Russia’s nuclear-powered icebreaker Arktika, touted as the strongest of its kind and a symbol of Moscow’s ambition to tap the Arctic’s commercial potential, returned to Saint Petersburg on Saturday after a two-day test run.
Destined to transport liquified natural gas from the Arctic, the giant vessel is 173 meters (570 feet) long and 15 meters high.
The run served to test the vessel’s functioning and manoeuverability, said Mustafa Kashka, general director of Atomflot, the company which runs Russia’s icebreaking fleet.
The nuclear-propelled ship however used diesel on its maiden voyage. According to its builders it can cut through 2.8 metres of ice.
Inaugurated in 2016, it is part of a planned fleet aimed at significantly boosting freight traffic along Russia’s Arctic coast which links the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans all year long.
The Arctic holds huge oil and gas reserves that are being eyed by Russia and other countries including the United States, Canada and Norway.
The plan will also make it easier for Russia to deliver hydrocarbons to South East Asia.
The final tests for Arktika are scheduled for March and April and it is set to start sailing in May.
Two other similar vessels the Ural and the Sibir are under construction.
The economic development of the Arctic is one of the key goals of President Vladimir Putin.
© 2019 AFP
Morning Joe’s Mika: Thousands are dying of COVID-19 because Trump is ‘surrounded by inexperienced suck-ups’
MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski got right to the point on Tuesday morning by saying people are getting sick and dying in the U.S. because Donald Trump is surrounded by a collection of "suck-ups" who won't tell him the brutal truth about what is happening in the country.
As part of a "Morning Joe" panel discussion on the failings of the Trump administration to head off of the COVID-19 pandemic that is ravaging the country -- despite ample warnings it was on the way -- Brzezinski, as well as co-host Willie Geist, levied some hard accusations against the president and his team.
MSNBC’s Morning Joe and Mika reveal why Trump likely ignored startlingly accurate COVID-19 memos
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski rebuked President Donald Trump for apparently ignoring startlingly accurate warnings from trade adviser Peter Navarro about the coronavirus pandemic.
Navarro's memos were circulated at the highest levels of government in January and February, but the president downplayed the virus until early March, when statewide lockdowns started wrecking the U.S. economy.
"In one worst-case scenario cited in the memo, Navarro warned that more than half a million Americans could die, and, yet, weeks after that, you had Donald Trump at rallies saying that in April when it warms up, this will miraculously go away," Scarborough said. "Put this in context with, I suppose you could say with 9/11, the memos warning of al-Qaeda attacks using airplanes, maybe missed signals FDR didn't pick up on before Pearl Harbor. I really don't know, though, what parallel there can be, because so many more people are going to die because of these missed signals."
Prince Harry and Meghan to start non-profit in US
Britain's Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle are planning to launch a wide-ranging non-profit organisation named Archewell, reports on Tuesday said.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who formally stepped down as senior members of the British royal family last week, told the Daily Telegraph newspaper they were establishing the organization in the United States, where they are now based.
The charitable organization will include emotional support groups, a multimedia educational empire and a wellbeing website among other things.
They said they wanted "to do something of meaning, to do something that matters".