The Mekong is a trans-boundary river in Southeast Asia. It is the worlds 12th-longest river and the 7th-longest in Asia and its estimated length is 4,350 km, and it drains an area of 795,000 km2, discharging 475 km3 of water annually. From the Tibetan Plateau the river runs through Chinas Yunnan Province, Laos, Cambodia, in 1995, Thailand and Vietnam established the Mekong River Commission to assist in the management and coordinated use of the Mekongs resources. In 1996 China and Myanmar became dialogue partners of the MRC, the extreme seasonal variations in flow and the presence of rapids and waterfalls in the Mekong make navigation difficult. Even so, the river is a trade route between western China and Southeast Asia. The English name Mekong derives from a form of Thai. In Thai and Lao, mae nam is used for any major river, as such and Lao locals often refer to it in English as the River Khong. In Khmer, Mékôngk is itself glossed as mother of water, from mé and taking kôngk as a form of kôngkea.
The local names for the river include, Burmese, မဲခေါင်မြစ်, IPA, Chinese, 加果空桑贡玛曲, 扎那曲 and 扎曲 Zā Qū, upper reaches, 澜沧江, 瀾滄江 Láncāng Jiāng, middle and lower reaches, Khmer, មេគង្គ Mékôngk, ទន្លេមេគង្គ Tônlé Mékôngk, ទន្លេធំ Tônlé Thum. Tai of Sipsong Panna, น้ำแม่ของ, น้ำของ, the Mekong Basin has one of the worlds largest and most productive inland fisheries. An estimated two million tonnes of fish are landed a year, in addition to almost 500,000 tonnes of aquatic animals. Aquaculture yields about two tonnes of fish a year. Hence, the lower Mekong basin yields about 4.5 million tonnes of fish, the total economic value of the fishery is between US$3.9 and US$7 billion a year. Wild capture fisheries alone have been valued at US$2 billion a year and this value increases considerably when the multiplier effect is included, but estimates vary widely. An estimated 2.56 million tonnes of fish and other aquatic animals are consumed in the lower Mekong every year. Aquatic resources make up between 47 and 80 percent of protein in rural diets for people who live in the Lower Mekong Basin.
Fish are the cheapest source of protein in the region and any decline in the fishery is likely to significantly impact nutrition. Fisheries contribute significantly to a diversified livelihood strategy for many people, particularly the poor and they provide a principal form of income for numerous people and act as a safety net and coping strategy in times of poor agricultural harvests or other difficulties
Reuters /ˈrɔɪtərz/ is an international news agency headquartered in London, England. It is a division of Thomson Reuters, until 2008, the Reuters news agency formed part of an independent company, Reuters Group plc, which was a provider of financial market data. Since the acquisition of Reuters Group by the Thomson Corporation in 2008, Reuters transmits news in English, Arabic, German, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean and Chinese. The Reuter agency was established in 1851 by Paul Julius Reuter in Britain at the London Royal Exchange, Paul Reuter worked at a book-publishing firm in Berlin and was involved in distributing radical pamphlets at the beginning of the Revolutions in 1848. Upon moving to England, he founded Reuters Telegram Company in 1851, headquartered in London, the company initially covered commercial news, serving banks, brokerage houses, and business firms. The first newspaper client to subscribe was the London Morning Advertiser in 1858, Reuters agency built a reputation in Europe and the rest of the world as the first to report news scoops from abroad.
Reuters was the first to report Abraham Lincolns assassination in Europe, for instance, in 1872, Reuters expanded into the far east, followed by South America in 1874. Both expansions were made possible by advances in overland telegraphs and undersea cables, in 1883, Reuters began transmitting messages electrically to London newspapers. In 1923, Reuters began using radio to transmit news internationally, in 1925, The Press Association of Great Britain acquired a majority interest in Reuters, and full owners some years later. During the world wars, The Guardian reported that Reuters came under pressure from the British government to national interests. In 1941 Reuters deflected the pressure by restructuring itself as a private company, the new owners formed the Reuters Trust. In 1941, the PA sold half of Reuters to the Newspaper Proprieters Association, the Reuters Trust Principles were put in place to maintain the companys independence. At that point, Reuters had become one of the major news agencies.
In 1961, Reuters scooped news of the erection of the Berlin Wall, in 1981, Reuters began making electronic transactions on its computer network, and afterwards developed a number of electronic brokerage and trading services. Reuters was floated as a company in 1984, when Reuters Trust was listed on the stock exchanges such as the London Stock Exchange. Reuters published the first story of the Berlin Wall being breached in 1989, share price grew during the dotcom boom, fell after the banking troubles in 2001. In 2002, Brittanica wrote that most news throughout the world came from three major agencies, the Associated Press and Agence France-Presse, Reuters merged with Thomson Corporation in Canada in 2008, forming Thomson Reuters. In 2009, Thomson Reuters withdrew from the LSE and the NASDAQ, instead listing its shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange, the last surviving member of the Reuters family founders, Baroness de Reuter, died at age 96 on 25 January 2009
A loading gauge defines the maximum height and width for railway vehicles and their loads to ensure safe passage through bridges and other structures. Classification systems vary between different countries and gauges may vary across a network, even if the track gauge remains constant, containerisation and a trend towards larger shipping containers has led rail companies to increase structure gauges to compete effectively with road haulage. Compliance with a loading gauge can be checked with a car which in the past were simple wooden frames or physical feelers mounted on rolling stock. The difference between the two is called the clearance, the terms dynamic envelope or kinematic envelope – which include factors such as suspension travel, overhang on curves and lateral motion on the track – are sometimes used in place of loading gauge. The height of platforms is a consideration when considering the loading gauge of passenger trains, where the two are not directly compatible, steps may be required which will increase loading times.
Where long carriages are used on a platform, gaps will occur between the platform and the carriage door, causing additional risk. Problems increase where trains of several different loading gauges and train floor heights use the same platform, the size of load that can be carried on a railway of a particular gauge is influenced by the design of the rolling stock. Low-deck rolling stock can sometimes be used to carry taller 9 ft 6 in shipping containers on lower gauge lines although their low-deck rolling stock cannot carry as many containers. Larger out-of-gauge loads can sometimes be conveyed by taking one or more of the measures, operate at low speed. Cross over from a track with inadequate clearance to another track with greater clearance, prevent operation of other trains on adjacent tracks. Use refuge loops to allow trains to operate on other tracks, use of Schnabel cars that manipulate the load up and down or left and right to clear obstacles. Use gauntlet track to shift the train to side or center, for locomotives that are too heavy, ensure that fuel tanks are nearly empty.
Turn off power in overhead wiring or in third rail, rapid Transit railways generally have a very small loading gauge. This reduces the cost of tunnel construction and these systems only use their own rolling stock. The loading gauge on the lines of Great Britain, most of which were built before 1900, is generally smaller than in other countries. In mainland Europe, the slightly larger Berne gauge was agreed to in 1913, as a result, British trains have noticeably and considerably smaller loading gauges and smaller interiors, despite the track being standard gauge along with much of the world. This results in increased costs for purchasing trains as they must be designed for the British network. The International Union of Railways has developed a series of loading gauges named A, B, B+
Portage or portaging is the practice of carrying water craft or cargo over land, either around an obstacle in a river, or between two bodies of water. A place where this occurs is called a portage. Early French explorers in New France and French Louisiana encountered many rapids, the Native Americans carried their canoes over land to avoid river obstacles. Over time, important portages were sometimes provided with canals with locks, primitive portaging generally involves carrying the vessel and its contents across the portage in multiple trips. Small canoes can be portaged by carrying them inverted over ones shoulders, voyageurs often employed tump lines on their heads to carry loads on their backs. Portages can be many kilometers in length, such as the 19-kilometre Methye Portage, some portages involve very little elevation change, such as the very short Mavis Grind in Shetland, which crosses an isthmus. This section deals mostly with the freight canoes used by the Canadian Voyageurs. Portage trails usually began as animal tracks and were improved by tramping or blazing, in a few places iron-plated wooden rails were laid to take a handcart.
Heavily used routes sometimes evolved into roads when sledges, rollers or oxen were used, sometimes railways or canals were built. If the second course were chosen, the boat would be controlled by the avant standing in front with a long paddle, the avant had a better view and was in charge but the gouvernail had more control over the boat. The other canoemen provided power under the instructions of the avant, going upstream was more difficult, as there were many places where the current was too swift to paddle. Where the river bottom was shallow and firm, voyageurs would stand in the canoe and push it upstream with 3-metre poles. If the shoreline was reasonably clear the canoe could be tracked or lined, that is, in worse conditions, the demi-chargé technique was used. Half the cargo was unloaded, the canoe forced upstream, unloaded, in still worse currents, the entire cargo was unloaded and carried overland while the canoe was forced upstream. In the worst case a full portage was necessary, the canoe was carried overland by two or four men The cargo was divided into standard 41-kilogram packs or pièces with each man responsible for about six.
One pack would be carried by a tumpline and one on the back, to allow regular rests the voyageur would drop his pack at a pose about every 1 kilometre and go back for the next load. The time for a portage was estimated at one hour per half mile, the Diolkos was a paved trackway in Ancient Greece which enabled boats to be moved overland across the Isthmus of Corinth between the Gulf of Corinth and the Saronic Gulf. It was constructed to high ranking Despots to conduct business in the justice system
Asian Highway Network
Agreements have been signed by 32 countries to allow the highway to cross the continent and reach to Europe. Some of the taking part in the highway project are India, Sri Lanka, China, Japan, South Korea. Most of the funding comes from the larger, more advanced Asian nations like Japan, the project aims to make maximum use of the continents existing highways to avoid the construction of newer ones, except in cases where missing routes necessitate their construction. Non-coastal areas, which are negligible, are the other beneficiaries. However, in the mid-2000s some transportation experts were sceptical about the viability of the given the economic. The Asian Highway Network is going to take over 2 projects, one is the AH45, AH 45A is the new highway all over Asia from Tonghua to Sanaa. The AH project was initiated by the United Nations in 1959 with the aim of promoting the development of road transport in the region. During the first phase of the considerable progress was achieved, however. ESCAP has conducted several projects in cooperation with AH member countries step by step after the endorsement of ALTID in 1992, during the 60th session of the ESCAP Commission at Shanghai, China, in April 2004, the IGA treaty was signed by 23 countries.
By 2013,29 countries had ratified the agreement, route AH1 is proposed to extend from Tokyo to the border with Bulgaria west of Istanbul and Edirne, passing through both Koreas and other countries in Southeast and South Asia. The corridor is expected to improve links between East Asian countries and Russia. To complete the route, existing roads will be upgraded and new roads constructed to link the network, uS$25 billion has been spent or committed as of 2007, with additional US$18 billion needed for upgrades and improvements to 26,000 km of highway. The project new highway route numbers begin with AH, standing for Asian Highway, followed by one, single-digit route numbers from 1 to 9 are assigned to major Asian Highway routes which cross more than one subregion. Route numbers are printed in the Latin script and Hindu-Arabic numerals and may simply be added to existing signage, like the E-road network. The actual design of the signs has not been standardized, only that the letters and digits are in white or black, most examples feature a blue rectangular shield with a white inscription with further examples of white on green and black on white rectangular shields.
What is believed to be the first car crossing of the extent of the new Asian Highway was achieved by Britons Richard Meredith. Eurowatch in London provided independent corroboration by tracking the location from satellite position reports. Meredith, a author and veteran of distance-driving events, agreed to make the attempt after attending the Asian Highway Treatys coming into force ceremony in Bangkok on July 4,2005
French Development Agency
French Development Agency is a public financial institution that implements the policy defined by the French Government. It works to fight poverty and promote sustainable development, in 2014, AFD earmarked EUR8. 1bn to finance projects in developing countries and for the French overseas territories, a commitment up by 4% compared to 2013. Its headquarters is located in Paris and its teams are based in Paris, Marseille and in a network of 72 agencies and representations abroad and in the French overseas territories. AFD is the descendant of the Caisse Centrale de la France Libre created by an ordinance of Charles de Gaulle on 2 December 1941 in London, the Fund’s role was limited to a note-issuing bank and Public Treasury institution. It became the Caisse Centrale de la France dOutre-mer on 2 February 1944 and it did, maintain its role as a note-issuing bank. Following the independence of a number of French colonies, CCFOM changed its name to Caisse Centrale de Coopération Economique in 1958, CCCE became Caisse Française de Développement in 1992.
Finally, with the reform of French cooperation in 1998, CFD become Agence Française de Développement,2013, Anne Paugam took over from Dov Zerah as CEO. She is the first woman to head AFD,2014, The Act on Development and International Solidarity recognized the importance of the work conducted by AFD towards France’s international commitments. 2015, Gaël Giraud became AFD’s Chief Economist,2016, Rémy Rioux takes over from Anne Paugam as CEO. As a specialized institution, AFD is subject to banking law. AFD is a financial institution. The Government has entrusted it with the role of the operator for France’s cooperation policy. It thereby combines the functions of development bank and implementing agency for France’s Official Development Assistance policy. ”In overseas France, AFD conducts a policy, on behalf of the State, to public authorities. This mandate was reaffirmed during the first Interministerial Committee for Overseas France, chaired by the French President, Agence Française de Développement implements the policy defined by the French Government.
It works to combat poverty and promote sustainable development and it achieves this by financing and supporting projects that improve living conditions for populations, promote economic growth and protect the planet. In 2014, AFD allocated EUR8. 1bn to finance projects, including EUR6. 35bn in developing countries, in 2014, AFD allocated some EUR 767m to education and health and invested over EUR 633m in water and sanitation programs. 7% is divided among various sectors, AFD operates in emerging countries for issues related to the protection of the environment and energy management. AFD, via the projects it finances and several initiatives, is gearing up for the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, AFD has been working for over sixty years to promote development in Southern countries and the French overseas territories
In rail transport, track gauge is the spacing of the rails on a railway track and is measured between the inner faces of the load-bearing rails. All vehicles on a network must have running gear that is compatible with the track gauge, as the dominant parameter determining interoperability, it is still frequently used as a descriptor of a route or network. There is a distinction between the gauge and actual gauge at some locality, due to divergence of track components from the nominal. Railway engineers use a device, like a caliper, to measure the actual gauge, the nominal track gauge is the distance between the inner faces of the rails. In current practice, it is specified at a distance below the rail head as the inner faces of the rail head are not necessarily vertical. In some cases in the earliest days of railways, the company saw itself as an infrastructure provider only. Colloquially the wagons might be referred to as four-foot gauge wagons and this nominal value does not equate to the flange spacing, as some freedom is allowed for.
An infrastructure manager might specify new or replacement track components at a variation from the nominal gauge for pragmatic reasons. Track is defined in old Imperial units or in universally accepted metric units or SI units, Imperial units were established in United Kingdom by The Weights and Measures Act of 1824. In addition, there are constraints, such as the load-carrying capacity of axles. Narrow gauge railways usually cost less to build because they are lighter in construction, using smaller cars and locomotives, as well as smaller bridges, smaller tunnels. Narrow gauge is often used in mountainous terrain, where the savings in civil engineering work can be substantial. Broader gauge railways are generally expensive to build and require wider curves. There is no single perfect gauge, because different environments and economic considerations come into play, a narrow gauge is superior if ones main considerations are economy and tight curvature. For direct, unimpeded routes with high traffic, a broad gauge may be preferable, the Standard, and 46 gauges are designed to strike a reasonable balance between these factors.
In addition to the general trade-off, another important factor is standardization, once a standard has been chosen, and equipment and training calibrated to that standard, conversion becomes difficult and expensive. This makes it easier to adopt an existing standard than to invent a new one and this is true of many technologies, including railroad gauges. The reduced cost, greater efficiency, and greater economic opportunity offered by the use of a common standard explains why a number of gauges predominate worldwide
Nong Khai is a city in north-east Thailand. It is the capital of Nong Khai Province, Nong Khai city is administered as Amphoe Mueang Nong Khai. Nong Khai lies on the Mekong River, near the site of the first Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge, the Thai-Lao Friendship bridge was largely funded by a gift to the Lao government from the Australian government. It is the road and railway gateway to Laoss capital, Vientiane,25 kilometers upriver, construction of a rail spur to Thanaleng outside of Vientiane was begun early-2007 and officially opened 5 March 2009. Nong Khai is 626 km north of Bangkok and 60 km north of Udon Thani, the Prap Ho Monument before the old city hall memorialises the dead of the Haw wars. In more recent years, Nong Khai has become a destination during the Buddhist Lent festival when mysterious balls of light, or Naga fireballs. The balls resemble an orange sun and they rise out of the river approximately 6–9 meters and disappear after three to five seconds. Although the fireballs can be seen at times, most Thais travel to see them during the full moon in October when the incidence of them is considered to be much higher.
Nong Khais main sight is Sala Keoku, a park of colossal sculptures, some over 20 m tall. The park is the handiwork of the mystic Luang Pu Bunleua Sulilat, who bought the land in 1978 when he was exiled from his native Laos, synthesizing Buddhist and Hinduist ideologies, many-armed goddesses, a seven-headed Naga snake, and various human-animal hybrids dominate the site. Nong Khai travel guide from Wikivoyage
Transport in Laos
This article concerns systems of transportation in Laos. Laos is a country in Asia, which possesses a number of transportation systems, including several highways. As a landlocked country, Laos possesses no ports or harbours on the sea, because of its mountainous topography and lack of development, Laos has few reliable transportation routes. Laotians in lowland villages located on the banks of rivers have traditionally traveled in pirogues for fishing, trading. Otherwise, travel is by ox-cart over level terrain or by foot, the steep mountains and lack of roads have caused upland ethnic groups to rely entirely on pack baskets and horse packing for transportation. The road system is not extensive, in mid-1994, travel in most areas was difficult and expensive, and most Laotians traveled only limited distances, if at all. Rail transport does not play a significant part in Laoss transport sector, a short portage railway, the Don Det – Don Khon narrow gauge railway, was built by the French while Laos was a part of French Indochina.
The railway crossed over the islands of Don Det and Don Khon, enabling vessels, the railway was abandoned and fell into disrepair, although some of the infrastructure is still in place. However, the scheme was aborted in the 1930s. In January 2007 work began on a 3, test trains began running on July 4,2008, and Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand formally inaugurated the line on March 5,2009. The proposed line would continue to the coast at Vung Ang, a port in Hà Tĩnh Province, according to plans established by ASEAN, the line may be extended via Thakhek all the way to the Laotian capital Vientiane. Both Laos and Thailand have expressed interest in the project as a shorter export gateway to the Pacific Ocean. By 2012, the Thakhek project was not in the news anymore, an agreement for the construction of this 220-kilometre-long, $5 billion line, was signed on Nov 5,2012 with the Malaysian company called Giant Consolidated Limited. The work is supposed to begin in 2013 and be completed in 4 years, Laos has a long history of negotiating with China regarding the possibility of a join railway project.
In October 2010, plans were announced for a 530 km standard gauge railway linking Vientiane to Xishuangbanna, construction was expected to begin in 2011, for completion in 2014. There were plans to extend this railway south from Vientiane to Bangkok, however, in April 2011 it was reported that construction of the railway has been postponed indefinitely, while the Chinese Minister of Railways Liu Zhijun has been arrested on corruption charges. In October 2012, it was announced again that an agreement with China about the construction of a railway from Vientiane to the Chinese border is to be signed within days, the project cost is quoted at $7 bln, and the construction will be done by Chinese companies. The ground-breaking ceremony was planned for November 2012, and the completion of the project was expected by 2017, the rail link will go through Yunnan province, linking together Kunming, China with Vientiane, Laos via Bangkok, Thailand to Dawei, Myanmar