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Russian Company Sues Facebook Over Improper Removal Of Its Account Page

FAN is an independent, authentic and legitimate news agency.

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A television photographer shoots the sign outside of Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. VOA
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A Russia-based news company whose accountant was charged by federal prosecutors for attempting to meddle in U.S. elections sued Facebook Inc in a federal court Tuesday, claiming that its Facebook page was improperly removed.

The Federal Agency of News LLC and its sole shareholder, Evgeniy Aubarev, filed the lawsuit against Facebook in federal court in the Northern District of California, seeking damages and an injunction to prevent Facebook from blocking its account.

Facebook, India, Fake News, Hate Speech, Russia
A Facebook panel is seen during the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, in Cannes, France. VOA

Facebook deleted the company’s account in April as it purged pages and accounts associated with the St. Petersburg-based Internet Research Agency, which was indicted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller earlier this year for interfering in the 2016 U.S. election.

FAN and Zubarev said they were improperly swept up in Facebook’s purge.

Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the lawsuit.

Facebook, India, Fake News, Hate Speech, Russia
This photo shows a Facebook app icon on a smartphone in New York. VOA

“FAN is an independent, authentic and legitimate news agency which publishes reports that are relevant and of interest to the general public,” the company said in the lawsuit.

Also Read: Facebook Cannot Regulate Itself: U.S. Lawmakers

Peter Carr, a spokesman for Mueller, declined to comment. (VOA)

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Elon Musk’s Company Underground Transit Venture Ready to Unveil Its First Project

Musk's company announced it was moving ahead with a proposed tunnel across town to connect Dodger Stadium to the existing subway line.

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Elon Musk, tunnel
Elon Musk arrives to speak at Boring Company community meeting in Bel Air, Los Angeles, California, May 17, 2018 VOA

The Boring Company, Elon Musk’s underground transit venture, planned an unveiling of its first tunnel Tuesday, two years after the billionaire entrepreneur complained about Los Angeles traffic and vowed to “just start digging” as a remedy.

Musk has advertised his 2-mile (3.2 km) tunnel as the first step toward developing a high-speed subterranean network for whisking vehicles and pedestrians below the congested streets of the second-largest city in the United States.

The tunnel, an initial proof-of-concept, has been excavated along a path that runs not through Los Angeles but beneath the tiny adjacent municipality of Hawthorne, where Musk’s Boring Company and his SpaceX rocket firm are headquartered.

In a tweet earlier this month, Musk said the big reveal would include “autonomous transport cars & ground to tunnel elevator cars.”

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Vehicles are backed up while entering the US 101 Ventura Freeway as traffic from US 101 enters into downtown Los Angeles, Aug. 25, 2015. VOA

Boring’s website describes a system of passenger- and automobile-carrying “skates” that can zip through the tunnels by way of electric power once they are lowered underground from street level.

Musk, best known as head of the Tesla Inc electric car manufacturer and energy company, launched his foray into public transit after complaining in December 2016 that L.A.’s traffic was “driving me nuts,” promising then to “build a boring machine and just start digging.”

In May, the company gave the world a preview of the first tunnel, posting a fast-forward video of the interior shot by a camera traveling the length of the cylindrical passageway, which measures about 12 feet (3.7 m) in diameter.

Musk also created a stir by promising free trips through the tunnel once it opened — “like a weird little Disney ride in L.A.” — to get public feedback before proceeding with a larger system.

It remained doubtful, however, whether permits Musk received to dig what was then billed as an experimental tunnel would allow the public inside.

Transportation, elon musk, tunnel
Elon Musk tweeted a photo of The Boring Company LA tunnel, taken Oct. 28, 2017. VOA

“There will be no cars or people in the research tunnel,” according to the minutes of a special Hawthorne City Council meeting in August 2017 to review an easement for the project.

On its website, the Boring company said that “due to unbelievably high demand, tours through the Hawthorne test tunnel are by invitation only.”

If successful, the Hawthorne tunnel is envisioned as eventually connecting to a network of other tunnels, yet to be approved or built.

Last month, the Boring Company scrapped plans for a slightly longer 2.7-mile segment under a West Los Angeles neighborhood, settling litigation brought by community groups opposed to that project.

Elon Musk, tesla, tunnel
Tesla CEO, Elon Musk. (Wikimedia Commons)

But Musk’s company announced it was moving ahead with a proposed tunnel across town to connect Dodger Stadium, home of the city’s Major League Baseball team, to the existing subway line.

Also Read: Elon Musk May Buy GM Plant to Increase Tesla Production

In June, Boring was selected by the city of Chicago to build a 17-mile underground transit system linking that city’s downtown to O’Hare International Airport. The company also has proposed an East Coast Loop that would run from Washington, D.C., out to the Maryland suburbs. (VOA)