy-duty and that even trucks can sport high-tech stuff like voice recognition and Bluetooth or USB connectivity. Looking the way it did, suit and polo barong guys suddenly didn’t mind driving a truck to work because of how macho it made them look. It also didn’t help other pick-ups in the market that the Ranger was as capable as it looked. Six years after, we revisit the Ranger and point out why the XLT 2.2L 4x2 AT is still a solid choice in the truck market. 1. Ruggedly handsome When it comes to …

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Scania enters bus segment with luxury coach

Swedish truck manufacturer, Scania, is dipping its toes into the bus segment with its latest offering, the Scania Marcopolo. The bus features a modern exterior and quality interior fitted with luxurious leather seats and extensive noise insulation, ideal for use as a luxury coach. This priority for passenger comfort extends to the chassis, engineered to return comfort and safety with its full air suspension system, electronic braking system (EBS) for better stability, traction control system (TCS) and bodywork information in instrument cluster (ICL). “We're dedicated to creating vehicles that provide the best results possible, whether that's happy passengers on the daily commute or profitable solutions for fleet managers,” said Marie Sjodin Enstrom, Managing Director of Scania Southeast Asia. “We know that today’s operators face tough challenges in providing quality service levels whilst …

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Vios and Yaris upgraded for 2016

Text and Photos by Iñigo S. Roces Toyota turns its attention back to its B-segment vehicles by implementing upgrades for 2016. The top-selling Vios and platform sibling, the Yaris, have both been imbued with new powertrains aimed at racing performance and fuel efficiency figures. Replacing the original NZ engines is the new NR series with Dual VVT-i, both in 1.3-liter and 1.5-liter configurations. VVT-i stands for Variable Valve Timing with Intelligence, while the “Dual” prefix denotes the engine is capable of adjusting the timing on both intake and exhaust camshafts. The new technology now allows the 1.3-liter to produce 99 PS and 123 Nm of torque, while the 1.5-liter motor now generates 108 PS and 140 Nm. Delivering this power to the front driving wheels is the new Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), in …

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Cebu Pacific Air by PRT shows strong form in Sepang

The Philippine-based Cebu Pacific Air by Pinnacle Racing Team concluded the Formula Masters China Series' (FMCS) fourth event last August 10 – 12 with a podium finish at the Sepang International Circuit. Headed by Kim Jeong Tae and Thomas Swift, the team showed its strong performance throughout all the weekend's three races and scored valuable championship points. Kim adapted well to the 5.54 km Formula 1 track and qualified in P3 in both sessions. Swift's best efforts, on the other hand, would allow him to qualify in P8 and P11. Race 10 of the series saw Kim finish in fifth while teammate, Swift was locked in a tight battle ending in him spinning out of contention. In Race 11, Kim climbed up a spot to finish in second place. However, he was later …

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Shell moves Eco-marathon Asia to Singapore

Singapore will play host to the inaugural Asian edition of Shell’s Make the Future festival, featuring the renowned Shell Eco-marathon Asia in 2017. This four-day, free-of-charge public festival takes place at the Changi Exhibition Centre from March 16 to 19, featuring bright energy ideas and innovations that address the global energy challenge of how to generate more energy while producing less CO2. Through virtual reality and hands-on experiential zones, visitors will be able to explore the present energy scenario and what the future of energy might look like, from renewable energy to natural gas and low-carbon technologies. For the first time since it came to Asia eight years ago, the Shell Eco-marathon will move to Singapore after successful runs in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 2010 to 2013 and Manila, Philippines from 2014 …

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