29 Янв, 2021

News digest for 01/28/2021

For six years, Germany has «frozen» the assets and funds of Russians and Russian companies that have come under EU sanctions, in the amount of about 1.8 million euros. Against this background, trade turnover between Germany and Russia has gradually decreased from 67.7 billion euros in 2014 to 48 billion euros in 2016.

An independent deputy of the City Council Anton Kartavin was detained in Novosibirsk.

«The independent deputy of the City Council Anton Kartavin and his assistant Ilya Pukhovsky were detained by the police for unknown reasons,» the headquarters of opposition leader Alexei Navalny in Novosibirsk said on Twitter.

The deputy’s assistant wrote on Twitter that before the arrest, Anton Kartavin announced on the air that he plans to go to a protest action on January 31 together with voters. The officers who detained the deputy went to the prosecutor’s office for permission to arrest, the assistant said.

Oleg Navalny was detained after a search in Moscow

The brother of the founder of the Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) Alexei Navalny, Oleg Navalny, was detained for 48 hours after a search of an apartment in Moscow. This is reported by TASS, referring to FBK lawyer Ivan Zhdanov

The deputy from the «United Russia» seized «gold» assets

The deputy of the State Duma from «United Russia» Sergei Sopchuk seized «gold» assets worth 38 billion rubles. According to the Prosecutor General’s Office, he concealed his commercial activities, did not declare income, obstructed the investigation, writes the Kommersant newspaper.
State Duma Deputy Sergei Sopchuk told RBC that he did not violate the law in his relationship with Terney Zoloto LLC as a member of parliament.

“I consider everything that is happening now to be unfounded and unfair, without any factual confirmation. Therefore, an appeal will be prepared and filed against the decision of the court of first instance, ”said the deputy.

Russian court arrested the house of fugitive banker Bedzhamov in London

The Tverskoy District Court has seized the London house of the ex-owner of Vneshprombank (VPB) Georgy Bedzhamov, estimated at £ 35 million, and was arrested as part of a criminal case against the former banker. The court also forbade Bedzhamov to dispose of real estate, sell, donate, lease or carry out other transactions with these objects, the value of which is estimated at 35 million pounds.

Why the Yakut «shaman» was placed in a psychiatric dispensary

Yakut «shaman» Alexander Gabyshev was forcibly hospitalized due to refusal to receive treatment, according to the website of the Yakut Republican Psychoneurological Dispensary

As noted in the medical institution, last year the medical commission concluded that Gabyshev «needs active dispensary supervision.» «Shaman» was shown to the specialists for the last time in mid-December, after which «he said that he would not go to an appointment anymore, that he categorically refuses to be treated,» the message says.

«Novaya Gazeta»: Russia’s spending on geopolitical operations

Over the past 20 years, the Russian authorities have spent 46 trillion rubles or 609 billion US dollars from the budget on geopolitical projects. Writes about this «Novaya Gazeta» in the material «Tax on greatness»

In particular, according to Novaya’s estimates, the Kremlin has spent $ 109 billion to support Alexander Lukashenko in Belarus, 103 billion to support Ukraine since 2014. Separately, the unrecognized republics of the LPR and DPR received about 32 billion from Moscow, Venezuela — 20.2 billion. In addition, Russia has forgiven the debts of other countries to the USSR for 116 billion dollars. African countries alone are exempt from debt of 20 billion.

Russia spent more than $ 224 billion on energy projects, often with political motives: Power of Siberia (55.4 billion), Amur GPP, field development and Turkish Stream (20 billion each), Nord Stream 2 ( 17 billion).

Structural liquidity deficit in Russian banks

At the beginning of 2021, the structural liquidity deficit in the banking sector increased sharply and reached 1.04 trillion rubles on January 27, follows from the data of the Bank of Russia. This means that the debt of credit institutions to the regulator continues to grow in comparison with the amount of funds that they place on deposits and accounts with the Central Bank.

Facebook advertising revenue

In 2020, Facebook ad sales brought $ 84.2 billion, up 21% from 2019. According to reports, the company’s total annual revenue was almost $ 86 billion.

The most profitable oil and gas company for shareholders

The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) experts have calculated the Total Shareholder Return (TSR) for the past three years. It turned out that the Finnish Neste became the leader in this regard. She had an average TSR of 50%.

The rest of the top 5 are Russian companies. Thus, Lukoil is in second place with a TSR of 30%. Gazprom (25%) and Tatneft (23%) have a slightly lower indicator. Closes this five «Novatek», whose average total income was 22%, reports.

Tesla finished the year with net profit for the first time

American electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla Inc. for the first time in its history, it ended the year with a net profit, and also announced plans to significantly increase production in the coming years, taking into account record deliveries last year.

According to a Tesla press release, 2020 net income was $ 721 million, up from a net loss of $ 862 million in 2019. The company’s annual revenue was $ 31.5 billion compared to $ 24.6 billion a year earlier

Tesla plans to ramp up car production by about 50% per year. Tesla sold about 500,000 vehicles in 2020. Earlier, Elon Musk previously set a sales target for 2021 at the level of 840 thousand — 1 million vehicles.

Boeing ends 2020 with record loss

American aerospace corporation Boeing has released financial statements for the fourth quarter and 2020 as a whole. The company’s revenue last year decreased by 24%, to $ 58.2 billion, a net loss of $ 11.9 billion against a net loss of $ 636 million a year earlier

Developed wireless brain implant to control neurons

A group of scientists has developed a wireless implant that allows you to control brain neurons for a long time and without changing the battery, reports MediaStream. The implant is made of super soft materials that are compatible with biological tissues of the brain. It is equipped with LEDs and can control neurons with light.

The author of the development was Jae-Wung Jeong, who already developed wireless implants in 2019. The previous version of the microchip allowed drugs to be delivered directly to the brain and to heal neurons. The device could be controlled from a smartphone. The results of the scientists’ study were published in the journal Nature Communications

The first synthetic bacteriophages were created

Scientists from Portugal created bacteriophages with a shortened genome and described them. This is the first successful attempt to create synthetic bacterial viruses. The authors hope that their research will help in the creation of new antibacterial substances. The work is published in Scientific Reports.

Scientists restart people’s brains after coma

In 2016, a team led by Martin Monty of the University of California, Los Angeles reported that a 25-year-old man recovering from a coma has made significant progress after treatment with ultrasound. Now Monty and his colleagues report that two more patients with severe traumatic brain injury, both in coma, have made impressive progress with the same technique. Scientists have shared their results in the journal Brain Stimulation.

A mineral from the surface of Mars found in the ice of Antarctica

Scientists have discovered jarosite in ice cores of Antarctica at a depth of 1620 m.They examined the find using spectroscopy and carefully studied it under an electron microscope, Science reports. As it became known, this unusual material arose as a result of chemical reactions in the cavities of the glacier. Scientists speculate that jarosite formed on the surface of Mars under similar conditions. This can serve as proof that water and large glaciers previously existed on the Red Planet.

It is noted that jarosite on Mars was noticed back in 2004 during the exploratory mission of the Opportunity rover on the planet. The find turned out to be very important for science, since the formation of the mineral requires water, iron, potassium sulfate and certain acidic conditions.

Iodine electric motor first tested in space

The French company ThrustMe carried out the first space tests of an electric motor using iodine. The experimental setup was used to change the orbit altitude of the CubeSat satellite. As noted by representatives of the startup ThrustMe, the experiment showed that iodine can be a very effective fuel for a space electric motor.

We are ready for the commercial start of the project. The advantages of the iodine engine are the quick change of the satellite orbit, as well as the quick entry into the atmosphere of the used vehicles. Thus, it is possible to reduce the amount of debris in orbit, say the creators of the new engine for satellites.

The function of transferring correspondence has appeared in Telegram

Now you can switch to Telegram from other messengers without any losses. The new version of the application has a function of transferring correspondence — for example, from WhatsApp, Line or KakaoTalk.

South African authorities have created their own browser

ZDNet reports that the RSA has created its own browser to re-enable Adobe Flash Player support and not change the existing site by migrating some web forms from Flash to HTML.

Google Chrome for Android introduces deferred page read function

The Read Later feature, which means the user can read open pages later, came to the Google Chrome browser for Android. As a reminder, Chrome has been available for iOS with the same feature for about three years.

Robert Rodriguez Announces Restart of Spy Kids Franchise

The details of the movie remain secret, but the work will fully meet the spirit of the new era. According to the portal deadline.com, the story of the heroes will become multicultural. It is also known that two film companies — Skydance Media and Spyglass — will curate Rodriguez’s new masterpiece. The release date, as well as the stars who will be included in the film crew, have not been announced.

The trailer for the drama «Dreamland» by Nicholas Jarecki

The main roles in this movie were played by Armie Hammer, as well as Gary Oldman and Evangeline Lilly. This film tells the story of an agent tracking drug trafficking between Canada and the United States. The story of the protagonist is closely intertwined with the story of a professor exposing a large pharmaceutical company in an attempt to legalize a very dangerous opioid, as well as the story of a woman trying to find her missing son.

Konstantin Kinchev recorded his solo album

Information appeared on the Web that Konstantin Kinchev had recorded his double solo album «White Noise». The musician said that the record differs from those recorded by the Alisa group, of which he is the soloist. According to his owls, the album is a reflection of his experiences and introduces the listeners to the music that “drags” the musician and “begins to drag” those who agree to play it with him.

UK urged to impose sanctions against Abramovich and Usmanov

Members of the British House of Commons called on the country’s government to impose sanctions against two Russian billionaires — Roman Abramovich and Alisher Usmanov. Reported by The Times.

Three Russian parties signed a manifesto on unification

The leaders of the Just Russia, For Truth and Patriots of Russia parties Sergei Mironov, Zakhar Prilepin and Gennady Semigin signed an inter-party manifesto on unification.

Russia in the Corruption Perceptions Index

Russia was in 129th place out of 180 in the ranking of countries in terms of perceptions of corruption for 2020, which was compiled by the international organization Transparency International (its Russian office was recognized by the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation as a foreign agent). She received 30 points out of 100. Azerbaijan, Gabon, Malawi and Mali scored the same number.

Who has the best performance:
Denmark and New Zealand — 88 points each.
Finland, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland — 85 each.
Norway — 84.
Netherlands — 82.
Germany, Luxembourg — 80 each.

The last three places are occupied by Syria (14 points), Somalia (12) and Sudan (12). USA ranked 25th with 67 points

Radio Liberty was fined for the lack of marking of «foreign agents»

The Magistrates’ Court fined Radio Liberty and its CEO for violating the labeling rules for media outlets recognized as «foreign agents.» The total amount of fines was 1.1 million rubles.

Radio Liberty is recognized in Russia as a «foreign agent» — we indicate this even in social networks at the request of the Russian authorities.

The apartment of the mother of the editor-in-chief of «Mediazona» was searched

The search was carried out at the editor-in-chief of Mediazona Sergei Smirnov. The security forces came to the place of his registration in the apartment where his mother lives, the search lasted more than four hours

Russian Foreign Ministry handed a note of protest to the US diplomat

The representative of the US Embassy was summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry and handed a note of protest. This time, the reason was not information about the action for Navalny, but «the spread of unreliable» fakes «about Russia» in social networks

According to the latest data from OVD-Info, more than four thousand people have already been detained at the rallies on January 23

Decline in the population of Russia in 2020

In 2020, the population of Russia decreased by 510.5 thousand people, which was the most significant decrease in the indicator since 2005. As of January 1, 2021, according to Rosstat data, which the agency cites, 146.2 million people lived in Russia (as of January 1, 2020 — 146.7 million).

US Federal Reserve kept its base interest rate

The committee decided to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 0-0.25% and expects it to be appropriate to maintain this target range until labor market conditions reach levels in line with the committee’s estimates of maximum employment and growth inflation target 2%, — the message says.

Margarita Simonyan urged to include Donbass in Russia

The editor-in-chief of the Russia Today international news agency Margarita Simonyan, during her speech at the Russian Donbass integration forum in Donetsk, called for the inclusion of the DPR and LPR into Russia, Donbass Today reports.

They want to speak Russian, and we are obliged to provide them with such an opportunity. The people of Donbass want to live at home and be a part of our huge, great, generous Motherland. And we owe it to them. Russia, mother, take Donbass home

Tax office creates VIP office for the rich

The Federal Tax Service (FTS) of Russia will create a special inspectorate to work with rich people. We are talking about people whose incomes exceed 500 million rubles a year. However, the Federal Tax Service will be able to register a person with a lower income with the new inspection.

Now the declarations of rich people are checked by inspections in the regions where they are registered. However, they often lack information, notes a source close to the tax. The new structure will have to create a dossier on such entrepreneurs.