Castle Journal - Nadeemy Haded

Castle Journal - Nadeemy Haded

 

The government is launching a review of high-speed rail link HS2 - with a “go or no-go" decision to be made by the end of the year, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has said.

The review will consider whether and how the project to connect London, the Midlands and northern England should proceed, looking at costs and benefits.

Mr Shapps refused to rule out scrapping it entirely.

He said it was "responsible" to see whether HS2 was "going to stack up".

Phase 1 of the development between London and Birmingham is due to open at the end of 2026, with the second phase to Leeds and Manchester scheduled for completion by 2032-33.

It is designed to carry trains capable of travelling at 250mph.

When asked about the billions already spent on the project, Mr Shapps said: "Just because you've spent a lot of money on something does not mean you should plough more and more money into it."

He said ministers were asking the reviewers "just give us the facts."

"Go and find out all the information that's out there… genuinely what it would cost to complete this project, and then we'll be in a much better position to make that decision - go or no-go by the end of the year."

The review will be chaired by Douglas Oakervee, a civil engineer who served as chairman of the Crossrail project between 2005 and 2009.

Lord Berkeley, another civil engineer who worked on the construction of the Channel Tunnel, will act as his deputy.

A final report will be sent to the government in the autumn.

During the Conservative Party leadership campaign Boris Johnson said he would not scrap plans for the new rail link, but did express "anxieties about the business case".

Previous governments have argued the new route would boost the economy, but concerns have been raised over the cost and route.

In July, the current chairman of the project reportedly warned that the total cost could rise by £30bn - up from the current budget of £56bn.

Labour peer Lord Adonis, a former transport secretary who worked as an infrastructure adviser to Theresa May, said the review was "as stupid as you can get" and would "screw Birmingham and the North".

He tweeted that it would become "a massive bun fight, while the transport department runs for cover and HS2 Ltd is paralysed by indecision".

BBC NEWS

North Korea has accused the United States of aggravating the political situation on the Korean peninsula, and the US hostility policy is pushing it to take defensive measures to counter threats.

The newspaper "Rodong," a spokesman for North Korea's ruling Labor Party on Wednesday under the headline "our actions to strengthen the defense capabilities legitimate," that the policy of sustained US hostility against North Korea is

pushing the country to take self-defense measures to remove the underlying threats and direct.

On the recent deployment of new weapons by the Seoul government, the newspaper said the political situation on the Korean peninsula is aggravated "because of the US passion for a reckless war rehearsal as well as evasiveness to justify

the increase in military forces.

Relations between Washington and Pyongyang cannot improve amid escalating tensions, and constructive dialogue and peace cannot be held in the face of confrontation.

Pyongyang has issued repeated warnings that South Korean-US military maneuvers are in the way of improving North and US relations and that this could lead to a reconsideration of important state actions.

"The United States does not want peace on the Korean Peninsula and does not want to improve its relationship with North Korea. It is pursuing its unethical goal," the paper said.

Source: Yonhap Agency

A mural thought to be 3,800 years old has been revealed by archaeologists in Peru.

The wall, unveiled on Monday, was found inside a public ceremonial building at the Vichama site, north of Lima.

The complex carved scene depicts iconography including a human-like toad and representations of people.

Dr Ruth Shady Solís, director of the Caral Archaeological Zone (ZAC), believes the scene represents the "arrival of water" through rainfall.

She says that in Andean civilisation, toads represented water and says the face below it represents humans waiting for rainfall to give continuity of life.

Another depiction found nearby shows four human heads with snakes encircling them and what appears to be a seed with a face.

Researchers said the sculptures would probably have been produced in a period of scarcity and famine.

Tatiana Abad, another archaeologist at the site, said at a news conference on Monday the carving represented a time of "crisis" for the people living there.

Tatiana Abad, another archaeologist at the site, said at a news conference on Monday the carving represented a time of "crisis" for the people living there.

The Vichama site is located in Huaura province in modern-day Peru, about 150km (90 miles) north of the capital Lima.

Excavation started there in 2007 and experts believe it was an ancient agricultural and fishing community.

They consider it one of the most important population centres from the Caral civilisation, also known as Norte Chico, thought to date back 5,000 years.

The Secret City of Caral, in Peru's Barranca Province, is described as the oldest centre of civilisation found in the Americas. The site was declared a Unesco World Heritage Site in 2009.

The civilisation is thought to have mysteriously declined in about 1800 BC - and Dr Shady said on Monday that the new Vichama murals, representing changes to the local climate, may point to why.

BBC NEWS

 

A body has been found by emergency services searching for a missing six-year-old boy.

Lucas Dobson slipped into the River Stour in Sandwich, Kent, at about 13:30 BST on Saturday while out fishing with his family.

Kent Police said the body had not been formally identified but Lucas' family have been informed.

Hundreds of volunteers joined emergency crews in the search for Lucas over the past five days.

Ch Insp Mark Weller said it was "deeply tragic and upsetting" and Lucas' family were "understandably devastated".

He added: "We were inundated with offers of assistance from members of the public, who turned out in large numbers to help search for Lucas.

"I know his family are very grateful and touched by the support provided, and I too would like to offer my own personal thanks."

Lucas slipped into the river between a boat and jetty on Saturday. His father and two adults jumped into the water in an attempt to rescue him but he was swept away by a strong current.

Kent Fire and Rescue Service, HM Coastguard, the RNLI, Kent Search and Rescue and the Specialist Group International dive team joined the search for him.

Vigils were held on Monday evening across Kent, with people lighting candles in an attempt to "light up the coast for Lucas".

Peter Faulding, of the Specialist Group International, said search teams had been "working incredibly hard" to find Lucas and it had been a "real community effort".

Each day, hundreds of people gathered outside Sandwich Fire Station to be briefed on the search effort, and what they could do to help.

More than 200 volunteers helped in the hunt, with some coming from outside the county to take part in the rescue.

But on Tuesday they were urged to "stay away" by police as the river had become the "sole focus" in the search.

BBC NEWS

 

According to our correspondent, citing a source in the Forces for Freedom and Change, it was agreed to vote on the names of the five members of the Sovereignty Council after a marathon meeting that lasted for more than 15 hours.

The source confirmed that Aisha Musa, Hassan Sheikh Idriss, Mohammed Al-Faki Suleiman, Siddique Tower and Mohammed Al-Hassan Al-Ta'ayshi were named.

The source also stressed that the forces of the Declaration of Freedom and Change agreed with the military council to be the 11 member of the Council a Coptic woman.

Our correspondent said that the list will be handed over today to the military council in preparation for their appointment and the formation of the sovereign council, and the dissolution of the military council, to be members of the sovereign section tomorrow.

Source: RT

 

The Rock has married his long-term girlfriend Lauren Hashian - in a secret ceremony in Hawaii on Sunday.

The 47-year-old announced the news on Instagram to his 154 million followers.

The pair have been dating since 2006, when they reportedly met while he was filming his movie The Game Plan, and have two children together - Jasmine, born in 2015 and Tiana in 2018.

His photos were liked more than seven million times within three hours of posting.

Being one of the biggest film stars in the world, The Rock (real name Dwayne Johnson) was congratulated by Hollywood A-listers when he posted about the surprise wedding.

Ryan Reynolds, Karen Gillan, P Diddy, Jessica Chastain, Nicole Scherzinger, Scooter Braun, Nick Jonas and Naomi Campbell were among the stars who have commented on his photos - so far.

Who is Lauren Hashian?

Know the eighties song, More Than A Feeling by Boston? Lauren's dad was a drummer with that band.

Lauren is a musician too, and has a handful of songs online.

This is The Rock's second marriage.

He wed first wife Dany Garcia on 3 May in 1997 and the couple have one child together, Simone, who's 18.

BBC NEWS

 

Lebanese political activist Antoine El Khoury Harb died at dawn on Tuesday from food poisoning.

Lebanese media reported that Khoury Harb died of food poisoning complications and was taken yesterday morning to Tannourine Governmental Hospital in a coma.

El-Khoury Harb, a professor at the Lebanese University, was born in the town of Tannourine in 1966. He was a prominent activist from 1989 in the Free Patriotic Movement (President Michel Aoun's party).

Khoury mourned the war of a number of politicians. The Minister of the Displaced Ghassan Atallah tweeted on Twitter, saying: "Life is really unfair. You are the one who challenged death with your struggle. You suddenly stole death without permission."

The former minister, Wiam Wahab: "Antoine Khoury war goodbye, fighter rebel dreamer."

In turn, the head of the Phalange Party MP Sami Gemayel, Khoury Harb, wrote on Twitter: "After 22 years of struggle, friendship and respect, I lost today a dear friend and a symbol of student resistance."

Source: Lebanese media

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