12 Feb, 2021

News digest for 02/11/2021

President-elect Joseph Biden’s first telephone conversation since his inauguration with Chinese leader Xi Jinping took place just this week.

As noted by the Nikkei Asian Review, Joseph Biden expressed his dissatisfaction with China’s position in several regions, including Tibet, populated mainly by Uighurs in Xinjiang, as well as Hong Kong and Taiwan. In the first two, according to the US authorities, the Chinese administration oppresses local residents, and in the last two it does not recognize the right of citizens to self-determination, considering these territories their own.

According to Reuters, the new US authorities are not going to cancel the trade tariffs that the previous administration introduced; their revision will be possible only after detailed consultations with America’s allies in the foreign trade sphere. With regard to the export of technology to China, the position of the new US authorities is categorical – we must not allow Chinese military technologies to fall into the hands of China, which will make them stronger. Export control restrictions should be targeted, as well as negotiated with US foreign policy allies.

Cyprus will resume issuing tourist visas to Russians

On March 1, Cyprus will resume issuing tourist visas for citizens of the Russian Federation, it will be possible to issue it online, the tourism attaché of the Cypriot Embassy in the Russian Federation, representative of the Ministry of Tourism of the Republic, Dimitris Dimitriou, told Interfax-Tourism.

Russia may create a state-owned company to export unprocessed timber abroad

A state-owned company may appear in Russia to export unprocessed timber abroad. Such a possibility is being discussed now, Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Trutnev said in an interview with Izvestia. According to him, it will have the exclusive right to export.

“We will leave one company, make it state-owned, and oblige it to reinvest its profits in the construction of processing plants on our territory. And we will continue to work with investors. Apparently, already with the western ones, if with the eastern ones it doesn’t work. Retreating is wrong, but we cannot leave people out of work. In any case, I will make such proposals, ”he said.

The State Duma introduced fines for non-compliance with the law on sustainable Runet

  • For violation of the procedure for installing equipment necessary to counter threats to the stability of the Russian Internet – up to 500 thousand rubles. For a repeated violation – up to 1 million rubles.
  • For refusal of a telecom operator to install technical means of monitoring compliance with legal requirements – up to 500 thousand rubles. For a repeated violation during the year – up to 1 million rubles.
  • For failure by the owner of the communications network to comply with the requirements that will allow law enforcement agencies to conduct operational-search activities, as well as failure to take measures to block the disclosure of their “organizational and tactical techniques” – up to 500 thousand rubles. In case of repeated violation – up to 6 million rubles.
  • For ignoring warnings about violation of the rights of Russians for owners of Internet resources. – up to 1 million rubles. For repeated violation – up to 3 million rubles.

The police could not explain why traffic was blocked in the center of St. Petersburg

None of the departments have yet taken responsibility for the large-scale overlaps that took place in the center of St. Petersburg over the weekend. Smolny explained the stop of public transport and the closure of the metro stations “Nevsky Prospekt” and “Gostiny Dvor” by the police demand. But the head office of the Ministry of Internal Affairs said that they did not have the authority to do this.

Many townspeople could not get to the central streets on weekends. They drew attention to the presence of security officials. Military vehicles, as well as police and Russian Guard vehicles moved around the city. A column of harvesting equipment was set up near the Palace Square.

Power engineers and developers made money at the Universiade in Yekaterinburg

From February 2020 to February 2021, the largest contracts of the Capital Construction Department of the Sverdlovsk Region were related to the Universiade-2023. Over the year, developers and power engineers have already earned 12.3 billion rubles at the Universiade in Yekaterinburg

Municipalities of Khakassia forgiven 10-year debts

Municipalities have written off 99% of their debts to the republic, – said the deputy head of Khakassia Irina Voinova on social networks. The total amount written off is 747.06 million rubles.

The Central Bank continues to identify illegal financial organizations
The Bank of Russia last year identified about 1.5 thousand organizations with signs of illegal activities in the financial market, among them 821 companies were engaged in allegedly illegal lending.

Debts of Russian citizens for electricity in 2020

The population of Russia has become worse off paying for electricity, having increased its debt over the past year by 12 billion rubles – this is the highest figure since 2012. In addition, because of the pandemic, people consume more electricity: according to Kommersant’s data, useful vacation to the population increased by 4.5%.

Belarusian authorities are preparing the nationalization of Russian assets

Official Minsk discriminates against the business of Russian companies and may soon take away their assets through nationalization. This was announced on February 10 by the adviser to the president of Transneft and the press secretary of the state company Igor Demin.

“The possible transfer of UE Zapad-Transnefteprodukt from the ownership of the Russian Federation to the ownership of the Republic of Belarus will lead to significant financial losses for the Russian Federation (at the moment, the value of the enterprise’s assets is 6.7 billion rubles),” he told Interfax, assessing possible losses from the actions of state bodies of Belarus.

Demin also said that since January 1, 2020, the income tax rate in Belarus has been increased from 18% to 50%, and an environmental tax has been introduced for an annual amount of about 80-90 million rubles in 2021-2024. At the same time, the volume of pumping oil products has been reduced from 6 million tons in 2019 to the planned 3.4 million tons annually in 2021-2024. All this, emphasized Demin, indicates discrimination and the purposeful withdrawal of funds necessary for the operation of facilities and investment in development.

The cryptocurrency market surpassed Google in capitalization for the first time.

The cryptocurrency market surpassed Google in capitalization for the first time. As of February 10, 14:10 Moscow time, the valuation of all digital coins is $ 1.413 trillion, according to data from Coinmarketcap. Capitalization of shares of Alphabet (parent company of Google) on the NASDAQ exchange in the afternoon of February 10 is $ 1.404 trillion.

Russia purchased equipment for mining bitcoins

The largest single batch of cryptocurrency mining equipment was imported to Russia from Asia, the cost of which is estimated at $ 60 million. According to the Kommersant newspaper, the purchase was made at the end of 2020. According to experts, it is capable of providing three months of operation for the entire retail mining market in the country, the publication points out.

The head of the Six-Nines data center (Sweden) Sergei Troshin noted that about 1.1 percent of the total capacity of the world bitcoin network can be mined on the imported equipment. Russia now ranks third in the world in mining.

World brands do not rush to Russia

Over the past year, 13 retail operators appeared in Russia, which is half the figure for 2019 (26). Half of the new retailers are represented by the “clothing, footwear, underwear” profile (these are, in particular, the brands & OtherStories, Weekday, Boss Woman, Ereda, The North Face, etc.). Also on the Russian market appeared Paulig Cafe & Store (catering segment), Patrick Roger (food), JYSK (household goods), Filorga (cosmetics and perfumes), etc.

French accessory brand Longchamp announced its withdrawal from Russia. Inditex holding decided to close Lefties stores in Russia

Created a new quantum switch

Physicists have studied quantum contacts between conductors in an external oscillating field and came to the conclusion that for certain types of contacts with an increase in the frequency of oscillations, the current becomes zero. This mechanism can find application in the creation of the element base of nanoelectronics. The work was published in the journal Physical Review B

The principles of motion of bubbles in wet foam have been studied by physicists

A group of scientists from Tokyo Metropolitan University led by Rei Kurita studied the principle by which bubbles move in wet foam. The scientific work appeared in the EurekaAlert edition.

It turned out that the permutation of the bubbles depends on their size. With the same size of bubbles, when they join, the formation of a hexagonal honeycomb. Under the influence of the added water, they began to move along the lines of the honeycomb. In the presence of a large number of bubbles of different sizes, their structure and movement were less ordered. The neighboring bubbles moved in all directions under the action of water.

The climate crisis is forcing sharks to seek new waters

The warming of the oceans, which reached a record high in 2020, has driven juvenile white sharks since 2014 600 km north of the California coast into waters that were previously too cold. For this, the number of sea otters killed by great white sharks has increased dramatically. Their number in Monterey Bay has decreased by 86%.

In 2021 Mastercard will start accepting payments in cryptocurrency

The international payment system Mastercard announced plans to implement this year support for a number of cryptocurrencies in its network. What kind of cryptocurrencies are we talking about, the company did not specify.

Apple will add more ads to iPhone

On the eve of Apple released a beta version of iOS 14.5, in which enthusiasts found a lot of interesting things. So, judging by their words, Apple plans to add even more advertising to the iPhone.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 appeared on the official website

On the official Samsung website, there is a mention of the new Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 tablet in the Enterprise Edition. According to the product description, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Enterprise Edition tablet supports microSD cards up to 1 TB and has room for a nano-SIM card.

A charger was created that uses the heat of the human body

A group of scientists from the United States and China have developed a device capable of converting natural human heat into electrical energy. According to ToDay News Ufa, citing Science Advances, experts said that the new device is very easy to use. It can be worn as a ring or a bracelet, and is enough to charge electronic watches or fitness trackers.

Apple has banned the installation of applications for the iPhone and iPad on Mac with Apple M1

Apple has banned the installation of iPhone and iPad applications on Mac with Apple M1. This is due to the fact that the resolution of the utilities does not correspond to their computer versions. Installing applications on Apple computers led to a host of problems with reporting on utilities, insiders at the company noted. In fact, there is no error, but programs capture it in the code. Restrictions should be lifted in full macOS 11.3

WhatsApp is testing the feature on multiple devices

WhatsApp users may soon be able to simultaneously use the messenger on multiple devices. The WABetaInfo portal writes about testing this function. It is worth noting that the WhatsApp team is testing not only a new feature, but also a full-fledged web client that does not require a gadget connection ….

Rotterdam Film Festival summed up the results

In the Big Screen Award competition the jury attracted the sympathy of the jury and was awarded the only prize for the Argentinean “Dog that will not be silent” Ana Katz.

In the Tiger Competition, which is considered the main one in Rotterdam, the Indian film was recognized as the best picture – “Pebbles” directed by Vinotraj P. S.

A special jury prize was awarded to Pascal Tagnati’s French painting Comets: The Corsican Summer, a lyrical tale of growing up in a Mediterranean resort.

Another special prize was awarded to another drama about growing up – “In Search of Venus” by Norika Sefa,

And the public prize, which traditionally has a lot of weight in Rotterdam, went to the art-publicistic drama “Where are you going, Aida?” Yasmila Zhbanich.

HBO Max to release an animated series about Scooby-Doo’s friend Velma

The sequel “Scooby-Doo” will be released on the streaming service HBO Max. The animated series will tell about the smartest friend of the members of the Mystery corporation Velma. The project will be aimed at an adult audience. Collider reports.

There will be 10 episodes in the first season. The date of the premiere has not yet been announced. The production line includes Charlie Grundy, Howard Klein and Sam Register

The Oscars will take place in several locations

The pandemic Oscars will be split between several locations. According to Vanity Fair, the event is scheduled for April 25 this year.

US will restrict the entry of migrants

White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the administration of US President Joe Biden has decided to restrict the entry of “new migrants” into the country

Lukashenko wished to preserve sovereignty while integrating with Russia

President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko wished to preserve the sovereignty of Belarus with deeper integration with Russia into the Union State. This information is published by RIA Novosti

Earlier it became known that Lukashenka wanted to make another visit to Russia. He expects to receive another three billion dollars from Moscow, in addition to the one and a half billion previously allocated to him.

The Ministry of Finance of Belarus denied rumors about a loan request from the Russian Federation

The Ministry of Finance of Belarus did not confirm the media reports about the request for a Russian loan in the amount of $ 3 billion from the balance of the previously provided loan for the construction of the BelNPP

Lithuania refused to extradite Leonid Volkov at the request of Russia

The Lithuanian authorities will not detain Leonid Volkov, head of the network of regional headquarters Alexei Navalny, at Russia’s request, the Associated Press reported, citing the country’s Interior Minister Agne Bilotaite.

Putin expressed hope for the confidence of Russians in power

President Vladimir Putin expressed hope that the people of Russia trust the authorities. He said this, commenting on the situation with salaries of researchers during a meeting with the government.

Turk, who took the blame for the murder of the pilot Peshkov in Syria, was released

Turkish citizen Alparslan Celik, who previously took responsibility for the murder of Russian pilot Oleg Peshkov in 2015, was released after serving a five-year prison term for illegal possession of a weapon, lawyer Murat Ustundag told RIA Novosti

Margarita Simonyan called for the closure of all foreign social networks in Russia.

The editor-in-chief of MIA Rossiya Segodnya and RT Margarita Simonyan called for the closure of foreign social networks in Russia after the deletion of her Instagram post.

“Ha, I deleted Instagram and this is my most innocent post! Carthage must be destroyed. Foreign social networks in Russia must be closed,” she wrote on the Telegram channel.

RBC got acquainted with the draft resolution of the All-Belarusian People’s Assembly:

It is proposed to create a working group, a “constitutional commission”, to develop a reform of the country’s Constitution. Proposals to amend the basic law will be prepared already in 2021, they will be submitted to a republican referendum.

The draft resolution proposes to legislate the status of the All-Belarusian People’s Assembly and recognize it as the highest form of popular representation.

Pyotr Tolstoy compared protesters to collaborators

Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Pyotr Tolstoy compared the protesters to collaborators during the blockade of Leningrad. According to the deputy, shining flashlights in support of Navalny is practically the same as illuminating targets for German aviation. Tolstoy shared his conclusions during the plenary session and ended his speech with an appeal to go forward:

“You shouldn’t be fawning over the sofa-Facebook minority. Stop defending yourself! We must go forward! We have already twice let the invaders come closer to us. Once they drove to Paris, the second to Berlin. Power is in the truth. Victory will be ours”.

Moscow mayor’s office denies libertarians and communists to hold rallies

The Moscow City Hall refused to allow libertarians and communists to hold rallies on 23 February. The authorities blamed the current antiquated restrictions on public events as the reason.

A spokesman for the libertarian party, Alexander Goode, said that the organization would refuse the action, but the Communist Party announced their intention to hold the event despite the ban. State Duma deputy Valery Rashkin and Moscow City Duma deputy from the Communist Party of the Russian Federation Nikolai Zubrilin spoke about this.

The Moscow authorities warned the Communist Party of the Russian Federation about responsibility for organizing an uncoordinated action. At the same time, the party promised to apply for mass rallies in all Russian regions.

Facebook will reduce the number of posts about politics in the news feed

Facebook decided to reduce the amount of political content in its users’ news feed. This week the number of posts on politics will decrease among users in Canada, Brazil and Indonesia, and in the coming weeks – in the USA