Just five years after China’s high-speed rail system opened, it is carrying nearly twice as many passengers each month as the country’s domestic airline industry. With traffic growing 28 percent a year for the last several years, China’s high-speed rail network will handle more passengers by early next year than the 54 million people a month who board domestic flights in the United States.
Surprise: if you build it, they will come. Wouldn’t it be great if the United States could figure this out?
“When the world’s leaders meet at the U.N. General Assembly next week, Obama should not only shake hands with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani but also meet with him privately, hand him a list of a dozen issues to discuss (uranium enrichment, sanctions, regional stability, etc.), and even be prepared to announce, if possible, a time and place for negotiations to begin and a roster of the delegates to be invited.”—Fred Kaplan in Slate, arguing that the ascendency of Rouhani to the presidency represents a rare opportunity for a diplomatic breakthrough between the U.S. and Iran. Rouhani, who was elected over the summer, has made numerousconciliatorygesturestoward the West since taking office. “No Iranian president, in the entire revolutionary period, has said anything remotely this appealing,” says Kaplan, who sees this as “an opportunity no Western leader can pass up.” While Obama officially has “no plan” to meet with Rouhani at the upcoming United Nations summit in New York, he’s also “open” to meeting with him (you can bet those words were careful deliberated before escaping White House Press Secretary Jay Carney’s mouth). If they do interface at all, it’ll be the first time since the Iranian Revolution that the American and Iranian heads of state meet in person. source (via shortformblog)