Can streetcars save America's cities?

(CNN) -- In a down economy, pursuing the American dream can be challenging, but restaurant owner Todd Steele was willing to take a chance.

For nearly 20 years, Steele worked all levels of the restaurant game, from dishwasher to general manager, before partnering with his mom and opening his own eatery called Metrovino on Portland, Oregon's, 11th Avenue streetcar line.

"I would not have picked this spot if it weren't for the streetcar, and my business has certainly benefited from our location," Steele said. "Streetcars are also a romantic way to travel, and they are fun to watch from inside Metrovino."

While America lost much of its love for streetcars as public transportation during the 1960s, a few cities have kept the romance burning. The heart of San Francisco includes its nearly 140-year-old electric cable car system. In New Orleans, the location for Tennessee Williams' "A Streetcar Named Desire," many tourists are drawn by the picturesque St. Charles Avenue Line.
Interactive map: How we get to work
Interactive map: Key streetcar projects
Streetcars, light rail around the world
Washington's streetcar battle

The Obama administration recently offered some U.S. cities a piece of a $130 million federal fund for streetcar projects aimed at reducing traffic congestion, cutting pollution and reliance on foreign oil, and creating jobs. Transit systems in Dallas, St. Louis, Cincinnati and Charlotte, North Carolina, are slated to share grants from the Federal Transit Administration's Urban Circulator program.



Clara Oshiomhole’s Last Moments
The death of Mrs. Clara Oshiomhole, 54, wife of governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo state came as a rude shock to many, even though her battle with breast cancer has been kept as top secret for long.

She has been abroad receiving treatment for the ailment and but had to return to Nigeria from the United States of America recently to attend to her daughter’s wedding preparations slated for December 18th.

The situation however got worse last week wednesday and she had to be admitted in an Abuja clinc for immediate medical attention, but she lost the battle for her life at exactly 10.53 pm Nigerian time on Tuesday, December 7, 2010.

She is survived by five children Cyril, Winnie, Jane, Steve and Adams Jnr.

Rahul stands by his remarks on Hindu terror

New Delhi: Congress General Secretary is standing by his comments on Hindu terror leaked by WikiLeaks. The Congress party issued a statement on Friday saying that India should remain vigilant against terrorism of all kinds.

"Rahul Gandhi's view is that terrorism and communalism of all types is threat to India. We need to remain vigilant, against acts of terrorism of all kinds no matter who commits them," the press statement said.

Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari, after issuing the statement, attacked the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and said that it had a habit of making a communal and political issue out of everything.

"Fighting terrorism should be the responsibility of all citizens. Fingers are being raised on those who attained martyrdom. Those who escorted terrorists to Kandahar, those who were found wanting to take action when Parliament was under attack are raising these questions," Tewari said.

The latest WikiLeaks cables on Friday revealed that Rahul Gandhi had voiced fears about the growth of Hindu extremists groups to US Ambassador Timothy Roemer in 2009.

The cable contained details of Rahul's conversation with the envoy at a luncheon hosted by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at his residence in July 2009 in honour of visiting Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

"Responding to the Ambassador's query about Lashkar-e-Toiba's activities in the region and immediate threat to India, Gandhi said there was evidence of some support for the group among certain elements in India's indigenous Muslim community," the cable notes.