China Expands Its Railway Presence in Caspian Region

first_imgSince early September, media in Caspian littoral countries have been filled with stories about the expansion of Chinese rail operations there, a development that represents a double challenge to Moscow (Kaspiyskiy Vestnik, September 17). First, this expanded Chinese presence undermines Russia’s influence over these countries by making it easier for them to pursue more independent foreign policies. And second, local analysts note, Beijing is promoting container shipping carrying finished goods rather than bulk cargo, raising the regional countries’ economic dependence on China while further tipping the balance away from Russia, which relies far more on the export and transit of raw resources rather than products higher up the value chain. Many of these Chinese railroad projects have been in the works for several years. But now they are becoming operational, potentially leading to dramatic long-term economic, political and geopolitical consequences (see EDM, June 10, 2019 and April 23, 2020).The Transportation-Logistics Center of Turkmenistan reported, on September 9, that the longest-ever container train would arrive in that country two days later from China, after a journey of only two weeks. This is a much shorter transit time than on any other route that was available until now. It will bring Chinese goods to Turkmenistan, other Central Asian countries as well as their Caspian littoral neighbors, Iran and Azerbaijan. Turkmenistani officials said that the 8,780-kilometer railroad would permit goods to move in both directions in only 12–15 days, making it the most timely and economically effective path for Chinese trade with Central Asia, the Caspian and even Europe (Turkmenportal, September 9).China has invested heavily in improving the railroads in this region, although Russian officials stress that its activities only became possible thanks to Moscow’s North-South Transportation Corridor Project, which is intended to boost Russian exports of raw materials to Iran and India on a traversing Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. Nonetheless, China’s regional role is different and larger: it is sending consumer goods and other finished products that are more likely to find buyers in these countries than Russian raw materials, like oil and natural gas. Moreover, Beijing offers these countries the possibility of shipping some of their industrial production to the Chinese market, which is far larger and more interested in such purchases than Russia’s. Ashgabat contends that the freight train service with China will soon increase in frequency to twice a week. And as these trans-Eurasian container rail routes expand operation, they will inevitably draw the Caspian littoral countries closer into China’s orbit—and away from Russia’s—more powerfully than almost any other factor simultaneously at play in the region (Xinhua—Russian service, September 10; Info24.ru, September 11).In a clear indication that China’s breakthrough in Turkmenistan is not a one-off development, the day after the Ashgabat report, Beijing announced it was opening another container rail link, this time with Azerbaijan. Beijing further noted that a container train had left China, would pass through Kazakhstan, and then go on (via the Caspian Sea) to Baku. Azerbaijani newspapers reported that this multimodal route was the 12th such path that China has designated as critical to the development of rail links between Asia and Europe.The China Railway Shanghai Group, which operates this line to Baku, says that goods from China can now reach Azerbaijan in 15–18 days, approximately a third less than the time required for shipments via other routes (either through Russia or through Iran). The newly inaugurated railway corridor will lead to an expansion not only of bilateral trade between China and Azerbaijan but also boost China’s exports further on, to Europe. While Beijing undoubtedly is more interested in the latter than the former—Chinese-European trade will certainly be much larger—it is explicitly holding out the prospect that Azerbaijan will find an expanded market for its products in China. And that potential growth in bilateral trade with China is sure to have political consequences in Baku.The time needed for trains to pass between China and the Caspian littoral could be reduced even further, perhaps by as much as four days, if not for the historical legacies of track gauge differences across Eurasia. Namely, at the border between China and the former Soviet republics, operators must change train wheel bases to deal with the fact that, since tsarist times, the Russian/Soviet authorities have laid tracks 1,520 millimeters apart, rather than the 1,435 millimeters used almost everywhere else. Russia sees this as protection against invasion; but it costs logistics firms money because it makes any rail route via the post-Soviet space several days longer in each direction.Beijing has pressed Moscow to allow it to build new narrower gauge rails on Russian routes it hopes to use most often or to make arrangements for dual-width track on them. (This involves having international standard rails laid within the Russian-gauge tracks on the same roadbed.) Four years ago, Moscow agreed to the construction of track with that gauge between the Chinese border and a Russian port, which Chinese officials see as “a precedent” for the future (Nezavisimaya Gazeta, April 25, 2016). And now that China is expanding its rail traffic through Central Asia, it is likely to use its clout to secure either a change in the local railway gauge or, more likely, at least initially the construction of dual-width tracks.That would make the Chinese-Caspian route even more profitable for both sides. But far more importantly, it would also represent a major delinking of the countries of Central Asia and the Caspian littoral from Moscow—the latest and most dramatic example of the way the railway wars of the 19th century are resuming in the 21st.last_img read more

Ternyata Senioritas Masih Jadi Patokan Panjang Pendek Rok Pramugari

first_imgKabarPenumpang.com melansir dari laman express.co.uk (7/10/2018), pramugari yang telah bekerja lebih dari 15 tahun yakni Heater Poole mengungkapkan bagaimana seragam mereka benar-benar berarti. Poole mengungkapkan bahwa staf pramugari senior biasanya menggunakan rok yang lebih pendek. Sebab sebelum bisa menggunakan rok lebih pendek, pramugari harus melewati waktu tertentu untuk menjadi bagian dari kru.“Senioritas bahkan menentukan panjang rok kami-kami tidak dapat mengelimainya di atas batas tertentu sampai kami keluar dari masa percobaan. Setelah itu, tidak apa-apa untuk mempersingkat tepian dan menunjukkan sedikit kaki,” ungkap Poole.Dia mengungkapkan hal tersebut dalam bukunya yakni Cruising Altitude: Tales of Crashpads, Crew Drama, dan Crazy Passengers di 35,000 Feet. Menurutnya, menjadi seorang senior pramugari juga mendikte banyak hal lain seperti ranjang yang dimiliki, lantai tempat tidur hingga seberapa tenang kamar yang digunakan.Namun, Poole mengatakan, untungnya pembatasan berat seperti itu tidak ada lagi untuk sebagian besar maskapai penerbangan. “Ini tidak seperti pada tahun 1960-an,” lanjut Poole.Dia mengatakan, waktu ini juga dikenal dengan Golden Age of flying, banyak wanita setidaknya harus memiliki tinggi dan berat badan yang proporsional. Peraturan modern didikte karena keamanan, sehingga tinggi dan berat badan pramugari tergantung pada seberapa baik orang tersebut dapat bekerja di kain.Baca juga: 10 Seragam Pramugari Paling Ikonik di DuniaMisalnya, terlalu tinggi dapat membatasi duduk di kursi keluar darurat dan membuktikan risiko keamanan. Maskapai Hong Kong Cathay Pacific melepas rok wajib dalam seragam untuk pramugari awal tahun ini. Sehingga pramugari kini bisa menggunakan celana panjang jika mereka mau.Bahkan Awak kabin British Airways yang perempuan juga bisa memakai celana panjang jika mereka memilih. Namun beberapa waktu lalu, maskapai penerbangan di Malaysia telah mendapat kecaman setelah dituduh memiliki pakaian yang terlalu terbuka. Pramugari penerbangan Malindo dan AirAsia telah disalahkan karena mengenakan pakaian yang terlalu ketat dan seksi.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Like this:Like Loading… RelatedSeragam Pramugari Garuda, Beda Warna, Beda Pula Arti dan Jabatannya05/05/2017In “Domestik”10 Seragam Pramugari Paling Ikonik di Dunia12/04/2017In “Domestik”Tak Suka Disebut Pramugari, Awak Kabin Tingkatkan Kinerja20/06/2017In “Domestik” Ilustrasi pramugari. Foto: Istimewa Awak kabin perempuan atau yang biasa disebut pramugari ternyata memiliki rahasia dengan seragam yang mereka kenakakan saat bertugas. Selain warna, panjang pendek sebuah rok pramugari juga menjadi salah satu rahasia yang tidak diketahui penumpang dan masyarakat awam. Di Indonesia, maskapai plat Merah, Garuda Indonesia memiliki empat warna seragamnya dan ini menggambarkan tingkat atau posisi mereka dalam penerbangan.Baca juga: Seragam Pramugari Garuda, Beda Warna, Beda Pula Arti dan JabatannyaDengan seragam berwarna toska, jingga, biru tua dan ungu, dimana pramugari berseragam toska dan jingga merupakan yang paling sibuk dalam kabin. Pramugari berseragam ungu adalah Maitre d’cabin salah satu posisi baru di kabin Garuda Experience dan biru tua digunakan oleh Flight Service Manager (FSM) yang memiliki jabatan langsung di bawah pilot.last_img read more

Drake, are you the father? Maury Povich invites Drake on his show for a paternity test

first_imghtHeidi Gutman/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) — After Pusha T revealed Drake allegedly has a son he’s been hiding from the public in his diss track, “The Story of Adidon,” daytime talk show host and purveyor of paternity tests, Maury Povich, says his down to help Drake set the record strait.TMZ caught up with Povich at LAX where they updated him on the current allegations and the report that Drake was financially supporting his rumored child with Sophie Brusseux — although he has yet to reveal if he is the actual father. “I’m praying it happens,” Maury said, inviting the rapper on the show to take a DNA test. “Drake, come on. New season starts next month. We’re ready.”This isn’t the first time Maury invited a hip hop celebrity on his show. After rumors of Offset cheating on Cardi B surfaced, Maury invited both of them to the show to do a lie detector test. However, Maury noted they never “answer my calls.”Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

isiZulu film a hit in Venice, Toronto

first_img17 September 2004Darrell Roodt’s “Yesterday”, the first ever feature-length film in isiZulu (with English subtitles), took its story of an HIV-positive mother deserted by her husband to the Venice and Toronto international film festivals this month – and triumphed at both venues.“Yesterday”, written and directed by Roodt and produced by Anant Singh and Helena Spring, was awarded the inaugural Human Rights Film Award at the 2004 Venice International Festival, which took place in the first week of September.A week later, “Yesterday” made its North American premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, where it was chosen for a special screening along with another movie by Singh’s company Videovision Entertainment, “Red Dust” – and seven other South African films making up the festival’s national cinema programme, “South Africa: Ten Years Later”. ‘Red Dust’ rises in TorontoToronto celebrates SA film Singh announced from Toronto on Thursday that HBO Films had acquired “Yesterday” for distribution in the United States, where it will be released in January 2005 through Fine Line, the speciality film division of New Line Cinema, the company that produced and distributed the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy.Local praise for “Yesterday” has been echoed by international critics. Variety declared the film “a work of quiet power, universality and heart-rending compassion”, while The International Herald Tribune said “it is not only a moving film, but also an unexpectedly uplifting experience to watch”.“Yesterday”, currently on circuit in South Africa, is featured on the Top Ten Box Office list.Shot on location in the Bergville region of KwaZulu-Natal, “Yesterday” stars Leleti Khumalo of “Sarafina!” fame, Kenneth Kambule (“Backstage”, “Generations”, “I Dreamed Of Africa”), Harriet Lehabe, Camilla Walker and child star Lihle Mvelase.The film tells the story of a young mother, Yesterday, who discovers that she is HIV-positive. Her husband, a migrant mineworker, refuses to accept this, and Yesterday is left to fend for herself and her daughter, Beauty, hoping she will survive long enough to see Beauty go to school.“Even though the film is in isiZulu with English subtitles, we are confident that audiences will respond positively to ‘Yesterday’, as it is a universal story that takes one on a journey through one woman’s life and highlights her courage and determination to overcome insurmountable odds”, said Singh.“Yesterday” is the first feature film to have the support of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, which will use the film as a resource in its social development programme, especially in its HIV/Aids and education focus areas.“When Anant Singh approached us about the making of the film, we had no hesitation in responding”, Nelson Mandela Foundation chief executive John Samuel said before a gala screening of the film at the International Aids Conference in Bangkok in July. “You will see this evening that the story of Yesterday is a very simple yet powerful one.“In our fight against HIV/Aids, we need these kinds of stories which tell us about challenges, about difficulties and the tragedies”, Samuel said. “We also, at the same time, need stories that tell us about hope – and ‘Yesterday’ is about hope.“Mr Mandela has been full of praise for this film because he sees this as an important way of fighting the discrimination and stigma that is attached to the Aids pandemic.”The film was produced by Videovision Entertainment in association with the Nelson Mandela Foundation, M-Net, the National Film And Video Foundation, Distant Horizon and Exciting Films.Other South African films on show at the 2004 Venice International Film Festival were William Kentridge’s “Tide Table”, Ramadam Suleman’s “Zulu Love Letter”, and Angus Gibson, Andrew Dosunmu and Reboho Malatsi’s “Yizo Yizo”.SouthAfrica.info reporterlast_img read more

16 days ago​Chelsea veteran Giroud: I’ve been helping Abraham

first_img​Chelsea veteran Giroud: I’ve been helping Abrahamby Ansser Sadiq16 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea veteran Olivier Giroud is not throwing his toys out of the pram at the club.The French striker has been struggling to get regular game time at the club this season.But rather than sulking about his position, he is taking steps to help his young striking teammate Tammy Abraham.The two may compete for a starting spot, but Giroud is happy to pass along what he knows to the youngster.”It’s true that competition at Chelsea is tough,” he told The Athletic.”But it’s good for the team, for us to be there to step up. It helps to have players like myself that want to be back in the team and never give up.”Tammy is doing very well now. He is very efficient up front. What can I say? I’m just waiting for my turn. I work hard in training with a good spirit. If the manager needs me, I will look to be efficient.”Have I been helping Tammy? Yes. He is still a young player and is having a good moment. I am happy for him. He reminds me of myself when I was starting out in my career. He is precocious. He is doing very well at a young age. I am delighted for him. If I can help him to carry on, I will.”But I will try to push him, again and again, not to be in the comfort zone. I will always try to score a lot. There is a good competition between us.” About the authorAnsser SadiqShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Michael Douglas To Be Honored At UNICEF Ball

first_imgThe annual UNICEF Ball will take place at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel next Tuesday, January 14.The event, presented by Baccarat, will honor Ghada Irani with the Danny Kaye Humanitarian Leadership Award and Michael Douglas with the Danny Kaye Humanitarian Peace Award.Emcees at the event will be Matt Damon and Jerry Weintraub, and there will be a special performance by Kristin Chenoweth.Now in its fifth biennial year, The UNICEF Ball is one of the most notable black-tie galas in Los Angeles, bringing together philanthropists, celebrities, and community leaders to support UNICEF’s mission of saving the lives of children. The evening is a celebration of UNICEF’s work, as well as a tribute to the outstanding humanitarians who make their work possible.Table and ticket sales are now closed, but more information can be found here.last_img read more

BC AdventureSmart provides local training in SAR Prevention

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – B.C. AdventueSmart has recently trained eight more search and rescue volunteers in Fort St. John from North Peace Search and Rescue, specifically training in ‘SAR Prevention’.According to Executive Director and B.C. Coordinator, Sandra Riches, for 15 years the AdventureSmart program has been increasing awareness for the reduction of SAR incidents with over 325 educators across the Province.“The AdventureSmart program started in B.C. 15 years ago to increase awareness for the reduction of SAR incidents and their severity of. We now have over 325 educators in B.C., who deliver the AdventureSmart programs at school, workplaces, on ski hills and at trailheads.” B.C. sees over 1,700 search and rescue incidents annually, with 80 SAR groups, consisting of 2,500 volunteers responding to those incidents.The goal of B.C. AdventueSmart is to increase awareness to help reduce the number and severity of incidents that happen each year.For more information, you can visit AdventureSmart’s website.last_img read more

Suvendu trains gun on Cong in Malda

first_imgChanchal (Malda): Launching a blistering attack on a section of Congress leaders in Malda, senior Trinamool Congress leader and the state Transport minister Suvendu Adhikari on Monday said that some Congress leaders in the area are working for BJP and trying to weaken TMC’s fight against the party.Adhikari attended a rally organised by Trinamool Congress at Chanchal in Malda, in favour of Mausam Benazir Noor who is contesting from the Malda North Parliamentary constituency on TMC’s ticket. The district Trinamool Congress leaders announced that they would hold a rally countering the rally of Congress president Rahul Gandhi. Gandhi had taken part in an election rally at the same venue on Saturday. Adhikari alleged that Gandhi’s rally would weaken the anti-BJP campaign led by his party. A section of Congress leaders in Malda are trying to provide political mileage to BJP, he added. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari Puja”Why have the Congress leaders brought Gandhi here in Malda? Is it to weaken the anti-BJP forces in the district or to give others (BJP) political mileage? Many Congress leaders had joined hands with the BJP during the last Panchayat elections. These Congress leaders were traitors and conspired with the BJP to form the Panchayat board,” said Adhikari. He also reminded that Mayawati and Akhilesh Yadav did not allow the Congress to be a part of the pre-poll alliance, because they knew that forging any such alliance would benefit the BJP in Uttar Pradesh. He also urged the people of Malda not to fall into the trap of Congress. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highway”Trinamool Congress has started a fight against the communal BJP. As a result of this, BJP has started harassing TMC leaders on various pretexts. They heckled our leader Sudip Bandyopadhay only because TMC has been vocal against them. This is because BJP has failed to fight us politically,” Adhikari added further. Mausam Benazir Noor, a two-time Congress MP, had recently joined Trinamool Congress after being inspired by the development works undertaken by Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. She also raised her protest against some Congress activists in her district, who have been working for BJP.last_img read more