Sunday, August 17, 2008

Paraguay: New Member of the Latin American Revolution

August 15 Agosto:
Inauguration of newly elected president Fernando Lugo.
Toma de posesión del nuevo presidente Fernando Lugo.

Lugo promete combatir contra la pobreza durante su gestión:
"Reconstruimos el sueño de justicia y equidad social."
"Prometió salvar los niños de la calle y dar un futuro a los jóvenes."

El presidente afirma que se suma al cambio que ocurre en latínoamerica. Signo de ése: Entre los invitados hay Hugo Chavez, el presidente de la República de Venezuela y la portavoz de las naciónes no alineadas. Otro invitado, el presidente de la República de Ecuador Rafael Correa, habla de Fidel Castro y Hugo Chavez como los dos lideres de la nueva revolución latínoamericana.

Lugo says he would fight against poverty during his period of office:
"Lets restore the dream of justice and social equality."
"I promise to save the street urchins and offer a future to young people."

The president confirms he would dedicate himself to the change that is developing in Latin America. A sign of that: Among his guests is Hugo Chavez, the president of Venezuela and spokesman of the non-aligned nations. Another guest, the president of Ecuador Rafael Correa, praises Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez as the two leaders of a new Latin American revolution.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Voice of Palestine Died مات محمود درويش

Only some hours ago, Al-Jazeera reported the funeral of Mahmoud Darwish, best-known Palestinian poet abroad. He found his last rest on a cemetery in the new quarter of Ramallah where his funeral took place in the presence of a delegation from Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas.

One might ask why it's just the death of Mahmoud Darwish that is being mentioned in my newsblog as there are so many others dying those days, in Palestine or elsewhere in the Middle East.

The reason is that Darwish has been mentioned years before by BLUEPRINT magazine and in the frame of my view on Arabic literature, accessible from the BLUEPRINT main page. He has been presented as a witness and voice of the Palestinian people who are still suffering from al-Nakba النكبة, the catastrophe of loosing their homeland.
Furthermore, I remember having seen a booklet of his poetry in the German translation and which I found on a regional German bookfair.

Therefore, I think it's worth to remind my visitors of that small text I once presented on my website and that might be a hint at how Palestinian people are really feeling today:

Please note !
I am an Arab

My hair is like coal
My eyes are like coffee

Particular signs:
A keffyé on my head with its rope well tied
And my palm is hard like a stone
Crushing the other when shaking hands

My favourite dishes are
Olive oil and thyme

My address:
I come from an isolated village
Where the streets don't have names any longer
And everybody, in the quarry and in the fields as well,
Is fond of communism

Please note !
I am an Arab - And now you are furious !

UPDATE August 14, 2008:
Today, AL-JAZEERA TV (English broadcast) dedicated part of its program to Mahmoud Darwish. We learnt that Darwish was a member of the PLO Executive Committee for a certain time but no hardliner at all. Such, many voices from all over the world now mourn the loss of a peace-loving man and a great poet.

The following lines from Mahmoud Darwish I found on the webblog of some Saudi-Arabian translator who recently sent me a comment:

في أعماقِي موسيقى خفيةٌ
ِأخشَى عليهَا
..منَ العزفِ المنفرد

Deep inside me,
there lies a hidden symphony,
I fear for it from solo playing.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Obama in Berlin - Speech on Transatlantic Partnership

Barack Obama, presidential candidate of the U.S. Democratic Party on his trip to Berlin / Germany, addressing more than 200.000 people in front of the famous Pillar of Victory (Siegessaeule).
His keynote speech on foreign politics has been transmitted live by CNN, Al-Jazeera and German TV (ARD). When the German cameras were already switched off, Al-Jazeera and CNN continued with background information and interviews.

There's even some time for German culture left:
German TV: We close punctually (German "Feierabend").
At the city hall: Tradition of signing the Golden Guest Book
("Wer schreibt, der bleibt" or "Writing is staying forever").

"We must renew the goal of a world
without nuclear weapons."

"Europe must stand by the U.S. in
bringing stability to Afghanistan."

"This is the moment when we must all
come together to save this planet"

The whole text of Obama's Berlin Speech is now available from The New York Observer.






《看中国》日报 20080723


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Forjar una América Latina independiente

22 de Julio 2008, hora local de La Habana:

"Mesa Redonda", una emisión regular de la Televisión Cubana, hoy sobre el tema "Forjar una América Latina independiente".

Los países mencionados son Bolivia, Chile, Cuba, Nicaragua,
Venezuela y Rusia. Aqui unos aspectos de ésta emisión:

Recientemente, el Presidente de Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega,
y el Presidente de Venezuela, Hugo Chávez, se encontraban
para celebrar 29 años de victoria revolucionaria en Nicaragua
y para hablar de la necesidad de forjar una América Latina
independiente de los Estados Unidos. Indicando un mapa del
norte de América Latina, Chávez hablaba de "iniciar en éste
territorio una nueva revolución socialista".

Hay unos proyectos cubanos y venezolanos en otros países
latínoamericanos (alfabetización, electrificación, proyectos

Hoy, en Moscú, el Presidente Chávez habla de la importancia de buenos contactos con Rusia. Afirma Chávez que Venezuela y Rusia coinciden en política exterior.

Otros artículos sobre la alianza latinoamericana y Hugo Chávez:

14 de Mayo 2008
Las relaciones entre el "diablo rojo" Hugo Chávez
y la cancillera alemana "Angelito" Merkel.

5 de Diciembre 2006
Es una nueva época - Hugo Chávez
gana las elecciones de Venezuela.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

OBAMA on Iraq and Terrorism - GUANTANAMO Torture

Important UPDATE further down !



يؤكد ان اولى لحظات عهده ستشهد دعوة الى انهاء الحرب في العراق

Obama's Keynote Speech
on Iraq and Terrorism

Here's the gist of U.S. Senator Obama's programmatic speech on Iraq and Terrorism, as transmitted by AL-JAZEERA TV, English service:

"(The stage of) the war on terror is not Iraq, and it never was."

"I will make the fight against al-Qaeda and the Taliban, the top priorities that should be. This is a war we have to win."

Seizing Iraqi prime minister Maliki's demand of a U.S. withdrawal from his country, Obama stated:
"George Bush and John Mccain don't have a strategy for success in Iraq. - They have a strategy for staying in Iraq. They said we couldn't leave when violence is up, and they now say we can't leave when violence is down."

Obama added he would withdraw all U.S. combat brigades within 16 months from Iraq. Two brigades, i.e. about 7.000 to 10.000 men, should be transferred to Afghanistan that has to receive further economic aid as well.

On the other hand, non-military assistance has to be trickled to Pakistan within the next decade to reverse anti-American sentiments there, unless the U.S. want to "face mounting popular opposition in a nuclear armed nation at an axis of terror in radical Islam".

UPDATE (July 24, 2008):
Obama's keynote speech on foreign politics, held during his visit to Berlin / Germany.

Obama: "I've seen worse".

Tortured Youth in Guantánamo

Pictures from a video showing a 16 year old Canadian
boy, held in Guantanamo Bay and who is begging his
Canadian interrogator to kill him. The boy is showing
his scars obtained from torture by U.S. personnell.
The boy's portrait has been taken at the age of 15
when he was captured and transferred to Guantanamo.

That video, transmitted by AL-JAZEERA, CNN and CUBAVISION, has been illegally published by a Canadian official. The Canadian public is known to broadly oppose Canada's military involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq.

This comes only some days after parliamentary trouble in the UK because of a similar detention camp that has been secretly erected within the precincts of another U.S. base on Diego Garcia Island, a tiny British colony in the Indian Ocean. AL-JAZEERA showed treacherous satellite photos of that camp.
AL-JAZEERA (March 3, 2008): UN official has evidence for secret detention


Friday, July 11, 2008

IRAN - 伊朗革命卫队高官称“手指不离扳机”

Latest UPDATE further down !

In a situation of looming danger of war and only two days after Iran's latest long-range missile test:
A high official of the Revolutionary Guard's air force states,
"We are not going to pull the trigger".


The missiles that are able to reach Israel and parts of Europe (source: Al-Jazeera TV, July 9, 2008):

The name "Shahab" given to that series of missiles would mean "meteorite" in Arabic. In the Persian language which is usually rather different from Arabic it might nevertheless have a similar meaning.

Headline of Al-Jazeera, Arabic online service, on July 11:
"Israel is making preparations to attack Iran".
Even though Israel is busy to deny any intention, there are signs hinting at Israel planning to install F 15 fighters in Iraq.


Friday, June 13, 2008

AFGHANISTAN - 阿富汗未来局势进入 9/11 以来最严峻时期

Latest update from July 06, 2008, further down:

The Taliban launched a well-prepared attack on an Afghan prison in Kandahar that held Taliban prisoners as well as criminals. Suicide bombs and rockets were used. A Prison official said: "Most of prisoners escaped". NATO confirms prison attack but has no details up to now (source: CNN, June 13, 21:30 GMT).

Al-Jazeera (Arabic service) reporting from Kabul: "Thousands" of prisoners now on the run including 400 Taliban fighters (21:40 GMT).
[In its original message, Al-Jazeera really used the Arabic plural of "thousand" while a later report (June 15) reduced the number of missing inmates to 870.]
Arabic Update (15/6/2008)

Related news:
Some weeks ago, the provincial government of Northern Pakistan, under the guidance of the newly elected central government, negotiated a ceasefire with the Taliban who are showing a strong presence in the tribal areas of Northern Pakistan.
Only recently, Pakistani troops perished under "friendly fire" of U.S. troops in that region. The new liberal government of Pakistan, now replacing the military rule of former General Musharraf, launched an immediate protest (Al-Jazeera, English service).

Another news blog on Afghanistan by Ulysses



Al-Jazeera (Arabic) 6月28日







翻译:W.W. / Ulysses

July 7, 2008:

In an interview with Al-Jazeera, the governor of Pakistan's North-West frontier province, Owais Ahmed Ghani, expressed his opinion that "all trouble we have came from Afghanistan".

As the subtitle of the above picture shows, another suicide bomb in Afghanistan targets EU troops. This comes only some days after the German governments' decision to allow German troops of its ISAF contigent to participate in direct military action against "insurgents". Up to now, all German troops' activity was restricted to civil aid and "logistic support" for U.S. combat troops in southern Afghanistan. That logistic support essentially includes the provision of airborne reconnaissance for U.S. military in the combat zone of Helmand province and elsewhere.

On the same day:
20 civilians killed in a bombing led by U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Obama Nominated for Presidency

Click to above image to get a better resolution !
Important UPDATES on keynote speeches can be found further down !

2:40 GMT
After the primary in South Dakota, its clear to everybody that Obama will be nominated for U.S. presidency by the Democratic Party.
Though 8 of 13 votes in South Dakota went to Clinton, it was just the differing 5 votes that made Obama cross the critical delegate mark of 2.118. Official results of the Montana primary, where Obama is reported to be leading, are not available at this time. Nevertheless, 2.119 delegate votes are already secured for Obama.

3:00 GMT
First results of the Montana elections show Obama leading with 2.132 votes. Obama "man of the day" with "Killary Hinten" still luring in the background.

Distribution of federal states in favor of Obama (dark blue) or Clinton (light blue) at one moment of the campaign's final phase

The Audacity of Hope: Obama's book and his program, a review by the WASHINGTON POST (October 19, 2006).

UPDATE: Obama on Iraq and Terrorism
Senator Obama's keynote speech on July 15, 2008 !

UPDATE: Obama on Transatlantic Partnership
Obama's keynote speech on foreign politics, held in Berlin / Germany on July 24, 2008 !

Next target:
McCain - back from the graveyard of history.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Dunkler Engel gegen roten Teufel
Ángel oscuro contra diablo rojo

Im Vorfeld des Lateinamerika-Gipfels der Europäischen Union kam es zu einem verbalen Schlagabtausch zwischen der deutschen Kanzlerin Angela Merkel und dem Präsidenten von Venezuela, Hugo Chávez. Die folgenden Zitate aus diesem etwas rauhen "Dialog" habe ich, um die Authentizität zu bewahren, aus dem Spanischen ins Deutsche übersetzt. Sie stammen aus verschiedenen Quellen. Damit kann sich dann jeder selbst ein Urteil darüber bilden, wie dieser Konflikt zustande kam:

La cancillera alemana y el presidente de Venezuela se disputan en vísperas de la cumbre entre la UE y América Latina. Es la influencia de Hugo Chávez, político socialista, sobre otras naciónes latinoamericanas que no gusta a Angela ("angelito") Merkel, representante del partido conservador alemán. Aquí unos documentos que iluminan esta disputa:

1) Rahmenbericht: CNN online vom 12.5.2008
(spanische Website)

En declaraciones durante su programa dominical "Aló Presidente", Chávez dijo que recientemente, Merkel instó a algunos líderes latinoamericanos para que no estrecharan vínculos con Venezuela. Chávez estuvo a punto de lanzar más insultos a Merkel, pero se contuvo.
"Viene la cancillera alemana y dijo, ayer o antier, que los gobiernos de América Latina deberían alejarse de gobiernos como el de Hugo Chávez. Vaya usted señora cancillera a...", dijo Chávez antes de hacer una pausa. "Como es una dama no le digo más nada".

In Erklärungen während seines regionalen (Radio-)programmes "Hallo, Herr Präsident!" sagte Chávez kürzlich, dass Merkel einige lateinamerikanische Führer dazu dränge, auf eine Ausweitung ihrer Beziehungen mit Venezuela zu verzichten. Chávez schien dabei drauf und dran, weitergehende Beleidigungen gegen Frau Merkel zu richten,
hielt sich aber zurück.

"Da kam die deutsche Kanzlerin und sagte, gestern genau wie schon früher, dass die Regierungen Lateinamerikas sich von Regierungen wie der von Hugo Chávez fernhalten sollten. Frau Kanzlerin, machen Sie bloß, dass Sie weiterkommen zu ...", sagte Chávez und unterbrach sich dann. "Weil sie eine Dame ist, sage ich nicht
mehr ..."

No fue posible confirmar de inmediato cuáles fueron los comentarios originales de Merkel.
Chávez dijo que podría presentarse una confrontación con Merkel durante la Cumbre de América Latina-Caribe y la Unión Europea, que se realizará esta semana en Perú, y bromeó acerca de la posibilidad de que la canciller termine por pedirle que se calle, como lo hizo el Rey Juan Carlos de España durante una cumbre realizada el año pasado.
"Si voy a Lima quizás la voy a ver, y de repente le digo algo y se pone brava, y a lo mejor se va a parar también y... (me va a decir) ¿Por qué no te callas?", dijo.

Zunächst war es nicht möglich, die zugrunde liegenden Äußerungen von Frau Merkel zu verifizieren.

Chávez meinte, dass es diese Woche in Peru, während des Gipfels der lateinamerikanischen und karibischen Staaten mit den (Ländern der) Europäischen Union zu einer Konfrontation mit Frau Merkel kommen könnte. Er scherzte dabei hinsichtlich der Möglichkeit, dass die Kanzlerin so weit gehen könnte, ihn zu bitten, den Mund zu halten, ganz so, wie es König Juan Carlos von Spanien während eines Gipfels im letzten Jahr getan hatte.

"(Was ist,) wenn ich nach Lima gehe und sie vielleicht dort sehe und ihr unerwartet etwas sage, das sie wütend macht, und sie dann unter Umständen ebenfalls kontert ... Ich werde (ihr) dann sagen: Warum halten Sie nicht einfach die Klappe?(*)", stellte (Chávez) fest.

(*) Chávez würde Frau Merkel demnach tatsächlich auffordern, den Mund zu halten. Das bestätigt auch die südamerikanischen Quelle / Maracaibo vom 13. Mai.

2) Rahmenbericht: vom 13.5.2008
(Radiostation in Caracas)
[Stellungnahme der Regierung von Venezuela zu den vorhergehenden Äußerungen von Frau Merkel]

"Sus declaraciones no sólo alteran la relación bilateral sino que ponen en entredicho la intención del gobierno alemán de querer estrechar los lazos de amistad con todos los países latinoamericanos y caribeños", declaró el gobierno en un comunicado.
Merkel expresó en una entrevista la semana pasada que un solo país, refiriéndose a Venezuela, "no puede alterar las relaciones entre la Unión Europea (UE) y Latinoamérica".
Además, subrayó que "el presidente Chávez no es la voz de América Latina" y recordó que el pueblo venezolano dijo 'no' en diciembre al referéndum que planteaba un proyecto de reforma constitucional.

"Ihre (Frau Merkels) Erklärungen verschlechtern nicht nur die bilateralen Beziehungen, sondern stellen auch die Absicht der deutschen Regierung in Frage, freundschaftliche Bande zu allen lateinamerikanischen und karibischen Staaten zu knüpfen", erklärte die Regierung (Venezuelas) in einem Kommunique.

Merkel brachte letzte Woche in einem Interview (*) zum Ausdruck, dass ein einziges Land, wobei sie sich auf Venezuela bezog, "nicht die Beziehungen zwischen der Europäischen Union und Lateinamerika verschlechtern darf".

Darüber hinaus hob sie hervor, dass "Präsident Chávez nicht die Stimme Lateinamerikas ist" und erinnerte daran, dass das Volk von Venezuela im Dezember "Nein" gestimmt hätte, als es in einem Referendum um eine Reform der Verfassung ging.

(*) Das zitierte Interview mit Frau Merkel wurde von der Deutschen Presseagentur DPA geführt. =>

En su comunicado, el ejecutivo venezolano se mostró "sorprendido" por el hecho de que la canciller "arremeta contra Hugo Chávez" y realice "inamistosos comentarios" en vísperas de la cumbre entre la UE y América Latina que se celebrará esta semana en Lima.

In ihrem Kommunique zeigte sich der venezolanische Staat "überrascht" von der Tatsache, dass die Kanzlerin "Hugo Chávez angreift" und "unfreundliche Kommentare" zum Ausdruck bringt, am Vorabend des Gipfels zwischen der EU und Lateinamerika, der diese Woche in Lima stattfinden soll.

3) Kommentar von BLUEPRINT magazine

Als ich erfuhr, dass der venezolanische Präsident Hugo Chávez unsere Kanzlerin mit jenen konservativen Politikern verglichen haben soll, die Hitler und seine Nationalsozialisten auf dem Weg zur Macht unterstützt hatten, da war mein erster Gedanke:

Was um Himmels willen hat denn unsere Pastorentochter da schon wieder angestellt?

Der Vergleich mit Hitler erscheint mir dabei lediglich als ein reflexartiger Tritt gegen das moralische Schienbein der Deutschen, wo doch spätestens seit den Ausfällen des derzeitigen iranischen Präsidenten jeder Gegner im Ausland weiß, womit man die ehrpusselige deutsche Politikerseele am besten ärgern kann. Man vergisst aber oft nur zu leicht, dass jeder Tritt auch eine Ursache hat und macht dann den Tritt selbst zur Ursache und zur Nachricht des Tages.

Da Hugo Chávez, der mit großer Mehrheit gewählte Präsident Venezuelas, unbestreitbar die auffälligste Stimme einer enormen politischen Linksbewegung ist, die zur Zeit etliche Länder Lateinamerikas kontrolliert oder zumindest beeinflusst, sind die Warnungen von Frau Merkel vor dem Einfluss "solcher Länder wie Venezuela" nicht nur einfältig, sondern auch gefährlich, denn sie erwecken in diesen Ländern den Eindruck, als ob Deutschland voll und ganz hinter der imperialistischen Machtpolitik der amerikanischen Bush-Administration steht, was glücklicherweise
überhaupt nicht der Fall ist.

Bedingt durch die krassen sozialen Gegensätze in Lateinamerika, hat die politische Linke hier eine lange Tradition, die nichts, aber auch gar nichts mit dem erloschenen "Spätstalinismus" der alten Ostblockstaaten zu tun hat. Auch Fidel Castro als der Träger einer kubanischen Revolution konnte sich über Jahrzehnte hinweg der, zumindest verbalen, Solidarität blockfreier lateinamerikanischer Staaten erfreuen. Castros persönlicher und politischer Freund Hugo Chávez ist mit der Zeit selbst zum politischen Erben Fidel Castros geworden. Das ist nun einmal so, ob es einem passt oder nicht.

Weder die Jahrzehnte währende Wirtschaftsblockade der U.S.A. gegen Kuba noch die neuesten Ausfälle amerikanischer Politgreise gegen den betagten Castro oder den "linken Fackelträger" Chávez können diese Entwicklung verlangsamen oder verhindern. Und was bei diversen Aktionen der CIA gegen unbequeme linke Politiker Lateinamerikas herausgekommen ist, das kann jedermann in den Geschichtsbüchern nachlesen (Stichworte hierzu: Invasion der kubanischen Schweinebucht, Sturz des sozialisten Präsidenten von Chile Salvador Allende usw.).

Wenn man schon nichts davon versteht, dann sollte man sich doch wenigstens heraushalten und nicht, zu allem Überfluss, auch noch die abgenutzten Parolen der Bush-Lobby wiederholen.

Lo que la cancillera no comprende es la evolución del socialismo latinoamericano en los tiempos de la economía de mercado libre tras la derrota del socialismo europeo. Por esta razón no puede aceptar que hay dos fuerzas independientes en América latina a tenerse en cuenta.

Was nun die Ablehnung des Regierungsvorschlags zur Verfassungsreform Venezuelas betrifft, da sollte sich Frau Merkel einmal fragen, was man denn den Deutschen schon alles zugemutet hat: Von den entmündigenden Restriktionen bei Hartz IV über die Abschaffung der Pendlerpauschale bis hin zum Rauchverbot in Biergärten. Immerhin hat man das Volk von Venezuela wenigstens noch nach seiner Meinung gefragt ....

Como en Alemania hay tambien unas leyes que la mayoría de los ciudadanos no desean, no hace falta recordar que el pueblo venezolano dijo 'no' al referéndum sobre la reforma constitucional.

Und was den rauhen Ton der Auseinandersetzung betrifft, so sollte man sich eben nicht mit Leuten anlegen, die gewohnt sind, eine deutliche und provokante Sprache zu sprechen. Hugo Chávez hat hierbei sicher die größere Erfahrung und die größere Klappe. Außerdem läßt sich ein wortgewaltiger südamerikanischer "Macho" sowieso nichts von einer "Tussi" sagen, wenn er sich nicht vor seinen eigenen Leuten blamieren will.

Also warum, Angela, hältst du nicht einfach mal die Klappe?
¿Pues bien Angela, por qué no te callas?

Thursday, May 08, 2008

CHINA - Guarding the Games

Without much public fuss, China has established a special task force, designed to guard the Olympic Games 2008. After a short period of plannings, that anti-terror brigade actually came into being between 2005 and 2007. It is now reported to be fully operational. On March 1, a first report on the new Chinese task force reached Europe and was finally confirmed, on March 24, by the Chinese news agency XINHUA. Now, some more weeks later, that subject seems to be broadly discussed by other Chinese media as well while reports in English and French are still missing.
A nice example for interesting news "speeding around the world". By the way, I found the March 1 article in a German supermarket, owned by some Vietnamese and where they use Chinese papers to wrap up dried fish and vegetables. That about getting informed.....

Friday, May 02, 2008


from the dictatorship of the proletariat
to the dictatorship of the young cannibals ...
Click to the pictures and read the whole story !

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.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

CUBA - latest development

On February 25, 2008, Raul Castro officially replaced his brother Fidel in a well-prepared "change of the guards". Though, Raul is president now, Fidel Castro will remain an important figur in the background of Cuban politics.
(source: "Euro News" citing "Cubavision")

First thing we learnt from Castro's Cuba after that change:
Following an invitation from Jaime Cardinal Ortega y Alamino, Archbishop of Havana, German missionaries of the order of Saint Benedict are going to found a monastery on Communist Cuba, a mission imagined to be impossible up to now. As Archabbot Jeremias Schröder OSB of the Ottilien Missionary Benedictines put it:
"The role of the church in society is no longer rejected in Cuba. It is again valued. The cardinal succeeded in achieving a reasonable level of understanding with the government. Thus relations with the church in Cuba clearly improved, and one might say, 'liberalized.' This development is also a result of the visit of Pope John Paul II in January 1998. A further impulse was surely the February 20-26 visit of Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone, on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the Pope's trip"
(source: "Radio Vatikan online" and "What's New OSB",
March 5/6 2008)

Friday, February 08, 2008

U.S. Latinos Dying for Oil

Mexican activists opposing the war in Iraq
now revealed that a majority of Latinos from
Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras are among
the 3.950 officially registered U.S. casualties.
Telesur (Mexico) via Cubavision (Feb. 7, 2008)