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Your Fortune in the Year of Pig
By MORE Team

Prediction for twelve zodiacs in the year of pig

2019 is a Year of the Pig according to the Chinese zodiac, and it's an Earth Pig year. Years of the Pig include 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019, and 2031. In Chinese astrology, each year belongs to a Chinese zodiac animal according to the 12-year cycle.

“Pigs have a beautiful personality and are blessed with good fortune in life.”

Recent years of the Pig are: 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019
Pigs are diligent, compassionate, and generous. They have great concentration: once they set a goal, they will devote all their energy to achieving it. Though Pigs rarely seek help from others, they will not refuse to give others a hand. Pigs never suspect trickery, so they are easily fooled.

General speaking, Pigs are relatively calm when facing trouble. No matter how difficult the problems are Pigs encounter, they can handle things properly and carefully. They have a great sense of responsibility to finish what they are engaged in.

Pigs in the Year of the Pig (2019)
The year of one’s zodiac sign is their 本命年 (ben ming nian). It is traditionally the most unlucky year with trouble and danger lurking at every corner.

Career: Earth can absorb Water. Earth gives Water the pressure. Earth represents your career. Pig contains Water and Wood, without Earth. That implies you don't care too much about your career development at this time. You are focusing in exchanging and discussing new ideas with your partner. You enjoy the current working environment. Therefore, your career opportunity is okay. But you won't have too much career changes in the near future.
You will meet your business partners or competitors. If your current job is very busy, then your coworkers will help your heavy workloads or someone will guide you how to make your job easier. If your current job is too light and you don't have any job pressure at all, then you need to watch out your position. Someone might take over your job. If you own a business and many business opportunities make you busy, then you will find new business partners working on the opportunities together. If you are a business owner and your business is slowing down, then don't expand your business to new territory during this period.

Job Change: Earth represents you career. Pig contains Water and Wood, without Earth. Your career opportunity is not promising. You probably are not strongly thinking a new job at this moment. If you are looking for a job, you will see many peers looking for the same job. If someone is offering a new position and you don't have too much passion on it, then you can skip that opportunity.

Wealth: Water can extinguish and conquer Fire. Fire represents your money. Pig contains Water and Wood without Fire. That means you don't have significant moneymaking opportunity during this time. You need extra energy and time to earn extra income.
Fire is hard to survive in the water environment of two pigs. Both pigs will compete to own the money of Fire. That's a sign of robbery, overspending or money loss. You need to carefully invest your money. You can ask people born in year of Horse to help your money management.

Love: When a Pig meets another Pig, your social activities will increase. But Pig and Pig have only friendship, not love relationship. If you are female, the Earth represents your boyfriend or husband. If you are male, then Fire represents your girlfriend or wife. Pig contains Water and Wood, without Fire and Earth. Therefore, you probably need more time to find your love relationship.
Pig is connected to your siblings, coworkers, classmates or cousins. If you are single and looking for love, then you will see your competitors out there. You need extra courage and creativity to show your sense of humor and cordial attitude to the potential companion. You will have better chance to meet the ideal soul mate by attending outdoor social events. Also, you can try your love on people born in year of Horse or Tiger.
If you are in love, you need to prioritize your love relationship first. You can look for more romantic time with your lover to avoid someone getting into your relationship. If you are married, then you need to reserve enough time for the family to avoid quarrel at home.

Social Circle: Your social activities will be increase a lot. You will be busy to meet with your siblings, old friends, coworkers or relatives. Therefore, you have good people relationship. Many of them are interested in money topics. If someone invites you to join a business or financial investment, then you need to diligently do the homework before making the decision.

Quarrel: If you have a lawsuit, a dispute or a quarrel with somebody, then you will face a strong equal. This case will last for a long time. It will be time-consuming, labor-intensive and costly. The outcome of this dispute is unpredictable. Therefore, to reconcile with your rival is a good approach.
You can find people born in year of the Horse as your mediator. Horse and Pig have double attractive relationships. Horse can make a settlement with your opponent.

Health: When Pig meets Pig, the disappointment, self-condemnation and negative thinking might often come to your mind. You can have more outdoor activities under sunshine. Walking, hiking, jogging, cycling, sunbathing, gardening, bird-watching and fruit-picking are good outdoor events to bring back your positive thoughts.
Pig is connected to the water in the winter. When it's too cold, then you should pay attention on your kidneys, bladder and the urinary system. Strong Water is unfavorable to Fire. When Fire is too weak, then you watch out for your heart, blood, and the cardiovascular system.

General Fortune: Pig meets its gang with many similarities. They have the same target. But we don't know they are partners or competitors. Carefully dealing with people relationship and diligently managing your money investment is the top priority.

After the analytics of zodiac pig, let’s take a look at the rest of zodiacs.

Rats (Years of the Rat: 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020)
Rats will be lucky in their careers. There will be many chances for Rats to achieve their goals. Employees will have a chance to get a promotion. Rats should embrace their good opportunities.
Rat’s health prospects are average in 2019. Rats are suggested to pay more attention to keeping up an exercise routine and have a routine medical checkup.
Rats’ financial prospects are not bad in 2019. They will probably get a salary increase. In addition, Rats can look forward to being lucky with unexpected rewards.
Rat’s love prospects are not that good in 2019. Discord will happen in their love relationships and it will be hard to meet a suitable partner.

Ox (Years of the Ox: 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021)
Oxes will be under more pressure but will also earn more. They will need to persevere and be open-minded to understand the situation. They should not be too passive or they will miss out on opportunities.
Oxes don’t have very good health prospects for 2019. There could be hidden problems with their cervical vertebrae. Smoking and drinking are not recommended.
In 2019, Oxes will have good luck with money. Their salary or benefits will improve. Oxes will do well in their investments and be well rewarded.
2019 will be a lucky year for Oxes in their relationships. They will easily meet an attractive partner this year.

Tiger (Years of the Tiger: 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022)
Tigers have good career prospects in 2019, with great chances for a promotion. For employees, 2019 is a good year to build a career base. Tigers will get a lot of support from officials or management.
Tigers don’t have very good health prospects for 2019. There could be hidden problems with their digestion system. Tigers also need to be aware of their families’ health.
Tigers have good luck when it comes to finances in 2019 and also have some chances to get unexpected financial gains.
Tigers are not lucky in love in 2019. Female Tigers will fare better than male Tigers but will easily be misled when building a relationship. Male Tigers will be under pressure when communicating and the relationship will be unstable.

Rabbit (Years of the Rabbit: 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011, 2023)
Rabbits have good career prospects in 2019 with great chances for a promotion. They will be helped by seniors or leaders.
There are no serious health problems predicted in 2019 for Rabbits and they will have an easy year physically.
In 2019, Rabbits will have good luck with money with an improved salary or benefits. All investments will be profitable.
On the relationship front, it will be a rough year and there may be no good news at all for single Rabbits.

Dragon (Years of the Dragon: 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012, and 2024)
Dragons will be lucky in their careers. There will be many chances for Dragons to achieve their goals. Employees will have a chance to get a promotion. Dragons should embrace their opportunities.
Dragons don’t have a very good health forecast for 2019.
They are recommended to have their health checked regularly and exercise more.
Dragons are destined to have good luck in their finances in 2019. If you are a Dragon, you will enjoy a stable source of financial revenue.
Dragons have good prospects in love in 2019. They will be popular in 2019. It will be easy for them to settle down in a relationship with a loved one.

Snake (Years of the Snake: 1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013, and 2025)
Snakes won't easily get a career promotion in 2019. The first half of the year will be a tough time for Snakes but their prospects should improve in the second half.
Although it's not a good year to get a promotion, it will be an easier year with a chance for Snakes to improve their skills and achieve more.
Snakes don't have very good health prospects for 2019. There could be hidden problems with their respiratory system. To obtain a healthier and stronger body, they are recommended to train in a fitness center.
It's not a good year for Snakes in 2019 regarding finances. They will have to do a lot of legwork with their investments to get ahead.
2019 is not a good year for male Snakes as they will encounter many competitors. For female Snakes, it's not a bad year and they will be popular. It will be easy for them to settle down in relationships with their loved ones.

Horse (Years of the Horse include 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014, and 2026)
Horses have good career prospects in 2019 with a great chance for promotion. Their work will also be relatively easy and flexible. They will achieve great progress in research publications, building their reputation, studies, and job portfolio.
Horses do not have good prospects regarding their health in 2019. They might suffer from mental strains for some time. They are advised to have health examinations regularly and to take the time to adjust their minds.
Horses have a good financial forecast for 2019. They will have good returns on their investments but still need to avoid high-risk investments and judge things on their own.
2019 is not a good year for male Horses. Female Horses, however, will be popular in 2019 and will find it easy to settle down in a relationship with a loved one.

Goat (Years of the Goat: 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015, 2027)
Goats' career prospects are unstable in 2019. Goats will endure a lot of stress in their careers and it’s not a good year to get a promotion.
Goats are not forecast to have very good health in 2019. They will be under pressure and there will be hidden problems with their stomach and gastrointestinal system. Goats are advised to do regular health examinations and to adjust their mind.
Goats’ financial prospects in 2019 are average. There is no big fortune to be made and they might even suffer financial losses.
Goats will have good prospects in love in 2019. They will have an active love life.

Monkey (Years of the Monkey: 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016, and 2028)
Monkeys will be lucky in their careers. There will be many chances for Monkeys to achieve their goals. As long as they are careful and work hard, everything will go well for them.
Monkeys’ health prospects are average in 2019. They are advised to maintain an exercise routine and have routine medical checkups. In 2019, Monkeys will have good luck with money. Their salaries or benefits will improve. Monkeys will do well in their investments and be well rewarded.
2019 will be a lucky year for Monkeys in their relationships. They will easily meet attractive partners this year.

Rooster (Years of the Rooster include 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017, and 2029)
Roosters will be lucky in their careers. There will be many chances for Roosters to achieve their goals. Employees will have a chance to get a promotion. Roosters should embrace their good opportunities.
Roosters will enjoy stable financial revenue but there is no big, unexpected fortune to be made. Roosters are destined to have good luck in their finances in 2019.
Roosters' love prospects are good in 2019. They will easily meet an attractive partner this year. Female Roosters will have more luck than male Roosters.
Roosters are not lucky with their health in 2019. People born in a year of the Rooster are typically active and enjoy sports, such as hiking and swimming. Therefore, Roosters should take more exercise to strengthen their bodies.

Dog (Years of the Dog include 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018, and 2030)
2018 is classed as an Earth Dog year.
Dogs' career prospects are average in 2019. Dogs are ambitious but it will not be easy for them to get a promotion. Therefore, they are advised to focus on their current work.There are no serious health problems predicted in 2019 for Dogs.
Dogs are advised to pay more attention to maintaining an exercise routine and to have routine medical checkups.
Dogs' financial prospects are not bad in 2019. They will probably get a salary increase. In addition, Dogs can look forward to being lucky with unexpected rewards. Dogs like to gain benefits by using strategies.
Dogs' love prospects are lucky in 2019. Dogs are likely to meet a nice person who will reciprocate their feelings. Sometimes, however, they might have conflicts with their partners.

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National Rollout of Burger King's Impossible Whopper

The Impossible Burger patty in a Burger King Whopper is the biggest bang so far in the galaxy of plant-based meats, and now that bang is even bigger: The Impossible Whopper goes nationwide at all 7,200 Burger King locations in the US on Aug. 8. After a successful test in St. Louis, which is battleground over the definition of "meat", the Impossible Whopper spread to San Francisco, Las Vegas, Miami and other cities, but national rollout has always been the benchmark of a new era in fast food.

Nationwide availability of the Impossible Whopper does much to assuage concerns that plant-based patties are a fad, a concern cited as a reason that McDonalds hasn't yet made a similar move. When and if McDonald's does choose (really, anoint) a plant-based "meat" patty it will be a bellwether, thanks to the brand having twice the number of locations and nearly four times the sales as Burger King in the US. McDonald's introduced a McVegan in Germany using a plant-based "Incredible Burger" from Nestle that has all the hallmarks of clear broadside at Impossible.

The new McVegan made with Nestle's "Incredible Burger" debuted in McDonald's German locations shortly after the Impossible Whopper was announced.

While the big food chains offer burgers, tacos, breakfast sandwiches and soon bacon made with plant-based meat, an even bigger battle is shaping up in grocery stores. Impossible just cleared a major hurdle toward offering its plant-based meat in stores, thanks to a favorable FDA ruling over the safety of heme, the plant ingredient that allows the burger to "bleed." Barring any objections that offer new proof the heme is unsafe, Impossible could have its burgers in grocery cases by this fall.

Aside from a specially formed Impossible Burger patty that conforms precisely to Burger King's bun diameter, the Impossible Whopper features the same bun, cheese and condiments as a traditional Whopper.

The Impossible Whopper has moved from regional availability to taking its place on Burger King's main menu page.

"We're making meat from plants. That's never been done before," Impossible Foods founder Pat Brown told me, tacitly demoting competitor Beyond Meat's plant-based burger, which has been offered at most of the 1,100 Carl's Jr. restaurants since the beginning of 2019. "People have made plant-based replacements for meat, but they haven't made plant-based meat."

One way the Impossible Whopper will indeed differ from the original is price, costing a significant $1 more in an industry where brands have gone to war brandishing menus of items that only cost a dollar. As with electric cars, price parity with the established choice is a future linchpin to mainstream success.

On the left is the Impossible Whopper we hacked in Impossible's test kitchen. On the right, a traditional Whopper, indistinguishable visually and on the palate.

"Once we have products that taste the same or better and that cost less, plant-based and clean meat will simply take over," according to Bruce Friedrich, executive director of the Good Food Institute, which champions plant- and cell-based meats.

"So very little will change in people's everyday lives as more and more meat is produced either from plants or from cells. Consumers will continue to buy burgers, chicken sandwiches and sausages, [but] those products will simply not have the adverse impact on our environment and global health."

Impossible says its team spent an inordinate amount of time getting its burger to survive the "death-defying drop" at the end of the broiler-conveyor without breaking apart.

The Plant Meat Wars are Just Starting

Burger King doesn't break out sales figures for Whoppers, let alone its expectations for the more expensive Impossible Whopper, but some insights can be inferred from a 2018 survey by Faunalytics. Assuming price was no different between beef and alternative burgers, 65% of consumers polled said they'd still stick with beef, 21% would choose a plant-based burger like Impossible, and 11% would select a cultured burger grown from animal cells, which isn't expected on the market until the early 2020s.

But Impossible's Pat Brown feels such surveys leave out the qualitative experience. "If you give them our burger, and then ask them the question again, a very large majority of them say they would definitely buy it and would be willing to pay a premium for it."

Acceptance of plant-based meats turns not only on taste, texture and price but on overcoming momentum. Environmental and animal welfare arguments have triggered a million conversations and social media posts about meat's issues, yet US per capita meat consumption hit an all-time high in 2018.

A case of Impossible Whopper patties, the result of a long effort to comport to the realities of the fast food industry, not the other way around.

And while burgers are the American diet icon, steaks aren't far behind, and an even bigger challenge in alternative meat marketing may soon unfold at fast casual steak chains like Outback or Texas Roadhouse. Unlike burgers, steaks generally arrive on the plate unadorned, without bun, cheese or condiments to mask any shortcomings. Get steak right, so the thinking goes, and the plant-based dominoes begin to fall.

Source: CNET

HIS Celebrated with a Groundbreaking Ceremony at its new site

At the auspicious time and date of 10:08am, August 8th, Hangzhou International School (HIS) celebrated with a Groundbreaking Ceremony at its new site on Huxi Road (close to Yingcui Road). Students, Parents, Faculty, Board Members of the HIS Community attended along with a number of VIP guests, including Deputy Secretary General Of Hangzhou Mulnicipal Government, Mr. Cheng Hua Min, Deputy Secretary of Hangzhou Education Bureau, Ms. Zheng Li Min, Deputy Chief of Hangzhou Education Bureau, Mr. Mao Wei Min, Chief of Binjiang District, Mr. Li Zhi Long, etc.

Hangzhou International School (HIS) was first opened in 2002 at its current site in Binjiang, alongside the campus of No. 2 High School. HIS serves students from 2-18 years old and is the first International School and only IB and WASC accredited school in the region. The school enrolls over 700 students from over 50 nationalities. Graduates attend top universities around the world. The Director of School, Mr. Jeffry Stubbs, has worked with HIS for thirteen years and has seen the rapid growth of student enrollment over the past years.  As the current school has reached capacity, the new campus will accommodate up to 1300 students and include state-of-the-art purpose-built facilities, including: 25-meter swimming pool, 650 seat theater, two soccer fields, three gyms, 3 libraries a design center, and separate early childhood facility.  The new school will also meet the highest ratings for energy and environment design.

Since 2017, Hangzhou International School (HIS) has worked in collaboration with the Hangzhou Municipal Government, Hangzhou Education Bureau and Binjiang District government, to establish a new facility for future growth.  In December 2017, HIS signed an agreement with the Binjiang District to lease land and build a new campus in the White Horse Lake area of Binjiang District.  The new HIS campus is located at the foot of beautiful Langdai Mountain and surrounded by water canals and park space.  White Horse Lake is located about a 15-minute drive from the current site.  While the current HIS has been a wonderful home with many memories and achievements, the HIS community is excited about the additional facilities and 21st century design of the new campus.

HIS is an IB World School that offers the expatriate community in Hangzhou an inclusive international experience and curriculum (Nursery to Grade 12) based on the International Baccalaureate (IB) framework. HIS is the first and only international school that is fully accredited by an international accrediting association and authorized by the IB. The school currently serves students from over 50 nationalities. As a community, HIS administration, staff, parents, and students work closely to achieve high levels of success for every child. Graduates attend prestigious universities throughout the world.

Flying Frenchman Successfully Cross the English Channel

Second time lucky: Daredevil French inventor Franky Zapata, 40, becomes the first person to successfully cross the English Channel on a jet-powered hoverboard a week after his first, failed attempt.

·   French inventor Franky Zapata has crossed the English Channel on a kerosene-powered hoverboard
·   The 40-year-old is the first person in history to complete the flight following a failed attempt last week
·   He landed on the White Cliffs of Dover after just 23 minutes of flight following takeoff at Sangatte, France

Flying Frenchman Franky Zapata today became the first person in history to cross the English Channel on a kerosene-powered board not much bigger than a tea tray – saying it 'feels magnificent!'.

The 40-year-old set off towards the White Cliffs of Dover from Sangatte beach, in Calais, at 7:16am UK time in front of a cheering crowd.

Within seconds he was soaring through the skies looking just like a high-tech version of Marty McFly, the character played by Michael J. Fox in the ‘Back to the Future’ films.

There were shouts of ‘Allez le Flying Frenchman!’ and ‘Go Franky, go!’ including from Mr Zapata’s wife, Kystal.

And at 7:39am – 23 minutes later – the triumphant Mr Zapata landed at St Margaret’s Bay in Kent, saying: 'Frankly, this feels magnificent!'.

The army reservist and former Jetski champion lifted an arm in the air in triumph, shed a tear, and savoured his incredible success.

'There were no problems this time,’ he told waiting reporters. ‘Frankly, I’m tired – I’m not on holiday, but I’m elated. Thanks so much my team, and to my wife'.

'For the last five to six kilometres I just really enjoyed it. Whether this is a historic event or not, I'm not the one to decide that, time will tell.'

'We made a machine three years ago...and now we've crossed the Channel, it's crazy,' he said, before breaking into tears.

Ms Zapata had been left hugely disappointed on July 25 when he failed in his first attempt to complete the same 22.4 mile journey.

Then, he had crashed off a refuelling boat 12 miles into the trip, but this time a larger vessel and landing platform were used.

The self-styled ‘Flying Frenchman’ travelled at a speed of some 87mph, staying at least 49 feet above the water.

French naval vessels kept an eye out during the crossing in case of trouble.

Calais authorities also gave him permission to keep the refuelling boat in French waters, something they had refused the first time around due to safety concerns.

Temperatures were above 25C on Sunday, the sun was shinning brightly, and there was next to no wind or waves.

The state-of-the-art device, which was built from scratch, resembled a souped-up tea tray and could reach an altitude of 10,000 feet. It was powered by five turbojet engines.

Mr Zapata wore a flying suit inspired by the lead character in the superhero movie Iron Man.

There was a maximum of 42 litres in Mr Zapata’s backpack, meaning he once again had to refuel half way across the Channel.

This meant landing on a boat, and swapping backpacks during a stop of no more than two minutes.

He added: ‘We created a new way of flying. We don't use wings. You are like a bird, it is your body that is flying. It is a boyhood dream. We want to follow a little bit in the footsteps of the pioneers of aviation.’

Mr Zapata hopes his device will one day enter commercial production, as a revolutionary piece of military hardware.

Last month, the board impressed crowds at France's annual July 14 Bastille Day Parade, where Mr Zapata zoomed through the air 50ft above Paris's Place de la Concorde dressed as a soldier and brandishing a rifle.

The Home-made Hoverboard that Flies at 120mph and Can Reach 10,000ft

Franky Zapata's designed his home-made hoverboard himself, which is inspired by the flying suit worn by the lead character in the superhero movie Iron Man.

Powered by five jet engines, the impressive 'Flyboard Air' can propel its driver through the sky at impressive speeds of up to 120mph and reach an altitude of 10,000 feet.

The state-of-the-art device, which he built from scratch, is powered by kerosene which is widely used as a fuel in the air industry.

Mr Zapata admits it is very similar to the hoverboard used by Marty McFly, played by Michael J Fox, in the Back to the Future films.

However, current models of the Flyboard Air can only stay airborne for about ten minutes on a single tank of fuel.

The impressive board operates via a small joystick and the rider must maintain a rigid body position while using small movements to help steer.

Last week, the Flyboard Air wowed crowds at France's annual Bastille Day Parade, where Zapata zoomed through the air 50ft above Paris's Place de la Concorde, donning soldier's uniform and holding a rifle.

Mr Zapata now hopes it will one day enter commercial production, as a revolutionary piece of military hardware - and he was even granted £1.26 million by France's Ministry of Defence to develop it.

Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly said that the board would be 'tested for different uses, for example as a flying logistical platform, or indeed as an assault platform.'

He previously broke a Guinness World Record by using the hoverboard to travel more than 7,388ft off the coastal town of Sausset-les-Pins - but was almost prosecuted by France's Civil Aviation Authority for the impressive feat.

He has since flown the Flyboard Air across a stretch of the Arizona desert.

Mr Zapata initially designed a board powered by water jets a decade ago, using a hose from the exhaust of a jet-ski to power an aerial device.

It can blast riders roughly 30ft above the waves, and allow them to perform somersaults and other tricks.

It has been in commercial production for several years now and is popular among thrill-seeking holidaymakers across the world.

Mr Zapata then spent four years developing a device that does not need to be connected to a jet-ski, so can fly over both land and sea.

Resource: MailOnline

New 2,000km Highway Through Russia Will Connect China to Europe

The missing link of the “New Silk Highway” is set to finally be completed. Construction has begun on a new highway that will stretch from Russia’s border with Kazakhstan to Belarus, serving as a critical part of the China-Western Europe transport corridor—an infrastructure mega-project that has been described as the “construction of the century.”

Once completed, the China-Western Europe transport corridor is meant to be the primary nervous system of the Silk Road Economic Belt, the overland portion of China's Belt and Road initiative. The corridor begins at the Chinese port of Lianyungang on the Yellow Sea and stretches along the Lianhuo Expressway, China’s longest road, to the Khorgos dry port on the border of Kazakhstan before moving through Russia en route to Western Europe. The corridor is meant to eventually combine road, rail and air transport hubs into a multi-modal ecosystem which could revolutionize the economic role of the central stretches of Eurasia and alter our paradigms of how goods are shipped between China and Europe. Ideally, this highway would allow trucks to travel between China and Europe in just eleven days, as opposed to 30-50 days by sea and 15 days by rail, making it the fastest overland option of the New Silk Road.

While the China-Western Europe transport corridor got its start in 2009, it was hamstrung by Russia’s reluctance to give its portion of the project proper attention and funding. For years, the corridor served as a high-speed transit route into the heart of Eurasia, rather than a bonafide “Silk Road” which properly connects the east with the west. Trucks would speed across China and Kazakhstan on one of the world’s most modern highways only to run aground at the Russian border, where they would meet head on with infrastructure of a more modest persuasion. However, the fortunes of this mega-project may soon change.

Dubbed the Meridian highway, Russia’s long-awaited portion of the China-Western Europe transport corridor is now under active development. It is to become a 2,000km toll road from the Sagarchin crossing point with Kazakhstan to the border of Belarus.

This new highway is slated to cost in the ballpark of $9.3 billion, with most of the financing coming from private firms rather than public coffers—although investors have sought $500 million of government backing to hedge against potential unforeseen political upheavals, such as the closing of borders. The main player behind the project is a Russian investment holding called LLC Meridian, a company that’s fronted by Alexander Ryazanov, the former deputy chairman of Russian gas giant Gazprom and current board member of RZD, Russia’s railway monopoly, who claims to already be in possession of 80% of the land the road is slated to pass through.

The Meridian highway is primarily being developed for cargo transport, and the main stream of revenue is expected to come from tolls, which Ryazanov estimates will take at least 12-14 years to recoup his company’s initial investment. However, the highway is also posited to generate a large amount of knee-jerk development along its route and create new jobs, in addition to reducing transport times from China to the west of Russia three-fold, according to the Russian Ministry of Transport.

One concerning aspect of the project is its geopolitical overtones. Jonathan Hillman of the Washington D.C.-based Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank, points out that the route of the new highway subverts Ukraine, which “would add to a series of Russia-led transport projects that limit Ukraine’s connectivity with the east." Political objectives adulterating transport routes and countries battling their rivals with large-scale infrastructure projects are nothing unusual on the New Silk Road. The Baku-Tbilisi-Kars Railway, for example, takes a conspicuous long-cut around the contour of Armenia, further cutting the small country off from its neighbors and putting it on the outside of the trans-Eurasian cargo flows that are starting to trickle through.

Hillman also pointed out that Russia could improve the future of this project by removing glaring trade barriers in the Eurasian Economic Union. One of the biggest bottlenecks of the Belt and Road isn’t just the fact that there are gaps in key trans-Eurasian transport routes but Russian sanctions against the import and transit of many products that could otherwise be shipped overland between Europe and China, which has actually given rise to a competing new corridor that bypasses Russia to the south.

While Russia has always officially been a participant in China's Belt and Road initiative and the broader New Silk Road, the country's level of actual commitment has always remained in question. Spanning across much of the Eurasian landmass, Russian participation is necessary if China's Belt and Road is to flourish. Two of the major overland routes between China and Europe pass through Russia, and Russian and Belarusian transport companies are often the workhorses behind the scenes that actually make these corridors function. However, Russia has carried out policies, including the above mentioned sanctions, which run directly against the "win-win" nature of the Belt and Road, and have been prone to delay or otherwise hamper the development of key infrastructure projects that must pass through their realm. The start of the Meridian highway is a good indication of where Russia is leaning as the Belt and Road picks up momentum.
Source: Forbes

These Pools Failed to Pass the Water Quality Inspection

Last week, we posted an article titled “Do You Know How Much Urine is in the Swimming Pools?” The survey at the end of the article showed that more than 60% of respondents have peed in the pool.

Recently, the supervisors of the Municipal Health and Wellness Committee conducted random monitoring of 289 swimming pools in Hangzhou. The first list of pools that failed the inspection was announced. Let's take a look at them, you might have been to quite a few.

Remark: According to the "GB9667-1996 Swimming Pool Hygiene Standards", the standard value of free residual chlorine (pool) is 0.3-0.5mg/L; the standard value of urea hygiene is ≤3.5mg/L; the total number of bacteria is ≤1000CFU/mL.

The results are not all bad and there are some safe and clean swimming pools in Hangzhou. Check out the list of A-class swimming pools, and go ahead to have a nice swim.

A Little More to Know   

Free Residual Chlorine: The requirement for free residual chlorine is to ensure that the water in the pool has a continuous ability to disinfect and can inhibit the re-propagation of residual bacteria in the water.

Urea: Urea in the pool is mainly derived from our sweat, secretions and excretions. Excessive urea content indicates a higher degree of contamination of the pool water.

Total bacteria: The total number of bacteria can be controlled when there is enough disinfectant in the pool, the pH value is kept within the specified limits, the circulation of pool water is appropriate, the swimming pool filtration equipment is often cleaned, and the swimming pool hygiene management is strengthened.

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