It took me two days to realize that what they were destroying were not earthworks but an ancient city wall dividing outer Kashgar from the Old City kept safely inside. In the Old Town, people lived not only by their own traditions but by their own sense of time: when Chinese people working by Beijing hours went to sleep, those in the old Uyghur downtown were only just settling down to eat dinner. A crowd poured slowly out of the central mosque, trickling along the narrow alleys around the main square; people sat down unhurried at the tables that stood along the road or walked to the night market, which floated in a cloud of cooking smoke and the mouthwatering scent of fresh flatbread.
The men were dressed in robes and wore long beards, knee-high boots, and tall fur-lined hats. Women dyed their eyebrows, and the men had knives hanging from their belts — these knives, the famous pchaki , were produced in the neighboring city of Yangisar, which had for centuries sold blades to caravans passing through on the Silk Road.
At the enormous city market, people bought carpets, sheep, and dried lizards or snakes; on the streets, barbers shaved their clients out in the open and groomsmen shod horses with nails made on the spot in the workshop next door. Here, life seethed and boiled, life as Fleming had described it and as the great turn-of-the century explorers had described it before him. In the early aughts, arriving in Kashgar was like falling suddenly into One Thousand and One Nights , but a new life was marching in from all sides, and the Chinese quarter, which was previously located on the edges of the area, now created a ring that pressed in around the older buildings.
Wandering here on moonless nights under the hundreds of crescents decorating the mosques, I understood that I was seeing all of this for the last time, and I was surprised at the patience with which the Uyghurs faced the upheaval ahead. At the same time, in neighboring Tibet, Chinese forces were drastically altering daily life under the authority of a forced police occupation. These disturbances became pogroms; people were killed, mostly Han Chinese. The authorities arrested thousands of protesters, and at least 30 of them were sentenced to execution by firing squad.
In response, some Uyghurs turned to terrorist acts — primitive and badly organized but regularly sustained. In , a man and a woman threw explosives into a crowd in Aksu; of the seven people killed, five were police officers. One year later, 15 young men armed with knives took control of a police office in Hotan to protest a prohibition on wearing paranjas , feminine garments equivalent to burkas.
All the attackers were killed along with two employees of the police force. In July , a series of explosions in Kashgar caused the deaths of 10 people. Thirty-three more were killed in a knife attack at a train station in Kunming in In the same year, a Chinese consulate in Kyrgyzstan was attacked, and a shrine in Bangkok that is popular among Chinese tourists was bombed. By then, the repressions within Xinjiang reached such a level that Uyghur people began to join international terrorist groups. In a rare interview with The Associated Press , Uyghur fighters who had settled in Turkey after participating in the Syrian war said they were interested not in jihad but in gaining experience in battle that they could apply during further conflicts in their homeland.
In secret from their fellow Islamic State fighters, they studied the writings of Zionists in hopes of applying the Jewish experience to their own attempts at self-governance. That status soon became quite useful for China, which publicly joined the international War on Terror in In an attempt to gain some kind of idea of what was going on, I corresponded with many of these visitors. In , one of the athletes told me about a Kyrgyz man he had met in Ghulja who swore that he had witnessed a mass shooting in Kashgar. Several years later, a different group of tourists heard the same story from a resident of Kashgar.
Later on, in one of the local villages, they met a group of Uyghur police officers, and one year after that, they heard upon their return to Kashgar that their acquaintances had all been stabbed to death by jihadists who were then shot by the authorities. In , Xinjiang appeared on Russian television for the first and last time in this century: Four of the six participants in a boating trip led by Sergey Chernik drowned in the Yurunkash River.
After that, however, all lines of communication were broken. At approximately the same time, the World Uyghur Congress, a Munich-based human rights advocacy organization, began to publish frightening reports of people disappearing in Xinjiang. They explained that Uyghurs had been forbidden from contacting people from outside the borders of the province even if those people were their own relatives. One person after another stopped answering the phone; Chinese Uyghurs deleted friends living abroad from their contact lists on WeChat, the most popular Chinese messaging platform. WhatsApp and Facebook had already been blocked years earlier, but now, those who used them faced the threat of prison time.
Back then, these rules applied only to voice calls and written chats, and some parents spoke with children studying beyond the border through video chats, their spoken words diverging sharply from the messages they displayed simultaneously on pieces of paper held up to the camera.
One Xinjiang resident managed to keep up connections through video calls embedded in video games. Then, the silence became complete. A few years before then, Chinese video cameras appeared in Tibet that were capable of sending the state messages about the movements of specified people targeted for surveillance. Orders for required quotas of arrests trickled down to local policemen, and in some population centers, those figures reached 40 percent of the population.
When Uyghur sources began speaking about the hundreds of thousands of people held in these camps, I finally decided to return to Xinjiang. This time, I traveled in my own car, but getting into China turned out to be far more difficult than it had been 15 years before. I received permission to enter over the course of six months — only a licensed Chinese tourist agency had the ability to sign my entry papers. A guide was supposed to meet us at the border, and I had been sent his phone number in advance. Calling an Uyghur guide from a foreign number would have been impossible, but the strictness of Chinese laws was, as usual, partially compensated by a willingness to break them: the agency advised me simply to borrow a telephone from the border guards.
As a result of all this, the underdeveloped region began to see a grandiose influx of resources. As it brought its road network up to European standards, China began to subsidize construction projects among its neighbors — a new railroad will connect Xinjiang to Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. The trains have not begun running yet, but the highway that I took in my earlier trips is now covered in respectable asphalt.
There were no longer barracks along the border pass. In place of a sleepy soldier, an entire division in contemporary military uniforms stood on the new Kyrgyz outpost. In , not far from the border, there was a traffic accident in which 11 Uyghurs crossing the border and one Kyrgyz park ranger were killed. Those killed did not have firearms with them, but a Koran, a compass, a knife, a rope, and a shroud were found among the possessions of each one.
The Kyrgyz government and a Chinese commission considered this collection of items to be a sign of terrorist activity; it was decided that security along the border would be strengthened. On the Chinese side, the only new thing was the barrier before which the stony-looking soldier on guard photographed our faces and punched our passport numbers into a computer.
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Fifty meters away, near the next barrier, five soldiers carefully searched my car. They checked our passports again and once again took pictures of the passengers. In the course of the next 20 minutes, we passed through three more checkpoints — and drove past no fewer than 10 video cameras. By the next barrier, a guard in white gloves used his baton to direct us to an enormous, modern-looking building with gates that opened and closed automatically. It was full of scanners and X-ray machines that reminded me of shiny new medical equipment. Our guide, a thick-set Uyghur in a tracksuit, was waiting for us there.
With a guilty smile, he confessed that these checkpoints had been a mere warm-up — we would soon have to pass through three phases of customs enforcement, each of which would include between two and four steps. For starters, the border guards looked through the contents of all our telephones, deleting photographs taken in the neutral zone behind us. Our luggage passed through an X-ray machine. Books and notes were examined separately, and Freedom at Midnight, a thick tome about the partition of India and Pakistan, caused particular consternation.
The images had been too low-quality — the car had to be scanned three times in total. Each time, thanks to the strength of the X-ray beams in the box, a radiation detector was triggered and a siren let out an extended howl, but no one paid it any attention. After the customs inspection, a military one began — people in uniform plugged a special device into all our computers that would scan our videos, photos, contact lists, and text files.
They searched for maps, faces, and names. I was worried because my computer contained portraits of my old Uyghur friends, but the soldiers worked clumsily and found neither them nor my archive of Tibetan photographs. For a moment, though, I was frightened: in all my years traveling in China, I had never had to deal with anything like this. Soldiers had taken telephones from the tourists who were undergoing examination near us and had begun to install a special app called JingWang Weishi that is used in Xinjiang for surveillance of the Muslim population. JingWang sends the police an identification number for the device, its model, and the telephone number of its owner before monitoring all the information that passes through the telephone, warning the user when it finds content that the government deems dangerous.
I had read about this application before but thought its existence to be a false rumor. After five hours at the border, though, I had already learned that installing the app had become mandatory for all Xinjiang Uyghurs. I managed to hide my cell phone when the right moment came.
After the military inspection, we were told to continue to a passport control station located 85 miles inside the country. The road was unrecognizable: a magnificent new highway looped its way through the sandy hills, periodically diving into tunnels and crossing rivers on bridges of a sort never before seen in Asia. Strangely, there was barely any traffic on it, but at one point, our car was suddenly surrounded by camels, the descendants of those furry, two-humped Bactrians on whose shoulders the Silk Road had rested. They were enormous and rose above the car like robots from Star Wars.
They galloped a bit on the highway and, leaping easily over the tall metal barriers enclosing it, made their way back into the desert at a run. In the desert they roamed, it seemed that Xinjiang had not changed at all: it remained boundless with a sea of sand dunes, migrating lakes, snowy peaks on the horizon, and roaring rivers concealed in its narrow but bottomless canyons.
As before, every trip on the highway promised adventure, and I had the urge to drive down away from the road and swoop in circles among the sandy hills, preferably without needing another stamp on my passport beforehand. On this trip, such a thing was impossible. Every few miles, a camera preserved every movement that crossed into view.
Each of them only had one eye, but they were often clustered in groups of three to five. At night, lights are projected over the camera lenses, blinding drivers more than oncoming headlights ever could. As we drove past another checkpoint, I tried to shield my eyes with my hand in an attempt to catch a glimpse of the road. The gesture did not go unnoticed: all four cameras immediately flashed a series of strobe lights.
Every 15 or so miles, the road was blocked by heavy-duty steel barriers and spike strips capable of stopping a tank. Long lines of passengers from Uyghur buses stretched out from tourniquets that led to booths with facial scanners and then to small windows where the results of the scan were compared with a plastic ID card. Many passengers were asked to pull up the Mobile Hunter application on their cell phones or to enter their passwords and simply hand the phones over to police. People lined up casually, as though by force of habit, and at every checkpoint, a cluster of those same hanging cameras watched them from the ceiling.
I noticed that only very elderly men have beards nowadays. Three years ago, the Chinese government announced that private and state-owned CCTV surveillance systems that use facial recognition would be unified into a shared database that would encompass the entire population by Xinjiang, which had also been the site of the first Chinese nuclear weapons tests, was once again chosen as the site of a pilot experiment. This is where the majority of the 20 million CCTV cameras at work in the country are located.
Their astonishing numbers, palpable even to the naked eye, have been confirmed by official sources. By , Chinese government spending on internal security had exceeded spending on external defense by 13 percent. After successfully introducing this surveillance system in Xinjiang, Chinese authorities moved to export its breakthrough technology.
China, the largest importer of Ecuadorian oil, lent the country millions of dollars in credit for the project, which would oversee the installation of security cameras in almost two dozen Ecuadorian provinces. Moving forward, we'll be heads-down focusing on addressing these larger issues instead of shipping updates. Call to Arms Explore the initial card set, featured event, and more. The result is an immersive and visually-stunning trading card game unlike any other. Unlimited hand size. Unlimited number of units you control.
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Show graph. Off-topic Review Activity. The result is Oregon taxable income. Oregon sales are based on where the greater cost of performance occurs for intangible sales. In the case of tangible goods, Oregon sales include the throwback of sales to customers where the entity would not otherwise be taxable. Oregon offers more incentive programs to traded-sector businesses companies that sell products or services outside of the area than Washington and California combined. Attempting to understand all cost factors in different states and how those impact your specific business can be a daunting task.
Some cost factors such as the efficiency and approach of regulatory oversight i. State officials attribute the decrease to a focus on improving worker safety, getting injured workers treated and back on the job quickly, as well as the initial impact of medical cost control strategies. Even a company with 50 employees can realize six-figure annual savings on this one cost factor alone.
This was more than double the pace of national growth 1. Since early , unemployment rates have been reduced significantly. Central Oregon is currently experiencing some of the lowest unemployment rates ever recorded in the region. As of May , Deschutes County's unemployment rate dropped to its lowest ever at 3. However, that is no longer the case. The high demand has exerted pressure on prices and a growing interest in multi-family residential construction, particularly in Bend and Redmond.
In the last year, two and three bedroom rental houses increased more on a percentage basis than apartments and duplexes. Our expectation is that annual rental figures will be up sharply in Bend, Redmond, Prineville, and Sisters amidst strong in-migration and near record low vacancies. Prices have rebounded substantially; both median and average home prices increased in across the region and are currently at or above all-time highs.
Note: Prices in Sunriver and Sisters include a higher percentage of high-end homes and homes on acreage than comparable prices in Bend or Redmond. Retail and office sectors are experiencing historically low vacancy rates in all commercial real estate sectors in Bend and Redmond. Activity in the industrial market approximately 5. The Redmond industrial market has also performed well in the recovery, with a current vacancy rate of 2. Ten of the last eleven quarters have shown increasing occupancy in the Redmond industrial market. Building activity is steadily increasing throughout Central Oregon.
As a result, the number of building permits issued for new commercial construction, remodels, additions, and repurposing is increasing rapidly. Construction prices are on the increase and rents, particularly for newer properties, are climbing. The table is meant to represent a range of costs and may be negotiable. Several years of strong demand for retail, office, and light industrial space are pushing vacancies down and rents higher in Alternative financing includes a number of organizations with local offices that work closely with banks and credit unions including Business Oregon, Craft3, and Oregon Certified Business Development Organization.
Similarly, but even more dramatic, in-migration trends prevail in the Tri-County area. Deschutes County experienced the largest year-over-year percentage gain 3. Deschutes County grew dramatically between the and Census and even more so between and In , it th was the 6 fastest growing county in the U. While growth flattened between and , signs over the past 24 months point to a pickup of in-migration and business activity across the region. Since , Crook County has grown at a very slow pace after dramatic growth between and Since , Jefferson County has grown at a steady rate that exceeds that of Oregon and the nation.
Overall, population forecasters expect the region to continue to be a very dynamic part of the state and country. Over 32, students attend 64 schools. TriCounty districts operate 32 elementary schools, 14 middle schools, and 18 high schools, as well as a diverse array of charter and community schools. The largest school district is Bend-La Pine with over 18, students enrolled and more than 1, staff members.
Its attendance area spans more than 1, square miles - the seventh largest in the state. In , the Sisters School District was ranked in the Top 10 in the state. Since , students in the Bend-La Pine School District have continually scored higher on SAT tests than their peers, currently an impressive points higher than the U. School District Private schools in Central Oregon have developed a reputation for high academic achievement and a focus on giving personalized attention to each individual student.
There are 30 private schools in Central Oregon; 12 of these are faith-based and represent a variety of Catholic and Protestant denominations. In addition, two institutions, J Bar J and New Leaf Academy, offer therapeutic education services to at-risk youth in need of support. While a diverse range of educational methods and services are present in private schools throughout Central Oregon, several institutions stand out for reputation and large student population, including Trinity Lutheran School, Seven Peaks, and Cascades Academy in Bend, plus Central Christian School in Redmond.
Demand for Higher Education The populace of Central Oregon has a strong interest in pursuing higher education and improving their vocational skills. Additionally, OSU-Cascades Campus is gaining in reputation, attracting more students, and expanding its program offerings. Founded in , COCC www. A seven-member board of directors governs the College, with members of that board elected from geographic zones in the District.
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The acre Bend campus includes 26 buildings totaling , sq. The newest buildings are the Jungers Culinary Center, opened in and funded primarily by private donations, and the Health Careers Center and Science Center, funded by a voter-approved bond measure, both opened in fall SBDC provides programs such as counseling and market research assistance for entrepreneurs at the earliest stages of development. The College also offers a wide range of continuing education for personal and professional development.
The COCC Redmond Campus sits on acres near the Redmond Airport including four buildings serving students with a variety of career programs, educational opportunities, and transfer eligible classes. This past year, approximately 2, students enrolled in one or more credit classes in Redmond. This 34, sq. For more information: www. Enrollment at COCC has increased dramatically over the years, doubling in the last few years as increasing numbers of area residents turned to the College for education and training after the economic downturn. A record number of students have been earning certificates and degrees, then transferring to four-year colleges and universities or moving into jobs locally using skills learned in the career and technical education programs.
Located in the heart of Central Oregon, a vast natural laboratory, OSU-Cascades offers 16 undergraduate and four graduate degrees, including signature programs in Energy Systems Engineering, Tourism, and Outdoor Leadership, and Hospitality Management. The Energy Systems Engineering Management program is unique in the state, preparing graduates for a broad range of careers in the energy industry. The university also aims to launch additional MBA programs.
The campus will serve students from everywhere, including our back yard to across the globe. The region is primarily served by one of the largest and most robust transmission systems in the country that is operated by the Bonneville Power Administration BPA , a federal department. BPA is the source of most power generation for Central Electric and Midstate Electric cooperatives, although there are a number of other smaller scale renewable energy production facilities within the region including hydro and solar.
Headquartered in Kennewick WA. Transmission to the region is provided by 36 and inch high capacity lines that run from Canada to southern California. Rates vary between communities in the region.
Commercial and industrial rates are typically based on meter size; please contact EDCO for specifics. The region has high-end data services typically offered only in large metro areas, including Ethernet rates up to 10 GB. Several local providers focus purely on the commercial market. All Local Exchange Carrier central offices use digital electronic switches and the entire system is on a redundant, self-healing fiber optic network. With four hospitals and more than 4, employees, St. Charles Health System is the largest provider of medical care in Central Oregon.
Charles has pledged to partner with the communities it serves to achieve an ambitious vision: Creating America's healthiest communities, together. Today, St. Charles provides healthcare services within a 32,square-mile area in Central and Eastern Oregon, with medical centers in Bend, Redmond, Prineville, and Madras. Medical centers in Bend and Redmond are accredited while St. Additionally, St. Charles Madras, a third linear accelerator in the St. Charles Cancer Center, and a new patient tower at St.
Charles Bend. In addition, they offer quality care services including cancer care, cardiology, neurology, orthopedics, stroke care, and weight loss surgery. High-tech leading-edge services are also present in St. As a private, nonprofit Oregon corporation, St. Charles is Central Oregon's largest employer with more than 4, employees in Bend, Madras, Redmond, Prineville, and Sisters combined.
Charles to deliver a wide range of excellent care in a compassionate, healing environment. BendBroadband airs local original programming through COTV 11, its community cable channel, which provides in-depth local news, sports and information. RDM also provides air cargo services and hosts general aviation traffic, including extensive corporate and business travel. The acre airport has a single 5,foot runway with parallel full-length taxiways on the east and west sides.
A total of 77 separate structures reside at the airport, 15 city-owned and 62 privately owned with new construction occurring. There are currently 15 businesses located at the airport. Aircraft manufacturing, aircraft parts manufacturing, fixed wing and helicopter flight training comprise the greatest commercial activity at the airport. The construction of a new Helicopter Operations Area is in progress and will enhance both the safety and efficiency of airport operations. An automated weather observation system was installed in the fall of Hillsboro picked Prineville because of the favorable weather conditions and services the airport and community provides.
Owned by the City of Madras, the airport is on the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems NPIAS and is surrounded by a acre industrial park plus an additional 2, acres of flat, open land with utilities for future aeronautical and industrial use. The airport serves a wide range of aircraft from small pri-. Also prominent among these high-end services is luxury auto rental provided by Kendall Automotive as well as full services to pilots and flight crews.
It is also used for EMS and wildfire aircraft support. Originally built in , the Sisters Airport was re-paved, updated, and improved in and is fast becoming a center for local businesses. In the spring of , the airport property was annexed to the City of Sisters. Through this public-private partnership, the airports and its key companies, have plans to expand commercially, industrially, and with an array of benefits for pilots. Highway 97 running north to south through Bend, and U. Highway 20 running east to west through Bend, travel to other areas in Oregon is relatively straightforward. Using either the northern Highway 26 or the more southern Highway 20 route, Portland is a three-hour drive from Bend, while Medford is about four hours away.
Outside Oregon, Seattle can be reached in less than six hours and parts of the Bay Area can be accessed in eight hours. For the majority of people living and working in the same urban center, most commute times are often less than 15 minutes. However, because the workforce throughout the Tri-County area is truly regional, it is common for people to commute between Redmond and Bend or between Sisters and Bend.
Commute times in Central Oregon are substantially lower than average commute times in Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, Boise, Los Angeles, and many other urban centers. Highways 97 and 20, both of which run through Central Oregon, are two of the state's major trucking routes. Amtrak provides passenger rail service to Central Oregon via the Chemult station, about 60 miles south of Bend on Hwy For more information, visit www.
The region is known for its vast amount of sunshine, averaging just two weeks fewer sunny days than San Diego, CA. The geographical climate for Central Oregon is predominately High Desert. Average precipitation is More resources are available, so contact EDCO for a complete list including local resources or customized assistance that brings our longstanding relationships with these organizations. Oregon Resources. Tri-County Resources Abilitree www. Opportunity Knocks www. The central Oregon economy is vibrant and has been able to diversify its economic base with new waves of innovation.
In addition, an increasing level of startup activity is being seen across Central Oregon. This activity is driven both by entrepreneurs relocating to the region and local entrepreneurs embarking on their own enterprises. The region is large enough to support the resources and access to capital that help new entrepreneurs get started, while still being small enough that those resources are interconnected to support businesses as they grow.
Unique to Central Oregon are the numerous community resources and assets that are available. The Stable of Experts SOE is a searchable database of over experts that span multiple industries and disciplines. These experts have agreed to dedicate a certain number of hours to helping entrepreneurs fill their skills gaps and mentor young leaders.
The SOE helps to fill in these missing pieces for new businesses and increase their probability of success. These events are a showcase for entrepreneurs to pitch their business ideas, and for previously showcased businesses to provide an update on their progress. Keynote speakers are brought in to add an educational component to the event. A successful pitch is an integral component of securing funding, and PubTalk offers a platform for emerging businesses to practice and perfect the pitch with coaching sessions conducted by EDCO prior to the event.
The event has more than doubled since FY to over 2, in FY