Bloomberg A worker loads a Skoda Rapid onto a car transporter at parent Volkswagen Group''s plant in Kaluga, Russia. The Rapid was the 25th best selling model in Russia in June, helping Skoda increase its sales in the market for the month.
City, University of London''s Visiting Lecturer in Air Transport Management, Linus Bauer, says air travel safe corridors, the integration of COVID 19 testing into standard passenger workflow at airports, and linking passengers ' COVID 19 status directly to their e ticket are among measures that need to be implemented by the United Kingdom and other governments around the world.
The Demo 2 mission, while it carried actual astronauts to the International Space Station, is actually the final step in the test and development phase of human rating Crew Dragon and Falcon 9, meaning that they;ll then be qualified for regular service transporting astronauts in the eyes of NASA. Crew 1 is the first operational mission, meaning the first considered a standard part of SpaceX;s contract to provide regular astronaut transportation.Crew 1 is set to carry three NASA astronauts, including Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker, to the ISS, along with JAXA astronaut Soichi Noguchi. The launch will take place from Kennedy Space Center in Florida, and will deliver the astronauts to the Space Station for a full length stay, during which time they 'll work with their international peers on various experiments and research for both NASA and partners.
But another star for many of those films, an essential role player without legions of fans cramming for autographs, was a vehicle that got actors to their locations and often served as backdrops or even on screen performers minus a speaking part: the streetcar.The transportation modes so crucial to this budding industry are glorified in a magnificent coffee table style work of photography and history in Hollywood s Trains amp; Trolleys, written by Josef Lesser and Marc Wanamaker and published by (who knew) the Los Angeles Railroad Heritage Foundation.
Desperation can make even the wisest of men, and women, lose control of their faculties. And certainly no one will accuse Nepal Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli of belonging to that special category, at least not from the way he has been trying to destroy his country s relationship with India, out of sheer desperation to cling on to his post. Ever since rumblings started in his party over him holding on to two posts, party chief and Prime Minister, Oli has thought of tiding over this hiccup which is threatening to become a breach, by whipping up nationalist sentiments by portraying India as the enemy so according to him, anyone trying to replace him is pro India and thus anti Nepal. The latest in Mr Oli s anti India arsenal is the claim that Lord Rama is Nepali and Ayodhya is in Nepal. Perhaps madness will be too simple an explanation for Mr Oli s flight of fancy, for there is too much method to it as well as instigation by the Chinese. The attempt is not only to stoke Nepali pride and nationalist sentiments but also to drive a wedge between the two countries that may be separated by political geography but share civilizational roots both Hindu and Buddhist. It is akin to hitting at the root of Hindu faith and questioning one of the cornerstones of Hindu beliefs. But rewriting beliefs may not be as easy as redrawing his country s map to show Indian territory as Nepal s, as the pushback will come from within Nepal itself. From all appearances, the pushback has already started. Certainly a step such as delaying the citizenship of Indian women married to Nepalese citizens by seven years is not going to make him popular in his country, considering intermarriages are common between the two people and the international boundary is, in effect, an imaginary line when it cuts through a border village. Too many Nepalese live and work in India for India Nepal relationship to be allowed to be held hostage to one man s short sightedness. Even if China may have overtaken India as the highest source of FDI in Nepal 90% of Nepal s FDI is from China according to the Chinese press China will not welcome Nepal s citizens to work and live there. In fact, the reverse is likely to be true, with the Chinese coming by the droves and settling down in Nepal under the pretext of building infrastructure, now that Nepal is a part of the BRI. In fact, even the BRI is unlikely to give an alternate window to the world to a landlocked Nepal, when Kolkata port is at a relatively short distance of 800 odd kilometres, compared to any other port that the Chinese may offer to Nepal to transport its goods. Although Prime Minister Oli s foreign policy advisers have been saying that his government is looking at being close to both India and China, in reality, Mr Oli has aligned himself so closely with China that even an anti India Pushpa Kamala Dahal Prachanda , who was responsible for letting China get a foothold in Nepal, is appearing positive by comparison to India. China s influence on Nepal has reached such proportions that all its political parties, its military, the intelligentsia, are in the thrall of Beijing. It will not be easy to wean the Nepalese elite away from China s grip. The situation is such that schools in Nepal have started making learning Mandarin compulsory, after China promised to pay their teachers salaries. In other words, China has started micro managing Nepal s domestic affairs, and the Nepal government is allowing this to happen, so dazzled it is with the promise of Chinese billions, even though most of the money is yet to materialize, with, to give an instance, not even a kilometre of railway line built to connect Tibet with this Himalayan country. Surely, Nepal realises that China may come with a benign face, but its actual interest is strategic in this case making the whole of India s northern borders restive and keeping India tied down, fighting one fire after another. Nepal just needs to take a look at countries that have become China s vassal states, only to go bankrupt as they have fallen into debt traps and have been forced to sell off assets to Chinese companies. Or better still, it just needs to look at Tibet and Xinjiang to understand the fate that possibly awaits it. While India needs to be sympathetic to Nepal s concerns, at least India is not a revisionist power, unlike China. India has not been grabbing Nepal s territory, which China has been doing. One man s insecurities cannot be allowed to hold India Nepal relations hostage. This relationship transcends personality, geography and petty political interests.
For most analysts of the India Iran relationship, Tehran''s declaration that it would go it alone, seemingly because India had dragged its feet, was akin to a challenge, seeking a reaffirmation of India''s commitment to the development of Chabahar, and yet another example of the sort of hard negotiation Iran engages in with India from time to time.Against the backdrop of a deadly pandemic, for which China is already on the mat, and subsequently, India''s efforts to rally international support against Beijing for its adventurism in the Galwan Valley of Ladakh, Tehran''s comments placed Delhi in a diplomatic conundrum in which both Beijing and Washington are key players. Iran''s declaration to start work on the rail line alone came on the back of reports of a mega 25 year, 400 billion dollar worth Sino Iranian Comprehensive Strategic Partnership being negotiated between China and Iran that paves the way for Tehran to purchase weapons and military equipment from Beijing. The two countries already have a trade agreement in place, also signed in 2016, just months before the Chabahar Trade and Transport Corridor Agreement between Iran, Afghanistan and India. And now, even if there is both internal (led by the populist Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Iran''s parliament) and international opposition to such a partnership, Delhi needs to evolve a better strategy on Iran beyond waiting to see how the US may react, beyond having to issue clarifications in response to Iran''s sudden provocations, and beyond allowing voids of partnership that China will readily fill.
The seeds were sown during Chinese President Xi Jinping s visit to Iran in January 2016, when the two sides agreed to establish ties based on a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, while announcing discussions would begin aimed at concluding a 25 year bilateral pact.A 18 page draft agreement shows it will facilitate the infusion of about $280 billion from Beijing, which wants to buy oil from cash strapped Iran. China will also invest $120 billion into Iran s transport and manufacturing infrastructure, thus giving it inroads into major sectors in Iran including banking, telecommunications, ports and railways. Iran is already a signatory of China s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), and this is in line with China s debt trap diplomacy . The deal has come under criticism from Iran s political actors, including former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Uber Technologies Inc. announced Thursday the acquisition of transit software provider Routematch, marking the ride hailing company''s latest move toward expanding its business with public transportation agencies.
According to reports, Beijing and Tehran are nearing the conclusion of an extensive trade and military partnership. For Iran, such a deal could throw the embattled country a much needed economic lifeline. Iran is already part of China s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), and in September 2019 China announced its intent to infuse $400 billion worth of investments in Iran s oil and gas, infrastructure and transportation sectors. These massive numbers are a direct challenge to both Western, and more specifically, American economic might on a regional and global stage, but also creating new geo political flash points as Beijing expands its reach around the world, which now includes a base in Djibouti, operations of the Gwadar port in Pakistan, ever increasing naval port calls across the world and so on.Also read: Iran to develop Chabahar rail link on its own, but says doors are open for India to join
HOUSTON (BUSINESS WIRE) Quorum Software (Quorum), the leader in digital transformation for the oil and gas industry, is pleased to announce that SECURE ENERGY (SES), a leading midstream infrastructure solutions company, has successfully implemented the FLOWCAL solution for its measurement needs. SECURE ENERGY offers solutions for crude oil pipeline transportation, marketing, storage, processing and disposal. In seeking a technology partner, the company required a solution to automatically validate its measurement data and support its mission to reduce costs and generate the highest returns. As we continue to grow, we saw the need to implement technology to help us manage additional measurement points without adding more resources, said Jarret Torris, Manager, Measurement and Crude Oil Quality, Logistics, and Volumetric Accounting at SES. We selected FLOWCAL based on the level of automation and accuracy the system can provide and the ability to identify imbalances and manage all of our measurement data.
However, not only has Miles, the startup company founded by Jigar Shah, survived the pandemic, it managed to attract new capital from a strategic investor during the months where everyone has been sheltering in place and doing the one thing that should be an anathema to a Shah;s business ... staying put.The idea behind Miles is simple, as Shah puts it, every year consumers travel 25 trillion miles and they pay nearly $18 trillion dollars for the privilege. Miles offers rewards and incentives for different kinds of transportation by working with partners. And the company recently received a strategic investment from Liil Ventures, the corporate investment arm of Mexico City based MobilityADO.
Corporate travel agents are using the coronavirus induced lull in bookings to work with companies on how to get their staff out of Zoom videoconferences and safely back in the air.They are launching new tools to provide on the ground information about local mask requirements, social distancing regulations and quarantine rules, as well as details of hotel, airline and ground transport hygiene.
On July 6, the Russian shipbuilding complex Zvezda, LLC started construction on a Project 10510 (Lider) icebreaker. Upon its completion (scheduled for 2027), the first ship of this class, named the Rossiya and commissioned by the Rosatom State Nuclear Energy Corporation (Rosatom), will become the most powerful nuclear powered icebreaker ever produced. Reportedly, the future vessel s main task will be to guarantee uninterrupted commercial transportation along the Northern Sea Route (NSR) the maritime shipping corridor off Russia s Arctic coast that connects the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans. Moscow routinely stresses the NSR s geo economic political value to the Russian Federation (Ridl.io, May 8). The icebreaker is said to have unique technical characteristics, including a 120 megawatt engine, that will allow it to cut through ice up to 4.5 meters deep and create water canals 50 meters wide (Gazeta.ru, July 6). According to Rosatom subsidiary Rosatomflot s General Director Mustafa Kashka, T he vessel has no analogues in the world. This unique icebreaker has outstanding technical characteristics that will guarantee year round operations in the eastern Arctic (RIA Novosti, July 6).The expected launch of Project 10510 icebreakers has two strategic objectives. First are Moscow s geo economic calculations. Rosatom argues that, as the only country in the world with a nuclear powered icebreaker fleet, Russia is able to maintain a year round presence in the Arctic region. And when combined with the already operating Arktika class icebreakers (Rosatom.ru, accessed July 9), Project 10510 vessels will be specifically concerned with various transportation missions to and from China, Japan and South Korea. According to Russian sources, this will raise the importance of the NSR in the surging competition for dominance in the global liquefied natural gas (LNG) market. Specifically, the Russian side hopes to win the race against the United States in becoming the main LNG supplier to energy hungry Asian markets (Atomicexpert.com, accessed July 8). In a speech earlier this year, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin specifically highlighted the role of icebreakers as a key factor allowing Moscow to fully unravel the transportation potential of the NSR artery and increase the interest of the international business to this new corridor between Europe and Asia to guarantee Russia s supremacy in the Arctic region, which is strategically vital to us (The World News, June 15). Importantly, the Russian vision of commercializing the NSR inseparable from the development of icebreakers is premised on two pillars: 1) capitalizing on the vast natural resources concealed in the Arctic region (currently, 83 percent of natural gas and 17 percent of Russian oil are extracted there), and 2) the transformation of the NSR into an integral part of Beijing s Belt and Road Initiative linking China with Europe. According to estimates of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, by 2034, Russia plans to increase annual cargo flows via the NSR to 157 million tons (Vedomosti, November 13, 2019) primarily contingent on Chinese trade activities.
In fresh inputs now available in open source domains, China and Iran are on course to chalk out a comprehensive 25 year strategic partnership based on an agreement signed during the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Teheran in January 2016. Iranian President after the visit had stated the visit to be beginning of a new chapter aimed to build economic ties worth up to $600 billion within the next 10 years.Though the number of investments appeared sceptical, it is only now that the details have emerged to give a semblance to the agreement concluded between the two countries in 2016. As per leaked data Iran s Foreign Minister, Mohammad Zarif, during his visit to China in August 2019 presented to his counterpart, Wang Li, a comprehensive roadmap for a 25 year China Iran strategic partnership based on the signing of 2016 agreement by the leaders of two countries.The Iran China strategic partnership is aligned to President Xi Jinping ''s cornerstone of its foreign and domestic policy envisaged under Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) which is the new name for its One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative.As per available information, China is to invest US $ 120 billion for upgrading Iran s transport infrastructure beginning with the 2,300 kilometre road that will link Tehran with Urumqi in China s Xinjiang province. This road will be dovetailed with the Urumqi Gwadar link developed under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor under the New Silk Road . The road link when completed would have an ambitious plan to provide connectivity with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan and thereafter via Turkey into Europe.The connectivity is to be juxtaposed with development and electrification of the main 900 kilometre railway line connecting Tehran to the north eastern city of Mashhad. Another project to be taken up under the strategic partnership is the completion of Tehran Qom Isfahan the high speed train line and extending this upgraded network to link the north west through Tabriz, which is home to a number of key sites relating to oil, gas, and petrochemicals, and the starting point for the Tabriz Ankara gas pipeline.Major expenditure of the US $ 280 billion would be earmarked for developing Iran s petrochemical, oil and gas industries which have suffered immensely as a result of US led economic sanctions. Interestingly, as per reports, China will position up to 5000 Chinese security personnel to protect its projects in Iran. As part of the agreement, China would increase the import of Iranian oil in defiance of US sanctions.Another significant aspect of the strategic partnership is military cooperation between the two countries which includes weapons development, training between Iranian and Chinese armed forces and intelligence sharing. China would also be allowed the use of Iranian air bases although it is any body s guess as to the utility of such measure. There are indications that the strategic agreement has the backing of Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, which has sway over strategic matters impacting Iran.There is however also resentment against the Iran China Strategic Agreement amongstIranians who feel that the same has not been disclosed to the Iranian parliament or people; with Iran ''s former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad saying, "The Iranian nation will not recognize a new secret 25 year agreement between Iran and China, " and warned that any contract signed with a foreign country without the people knowing about it will be void.Another important issue that is not lost on every one is total Chinese silence or reaction to the purported salient aspects of the Strategic Agreement between the two countries.Would China risk further isolation after retching up the ante in the South China Sea, Hong Kong and Indo China border is any one s guess. Although China may continue to show defiance to US sanctions against Iran, would it be willing to burn economic ties with middle east and gulf nations who trade substantially with China would be hard to fathom.On the economic front China s overseas investments during the decade gone by averaged the US $ 200 billion annually. Its ability to commit a similar amount specifically towards a troubled region would also be suspect. The CPEC which has been in the works for over a decade with over US $ 60 billion committed to it, is yet to realise its true potential. Any further commitment to link the Xinjiang Gwadar project to Tehran through restive Baluchistan would need careful consideration and commitment by the Chinese.The Iran China strategic agreement signed in 2016 has not seen much movement since the two sides penned it. The details of the road map as revealed now have also been in the public domain for nearly a year now and point towards Iranian predicaments.In essence, the current revelations point to the Iranian wish list who seem to be too eager to come out of isolation from the US sponsored economic sanctions by piggy banking on Chinese shoulders. It also reflects on a measure of acute desperation on part of Iranian leadership as also to satisfy the appetite of the restive population which seems to be desperate to see some measure of economic revival and activity in spite of being endowed with rich mineral and natural resources.From the Indian perspective growing Iran China relationship is a reason for worry and changing strategic landscape. It points to growing Chinese dominance in alignment with Pakistan which threatens its relations with Afghanistan.The development of Chabaharand future of India Afghanistan Iran Trilateral Agreement for the development of Chabaharhas also not seen anticipated progress. Similarly, China backed Pakistan Iran Taliban alignment emerging in India ''s immediate neighbourhood is also a reason for Indian concern.India s relations with Iran cooled off substantially after India agreed to reduce its trade relations with Iran after imposition of sanctions. The visit of President Trump and increasing Indo US economic and strategic partnership seems to have been the last straw. It is unlikely that relations with Iran would improve in the near term.Growing Chinese footsteps in Iran will have a long lasting impact on our relationship with not only Iran but also on Afghanistan and Central Asian nations.(The author is an Indian Army Veteran. Views expressed are personal.)
After working in Atlanta for the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US CDC) I moved back to Pakistan to set up a US CDC and Government of Pakistan collaborative programme, Pakistan Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program (FELTP). FELTP offices were set up at the Pakistan Institute of Health (NIH). For the next 12 years, I was able to learn about its history, founders and challenges. I was awe struck with its founder ''s grand vision as it aligned very much close to US CDC ''s. They envisioned it to be a top health institute of not only Pakistan but of the region. In the 60s, when NIH was founded, no one wanted to live in Islamabad. And Chak Shahzad where NIH is located was a jungle away from Islamabad. Founders built housing facilities for its employees, a small market, and arranged transport for the employee ''s children to go to school. Then the best scientific minds were selected from across Pakistan and NIH reached its zenith. In scientific journals of the past era you will find references from NIH.The National Agriculture and Research Council (NARC) has the same history. In the coming years, successive governments lost interest in both NIH and NARC. In one instance a fully qualified professional was kept as an ”acting ” Executive Director of NIH for over six years. That showed the governments ' non serious attitude to a critical Pakistani institute. But both NIH and NARC have a curse. They also own hundreds of acres of land for their future expansions as was envisioned by their founders but is now valued in billions.
Mumbai: With the increase in daily ridership in its buses, the Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) undertaking has opened it''s all 27 counters for selling bus passes. Amid the three month long lockdown period, BEST discontinued its service for Mumbaikars and ferried only essential service providers. With state government gradually starting the unlocking procedure with its 'Mission Begin Again' phase BEST resumed its normal service.
Sources told Financial Express Online that the bid by China;s CRRC is expected to be scrapped based on a clause in Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion;s #8216;Make in India; policy. ;If a Nodal Ministry is satisfied that Indian suppliers of an item are not allowed to participate and or compete in procurement by any foreign government, it may, if it deems appropriate, restrict or exclude bidders from that country from eligibility for procurement of that item and or other items relating to that Nodal Ministry,; the clause in Public Procurement (Preference to Make in India), Order 2017 reads.According to the policy the bidder may be considered from a country based on several criteria, one of which is - "a majority of its shareholding or effective control of the entity is exercised from that country ". CRRC Pioneer Electric (India), is a joint venture of CRRC Corporation and a Gurugram based company according to its website.Chinese state owned CRRC Corporation has emerged as a contender for the tender for procuring propulsion systems. According to officials quoted in a PTI report, the present tender for 44 Vande Bharat Express (Train 18) trains sets project would be worth over an amount of Rs 1,500 crore. This is considering that the first Vande Bharat Express, which was launched last year at a cost of Rs 100 crore has a Rs 35 crore propulsion system component. This current tender for the project was floated last year on December 22, and was opened on Friday. This tender is the third such tender, which has been floated for these #8216;Make in India ' trains. The tender that was floated was for the supply of electrical equipment along with other items for 44 Vande Bharat Express train sets, each consisting of 16 coaches.According to the report, the first tender was for as many as 43 sets. The second tender was floated for a total of 37 Train 18 propulsion systems. However, this was cancelled. Surprisingly, major firms such as Mitsubishi, Alstom, CAF, Siemens, Bombardier, and Talgo did not participate in the bids.Following a standoff with China, a Rs 471 crore signalling and telecommunication work contract for a 417 km stretch on the Kanpur Deen Dayal Upadhyay section by a Chinese firm was cancelled by Indian Railways. The national transporter also scrapped a tender for the thermal screening cameras after vendors from India complained of the bid document, which according to them was favouring the Chinese.According to officials, it might take at least two and a half years to manufacture the next Vande Bharat Express. Thus, there is likely to be a delay in the target set by Railway Minister Piyush Goyal who aimed to produce 160 coaches in the year 2019 20, as many as 240 coaches in the year 2020 21 and 240 number of coaches in the year 2021 22 at the ICF, Chennai.The coaches of the upcoming Train 18 train sets will be of Chair Car type, specially designed for day travel. These trains will also offer various other facilities like CCTVs, automatic plug doors with retractable footsteps, in coach displays, speakers, mobile laptop charging sockets, modular pantry equipment, GPS antenna, luggage racks with reading lamps, etc.
Deaths in custody must include the entire process starting with the detention and interrogation prior to arrest, transport to a facility and during captivity, judicial or otherwise. Vikas Dubey was not the first to die in police or judicial custody, in transit or in lockup or jail. He certainly shall not be the last. Opacity shrouding other 'encounters' in which Dubey''s aides were eliminated, puts closure to the gangster''s possible links with police, politicians, government officials, including the judiciary. This also is not the first time that tongues which could wag, were permanently silenced.Police brutality, from the stage of apprehension to formal arrest and eventual transfer of accused to a judicial facility, is an accepted part of Indian consciousness. From television serials to popular cinema, the baton is shown as the most favoured weapon of the typical cop. Likeliest directives of seniors to subordinates during interrogation is koot dalo isko (bash him up) or similar phrases in other Indian languages. Majority of the people see such scenes without flinching, even endorsing police tactics by contending that there is no other way to get dreaded criminals to reveal dark secrets.
On June 21, 2020, Kolkata airport officials arrested a man with exotic macaws and parrots, native to South America and New Guinea. The birds were smuggled from Bangladesh, and headed for Bengaluru, local media reported.This isn t an isolated incident. Wildlife traffickers routinely use the gaps in the rapidly expanding air transport sector to smuggle endangered and exotic live animals, plants, and their parts. Wildlife trade poses the second biggest direct threat to the survival of species after habitat destruction.
KHYBER PASS, Pakistan Truckers hauling cargo from Pakistan into Afghanistan though the main border crossing between the two countries have complained of bribes, long delays, and harassment by police and transport union officials.In interviews with Radio Mashaal, several Pakistani and Afghan truck drivers say that going through the Torkham border crossing connecting northeastern Pakistan with eastern Afghanistan in the historic Khyber Pass is now an obstacle course that frequently results in stress and a loss of both business and time.