15 Янв, 2021

News digest for 01/14/2021

The US state budget deficit in December amounted to a record $ 143.562 billion for this month, the country’s Treasury said. This is 10.8 times more than in December 2019, which was $ 13.286 billion

Turkey intends to develop nuclear weapons

Military experts from India believe that Ankara and Islamabad are actively cooperating on the transfer of technologies and models of nuclear weapons to Turkey. On January 9, the agency Zee News reported. The experts noted that at the end of December 2020, the 15th meeting took place within the framework of the Turkish-Pakistani military dialogue at the highest level.

EU and China enter into economic agreement

The agreement is called the EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment. It was signed on December 30, 2020, and now the document must be ratified in Brussels. In accordance with the agreement, the access of European companies to the Chinese market will be significantly expanded. In addition, an improvement in the business environment for EU enterprises is expected, including ensuring the rules of «fair competition».

“The agreement will strengthen the two largest economic blocs in the area of ​​trade and investment,” said the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen.

In China, the agreement was called «a gift for the New Year.» The US and UK opposed the signing of an agreement between the EU and China. London and Washington accused Europe of «violating the rules of Western solidarity.»

Trade turnover between Russia and China in 2020

The trade turnover between Russia and China at the end of 2020 decreased by 2.9% compared to last year and amounted to $ 107.76 billion, according to the data of the main customs administration of the PRC.

Cargo Dragon successfully splashed down in the Atlantic

The press service of SpaceX Corporation reported that the American cargo spacecraft Cargo Dragon, which undocked from the International Space Station, successfully splashed down on Wednesday in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida, TASS reports.

In the USA, they created another replacement for the Russian RD-180 engine

The American company Aerojet Rocketdyne has assembled the first prototype of the AR1 rocket engine. Testing will begin soon. It is reported by SpaceNews. The publication notes that the AR1, which runs on kerosene and oxygen, was created by order of the US Air Force (Air Force). The engine is to replace the Russian RD-180. Since 2016, $ 350 million has been spent on the development of AR1.

US Treasury expanded sanctions against Iran

The US Treasury has imposed sanctions on two citizens and 16 organizations of Iran, the corresponding list is published on the agency’s website. The companies that are sanctioned by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the US Treasury Department operate in the construction, energy, mining, finance and telecommunications sectors. In addition to Iranian individuals and companies, an Iraqi citizen appears in the general sanctions list with them, he was brought there on charges of having links with the terrorist organization IS (banned in Russia).

The Ministry of Construction wants to tighten control over the rental housing market

The Ministry of Construction of Russia is preparing a bill to strengthen control over the renting of housing, according to the newspaper Izvestia. The project is planned to be submitted to the State Duma by the end of the year. Nikita Stasishin, Deputy Minister of Construction, Housing and Communal Services of Russia, told the newspaper that measures to develop the rental housing market are included in the passport of the federal project «Housing». Among the initiatives is the launch of an information system for recording housing lease agreements.

AliExpress stopped accepting payments through the Sberbank service «YuMoney»

The AliExpress website stopped accepting payments using the YMopeu service, owned by Sberbank (previously it was called Yandex.Money, but was renamed due to the division of assets between Yandex and Sberbank)

Central Bank: a third of Russians prefer to keep their savings in cash

During the year of the pandemic, residents of Russia began to opt for cash savings 10% more often. At the moment, 34% or a third of the country’s citizens prefer to keep their money in cash

Russia began to control cash transactions stricter

The previously existing controls over cash transactions are now strengthened. However, we are not talking about any amount, but about operations on an especially large scale — from 600 thousand rubles. Their data will be automatically sent to Rosfinmonitoring

Share of counterfeit furniture in the Russian market

At the end of 2020, the share of counterfeit furniture in the Russian market reached 20%. Thus, the shadow issue has updated the record and reached 40 billion rubles. The Association of Furniture and Woodworking Industries reports that the bulk of counterfeit products falls on cabinet (bedrooms, kitchens, hallways) and upholstered furniture (sofas, armchairs.) Every second of such furniture is made illegally. This is due to the high tax burden, sectoral bureaucratic complexities and complex environmental technical regulations.

Russia has set the subsistence level for 2021

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin signed a government decree setting the minimum subsistence level for 2021. The document was published on the website of the Cabinet of Ministers. As the government reminded, the cost of living was calculated using a new methodology, depending on the median per capita income. If previously the subsistence minimum was set once a quarter, now it will be set once a year.

The subsistence minimum per capita is set at 11,653 rubles, for the working-age population — at 12,702 rubles, for children — at 11,303 rubles, for pensioners — at 10,022 rubles.

Italian scientists create a system for analyzing dreams

A team of scientists from the University of Roma Tre in Italy, led by computer scientist Alessandro Fogli, have developed an algorithm to extract key information from dream reports. The research results were published in the Royal Society Open Science.

It is known that the developed algorithm interprets dreams in terms of characters, emotions, and manner of interaction. As part of the study, the system analyzed about 24 thousand dream reports taken from the free DreamBank database.

Scientists solve Darwin’s dilemma about the origin of species on Earth

The question of the origin of early species was once pondered by the English scientist, naturalist and traveler Charles Darwin. In the scientific world, the mystery got under the name of Darwin’s dilemma, according to a publication on the website of the University of Edinburgh.

The perfectly preserved fossils of tiny ancient creatures, which are about 547 million years old, can help answer this question. This is a species called Namacalathus. By comparing the soft tissues of the earliest creature with the tissues of animals that evolved later, scientists from the University of Edinburgh have established that Namacalathus was one of the first ancestors of species that appeared during the Cambrian explosion, including prehistoric worms and molluscs. The authors of the work are confident that they have found the very missing link in evolution, which confirms Darwin’s theory of the origin of species on Earth.

Scientists have created fully transparent solar cells

Opaque solar panels are used only on solar farms and on the roofs of various buildings. But their transparent version, similar to windows, may become popular among home owners.

Scientists at Incheon University in South Korea have succeeded in replacing the semiconductor layers of conventional batteries with a mixture of titanium dioxide and nickel oxide. Both materials have high optical transparency, so they transmit a lot of light.

HP EliteBook 5G Notebooks Introduced

At the CES 2021 computer show, HP announced the new EliteBook 840 Aero G8 business laptop. The device weighs a little over a kilogram — it is lighter than its predecessor. The laptop supports Wi-Fi 6 and 5G connectivity. The base for the EliteBook 840 Aero G8 is Intel’s latest 11th generation Core i5 and Core i7 processors. Buyers will be able to opt for the EliteBook 840 Aero G8 with 64GB of DDR4-3200 RAM and a 2TB SSD. The laptop will go on sale in March 2021

Trailer for the drama «Bliss» with Salma Hayek and Owen Wilson

A trailer for the fantastic drama «Bliss» starring Salma Hayek and Owen Wilson has appeared online. The video was presented by the Amazon Prime Video streaming platform.

According to the plot, the main character Greg meets the mysterious Isabelle, who shows him an amazing alternative world. According to her, he is more real than the one in which they live. Bliss kicks off February 5 on Amazon Prime Video.

Turkey wants to create conditions for living together in Nagorno-Karabakh

Turkey wants to create conditions for living together in Nagorno-Karabakh without the need for peacekeeping or observation activities, Turkish President Erdogan said in his telegram channel.

«When this happens, I hope that we will once again show the whole world the constructive results of the Turkish-Russian partnership,» the Turkish leader added.

The results of New Year’s tourism were summed up by Deputy Prime Minister Chernyshenko

  • 10 million Russians traveled around the country
  • instead of traditional city excursions, Russians preferred active or recreational outdoor recreation — country hotels were loaded by 70-90%, and city hotels only by 30% (instead of 80% last year)
  • hotels in Moscow were occupied by 30% (against 95% last year), St. Petersburg by 20% (against 78%)
  • top destinations were the Black Sea coast, mountain clusters of Krasnaya Polyana and the North Caucasus, ski resorts in Altai, Murmansk Khibiny and Sakhalin, cognitive routes of Tatarstan and the Kaliningrad region
  • tourist flow to ski resorts increased by 15%, and to the resorts of Kabardino-Balkaria, Karachay-Cherkessia and Chechnya — by 26%, ski tourism accounted for 23% of the total number of tourists (versus 8% last year)

Navalny is wanted in Russia

Navalny was put on the wanted list on December 29, 2020 due to the Yves Rocher case — it became known only on January 13, 2021. The Federal Penitentiary Service says in its search order that the politician «evades control» (which is set for convicts on a suspended sentence). Because of this, on January 11, the FSIN asked the court to replace Navalny’s suspended sentence in the Yves Rocher case with a real one.

Three years due to traffic blockages during protests

The court restricted the freedom of the 17-year-old Minsker for three years due to the blocking of transport during the protests. He was accused of organizing group actions that grossly violate public order.

No signs of crime in the actions of FSB officers were found

The Investigative Committee of Russia refused to check the FSB officers for involvement in the poisoning of Navalny. The politician published the response of the Investigative Committee to the statements of FBK lawyer Vladlen Los about the attempt on Navalny’s life.

The department’s response says that «the statements do not contain specific information about the circumstances that indicate signs of a crime in the actions of the FSB of Russia.» No grounds for conducting a procedural check were found in the UK.

Kremlin to expand monitoring of opposition activity on social media

Starting this year, the Kremlin and the White House will begin to monitor «destructive stuffing», mentions of non-systemic opposition and messages about elections, as well as make the top 100 most influential bloggers, Open Media found. The contract for such analytics for 300 million rubles was signed by the Ministry of Finance on January 1 with the only supplier — the M-13 company.

How many Russians have spent on mobile applications

Russians in 2020 spent $ 1.33 billion in mobile applications, according to data from the analytical company App Annie. Users spent only 94 billion hours in them — 3.5 hours a day on average ․ This is 40% more than the results of 2019.

Users spent the most money on Mail.ru Group services — VKontakte and the Boom streaming service built into the social network, as well as Odnoklassniki. The list includes three video services (ivi online cinema, YouTube and Okko) and two dating apps (Tinder, Mamba).

The mobile games market has grown all over the world and, according to App Annie’s forecasts, users will spend at least $ 120 billion on them in 2021. Russians have played Roblox, Brawl Stars and Among Us for the longest time, and spent the most money in Brawl Starts, Hero Wars and State of Survival.

Trump Bans Ownership of Shares in Companies Tied to the Chinese Military

A decree banning transactions with securities of companies that may be associated with the Chinese military was signed by US President Donald Trump, the White House press service reported on January 13.

From November 11, 2021, the possession of any such securities for US citizens is prohibited, the statement said.