19 Feb, 2020

News digest for 02/18/2020

Jeff Bezos pledges $10 billion to fight climate change

Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos announced on his instagram account the creation of the Bezos Earth Fund, through which he will Finance the activities of scientists, activists and public organizations dealing with climate change.

Climate change is the biggest threat to our planet. I want to work with others both to expand known ways and to explore new ways to deal with the devastating effects of climate change on this planet. – Jeff Bezos, American entrepreneur

Silent supersonic aircraft will be tested in the United States in 2021

The test flight of the silent supersonic passenger plane X-59, developed by the American company Lockheed Martin, is planned to be held in 2021, reports Space.com. Assembly of the sample should be completed by the end of this year.

The EU will stop the operation to rescue migrants in the Mediterranean sea

On February 17, the foreign Ministers of the EU member States decided to stop the Sofia mission — a naval operation in the Mediterranean sea off the coast of Libya to combat the illegal transport of people and weapons, as well as to rescue illegal migrants. This was reported by the Associated Press, citing the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrel.

Operation Sofia expires on March 20 and will not be extended. Instead, the EU countries decided to launch a new mission, which has not yet been named. It will focus on monitoring the arms embargo on Libya.

Two key members of Miller’s team have left Gazprom

The company was left by the Deputy Chairman of the Board Elena Vasilyeva, who was the chief accountant of the concern for 19 years. Her resignation is related to her retirement, Gazprom said in a statement. In addition, the position of Deputy Chairman of the management Board – head of the Gazprom management Board staff, which had been held by Mikhail Sereda since 2004, was eliminated.

“This is due to the challenges facing the global energy sector. Gazprom is well aware of this. All these changes are an initiative of the company’s chief Executive, Mr. Miller, including his insistence on increasing the dividend portion. I assume that this kind of policy will continue, and the capitalization will grow.” 20.11.2019, answering the analyst’s question, what are the changes in the company related to, including the renewal of the Board, – Vladimir Putin, President of Russia

The court returned the Petersburg woman who escaped from quarantine to the hospital

The court forcibly returned to the hospital St. Petersburg Alla Ilyina, who escaped from quarantine with symptoms of the coronavirus 2019-nCoV. After the meeting, the girl expressed fears that she was sent to a lifelong hospitalization, since the court decision does not specify the terms of isolation.

Salaries of officials should be equated to the average incomes of ordinary Russians.

These proposals were made by deputies from the “Fair Russia”. Parliamentarians have already prepared a corresponding package of amendments to the draft law on amendments to the Constitution, they are submitted for the second reading.

“If officials receive at the level of the average salary, they will begin to better understand the difficult realities in which the majority of Russians live,” explained the head of the party, Sergei Mironov. He noted that this will also encourage officials to review decisions that ” hit the pockets of citizens.”

The number of irregular drug users is growing in Russia

These are the results of a large-scale study Of the Institute of sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, which was reviewed by Izvestia. A survey of more than 10,000 people showed that there are more people who control what they believe is their addiction to psychoactive substances.

The Hague court ordered Russia to pay $50 billion to former Yukos shareholders

The Hague court of appeal ordered Russia to pay $50 billion in a lawsuit by former YUKOS shareholders. Thus, it satisfied the complaint of the ex-shareholders against the decision Of the district court of the Hague, which overturned the decision of the International arbitration court to recover this amount from Russia in their favor.

Salary record of Sberbank’s top managers

Nine top managers of Sberbank received 6.3 billion rubles in remuneration in 2019. This follows from the Bank’s quarterly report. On average, each person accounted for 702 million rubles, or 2.84 million rubles for each working day. The generous payment consists of a fixed remuneration of 1.4 billion rubles in the form of official salaries, vacation pay, average earnings for the period of business trips and bonuses in the amount of 4.9 billion rubles in the form of quarterly bonuses and remuneration for the year

Russia has created a device for detecting fake wine

Russian scientists have patented a device that allows rapid analysis of synthetic dyes in juices and wines, said Sergey Donchenko, Director of the all-Russian research Institute of physical, technical and radio measurements (VNIIFTRI, under the jurisdiction of Rosstandart).

Microsoft co-founder bill gates bought an electric car for the first time in his life.

In an interview with YouTube blogger Marques Brownlee, one of the richest people in the world said that his choice fell on the Porsche Taycan — the first electric car in the history of the German brand

Yandex has agreed to pre-install its browser on Asus laptops.

This was reported by representatives of the companies to the Kommersant newspaper. We are talking about all new laptops of the vendor in Russia, the CIS, Abkhazia and Georgia, said the representative of Asus Kirill Pogorelov. Yandex needs the partnership in order to strengthen its share in search against the background of declining revenues from the advertising network, experts say.

Russians will be able to withdraw cash in cafes, hotels and pharmacies

MasterCard is actively working on expanding the affiliate network within the framework of the Cash with Purchase service, including connecting hotels, cafes and restaurants, the press service of the payment system told Izvestia.

Mastercard is working on a system for paying for transport based on a person’s gait

One of the world’s largest credit card companies, American Mastercard, is working on a technology to pay for transport tickets using a person’s gait as authentication, a company representative said

The economy of the southern Urals — business is on the decline, rent is getting cheaper

Leila Rud, President of the regional Guild of realtors “South Ural”, commented on the downward trend in rental rates. The expert explained that the decrease in rental rates reflects the economic situation in the region.

“What do our numbers say? Unfortunately, our middle class is not growing, production is not growing, and small and medium-sized businesses are not developing. These directions are very difficult. After 2015, there was a decline, and unfortunately, we still have it, it has not even stabilized. Small and medium-sized businesses and the middle class are on the decline — this is a picture of the world. Everything that concerns office space, especially manufacturing, – reduction in rates for them-this means reduced demand. There is, of course, a positive point — the price is reduced, the business is cheaper to maintain, ” Leila Rud said.

Realtors also note that major players do not enter the Chelyabinsk region, so owners are forced to reduce rental rates in order to stay “afloat”.

Through Platon, 97.5 billion rubles were transferred to the Federal budget

As of the beginning of 2020, 550 thousand cargo carriers and 1.28 million vehicles were added to the system’s register. In 2019, 92.5 thousand owners of heavy trucks were registered, the press service of Platon reports. For 2019, 97.5 billion rubles were transferred to the Federal budget through the Platon system by owners of heavy-duty transport.

The Ministry of agriculture will help farmers open and develop stores

The Ministry of agriculture plans to support farmers in developing product sales channels, including helping them open stores. This was announced by Deputy Minister of agriculture of the Russian Federation Oksana LUT at the XXXI Congress of The Association of peasant (farmer) farms and agricultural cooperatives (AKKOR)

The Russian Cabinet of Ministers has allocated 2 billion rubles for sports infrastructure

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin signed an order providing for the allocation of subsidies in the amount of 2 billion rubles in 2020 for the construction and equipping of sports infrastructure facilities in the Russian regions, the corresponding document is published on the official Internet portal of legal information.

Russia will reduce its share in energy companies

Denis Manturov, head of the Ministry of industry and trade of the Russian Federation, announced a gradual decline in the state’s share in energy sector companies. According to the Izvestia newspaper on February 18, large shares of Rosneft and Gazprom are already on the stock exchange, and this process will continue. According to Manturov, it is a matter of time.

Meanwhile, the role of the state in the banking sector is growing. As an example, the Minister cited the situation with OTKRITIE Bank, which remained afloat thanks to the Central Bank’s policy.

The Bank of Russia bought the currency for the Ministry of Finance

The Ministry of Finance plans to purchase the currency for 214.2 billion rubles from February 7 to March 5. The daily volume of purchases during this period was supposed to be 11.3 billion rubles. Since February 1, the Central Bank has also started to carry out currency purchases deferred in 2018 (their volume is estimated at about $30 billion).

The authorities of Kuzbass and RusHydro decided to complete the Krapivinskaya HPP

The authorities of the Kemerovo region and the company “RusGidro” have agreed on joint reconstruction of the City power plant. The parties signed an agreement, the correspondent reports Sibnovosti.ru.

Construction of a hydroelectric facility on the Tom river with a planned capacity of 300 MW was started in the mid-1970s. This facility was supposed to improve water supply and river water quality. But in 1989, the project was frozen. In particular, because of the protests of environmentalists.

Abolish criminal penalties for non-payment of wages

The working group of the state Council of Russia together with the head of the region Alexey Dumin proposed to abolish criminal liability for the fact that Russians are not paid wages. This is reported by RBC, which has a copy of the document at its disposal.

In Russia, they offered to use the website of public services for the sale of alcohol

AKIT representatives suggest using a Single biometric system and a public services website to sell alcohol online. According to Izvestia, the proposal was sent to Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin and to relevant departments.

In Russia, the rules for receiving pensions on Bank cards are changing

The pension Fund of Russia will change the rules for payment of pensions to Bank cards from July 1, 2020. All payments will be transferred to the cards of the national payment system “Mir”. Pensioners should get exactly the card “the World”. Moreover, this requirement applies to those citizens who opened accounts for crediting pensions before July 1, 2017. Those who did this later automatically received a card from the Bank.

The FIU warns that Russians who do not have time to replace the card in time will not be able to get a pension. The Bank will send money back to the FIU, and it will be more difficult to get it.

Two-thirds of brokerage accounts opened by Russians are empty

Two out of three brokerage accounts are empty, according to a survey conducted by The national Association of stock market participants of the largest investment companies, which, according to the Association, account for 95% of clients. According to her calculations, the share of funded brokerage accounts decreased from 40% to 33% during the year, and at the end of 2017 it was 44%. In individual investment accounts, the share fell more strongly — from 45.5 to 27%, Vedomosti reports.

Kommersant learned about the claims to the project of creating “Rosshelf»

The Ministry of natural resources and the Ministry of energy criticized the bill of the Ministry of regional Development on the creation of the state Corporation “Rosshelf”. They did not see in the draft the meaning of creating a new structure, and its powers were considered contrary to the principles of the Executive authorities.

The initiative to create the state Corporation “Rosshelf” belonged to the Deputy Prime Minister, presidential envoy to the far Eastern Federal district Yuri Trutnev.

Qatar postpones large gas projects amid LNG price collapse

According to Reuters, citing four unnamed sources, the state-owned oil and gas company Qatar Petroleum (QP) has postponed the selection of its Western partners for the world’s largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) project for several months. We are talking about Qatar, which, incidentally, produces the cheapest LNG, the largest gas field on the planet – the North, in the development of which giants such as ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch / Shell have invested tens of billions of dollars.

Microsoft combines Word, Excel and Power Point into a single smartphone application

Microsoft has combined its classic office services Word, Excel and PowerPoint in one application for gadgets on Android. It is already available for download in the official Google Play store.

Federation Council speaker Valentina Matvienko on an official visit to Zambia.

Edgar Chagwa Lungu (President of Zambia): “I’m sure that if our people – Russians and Zambians – are united, then we will achieve a lot.”

The Russian government has changed the charter of the Russian Academy of Sciences

The Cabinet of Ministers will only agree on candidates for the post of president of the academy, while earlier it claimed the new president and relieved him of it.

Cryptocurrency in Russia decided to ban for payment of purchases

It will not be possible to pay with bitcoins in Russia. On this issue, the FSB and the Central Bank finally came to a single position. As follows from the letter (at the disposal of the Baza) of Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Chernyshenko to President Vladimir Putin, the agencies have come to a compromise.

“Following a meeting in the government, a decision was made to establish a ban on the issuance and use of cryptocurrencies as a means of payment,” the official said.

FAS proposed to introduce electronic auctions for the right to fish production

The Federal Antimonopoly service (FAS) proposes to replace the historical principle of distribution of quotas for fishing in Russia with electronic auctions. The corresponding letter was sent to Rosrybolovstvo, TASS was told there.

Mishustin planned to reduce contributions to the FIU

The Cabinet of Ministers under the leadership of the new Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin is actively working on one of the most important topics for Russians at the moment – pension reform. In particular, according to Vedomosti, the government has put forward the idea of reducing the contributions that working citizens each month deduct to the FIU from salaries from 30 to 23-25%.

VTB increased payments to Board members in 2019

In 2019, VTB increased annual payments to Board members by 38% to two billion 230 million rubles. This was reported by Interfax with reference to the Bank’s quarterly report. This amount includes bonuses and salary. The Board of the financial institution consists of 14 people.

Rosstat has found a growing dependence of the Russian economy on oil and gas

Rosstat for the first time presented calculations of the industrial production index based on the new base year — 2018. Previously, 2010 was used in calculations. The transition to the new 2018 base year allowed us to get a more up-to-date assessment of the industry structure of Russian production.

The share of raw materials industries increased from 34.3% to 38.9% in terms of the 2010 to 2018 base year. The share of all other activities decreased, especially manufacturing, from 53.2% to 50.7%. At the same time, the analysis of the structure of manufacturing industries showed an increase in the share of oil products output. The share of textile and light industry (production of textile products, clothing and footwear) remained at 1.5%, the sectors related to wood processing, paper and paper products production-4%, and computer production-3.8%.

The housing market in Russia began to decline.

This is reported by the Vedomosti newspaper with reference to the data of the Unified information system of housing construction. The decline in the Russian housing market is explained by the transition to escrow accounts and the rejection of shared construction. Since July 1, 2019, the area of apartment buildings under construction has decreased by about 18%, and the number of developers has decreased by 14%..

Russia has become the most dangerous country for Russian tourists

The Russian Union of tourism industry presented data according to which Russia is the most dangerous tourist country. In 2019, 38 incidents with tourist groups were recorded on its territory, as a result of which 44 people were killed and 192 were injured.

Thailand is in second place with 22 cases-13 Russians were killed and 14 were injured. The third position of Turkey: the 16 cases, 11 dead, 39 injured. At the same time, Turkey has an incomparably greater number of Russians than Thailand: 7 million compared to 1.5 million in 2019.

Tajikistan was included in the list of unusual tourist destinations

The authors of the rating are a daily major print publication that notes that the Republic is perfect for tourists who prefer Hiking, rafting and mountaineering. In total, the list includes 52 unusual tourist destinations

There were no Buks in the area of the MH17 crash»

The military intelligence of the Netherlands, based on sources that were considered reliable, concluded that “flight MH17 (the Malaysian Boeing that crashed in the Donbass in 2014) flew outside of all identified and active positions of Ukraine and Russia, where the 9k37m1 Buk M1 systems were deployed,” Bonanza Media, a platform for independent journalists, reports.

New “green” technology generates electricity “from the air»

Researchers at the University of Massachusetts have developed a unique device that uses natural protein to get electricity directly from the air. The technology, called Air-gen, is a pneumatic generator with electrically conductive protein nanowires produced by the Geobacter microbe.

The technology is also renewable and inexpensive, so much so that scientists are willing to put their invention into commercial production. The device can be used to power health and fitness monitors, smart watches, and in the near future, mobile phones, which will exclude periodic charging.

Foreign Minister of the interim government of Libya arrived in Russia

The foreign Minister of the Libyan government, Abdel Hadi al-Huwaij, arrived in Russia, RIA Novosti reported, citing Vitaly Naumkin, an academic and research Director of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

It became known about the extremely low efficiency of the Russian zrpk “Pantsir-S”.

Israel decided to disclose information about the extremely low efficiency of Russian air defense systems transferred to Syria. So, according to the publication “NZIV”, to defeat Israeli anti-radar missiles, Russian air defense systems spend an average of 8-9 missiles per one released by f-16 fighters, in fact, shooting at random.

“Syrian air defense systems were able to repel a missile attack on Damascus after launching several missiles, but some still very successfully hit their targets. So what is the effectiveness of the Syrian air defense? Regardless of which air defense units are equipped with Russian weapons and equipment, there is not always publicly available and reliable data, but if we take, for example, the attack by the Israeli air force on the night of February 6… Syria’s air defense Systems were seriously damaged and destroyed. Of the eight rockets fired by Israeli air force aircraft, four were shot down. In contrast, the air defense of Syria used 35 surface-to-air missiles, which in itself indicates an accidental, rather ineffective shooting, ” the newspaper reports.

India has purchased a new fighter jet

The Indian air force purchased 83 single-engine Tejas with an accompanying service package from the local Corporation Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). At the same time, the contract value decreased from the original 56,500 to 39,000 crores ($5.46 billion, $65.78 million per unit).

Iran has given a “second life” the fighters “Mirage»

The mirages were originally delivered to Iraq. During the Persian Gulf war in 1991, they and other aircraft were evacuated to Iran. Tehran confiscated the equipment as a partial compensation for losses it suffered during the war with Baghdad in the 1980s.

Russia aims for a military solution to the conflict in Syria

This was stated by representatives of the state Department of America. The statement of politicians is published on the official website of the Department

The Ukrainian foreign Ministry protested the detention of four Ukrainian citizens

Kiev expressed dissatisfaction with the detention of four Ukrainian fishermen for poaching by the Border service of the FSB of Russia in the sea of Azov. The charge d’affaires of the Russian Federation was summoned to the Ministry of foreign Affairs of Ukraine. The Russian diplomat was protested by the Ukrainian side.

“We demand that the Russian side strictly adhere to its international legal obligations and agreements. We demand that the fishermen and the vessel be released immediately and that all fishing equipment be returned, ” the Ukrainian foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Four out of five Russians see the West as a partner and friend

According to the Levada center survey, another 16% of respondents consider the West a rival, and 3% consider it an enemy. At the same time, Russians treat the European Union better than the United States – 49% and 42% of respondents stated a good attitude, respectively.

The first trailer for the new Netflix series has been published

Netflix has revealed the first trailer for my project I Am Not Okay With This, in which the main roles were performed by stars of the movie “It”. The basis of the new series is the eponymous comic book by Charles Forsman. Also, the producers of “Very strange things” are working on the creation of the series, so the audience is intrigued



Russians with grey salaries will be denied loans

The head of the state Duma Committee on the financial market, Anatoly Aksakov, said that banks will begin to refuse to issue consumer loans to Russians who receive gray salaries, or will offer them higher interest rates. This is reported by the “parliamentary newspaper”.

Knowing the borrower’s income, confirmed by the Federal tax service, it will be easier for the credit organization to collect complete information about the amount of payments on loans and the total amount of the client’s income. – Anatoly Aksakov, Russian politician

Disney is going to screen ” Rapunzel: a Complicated story»

The film’s shooting and possible rental schedule have not yet been discussed. At the same time, it is not known for sure whether the film will be a remake of the previously released full-length film, short film and TV series about Rapunzel, or a completely new project. Disney has not yet commented on these reports.

Paul van dyke will bring “Guiding Light” to Moscow»

Paul van dyke will give a concert at the 1930 club on March 13, 2020. The German DJ will arrive in Moscow as part of the Guiding Light world tour, organized in support of the musician’s self-titled album. Paul van dyke is a pioneer of his genre, who during his career managed to play his music to countless millions of fans of high-quality trance sound. He wrote such generational anthems as “For an Angel”, “Let Go”, and “Nothing But You”.

Cover girl for Black Sabbath’s debut album

The girl who posed for Black Sabbath’s debut album turned out to be an Englishwoman, Louise Livingstone, who writes electronic music under the pseudonym Indreba. This information appeared in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the legendary record

Sberdevices has developed a TV set-top box for Okko

Sberbank’s “daughter” company “Sberdevices” has developed the first device for consumers — a TV set-top box for the online cinema Okko. The head of the company, Konstantin Kruglov, told RBC that quite a lot of devices were produced in China before factories there got up because of the coronavirus.
Collapsible Samsung Galaxy Z Flip cracked after first flexing

As reported by today News Ufa, not so long ago, the world was circled by the news about the new smartphone, the flexible display of which is made on the basis of bending glass. However, as it turned out, the glass sometimes bends only once

The author Of the YouTube channel JerryRigEverything Zach Nelson tested the strength of the new folding smartphone Samsung Galaxy Z Flip. Despite the fact that the device is equipped with ultra-thin glass, the display received 2-3 points on the moss scale, which corresponds to the plastic screens of the Galaxy Fold and Motorola Razr.

According to Nelson, the Samsung screen is in no way protected from scratches and even nails leave marks on it. Under heating, the flexible display changes shape, which, as the author of the video noted, is peculiar to plastic, not glass.

A domestic air conditioning system has been created for SSJ-New

The new air conditioning system, which has already passed the stage of ground tests and is now being tested in the air on one of the GSS aircraft, is still only 90% Russian, but by the time the production of serial SSJ-New begins, it will be 100% domestic, the developers said.

Google will close free Wi-Fi stations around the world

Google will close the Google Station program by the end of this year, under which the company provided free Wi-Fi in public places in developing countries, Techcrunch writes. The closure of the project was announced by the company’s Vice President, Caesar Sengupta.

Magnetoencephalography was adapted for recording muscle movements

New York scientists have proposed a way to visualize the movements of entire muscle groups, in which it is not necessary to install electrodes on them or perform any other invasive manipulations. Instead, they found a way to use magnetoencephalography, according to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Canadian scientists have discovered a new class of antibiotics

Scientists at McMaster University have discovered a new group of antibiotics with a unique mechanism of action. This is reported by the press service of the University. New antibiotics are a type of glycopeptides that are produced by soil bacteria, however, they act in a way that has remained unclear to scientists.

As a rule, antibiotics affect the cell wall of the bacterium, causing its destruction, and then the death of the pathogenic microorganism. The substances corbomycin and complostatin discovered by scientists work the opposite way-they prevent the destruction of the cell wall and thus prevent cell growth and division.

Scientists have learned how to protect the body from all viruses at once

At the Massachusetts General hospital, the Americans and scientists at the German cancer research center in Heidelberg found a weak spot in most viruses – the AGO4 protein, which has a unique antiviral effect.

The effect of the protein was studied in mice and found that only cells with AGO4 deficiency are hypersensitive to various viral infections, and increasing the protein level can strengthen the immune system and protect against viruses.