1 Jul, 2020

News digest for 06/30/2020

On June 29, two new rules from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of industry and security (BIS) went into effect, further restricting potential exports of sensitive technologies. In addition to Russia, China and Venezuela, the change will also affect Armenia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Iraq

The first rule cancels the exception for American exporters who previously could supply a relatively wide range of goods to Russia without a license if they are intended for civilian use by civilian consumers.

Bearings, semiconductors, computers, telecommunications equipment, radar systems, equipment for the production of aircraft engines, and others. Now, even if these products are intended to be used exclusively for civilian purposes, the exporter will need to obtain a special license from the us Department of Commerce.

The second rule, which affects Russia, China and Venezuela, expands the definition of” military use ” of goods. “Final military use” will now be understood not only as the direct development or production of military products, but also as the use of any product to “support or facilitate the operation, installation, maintenance or repair or modernization” of military products.

Generators for use in nuclear power plants, sensors and lasers, propulsion systems, certain equipment for marine vessels, acoustic equipment for detecting underwater objects, etc. For example, it will be almost impossible to deliver an iPhone or a copy of Microsoft Windows to a military user in Russia or China

Former French Prime Minister Francois Fillon was sentenced to five years

Former French Prime Minister Francois Fillon was sentenced to five years (three of them suspended) in a case of embezzlement of public funds, Le Figaro reports. The wife of a former politician, Penelope Fillon, was sentenced to three years ‘ probation as an accomplice. The couple was also fined 375,000 euros each.

From 1998 to 2013, Fillon’s wife and two children worked as his assistants, including as a member of the National Assembly. In fact, they did not perform any work. According to AP, this way the family received more than a million euros (1.08 million dollars).

In addition to the fine, they will have to pay the money received fraudulently. Fillon is also banned from holding elected office for 10 years.

The all-Russian population census was moved to the spring of 2021

It was decided to postpone the all-Russian population census from October 2020 to April 2021. According to a TASS source, the government has already adopted a corresponding resolution, and it will be published soon.

Your state tells you: “You’re crazy”

Journalist Karen Shahinyan released the film “Sacred Russian Queer” about the history of gay and queer culture in Russia. Shainyan also talks about the first gay clubs in Russia, protest actions in defense of LGBT people, and the events of 2013, when the state Duma passed a law banning gay propaganda among minors

Sergey Shnurov became General producer of RTVI

The leader of ” Leningrad “will promote non-news products on the channel, and the main task of the musician will be”to unite millions of Russian-speaking people around the world through a common cultural concept”. This was reported by the channel itself

“Sergey often visits countries with a high concentration of Russian-speaking population and understands the mentality of people living abroad. We are confident that with the arrival of Sergey, RTVI will be able to find its new unique intonation and original content appearance, ” said RTVI owner Mikael Israelyan, who invited Shnurov to work.

A fine of 2 thousand rubles for hooliganism at the airport

Dmitry Ovsyannikov was awarded a fine of 2 thousand rubles for hooliganism at the Izhevsk airport. The incident occurred on April 5. The Deputy head of the Ministry of industry and trade began to wrangle with employees of the airport and the police, refused to show documents and used obscene language. Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin dismissed Ovsyannikov. The former official pleaded guilty.

The European Union has extended the sectoral economic sanctions against Russia

Sectoral sanctions against Russia have been extended for another six months, until January 31, 2021, because, as explained in the Council of the European Union, the full implementation of the Minsk agreements “has not yet been achieved”. Earlier in June, the EU also extended sanctions against Russia over the annexation of Crimea — they will be in effect until June 23, 2021.

Oil spill in the Khimki reservoir.

A thousand-fold excess of the MPC was recorded during an oil spill in the Khimki reservoir. The area of the oil slick has increased to almost 30 thousand square meters, according to the press service of rosvodresursov. According to preliminary information, the source of pollution was a storm sewer collector, which is operated by the municipal unitary enterprise “Himvodostok”.

“The area of the oil spill has increased since the discovery on June 25 and is more than 22.9 thousand square meters. The oil slick is localized by several rows of booms. Samples from the laboratory of the Moscow-Oka basin water management showed an excess of the permissible concentration of petroleum products in water by more than a thousand times. The death of aquatic biological resources (fish) and birds due to hypoxia due to untreated waste water with an admixture of petroleum products has been recorded.”

The EU intends to allow entry for citizens of 14 countries.

According to the decision of the European authorities, Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay are considered “safe” from the point of view of the spread of the coronavirus. China can be included in the list of safe countries if the Chinese authorities give similar rights to Europeans.

The international asteroid day is celebrated annually on June 30

On June 30, 1908, one of the most significant collisions of the Earth with an asteroid occurred. A space boulder measuring 60 to 190 meters exploded in the atmosphere over the Podkamennaya Tunguska river in Siberia, destroying more than two thousand square kilometers of forest. The shock wave was so strong that it circled the entire planet twice. Fortunately, it fell far enough away from human settlements. According to NASA, to date, more than 16 thousand objects have been detected approaching the Earth.

Hong Kong national security law passed in Beijing

The national people’s Congress passed the law unanimously. It is expected to take effect on July 1. Earlier, the document limiting the region’s autonomy caused criticism from the residents of the special administrative region itself and the world community.

According to the Chinese authorities, the law is aimed at “preventing threats to state power.” This law provides for severe penalties, including life in prison. The law was passed because of last year’s anti-government protests in Hong Kong

Nicolas Maduro demanded that the EU representative leave the country

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has demanded that the EU representative leave the country within 72 hours. This is how Caracas responded to the introduction of sanctions by Brussels against 11 Venezuelan officials.


The intensity of combat training of the Russian Armed forces has increased this year, with troops present in all strategically important regions of the world — Russian defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.


In Russia, 680 thousand employees were cut due to coronavirus

In Russia, during the “non-working period” due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 680,000 employees were cut. In General, about 15 million people did not work in the country during the restrictions. This was announced by the head of the Ministry of economic development Maxim Reshetnikov, reports TASS.

New tax for summer residents introduced in Russia

From 2020, according to amendments to the law 2395-1, owners of dacha and household plots who want to have water at their disposal will have to “fork out”, reports Life.ru. According to the law, the tax is payable if an organization or individual uses water for commercial purposes or consumes more than 100 cubic meters of water per day.

Russians met the pandemic without savings

45% of Russians had no savings at all or almost by the time of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report by the NAFI analytical center (RBC has it) based on the results of a survey in June. Another 29% of respondents reported that they had some savings, but they were not enough during the crisis.

On average, the Agency calculated that the savings of Russians would be enough for 63 days in case of job loss. If before the pandemic (in February), according to NAFI surveys, only 6% of Russians assessed their financial situation with the words “barely make ends meet”, then during the pandemic (in April), they were already 11%.

Foreign tourists will be allowed to enter Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is waiting for the first foreign tourists from July 15. The Ministry of tourism has already developed occupational safety and health standards. They will have to be strictly observed by both travel companies and foreign travelers.

All tourists arriving in Puerto Rico will undergo thermometry at the airport. So far, it is prescribed that guests will have to be quarantined for two weeks, but the authorities promise to cancel this requirement. Also, foreigners who have a negative test for coronavirus will be released from quarantine.

At the moment, all hotels in Puerto Rico are open, restaurants, bars, shops and swimming pools are open. However, they are allowed to work with a load of up to 50%.

Jewelers have warned of a possible rise in the price of gold jewelry

In September, gold jewelry may rise in price by 30% relative to the level of the beginning of the year. This was reported to Izvestia By the Guild of Russian jewelers. The trend is related to the growth of prices for the precious metal on the world markets. The rise in price will occur gradually, as the old range will be replaced by a new one, experts say.

Prices for gold jewelry in principle have a fairly stable upward trend, said Elena Voronkova, associate Professor of the Department of Finance and prices of Plekhanov Russian University of Economics. Over the past 2019, the average cost of gold jewelry has increased by 5%, over the past five years-by 50%, she explained.

Uber wants to buy food delivery service Postmates

American taxi ordering service Uber Technologies Inc. is in talks to buy food delivery service Postmates for about $ 2.6 billion, the Wall Street Journal newspaper reported, citing sources familiar with the situation

Russia restructures Venezuela’s debt

The Russian government has submitted a bill to the state Duma to restructure Venezuela’s debt. A loan of $3.445 billion, including $217 million in interest

A loan of up to $4 billion was granted to Caracas in 2011. The Venezuelan side uses this money to buy Russian industrial products.

Sberbank estimated a reduction in spending by Russians over the week

Spending by Russians on goods and services from June 22 to 28 decreased by 1.7% compared to the previous week, according to analysts of the Sberbank laboratory for analysis and processing of big data “Sberdannye”.

Sberbank expects that the decrease in citizens ‘ spending in the first half of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019 will be 8.8%.

In Russia, buckwheat has risen sharply in price

In Russia, prices for buckwheat rose sharply — for the week from June 15 to 21, cereals rose by 0.8 percent, or 405 rubles per ton, Interfax reports, citing data from the monitoring company Proserno.

In mid-June, the average cost of a ton of buckwheat in Russia was 47,475 rubles against 21,376 rubles in June 2019. Thus, the year-on-year growth was 122 percent.

A tanker with Azeri oil for Belarus arrived in the port of Ukraine

Tanker with 85 thousand tons of Azerbaijani oil for Belarus arrived in the Ukrainian port “South”, it is planned that 10-15 July, the oil will go to the Belarusian refinery in Mozyr, told RIA Novosti on Tuesday the press-Secretary of the state concern “Belneftekhim” Alexander Tishchenko

Chinese authorities raised the price of gasoline and diesel fuel for the first time in a year

China will raise retail prices for gasoline and diesel starting on June 29, Xinhua news Agency reported. According to the National development and reform Commission, gasoline prices will be increased to 120 yuan ($17) per ton, while diesel prices will be increased to 110 yuan per ton.

In Japan, cars with mileage have fallen in price

According to the results of may sales, it turned out that used cars in Japan fell by 40% compared to may 2019, according to local analytical Agency Kobunsha Co. Ltd. The reason for such a sharp drop in prices was the economic crisis.

A non-blocking torrent network has been developed

In the network, there was information that a non-blocking torrent network based on The tribler torrent client was created in the Netherlands. This is implemented quite simply (at least in words): the Tribler network does not have any centralized servers, which means that it is not possible to block the project – the search for information occurs without accessing indexing sites. In turn, this means that the Tribler network will exist as long as at least one computer on the planet is connected to It.

Environmentalists will award the “Golden vulture” award to the most harmful SUV

The Union of German ecologists launched on the site duh.de/goldenergeier a vote to select the most harmful SUV. The anti-leader will be awarded the “Golden vulture 2020″ award and will be added to have its owner removed from production.

Contenders for this prestigious title are the Audi Q7, the BMW X7, Range Rover Sport, VW Amarok and Mercedes GLS. As stated by ecoactivist Barbara Metz, ” manufacturers continue to produce meaningless armored monsters, because they are in fashion and they can be sold more expensive, but in the end, the climate and we, the people, pay for it.”

China’s mobile apps blocked in India

In India, 59 Chinese mobile apps were blocked, “which damage the sovereignty and integrity of India… the security of the state and public order.” This is stated in the report of the state press and information Bureau (PIB).

Among the banned programs were TikTok, LiKee, Clash of Kings, WeChat, Weibo, and others. According to the report, the Indian authorities have concerns about the protection of confidential data of Indian users of these applications.

Putin signed a decree on conscription for military training

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on the conscription of reservists for military training. The relevant document is published on the official Internet portal of legal information.

I decide to call in 2020 citizens of the Russian Federation who are in reserve to pass military training in the Armed forces of the Russian Federation, the national guard of the Russian Federation, state security agencies and the Federal security service, ― said in a document published on the official Internet portal of legal information.

Seven RT TV channels have been banned from broadcasting in Latvia

The national Council for electronic media (NEPLP) of Latvia has decided to ban the broadcasting of seven RT group TV channels in the country. This is written by Delfi, referring to the press service of the Council.

Harvard has created a material that protects against both explosions and heat

A lightweight multi-functional material that can protect a person from both extreme temperatures and ammunition explosions was developed by researchers from Harvard University in collaboration with specialists from the US army’s combat capability development Command center (CCDC SC) and the West Point base, June 29, the magazine reports phys.org.

Scientists have developed a hydrogel to replace cartilage in joints

The development of scientists somewhat resembles jelly sweets, but their strength can be compared to real cartilage. The created material consists of 60% water. One disk, which is about the size of a small coin, can support the weight of a 45-kilogram kettlebell. At the same time, there will be no breaks or loss of shape.

Airbus completes visual autopilot project

European aircraft manufacturer Airbus has announced the completion of a project to develop a visual autopilot system ATTOL, designed to automatically control the aircraft during taxiing on the airfield, takeoff and landing. The company announced that the results of the project will allow us to assess the applicability of the technology in real conditions.

The first liquid retinal prosthesis has been developed

Researchers from the Italian Institute of technology were able to create a liquid retinal prosthesis for the first time. It will help in the treatment of age-related macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa. An article about the discovery is published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

Scientists have found a way to fight cancer using ultrasound

A group of scientists from tel Aviv University have found a way to destroy cancer cells using ultrasound. The non-invasive technique involves delivering micro-bubbles to the body that target the tumor.

The South pole is warming three times faster than the rest of the Earth’s surface

Researchers from New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States analyzed data from weather stations over 60 years and using computer simulations showed that the South pole has warmed three times faster than the rest of the world over the past three decades.

A glove that translates sign language into text

Scientists from China and the United States have developed a glove that can translate sign language into spoken speech. Researchers claim that this device will help deaf and mute people to overcome the language barrier. This is reported by the information portal The Times.

Theorists have justified a new limit for quantization of seconds

The upper limit of time quantization was calculated by experts from the Pennsylvania state Institute. As the upper limit for the universal oscillator period, they suggest taking 10 to minus 33 degrees of a second.

In their model, they assume that the universal clock will be a quantum generator that regularly switches between two States. To calculate its rate, they assumed that it was connected to a slower generator, similar to an atomic clock.