[email protected] Share Nick Pileggi, author of “Wiseguy” and “Casino,” started on the crime beat for the New York papers. Independent/Courtesy Nick Pileggi.After his sophomore year at Long Island University studying Irish literature, a fellow reporter on the school newspaper asked Nick Pileggi what kind of work he would pursue.Pileggi — who would later become one of the best crime reporters in America and the screenwriter of “Goodfellas” and “Casino” — told him he’d probably become a teacher.The reporter clarified his question, asking what summer job Pileggi was chasing. Pileggi, born to immigrant parents from Calabria in working-class Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, didn’t have a clue.“So, he told me the A&P was hiring and he gave me an address at 50 Rockefeller Center and the name of a guy in charge named Frank Kelleher,” said Pileggi. “So off I went on the subway to Rockefeller Center. But I don’t see a supermarket anywhere. I go into the lobby and see that there is an AP, for Associated Press, at that address. I went upstairs and Frank Kelleher was in charge of the mail room. He hired me.”Thus began one of the best journalism stories ever to cross the Brooklyn Bridge.For the next two years, Pileggi attended college by day and worked from 4 PM to midnight at the AP in the mail room, then a copy boy watching gritty “legmen” reporters who roamed the vast city phoning in stories to talented “rewritemen” who spun the details and quotes into solid stories picked up by the seven daily newspapers that then competed in New York City.“When I wasn’t running for copy or coffee, I started listening to the details the legmen reported to the rewritemen and I’d sit down and type out my own versions of the stories to see how they compared when they went out on the AP wire,” Pileggi said. “Soon some the guys saw what I was doing and they’d wave me over and ask to see what I’d written. They’d edit it, showing me how to make it better, how to sharpen the language and to move important details up higher in the story. They would take me to P.J. Moriarity’s saloon after work and talk shop, teaching me the craft of journalism.”Pileggi improved with each shift and by the time he received his college degree, AP’s city editor Joseph Nicholson asked him what he intended to do with his life.“I guess I’ll go for my MA and teach English,” said Pileggi.Tight Fraternity Of New York Journalists“Do you wanna be a reporter?” asked Nicholson.Pileggi, who answered yes, was sent on his first assignment on January 6, 1956, covering a teamsters’ convention at the former Tammany Hall. “I walked into this crazy scene filled with wise guys and union leaders and reporters and had absolutely no idea what I was doing,” he said. “I spotted a friendly looking guy with red hair taking notes and told him it was my first assignment and asked for help.” It was Murray Kempton, “one of the greatest New York columnists ever,” who introduced Pileggi to Abe Raskin of The New York Times, “the best labor writer in the country at the time.”The first-time reporter asked Raskin if he could explain the story to him. Raskin gave his copy to Pileggi, and then rewrote his own piece for the Times “so that they didn’t look too similar. Kelleher called me into his office and said I did a good job, that the Times didn’t have anything that I didn’t have.”Pileggi learned a lesson that day about the tight fraternity of New York journalism where although reporters competed fiercely they also treated each other — especially the rookies — like brothers of the same noble guild.They were not the enemy of the people. They reported on the enemy of the people to the people, as reporters still do today.Later, when I was at the Village Voice and New York magazine, where I worked alongside Pileggi, he welcomed young reporters like me, Michael Daly, Marc Jacobson, and many others to use his personal clip files on politics, crime, the mob, poverty, the Vietnam War, and every major hot button topic of the age. He’d also share his Rolodex of contacts and sources. Pileggi’s good name opened doors and made your life as easy as Abe Raskin had made Pileggi’s on his first day on the job.“Well, thank you for saying that, but I was just returning the same generosity I’d gotten as a young writer,” said Pileggi, who lives between his Manhattan home and a home in the East End he bought 34 years ago with his wife, the late Nora Ephron. “The only thing I ever asked other reporters was to return the clips the way you found them for the next guy or gal.”Organized CrimeBecause he’d grown up in Bensonhurst, the Little Italy of Brooklyn, Pileggi was comfortable around cops, firemen, laborers, shop owners, and gangsters who in his time rarely preyed on “civilians” outside of their insular world.“In Bensonhurst, the local hoods would never shake down working people like my father, who started as a musician in the orchestra pits of movie theaters and later owned a shoe store and later still, a clothes store,” said Pileggi. “Instead they’d tell you to make sure you always got a receipt when you paid your rent to the landlord. Because on rent day, they would rob the landlord. But you had a receipt to prove you paid your rent.”Pileggi covered organized crime after it was exposed as a national scourge on November 14, 1957 at the raid on the meeting of the Five Mafia Families at the home of Joe “Joe the Barber” Barbara in Apalachin, NY. “Before that, J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI wouldn’t even acknowledge that there was such a thing as organized crime in America,” Pileggi said.“My first cousin, Gay Talese, was working for The New York Times, and he urged me to branch out and do feature magazine stories for Esquire Magazine and New York, which was then the Sunday magazine supplement of the New York Herald Tribune, edited by Clay Felker. Jimmy Breslin was writing for the Tribune back then, so were Tom Wolfe and a lot of great writers.”In 1968, Felker made New York magazine into a standalone weekly news magazine. “I had been writing for the AP for 12 years,” says Pileggi. “Felker asked me if I wanted to come work on the New York Magazine staff with Breslin, Hamill, Gloria Steinem. I loved the AP, but he tempted me by saying I wouldn’t have to show up every day at work. I would just write feature stories and file them when they were ready. That would give me the freedom to write longer pieces that I could expand into books.”Pileggi’s book “Wiseguy” about mob rat Henry Hill was optioned for film, and he co-wrote the screenplay with director Martin Scorsese that has become a classic mob film.The movie “Casino” was also adapted by Pileggi and Scorsese from another of Pileggi’s non-fiction books.Movie ScriptsToday, at age 86, Pileggi still has the instincts of a reporter but is too busy with a slew of movie and TV script assignments to be a journalist, although he reads the papers every day.“I think the Times and Washington Post are doing some of the best national reporting I’ve ever seen in daily newspapers,” he said. “But local reporting has suffered because of the staff cuts. I miss the days of reading Jimmy Breslin and Pete Hamill and Murray Kempton three times a week. There are no more cityside columnists, and that’s too bad because they helped put the city into focus with good reporting and great writing.”Pileggi was deeply moved by the HBO documentary “Breslin and Hamill: Deadline Artists,” in which he also appears. “Not just because it’s about friends of mine, but because it was about a lost city, a lost time, and a great profession,” he said. “But it also made me feel damned lucky to have been part of it. Part of the greatest days of newspapers.”Pileggi will be off to his East End home for the summer to write an American mob movie script based on a British TV series, “The Fear,” about a mob boss with Alzheimer’s. He’s also developing a TV series based on the Limelight disco in Manhattan.“It all started with a fellow student newspaper reporter sending me for what I thought was a summer job at an A&P supermarket,” says Pileggi. “I got to work at the AP instead, where we had talented rewritemen like Thomas Harris, the nicest, sweetest, kindest guy you ever met who was also writing a novel on the side called ‘Silence of the Lambs,’ and you wonder how the hell this sweet guy came up with Hannibal Lecter. But that’s the crazy business we come from. Speaking of which, that student reporter who sent me to the AP? He became an FBI agent and I later used him as a source on stories.”If he could, would Pileggi have done anything differently? “No way,” he said with a laugh. “I think if you’re a first-generation American like me, you owe it all to your immigrant parents who were brave enough to cross an ocean with nothing so that their kids would have a shot to have a better life. And if you had the kind of naiveté I had on my first day as a reporter and formed a bond with generous strangers in this business, you have to consider yourself blessed. I met the greatest group of people you’d ever want to meet in the newspaper and magazine business. The journalism led to books and the books to movies. It has been one helluva life. I would do it all over the same way again.”
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A three-year memorandum signed by China and Myanmar in 2011 for construction of a US$20bn Kyaukpyu – Kunming railway has expired, and the government of Myanmar has said local opposition means the project will not now go ahead. The Dutch government has decided that management of stations in the Netherlands is to remain the joint responsibility of ProRail and NS, rather than being transferred to ProRail, local authorities or commercial concerns. By the end of the year Belarus Railways is to begin work to electrify the line from Molodechno to the Lithuanian border, under a project to cut Minsk – Vilnius journey times from 2½ h to 2 h by the end of 2015. Indian logistics company GatewayRail Freight opened its third rail-served terminal on August 1, at Faridabad near New Delhi. Canadian National is offering a fleet integration programme for grain, oilseed and special crop shippers who wish to supply covered hopper wagons for its Western Canadian common fleet. Participants will get year-round wagon supply from CN’s fleet and priority in order confirmation and service planning. As part of the project to upgrade northwestern Spain’s A Coruña – Vigo route for high speed operation, a 13 km double-track alignment between Portela and Pontevedra built at a cost of €1556m opened on July 31. The Land of Bayern has extended DB Regio’s contract to operate Nürnberg S-Bahn services by one year to December 9 2018.
RRX routes to be worked with Desiro HC EMUsRE1Hamm – Essen – Köln – AachenJune 2020RE4Aachen – Düsseldorf – Wuppertal – DortmundDecember 2020RE5(Emmerich) – Wesel – Düsseldorf – Köln – Remagen – Koblenz June 2019RE6Minden – Dortmund – Düsseldorf – Neuss – Köln-Bonn AirportDecember 2019RE11Düsseldorf – Essen – Hamm – Paderborn – Kassel December 2018 GERMANY: A ‘record-breaking’ order for Siemens to supply and maintain a fleet of 82 electric multiple-units for the Rhein-Ruhr-Express network was officially awarded on March 26 by a group of local transport authorities in the Rhein-Ruhr region.The company had been selected in February as preferred bidder for the contract, which covers the supply of 82 Desiro HC double-deck EMUs and their maintenance for 32 years. With a total value of more than €1·7bn, Siemens says this is the largest order that it has ever won in the German regional transport market.‘This is a huge success for Siemens’ rail business, which will secure existing jobs in Nordrhein-Westfalen and create new ones’, said Siemens Mobility CEO Jochen Eickholt. ‘A service order of this scale is a first for the German rail industry.’Siemens is to build a maintenance facility at Dortmund-Eving, where a team of around 100 people will be able to service up to four trains at a time. As well as the maintenance building and workshops, the depot will have an external washing plant and stabling tracks for up to 10 trains.Combining two single-deck driving cars and two double-deck intermediate vehicles, the 160 km/h Desiro HC units will be 105 m long, offering seats for around 400 passengers, although most RRX routes will be operated by two sets in multiple. Delivery of the trains is scheduled to start in 2018, with the first entering service in December of that year. RRX services are expected to operate at 15 min intervals once the necessary infrastructure upgrading works have been completed.According to Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Ruhr, five companies submitted bids by March 20 for the contracts to operate RRX services totalling around 14·6 million train-km per year. To encourage the participation of smaller operators, the tenders had been split into three lots, covering routes RE1 and 11, RE5 and 6, and RE4. Further clarification of financial aspects of the bids will be needed before the future operators can be announced.Although the Desiro HC EMUs will not enter traffic until 2018, VRR says regional services on the emerging RRX network will be enhanced from December 2015, with the introduction of an additional route RE6a between Düsseldorf and Köln. The following December will see Route RE6 extended from Düsseldorf to Köln Hbf and Köln-Bonn Airport. At that stage Route RE11 will also be modified to provide a third service between Hamm and Düsseldorf, being replaced between Duisburg and Mönchengladbach by an expanded RE42. From December 2018 RE11 will run hourly to Paderborn and two-hourly to Kassel, enhancing connections to and from Thüringen.
John Locher, AP Grid View John Locher, AP John Locher, AP Utah’s Both Gach, left, and Rylan Jones celebrate after a play against Kentucky during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019, in Las Vegas. Utah’s Both Gach, left, Kentucky’s EJ Montgomery, center, and Utah’s Mikael Jantunen, right, scramble for the ball during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019, in Las Vegas. John Locher, AP John Locher, AP Kentucky’s Ashton Hagans (0) looks for a shot as Utah’s Mikael Jantunen (20) defends during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019, in Las Vegas. Utah’s Rylan Jones, left, and Kentucky’s Ashton Hagans scramble for the ball during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019, in Las Vegas. Utah’s Riley Battin (21) celebrates after making a 3-point shot against Kentucky during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019, in Las Vegas. Kentucky’s Tyrese Maxey, left, and Utah’s Lahat Thioune vie for the ball during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019, in Las Vegas. Utah’s Jaxon Brenchley (5) grabs the ball around Kentucky’s EJ Montgomery (23) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019, in Las Vegas. John Locher, AP John Locher, AP Kentucky’s Tyrese Maxey (3) falls in front of Utah’s Riley Battin (21) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019, in Las Vegas. Utah players celebrate after defeating Kentucky 69-66 in an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019, in Las Vegas. Kentucky’s EJ Montgomery reacts after a play during the second half of the team’s NCAA college basketball game against Utah on Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019, in Las Vegas Utah’s Both Gach (11) drives around Kentucky’s Tyrese Maxey (3) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019, in Las Vegas. Utah’s Riley Battin, left, and Kentucky’s EJ Montgomery scramble for the ball during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019, in Las Vegas. Kentucky’s Nick Richards (4) fouls Utah’s Timmy Allen (1) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo Kentucky’s Nate Sestina, left, and Utah’s Timmy Allen (1) compete for a rebound during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019, in Las Vegas. John Locher, AP Kentucky’s Ashton Hagans (0) reacts after a play during the second half of the team’s NCAA college basketball game against Utah on Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019, in Las Vegas. John Locher, AP Utah’s Both Gach (11) shoots around Kentucky’s EJ Montgomery (23) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019, in Las Vegas. John Locher, AP John Locher, AP John Locher, AP John Locher, AP Utah’s Rylan Jones (15) drives against Kentucky’s Ashton Hagans (0) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019, in Las Vegas. John Locher, AP Utah’s Rylan Jones (15) gestures after making a 3-point shot against Kentucky during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019, in Las Vegas. John Locher, AP LAS VEGAS — It was exactly 43 years earlier on Dec. 18, 1976, that the Utah basketball team last defeated Kentucky in basketball when Jeff Judkins and Jeff Jonas led the Utes to a 70-68 upset victory in the finals of the Kentucky Classic.“I’m just proud of the guys. For our guys to stay in the fight, that was pretty cool.” — Utah coach Larry KrystkowiakIn the long stretch of time since, there were a succession of frustrating defeats to the Wildcats — eight in a row — including a 27-point whipping last year at Rupp Arena in Lexington. The Utes also lost to the Wildcats in the NCAA championship game in 1998, the Elite Eight in 1997, the Sweet 16 in both 1996 and 2005 and two other times in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.All those frustrations went poof in a stunning 69-66 victory over the No. 6-ranked Wildcats Wednesday night in front of a pro-Kentucky crowd at T-Mobile Arena.Somewhere Rick Majerus must be smiling.The former Ute coach, who endured six of those losses to Kentucky, once said the Utes just couldn’t beat Kentucky, but the long curse was finally lifted Wednesday night.Coach Larry Krystkowiak had said before the game that the Ute coaches and players believed they could win and they didn’t look the least bit intimidated as they jumped ahead in the opening minutes and never trailed after a brief 2-0 deficit. “I’m just proud of the guys,” Krystkowiak said. “For our guys to stay in the fight, that was pretty cool.”Krystkowiak said he took a cue from the Utah football team, which was known all season for its toughness and physicality and he challenged his players to play that way. “The first thing I wrote on the board in the locker room was that we needed to bring a level of toughness we hadn’t displayed this season,” he said. “Nobody was talking about our physicality, how we were on the soft side, the young side, all of those things.”Kentucky coach John Calipari also thought the Utes were the tougher team Wednesday. “How about they had three sophomores and two freshmen and they punched us in the mouth?” he said. “They weren’t beasts that way. What they did was they physically fought, they fought for position, they fought for rebounds.” John Locher, AP John Locher, AP John Locher, AP John Locher, AP John Locher, AP The Utes also shot 54.8% from the field, the highest percentage a Kentucky opponent had shot all year, and were led by sophomore Timmy Allen, who scored 25 points and grabbed nine rebounds. Both Gach scored 14, Rylan Jones had 12 points and six assists and Riley Battin added 10 points.Gach scored Utah’s first 10 points as the Utes led 10-4. The lead got as high as 12 at 35-23 before the Wildcats finished the half on an 8-0 run to make it 35-31 at the half.Calipari said he was happy to be that close, saying it felt more like a 20-point deficit at the break.Kentucky clearly had the momentum, but the Utes came out strong in the second half and actually increased their lead to as many as 17 at 54-37 with 12:05 left before the Wildcats started chipping away.Part of the reason was that the Utes got a little too careful, letting the shot clock run down and either getting a poor shot or a violation.When Battin knocked down a 3-pointer from the left corner at the shot clock buzzer with 2:25 left, the Utes led 66-60. But two backcourt turnovers gave the Wildcats easy baskets and they tied it at 66 with 1:43 left.Allen hit a huge basket, a fadeaway 12-footer, to put the Utes back on top for good, and the Utes got a big break when a foul call on Battin with 22 seconds left was overturned after a review that showed Battin outside the restricted area under the basket.Jones made one of two free throws with 15 seconds left and two 3-point tries by the Wildcats, the latter with one second left, bounced away and the Utes celebrated the victory with a mob scene at midcourt.Jones had missed much of the past 10 days of practice after suffering a rib injury against Central Arkansas and he was just cleared to play this week. He went down hard with 4:52 left, holding his ribs, and had to be replaced at the foul line by Lahat Thioune. However, a minute later, Jones came back in the game and played the rest of the way.“I wasn’t going to stop him,” said Krystkowiak, who added that he didn’t know of many college players who would have played under those circumstances.Now it’s off to Los Angeles, where the Utes will play in the Hall of Fame Classic doubleheader against unbeaten No. 20-ranked San Diego State Saturday at 4:30 p.m. MST at the Staples Center. With the loss, the Wildcats fell to 8-2 on the year and will certainly drop out of the top 10. Calipari said his team has “issues” and will try to get some things solved before playing Ohio State on Saturday night, also at T-Mobile Arena.“They deserved it. Larry outcoached me. The way they did it — they outplayed us,” he said. “It’s disappointing, but they deserved to win the game.” GAME NOTES: More than 60 representatives from NBA teams requested credentials for the game and among those on hand Wednesday were executive vice president Dennis Lindsey, general manager Justin Zanik and executive director of international scouting Richard Smith from the Utah Jazz. … This marks the seventh year the Coaches vs. Cancer event has been played in Las Vegas. This was the third year at the T-Mobile Arena and the other years it was held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Utah played in the event in 2014 when it defeated UNLV 59-46. Last year BYU lost to UNLV 92-90. Kentucky’s Kahlil Whitney (2) tries to shoot between Utah’s Riley Battin, left, and Mikael Jantunen during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019, in Las Vegas. John Locher, AP Kentucky’s Nick Richards (4) shoots over Utah’s Lahat Thioune (32) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019, in Las Vegas. Utah’s Mikael Jantunen (20) shoots next to Kentucky’s Tyrese Maxey (3) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019, in Las Vegas.