19 Nov, 2020

News digest for 11/18/2020

Dmitry Vyatkin, First Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee for the Development of Civil Society (United Russia), introduced two bills on Tuesday to tighten the rules for holding rallies. The author of the bill believes that the proposed measures will bring the law on rallies in line with judicial practice and make it possible to exclude foreign interference in Russian affairs.

In particular, he proposes to prohibit holding rallies in areas adjacent to the buildings of emergency services (for example, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the FSB), so as not to paralyze their activities. If there is a threat of an emergency or terrorist attack, the authorities will be able to postpone or cancel the actions.

The deputy also considers it necessary to establish in the law a norm that allows the court to recognize a picket line as a public event or “mass simultaneous presence or movement of citizens in public places” aimed at forming opinions or making demands (“courtyard tea drinking”, “walking”, “feeding pigeons” etc.). Introduce a number of bans on journalists covering these events.

Japan confirms the possibility of placing an Aegis missile defense system at sea

A private report by a private company for the Japanese defense department notes the technical possibility of deploying radars at sea that are part of the Aegis Ashore missile defense system, which Japan had previously refused to deploy on land. This was reported on November 18 by the Asahi newspaper. The publication notes that the final version of the closed missile defense report will be prepared for the Japanese Ministry of Defense by April 2021.

Turkey imposed curfew

In Turkey, amid the spread of the coronavirus, a partial quarantine was introduced over the weekend. This was announced by the President of the Republic, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, reports TASS. According to him, a curfew will be introduced on weekends, with the exception of the time interval from 10:00 to 20:00. Cafes and restaurants will be closed in the country, but delivery is allowed.

The United States notified of the reduction of its military presence in Afghanistan and Iraq

Defense Minister Christopher Miller held talks on this decision with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. And he clarified that by January 15, 2021, the United States will reduce the number of military personnel in these countries to 2.5 thousand people in each.

NATO Secretary General urged US not to rush to withdraw troops from Afghanistan

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has warned that the alliance will pay a “high price” for the US withdrawal from Afghanistan allegedly planned by incumbent US leader Donald Trump. The Associated Press news agency reported.

We are facing a difficult decision. We have been in Afghanistan for 20 years, and no NATO member wants to stay there longer than necessary. But the price of too early and uncoordinated departure can be very high, the Secretary General said in a statement.

In Portugal, a flock of killer whales surrounded the ship and rammed it for two hours

In October, British yachtsman David Smith ferried a ship from France to Gibraltar. Six or seven killer whales, also known as killer whales, swam up to the 13-meter yacht 30 kilometers off the coast of Portugal and rammed the ship.

“It’s not easy to scare me, but it was scary. The youngest killer whales were the most active. The steering wheel rotated very quickly with each collision, ”said Smith.

The team contacted the Portuguese Coast Guard by satellite phone and reported what was happening. They were advised to turn off the engine and lower the sail. After about two hours, the killer whales suddenly swam away. This incident is one of 40 such mysterious encounters of ships with killer whales over the past six months.

Ozon will pay Sberbank under a settlement agreement

On September 4, 2020, we terminated the agreement concluded in June 2020 between us, our main shareholders, and Sberbank <…>. Although we and Sberbank of Russia did not recognize any violations and liability in accordance with the terms of the settlement agreement, we agreed to pay 1 billion rubles to Sberbank of Russia within the framework of the settlement agreement, – it is noted in the Ozon prospectus for the IPO.

Cypriot authorities open an investigation into Wargaming employees

Auditor General of Cyprus Odysseas Mikhaylidis began an audit against 70 Wargaming studio employees who received Cypriot passports between 2012 and 2020. Aleksey Voloboev, a member of the political council of the EOP (EOP is the political party of Cyprus), wrote about this on Facebook. According to him, the government of Cyprus faces the task of taking away passports.

Amazon launches ordering and delivery service for prescription drugs

Amazon showed interest in the retail pharma market in 2018 when it bought the online pharmacy PillPack for $ 1 billion, which supplies prescription drugs to patients with chronic diseases. The annual retail sales of pharmaceutical products in the United States are estimated at $ 300 billion

Russia proposed to limit the speed of electric scooters

It is proposed to limit the speed of electric scooters and gyro scooters to 20 km / h, and it is also proposed to introduce fines for violation of traffic rules, RIA Novosti reported, citing the Deputy Department of State Policy in the Field of Automobile and Urban Passenger Transport of the Ministry of Transport Vladimir Lugovenko.

The Investigative Committee of Russia refuses to monitor the media

The Investigative Committee canceled a tender for monitoring mentions of oneself and the leadership of the department in the media, popular blogs, social networks and Telegram channels. The department announced this in its Telegram channel. In total, it was planned to cover at least 41 thousand sources of information, including federal, regional, foreign publications – press, TV, radio, news agencies and the Internet.

Russian found a note in new shoes asking for help

A resident of St. Petersburg Arslan Gibadullin found a note in sneakers ordered on the Internet in which a Uighur imprisoned in China asks for help. The North Face has launched an internal investigation into the case, Paper reports.

In the UK, the company, along with other well-known brands (Adidas, Amazon, H&M, IKEA, etc.), is being tested for cooperation with factories where Uyghurs work, the publication added. According to human rights activists, representatives of this people are subjected to repression in the Xinjiang region of the PRC: they are imprisoned and forced to work in factories.

Criminal case for reposting the video of “Open Russia”

In Krasnodar, a criminal case has been opened against 62-year-old pensioner Leonid Malyavin about the work of an organization undesirable in Russia. As Znak.com was told in the “Legal Protection of the Postcard”, the reason for this was the repost of the video “Open Russia” on Facebook. The pensioner was searched, his communications equipment was seized and he was taken away for questioning at the Investigative Committee. He refused to testify against himself, they did not choose a preventive measure against Malyavin.

As the coordinator of the “Human Rights Protection of the Postcard” Alexey Pryanishnikov told Znak.com, before that Malyavin was brought to administrative responsibility for reposting videos on Facebook in 2018 and 2019 under Article 20.33 of the Administrative Code of the Russian Federation (“Implementation of activities in the Russian Federation by a foreign or international non-governmental organization, which decided to declare its activities undesirable on the territory of the Russian Federation “). The third repost became the basis for a criminal case.

The head of the Investigative Committee of Russia pointed out to the Perm investigators the violation of the rights of citizens

Numerous violations of the rights of citizens at the pre-trial stage were noted in the investigation department for the Perm Territory, said the chairman of the TFR Alexander Bastrykin at a meeting with regional departments. What violations in the work of investigators were revealed by the central office is not specified, the Investigative Directorate for the Perm Territory does not comment on the statement of the federal head.

In Russia, bus drivers will be obliged to wear bracelets against sleep

It is planned to introduce driver monitoring systems in public transport, which has more than eight passenger seats, as well as in taxis. The term for the development of the national standard is June 2021. It is now in its final stages.

Tunisia prepares to receive Russian tourists

The state opens its borders. After the opening of flights, the Russians will be able to visit the North African country. Every independent traveler arriving in the country will have to go to a two-week quarantine. Moreover, you need to pay for it yourself. And this is in the presence of a negative test for covid.

Holders of package tours will be accepted according to separate rules. If there is a negative test for coronavirus, the tourist immediately goes to the hotel. There he is under the supervision of a guide. Self-guided tours are prohibited, and public places can only be visited as part of a group. However, it is not necessary to wear masks.

The Accounts Chamber of Russia reported on “anomalies” in the IT spending of ministries

The Accounts Chamber has identified many “abnormal” indicators in the IT budgets of Russian ministries and departments over the past year. As noted by the authors of the note, the identified “anomalies in the profile of IT-expenditures of departments” can become “an incentive for special research.”

The executive branch has been creating electronic services for almost twenty years, but government services have not become sufficiently accessible. These are the conclusions reached by the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation. Not to mention the fact that the Russians, as originally conceived, were to gain control over the work of officials through the “electronic government”, and hundreds of billions of rubles have already been spent for this purpose.

There is no exact data, but, according to experts of the Accounts Chamber, the total expenditures per figure for 2017-2019 alone amounted to 60-75 billion rubles, including the cost of data centers and e-government infrastructure.

Rosneft found a buyer for a stake in a project in the Arctic

International oil trader Trafigura (Singapore) will enter the Arctic project of Rosneft: the company will buy a 10% stake in the authorized capital of Vostok Oil LLC. This is stated in the report on the meeting of the board of directors of Rosneft.

For the construction of a new “Arena” in Omsk

It was decided to allocate 2.4 billion rubles from the reserve fund of the Russian government for the construction of the Arena sports complex in Omsk. This was reported with reference to the first deputy chairman of the State Duma Alexander Zhukov in the press service of the regional branch of the United Russia party.

For the development of the ambulance service in the Astrakhan region

We plan that about 150 million rubles for an ambulance will be accepted and taken into account by the deputies in the draft budget in 2021 – Minister of Health of the Astrakhan Region Alexey Spirin

Winery “Massandra” put up for auction

The Crimean Property Ministry has put up for auction 100% of the shares of the wine-making enterprise “Massandra” with an initial price of 5.3 billion rubles, follows from the data of the “United Electronic Trading Platform”. It is noted that applications for participation in the auction are accepted until 18:00 Moscow time on December 8, the auction itself is scheduled for December 14

Galaxy systems in the universe are like neural networks in the human brain

In Italy, scientists compared the structure of networks of galaxies in the Universe and the neural networks of the human brain. The experts identified similarities in the structures of the two systems. RIA Novosti writes about this with reference to the results of studies published in the Frontiers of Physics edition.

Traces of ancient coronavirus epidemic found in East Asia

In East Asia, 25-5 thousand years ago, there was an epidemic of a virus similar to SARS-CoV-2 (the causative agent of COVID-19). Its traces remain in the DNA of modern inhabitants of the region, bioRxiv reports. The study was carried out by geneticists from the USA and Australia

Learning a new language in adulthood changes the specialization of the cerebral hemispheres

Learning a new language in adulthood changes the interaction of the two hemispheres of the brain. With the growth of skill, the specialization of the hemispheres changes, but not speech production, according to Spanish neuroscientists at the Basque Research Center for Perception, Brain and Language. Their results help explain why it is more difficult for adults to start speaking a foreign language, even if they understand it well, writes Science Daily.

ISS crew installs a patch on a crack in the Russian module

Russian cosmonauts on the ISS have installed a new patch on a crack in the Zvezda module, it is assumed that this will finally eliminate the air leak, the press service of Roscosmos said

Arab Mars station made final trajectory correction

The Al Amal interplanetary station successfully completed the third and final trajectory correction maneuver on the way to Mars. This means that the device should arrive at the Red Planet at the estimated date, which is scheduled for the evening of February 9, 2021, the mission said on Twitter.

The United Arab Emirates is actively engaged in its space program, which provides for both the development of a near-earth orbit and flights of automatic vehicles to the Moon and Mars. As part of this program, in July this year, the automatic station Al Amal (“Hope”) went to the Red Planet, which became the country’s first such device.

US interplanetary station approached Pluto

It took 9 years for the launched interplanetary station to approach this celestial body. The device flew at a distance of only 12.5 thousand kilometers from the surface of Pluto. As a result, experts have made several scientific discoveries. It turned out that Pluto has a lower density and larger diameter than astronomers previously thought. Also, scientists managed to take unique photographs, for which the interplanetary station flew 9 billion miles

Google Chrome received an update that improves browser performance

A Google Chrome update that significantly improves browser performance has been released by the company, Google reports on November 18. According to the company, the launch of the program was 25% faster and the download speed increased by 7%.

Also, the developers have changed the priorities of the tabs, now, when allocating resources, the system will give preference to the tab where the user directly works. According to the results of internal tests of the company, this solution will reduce processor use by up to 5 times.

Firefox browser updated

Mozilla users can already update (or download) their Firefox 83, which provides the user with a new, even higher level of security. The new HTTPS-Only mode is disabled by default. The browser will connect the user to the http-version of the site without any problems, if the client so desires and assumes all risks.

Twitter Introduces Fleets Disappearing Posts Feature

In the official blog of the company Twitter, it was announced that the Fleets function will be introduced soon. It is a new way to share a text message, tweet, video or photo, but the material will be deleted after 24 hours.

Warner Bros. showed the first trailer of the movie “Tom and Jerry”

Recognition of individuals as foreign agents

A group of deputies and senators on Wednesday submitted to the State Duma a bill that provides for the possibility of recognizing individuals as foreign agents, determines their status and responsibility.

Georgia urged the United States to strengthen its presence in the region

Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia, receiving US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, called on America to strengthen its presence in the South Caucasus region, VZGLYAD newspaper correspondent reports in Tbilisi

Ukraine arrested Russian planes flying to Crimea

Ukraine has arrested 44 Russian planes, the Security Service of Ukraine reported in its Telegram channel. According to the organization, these liners operated flights after the annexation of Crimea in 2014, – Moika 78 writes.

According to the information, the arrest was ordered under the law “on violation of the rules of international flights by foreign airlines and illegal transportation of persons across the state border of Ukraine”.

Gorbachev will not fall under the ex-president’s immunity law

The authors of the bill, Andrei Klishas and Pavel Krasheninnikov, answered the question about the effect of the law in relation to the former President of the USSR Mikhail Gorbachev.

This is specifically about the President of the Russian Federation. From the very name of the document, it is obvious that Mikhail Gorbachev does not fall under its action, – Krasheninnikov answered.

A bill on presidential terms submitted to the State Duma

A bill has been submitted to the State Duma, which allows the current head of state to run again for two presidential terms, said Andrei Klishas, ​​head of the Federation Council committee on constitutional legislation and state construction. His words are reported by RIA Novosti.

On the abolition of the constitutional and charter courts of the regions

The State Duma approved on Tuesday in the second reading amendments to the law “On the judicial system”, providing for the elimination of constitutional and statutory courts in the regions. The amendments introduced for the second reading by the heads of the committees on legislation of the Federation Council and the State Duma, Andrei Klishas and Pavel Krasheninnikov, were approved by the relevant Duma committee the night before. Although in a number of regions these courts entered into a tough conflict with the authorities, on the whole, their abolition will not affect the legal climate in any way, experts say, since the number of regional jurisdictions that could relate to their jurisdiction is extremely small.

Spain refused to apologize to Mexico

The Spanish authorities will take part next year in the celebration of the 200th anniversary of Mexico’s independence, but will not apologize for the colonization of the country 500 years ago. This was announced by Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laia

Vladimir Putin on the armistice in Nagorno-Karabakh: the main thing

  • The agreement on Karabakh was drawn up in one day, the struggle was for every phrase, for every comma.
  • Baku itself can decide where a joint center for monitoring the situation in Karabakh will be located in Azerbaijan.
  • One can give any assessment to Turkey in the Karabakh issue, but it cannot be accused of violating international law.
  • Turkish soldiers on the line of contact in Karabakh are a provocation, Erdogan understood this.
  • On October 19-20, an agreement was practically reached to end the fighting in Karabakh, but it did not work out.
  • According to international law, Karabakh has always been an integral part of Azerbaijan, the CSTO could not interfere – no one encroached on Armenia.
  • The position in Karabakh before the end of the fighting was critical, the counts went on for hours, it was impossible to conduct negotiations within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group due to lack of time.
  • Refusal of Armenia from the current reached agreement on Karabakh would be suicide for the country.
  • The power structures [of Armenia] cannot afford to split the society from within.

The business of the Russian Orthodox Church and its daughters will be removed from the anti-money laundering law

The anti-money laundering amnesty for religious organizations announced by the government will mainly affect the ROC and its affiliated organizations, State Duma deputy Yaroslav Nilov, who headed the specialized committee that will be the first to consider the amnesty bill just introduced by the Cabinet, told Open Media. 80% of all organizations that will be affected by the new order are controlled by the Russian Church, Nilov noted.

“Laundering” means actions that legalize money obtained in an illegal way. The operations of companies subject to anti-money laundering laws must be reviewed by banks. Including they must respond to transactions that have no business purpose. In this case, the bank may block the account until an explanation is received.

Muscovites block illegal construction at Patriarch’s Ponds

The firm, owned by the partner of the Tula governor’s brother Dyumin, without any documents actually built a house in Moscow on Patriarch’s Ponds that completely blocked the light of neighbors, local residents told Open Media. They have been blocking the construction site for a week, because there were no other ways to stop illegal construction.

The mayor of Yakutsk said that the building of the city administration will be sold

The mayor of Yakutsk Sardana Avksentieva said that the city administration building would be sold. On her Instagram, she wrote that officials “do not have to sit in an expensive building in the very center of the city,” instead, “build an inexpensive building and move there.”

One common space will be organized in the new city hall, “without a huge number of offices, where each official can hide behind his door.” For the convenience of receiving residents, one front office will be organized.

“We continue to get rid of everything that is redundant. New sources are vitally needed to replenish the city budget, ”said the mayor.

Sambo wrestlers were awarded non-existent titles in Ulyanovsk

The head of the government of the Ulyanovsk region, Alexander Smekalin, presented the sambo wrestlers Zabalduev and Plisov with certificates of awarding the title “Veteran – Master of Sports of Russia of International Class”. However, the local combat sambo federation declared: there is no such title officially! Moreover, no one notified them about the award! The All-Russian SAMBO Federation is also surprised – they call and ask: “What is going on there?”

In Novokuznetsk, on the first day of the transport reform, there was a collapse.

Many carriers stopped working in the city, only five companies remained, about 40 routes were liquidated. As a result, this morning people were waiting for buses and trolleybuses for a long time, and those that came were overcrowded. Local residents complain on social networks that they are late for work.

In the city hall, the incident was called a small morning failure. The head of the press service of the Novokuznetsk administration, Galina Kovalchuk, told the Podyom newspaper that an inspection was underway.

There was a small glitch in the morning. The Piteravto company is working, an operational headquarters has been created together with the head of the city, now the situation is normalizing. We had an open competition. Four carriers from Novokuznetsk won, and another company came – Piteravto. ”

The Russian government has increased spending on security forces and officials

Funding for the army, the procurement of weapons, law enforcement agencies and government bodies for 10 months of 2020 was increased by almost 500 billion rubles, follows from the operational data of the Ministry of Finance on the execution of the 2020 budget.