A new design for the Freedom Tower at the World Trade Center site slopes gracefully into a spire rising 532.8m, echoing the Statue of Liberty, images released on Friday show. \nThe new plan -- which comes after months of contentious negotiations between designers Daniel Libeskind and David Childs -- retains many elements of Libeskind's original plan but appears to smooth out its most angular elements. \nAt a news conference to unveil the design, Childs said the tower must be "simple and pure in its form, a memorable form that will reclaim the resilience and the spirit of our democracy." \nNew York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the tower, which would be the world's tallest, would "dramatically reclaim a part of the New York City skyline that was lost on 9-11." \n"This is a wonderful day, not just for New York, but for the US," said Bloomberg, who appeared with the architects and George Pataki, governor of New York state, to unveil the new design. \nThe cost is estimated at US$1.5 billion, said Charles Gargano, vice chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the public agency that owns the site. \nGargano said the Port Authority, once headquartered in the World Trade Center, plans to occupy one-third of the building's office space. The governor's Manhattan offices will also be located in the tower. \nThe plan follows the original, asymmetrical structure proposed by Libeskind, who was originally tapped as the architect to remake the area known as "ground zero" by the Lower Manhattan Development Corp, the agency charged with redevelopment. \nBut Childs, who was appointed by leaseholder Larry Silverstein, succeeded in including a lattice structure complete with energy-generating windmills at the top of the building. Childs likened the suspension elements of the new design to the Brooklyn Bridge, with the bottom of the building "torqued or twisted." \nThe building is to be put up on the northwest part of the World Trade Center site, not on the footprint of the vanished towers. \nThe plan calls for a cable suspension structure that creates an open area above the building's 70 floors of office space, and houses windmills to generate energy. The windmills could provide 20 percent of the building's energy. \nSilverstein, often a silent presence at redevelopment announcements, said he was emotionally moved by both the design and the process of creating it. \n"What we see today is, in my judgment, beautiful. It's spectacular; it is also very practical," Silverstein said. \nHe has promised to build one new skyscraper at the site each year after the expected completion of the Freedom Tower in 2009, finishing the five-building complex in 2013. \nThe new design retains an important part of Libeskind's original concept, an 82.8m spire intended to evoke the Statue of Liberty nearby in New York Harbor. \nDespite persistent reports of conflict between the two designers, Childs told NBC they had "a spectacular time working together. Creative minds have different thoughts about how you do things. I wouldn't want to work with somebody who would just say yes." \n"This represents a melding of two very, very talented, creative geniuses," Pataki said. \nNegotiations had been contentious between the two architects. Libeskind, who created the Jewish Museum in Berlin but has little experience with major commercial projects, once compared the relationship with Childs, who designed the new Time Warner building in Manhattan, to a "forced marriage." \nSeveral safety features were included in the design, such as separate staircases for firefighters and a "blast-resistant glaze" on the lobby glass.
Reporters Without Borders has accused the Algerian government of taking advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to “settle scores” with independent journalists, including those covering long-running anti-government protests. In a statement signed with Algerian non-governmental organizations, the watchdog on Thursday called for the immediate release of its correspondent, Khaled Drareni, who has been in pretrial detention since Sunday after being charged with inciting an unarmed gathering and endangering national unity. Drareni has been arrested several times for covering the “Hirak” anti-government protests held in the capital, Algiers, every Friday since February last year. Imprisoning people during a pandemic is “an act of physical endangerment,”
Vietnam has lodged an official protest with China following the sinking of a Vietnamese fishing boat that it said had been rammed by a Chinese maritime surveillance vessel near islands in the South China Sea. The Vietnamese fishing vessel, with eight fishermen onboard, was fishing near the Paracel Islands (Xisha Islands, 西沙群島) on Thursday when it was rammed and sunk by the Chinese vessel, the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement posted on a government Web site yesterday. All of the fishermen were picked up by the Chinese vessel alive and were transferred to two other Vietnamese fishing vessels
DIVIDED YOUTH: There is a belief that overseas students see themselves as superior, which is compounded by perceptions of their extreme wealth and multiple nationalities Chinese students flying home from overseas to escape the COVID-19 pandemic face a frosty reception from sections of the public who view them as wealthy, spoiled — and potentially contaminated. The number of officially reported cases in China has dwindled dramatically over the last month, but the country is now taking drastic steps to try and stem a second wave of infections brought in from abroad. With most international flights canceled and nearly all foreigners barred from entering the country, the vast majority of returnees are Chinese nationals, including many students. The situation has exposed animosities over class and privilege in Chinese society,
‘SHOW RESTRAINT’: Kismayo elder Adan Jama said that dead bodies were strewn in the battle zone and civilians were fleeing as the fighting had affected several villages At least 20 people have been killed in southern Somalia in clashes between militia from rival clans fighting over land, officials and witnesses said on Thursday. Tensions between fighters from the Owrmale and Majerten clans, which live about 30km outside the southern city of Kismayo, have been rising in recent weeks. “The fighting intensified today, and 20 people from the two sides were killed and dozen others including civilians wounded. This is a horrible situation that needs to be stopped,” local government official Abdikarin Mohamed said. “The dead bodies are strewn in the battle zone and civilians are fleeing as the fighting has