Sunday, April 20, 2008

AFGHANISTAN - More Dangerous Than Ever

UPDATE April 27 :
President Karzai survived an attack of the Taliban that took place during a military ceremony where members of the government and influential tribal leaders of his coalition gathered. One tribal leader and a member of parliament were killed. (Report by AL-JAZEERA)

AP / Associated Press released the following news:

Friday, April 18 :
The son of General van Uhm, commander of the Armed Forces of the Netherlands in Afghanistan, has been killed in a bomb explosion, only some kilometers away from Camp Holland. Taliban said they always knew the whereabouts of the general's son.

Saturday, April 19 :
The Pakistani ambassador to Afghanistan, Tariq Azizuddin, who has been reported missing since February 11, is beeing held by the Taliban. That has been proven by a video, published by the Arabic TV station Al-Arabiya. Azizuddin was captured in the boundary region between Pakistan and Afghanistan only some days before the general elections in Pakistan.
At the time of his disappearance, Arabic sources already hinted at a relationship between his possible abduction by the Taliban and the arrest of one of their military leaders (Al-Jazeera, February 2008).

Sunday, April 13, 2008

CHINA - First High-Speed Train Launched

People's Daily online reported (April 11, 2008):
Tangshan Railway Vehicle Co. Ltd., a CNR company, launched three units of its high-speed train CRH3 that is supposed to reach a maximum speed of 350 km/h. Resembling the German ICE train (330 km/h) rather than the French TGV, each unit consists of 8 wagons (one first class, six second class and one second class restaurant wagon) and is intended to transport 557 passengers. In 2009, a total of 57 train units will be in operation.
Bad news for Germany that is trying to sell its brand-new magnetic hovertrain TRANSRAPID to China.

A series of photos, showing the new Chinese train, is available on the Chinese language site of People's Daily.

For further information, please refer to the English language site of the TRANSRAPID manufacturer.
Financial Times Germany reports on latest developments of the TRANSRAPID project (German language site).
Another German language site, showing the ICE system that seems to be more adequate for Chinese mass transportation requirements, can be found here: German Railways Authority.