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Hitachi delivering 45-mile-per-hour elevator to Chinese high-rise

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Japan’s Hitachi said Monday it will provide the world’s fastest elevators, which can clock speeds of up to 72 kilometers (45 miles) per hour, to a high-rise building in China.

The lifts will be delivered to the 111-story, 530-metre (1,740-foot)-tall Guangzhou CTF Financial Centre due to be opened in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou in 2016, the electronics and engineering firm said in a press release.

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They will be able to travel the length of the 440 metre shaft — from the first to 95th floor — in a stomach-churning 43 seconds.

Hitachi will install a total of 95 elevators at the tower, including two of the superfast lifts, as well as slower machines such as double-decker lifts, the statement said.

The centre will be the tallest building in Guangzhou, complete with office, hotel and residential space.

The world’s fastest elevator uses a newly developed permanent magnet motor that achieves both a thin profile and a high output, the statement said.

It is also equipped with a braking system capable of withstanding the terrific heat that might be generated if a malfunction ever develops.

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China accounts for about 60 percent of global demand for elevators and is at the centre of fierce competition among the world’s elevator makers, a Hitachi official said.

The world’s fastest elevator currently in operation is the 60.6 kilometre per hour lift at Taipei 101, in Taiwan’s main city, he said.

[Image via Agence France-Presse]

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Ex-Bush official shreds Barr for serving Trump’s ‘authoritarian’ ambitions

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MSNBC's Elise Jordan busted Attorney General William Barr's hypocrisy on surveillance.

The "Morning Joe" contributor and former White House official in the George W. Bush administration, where Barr also served -- and helped build the surveillance state before going on to work for telecommunications companies that turned over customer data to the government.

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Blast damages hospital near biggest US base in Afghanistan

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At least one person was killed and dozens wounded when a bomb exploded close to the largest US military base in Afghanistan Wednesday, damaging homes and a hospital under construction near Bagram Airfield, officials said.

The attack -- which has not yet been claimed -- comes as Washington resumed talks with the Taliban on Saturday, three months after President Donald Trump abruptly halted diplomatic efforts that could end America's longest war.

"The explosion happened in front of the gate of the Korean hospital which is almost adjacent to Bagram airfield," Parwan governor spokeswoman Wahida Shahkar said, referring to the US airbase located north of Kabul, in Parwan province.

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The ‘War on Christmas’ was started more than 500 years ago — by Christians

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If it feels like the “War on Christmas” is getting really old, it is. Almost 15 years have passed since Bill O’Reilly first opened December with a segment called, “Christmas Under Siege”—ten long years in which his cadences and refrains and echoing chorus have become as familiar to most Americans as Handel’s Messiah. More familiar, in fact.

Not that O’Reilly invented the idea. During the 1920’s, Henry Ford’s newspaper published a series of anti-Semitic articles titled, “The International Jew: The World’s Foremost Problem.” Among the complaints:

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