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Beijing will invest 235.4 billion yuan ($35.2 billion) in 300 key projects focusing on infrastructure construction, improve
ment of people’s livelihoods and high-tech industries this year, director of the city’s Development and Reform Com
mission Tan Xuxiang said at a working conference yesterday, Beijing Business Today reported.
Among these projects, construction and installation investment is estimated to reach 124.3 billion yuan, the director added.
177 key infrastructure construction projects, including
those related to the city’s sub-center in East Beijing’s Tongzhou district and the improvement of
the southern city, will take 82 percent of total construction investment, around 101.4 billion yuan.
The total number of projects for the improvement of residents’ liv
elihoods, such as hospitals and affordable housing, doubled from 57 in 2018 to 100 this year.
But dreams of a new reality for Iran screeched to a halt in May 2018 when President Donald Tr
ump pulled the United States out of the nuclear deal. Despite repeated certifications that Iran was
sticking to its end of the bargain, Trump unleashed several rounds of stinging sanctions on the country.
The US president said the penalties aimed to force Iran to end its military adventurism in the region, a demand that Iranian officials have repeatedly brushed off.
Officially, the sanctions exempt humanitarian goods, such as food, medicine and medicin
al instruments. But in reality, shortages in essential goods have affected households across the country.
Ali now gets the medicines to treat his daughter’s rare genetic disease, from friends living abr
oad. Her medical bill has more than doubled, forcing him to sell his car, work two jobs, and accu
mulate loans. He says that his entire salary from his day job as a waiter goes toward Dory’s treatment.
”I am a wedding singer at night. I try to stay cheery and
keep a smile on my face, but on the inside all I can think about is my daughter,” says Ali.
Reem pre-booked the taxi. It was Rawan’s job to retrieve their passports from a bag stored in their parents’ bedroom. Around 2 a.m
., she tip-toed past them as they slept, took the bag with their passports, then snuck back in again to return the bag so as not to raise suspicion.
”It’s a really great memory, exciting,” Rawan tells CNN, smiling. Of the two sisters, she‘s the more talkative, taking the lead and occasi
onally looking to her sister for advice on the right word in English. Reem is more reserved. She’s careful about what she says and who to tr
ust. They both have dark, short, curly hair and being small in stature seem much younger than their years.
When the cab driver arrived at 5 a.m., the sisters say they did something they’d never do
ne before. They pulled on jeans they’d bought in secret and walked out of the house without their abayas.
It was only after they arrived at Colombo Airport that the sisters booked the flight they’d
meticulously researched online: SriLankan Airlines flight UL892 departing Colombo at 9 a.m., arriving Hong Kong a
t 5:10 p.m. local time. From there, they’d take Cathay Pacific flight CX135 departing at 7:10 p.m. for Melbourne, Australia.
They had no trouble boarding the plane for the roughly six-hour flight to Hong Kong.
It was after they arrived in at Hong Kong International Airport that things started to go wrong.