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China Unveil World’s longest sea bridge.

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Another step in China’s project to bring Hong Kong into its bosom is complete and is set to connect the former European outposts of Hong Kong and Macau with the mainland.



The $15 billion, 55-kilometer (34-mile) bridge, which Xinhua says is the world’s longest sea link, will open for traffic at 9 a.m. Wednesday and is tipped to carry some 29,000 cars and trucks daily between Zhuhai on the mainland and Hong Kong, a former British colony. The waters over which the bridge stands now was formerly patrolled by three navies, and the land borders were decades ago guarded by the People’s Liberation Army to mostly keep defectors from leaving.

 

 
The project is part of President Xi Jinping’s sweeping plan to knit the so-called Greater Bay Area in southern Guangdong province into a high-tech megalopolis to rival California’s Silicon Valley. It also envisions a better marriage between China’s industrial might and its one-party state and the liberal, capitalist bastions of Hong Kong and Macau, which have their own passports, currencies, trade policies, courts and civil rights.

The Greater Bay Area could serve as a new growth engine for the capital markets of Hong Kong, the casinos of Macauformerly a Portuguese colony, and nearby Shenzhen, the economic powerhouse one of Xi’s predecessors, Deng Xiaoping, built on their doorstep almost four decades ago. The area — with 67 million residents — would boast a trillion-dollar economy and eclipse Japan as the world’s fourth-largest exporter, according to HSBC Holdings Plc.
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 The bridge, inaugurated Tuesday by Xi, “would enable Hong Kong and Macau to better leverage the favorable conditions and the unique advantage offered by the mainland” to help engage with the world, Vice Premier Han Zheng said at a function to mark the event in Zhuhai.
The sea bridge is the latest to link Hong Kong directly to the mainland. In September, the city plugged into China’s 15,500-mile high-speed rail network with a futuristic new terminus overlooking the Victoria Harbor. A train to Beijing from Hong Kong now would take nine hours and cost less than half the price of flight ticket.
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24 Hours Across Africa

Russian: President Putin eases access to citizenship for east Ukraine residents.

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Source: Reuters

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed an order simplifying the procedure for obtaining a Russian passport for residents of the rebel-controlled Donetsk and Luhansk regions of eastern Ukraine, the Kremlin said on Wednesday.

Separatist rebellions broke out against Ukrainian rule in both regions in 2014. Moscow provided military help for the separatists, according to evidence gathered by Reuters, though Russian officials have denied providing material support.

Large swathes of the two regions are now under the de facto control of the Moscow-backed rebels, while Kiev says it is determined to re-assert its control, a position backed by most Western countries.

There was no immediate reaction from Kiev to Putin’s order. Ukrainian officials are likely to react angrily to any indication Moscow is drawing the rebel regions closer into its own orbit.

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Machester Derby – Epl’s Most important Match of the Season

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The Manchester derby today is arguably the most important match of the season as it will determine the comfort of Liverpool on the league table or the come back of Manchester City on top, while it also may determine the place of United in the European leagues next season.

Meanwhile, Manchester City have won five of their last seven Premier League fixtures at Old Trafford (D1, L1), having triumphed in only one of the first 14 visits. A seventh away win for City would be a new Premier League record for overall wins at Old Trafford by a visiting club

Manchester United have Luke Shaw available after suspension but Phil Jones limped off during the defeat at Everton and is not expected to be fit.

Ander Herrera, who has been out for four weeks with a thigh injury, was not part of the squad which arrived at the team hotel on Tuesday.

Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne will miss out after sustaining a hamstring problem last weekend.

Claudio Bravo is City’s only other injury absentee

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