China’s high-speed rail constructions grind to a halt

Last year, we have been talking about how pointless high-speed rail was, and indeed that it makes very little, if any, profit, and the Ministry of Railways have been massively indebted in order to build the infrastructure, which crashed.  By the end of third quarter, the Ministry’s total debt has risen to RMB2.228 trillion, and net profit for the 3 quarters amounted to RMB137 million only.  With little profit and high debt, the Ministry was already having trouble to keep construction continued last year, especially after the accident.

FCPA as competitive and dispute lever

Analysis: Wynn-Okada row may not stick with US officials

A U.S. law against foreign bribery is the unusual weapon of choice in an increasingly bitter boardroom struggle between U.S. casino mogul Steve Wynn and Japanese investor Kazuo Okada. But both sides may end up shooting blanks.

“Invisible” Solar Panels are on the Way

Window gazers of the future may soon find themselves looking right through an energy-producing transparent glass solar panel, if the folks at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory are on the right track. Working with the company New Energy Technologies, Inc., the lab has produced a transparent photovoltaic module that is 14 times bigger than its last attempt.

Although vertical farming has been talked about for over a decade, technical barriers have prevented construction of these unique urban farming solutions. But for the new Swedish company Plantagon, vertical farming is no longer an elusive architectural feat. In fact, construction has just begun on the Plantagon vertical farm in Linköping, Sweden, with the hopes that urban dwellers will soon be enjoying food produced on a large-scale in their very own city.

Islamist rise in Syria challenge to Jordan

An eventual fall of Syria’s regime, followed by the rise of an Islamist government could create a quandary for Jordan, a small country that has strategic ties with its northern neighbour, analysts say.

At the same time, even if Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime survives pro-democracy protests against his 11-year rule, relations between Amman and Damascus are unlikely to improve, at least in the short term.

« American NGOs fund nuclear protests » – Manmohan Singh

American NGOs fund the protests that hold India back from building the nuclear reactors it needs to meet fast-growing energy needs, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said in an interview published in Science magazine on Friday.

Among the plants suffering delays is the Kudankulam power station in Tamil Nadu, which was due to open last year. Progress on the Russian-built reactor has been halted by protesters over safety fears.

U.S. Agencies See No Move by Iran to Build a Bomb

Even as the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog said in a new report Friday that Iran had accelerated its uranium enrichment program, American intelligence analysts continue to believe that there is no hard evidence that Iran has decided to build a nuclear bomb.

Recent assessments by American spy agencies are broadly consistent with a 2007 intelligence finding that concluded that Iran had abandoned its nuclear weapons program years earlier, according to current and former American officials. The officials said that assessment was largely reaffirmed in a 2010 National Intelligence Estimate, and that it remains the consensus view of America’s 16 intelligence agencies.

US deficit ‘accident waiting to happen,’ says IIF head

The rise in US public debt is a serious threat to the whole world if Washington fails to rein it in, the head of the Institute of International Finance warned Saturday.

“You look at the US budget deficit, and you cannot help but feel that this is a serious accident waiting to happen. And not just a serious US accident, but a serious global accident,” IIF chief Charles Dallara told a conference on the sidelines of a G20 meeting of finance ministers and central bankers.

BRICs to mull plans for multilateral bank at G20

Officials from top emerging market countries will discuss plans to set up a multilateral bank to fund projects in developing nations during upcoming Group of 20 meetings, a senior Brazilian government official said on Thursday.

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