World Bulletin / News Desk
A Chinese firm announced that is it preparing to spend up to $150 billion on a huge high-speed rail project which will link China's autonomous province of East Turkestan (Xinjiang) to Turkey across Central Asia.
CSR chairman Zhao Shiaoyang said that the 6,000 kilometer-long train line will cut across Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Iran all the way to Turkey, the China Daily newspaper reported.
Saying that most of the line will be open to service by 2020, the CSR chief said it would be complete by 2030, calling the project the 'New Silk Road'.
The line will enable commuters to travel up to 200 kilometers an hour across the Asian continent, while freight trains will have a speed to 160 kilometers an hour.
While experts noted that finansors in Pekin would be very generous in supporting the project, they also noted that geo-political compromise would need to be achieved between central Asian states in order for the project to become a reality.
Currently China exports around $4 trillion of goods annually, half of which is imported by Europe, the Middle-East and central Asia. However, the trade is largely dependent on sea routes.
However, China has been involved in a dispute with neighboring countries Japan, Philippines and Vietnam over territorial waters in the Pacific, as increased co-operation between the far-eastern US allies threatens China's sea borders.
This has consquently added importance to the central Asian rail project, which is likely to join with Turkey's own national high-speed train project which will reduce traveling time between the capital Ankara and biggest city Istanbul to just 3.5 hours.
The Ankara-Istanbul line is due to open on July 11 after two delays and technical problems during testing.
"The federal government has requisitioned the services of the Pakistan army in aid of civil power in Islamabad," the prime minister's office said
Police said the bomb was left in a vehicle about 50 metres from a hotel in the town of Betong, which is popular with tourists from nearby Malaysia
At least 3 hae been confirmed dead, 10 rescued and 8 missing after an overloaded vessel carrying illegal Indonesian workers capsized.
Israeli air force dropped about 3,000 tons of explosives on the Gaza Strip in the first 15 days of the conflict, including 120 tons in the border town of Shejaia alone
Banned substances include gasoline and firecrackers, but also drinking water, cooking oil and yogurt.
Abbott said that Russian-backed rebels who control the area were tampering with evidence on "an industrial scale" and argued that outside police or possibly military forces were needed to ensure that did not continue.
Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani said leaders should show flexibility so that political deadlocks could be broken and Iraq could confront militants.
State media said "millions" of people joined the rallies nationwide, which were called to mark Iran's annual day of solidarity with Palestinians.
At least three women and a three-year-old child were among those killed.
Greek Cypriot leader Nikos Anastasiades was enraged when Turkish Cypriot president Dervis Eroglu refused to accept certain proposed terms, raising his voice, slamming his fist and throwing his glasses across the room in anger.
Jordanian government spokesman said the "aerial target was shot after being intercepted" when it violated Jordanian air space near the northern border city of Mafraq.
U.N. health agency said that four hospitals, including al Aqsa hospital in the coastal strip, had been damaged in the conflict that began on July 8 when Israel launched air strikes
Yatseniuk, Ukraine's point man for the West during much of the turmoil in the country since November, tendered his resignation on Thursday, saying parliament was betraying its people's demands
Brazil called the escalation of violence "unacceptable" and recalled its ambassador for consultations.
The problem has become so great that more than 10 military airfields have been forced to close or move.
More than 30 Palestinians were also injured with live ammunition fired by Israeli troops.