Day: February 19, 2020

London St Pancras named Europe’s best train station

The win was accredited to its low number of strike days, high passenger convenience and international connectivity.

London St Pancras has been named the best train station in Europe in a new comprehensive report compiled by the Consumer Choice Centre (CCC).

The European Railway Station Index scored Europe’s 50 largest railway stations out of a possible 139 points across criteria including accessibility for wheelchair users, cleanliness, signage, platforms and range of destinations served.

Read more here


London St Pancras has been named Europe’s best train station in a new ranking.

The European Railway Station Index, compiled by the Consumer Choice Centre (CCC), scored Europe’s 50 largest railway stations out of a possible 139 points, across criteria including accessibility for wheelchair users, cleanliness, signage, platforms and range of destinations served.

They were also scored on the choice of restaurants and shops and first-class lounge facilities, plus points were subtracted based on the number of days affected by rail strikes.

Home to Eurostar services to France, Belgium and the Netherlands, St Pancras placed top with an overall score of 116.

However, it was the only UK station to make the top 10.

Read more here

Why does the Chinese Communist party want my credit history?

Citizens and consumers in liberal democracies should fear the rise of the CCP

I was one of them.

One of the 147 million Americans who had their information compromised in the epic 2017 Equifax data breach. It was one of the largest hacks in history, leaking the names, social security numbers, addresses, and credit history of over a third of the country.

At first, we were led to believe it was the result of sloppy cybersecurity and greedy hackers who wanted credit card data.

But now, according to last week’s indictment from the Justice Department, we know it was the handiwork of four members of China’s military.

To think it was a few renegade black hat hackers with expensive tastes was upsetting enough, but now to learn it was the long arm of the Chinese Communist party? This is serious.

What do the Chinese communists want with my credit history? Is it to spam me with emails or offers in the mail? Or, worst-case scenario, to add me and millions of my fellow Americans to their ‘social score’ database so our behaviors can be ranked and judged? 

Most of the fallout between liberal democratic nations and China in the last few years has been over governmental policy: trade spats, currency manipulation, and theft of intellectual property. These high-level issues were problematic enough, and now it seems China’s desire to exert control over the US is directly affecting the people. 

We’ve known for years that Chinese Communist Party censors have made creeping demands in Hollywood: Tibetan monks replaced with Celtic ones in Marvel’s Doctor Strange, Tom Cruise’s bomber jacket with the Taiwan flag removed in the Top Gun sequel, and cut scenes in Bohemian Rhapsody to obscure that Freddie Mercury was gay.

When Quentin Tarantino refused to edit his latest movie, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood, to please Chinese censors, they pulled its release date. It was eventually shipped to Chinese cinemas, but it’s uncertain if portions of the film were cut.

China has the world’s second-largest movie market, making it no surprise that with Chinese capital comes more aggressive demands for censorship. Will they allow any criticism of Chinese communism, or even praise of liberal democracies? What about a potential movie about the brave Hong Kong protesters fighting for their liberties?

Mike Pompeo recently warned American governors to be wary of any dealings with institutions or businesses with significant ties to China. 

‘They’ve labeled each of you friendly, hardline or ambiguous,’ he said. ‘And, in fact, whether you are viewed by the Communist party of China as friendly or hardline, know that it’s working you, know that it’s working the team around you.’

These revelations about the insidious nature of the Chinese government come at a critical time. 

The Hong Kong protests continue after months of mounting force from police. Fears of the spread of the Coronavirus have emboldened Chinese authorities to fully exercise their authoritarianism: canceling the Chinese New Year, a complete lockdown of Wuhan, a city of 11 million people, and arrests of doctors and health workers who shared their concerns about the virus on social media.

The Chinese people, at least, are beginning to wake up to the antics of their government. Li Wenliang, a doctor who was threatened by police for ‘fear mongering’ about the Coronavirus, which later took his life, was labeled a hero for his efforts to spread the truth about the disease. But it will take many more acts of courage to cause a total paradigm shift in the minds of the people.

From the theft of credit information to entertainment censorship and brutal authoritarian crackdowns, it’s clear that citizens and consumers in liberal democracies have something to fear in the rise of the Chinese Communist party. 

For our part, we must continue to champion our free societies as bulwarks against the authoritarian regime. We must fight for the ideas and principles that have helped make liberal democratic countries great stewards of our liberties.

Originally published here.

The Consumer Choice Center is the consumer advocacy group supporting lifestyle freedom, innovation, privacy, science, and consumer choice. The main policy areas we focus on are digital, mobility, lifestyle & consumer goods, and health & science.

The CCC represents consumers in over 100 countries across the globe. We closely monitor regulatory trends in Ottawa, Washington, Brussels, Geneva and other hotspots of regulation and inform and activate consumers to fight for #ConsumerChoice. Learn more at consumerchoicecenter.org

Danmarks togstationer er ikke gode

Mange lufthavne bruger millioner på at gøre opholdet for passagererne mere behageligt. I København er der f.eks. kommet mange flere restauranter, mens Singapore Changi har udvidet med en ægte indendørs regnskov at slappe af i mellem flyvningerne – inklusive et vandfald over flere etager.

Jernbane-stationer forbinder de fleste af os sikkert med en anden oplevelse:

Ret kedelige afgangs- og ankomst-haller, der godt nok kan være interessante rent i arkitekturen, men hvor kiosker og fastfood restauranterne er de samme overalt. Desuden kan det være iskoldt at stå på perronerne, hvor vinden kommer pivende ind.

Der er dog heldigvis forskelle – bestemt også til det bedre. Dem har det internationale Consumer Choice Centre været på udkig efter i sit første European Railway Index. Det skal fremover fungere som en bibel over gode og mindre gode togstationer i vores verdensdel.

Forbruger-organisationen med base i USA har sendt testpersoner ud til hundreder af togstationer og målt dem på kriterier som renlighed, udvalg af destinationer og kødannelser på perronerne.

Europas bedste jernbane-station er St. Pancras i London. Herfra afgår de hurtige Eurostar tog til Europa, og stationen opnåede en score på 116 points.

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Europe’s Best Train Stations

The Consumer Choice Center has published its first annual European Railway Index, which ranks Europe’s most passenger-friendly train stations on criteria such as cleanliness, access to destinations and crowd levels on platforms. St. Pancras in London, a hub for Eurostar services to continental Europe, was ranked number one with a score of 116. It underwent an £800 million refurbishment which was completed in 2008 and it boasts a shopping center, a coach facility and a hotel.

Zürich Hauptbahnhof comes second on the ranking with 111, just ahead of Leipzig Hauptbahnhof in Germany. In fact, German stations account for five of the top-10 with Münich, Hamburg, Berlin and Frankfurt all present. Italy has two entries in the top-10, Rome’s Termini station and Milano Centrale, while Moscow Kazansky comes in eighth.

Infographic: Europe's Best Train Stations | Statista

Originally published here.

St Pancras International désignée meilleure gare d’Europe

Quelle gare offre le voyage le plus agréable en Europe ? Le collectif indépendant de défense des consommateurs qui agit à l’échelle du vieux continent – le Consumer Choice Center, vient de titrer Londres St Pancras International, dans un classement qui prend en compte la fréquentation, le nombre de jours de grève, les services aux voyageurs…

Alors que la longue période de grève est encore dans les esprits des Français, les passagers hexagonaux ne s’étonneront sans doute pas de ne trouver aucune gare tricolore dans le top 10 de ce palmarès. Si Londres obtient la médaille d’or, l’Allemagne se détache largement comme le pays où le voyage en train est le plus pratique et le plus confortable. Successivement, Leipzig, Munich, Hambourg, Berlin, Francfort et Hanovre s’illustrent dans le haut du tableau. 

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Europaweites Bahnhofs-Ranking Fünf deutsche Stationen dabei – Hamburg ganz weit oben!

Wer viel mit der Bahn unterwegs ist, kennt es: Verspätungen hier, Zugausfälle da – doch laut eines Rankings der Verbraucherschutz-Organisation Consumer Choice Center (CCC) ist die lästige Wartezeit an deutschen Bahnhöfen recht gut auszuhalten. Viele deutsche Stationen gehören zu den besten Europas – auch Hamburg ist oben mit dabei.

Wenn schon die Bahnreise keinen Spaß macht, dann vielleicht der Aufenthalt in den Bahnhöfen: Nach dem Bahnhofs-Ranking (European Railway Station Index 2020) von CCC sind gleich fünf deutsche Bahnhöfe in den Top Ten!

Hamburg schnappt sich einen soliden sechsten Rang. Ausschlaggebend für die Platzierungen waren unter anderem die Zahl der nationalen und internationalen Verbindungen, Anzahl der Bahnsteige und Passagierzahl. Doch auch die Zahl der Geschäfte und Restaurants war ein wichtiges Kriterium – also Möglichkeiten, mit denen Fahrgäste lästige Wartezeiten überbrücken können. 

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Te dworce są najlepszymi w Europie

Wyróżniono dziesięć najlepszych dworców kolejowych w Europie. Pięć z nich znajduje się w Niemczech.

Podróże koleją stają się coraz bardziej popularne w ramach walki z emisją CO2 oraz zmianami klimatycznymi. Ważne jest więc, by podróż, szczególnie na długie dystanse, odbywała się w dobrych warunkach i dotyczy to zarówno samych wagonów, jak i dworców na trasie przejazdu.

Czynniki decydujące

Mając to na uwadze, międzynarodowa organizacja konsumencka Consumer Choice Center (CCC) opublikowała Doroczny Ranking Europejskich Stacji Kolejowych. Celem analizy jest wyróżnienie dworców najbardziej przyjaznych pasażerom. W indeksie ujęto 50 największych stacji kolejowych w Europie, analizując je pod kątem doświadczeń i wrażeń pasażerów, zatłoczenia peronów, liczby dostępnych kierunków oraz czystości. Dane zaczerpnięto od kierownictwa dworców, ale też ze stron internetowych, statystyk internetowych oraz badań własnych autorów zestawienia.

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Quelles sont les 10 meilleures gares en Europe ?

Le Consumer Choice Center a établi le top 10 des meilleures gares ferroviaires pour les passagers, sur le modèle de l’European Consumer Airport Index. Et petit indice : aucune des gares du classement n’est française…

« Le voyage en train occupe un rôle de plus en plus important en Europe ces dernières années. Les législateurs et les consommateurs s’orientent vers le train comme moyen pour réduire les émissions de carbone. Tandis qu’au Consumer Choice Center, nous soutenons le choix de la neutralité carbone, nous profitons de cet intérêt grandissant pour les voyages de longue distance en train pour montrer quelles sont les gares les plus accueillantes pour les voyageurs. »

C’est ainsi que le Consumer Choice Center (CCC), un collectif indépendant de défense des consommateurs créé en 2017, présente son tout premier classement des meilleures gares ferroviaires d’Europe.

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