It had labyrinths of cabins, a swimming pool and sauna, a duty-free shop, a cinema, a casino, a video arcade, a conference center, three restaurants, and three bars. It also had a car deck that stretched from bow to stern through the hull's insides. In port the car deck was accessed through a special openable bow that could be raised to allow vehicles to drive in and out.
At sea that bow was supposed to remain closed and locked. In this case, however, it did not—and indeed it caused the ship to capsize and sink when it came open in the storm and then fell entirely off.
When Donald Trump stepped to the dais at the United Nations General Assembly yesterday, he had a speech full of sharp lines: swipes at socialism, assertions of nationalism versus globalism, harsh words for Iran. The president had a good reason to be distracted.
The same morning, he had spoken on the phone with Speaker Nancy Pelosi, trying to stem a growing tide of Democratic demands for his impeachment. Pelosi said the White House had to release the whistle-blower complaint to Congress, as required by statute.
When John F. Kennedy was 17, he was part of a prank club. The scheme was the culmination of a list of offenses at the school, and young Kennedy was expelled. The Framers underestimated the extent to which a demagogue might convince his supporters that the president and the people are one and the same. The policy of deliberate child torture was insufficient.
But when the president attempted to use his authority to extort a foreign leader into implicating one of his political rivals, a former vice president and longtime Democratic senator, in criminal activity, the leadership of the Democratic Party seemed to suddenly recognize what it was facing.
If Trump could do this to Joe Biden, after all, he could do it to any of them. When I last saw Rudy Giuliani for lunch, at the Trump International Hotel in Washington four weeks ago, his most pressing concern was that he had been locked out of his Instagram account. Farhad Yusef-Zadeh was observing the center of the Milky Way galaxy in radio waves, looking for the presence of faint stars, when he saw it: a spindly structure giving off its own radio emissions.
The filament-like feature was probably a glitch in the telescope, or something clouding the field of view, he decided. But the mystery filament kept showing up, and soon Yusef-Zadeh found others. What the astronomer had mistaken for an imperfection turned out to be an entire population of cosmic structures at the heart of the galaxy. The menagerie of filaments is clustered around the supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy. Milton Abel II reflects on the event that led to his decision to leave the upper echelon of the restaurant world. James Fallows. What does it mean for Kazakhstan?
Our first reader says, it means a lot. Pipeline chart from U.
Unjustified Hope of Iran's Central Asia Policy - Modern Diplomacy
Robert Henry Eller, who asks to be identified as a Jewish American who has lived and worked in Italy for the past ten years, writes: The overarching issue is that the U. And, once again, for the United States? From a reader in the U. More Notes From The Atlantic. Most Popular On The Atlantic. How did this get to be standard practice? However, industry analysts are doubtful that Iran will obtain such a capability any time soon. First and foremost, American components are generally necessary for such plants, and the United States will not provide Iran such components.
India and Iran continue to make progress on their commitment to build a North-South Corridor with Russia. Since this corridor is a part of an Indo-Iranian initiative to facilitate the movement of goods across Central Asia as well as Russia, both India and Iran entered into an earlier trilateral agreement with Turkmenistan in They are then transferred to ports in Russia's sector in the Caspian.
From there, the route extends along the Volga River via Moscow and onward to northern Europe. This is intended to serve as an alternative cargo route, linking Indian products with Russia through the Baltic ports of St. With a length of only 6, km, it is an enormous improvement over the 16, km route through the Suez Canal and the Mediterranean.
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Indian officials are very enthusiastic about this route, because it will reduce the logistics of moving goods and diminish travel time and transport costs. Trial runs began in early , with some 1, freight containers moving through it; officials expected those figures to rise by the end of As a part of this agreement, India agreed to help expand the Iranian port of Chahbahar and lay railway tracks that would connect Chahbahar to the Afghan city of Zaranj.
Iran hopes that expanding Chahbahar will relieve some of the congestion of Bandar Abbas. Part of the concern that emanates from this activity is the ambiguity about what kind of facility or facilities will materialize at Chahbahar. Currently, India claims that this will be a commercial port. However, others in the region--such as Pakistan and China--fear that once it is complete, Indian naval vessels will have a presence there. These apprehensions are important and may affect the Chinese and Pakistani planning at Pakistan's Gwador port.
The Gwador port lies along Pakistan's Makran coast, only a few hundred kilometers from Chahbahar. Gwador is being modernized and expanded with Chinese capital, and it is hoped that this port will diminish Pakistan's vulnerability to a naval blockade of its major port in Karachi. It has added importance in light of purported Indian and Iranian activities at Chahbahar. India has also committed to upgrading the kilometer road that links Zaranj and Delaran as part of a circular road network that will connect Herat and Kabul via Mazar-e-Sharif in the north and Kandahar in the south.
This would permit Indian goods to move into Afghanistan via Delaran and beyond. This initiative to expand trade into Afghanistan is part of a trilateral agreement that was signed with Afghanistan in January This agreement permits Afghan exporters to use Chahbahar with a 90 percent reduction on port fees and a 50 percent saving on warehousing charges. Afghan vehicles are also given full transit rights on the Iranian road system.
Business delegations have played an important role in consolidating business ties between the two countries. India's Ministry of External Affairs contends that Indian investment was sought in Iran's automobile, information technology IT , and textile sectors, and it was agreed that India could provide Iran with commodities such as sugar, rice, pharmaceuticals, food oils, and engineering goods. Both sides made a concerted effort to push non-oil trade. While these two states have been talking about "strategic relations" for some time with few concrete results, the last few years have witnessed ostensibly substantive advances.
India and Iran also established a joint working group on counterterrorism and counter-narcotics, reflecting their mutual security concerns in these functional areas. Moreover, as noted, they have instituted a strategic dialogue that has met four times between October and early This dialogue is the forum designed to explore opportunities for cooperation in defense in agreed areas, including training and exchange visits consonant with the commitments articulated in the New Delhi Declaration. Some analysts claimed that the agreement would boost Indian armament exports to Iran, a view that is shared by Iranian analysts as well.
According to some analysts, Iran hopes that India will provide expertise in electronics and telecommunications as well as upgrades for many of its legacy Russian weapons systems. According to the Indian press, India has trained Iranian naval engineers in Mumbai and at Visakhapatnam. Reportedly, Iran is also seeking combat training for missile boat crews and hopes to purchase simulators for ships and subs from India. Iran also anticipates that India can provide midlife service and upgrades for its MiG fighters and retrofit its warships and subs in Indian dockyards. India helped Iran develop batteries for its submarines, which are more suitable for the warm-weather gulf waters than those supplied by the Russian manufacturer.
Some analysts claimed that Iran wanted Indian technicians to refit and maintain Iran's T tanks as well as its BMP infantry fighting vehicles and the towed mm and mm artillery guns.
India is also planning to sell Iran the Konkurs anti-tank missile. This accord allegedly would also permit India to rapidly deploy troops and surveillance platforms as well as military equipment in Iran during times of crisis with Pakistan. If true, this is a turning point in regional relations and one that will, in principal, put Iran in opposition to Pakistan. These same reports claim that Indian and Iranian troops will conduct combat training, and naval forces will conduct "operational and combat training on warships and missile boats.
There has been some activity in the naval sphere; the two navies carried out their first joint naval maneuvers in the Arabian Sea in March This exercise was likely motivated at one level by the mutual concern about the security of sea-lanes of control and at another level by their discomfort with the increasing presence of the United States in the Persian Gulf in preparation for the invasion of Iraq.
This naval exercise was notable, because it both coincided with the mounting U. India and Iran conducted their second naval exercise on March , , overlapping with President Bush's trip to Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan. There has been considerable acrimony over the precise nature of this engagement.
A spokesman for the Indian Navy's Southern Command reportedly explained that Indian naval instructors briefed nearly sailors. The exercise, coming at a time when Congress was being asked to consider a civilian nuclear deal with India, antagonized critics of the deal. Indian and U. Both U. To focus merely on the substance or lack thereof of that particular exercise is to miss the larger picture of Indo-Iranian naval ties as described by Indian analysts.
Recently, a senior fellow with India's Observer Research Foundation described Indo-Iranian maritime relations in the following way:. India and Iran have enjoyed good maritime relations that include high-level political and military visits, joint-naval exercises, naval technology cooperation, and maritime infrastructure developments symbolized by port development in Chahbahar. Naval cooperation between the two sides dates back to the mids when the Indian Navy helped the Iranian Navy to adapt four Russian-built Kilo-class submarines for warm water conditions in the Persian Gulf.
Another important aspect of that naval visit was its timing and symbolism. As noted, it was concurrent with President Bush's visit to South Asia, during which President Bush agreed to deliver to India a path-breaking civilian nuclear deal that required legislative action by Congress and concomitant review of the deal and its implications. Indian officials correctly noted that the naval exercise was months in the planning. While this is surely true, it is equally true that the Bush visit was also months in the planning. The naval exercise--particularly one as unimportant as officials indicate--could have been postponed.