Pro-Palestinian activists prevented the unloading of an Israeli cargo ship at the Oakland Port for the second time in less than two months.
Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Rai reports that the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad has moved chemical weapons from a base near the capital Damascus to the port city of Tartus, raising fears that they could fall into the hands of extremist groups like Hezbollah. Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Lebanese-based Hezbollah, insists that his organization doesn’t have chemical weapons and that it wouldn’t use them since Islamic law forbids them. Lebanese newspaper Al-Nahar reports that Nasrallah’s words may have come at the urging of a Russian envoy who recently travelled to Beirut to warn him against accepting the weapons. Israeli authorities have expressed concerns that fighting may spill over from Syria into Israeli controlled territories in the Golan Heights, where chemical weapons could be used by militant groups against Israeli targets. Many fear that growing desperation among Assad and his supporters may drive the regime to use them against the opposition. Last month, US President Barack Obama issued a strong warning that the White House would consider military intervention if Assad deploys or uses chemical weapons. Others speculate that Assad is moving the weapons to Tartus since it is in one of the few regions where Assad’s Alawite sect makes up the majority. King Abdullah II of Jordan has told American television network CBS that he believes Assad could try to create a mini-state in the Alawite stronghold if he loses control of the capital.
The Three Gorges Hotel and the passenger terminal of Chongqing Port were toppled in controlled explosions in Chongqing, southwest China. The 32-storey landmark passenger terminal and the hotel, which face the city’s Chaotianmen Square, were demolished by directional blasting on Thursday. A new building with complex functions of transportation hub, tourism, trade and business will be built as an improving project of Chaotianmen area.
Three years ago, the idea of a farmers’ market was completely alien to Israel. Certainly, most Israelis understand the idea of buying produce in an open-air stall, Jerusalem’s Machane Yehuda turns 100 this year and Tel Aviv’s Shuk HaCarmel is only ten years younger. But buying in the shuk instead of the supermarket is no guarantee that the wares are locally grown or of high quality, and those who operate the stalls in the shuk are still middlemen — not the farmers themselves.
An Israeli husband-and-wife team won first prize this autumn at the European Biennial of Landscape Architecture in Barcelona for their design of Tel Aviv port. For the first time, a project from Israel has won the European Biennial of Landscape Architecture, the world’s most prestigious European award for landscape architecture. More than 420 entrants competed for the prize, but Israeli architects Ganit Mayslits Kassif and Udi Kassif of Mayslits Kassif Architects were the ones who won first prize for their work that transformed Tel Aviv’s once-derelict port into a thriving and popular destination for locals and tourists alike. With a budget of $5 million, the husband-and-wife team took five years to develop the port project, which was completed in 2008. In addition to busy shops, clubs and restaurants that are open for business day and night, the port also attracts fisherman, cyclists, joggers and people of all ages. Everyone enjoys the long wooden boardwalk that runs alongside the sea, from the north of Tel Aviv to the popular beaches of Tel Baruch and beyond.