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A portion of the Interstate I-5 highway after an Amtrak high speed train derailled. Photo: KATHRYN ELSESSER / AFP / Getty Image

Sen. Chuck Schumer on Tuesday criticized the Department of Transportation for not "pushing... hard enough" for full implementation of a technology called Positive Train Control, which he believes would have prevented Monday's Amtrak derailment.

"Had there been PTC, from what I'm told, the Washington crash wouldn't have happened. I know for a fact the crash at Spuyten Duyvil — which again was a train going at 80 miles an hour and four people were killed in the Bronx — wouldn't have happened."

Why it matters: The Amtrak train that derailed and killed at least three people on Monday reportedly was going 80 mph on a 30 mph track. PTC is meant to prevent trains from speeding, and Congress required all major rail lines to have PTC system by the end of 2015. But because of costliness and coordination difficulties, only 456 miles of tracks "had fully implemented [PTC] systems as of the start of 2017."

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked today during a press conference if the Administration would accelerate PTC implementation, and replied that more information about the Washington crash is required.

Go deeper

2 hours ago - World

Brazil begins distributing AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine

Containers carrying doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine arrive in Brazil. Photo: Maurio Pimentel/AFP via Getty Images

Brazil on Saturday began distributing the 2 million doses of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine that arrived from India Friday, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: Brazil has the third highest COVID-19 case-count in the world, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The 2 million doses "only scratch the surface of the shortfall," Brazilian public health experts told the AP.

Sullivan speaks with Israel's national security adviser for the first time

Israeli national security adviser Meir Ben Shabbat U.S. Photo: Mazen Mahdi/Getty Images. U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan. Photo: Chandan Khanna/Getty Images

U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan spoke on the phone Saturday with his Israeli counterpart Meir Ben Shabbat, Israeli officials tell Axios.

Why it matters: This is the first contact between the Biden White House and Israeli prime minister's office. During the transition, the Biden team refrained from speaking to foreign governments.

Biden speaks to Mexican president about reversing Trump's "draconian immigration policies"

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Ismael Rosas/Eyepix Group/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

President Biden told his Mexican counterpart, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, on a phone call Friday that he plans to reverse former President Trump’s “draconian immigration policies.”

The big picture: The Biden administration has already started repealing several of Trump’s immigration policies, including ordering a 100-day freeze on deporting many unauthorized immigrants, halting work on the southern border wall, and reversing plans to exclude undocumented people from being included in the 2020 census.

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