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´Great Leap´ to Disaster
INthe wake of a deadly train collision in China that claimed at least 39 lives, a single photograph has for many Chinese become emblematic of a callous, unresponsive political culture that prioritises instant results over public well-being and accountability. The news photograph shows a highspeed train zipping along a viaduct in Wenzhou, the site of the accident last Saturday, less than a day after rescue work was halted, some say far too soon. The wreckage of the crash is piled carelessly on the barren ground below, a tragedy swept rashly into the past. From the outset, China´s government did its utmost to keep public doubts from...
THE facts of the crisis over the debt ceiling aren´t complicated. Republicans have, in effect, taken America hostage, threatening to undermine the economy and disrupt the essential business of government unless they get policy concessions they would never have been able to enact through legislation. And Democrats - who would have been justified in rejecting this extortion altogether - have, in fact, gone a long way toward meeting those Republican demands. As I said, it´s not complicated. Yet many people in the news media apparently can´t bring themselves to acknowledge this simple reality. News reports portray the parties as equally intransigent; pundits fantasise about some kind of "centrist".
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QRail invites bid for $25bn Doha Metro project

TRIBUNE NEWS NETWORK DUBAI QATAR Railways Co. (QRail) invited local and international companies on Saturday to signal their interest in building the $25 billion Doha Metro project.

Qatar won the right to host the FIFA 2020 soccer World Cup late last year and much depends on the country completing around $100 billion of infrastructure projects in time for the tournament—of which the 85 kms long Doha Metro is key.

QRail said it was inviting experienced companies to submit expressions of interest in bidding for design and construction works on the railway project, including major underground and elevated civil works.

“This invitation is a major opportunity for local contracting companies to join in consortia with large international contractors to design and build six urgent construction packages that include 22 km of underground tunnels (and) 15 underground stations in the first stage,” QRail CEO Saad Ahmed al Muhannadi said.

“Enabling works which include roads and utilities diversion will be particularly critical and the Qatar Railways Company is looking to partner with contractors who can showcase relevant capabilities and experience in this area,” he added.

QRail will oversee the management, operation and maintenance of all local railways and lead coordination efforts with regional and international rail networks, he said.

The six Gulf Arab states plan to spend more than $100 billion on a rail project linking them up by 2017, with long-range plans to extend the high-speed network as far as Yemen in the south of the Arabian Peninsula.

Qatar has allocated 40 percent of its budget between now and 2016 to infrastructure projects. These include $11 billion to be spent on a new international airport, $5.5 billion on a deep-water seaport and $1 billion for a transport corridor in Doha.

In November 2009, Germany’s Deutsche Bahn AG inked a $25 billion deal to design and build underground and rail lines in Qatar and neighbouring Bahrain.

Qatar won the hosting rights for 2022 World Cup in December, beating off competition from Japan, Australia, Korea and the US.

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