5 Feb, 2021

News digest for 02/04/2021

The Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media of Russia has prepared amendments to the law on communications, which will allow the Ministry of Internal Affairs, FSB and FSO, without a court decision, to receive data from telecom operators on the volume of services, their cost and the location of users’ mobile devices connected to base stations. The document was published in the Telegram channel “OrderCom”. Its authenticity was confirmed by a Kommersant source in the government. According to the interlocutor of Kommersant, the project is aimed at approval by the FSB and the Ministry of Economy

China rebelled with bat t-shirt

The Canadian diplomat designed a logo stylized as a bat and looks similar to the emblem of the American rap group Wu-Tang Clan, but instead of the name of the group, the T-shirt had the inscription Wuhan (Wuhan).

The statement of the Canadian diplomatic department that this incident was the result of a “misunderstanding” did not convince the Chinese authorities.

Russian authorities are working on toll travel on Moscow roads

The authorities are working on the introduction of a toll on the roads of Moscow and the Moscow region. Information about this is contained in the strategy for the development of the regional transport system, prepared by order of the ANO Directorate of the Moscow Transport Hub (available at Izvestia’s disposal).

Mediazona editor-in-chief arrested for retweeting

A Moscow court arrested Sergei Smirnov, editor-in-chief of Mediazon, for 25 days. He was found guilty of repeated violation of the order of the meeting.

The fact is that the journalist republished a tweet in which he is called the lead singer of the Tarakany group Dmitry Spirin, who looks like him. The illustration indicated the time of the action. The court considered that Smirnov was organizing an illegal event with such a publication.

The situation in the Russian labor market

More than 615 thousand Russians were fired from 11 to 25 January 2021. This is reported by TASS with reference to the explanatory note to the draft resolution on the approval of the rules for the provision and distribution of other interbudgetary transfers in 2021. In addition, as of January 25, the number of unemployed registered with the employment service has reached over 2.5 million.

Vandals wrote an insult to the president on the Lenin monument in Tomsk

Photos with a painted monument to Lenin appeared on social networks on Thursday night. On the back of the leader, unknown persons wrote an accusation against the current president in large red letters.

A quarter of Russians said that their salary does not cover basic needs

This is evidenced by the results of a joint study of the HeadHunter job search platform and the Money Forward fintech company.

“According to the poll results, 25% of respondents admitted that their salary does not cover basic needs, 39% hardly have enough income for the minimum necessary for life, 36% of Russians get to fully satisfy basic needs within the framework of the salary. According to Rosstat, the average salary of Russians in January-November 2020 increased by 5.5% and amounted to 49,454 rubles, while real disposable cash income in 2020 compared with 2019 decreased by 3.5%, “the study says.

Due to the lack of money, three-quarters of Russians are forced to give up traveling and buying new clothes and shoes, 71% – from interesting leisure, 42% – from paid medicine and drugs. 36% of the respondents are forced to save on education.

Suspend validity of transport cards and withdraw vehicle registration certificates

The Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation has finalized a bill according to which the traffic police can suspend the diagnostic cards of cars with any malfunctions. Also, the traffic police officers will be able to seize the car registration certificates.

Putin urged Russians to make food price containment tangible

Russian consumers should feel that the government’s efforts to curb food prices are paying off. Russian President Vladimir Putin said this on Thursday at a meeting with the Minister of Economic Development Maxim Reshetnikov.

The head of the Ministry of Economic Development admits the failure to freeze prices

Economic Development Minister Maxim Reshetnikov spoke about the reasons why it was not possible to contain the rise in prices in the country. He spoke about this during a report to President Vladimir Putin, the Kremlin press service reports.

According to him, the countries that previously supplied food to Russia have begun to increase supplies to their own reserves. It was also influenced by the mood of domestic producers, who relied on forecasts of a worsening food situation.

Abramovich’s package on Channel One was received by Sogaz

Since the summer of 2018, a 20 percent stake in Channel One has belonged to Roman Abramovich; in the spring of 2019, VTB acquired it. In the fall of 2020, the bank announced that it had ceased to own 20% of Channel One, without specifying to whom the package had been transferred. Then sources of RBC said that 20% again returned to Abramovich.

Exports of American Oil to Asia

Louisiana Marine Supertanker Port (LOOP) – a joint venture between Marathon Pipe Line, Valero Terminalling and Distribution and Royal Dutch Shell – shipped record volumes of oil to Asian countries in January

Eight VLCC-class supertankers with nearly 15 million barrels of oil left the port last month, heading to South Korea, China and India, up from half the shipment last December, according to Bloomberg.

Animal engravings found in the Sahara Desert

On the territory of the Sahara Desert, scientists from the University of Hawaii have found unique engravings. They depict giraffes and crocodiles that currently live in greener regions. Cecile Blanchet of the German Research Center for Geosciences GFZ also claims that the Sahara was green in the past, with many rivers flowing through its territory, which later dried up. One of the reasons is small changes in the Earth’s orbit.

A paste has been invented that can store energy

Hydrogen fuel is usually stored in tanks at a pressure of about 700 atmospheres. These reservoirs are quite large and explosive, so they may not be used everywhere. Now a team from the Institute of Manufacturing Technologies and Advanced Materials. Fraunhofer came up with an alternative way of storing and transporting this type of energy.

They developed a chemical paste, which is obtained by mixing hydrogen with magnesium at 350 ° C and a pressure of about 0.5 MPa, followed by the addition of an ester and a metal salt. The result is a stable, viscous gray mass that can be stored in cartridges. The paste can withstand temperatures up to 250 ° C and can store 10 times more energy than a lithium-ion battery of the same mass.

To release energy, a special mechanism pushes the substance into a chamber, where it reacts with water, releasing hydrogen, which then enters the fuel cell to generate electricity. In this case, the effectiveness of the paste is doubled due to H2, which is simultaneously released from the water during the reaction.

Grapes protect the skin from harmful solar radiation

According to a new study by scientists from the University of Alabama at the Department of Dermatology of Birmingham, grapes may protect skin from damage caused by ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Research paper published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology

NASA began assembling the Psyche interplanetary station

NASA experts have begun the assembly phase of the Psyche automatic interplanetary station, which will go into space next summer, according to the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory website. The device will study the unusual metallic asteroid Psyche, which scientists believe may be the core of a protoplanet.

A substance found on an exoplanet that is both liquid and gaseous

Researchers from the Netherlands Institute for Space Research SRON and the University of Groningen have found evidence of the presence of chromium hydride on exoplanet WASP-31b, which at a certain temperature and pressure is located on the border between liquid and gas

Samsung smart monitors arrived in Russia

Samsung Electronics announced the start of sales in Russia of the Samsung Smart Monitor line of smart monitors. For such a monitor to work, it is not necessary to connect to a computer.

The line includes two main models:

  • Samsung Smart Monitor M5 with Full HD resolution of 27 or 32 inches – 18,990 and 20,990 rubles
  • Samsung Smart Monitor M7 32-inch Ultra UHD resolution – 28,990 rubles

The monitors received a built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2 adapter. Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, and local video streaming services are supported. It is based on the Tizen 5.5 operating system.

The light operator quit, who put up the inscription “Freedom for political prisoners” on the wall

The light operator of the Moscow Philharmonic, Stanislav Semenyuk, resigned after displaying the inscription “Freedom for political prisoners” on the wall of the concert hall. He projected the inscription on the wall of the Pyotr Tchaikovsky Concert Hall on January 31. She accompanied the advertising of tickets for the Moscow Philharmonic. After this action, Semenyuk faced pressure on himself and on his colleagues in the department, which is why he wrote a letter of resignation of his own free will

The nominees for the Golden Globe have been announced.

Los Angeles announced the nominees for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s Golden Globes. The promising girl is claiming awards in several nominations at once. This film, in particular, will compete for the Golden Globes for Best Director (Emirald Fennell), Best Actress in a Leading Role in a Drama (Carey Mulligan) and Best Drama Film.

Also among the leaders in the number of nominations for Golden Globes is the film Borat-2. It claims to be the best comedy / musical, best actor in a comedy / musical (Sasha Baron Cohen) and best actress in a comedy / musical (Maria Bakalova) … The winners will be announced on February 28th.

Canada has recognized the Russian Imperial Movement as a terrorist organization.

The Russian imperial movement, as well as the ultra-right groups Proud Boys, The Base and Atomwaffen Division, active in the United States, were included in the section of ideologically motivated extremist organizations.

Canada also listed eight organizations associated with the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda terrorist groups and the anti-Indian group Hizbul Mujahedin.

Block social networks for calling for illegal promotions

The Federation Council Commission on Information Policy and Interaction with the Media proposes to introduce into Russian legislation the possibility of blocking social networks for calls to participate in illegal protests.

During the protests on January 23 and 31, 2021, Pushkov said in a statement, “some Internet platforms have come to a fine line separating social networks from foreign agents representing the interests of foreign states.”

US Doctors Announce World’s First Successful Hand and Face Transplant

American doctors announced the successful simultaneous transplantation of both hands and face to a patient. Prior to this, similar operations were performed twice all over the world – in 2009 and 2011, but both attempts were unsuccessful.

A face and hand transplant was performed on a 22-year-old New Jersey resident, Joe Dimeo, who had 80% of his skin burned after an accident. Dimeo amputated both arms to the middle of his forearm, and then connected his own and donor tendons, nerves and vessels with thin sutures. He also had his entire face transplanted, including his forehead, eyebrows, nose, eyelids, lips, ears, and facial bones. Now the young man can open his eyes, smile, dress and eat on his own.

Peskov on the unworthy conditions of detention of the arrested protesters

The past illegal actions are a lot of trouble for the citizens of the country. There are more detainees than the isolation wards can handle. Therefore, unfortunately, such consequences arise. But here we need to talk not about the consequences, but about the fact that these are people who took part in illegal actions. It is known that there are more detainees than can be registered in a short time. This situation was not provoked by law enforcement officers, it was provoked by participation in unauthorized actions

Peskov added that Putin was not shown footage from the special detention centers. Also, the presidential press secretary declined to comment on the case of Sergei Smirnov, who was arrested for repost.

Federal budget expenditures for the purchase of special equipment for the Russian Guard

The federal budget expenditures for the purchase of auto-wagons and armored vehicles for Rosgvardia have already exceeded half a billion rubles in the last two months, Open Media found out. We are talking about paddy wagons that riot police use to work at protest rallies, as well as armored buses “Federal 42591” and armored vehicles. Most of all this equipment is sent to the Moscow region.

Visa announced the release of its own system for buying cryptocurrencies

Visa announced the release of its own system (API) for the purchase of cryptocurrencies, which will be integrated by banks. The product launch is scheduled for the end of this year. The first user of the service will be digital bank First Boulevard.

The Anchorage Depository, the first US federal licensed crypto bank, will store bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for the benefit of Visa customers. Anchorage was licensed by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) in mid-January. It is assumed that users will be able to withdraw digital money to external wallets. This will be the main difference from PayPal, which has withdrawal restrictions.

Democracy Index 2020

This year, for the tenth year in a row, Russia entered the list of authoritarian regimes in The Economist Democracy Index. In 2010, the political regime in Russia was defined as “hybrid”, and in 2006 with a result of 5.02 we (although included in the list of hybrid regimes) were a little closer to an imperfect democracy than to autocracy!

Ethiopia, Mozambique and Gabon are located just above Russia (124th place) in the world. Below: Niger, Qatar and Zimbabwe. Belarus is in 148th place, between Guinea-Besau and Sudan …

Traditionally, the most democratic in the world turned out to be the Scandinavians! Top 3 are Norway, Iceland and Sweden

Russia is on the right track

Half of Russians (49%) believe that the country is moving on the right path, 40% think otherwise, according to the results of a study by the Levada Center. At the same time, 48% of respondents aged 18-24 think that the country is moving on the wrong path, 44% – the country is moving in the right direction. For the 25-39 age group, the results are 44% and 43%, respectively. Half of the respondents who receive news from Social Networks (50%) or from Internet publications (47%) tend to have a negative assessment of what is happening. 57% of those who learn about the news on television are confident in the right path for Russia.

The level of approval of the president’s activities has stabilized at 64%. Half (51%) of respondents aged 18-24 approve of V. Putin’s activities, in the 25-39 age group – 57%. The opinion of Russians in these age groups has changed significantly over this year: in January 2020, 68% in the 18-24 age group and 62% in the 25-39 age group had a positive attitude towards the work of the president.

The level of trust in Vladimir Putin

The level of trust in Vladimir Putin has slightly decreased, according to the Levada Center. Now it is 29%, while in October 2020 it was 34%. For the first time, the level of trust in Alexei Navalny exceeded the corresponding indicator of Gennady Zyuganov – now it is 5%, for the leader of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation – 4%.