China builds missile target models in shape of US warships
Satellite images show that the Chinese military has built scale models of U.S. aircraft carriers and warships for ballistic missile testing in the country’s northwest desert. The models are an exact outline of the kinds of ships the United States uses in the South China Sea. Satellites picked up at least one clear image of an aircraft carrier and two Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, according to pictures from satellite imaging company Maxar acquired by the U.S. Naval Institute. “The mockups of several probable U.S.
The government is set to scrap the eastern leg of HS2 between the Midlands and Leeds, sources have told the BBC. © Siemens/PA
The Transport Department will instead announce a new rail plan on Thursday, involving £96bn of funding for high speed routes in the North and Midlands.
Sources said the impact of scrapping the Leeds leg of HS2 would make journeys longer by 20 minutes.
But the government is set to argue its new plans will deliver comparable benefits and be quicker and cheaper.
A source told the BBC political correspondent Nick Eardley they would show an "enormous amount of common sense".
High Speed 2 is a planned new high-speed railway line, originally meant to connect London with the city centres of Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds.
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However, Conservative MPs have expressed concerns about the cost of the eastern leg connecting the West Midlands and Leeds, and there have been rumours it would be scrapped since the summer.
According to a report in the Sunday Times this weekend, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps will instead announce two shorter high-speed routes created in part by upgrading existing lines. One will run between Leeds and Sheffield, the other from Birmingham to East Midlands Parkway.
The government is also expected to put money aside to explore setting up a tram service for Leeds.
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The Northern Powerhouse Partnership, a group of northern local authorities and business leaders, said the decision to scrap the Leeds leg of HS2 was a mistake.
Director Henri Murison said: "The reported loss of any of the new line on the eastern leg of HS2 is damaging, reducing the benefits of the section being built now between Birmingham and London.
"Without the benefits to areas such as Yorkshire and the North East, HS2's status as a project to drive the whole of the UK is undermined considerably."
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President Joe Biden signed a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill into law Monday. It will deliver $550 billion of new federal investments in America's infrastructure over five years, touching everything from bridges and roads to the nation's broadband, water and energy systems. Experts say the money is sorely needed to ensure safe travel, as well as the efficient transport of goods and produce across the country. The nation's infrastructure system earned a C- score from the American Society of Civil Engineers earlier this year.