DENMARK: Construction of the Fehmarn Belt fixed link road and railway tunnel moved a step closer on April 28 when the Danish parliament adopted the proposed Construction Act for the project.The fixed link will comprise an 18 km immersed tube tunnel between Rødbyhavn on Lolland and Puttgarden on the German island of Fehmarn. The project also covers upgrading, double-tracking and electrification of the railway between Rødbyhavn and Ringsted, to permit operation at up to 200 km/h with ETCS Level 2. Upon completion of the tunnel and surface works, scheduled for 2021, the journey time for København – Hamburg passenger trains will be reduced to around 2 h from the current 4 h 30 min. The overall budget stands at €5·5bn.Adoption of the Construction Act means that the Danish state-owned companies Femern A/S and A/S Femern Landanlæg are authorised to construct and operate a fixed link across the Fehmarnbelt and undertake the associated surface works in Denmark respectively. The act is the final environmental approval of the project in Denmark.In Germany, the political decision to build the Fehmarn Belt link was taken in 2009 with the ratification of a bilateral treaty between the two countries set out in 2008. However, several further hurdles remain before civil works can begin. Formal approval from the authorities in Schleswig-Holstein will take the form of a building permit, and work to finalise this is still ongoing. This will be followed by a final parliamentary review of the project’s social and economic benefits by policymakers in both Denmark and Germany, which is expected to take place in the autumn of this year.The Construction Act grants powers to acquire farmland, a small number of wind turbines and some industrial land to be used for the road and rail access to the tunnels, and for the future tunnel element factory east of Rødbyhavn. Archaeological investigations will also continue around the planned excavation sites.A detailed description of the Fehmarn Belt project appeared in the July 2014 issue of Railway Gazette International, available to subscribers via our digital archive.
DR Congo’s Supreme Court has ordered the release of three prominent pro-democracy leaders held for more than a year for opposing a fresh term for veteran President Joseph Kabila.The three were arrested during protests to oppose changes to the constitution in January. Talk of president Kabila hanging on beyond the expiry of his second term on December 20 has whipped up fresh tension in the country of 71 million people.CCTV’S Jane Kiyo spoke to Monique Mukuna the lone woman candidate in the Presidential race.
They had a favourable head-to-head record against Russia and went into the game as heavy favourites. But Spain were unable to conquer a curse that has haunted them since 1934. For many years, La Roja were plagued by a quarter-final hoodoo at the FIFA World Cup, with the last eight representing a glass ceiling that they simply could not break through. They finally overcame that obstacle at South Africa 2010 and duly lifted the Trophy. On Sunday afternoon in Moscow, however, another curse reared its ugly head again. Spain have still never beaten World Cup hosts at ‘their’ tournament. As if the loss were not painful enough for the Spanish fans, they then found out that the man whose goal made the country world champions in 2010 is retiring from international football. “This is the end of a long chapter for me. Everything has a beginning and an ending. Sometimes farewells don’t go the way you’d like them to,” a crestfallen Andres Iniesta told FIFA after the game. “We gave it our all, but the opposition stuck to their task and penalties are cruel. We came up short; we weren’t able to take that final step. No-one can be blamed for missing a penalty in situations like these,” he added. “It’s a tough pill to swallow, but we’ve got to all learn from this experience.”
Related iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — The top United States general told Congress this morning that he has privately recommended transgender individuals not be separated from their service because of their gender identity.“I believe any individual who meets the physical and mental standards, and is worldwide deployable and is currently serving, should be afforded the opportunity to continue to serve,” Gen. Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Senate Armed Services Committee.Dunford also promised Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, (D-N.Y) that he would meet with transgender service members.Back in August, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said transgender individuals will continue to serve in the military while the Pentagon conducts a six month study on how to implement President Trump’s directive to formally ban those service members.“Everyone just keep, hold on until we get through all the fights we’re in,” Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon on August 31.Trump signed a memo in August formally directing the Pentagon to ban transgender individuals from serving in the U.S. military. That memo also directed the Pentagon to stop all gender-related surgeries, with the exception of those individuals whose procedures are already underway. However, the memo allowed for Mattis to come up with the policy on what to do with those currently serving.The Pentagon has until February 21, 2018 to decide what to do with transgender individuals currently serving, per Trump’s formal policy guidance.Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.Powered by WPeMatico