When Swiss engineer Carl Eduard Gruner came up with the idea to build the world's longest rail tunnel under the Alps in 1947, he predicted the visionary project could be finished by the start of the 21st century.
Gruner's sketch and technical paper called "Journey through the Gotthard Base Tunnel (GBT) in the year 2000" planted the seeds for a venture that will be launched this week and aims to transform travel through the heart of Europe.
Constructing the 57-kilometer rail tunnel took just over 12 billion Swiss francs ($12 billion) and some 2,400 workers, according to Swiss government statistics.
More than 28 million metric tons of rock had to be excavated from the mountain near the Gotthard pass.
The bumpy road from Gruner's initial idea to the official start of construction in 1999 included bureaucratic delays and concern over the project's financial viability. Momentum in favor of the GBT built again ahead of a 1992 referendum, which supported the project, but public outcry about the expense put work on hold. Eventually, a November 1998 referendum closed the deal, when 64 percent of Swiss voters approved the final plans along with funding schemes, including a new road tax. The tunnel runs from Erstfeld in the central Swiss canton of Uri, to Bodio in southern Ticino canton, and will shave the train journey from Zurich to Milan in northern Italy down to two hours and 40 minutes, roughly an hour less than it currently takes. The new route also aims to make rail freight more efficient, including by supporting heavier cargo, which should reduce the number of diesel-guzzling lorries on the roads, in turn improving traffic and curbing pollution. The number of daily rail passengers is also expected to increase from the current rate of 9,000 people to 15,000 by 2020, according to the Swiss federal railway service.
In a study of the GBT's possible economic benefits, Swiss bank Credit Suisse forecast a range of positive impacts driven by an easier movement of goods, growth in day-trip tourism and higher property values in the affected cantons linked to increased accessibility. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, along with Swiss officials, are due to attend Wednesday's grand opening, which will feature a ceremonial run. The world's longest rail tunnel, which runs under the Alps and took 17 years to build, will be inaugurated on Wednesday. 1882: That was the year the first rail route through the Gotthard pass opened, a landmark in Swiss history that helped boost trade through the Alpine nation, which had previously been arduous to cross. 43,800: According to the Swiss federal rail service, it took that number of hours of nonstop work by 125 laborers rotating in three shifts to lay the GBT's slab track. 2 hours and 40 minutes: That is the estimated length of time it will take to get from Zurich to Milan once the GBT opens full service in December, roughly an hour shorter than the journey currently takes.
Miners holding their national flags stand next to a giant drilling machine that completed the world's longest tunnel beneath the Swiss Alps. He's a fugitive on Interpol's Red List and a marine vigilante who's done jail time for extradition requests.
Love him or loathe him, Paul Watson, the 65-year-old, silver-haired founder of Sea Shepherd and co-founder of Greenpeace is now a celebrity because of his job: ramming whaling boats for a living.
Watson has a hit US reality TV series, Whale Wars, that has aired on the Discovery Channel since 2008 about his organization's fight against Japanese whalers. Both have attracted a new legion of global fans to Sea Shepherd's controversial approach of battering whaling and fishing ships. France has granted Watson political asylum, shielding him from extradition requests by Costa Rica and Japan on charges that he asserts are trumped up. Japan says Watson allegedly masterminded Sea Shepherd's disruption of Japanese whale hunts in the Antarctic Ocean and thus put whalers' lives at risk during the hunt. The same year he founded Sea Shepherd with the mantra using "aggressive nonviolence" to protect marine life. Nameless migrants laid to rest in unmarked scrubland, murder victims dumped in mass graves, desperate searches for the missing after natural disasters. His country, where some 8,000 people are still missing after years of civil war, has become one of the latest nations to sign a treaty pledging to support the work of the International Commission on Missing Persons.
In the Philippines, also a signatory to the treaty, there are still 2,000 missing after Typhoon Haiyan struck in November 2013.
And while finding and identifying the missing killed in conflicts or disasters is an age-old problem, no overall global figure has ever been determined.
The numbers are thought to be "staggering" - between 250,000 and a million in Iraq alone stretching back to the early days of the regime of former dictator Saddam Hussein, said Kathryne Bomberger, ICMP director general. The organization, which finances its painstaking research through voluntary donations, held a recent seminar on its work as it moves its headquarters from Sarajevo to The Hague. Born out of the conflicts in former Yugoslavia and set up in 1996 by then US president Bill Clinton, the ICMP has used sophisticated DNA matching techniques to identify more than 70 percent of the 40,000 who went missing in the Balkans wars.
Now it is shedding its ad hoc status to become a recognized international organization - the only one dedicated exclusively to accounting for the missing.
It hopes to open a new lab in the Dutch city in the coming months, to complement its first one in Sarajevo which already has the capacity to handle up to 10,000 DNA cases a year. After five years of civil war and a huge exodus from the country, there are an estimated 60,000 missing Syrians. She's hoping to try to move into the refugee camps, build up trust with families there and start organizing a valuable database.
Eight children and three adults were struck by lightning on Saturday in a Paris park after a sudden spring storm sent a bolt crashing down upon a children's birthday party, a spokesman for Paris' fire service said. He credited an off-duty firefighter with playing a critical role in getting immediate medical help to the victims, but one child remains in critical condition. Another group of people at a children's soccer match in western Germany were also hit by lightning on Saturday afternoon, leaving three adults seriously injured. The birthday group had sought shelter under a tree at Park Monceau, a northwest Paris park popular with well-to-do families, when a lightning bolt touched down, according to Paris fire service spokesman Eric Moulin.
Moulin said Commander Pascal Gremillet, an off-duty firefighter, was visiting a museum nearby when he noticed the commotion and discovered nine of the 11 victims lying unconscious. He said that the condition of three of the more seriously injured children was improving, All seven of the children were placed under observation, Carli said. Footage shot by the fire service showed a dramatic scene at a nearby bank that was commandeered as a makeshift treatment center. More than 30 people were taken to the hospital after lighting struck on Saturday at the end of a children's soccer match in western Germany, police said.
Three adults were seriously injured in the incident in the town of Hoppstaedten, police said - including the 45-year-old referee, who suffered a cardiac arrest after being hit directly by lightning and had to be revived by onlookers and a doctor. All 29 of the children, ages 9 to 11, who had taken part in the match between local teams SG Perlbachtal and SG Meisenheim also were taken to nearby hospitals, police said in a statement. Militants attacked a crude oil pipeline operated by Italy's ENI on Saturday, a Nigerian state government said, hours after the Niger Delta Avengers militants claimed another strike in the region.
Nigeria's oil output has fallen to a 20-year low due to attacks on pipelines in the southern swamps, home to much of its hydrocarbon resources, which have compounded the impact of low oil prices on Africa's largest economy. The Avengers, who have been targeting oil and gas facilities for the past three months, earlier said on Twitter they had attacked the Nembe pipelines 1, 2 and 3, pumping Royal Dutch Shell's Bonny Light crude, and an Agip facility.
The army raided the Oporoza community, home to Government Ekpemupolo, also known as Tompolo, a former militant leader whom security officials have linked to the Avengers, residents said. A newsletter close to the group said soldiers had arrived at the community, located in the swamps of the Delta, on seven gunboats.
The army could not be immediately reached for comment but a military source said seven people had been arrested, adding that explosives had been found in their possession. In the first sign that the government might try a less heavy-handed approach, Oil Minister Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu has said an amnesty program for former militants, signed in 2009 to end a previous insurgency, needed to improve. Seventeen people died when a makeshift home for elderly people outside the Ukrainian capital Kiev caught fire in the early hours of Sunday. The fire tore through the two-story shelter for the elderly which is in the village of Litochky, located some 50 kilometers north of Kiev.
Citing preliminary information, the service said that 35 people were at the home when the fire broke out in the early hours of Sunday. Eighteen people have been rescued and five of them have been hospitalized, said the service, adding that the fire had been extinguished by Sunday morning. It was not immediately clear what caused the blaze but according to one version it might have been sparked by an exploding TV set. National television channels, reporting from the scene, said that the street where the shelter was located was now cordoned off by police. Pictures released by the state emergencies service showed a fire-gutted white brick building, with rescue teams scouting its remains. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has been notified of the blaze, the government said in a statement, adding that Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman had tasked officials with creating a special commission to look into the fire. Groysman expressed condolences to the families of those who had perished in the "terrible tragedy", the government said in a statement.
First deputy head of national police, Vadym Troyan, said in televised remarks that a man who had organized the temporary shelter had already been detained. In post-Soviet countries like Ukraine outdated infrastructure is still in widespread use and managers often take a lax approach to fire safety.
Such fires often claim the lives of some of the most vulnerable people including the elderly and those with mental illness.
Rescuers inspect the debris of a residential house after a fire broke out, in the village of Litochky, northeast of Kiev, Ukraine, on Sunday.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe intends to push back his debt-loaded country's next tax hike for two and a half years, when he will likely have left office, reports said on Sunday. Abe on Saturday told his close aides, including Finance Minister Taro Aso, that he intends to push back a planned raise in taxes to October 2019, according to Japanese media. Abe's premiership will end in September 2018 unless his ruling Liberal Democratic Party approves an exceptional measure to extend his leadership. This means Abe will likely leave the tricky work of imposing heavier taxes - a key measure which would help pay down one of the biggest debt loads among rich nations but may also undermine Japan's frail economic recovery - to his successor. Abe had previously said that his government would only push back the long-planned consumption tax hike in the event of "a grave situation" - on the scale of the collapse of Lehman Brothers or a major earthquake. At the two-day Group of Seven leaders summit, which concluded in Japan on Friday, Abe argued that the global economy risked a "crisis", though Germany's Angela Merkel and International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde reportedly said that prediction was too negative. Tokyo's last sales tax rise in April 2014 - the nation's first in 17 years - was blamed for stalling a nascent economic recovery and pushing Japan into a recession from which it has barely recovered.
Japanese government coffers are deep in the red, with public debt standing at twice the size of the economy - the worst among industrialized nations.
A flotilla of ships saved 668 migrants on Saturday from smugglers' boats in distress in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Libya, Italian authorities said - bringing the week's total of migrants plucked from the sea to a staggering more than 13,000 people. The rescues by the Italian coast guard and navy ships, aided by Irish and German vessels and humanitarian groups, are the latest by a multinational patrol south of the Italian island of Sicily. The Irish military said the vessel Le Roisin saved 123 migrants from a 12-meter-long rubber dinghy and recovered a male body. On Sunday, the UN said more than 700 migrants were feared dead in three Mediterranean Sea shipwrecks south of Italy in the last few days as they tried desperately to reach Europe in unseaworthy smuggling boats. Carlotta Sami, spokeswoman for UNHCR, told The Associated Press by phone that an estimated 100 people are missing from a smugglers' boat that capsized on Wednesday off the coast of Libya. Sami said about 550 other migrants and refugees are missing from a smuggling boat that capsized Thursday morning after leaving the western Libyan port of Sabratha a day earlier. Meanwhile, with migrant shelters filling up in Sicily, the Italian navy vessel Vega headed toward Reggio Calabria, a southern Italian mainland port, bringing 135 survivors and 45 bodies from a rescue a day earlier. Other survivors who arrived on Saturday in the Sicilian port of Pozzallo told authorities they had witnessed a fishing boat filled with" hundreds" of migrants sink on Thursday, a Save The Children spokeswoman, Giovanna Di Benedetto, told The Associated Press by telephone from Sicily. According to survivors, two smugglers' fishing boats and a dinghy set sail on Wednesday night from Libya's coast. Authorities say many migrant boats in the past few years apparently have sunk without a trace in the Mediterranean, with the dead never found. Often the only news about them comes when family members in Africa or Europe tell authorities that their loved ones never arrived after setting sail from Libya. Under a European Union deal, tens of thousands of those rescued at sea and seeking asylum were supposed to be relocated to other EU nations from Italy and Greece, where most of the migrants have landed.
Russian President Vladimir Putin visited a Russian Orthodox monastery on Saturday as he wrapped up a two-day visit to Greece, which is looking for more Russian investment and tourism as it copes with a prolonged financial crisis and a massive wave of migrants. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras had said the Russian president's visit was a chance to "upgrade" relations. Putin visited a Russian Orthodox monastery on Saturday on the northern Greek peninsula of Mount Athos.
During his trip, Putin expressed gratitude for Greece's friendship - and used his visit to blast US policy toward Moscow. At the height of Greece's financial crisis last year, Athens had sought aid from Russia as a counterbalance to its difficult negotiations with its European Union and International Monetary Fund creditors. Panagiotis Lafazanis, a former energy minister who has left the ruling Syriza party, said the Greek government had played down the Putin visit in order to curry favor with US and NATO officials.
Greek opposition figures were pleased with Putin's decision to meet opposition leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
During his visit to Mount Athos, where women are not allowed to visit any of the 20 monasteries there, Putin repeatedly praised the spirit of the monastic community. Putin flew from Athens to Thessaloniki on Saturday morning, traveled by road to a port near Mount Athos and then took a boat - the only way to reach the isolated community. Russian President Vladimir Putin lights a candle as he arrives at the church of the Protaton, dedicated to the Dormition of the Virgin, in Karyes, the administrative center of the all-male Orthodox monastic community of Mount Athos, Greece, on Saturday. Cincinnati Zoo has temporarily closed its gorilla exhibit after a special zoo response team shot and killed a 17-year-old gorilla that grabbed and dragged a 4-year-old boy who fell into a moat. Zoo officials said the boy fell after he climbed through a public barrier at the Gorilla World exhibit Saturday afternoon.
Zoo Director Thane Maynard said the zoo's dangerous animal response team decided the boy was in "a life-threatening situation" and that they needed to put down the 400-pound-plus male gorilla named Harambe. But he mourned the loss of the gorilla, which came to Cincinnati in 2015 from the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, Texas. Two female gorillas also were in the enclosure when the boy fell in but zoo officials said only the male remained with the child.
Maynard said the gorilla didn't appear to be attacking the child, but he said it was "an extremely strong" animal in an agitated situation. It was the first time that the team had killed a zoo animal in such an emergency situation, Maynard said.
The area around the gorilla exhibit was closed off Saturday afternoon as zoo visitors reported hearing screaming. The zoo will be open on Sunday but officials said the gorilla exhibit has been closed until further notice.
France's nationwide fuel shortages - the consequence of a bare-knuckle dispute over labor reforms which have pit militant unions against the government - are easing amid signs that both sides may be seeking a compromise. Fuel shortages that have led to long lines at the pump are dissipating, the country's junior transport minister, Alain Vidalies, told journalists Saturday, although he warned that the crisis wasn't over and unions, including the leftist CGT, have promised even more dramatic action next week.
Some union-watchers say both sides have dropped hints that they're looking for a way out of the confrontation.
He noted that CGT boss Philippe Martinez said he wanted to meet President Francois Hollande and highlighted recent statements from French ministers which suggested aspects of their reforms were open for renegotiation. Panic at the pump has been among the most serious effects of weeks of French labor action, which has shuttered refineries, blocked fuel depots and disrupted travel across the country. There are increasing worries that the strikes will interfere with football's European Championship in mid-June. France's Socialist government says the labor reforms are needed to reduce the country's persistently high unemployment rate.
The CGT and other left-wingers say the new measures will tear apart the country's social safety net without generating real work. Over 6,000 people have fled areas in northern Syria as a result of the attacks by the Islamic State militants, a monitoring group reported on Sunday.
Zimbabwe's central bank will probably in August introduce its own "bond notes", valued at par with the US dollar, into the country's multi-currency system that has allowed nine world currencies to circulate legally in the market, the state media reported on Sunday. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande together marked the 100-year anniversary of the Battle of Verdun on Sunday, laying a wreath at a cemetery in northeastern France for the 300,000 soldiers killed.
Nine out of 10 of Britain's top economists working in London's City financial district, small business and academia believe the economy will be harmed if Britain leaves the European Union, a poll said on Sunday.
Police said on Sunday they arrested five Indians accused of assaulting Africans in New Delhi, after African diplomats urged the Indian government to ensure the safety of their nationals living in the country. The agreements were signed on May 23 during a three-day visit to Sudan by a Chinese delegation led by Nur Bekri, head of the National Energy Administration and deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission. Sun Qin, chairman of CNNC, says the company will work with Sudan's Ministry of Water Resources and Electricity. Chai Guohan, chief engineer at the Ministry of Environmental Protection's Nuclear and Radiation Safety Center, says it is likely the Chinese-designed Hualong 1, a third-generation reactor, will be chosen for the Sudan plant.
With the world's largest number of reactors under construction, China plans to develop this experience into nuclear exports. CNNC has clinched deals with Argentina to build two nuclear reactors, while China General Nuclear Power Group has partnered with France's EDF to build three reactors in Britain.
Sudan has faced power shortages in recent years and is seeking to build two 600-mW pressurized water reactors to meet the growing demand for electricity, with construction on the first starting in 2021.
Finance Minister Badr-Eddin Mahmoud says the agreements with China reviewed all energy issues facing the country and predicts they will provide solutions for these and for new projects.
China National Nuclear corp will work with Sudan's Ministry of Water Resources and Electricity to develop nuclear power.
Su Chengfen has spent all his life fishing in the reef-filled South China Sea, guided by a handwritten book more than 600 years old that depicts routes to various remote islands from Hainan province. The former fishing vessel captain, who lives in the town of Tanmen, cherishes the book, wrapping it in layers of paper even though at 81 it is impossible for him to return to the sea.
A book belonging to Chinese fisherman Su Chengfen depicts sailing routes from Tanmen county in Hainan province to Huangyan Island in the South China Sea.
He has always known it is precious, as it contains detailed information handed down over the generations, but at first he had not realized its true significance. Specialists say the information the book contains is undeniable proof of China's sovereignty over Huangyan Island. He wrote An Arcane Book About the South China Sea, the first book in China studying genglubu, a term used for various editions of ancient handwritten books recording sailing routes in the South China Sea.
The book is not easy to understand or decipher, as it uses archaic words and ancient expressions for directions. Fu Shibao, an officer at the border police station in Tanmen, says there used to be at least 1,000 such books in the seafaring town. He says the true value of the books was realized after friction between China and the Philippines over Huangyan Island escalated sharply in 2012. Zhou, who has studied genglubu for 26 years with his wife, says a book provided by former sea captain Peng Zhengkai records 17 routes to the Xisha Islands and more than 200 routes to the Nansha Islands.
Fishermen in ancient times named 136 islands and reefs in the books for China, much earlier than their naming by other countries, he says.
He says the routes, along with China's historical documents, archaeological discoveries and accounts from old seafarers and fishermen, show "waters around the Dongsha, Xisha, Zhongsha and Nansha islands had become fixed fishing grounds for Chinese fishermen in the Ming Dynasty". Accordingly, although China is the victim of the South China Sea issue, it has been firmly committed to resolving disputes peacefully through friendly consultations and negotiations with countries directly concerned.
This sincerity and commitment by China has been a deciding factor for stability of the situation in the South China Sea. Especially since the late 1990s, China has been proactively engaged with some directly concerned parties of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to work out possible solutions of sovereignty disputes over islands and reefs in question through bilateral consultation, and with the ASEAN as a whole to build up confidence and to collectively maintain peace and stability in the region. I am proud to say that as head of the Chinese delegation taking part in the first few rounds of working group meeting on the draft of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, I contributed in a small measure to such a significant endeavor. From my personal experience, working with the ASEAN and its member states, I should say that China and ASEAN members have the wisdom and every capability to resolve disputes peacefully and maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea on their own.
Now, China is working with ASEAN members to implement the declaration, and we are speeding up the "code of conduct in the South China Sea" consultation.
With a view to securing common interests and common objectives of maintaining long-lasting peace and stability in the South China Sea, China has made a few proposals.
First, the disputing parties must peacefully resolve their disputes through negotiation in accordance with the declaration. Second, pending eventual solutions, countries in the region, claimants or otherwise, that border the South China Sea must work together to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea, and to uphold the freedom of navigation in accordance with international law. Third, it is hoped that countries outside the region support the resolution of the disputes through negotiation between the directly concerned parties, and support the efforts of China and the ASEAN to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea.
So long as the above-mentioned points are put in place, peace and stability in the South China Sea will continue to be maintained.
As pointed out by Fu Ying and Wu Shichun in their article contributed to the National Interest, South China Sea: How We Got to This Stage, "The future direction will very much depend on the perceptions and choices of the parties involved.
China and the European Union have shared strategic interests in maintaining the freedom and safety of navigation, and promoting stability and prosperity in the South China Sea.
Given this, we sincerely hope the EU will strictly abide by its political commitment to respect China's sovereignty and territorial integrity and China's position on the South China Sea issue, and refrain from taking any action that constitutes interference in the South China Sea issue. French unions urged workers to step up a wave of industrial action on Friday against a controversial labor law, a day after clashes over the reform in Paris. With just two weeks to go before France hosts the Euro 2016 soccer championship, the country has been gripped by more than a week of strikes that have disrupted transport and sparked fuel shortages. The tug of war between unions and President Francois Hollande's deeply unpopular government showed little sign of ending, as union representatives urged workers to "multiply and support" the strikes. At the Tricastin nuclear plant in southern France, workers set fire to piles of tires on Thursday. Unions are furious about the legislation forced through Parliament aimed at reforming France's rigid labor laws by making it easier for companies to hire and fire workers.
They said the government's response to the strikes was only "boosting the determination" of opponents to the legislation. The call came a day after police fired tear gas at a small group of masked youths who smashed shop windows and parked cars in central Paris, in the latest outburst of anger at the controversial legislation.
Nationwide protests on Thursday saw 153,000 people take to the streets overall, officials said, though union leaders put the number at 300,000.
French authorities said 62 demonstrators were taken into custody across the country, 32 of them in the capital, while 15 security officers were injured in clashes.
Although some blockades on fuel depots and refineries in the north of the country were called off, many motorists were still stuck in long queues at petrol stations around France. A man in his 50s had to be airlifted to hospital after a motorist rammed a roadblock outside a petrol refinery at Fos-sur-Mer. Speaking in Japan after a summit with otherworld leaders, Hollande said France's economy was starting to pick up and should not be derailed by opponents of the reform. The Scripps National Spelling Bee ended in a tie for the third consecutive year on Thursday night, with Jairam Hathwar and Nihar Janga declared co-champions after a roller-coaster finish. Scripps made the bee tougher after two consecutive ties, forcing the last two spellers to get through three times as many words as in years past. In another change, bee organizers didn't stick to a predetermined list of "championship words" for the last two or three spellers. Because the best spellers become fluent in Latin and Greek roots, the bee went to words derived from trickier or more obscure languages, including Afrikaans, Danish, Irish Gaelic, Maori and Mayan.
Jairam's winning word was Feldenkrais, which is derived from a trademark and means a system of body movements intended to ease tension.
Among the words they got right: Kjeldahl, Hohenzollern, juamave, groenedael, zindiq and euchologion. This was the 89th bee, and while Scripps' records from early years are incomplete, the youngest known champion was Wendy Guey, who won 20 years ago at age 12.
The producer behind an Australian television program's involvement in a mother's botched child-snatching operation in Lebanon has lost his job, as the show's founder on Friday dubbed the debacle "the gravest misadventure in the program's history". The comment by Australia's 60 Minutes founder Gerald Stone came amid the release of a damning internal review into the incident, in which the program paid a so-called child recovery agency to snatch an Australian woman's two children back from her estranged Lebanese husband.
Sally Faulkner said her children's father, Ali al-Amin, took them from their home in Australia to Beirut on a holiday last year and never returned. Stephen Rice, the producer of the story, will leave the company effective immediately, according to a statement by the program's network, Channel Nine. The review, conducted by current and former Nine executives, cited a series of failures, including violating company policy by directly paying the child recovery agency to snatch the children. US President Barack Obama paid moving tribute on Friday to victims of the world's first nuclear attack, during a historic visit to Hiroshima, but did not apologize for his country's use of the atomic bomb. In a soaring speech watched by survivors of the atomic blast, Obama said the bomb that rent the city on August 6, 1945 "demonstrated that mankind possessed the means to destroy itself". Obama greeted aging survivors and embraced one elderly man who appeared overcome with emotion. He also chatted with a smiling Sunao Tsuboi, 91, who had earlier said he wanted to tell the US president how grateful he was for his visit.
Obama, wearing a dark suit, looked somber as he offered a wreath at the cenotaph, in the shadow of a wrecked building that stands in silent tribute to the dead. The president lowered his head and closed his eyes as he paused for a moment's contemplation, before withdrawing and watching Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe do the same.
There was some criticism of Obama as his visit could be interpreted as tantamount to an apology for the nuclear attacks on the two Japanese cities.
While Hiroshima commands the spotlight, Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Friday reminded the international community of the scars left by the massacre in Nanjing in 1937. On Dec 13, 1937, Japanese troops captured Nanjing, then China's capital, and started a barbarous spree killing that lasted over a month. On Dec 13 every year since 2014, China marks National Memorial Day for Nanjing Massacre Victims.
Motofumi Asai, former director of China and Mongolia division in Japan's foreign minister, called Obama's Hiroshima trip a showcase of celebration for a stronger Japan-US alliance. There is "zero possibility" of concrete initiatives on nuclear disarmament from the Obama administration that is due in months, Asai said.
US President Barack Obama delivers a speech at the cenotaph in Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima on Friday. The protesters included labor union members and college students, as well as survivors and relatives of victims of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in 1945. Hirotaka added that with the end of his last term in office approaching, Obama hoped to leave behind some political legacy. The Abe Cabinet issued a statement this April saying that the Constitution does not necessarily ban Japan from possessing and using nuclear weapons even though domestic and international laws limit the use of nuclear weapons. Nagasaki resident Hashizato Kougo said the Nagasaki survivors of the atomic bomb might become involved in war again as the Abe administration has not reflected on the war of aggression and passed the recent war legislation.
The new laws, marking Japan's biggest legislative postwar security shift and reversing seven decades of pacifism, will permit Japanese forces to engage in combat missions overseas in a move that has drawn the ire of Japan's neighbors and the international community for threatening to destabilize security and peace in the Asia-Pacific region.
Okinawa University student Akamine Chiaki said that criminal cases involving US soldiers repeatedly happened in Okinawa. On Wednesday, more than 4,000 Japanese rallied around the US Kadena Air Base in Japan's southernmost prefecture of Okinawa angry at the murder of a local woman. Obama extended "sincerest condolences and deepest regrets" over the murder late on Wednesday at a meeting with Abe ahead of the G7 summit. US President Barack Obama and CNN celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain were seen squeezing around a small table, enjoying cold local beer and grilled pork patties served in a bowl of fish sauce, along with vermicelli noodles, herbs and lettuce on the side.
By the time Obama was leaving the eatery, he was surrounded by crowds of Vietnamese greeting the president of a nation that was once Vietnam's bitter enemy. On the same day, Obama, with Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang standing at his side, unexpectedly announced the lifting of a longstanding arms embargo on Vietnam.
The news has been widely interpreted by Western media as a move to lure Vietnam from China into the US sphere or a move to counter the influence of a rising China, especially regarding maritime disputes in the South China Sea.
Obama said the decision to lift the arms ban was not based on China or any other considerations. His words were met with suspicion from many Chinese experts studying China-US relations, who see any visit by Obama to the region as move to undermine China's interests. Su Hao, a professor of Asia-Pacific studies at China Foreign Affairs University, told China Daily that it is obvious that the US aims to contain China by taking advantage of Hanoi's territorial disputes with Beijing.
Kurt Campbell, chairman of the Asia Group and assistant-secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs from 2009 to 2013, had accompanied Obama on several Asian trips. It was Obama's first trip to Vietnam and to Hiroshima, where the US military dropped its first atomic bomb on Aug 6, 1945. While about 58,000 US military personnel died during the Vietnam War, the death toll of Vietnamese soldiers and civilians was estimated at 3 million.
Tens of thousands of Vietnamese over three generations are still living with the effects of exposure to the herbicide Agent Orange, SkyNews quoted Vietnamese authorities as saying.
Obama became the first sitting US president to pay a brief visit on Friday to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial, also known as the Atomic Bomb Dome. In surveys, most Japanese have not demanded an apology from Obama, citing that Japan started the war. Inside the US, veterans and military historians insisted that Obama should not apologize because dropping the bombs was necessary to shorten the war and forestall an invasion of the Japanese island of Kyushu, which could have led to many more US casualties.
With a triumphant pile of delegates in hand, Republican Donald Trump on Thursday claimed support from "almost everybody" in his party and turned his attention to his likely Democratic presidential opponent, Hillary Clinton, who is still locked in a divisive primary contest.
Venezuela's opposition-controlled legislature is investigating 89 alleged cases of corruption involving current and former government officials amounting to $69 billion dollars, lawmaker Freddy Guevara said on Thursday.
Russian aircraft have delivered about 40 tons of UN food products to Syria's eastern city of Deir ez-Zor, which is besieged by Islamic State militants, said the Russian Center for Reconciliation of Opposing Sides in Syria on Thursday. A sixth man was charged on Friday in connection to Australia's so-called "tinnie terror" case in which a group of young men allegedly hoped to travel overseas on a small boat to join jihadists. A patrol boat and a fishing boat from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea returned to the north after crossing the maritime border with the Republic of Korea after the ROK military fired warning shots.
Three tourists are confirmed dead and one is still missing after a speedboat packed with foreign tourists capsized on its way to the tourist island of Koh Samui in Southern Thailand on Thursday. Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz has conveyed his best wishes to both Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and the Chinese people as this auspicious date approaches, and as Austria's ambassador to China, I would like to join him in expressing my warmest regards. I feel privileged to serve in Beijing as China continues to open up and introduce more international initiatives, guided by President Xi Jinping's vision of the "Chinese Dream".
During the state visit of Austrian President Heinz Fischer to Beijing in March 2015, he and Xi conferred about the revival of the Silk Road - the Belt and Road Initiative - and Fischer confirmed Austria's great interest in forging a deeper partnership with China. Austria's longstanding relations with and involvement in countries in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe, as well as those in Central Asia, give Austrian companies and institutions solid foundations for third-country cooperation with China. The Bank of China opened its first Austrian branch in our capital, Vienna, on March 8, and this highlighted the relevance of Austria and its capital as a market place and financial center. China's 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20) offers many opportunities for further deepening the existing bilateral trade and investment ties between our countries.
According to a recent poll by the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber, Austrian companies are confident that China's "Made in China 2025" initiative will likely lead to higher value inputs from Austrian companies to industrial processes, thus opening up opportunities for extended cooperation.
In the context of China's increasing level of private consumption, Austrian companies' presence in the highend consumer goods and lifestyle sectors in China is set to increase with products ranging from specialty food items such as cheese and chocolates to winter sports equipment.
Environmental issues and the move to greater resource and energy efficiency, which are major focus areas of the 13th Five-Year Plan, could also yield many opportunities for cooperation. There are also an increasing number of city-to-city cooperation initiatives around the smart city concept, including cultural projects and major events, as well as tourism know-how and training. Austrian companies, many of them world leaders in their fields, have successfully showcased their goods and services for years at the annual ISPO Beijing winter sports fair and are forging collaborations in their various fields of expertise with Chinese partners. Universities in China and Austria are cooperating more on winter sports and the Olympic committees of both countries are in regular communication. Building on longstanding agreements and excellent relations within the Eurasia Pacific Uninet framework, there has been increasing cooperation in science and technology over the past few years, with many joint projects carried out by Austrian and Chinese advanced research institutions. Legal cooperation between our countries will benefit from the impending conclusion of a bilateral treaty on legal assistance, which will hopefully assist in solving a number of serious fraud cases that have been detrimental to both countries. As one of the events to commemorate the 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations, a dialogue was held between Austrian and Chinese scholars on the Tao Te Ching's messages regarding state craft in Vienna in mid-May. Tourism is booming: More and more Chinese tourists - more than half a million annual - are discovering Austria and they are deciding to spend more time in the country - joining outdoor and sports activities, as well as visiting the traditional cultural must-sees in Vienna, Salzburg or Innsbruck. Austrian Airlines, with its cooperation partner Air China, currently operates direct flights between Vienna and Beijing, Shanghai and - as of September 2016 - also Hong Kong, making travel more convenient. Bilateral visits and people-to-people exchanges are intensifying, thanks to the bilateral Young Leaders Program and global Austrian Leadership Program, initiated in 2015 and 2016, respectively.
Numerous partnerships between Chinese and Austrian entities on various levels, from the regional to city level, together with friendship associations, also demonstrate the strong people-to-people contact between our two countries. Austria's relations with China are solidly embedded within the EUChina strategic partnership. As an observer within the "16+1" process, Austria welcomes the positive engagement from the EU to enhance connectivity between China's Belt and Road Initiative and existing EU infrastructure development programs. Let me conclude by expressing my deep personal gratitude to the many Chinese counterparts, officials and businesspeople, artists and journalists, and the many Chinese citizens whom I have been privileged to meet during more than four years of service in Beijing.


My husband Reinhard and I have often been deeply impressed by their commitment, professionalism and dedication, and the love they profess for their great country. As early as 1956, official economic relations were established with the signing of the first non-governmental trading agreement. With the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1971, bilateral trade and economic relations improved further.
The economic, legal and international framework for doing business in China has evolved dramatically over the last few years. As far as Austrian imports from China are concerned, labor-intensive and low-tech products are increasingly being replaced by highervalue items such as mobile phones, machines for data processing, optical apparatus and medical instruments. Austrian environmental technologies have for many years made inroads into the Chinese market for water treatment, industrial air purification and renewable energy products. Consumer goods and services related to lifestyle are rapidly growing in popularity among sophisticated clients.
George Yip believes China is moving aggressively from a strategy of imitation to one of innovation, driven by its scientific capability, manufacturing resources and huge domestic market. The professor of marketing and strategy at Imperial College Business School says the triple combination has been seen only twice before: the British Empire and the United States' commercial empire. George Yip believes China is moving aggressively from a strategy of imitation to one of innovation. China's scientific capability has come about because "the education system produces a lot of scientists and engineers, almost to Western standards but at a much lower cost", he says. Many Chinese who go to the West to study and to get doctorates are now encouraged to return to China through government initiatives such as the Thousand Talents Program, he says. He explains the reason it is possible to do R&D is that "you need a big market to amortize the cost of what you spend, and the Chinese market is so big, the second-largest market in the world".
Yip cites the example that China is starting to challenge aircraft makers Airbus and Boeing in the commercial jet sector. He says innovation in China is a mixture of learning from Western models and indigenous innovation.
Take Haier, for example, the multinational Chinese home appliances maker, with its well-known innovation story being how the company worked out how to allow farmers to wash potatoes as well as clothes.
He says when the company entered the US market, it started with "low innovation" by adding a folding tabletop so that refrigerators in university dorms could double as a desk.
The challenges for innovation in China lie in the fact the country started from a low base with basic, or even illegal, products, Yip says.
Another challenge, he argues, is that there has been fierce competition in China, which on the one hand brings pressure for low costs, but on the other creates pressure to be different, to innovate. Yip was born in Vietnam to a Eurasian mother and a Chinese-Indonesian father, and grew up in Hong Kong, Myanmar and Britain. His business experience ranges from marketing and product management to consulting and innovation. His current research on innovation in China began in 2011, when he was appointed as co-director of the China Europe International Business School's Centre on China Innovation.
He argues that although China may trail the West in radical and disruptive innovation, its companies are making a lot of money by being innovative in other ways, as most of the products that people buy are based on incremental innovation.
According to the Innovation Policy Platform, a radical or disruptive innovation is one that has a significant impact on a market and the economic activity of companies in that market, while incremental innovation concerns a significant enhancement or upgrade to an existing product, service, process, organization or method. Although Britain has been responsible for much radical innovation, such as the jet engine and television, he says the US has made money out of those through incremental innovation and manufacturing for the mass market, while Germany started out doing imitations of British products and doing applications innovation.
What is different about the Chinese companies' approach to innovation is that "it is fast incremental, and makes mistakes quickly, not trying for a radical innovation, but pragmatic, profitable, and very customer-focused".
While the West has focused on innovation for its own sake, Yip says China has been very practical - it wants innovation that makes money. Broad started out innovating with air conditioners using gas instead of electric, and its latest innovation is in building construction.
Yip notes that most Western companies, especially older ones, have become too cautious, partly because of domestic regulation at home, legal issues and bureaucratic strictures. He says he was also surprised to find that, in terms of management, Western companies are realizing that China is a good place to send managers to learn how to manage diversity and foreigners.
After strolling around the Auto China 2016 expo, which ran in Beijing from April 25 to May 4, and checking out 1,000 cars from more than 100 automakers, Luo Xin saw his future. The Volkswagen Multivan is one of his favorites, as the price is similar to a Mercedes-Benz V-Class, although he says he'd likely choose the Toyota Sienna because it is cost-effective and safe.
He reflects a change sweeping the passenger car market in China, where consumers no longer view vehicles as a means to show off, but as machines that serve a practical purpose. With the second-child policy now in place, more couples are expected to have two children, which is likely to boost the MPV segment.
Industry insiders predict that MPVs will this year overtake mid-size cars to become the third best-selling auto segment in China, just behind compact cars and sports utility vehicles. Krupinski says the second-child policy will have an impact on the population structure, family structure and economic development in the decades to come, and he believes that a bigger family size will create a need for bigger cars.
He was quoted as saying that young Chinese couples tend to live near their parents, so the second-child policy is expected to make family units larger.
According to Reuters, Toyota officials and dealers think the Voxy's interior comfort offers a more subtle way for China's rich to signal their wealth in a climate where overt excess is frowned upon. For example, the top best-selling models last year were the Wuling Hongguang microvan and the Baojun 730 minivan, both produced by SAIC-GM-Wuling, a joint venture between General Motors, SAIC Motor Corp and Guangxi Automobile. Popular models priced from 200,000 to 400,000 yuan are the Buick GL8 and the Honda Odyssey.
Zeng Zhiling, managing director of LMC Automotive Consulting, says the most important reason behind the rise in MPV sales is the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers' rejig of vehicle categories in 2013, which saw MPVs classified as minivans. The rising demand for logistics and commuting in the lower tier cities and towns, as well as the expected rise in use of MPVs by high-end families in the wake of the second-child policy, are also key reasons, he says.
Zhang Yu, managing director of Automotive Foresight Co, forecasts that the segment will grow at a rate of more than 10 percent year-on-year for the next five to six years. Zeng says most MPV buyers are from semi-urban areas and have budgets of 50,000 to 70,000 yuan.
After the introduction of China's second-child policy, families are expected to get larger, which auto industry insiders say will likely lead to a surge in demand for multipurpose vehicles.
Cao, a sales assistant for Sunfonda Group Holdings, the second-largest dealer in luxury and ultra-luxury cars in northwestern China, says he was constantly talking to prospective car buyers and visitors at the seven-day auto show in Xi'an. The high level of purchasing power of some consumers in China's western provinces is giving hope to makers of luxury cars who have been experiencing low sales growth and obstacles to their "go-west" strategy. Cao says many luxury brands have launched more models with lower prices, ranging from 250,000 to 350,000 yuan ($38,000 to $53,000; 34,000 to 48,000 euros). According to the expo organizers, the seven-day Xi'an auto show attracted 418,000 visitors and helped sell 14,219 cars for more than 4 billion yuan, 1 billion yuan more than the sales revenue from a similar exhibition in July. The location of Xi'an also helped attract visitors from neighboring provinces and autonomous regions such as Sichuan, Shanxi and the Inner Mongolia autonomous region. Record sales at Xi'an came in spite of another auto show being held at the same time in the northwestern city of Yinchuan in the Ningxia Hui autonomous region. According to the organizers of the four-day Yinchuan show, there were 220,000 visitors, and 2,309 vehicles were sold for 345 million yuan.
Liu Jiazhen, marketing director at Ningxia Jinrunbao Auto Sales Service Co, a major local BMW dealer, says the auto industry still sees good potential in western China.
In addition to popular Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi models, Lincoln Motor Co, a traditional luxury brand from the United States, is doing well.
After setting up stores in first-tier cities like Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, Lincoln opened a new store in Xi'an, the first one in western China, in January. Tian Jing, executive deputy general manager of Xi'an Haolin Lincoln Store, says the company has confidence that car buyers in the western region will bring in more revenue for Lincoln. Cao, the sales assistant, says he thinks only brands such as Aston Martin can be called luxury brands now. For some, many luxury car brands are less and less of a luxury because they are launching models targeted at young and middle-class consumers.
Prospective buyers of luxury cars in the region are those who have built their fortunes on soaring demand for mining resources like coal, oil and natural gas. Zhao Weiguo, chairman of chip giant Tsinghua Unigroup Ltd, commenting as Taiwan authorities were reported to have begun reviewing the Beijing-based firm's proposals to buy stakes worth some $1 billion in two Taiwan chip packaging and testing firms.
Hao Ziming, deputy Party secretary of Beijing Electric Vehicle Co, a subsidiary of BAIC Motor Corp.
Roche, the Swiss-based pharmaceuticals and diagnostics company, will continue to increase its investment in China as the nation adapts to new normal economic conditions, the company's chairman says.
Christoph Franz, chairman of the board of Roche Holding, says the company hopes for faster approvals in China for its breakthrough treatments. Roche has had a presence in China since 1994, when it set up a pharmaceutical branch in Shanghai.
China's aging population, growing individual wealth and the government's increasing investment in the healthcare sector are creating increasing opportunities, he says.
Roche announced last year it was investing 860 million yuan ($131 million; 117 million euros) in China in a new research and development center, which is expected to be completed in 2018. Franz outlined the challenges and opportunities Roche faces and its business strategy in an interview with China Daily. Innovation is our answer to the future and to ensure Roche's profit growth and pipeline expansion. How would you evaluate the performance of the Chinese market and its contributions to Roche's global results in 2015?
In 2015, China was the third-largest market for Roche's pharmaceuticals business and the second-largest market for Roche's diagnostics business. On the diagnostics side of our business we see very strong growth that is a reflection of China's investment in medical infrastructure and hospitals.
We have a long history of firsts, for example, we are the front-runner in personalized healthcare, the global leader in cancer treatment.
Roche plays an increasingly important role in shaping the future of medicine by contributing to the personalized healthcare approach.
We recognize that accessibility and affordability of innovative drugs is still an issue in many countries including China. In addition, the government has announced its goal of improving reimbursement coverage for critical illnesses, which will bring further opportunities.
Our targeted therapy for the treatment of (aggressive) Her2-positive breast cancer has not yet been included in the National Reimbursement Drug List, since its latest update is about six years ago, but through our efforts, as well as the support of the government, the therapy has been included in the reimbursement list of 11 provinces covering a total population of 350 million.
How do you view China's rapid economic growth over the past 20 years, and its recent slowdown? We have a long-term plan for our growth and success in China and a plan to provide more benefits to more Chinese patients. FLOWER POWER: A girl looks at some toy flowers on May 21 at an international expo for children's goods and entertainment equipment in Zhengzhou, capital of Henan province. German software company SAP SE is seeing big growth opportunities from China's e-commerce boom and its partnership with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, said Mark Gibbs, president of the software giant's China region, on May 24.
The insurance regulator has asked all of its branches to heighten vigilance against sales of products in the Chinese mainland by overseas insurers that break rules, Shanghai Securities News said on May 24. A group of Chinese investors has agreed to buy Aixtron SE, a German supplier of semiconductor equipment, for 670 million euros ($752 million), giving the manufacturer a chance to boost sales by expanding in Asia.
A consortium that includes sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corp and US buyout firm KKR & Co has ended discussions to buy a stake in Yum Brands Inc's China unit, people familiar with the matter said. E-commerce companies have been given a one-year buffer period to rethink their cross-border strategies, after the government released new regulations that ease controls introduced in April on certain imported goods sold online. China may open up its commodities futures market to overseas and financial investors, the country's securities regulator said, as the world's top consumer of many raw materials seeks to play a larger role in setting global commodities prices. BTS Group, which runs the Skytrain mass transit system in Bangkok, has signed a contract to buy 24 trains from CRRC Changchun Railway Vehicles Ltd and another 22 trains from Siemens AG, according to media reports. Chen Tianqiao, the founder of Shanda Group, who a decade ago was China's youngest billionaire, has led the purchase of an 11.7 percent stake in online lender Lending Club Corp, according to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. MP & Silva, a sports media company whose partners include the National Football League, Formula 1 racing and the English Premier League, has agreed to sell a controlling stake to a group led by Beijing Baofeng Technology Co, which went public last year. Wanda Group was scheduled to open its first outdoor entertainment complex in Jiangxi province on May 28. The launch of Nanchang Wanda City looks well timed by the company's ambitious founder, Wang Jianlin, to take at least some of the thunder from its biggest potential rival. An artist's impression of Wanda Mall, part of Nanchang Wanda City in Jiangxi province, which will open on May 28.
On June 16, the gates are due to open to what is arguably China's most anticipated park, the Shanghai Disney Resort, the US entertainment giant's first venture on the mainland. According to the Chinese Tourism Academy, total domestic tourism revenue last year soared to 4 trillion yuan ($610 billion; 545 billion euros), about 230 billion yuan of which was generated by theme parks.
Wang and his property conglomerate have ambitious entertainment plans right across the country and have spared no effort in telling the Chinese public where they will be able to find the most fun, at the right price. In recent months, Wanda's top management have also been equally bullish, insisting its venues will beat Disney hands down in terms of visitor numbers and total revenue once it has rolled out what could eventually be as many as 20 Wanda Cities nationwide by 2020.
Ben Cavender, the principal of China Market Research Group, however, is more balanced in his predictions for the market. A ticket to the first Wanda City outdoor theme park in Nanchang costs 198 yuan during the week and 248 yuan on weekends and holidays, compared with Disney's 370 yuan and 499 yuan respectively. Liu Mingsheng, a spokesman for Wanda, says its ticket prices have been calculated based on its investment at the site: Nanchang Wanda City cost 20 billion yuan to build compared with 34 billion yuan for Shanghai Disney.
US theme park giant Universal Studios Inc also plans to open a flagship site in Beijing, but most of Wanda's complexes are in cheaper second-tier cities, helping the company to build more in the future. After Nanchang, Hefei Wanda City in the capital of Anhui province is expected to open in September, and there are five others already under construction, in Harbin in Heilongjiang province, Guangzhou in Guangdong province, Wuxi in Jiangsu province, Chengdu in Sichuan province and Guilin in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.
Lynn Xu, senior vice-president at Nielsen Greater China, predicts massive growth and potential in years to come for theme parks, particularly in third-tier cities and rural areas, where competition will be far less fierce than in big population centers such as Beijing and Shanghai. Wang Jianlin, chairman of Wanda Group, recently sat down for an interview with China Central Television and said he bets the Shanghai Disney Resort, which is scheduled to open on June 16, will not make any profit in the next 20 years due to the existence of Wanda.
First, we have to admit that Disney is a global entertainment business, especially in the amusement industry.
As an outdoor amusement park, Disney has an advantage: a great amount of international properties. The weather in Shanghai is not good for an outdoor park, as it rains a lot during the summer and gets cold in winter.
It's hard to understand for many people in the international and the domestic capital market why Wanda would delist to privatize just 18 months after going public in Hong Kong, which they would think cost more than going public in the first place. Disney is playing karate, which expands with franchising with its brand around the world without paying money. Of course, it's not easy to get to this status, which is based on a good reputation, brand influence and trust from people for a long time. Traveling to the Earth's stratosphere in a balloon and returning in a parachute will soon be a thrill that's possible for the public in China, according to some high-flying local entrepreneurs.
JHY Space Technology Co Ltd (known as Space Vision), a Beijing-based company, released China's first "space parachute" suit on May 19.
Professional parachutists Wang Desong, He Yufeng and Qi Yao (from left to right) unveil China's first "space parachute" suit on May 19 in Beijing.
In the next few months, the company says, it will test related equipment, and recruit more volunteers for training. The first three who've said they're willing to give it a try are an entrepreneur, a champion parachutist and an aircraft engineer. While they wouldn't be traveling to outer space, they would go beyond the troposphere, the lowest of the five main layers of the atmosphere, 7 to 20 kilometers thick, where the weather happens. The target is the next layer of the atmosphere, the stratosphere, which is very thin, dry and cold. Jiang Fang, founder and president of Space Vision, says many technical experts have endorsed the feasibility of the commercial tour, and China's flight system technology for spacesuits is mature enough for such a project. Jiang expects the "space parachuting" trip to cost around 500,000 yuan ($76,400; 68,100 euros). The commercial project would be launched in Sanya, in South China's Hainan province, a tropical island with lots of open area around it, clean air and a space launch center. By 2030, China hopes to become an aerospace power, thanks in part to the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20) to drive aerospace growth. China Railway Engineering Equipment Group Co Ltd, one of the Chinese manufacturers that has developed its own independent shield tunneling machine, aims to secure a greater market share around the globe, according to the company's top executive. According to Li, the independently manufactured shield tunneling machine is a good example of China's efforts to move from "Made in China" to "Created in China".
CREG is a subsidiary of state-owned China Railway Group Ltd, focusing on the development and production of shield tunneling machines and tunnel boring machines. This year, CREG will produce 60 to 80 sets of shield tunneling machines for the domestic market and also export to Israel, India, Singapore and other countries.
Li notes that the need for infrastructure construction remains, even though global economic growth is slowing. His company plans to move its factories abroad so as to bring down transportation costs and as well as offer jobs locally. According to a report on shield tunneling machines by Beijing-based Bosi Data Research Center, these devices have great advantages over traditional excavators in that they are safer, faster and more convenient. Song says that China's technology for shield tunneling machine manufacturing is on par with the best in the world. Yet Song says it has made some major steps in terms of technological breakthroughs, and now marketing is particularly important in enhancing its brand recognition. CREG has exported its products mostly to Asian countries, including Malaysia, Vietnam, India and Singapore. In one project in Singapore, for instance, it's the first time that rectangular pipe jacking has been used in the country to build tunnels.
Su says that employing such a novel method did not interrupt the traffic on the ground, with all work taking place below the surface. With a long whistle, a train left the station in Central China's Zhengzhou city to the applause of dozens of European leaders on May 20. The Zhengzhou-Europe International Block Train takes 10 days to travel 10,214 kilometers across six European and Asian countries and to deliver Chinese goods to Hamburg, Germany, from where the cargo reaches other parts of Europe.
European representatives at the Zhengzhou-Europe Block Train during their visit to Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan province. The European well-wishers were from more than 30 political parties from 24 countries, regional political parties and political groups in the European Parliament. One of the reasons for their enthusiasm is that the train is a tangible example of the opportunities to draw the regions together, such as China's Belt and Road Initiative and green development, as discussed at the forum. The Zhengzhou-Europe Block Train is one of the most important transportation links of the Belt and Road Initiative. The initiative encompasses the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, which use investment and trade to link China, Europe and other areas. During their visit to Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan province, the European delegates attended the Economic and Trade Dialogue of the China-Europe political parties forum. Zhao Jiancai, vice-governor of Henan province, says Europe is one of Henan's most important trade partners. Zhengzhou has opened air passenger routes and 32 cargo airlines to seven cities in the European Union such as Frankfurt, Amsterdam and Milan.
Henan is a dynamic and innovative part of China, with more than 12,000 new businesses registered every day, Zhao says. Last year, the province's smartphone output exceeded 200 million units, about one seventh of the world's production. Henan's exports to Europe mainly consist of cellphones, tires, steel, bags and suitcases, garments, chinaware and auto parts, and its imports from Europe are mostly iron and copper ore, metalworking machine tools, integrated circuits and microelectronic components, and cosmetics. More than 300 EU companies are investing in Henan, while companies in the province have increased their investment in the EU to $700 million, says Jiao Jinmiao, director of the Henan Provincial Commerce Department.
Du Junfu, president of Shuanghui Group, China's largest pork producer, says it does business in more than 40 countries, and earned a revenue of $21.2 billion last year. The EU leaders expressed great interest in the goods that had just arrived in Zhengzhou from the EU, including wine and milk, as well as the different types of buses exported to Europe by the Yutong Group, a conglomerate based in Zhengzhou. Catherine West, foreign secretary in the British Labour Party's shadow cabinet, says the United Kingdom is interested in working with China on green technology and increasing exports to China.
Grund says Germany and all of Europe is talking about how to improve transportation and increase green technology in the auto industry, and there is potential in this sector for collaboration between China and Europe.
Services-related online consumption in China has surged in the past five years, according to a report by the China Academy of New Supply-side Economics and research company Ant Financial, the financial arm of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. This year, the value of services-related online consumption accounts for 25 percent of the total. Shoppers at a party organized by Alibaba, the country's largest e-commerce service provider, in Shanghai. Over the past five years, people have bought more and more products online and obtained services through online payments. For instance, more people choose to book taxis by ride-hailing apps, as well as reserve restaurants and movie tickets online. The scale of services-related online consumption has risen by 70 times in five years, and the average monthly growth rate was 7 percent.
Sectors including catering, air travel, education and lifestyle services have witnessed tremendous business growth. They saw an annual increase of more than 70 percent, and those companies have become new engines that are driving national consumption. He says from a macro point of view, it showed that the strong online consumption had become a "dark horse" in the picture of overall consumption, and it would contribute to further growth in consumption. When it comes to area, Beijing, Shanghai and the provinces of Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Guangdong have topped the list, with what is called the highest enjoyment-type consumption.
These include spending on cosmetics, jewelry and sports and entertainment, indicating that the more developed the city or region is, the higher level of services-related consumption they have achieved.
On the other hand, the number of consumers from third- and fourth-tier cities and rural areas has shown a steady increase. Last year, 63 percent of online consumers came from third- and fourth-tier cities, up from 55 percent in 2011. For instance, men shell out more money on catering, culture and educational services, sports and entertainment, cars and air travel. When a harried shopper goes to buy a T-shirt at a Uniqlo store but is faced with a dizzying array of hundreds of designs, how does she choose? A company called Dentsu Aegis has come up with a novel solution: The shopper can put a digital device over her head, watch a short video, and the device records brain waves reacting to the video.
Visitors experience the brainwave-sensing technology designed by Dentsu at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Shanghai on May 12. The brainwave-sensing technology designed by Dentsu was introduced at a Uniqlo store in Sydney, Australia, last year and is expected to be available in China and other countries soon. This type of cutting-edge technology is what Tim Andree and his well-equipped digital team at Dentsu Aegis Network are busy working on - crafting a digital marketing strategy that's innovative and surprising. Andree, 55, executive chairman of Dentsu Aegis Network, which consolidates Dentsu's operations outside Japan, is pretty surprising himself.
First, he's a 2.1-meter-tall former professional basketball player who was drafted by the NBA's Chicago Bulls in 1983 but then became a free agent.
Prior to joining Dentsu, Andree held senior marketing positions at Toyota, Canon, BASF and the NBA. Andree says his basketball experience was an important form of self-development and teamwork that has helped him in business. Dentsu has been in China for more than 20 years, and has evolved with the development of the industry.
With yearly organic growth of 17 percent over the past four years, the Chinese operations of the company have become Dentsu's third largest, after Japan and the US.
Unlike its rivals in China with a legacy in traditional media, Dentsu has accelerated acquisitions in China. Andree says the most important element is talent: "To take all of the complexity and technology and turn it into value - value for both clients and consumers. Digital advertising depends greatly on strong technological support, and Dentsu has both its own subsidiary and collaborative technical firms such as Dentsu Robotics Business Operations, Dentsu Media Laboratory and Dentsu ScienceJam. Since big data became a popular concept in 2008, it has become one of the most repeated terms in China. That has created problems for global firms that are accustomed to data-based analytical methods. Drafted by Chicago Bulls, played in professional leagues in Italy, Spain, Monaco and Japan. When Zhang Lingxin was studying at Hunan Golf and Tourism College in Changde, in Central China's Hunan province, his coach gave him a tip that changed his game: focus on the ball and aim long, but at the target, or the hole, not the ball. However, last year, when the 23-year-old finished school and started looking for a job, he did the exact opposite. Having spent a few months working as a caddie at a golf club in Guangzhou in South China's Guangdong province, carrying clubs and collecting balls for some of the country's richest businessmen, Zhang decided to change the focus of his career and aim for a most unlikely group: the youngest golfers.
His decision to concentrate on teaching juniors came on the back of arguably the most dramatic change China's golf industry has experienced in the three decades since the game was revitalized by business executives from Hong Kong and Macao. Since late 2013, golf, along with extravagant wining and dining, has been a major casualty of the country's anti-corruption campaign.
China's golf industry last year saw a significant decline for the first time since the 1980s, according to a white paper published in March by the Forward Group, a specialist golf management company based in Shenzhen, Guangdong. The company estimated that there were approximately 390,000 "core golfers" - defined as those who play at least eight times a year - in China last year, a decline of almost 5 percent from 2014.
More than 100 of the country's 600 or so golf courses have closed, and about 50 percent of those that remained are in debt, the paper said. Despite the bleak overall picture, one man in Shanghai plans to use his 10-year-old son and the boy's millions of peers to rescue the sport. Mi is not the first person in China to attempt to make a business out of teaching children golf, but the 36-year-old Shanghai native is definitely the first to join with public primary schools in the city to make the game more accessible, if not free, to children from "non-superrich families", as he puts it. He has convinced the principals of 11 schools to put the game on their syllabuses as an option for PE lessons or after-school exercise.
She noted that there has been a shift in attitude toward sports among the new generation of parents.
Now, though, sports - especially Western sports - are considered a plus to make a resume look better when students apply to schools overseas. Peng Keng, an event manager at IMG China, the agency that manages junior golf games organized by HSBC, has witnessed rising interest in the game among Chinese parents.
He recalls that when his staff first helped start the HSBC games in 2006, they traveled around the country to find children who could swing a club, but only managed to find 30. A report by Dazheng Golf, a golf services and marketing agency that's part of Beijing Dazheng Chengping Culture Communication Co, shows that by the end of last year there were 3,381 registered junior golfers in China. The number of junior golfers, especially those younger than 12, is rising by 30 to 40 every year. Government intervention and a nationwide passion to get out of the house for daily exercise are believed to be major drivers of the growth of affordable golf and other sports.
In October 2014, the State Council issued a guideline to accelerate the development of the domestic sports industry. This popular team game - especially the sevens version - is a growing presence in Chinese schools, where parents regard it as a positive way of developing children's physical and mental toughness. A number of amateur junior clubs have been founded in at least eight cities, including Beijing, Shanghai and Qingdao in Shandong province, where children practice sevens and touch rugby (which involves minimal physical contact). The National University Rugby Sevens Championship has been played annually since 2013, with last year's event attracting 12 male and eight female college teams from across the country. Yet to many, he's also a heroic marine conservationist who risks his life and those of his crew to save countless endangered whales, turtles, dolphins and sharks from slaughter. And his influence reached new heights with the award-winning documentary Sharkwater, which conservationists say resulted in shark finning being banned worldwide. During an interview with The Associated Press in Paris, Watson - a dual US-Canadian citizen - was stopped four times in the street by fans of all nationalities who asked for autographs. Watson now lives as an international fugitive in a luxurious 18th-century chateau near Bordeaux. And as the conflicts in Syria and Iraq feed a new wave of refugees, hundreds of whom have perished at sea lacking any kind of documents, a new challenge is emerging. He identified the injured adults as two men and a woman who is the mother of some of the children.
Nengi James, a chairman of the Nembe Oil and Gas Committee that liaises with oil firms, said vandals had targeted the Agip pipeline, which had been attacked before. Shell declared force majeure on Bonny Light loadings after a previous attack on the Nembe creek trunk pipeline, but some exports had been continuing with delays.
British Foreign Minister Philip Hammond this month cautioned President Muhammadu Buhari that he needed to deal with poverty and anger over pollution from oil spills in the region.
A German ship patrolling to intercept smugglers' boats also was involved in four separate rescue operations, the Italian coast guard said on Saturday evening. The shipwrecks appear to account for the largest loss of life reported in the Mediterranean since April 2015, when a single ship sank with an estimated 800 people trapped inside.
The Italian navy took horrific pictures of that capsizing even as it rushed to rescue as many people as possible from the sea. Di Benedetto said the survivors were among 500 or so aboard the one fishing boat that didn't sink and the dinghy. Several Russian ministers also expressed interest in the privatization of Greek railways and in the northern port of Thessaloniki, but no major deals were announced. The Russian leader praised the spiritual uplift and moral guidance provided by the austere monastic community in a sacred place. He described a newly expanded US missile defense system in Europe as a threat to Russia's national security and said his country would retaliate.
Greek tourist officials said Putin's visit would help encourage more Russians to visit Greece.
Instead of the usual small ferry, the Russian president used a 33-meter yacht provided by the Greek navy.
He was taken to Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, where he is expected to recover. He said tranquilizing the gorilla wouldn't have knocked it out immediately, leaving the boy in danger. The mass exodus was witnessed in the towns of Sheikh Issa, Mare' and other towns in the northern province of Aleppo, as a result of the IS attacks on these areas that are under the control of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces. Governor of the Reserved Bank of Zimbabwe, or the central bank, John Mangudya was quoted as saying by the Sunday Mail newspaper that the launch date was around August or September. The Verdun battle was one of the longest in World War I, lasting more than 300 days from February to December 1916. The poll, which the Observer newspaper said was the biggest of its kind drawing responses from more than 600 economists, is a boost for Prime Minister David Cameron, who is leading the campaign for Britain to stay in the 28-member bloc at a referendum on June 23 despite opposition from some in his party. Delhi deputy police commissioner Ishwar Singh said altercations and scuffles took place on Thursday night after locals became offended by Africans playing loud music and drinking alcohol in the street. He did not disclose the contract value or the type of nuclear technology to be used for the reactor.
Chinese nuclear companies are already making inroads in global nuclear markets, including Britain and Argentina.
Compiled by reporters Li Xiaokun, Zhang Yunbi and Liu Xiaoli, the articles cover a range of topics and provide an insight into what life is like on South China Sea islands. It clearly proves that generations of Chinese fishermen have worked on the island," says Zhou Weimin, a retired professor with Hainan University. This book also contains many other details, including the weather conditions and ocean currents for every month. The Paracel Islands, for example, are named from a Portuguese word meaning "stone reef", which originally comes from the Chinese. Zhou says the ancient Chinese did not name the others because many of them are submerged or partly submerged banks. That is to safeguard national territorial integrity and maintain regional peace and tranquility.
Article 4 of the declaration makes it crystal clear that the dispute must be resolved by the directly concerned states.
Yet China and the EU are not disputing parties, and the South China Sea issue is not an issue between the two.
We also hope the EU will play a constructive role by supporting the resolution of the disputes through negotiation between the directly concerned parties, and support the efforts of China and the ASEAN to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea.


But unions are demanding the reforms be scrapped altogether, arguing they favor business at the expense of workers' rights and are unlikely to bring down high unemployment. Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve called for a probe into the incident that led to the man's injuries. No one will know whether the bee had harder words in reserve, but former spellers said Jairam and Nihar nailed the toughest words in recent memory.
In April, Faulkner and a 60 Minutes crew covering her story went to Beirut in a bid to get back the children. The scientific revolution that led to the splitting of the atom requires a moral revolution as well. Many in the United States believe bombings were necessary to bring an earlier end to World War II and save thousands of lives. He said that while Hiroshima is worthy of attention, Nanjing should not be forgotten and deserves even more attention. More than 300,000 Chinese civilians and soldiers who had laid down their arms were murdered and over 20,000 women were raped.
For the two allies, Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Pearl Harbor have been the thorns in their relations.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is a historical revisionist and always tries to justify the war of aggression. He said the murder was a "tragedy" and "inexcusable", and pledged to continue to cooperate fully with the investigation to ensure that justice is done under the Japanese justice system.
And we hope this will be conducive to regional peace, stability and development," spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Tuesday. He interpreted the trip to Vietnam and Hiroshima as not about China, but more about reconciliation with nations of two major wars.
In his remarks at Hiroshima, he will continue to promote his 2009 vision of a nuclear free world.
The center said the aid was delivered via parachutes, and a few tons of humanitarian aid have also been delivered to the Al-Kabu area in the central province of Homs and the Azizia area in the northern province of Aleppo. Australian Federal Police said a 25-year-old Melbourne man was charged on suspicion of preparing to enter a foreign country to engage in hostile activities. Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff said on Friday that the DPRK patrol and fishing boats were some 640 meters south of the Northern Limit Line in the west sea at 7:30 am. Two of the three victims are respectively from the United Kingdom and Germany, while a newly found female corpse remains to be confirmed whether she is the former reported missing tourist from Hong Kong.
Austria has since joined the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank as a founding member and our trade organization Advantage Austria cooperates with other interested chambers of commerce on a Silk Road Platform. It is timely, therefore, that the embassy's team has been strengthened by the addition of an attachi??i?? for agriculture and environment issues. Chengdu and Vienna are both developing major new urban developments: the Tianfu New Area in Chengdu and the Aspern Seestadt Initiative in Vienna. As China prepares to host the 2022 Winter Olympics there is also a drive to broaden the appeal of winter sports to the wider Chinese public. Austria has successfully hosted the Olympic Winter Games twice, the Youth Olympic Winter Games once, and is an annual host of major world-cup races and world championship events in winter sports. At Shanghai's Fudan University, the Austrian Center recently celebrated its 10th anniversary and Technical University of Graz recently opened a liaison office at Shanghai's Tongji University. Many Austrian orchestras perform regularly in China, artworks, from both the past and present are showcased in China and Austrian artists hold many successful exhibitions.
Viennese balls - which in the past have been successfully held in Beijing and Shanghai - combine the pleasures of good music with elegant entertainment and delicious cuisine. Visa application procedures have become more customer-friendly since the Chinese government has authorized Austria to operate visa application centers in 15 locations in China earlier this year.
A new Austrian current affairs television program is broadcast live from Beijing several times a year and will contribute to increasing mutual knowledge. Austria actively contributes to the shaping of this partnership, in particular in the areas of the China-Europe Water Platform, where Austria, together with the International Center for Small Hydro Power, leads on small hydro power; or on issues of the rights of women, children and persons with disabilities.
The EU-China Summit, which will be held in July will undoubtedly further enhance the quality and intensity of the strategic partnership to which Austria continues to be fully committed.
Let me also pay tribute to and thank every member of the team at the Austrian embassy in Beijing for their superb service. In 1964, the Austrian Economic Chamber and the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade laid the foundation for a very fruitful cooperation.
Several agreements - on investment protection, technical and scientific cooperation, and double taxation - were signed. With slower economic growth and a shift toward the manufacturing of more technologically advanced products, competition has intensified considerably. In 2015, according to Austrian statistics, it passed the 11-billion-euro ($12.35 billion) threshold, making China Austria's fifth-largest trading partner worldwide. Austrian exports to China are dominated by automotive products, specialized machines, electric and electronic devices and chemicals to satisfy the demand created by China's industrial modernization.
Recently, China's plans for rural development have created a niche market for Austria's unique know-how and technologies in the fields of forestry and agriculture.
Plus, Chinese companies have grown large and are rich enough to invest in research and development, particularly private enterprises.
He started his career at Unilever, working in marketing and product management, and also was a senior manager at Price Waterhouse's strategic management consulting services in Boston. Together with fellow professor Bruce McKern, Yip published research last month in a new book, China's Next Strategic Advantage: From Imitation to Innovation. He says he was particularly dazzled with the innovation he saw at Broad Group, a private manufacturer of central air conditioning in Changsha, Hunan province. Sales hit about 1 million units in 2013, accounting for almost 7 percent of the passenger vehicle market, just 4 percent less than small cars. And in China, trends that catch on at the premium end traditionally spread quickly through the rest of the market.
Low-end models priced below 100,000 yuan ($15,200; 13,600 euros) currently account for the majority of sales. For the high-end niche, the typical model is the Mercedes-Benz V-Class, a replacement for the Viano, which ranges in price from 500,000 to 600,000 yuan.
A growing number of young people are considering buying a Mercedes-Benz, a BMW or an Audi as their first car.
The ultra-luxury car segment in western China has gone cold, savaged by the commodities' price drop, which has severely affected incomes of the rich in the region. But their wealth has shrunk in recent years because of coal mine bankruptcies due to falling prices and weak demand. Hao spoke on May 23 as the company planned to raise funds through an initial public offering to enlarge its production capacity.. Over the past two decades, it has developed a complete value chain covering research and development, manufacturing and sales, Franz says. Through our research we create state-of-the-art diagnostics and pioneering medicine that help millions of people. Our strengths in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics enable us to better fit treatments to patients.
It's imperative for Roche to find solutions to address the unmet needs of Chinese patients. Roche has made tremendous efforts to improve affordability in terms of reimbursement breakthroughs at the provincial and city levels, in collaboration with the government, charity foundations and private healthcare insurance providers. Roche invested considerably to build the full value chain in China from R&D and manufacturing to marketing and sales.
Proud as we are of our past and present achievements, however, the future is what we are excited about. Gibbs spoke after SAP Greater China delivered strong financial performance in the first quarter. It said the China Insurance Regulatory Commission has asked all branches to investigate cases of domestic consultancies, wealth management and insurance firms receiving payments from foreign firms, or holding summits or advertising regarding foreign insurance products. The offer is being made through a unit of Fujian Grand Chip Investment Fund that is 51 percent owned by Zhendong Liu, a Chinese business executive, Aixtron said. Kentucky-based Yum Brands, owner of Pizza Hut and KFC, has been looking to spin off its 7,205 China restaurants this year amid pressure from activist investor Corvex Management. The country's customs authority said it will continue to allow the direct importation of cosmetics, baby formula, medical equipment and healthcare-related food in 10 cities, without permission, or the filing of special applications. China's commodities exchanges will also maintain a close eye on movements in the futures market, China Securities Regulatory Commission Vice-Chairman Fang Xinghai said.
The 46 four-car trains from both the Chinese producer of mass transit vehicles and German-based train maker will be used for the Thai capital's green lines and their extension in the next 10 years. In a continued move away from the online games industry in which Chen made his early fortune, the Singapore-based investment company said it is teaming up with three other investors in acquiring the stake. Disney has opened six theme parks around the world, attracting a total of about 130 million visits a year, which makes it the biggest tourism enterprise globally.
But it can also be a burden, as Disney has been expanding based on international property rather than exploring new products or business models. The price-earnings ratio of Wanda's Hong Kong shares was just 5, making a market value even lower than our net assets, which is unacceptable.
When Wanda starts to plan a merger, we think over the goals, how we do business, how we make a profit, and what kind of business model we choose from the very beginning, and through private listing or issuing new shares after it goes public, we dilute the costs. The trip up would be in a high-tech balloon and the trip back in a customized suit with radar, image transmission, ground-based monitoring and communication capability, and, of course, a specialized parachute.
He expects plenty of potential customers in China who have the courage, physical strength, skills and wealth to take the plunge. Experts say that with government policy encouraging it, demand for the brand new industry is increasing, and many other private aerospace companies are emerging. A shield is a protective structure that serves in essence as a temporary support during tunneling. China used to rely completely on imports until 2008, when CREG developed its own shield tunneling machine independently after six years of research.
But international recognition of our brand is still very low," says Su Wenyang, deputy project director of the company's overseas department. That's where rectangular pipes are jacked into place right behind a boring machine using hydraulic jacks. Moreover, it has effectively prevented collapsing or swelling in shallow earth excavation, Su adds. They were in China attending the fifth China-Europe High-Level Political Parties Forum in Beijing.
The province has seen great developments in emerging industries such as electronic information, equipment manufacturing, bioenergy and new energy cars. In Europe, the company has eight pork processing factories in Poland and one in Romania, and combined annual sales of about $1.4 billion. Europe has advanced agricultural technology, rich natural resources and good products and equipment, but they need external markets, while China has the largest market but lacks resources and needs importation of products. The group is the political alliance of the Christian Democratic Union of Germany and Christian Social Union in Bavaria.
In 2011, it took up only 4.3 percent, according to the report, which collected data from 450 million Chinese online consumers. Then, it recommends a few designs based on the device's perception of mood and preferences. The United States native also is executive vice-president of Dentsu Inc, the first non-Japanese director and member of the board of the world's fifth-largest advertising holding company. He also played in professional leagues in Italy, Spain, Monaco and Japan, where he made business connections.
He joined Dentsu in 2006 as CEO of Dentsu America, and that same year, was named Dentsu Inc's first non-Japanese executive officer. But the real growth in China has come since its acquisition of the British digital media company Aegis Media four years ago, a move also led by Andree. Dentsu Aegis Network acquired local digital agencies, including this year Darwin Marketing Ltd of Shanghai and Shanghai VeryStar Internet Science and Technology Co Ltd. The big change is that consumers are now much more informed than before, so the messages coming from the brand have to create value for that person.
However, doubts have been raised at times about the validity of some big data in China, especially in the notoriously chaotic e-commerce industry, in which some data and rankings have been called into question. So, last year, Dentsu Aegis Network China formed strategic alliances for data with Tencent and Alibaba, the internet giants, which enabled the company to break through the isolation of data "islands" and jointly build a new, open environment for digital marketing, according to Dentsu.
And I didn't want their fears to come true," says Zhang, a native of Huaihua, about three hours from Changde by train. It has been wrongly associated with aristocrats and corruption for too long," says Mi Yao, founder of the Yao Shine Golf School, where Zhang is now employed to coach juniors. He estimates that 2,000 students have taken their first swing with a golf club because of his program, which started in September. When they were at school, sports usually was the province of academically poor students who hoped their sporting skills would enable them to earn a living. However, for the 2016 tournament, the first round of which kicked off in Guangzhou in March, they had to raise the threshold for participants. Peng estimates that around 100 games are tailored for junior golfers in China, but that still doesn't meet the surging demand. But there is a high dropout rate among teens ages 15 to 17, who are unable to combine golf with their increasingly heavy academic workload, Peng says.
Putin said the Orthodox tradition shared by Russia is particularly important at this moment in history.
Strained ties with Turkey and lax airport security in Egypt have reduced the number of Russian tourists going to those sun-drenched countries. Sunday's commemorations at Verdun took place in the rain, and Hollande held an umbrella for Merkel and himself as they made their way to the German cemetery Consenvoy to lay a wreath. Sriram also got a word wrong during his bee, but his eventual co-champion, Ansun Sujoe, flubbed his chance at the solo title. But after agents hired by 60 Minutes grabbed the children off a Beirut street, the four-member TV crew, Faulkner, two agents from the Britain-based Child Abduction Recovery International company and two Lebanese men were jailed on kidnapping charges. The Japanese government is portraying Japan as a victim country through Obama's Hiroshima visit and diminishing the facts of Japan's invasion in the past," said Hiroshima student Morita Hirotaka. Works by Chinese artists whose theme is the denunciation of violence against women is currently on display in the Austrian residence. I am both humbled and proud to have the opportunity to make my own small contribution to the further unfolding of bilateral relations between Austria and China for the shared benefit of our peoples. In addition, partnerships between provinces and cities in both countries were established and direct flights between Austria and China were introduced. Industrial sectors which had turned out quick profits only a few years ago are now suffering due to overcapacity.
Chinese investments in Austria are also on the rise, profiting from Austria's geographic location and highly developed industry and services sectors. We are one of very few companies in the world that has consecutively increased dividends over the past 29 years.
This is the largest R&D investment in the healthcare industry, and underscores our innovative focus.
In our research pipeline, 60 percent of our medicines are developed, together with diagnostic tests.
One of the most important aspects for us is to have a level playing field with regard to regulatory processes, such as approval processes or reimbursement coverage.
I like to interact with people, love to work with them, talk to them to exchange ideas and get a variety of perspectives.
SAP has joined with Alibaba Cloud in April to help local businesses accelerate digital transformation. One of the main sticking points was the CIC consortium's desire to have majority control in the China business, which Yum reportedly would not entertain due to negative tax implications.
Companies have been told they have until May 11 next year to bring imported goods into bonded warehouses in the cities - including Shanghai, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Zhengzhou, Guangzhou and Shenzhen - without having to complete the customs clearance forms originally required. I think they have to keep a high price strategy to make up for the high cost, which will lose customers.
There is only one Disneyland, in Shanghai, but Wanda has almost 20 amusement parks nationwide, and the number is still growing. This is different from the traditional type of privatizations, in which major shareholders usually take control.
Some overseas investment banks think Wanda has caused huge finance burdens with its continuous mergers and acquisitions. Professional parachutist He Yufeng intends to become the world's first woman "space parachutist" after her tryout. More than 50 companies from countries along the way are using the train to transport goods, says Zhao Wenming, general manager of the Zhengzhou International Hub Development and Construction Co Ltd, which runs the service. During the first quarter of this year, bilateral trade exceeded $2.4 billion, double that of the first quarter of 2015.
Over the past 10 years, he has been working closely with others in the company to help it expand on a bigger global stages.
Chinese consumers are very e-commerce-driven and adaptive to technology, so big data becomes of great value in determining consumer habits and preferences in China.
They have collaborated in such areas as big data management platforms, consumer study systems and consumer tracking platforms, with the goal of increasing the diversity, breadth and depth of data, enhancing the understanding of consumers' online behavior and their attitude toward brands, the company says. We have to create cultures that empower people, and even if cultures differ, values are shared," he says.
All this helped to boost and secure the development of trade and investment between the two countries. At the same time, Austrian companies are finding many new and exciting opportunities in a variety of sectors. The graduation will bring together hundreds of students, parents, professionals and leaders from the state of Ohio and national leaders in education.A Invited dignitaries include Ohio Governor John Kasich, Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman, Columbus Schools Superintendent Dr.
As for Shanghai Disney Resort, however, I bet it won't make any profit in the next 10 to 20 years.
Gene Harris; Westerville Schools Superintendent Dan Good, Southwestern Schools Superintendent Bill Wise, Governors Director of Minority Affairs Lynn Stevens, representatives from the Ohio State University, Ohio University, Columbus State, Denison University, Capital University, Franklin University, Ohio Department of Education, and other county, state and state officials. My aspiration is to introduce a new drug to China the same day that it is introduced in the United States and Europe. Still, China and other ASEAN members are doing our best to implement Article 4 of the declaration. Somali community leaders and educators including the first African man to receive a PhD from Princeton University and former Ministers will be honored at the event.A In addition to financial scholarships by the Law Office of Russell Flickinger, Presidential Service Awards will be conferred on members of the Somali-American community in recognition of their contributions to the community.
We expect to see faster approvals of our new-to-China medicine, but also accelerated approval for new-to-the-world treatments like cancer immunotherapies.
We affect activities and employees, but most importantly, we affect the lives of patients we are serving. I think it is very important to be doing something different from my professional life to refresh my mind.
Yamamoto, Ambassador Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of African Affairs Donald Yamamoto's prior assignments included serving as the U.5. He also served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of African Affairs from 2003 to 2006, where he was responsible for coordinating U. Ambassador to the Republic of Djibouti from 2000 to 2003 and was the Deputy Director for East African Affairs from 1998 to 2000.Ambassador Yamamoto entered the Foreign Service in 1980.
He attended the National War College in 1996 for senior training and received a Congressional Fellowship in 1991.Ambassador Yamamoto is a graduate of Columbia College and did graduate studies at Columbia University, receiving a Master's degree in International Affairs.
If you pass the turn-off ramp, you will enter onto the freeway and will have to get off at the next exit and backtrack.
Somalia needs to be united or the ongoing problems will simply be exacerbated, said Abdinur Mohamud, a consultant for the Ohio Department of Education.There has to be a solution that brings all those territories together so regions and communities can function at the local level, said Mohamud, a member of the organizing committee.
Global Leadership Coalition.Somalia has been in a state of violence and conflict for over two decades now, Jibril Mohamed, president and chief executive officer of the Northland-based Somali Community Access Network, said last week.
Many attempts were made to bring together the sides that were fighting for power in Somalia. State Department, was invited to be one of the speakers but will not be able to attend, according to Mohamed.
But as we do with any policy we look at the situation on the ground and make determinations on when and whether we need to make adjustments to that policy.
It is going to be a painstaking process to move things forward in a positive direction.Malac was invited to give the keynote address last night at the conference, which will conclude today. Somalis many thousands of whom live in Columbus have an important role to play in determining policy.We understand that having a connection to them is something we need to do to ensure that we have that flow of ideas or an understanding what the impact of what our policies might be, she said, adding that violence is a major concern among Somalis. They take every opportunity to try to get that message to us to put pressure on us to keep doing something.Mohamed said he was one of two Somalis invited to attend a 2010 forum at the White House, where the president unveiled his administrations strategy in Somalia.
Scripps School of Journalism Statehouse News Bureau.A ****************************************************************************************************************************************************Ohio conference discusses Somalia future, problemsJan. Issues discussed include the national roadmap, piracy, humanitarian crisis, frontline state military interventions, Diaspora remittance challenges and community development issues. Engagement in Somalia: DualTrack Policy Aims and Implications * Debunking the Roadmap: A Tool for Statehood or Death-knell for Disintegration?
His remarks will provide an overview of Americas role in supporting humanitarian, development, and security assistance in Somalia.
Ambassador James Swan has served as the United States Special Representative for Somalia since August 2011. He has served with the State Department since 1988 in Djibouti, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of Congo, Cameroon, Haiti, and Nicaragua, as well as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs (2006-2008). Somalis in America are not only active contributors to their newly adopted communities, but also continue to follow, and more importantly, influence developments in Somalia. So it was a priority for me to engage in a dialogue and learn from the Somalia diaspora in the first few months of my new assignment as the U.S. They see heart-breaking news coverage of malnourished Somali children, read about bright young college students murdered by suicide bombers, or hear reports of wide-scale corruption and say that Somalia cannot be helped. The problems Somalia faces today, the critics say, are the same problems it has faced for twenty years. Interests in Somalia The answer is simple: Americas national interests require robust engagement with Somalia. As a compassionate society, the United States has an interest in addressing the acute humanitarian needs of our fellow human beings in Somalia. As part of our global commitment to advancing democratic values and improved governance, we have an interest in promoting political reforms that allow Somalis to be represented by leaders who will govern for the benefit of the people and the development of the country. The combination of instability and poor governance threatens not only the Somali people, but the security of our regional partners in the Horn of Africa and beyond. These factors have led to the most serious piracy problem in the world on key international trade routes. They have also created a dangerous terrorist organization al Shabaab that wantonly attacks innocent civilians and African peacekeepers, has conducted terrorist attacks against Somalias neighbors, and has actively recruited American citizens.A For all these reasons humanitarian, democracy and governance, and cold-eyed security concerns America is committed to helping Somalia regain stability and security. While Somalia faces enormous challenges, it also has, to quote President Obama, enormous support from the people of the United States.A A Vision for Success in Somalia We are committed to working with Somalis and the international community to help develop indigenous, long term solutions to the countrys ongoing problems. America, as President Obama also said, wants Somalia to succeed.A Success means that Somalis facing drought and famine are helped to survive the current crisis and are given the long-term tools to better withstand future droughts.
Success means that Somalia is free from totalitarian terrorist groups like al Shabaab, which is responsible for many lost and shattered lives not only in Somalia, but in Kenya and Uganda, through its terror attacks and through its policy of banning humanitarian assistance. Success means that Somalis can turn to their government for the basic services that we take for granted in America. It means that humanitarian and development assistance goes where it is needed and not into the pockets of corrupt officials or the armories of warlords and terrorists. And success means that the Somali people get to decide what form of government and constitution they will have.
Poll after poll shows that the Somali people want self-determination, even if they are unclear exactly how that democracy should look. Our role is to support the Somali people as they arrive at these decisions.A The Current Humanitarian CrisisLet me turn first to the current humanitarian crisis, which has been so much in the headlines in recent months.
Nutritional data released by the Food and Agriculture Organization in early September spoke of 4 million people in need of assistance in Somalia alone, with more than three times that number at risk elsewhere in the region.A To address the immediate crisis, the United States has provided over $750 million to meet ongoing and urgent humanitarian needs in the region. Our dollars and diplomatic leverage are also being used to provide protection and assistance for Somali refugees in Kenya, Ethiopia, and Djibouti.A While America is the largest donor of humanitarian assistance to the Horn of Africa But, we are not alone. European partners, Turkey, Gulf Cooperation Council countries, China, Japan, and many others have all responded to Somalias urgent need. Together, we have met nearly 80 percent of the $1 billion UN Consolidated Appeal for Humanitarian Assistance for Somalia, the highest percentage reached of any appeal in the world today. In addition to aid from governments, there have been significant contributions from private citizens and NGOs from around the world.
In many respects, our core humanitarian challenge is not only to continue to mobilize the necessary resources, but also to ensure that all donors and implementing agencies are coordinating their response for maximum efficiency and effect.The areas worst affected by the famine are not coincidentally those where the extremist group al-Shabaab is most influential. Though assistance is beginning to reach these areas, coverage is uneven and continues to be impeded by al-Shabab in many places. We call on al-Shabaab to remove urgently all remaining obstacles to aid delivery in areas where they are present. Although humanitarian access is far better in areas of Transitional Federal Government presence, we believe this could be further improved through efforts to establish more effective TFG aid-coordination systems and address the problem of small armed bands that control entry to some Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) sites. The TFG should make areas it controls a model of effective aid delivery.A There is also something that you can do. You may be surprised to know that more than 54% of Americans have no idea there is even a crisis in the Horn of Africa region.
Today we are asking that 13.3 million people, the same number of people impacted by the crisis, take action to raise awareness for the Horn of Africa. Dual Track Policy after One YearBeyond the immediate crisis, our primary vehicle for advancing broader U.S. Under Dual Track, our diplomatic engagement and development assistance for Somalia is steadily increasing. These funds support a vast array of programs, across the entire country, that address security, peace and reconciliation, conflict mitigation, good governance, justice, democracy, education, economic growth, private sector competitiveness, health, water sanitation, food security, nutrition, and protection for vulnerable peoples.A Track one of the Dual Track policy reaffirms Americas continuing support for making the Transitional Federal Institutions more effective, more inclusive, and better able to provide services to the Somali people. Track One is consistent with our support for the Transitional Charter and Djibouti Peace Process. Track one also reaffirms our continued support for the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) peacekeepers who defend those institutions.A The Second Track of Dual Track broadens our engagement with regional and local administrations, civil society groups, and communities across the country that share the same goal of defeating al-Shabaab and bringing peace and stability back to Somalia.
In reality, the Second Track announced last year codified efforts that were already underway to expand outreach to communities and organizations that were creating pockets of stability and improved governance. Key administrations and organizations we engage under Dual Track include Somaliland, Puntland, Galmuduug, Ahlu Sunna wal Jamaa, other local administrations, and civil society groups.A The past year has seen important progress on both tracks of Dual Track. On Track One, the Transitional Federal Government and AMISOM have succeeded in retaking ninety-eight percent of Mogadishu from al-Shabaab. This is a significant accomplishment in the security arena and one that has led to increased humanitarian access in newly liberated parts of the city. Mogadishu has been the scene of the fiercest battles in the country as al Shabaab struggled to keep its grip on the city that remains the economic heart of the country and has historically been its political epicenter as well. While al Shabaab has lost territory and support over the past year, it remains a very dangerous organization within Somalia and our support to the Somali forces and the Ugandan and Burundian troops deployed alongside them in Mogadishu will continue. The United States supports the Somali National forces with stipends, training, and equipment, and has also provided the lion's share of equipment and training for the AMISOM troop-contributing countries ever since their first deployment in 2007.A On the second track, we have increased outreach and support to key regional administrations and local governments across the country that are providing stability and services and countering al-Shabaab.
Somaliland, for example, emerged from a successful presidential transition last year, a process the United States supported with over $700,000 in assistance. Having clearly progressed on democratization, the Somaliland administration has also successfully attracted new investment. That is why the United States more than doubled its assistance to Somaliland under Dual Track, going from about $8 million in 2009 to more than $20 million in 2010.
This funds programs focused on local government administration and planning, education, community development initiatives, and economic growth.A We plan to extend the same type of Track Two community development assistance programs to Puntland, Galmuduug, and accessible areas of Gedo Region in the coming months.
Even in Mogadishu, our quick impact community-focused projects are channeled through the Benadir Administration in order to reinforce local ownership and keep the projects close to the people.A We know Dual Track also has its critics. Some claim the policy has undercut the influence of the Transitional Federal Government, but this ignores our continued support to both the TFG and AMISOM. There are those who claim Dual Track further Balkanizes Somalia, pointing to opportunists who quickly self-declared newly independent states states that often represent little more than a hastily-posted website in a foreign capital.A The Second Track is in no way an open-ended commitment to assist any regional entity. We are focused on looking for opportunities to help political structures that enjoy real legitimacy with their constituents and have a record of building pockets of stability within Somalia and responding to the people. We want to help Somalis living in such communities, even while Somalis as a whole decide what sort of relationship they want between their central and regional governments. When it comes to recognizing new African states, America follows the African Union lead -- and the African Union supports a single Somali state.A On both tracks, we will continue to provide training to local authorities and targeted Transitional Federal Institutions to promote credibility and confidence in the peace process. This includes funding activities to support constitutional and democratization processes across the country. It also includes training, often with the expertise of Somali diaspora like yourselves, to promote government transparency and responsiveness. A great recent example includes a member of the diaspora who returned to work with the TFG. He identified $1 million dollars in lost assets, funds which belonged to the defunct Somali national airlines that were sitting unused in banks, and restored these assets the national budget.A Road Map Let me turn now to the national political process. If Somali political leaders want to garner credibility with the Somali, they must capitalize on the improving security environment to make significant progress in both the political and governance realm.A Many Somalis still express a deep skepticism about the Transitional Federal Institutions ability or willingness to govern in a representative, responsive and accountable manner. Much of their frustration comes from the perception that the Transition Federal process begun in 2004, which was supposed to provide the constitutional, electoral and parliamentary foundation for a new Somalia, has become hopelessly stalled.
In the eyes of many of their constituents, the political leadership in Mogadishu has become complacent with the status quo, and the benefits it affords those in power, rather than committed to progress that will help the average Somali.A On September 6, however, these Somali leaders created a unique opportunity to change that perception.
On that day, Somali leaders from the Transitional Federal Government, the regional administrations of Puntland and Galmuduug, and the Ahlu Sunna Wal Jamaa movement signed the Roadmap for Ending the Transition in Somalia. The terrible suffering of the Somali people, particularly during the current famine, underscores that the signatories must make rapid progress toward representative and effective governance that can meet the basic needs of all Somalis.
We will continue to support the efforts of those who strive to achieve its goals and bring stability back to Somalia. Equally, we will work with our regional and international partners to hold accountable those Somali officials who obstruct progress.A Final ThoughtsFor all the challenges Somalia continues to face, we have seen positive though still fragile results from the efforts that we and our Somali, African, and international partners have expended. This years humanitarian response has been massive, and now needs follow-through and improved coordination to ensure the necessary effect.
In the security arena, momentum has shifted from al-Shabaab to the TFG and AMISOM -- although al-Shabaab still remains dangerously capable of asymmetric attacks. Politically, the Roadmap offers a positive vision for the end of the transition and also the prospect of convergence between the national government and regional entities, but it needs strong direction by Somali political leaders and active regional and international engagement to keep it on track. He wants the United States to provide more humanitarian support to help stabilize the country.
We need an American action immediately, said Issa, who is a village council member in Urbancrest. That includes $175 million to Somalia.A Swan said the transition period for the government must end if the many needs of the Somali people are to be properly addressed. Yesterday, I led a community roundtable in each city, home to the two largest Somali diaspora communities in the United States. The UN has declared famine in two regions of southern Somalia where humanitarian access has been limited by Al Shabaab. USG is urgently supporting partnersto provide food, health, water and sanitation assistance wherever they can access communities desperate for help.I was also able to listen and learn from this dynamic community. Somali Americans are a vital lifeline of supportfor their communities and families throughout Somalia. I heard from dozens of community leaders who have mobilized their friends and neighbors to raise money for the drought through car washes, bake sales and fund drives. A young woman in Minneapolis, choking back tears, described her Facebook page where she is raising money for drought relief and posting stories of families struggling to survive.
As I heard from Jibril Mohamed in Columbus, In 1992 I was a boy who fled the conflict and drought of southern Somalia and did the same long walk to the border that families are doing now.
The Somali American community is a critical partner in identifying ways to help save lives. We need urgently to ensure life-saving assistance reaches people now and are committed to doing so.



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