2 Nov, 2020

News digest for 11/31-01/2020

Medical organizations in Russia can be given a legal opportunity to deny specialized care to a patient. This follows from the bill passed by the State Duma in the first reading.

We are talking about amendments to the law “On Compulsory Health Insurance in Russia”. The deputies decided to remove from part 5 of Article 15 of the Federal Law the clause stating that a medical organization does not have the right to refuse to provide medical services to insured persons who have a compulsory medical insurance policy.

According to the co-chairman of the All-Russian Union of Patients, Yan Vlasov, such an amendment is intended to solve the problem with the lack of funding for the medical sector at the expense of patients. According to him, today the need of Russians for medical care does not correspond to the standards for its financing. In some constituent entities of the Federation, the rates for the provision of medical care lag by about 40% of its real cost.

If the amendment is adopted in the final reading, the patient may simply not receive this medical care, and he will be denied on a legal basis. The head of the All-Russian Union of Patients is sure that this cannot be allowed.

Russians consider their salary not high enough

According to a study by the Rabota.ru service, 87% of Russian citizens are dissatisfied with the level of their salaries and would like to increase their income. Of these, 15% would like to receive 10-30% more than at present. 31% of respondents said they would like to increase their income by 30%. About 29% of Russians surveyed want to receive twice as much of their current income.

Penalty for lack of protective screens

In the Sverdlovsk region, taxi drivers will be fined for the lack of protective screens in car saloons in the amount of 50 thousand rubles or more, Regional Minister of Transport and Roads Vasily Starkov said at a briefing.

Chinese taxi service Didi to launch in Russia

Chinese taxi aggregator Didi will start work in 15 cities of Russia on the territory of the Volga region and the Central region, the press service of the company reports on October 30

It is noted that Didi service will appear in Belgorod, Kursk, Tver, Ryazan, Cheboksary, Orenburg, Izhevsk and other cities. Now the Chinese taxi aggregator is already launching its work in Kazan. It is specified that the local car parks are connected to the service.

Church of St. Louis in Moscow will be temporarily closed

For security reasons, the Catholic Church of St. Louis on Malaya Lubyanka in Moscow will be temporarily closed. The restrictions will last from 1 to 4 November, the Chancellor of the Curia of the Catholic Archdiocese of the Mother of God, priest Igor Kovalevsky, said on his Facebook page.

Mauritius invites to hold restrictions on the island

The Government of Mauritius has decided to introduce an annual premium tourist visa for foreign citizens with the possibility of extension. The visa will be issued to those who can come to the tropical island as a specialist planning to work remotely. But applicants will need proof that their plans are indeed long term. A mandatory requirement for applicants is the availability of medical and travel insurance.

The cost of travel in the St. Petersburg metro for six years

The cost of tokens of the Petersburg metro in the period from 2014 to 2020 increased by more than 96%. If the tariff committee approves their cost for 60 rubles, this value will increase by another 9%. Smolny announced its intention to raise prices for travel from January 1, 2021.

Ruble devaluation made Russians one third poorer

While the ruble is weak, domestic exporters can earn money by dumping, since devaluation allows it. While the business is working, the money goes to the budget, and the treasury can function, – says Anna Bodrova, senior analyst at IAC Alpari, Prime reports.

At the same time, she noted that the weakening of the ruble and devaluation had a negative impact on the population. The cheap ruble leads to low purchasing power of the population. Half of the goods in Russian stores are imports, so they become more expensive

State-owned companies are forced to urgently switch to Russian software

According to Kommersant, referring to a high-ranking official of the Ministry of Finance, the government demands that state-owned companies accelerate the transition to Russian equipment. The corresponding directive of the Federal Property Management Agency is already ready for the Russian Post, which will have to urgently change the contractor for data storage systems (DSS) by the end of the year, purchasing domestic equipment for 3 billion rubles. By the end of the year, 51 more state-owned companies may receive similar directives.

Promsvyazbank offered the state to capitalize on it

The main bank of the military-industrial sector – Promsvyazbank – offered the Federal Property Management Agency to increase its authorized capital by 31.8 billion rubles. This decision was made by the bank’s board of directors, RBC reports.

Gold and foreign exchange reserves of Russia in mid-October

The volume of gold and foreign exchange reserves of the Russian Federation as of mid-October amounted to $ 585 billion, and the National Welfare Fund (NWF) – about $ 176 billion, President Vladimir Putin said at the Russia Calling Forum. The speech was broadcast by the Russia 24 TV channel.

Russia is among the main exporters of oil and oil products to the United States

Since the beginning of the year, Russia has supplied more than 130 million barrels of oil and petroleum products to the United States, of which 17.5 million barrels fell on oil, follows from data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) of the US Department of Energy.

Loss of Aeroflot for nine months

Aeroflot’s revenue for the reporting period fell 2.4 times – to 176.95 billion rubles. The company’s gross loss in the first nine months of this year reached 76.27 billion rubles against 9.79 billion rubles for the same period last year. The loss before taxes amounted to 86.16 billion rubles.

Russia began to sell off gold reserves

As noted by finanz.ru, Russia began the sale of gold against the background of a shortage of foreign exchange earnings from the sale of oil and gas, the volume of which in 2020 collapsed to a minimum in 16 years.

According to IMF statistics, the Central Bank got rid of bars weighing 400 thousand ounces: at the beginning of July, the Russian gold and foreign exchange reserves had 73.94 million ounces of precious metal, and by the beginning of October – 73.9 million, the newspaper notes.

Total global gold demand fell to lowest since 2009

Overall global demand for gold in the third quarter of this year fell to the lowest quarterly indicators more than a decade ago. According to a report by the World Gold Council (WGC), the decline was 19 percent, to 892 tons. In particular, analysts point to a drop in the weakening of interest in jewelry worldwide – in annual terms, the demand for jewelry fell by 29 percent.

Ancient human DNA found in Tibet

In the northeast of the Tibetan plateau, archaeologists managed to find the DNA of a Denisovan man. This is reported by representatives of an international group of experts who conducted a study of sediments in the ancient Baishia cave, located in this area.

Scientists are trying to explain the mystery of the accelerating expansion of the universe.

The reason for the accelerating expansion of the Universe may be early dark energy. These are the conclusions reached by scientists from the University of ECSI in Bogota, Colombia. A research team led by Luz Angela Garcia has proposed a model for “early dark energy” that is described in the journal ScienceDirect. Scientists believe this work, describing the rise in redshift, could help assess the correctness of current models of dark energy.

A new class of substances has been discovered that slows down the growth of cancer cells

The journal Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters has published the results of research by Russian scientists, which indicate the effectiveness of substances belonging to the group of diphenyl isoxazoles in the fight against cancer. They are reported to interfere with cell proliferation, which in turn prevents the tumor from spreading throughout the body.

Underground fungal colonies help old trees

Core samples taken from 350 Douglas fir trees in British Columbia showed that the wider the network of connections between one tree and other trees, provided by fungi that colonize their roots, the more the tree grows from year to year. It is not certain that the wider network is causing additional growth, but it is a strong correlation.

Another study finding was that trees associated with more diverse types of fungi also grew better. Apparently, the more diverse the network of underground supports, the better for these old trees.

Understanding this symbiotic relationship will be critical to protecting forests in the future and keeping them healthy.

Deinopid spiders can hear with their paws

Scientists conducted a laboratory study in which they inserted small electrodes into the insect’s brain and paws, which were separated from the body. So, the paws reacted to sounds for an hour after they were separated from the body. Scientists believe that special organs in the paws help to recognize different sounds.

Chamomile May Suppress the Development of Down Syndrome

Biologists from the National Institute of Children’s Health in the United States conducted an experiment during which they were able to suppress some of the symptoms of Down syndrome in unborn mice for the first time. The research data was published in the scientific journal American Journal of Human Genetics

In particular, it was noted that when apigenin, a substance belonging to the group of flavonoids, was added to the diet of pregnant mice, the amount of inflammation of the nervous tissue in mouse embryos decreased, and their development proceeded in the usual manner. Apigenin is found in the cells of chamomile, parsley, and some types of citrus plants.

Dart Chipping Drone

Imperial College London and the Swiss Federal Research Institute of Technology and Materials Science have invented a non-contact chipping drone that fires precision darts with chips

Popular music has degraded dramatically in recent years

Habr.com enthusiasts have found a study by scientists at the Artificial Intelligence Research Institute in Barcelona that proves that popular music has deteriorated dramatically in recent years. In order to come to such conclusions, experts studied various aspects of track creation, such as writing music, lyrics, etc.

As it turned out, from 1955 to 2010, the harmonic complexity (using as many different notes and instruments as possible) of musical compositions greatly degraded. The quality of the texts also deteriorated. According to scientists, this is due to the fact that in the era of the availability of streaming services, musicians are forced to give listeners the simplest possible music that will please the maximum number of people.

Google launches service to protect user data

The American company Google is launching a VPN service to improve the security of personal data of users of the Google One cloud storage, the company’s website says. The company notes that VPN is built into the Google One app. The service encrypts the phone’s Internet traffic, regardless of which application or browser is used. The VPN on Google One will roll out in the US in the coming weeks and only on Android devices, and will be available in more countries in the coming months, and will also be available on iOS, Windows and Mac.

At the same time, Google announced the launch of the Pro Sessions service, where users can ask a Google expert online questions about VPN operation.

Vin Diesel released his second single

American actor Vin Diesel presented his second musical composition entitled “Days Are Gone”. The presentation took place on the air of the James Corden Show. A month ago, the actor released his first track.

The United States announced the introduction of troops into Nagorno-Karabakh

The transfer of the military will be carried out without coordination with Azerbaijan and Armenia. According to preliminary data, we are talking about a contingent from a certain Scandinavian country. According to military experts, the introduction of US peacekeepers could cause a negative reaction from both sides.

“The US authorities are ready to join the resolution of the conflict after the proposal of the head of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan to involve Russia in the settlement of the situation. The groups should not include servicemen from neighboring countries or representatives of the contact Minsk group, which will create difficulties in the work of American peacekeepers, ”the US National Security Council said in a statement.

Russia earlier announced its refusal to send a peacekeeping contingent to Nagorno-Karabakh. According to experts, the United States can take advantage of this and become a new “friend” of Armenia, secretly supporting it in the conflict. Comments from representatives of Azerbaijan on this issue have not yet been made public.

Russia promised to help Yerevan in case of fighting on the territory of Armenia

Russia remains committed to its obligations to its allies, therefore, in the event of hostilities on the territory of Armenia, it will provide it with all the necessary assistance. This was announced on Saturday, October 31, in a statement on the website of the Russian Foreign Ministry.

City in Italy to hold a one-euro home sale

Salemi, on the Italian island of Sicily, has announced the sale of homes for € 1 – less than a cup of espresso. As the mayor of the city Domenico Venuti told the TV channel, the purpose of the action is to attract residents, since Salemi suffers from depopulation

Most of the buildings to be auctioned are located in the city center, some are 400 years old, according to CNN. There are objects in a depressing state, but there are also those whose restoration will require minimal effort.

Donbass is ready to return to Ukraine

Russian media reported that representatives of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics approved a plan to surrender and soon return to Ukraine. A similar issue was raised within the framework of the contact group meeting, and although the final decision on this issue has so far been made, there is evidence that the liquidation of the DPR and LPR will begin in the middle of next year. This is reported by the Russian information and news publication “Reporter”

The Russian Orthodox Church called on to include sacred texts in the school curriculum for literature

Metropolitan Hilarion, chairman of the Synodal Department for External Church Relations, said that the sacred texts of traditional religions should be included in the school curriculum at least in a reduced volume.

Svetlana Tikhanovskaya – about the first week of the strike in Belarus

The leader of the Belarusian opposition Svetlana Tikhanovskaya released a video message in which she summed up the first results of the strike in Belarus, which began after the local authorities did not fulfill the demands of the “people’s ultimatum”.

In particular, Tikhanovskaya stated that the Belarusian people have shown that they can take responsibility for the future, and “the regime’s accomplices are not capable of responsibility at all”. She called an evasion of responsibility for the dismissal of workers and the expulsion of students who support the protests. Tikhanovskaya is confident that further layoffs and deductions “will destroy the regime twice as fast.”

In Minsk, police detained women and people with disabilities on a march

Minsk police detained several people during a joint march of women and people with disabilities, Interfax-Zapad reports, referring to the representative of the Minsk police department Natalya Ganusevich. The Belarusian media reported almost no arrests.

On October 31, Minsk hosted a march for people with disabilities and a women’s solidarity march. During the actions, both processions merged into one on Independence Avenue. Then the protesters marched with flowers, white-red-white flags and umbrellas towards Victory Square, after which they began to disperse

Lukashenka turned to direct threats against the protesters.

If someone touches a soldier, he must leave at least without hands. Further – everything. We have nowhere to retreat, and we are not going to retreat, – Lukashenka at a meeting with representatives of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Ministry of Construction of Russia is developing rules for the construction of wooden high-rise buildings

The Ministry of Construction is preparing normative acts that will allow the construction of wooden multi-storey buildings to begin, Interfax writes. According to the Minister of Construction and Housing and Communal Services of Russia Vladimir Yakushev, houses will be comfortable and safe, it will be possible to live with comfort and hope for the future.

Previously, building codes allowed wooden houses to be built with a maximum of three floors. In 2019, new design rules were adopted, according to which the maximum height of such buildings was increased to 28 meters.

The head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov said that with the help of wooden housing construction, the government is going to solve the needs of citizens in “affordable and comfortable housing” until 2024.

Saturday rally in Khabarovsk, October 31

The traditional Saturday protest march “Free Furgal!” Was held in Khabarovsk. along the central streets of the city. The protesters chant “Freedom!”

Russia has created a protein that protects against a lethal dose of radiation

The new hybrid protein PSH was designed by scientists from the Kurchatov Institute, the Institute of Cell Biophysics, the Russian Academy of Sciences, the General Physics Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and the Vladimirsky Moscow Regional Scientific Research Clinical Institute.

The new PSH protein belongs to the so-called chimera proteins. It is obtained by genetic engineering methods from two antioxidant proteins of natural origin, writes RT channel with reference to Biochemical Engineering Journal.

During sleep, our brain is cleansed of toxins.

A group of American scientists have found that during the stage of slow sleep, when billions of neurons are switched off, cerebrospinal fluid envelops our brain and removes toxins from it. In an article published in the journal Science, scientists also suggest that abnormalities in the mechanism for removing toxic proteins may be related to the onset of brain disease.

Water from Mars found in Sahara meteorite

Scientists have found that water on Mars appeared at least 4.4 billion years ago, and not 37 billion, as previously thought. Experts made such a conclusion after studying the traces of water on the NWA 7533 meteorite, which fell in the Sahara Desert. The research results are published in the journal Science Advances. The mineral composition of the meteorite contains signs of oxidation, which is possible when the substance interacts with water.

Artificial intelligence is used in exams in Japan

Japanese universities are taking new steps to introduce AI-based monitoring systems to prevent online exam fraud, The Mainichi reported on October 31.

Google launched YouTube Select in Russia

Google announced the launch of a global content placement solution in Russia – YouTube Select. This product reimagines and brings together solutions such as Google Preferred, Premium Packages, and Themed Channel Packs.

YouTube Shorts is TikTok’s new competitor

In the wake of the success of TikTok, many companies are thinking about launching their own platform with similar functionality and it is not surprising that the main video hosting in the world did not stand aside. YouTube has announced the development and upcoming release of the YouTube Shorts app, which should compete with TikTok.

Gorillaz will create an animated film about themselves

British band Gorillaz will create an animated film about themselves. Reported by NME. One of the band’s leaders, Damon Albarn, said that the filming will take place while the musicians themselves are working on the Song Machine project. He clarified that at the moment the concept and scenario of the future tape are being developed. According to him, the animation of the film will resemble the cartoons of Studio Ghibli. At the same time, the musician did not name the expected release date of the animated film.

Sam Smith releases third studio album “Love Goes”

Sam Smith, a British singer-songwriter, released his third studio album to the public on October 30, entitled “Love Goes”. It is reported that the album was originally supposed to be called “To Die For”, however, due to the coronavirus pandemic and the mass deaths of people around the world as a result of this disease, the musician decided to rename the album.

Cyprus Cancels Citizenship-in-Investment Program

In Cyprus, from November 1, the program of granting citizenship of the republic in exchange for investment – the so-called procedure for obtaining “golden” passports, has ceased to operate. The government announced the cancellation of the program in its current form on October 13.

Turkey responded to Western refusal to supply engines for Bayraktar TB2

Turkey responded to the sanctions of Canada and a number of other Western countries in the form of cutting off the supply of engines for its Bayraktar TB2 attack unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). Ankara directly accused the sanctions of double standards. And they said that in the event of a breakdown of previously concluded contracts, it will engage in import substitution and begin to purchase everything you need from domestic manufacturers.

New international airport opens in Berlin

A new international airport has opened in Berlin after 14 years of construction, TASS reports. It was named Willy Brandt Berlin-Brandenburg (BER). The first two planes have already arrived at the airport – one from Berlin Tegel Airport and the other from Munich.

Tesla subsidiary fined for refusing to accept batteries for recycling

The organization was fined 12 million euros for refusing to accept batteries for disposal. This was the headline of the Welt am Sonntag newspaper on Sunday 1 November. The company’s management refused to pay the fine and challenged the decision of the federal agency for environmental protection.

Seven people killed in bridge collapse in China

At least seven people were killed and five more were injured in the collapse of a bridge in northeast China, according to the local newspaper Global Times. The incident took place in Tianjin City.

Belarusian “March Against Terror”

On November 1, the opposition of Belarus held a “March against terror”. The starting point was the national necropolis in Kurapaty. Victims of Stalinist repression are buried there

Armored vehicles with machine guns spotted in Minsk before opposition rally

In Minsk, before the next Sunday rally, armored vehicles with machine guns on the roof were seen. Interfax reports this with reference to eyewitnesses. According to the agency, the convoy proceeded in the direction of the Minsk – Hero City stele.

Protesters began to be detained in Minsk, human rights activists know about eight detainees by 15:15. Belarusian newspapers write that the security forces fired several warning shots into the air. Tut.by publishes a relevant video. Minsk police confirmed the fact that warning shots were fired into the air during the action on Independence Avenue

Turkish Foreign Minister arrives in Azerbaijan

Turkey will continue supporting Azerbaijan in the Karabakh conflict, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in Baku at a meeting with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.

Our President (Recep Erdogan) has one order – in this process not to leave Azerbaijan alone and constantly come to Baku for joint activities. We are proud of your victories on the battlefield. With God’s help, you will return your lands back with this successful operation, the Turkish Foreign Minister said.

A rally for political reforms was held in Almaty.

A government-sanctioned rally for political reforms and an end to political persecution was held in Almaty on Saturday. In the first minutes of the action, the organizers and activists took turns reading out the names of dozens of people from different cities who were detained, arrested and fined in prisons, as well as who died under mysterious circumstances in custody. The organizers of the rally read out the text of the resolution calling for reforms and an end to political persecution.

Among the requirements:

  • a ban on political investigation;
  • local self-government, election of akims, judges and heads of police bodies;
  • unicameral parliament;
  • simplification of the registration of political parties;
  • the column “Against all” in the ballot paper;
  • reduction of the qualification for entering the majilis from seven to three percent;
  • a mixed electoral system for electing deputies: 50 percent – in single-mandate constituencies, 50 percent – in the lists of political parties.

Among other requirements of the resolution

  • termination of financing of state propaganda through state orders;
  • public declaration of income and expenses of all civil servants and judges from January 1, 2021, publication by the end of the current year of the land cadastre with the names of all beneficiaries,
  • the issue of the need to lustration politicians, officials, judges, representatives of security agencies involved in corruption crimes and crimes against civil activists and the opposition;
  • the resignation of CEC chairman Berik Imashev due to affiliation with the head of the Nur Otan party;
  • creation of a human rights committee in the Mazhilis – to analyze and develop proposals for revising and repealing articles of laws that are discriminatory and violate human rights in Kazakhstan.

New Zealand voted to legalize euthanasia.

65.2% of New Zealand residents who took part in the referendum spoke in favor of the possibility of euthanasia – the patient injects himself with the drug, and the doctor only provides it and observes the procedure.

Twitter has unblocked the account of the New York Post.

The administration of Twitter unblocked the account of the New York Post on Friday, access to which was previously restricted after the publication of the scandalous correspondence of the son of the US presidential candidate Joseph Biden.

Donbass Volunteers Union will participate in Russian politics

Participants in hostilities in Ukraine will conclude an agreement on political cooperation with the Rodina party, an Open Media correspondent reports from the SDV congress.

Members of the Union of Volunteers of Donbass will become deputies of different levels, ”said the chairman of the board of the UDV Alexander Borodai at the congress. Volunteers will also head two regional branches of the Rodina

Senatorial life for ex-president

Russian President Vladimir Putin submitted to the State Duma a draft amendment to the law on the formation of the Federation Council. It is located in the legal framework of the lower house. The proposed changes were provided for by amendments to the Constitution, adopted following the voting in July

Opposition of Belarus did not rule out the creation of a government abroad

Pavel Latushko, a member of the Presidium of the Coordination Council (CC) of the opposition, allowed the creation of a government of Belarus abroad. At the same time, he expressed the hope that it will not come to this. The oppositionist left Belarus in September and is in Poland

Azerbaijani President Aliyev demanded from Armenia to admit defeat

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, in an interview with the journalists of the German ARD TV channel, stated that the war will end when Armenia stops and admits its defeat. In doing so, he urged the rest of the parties to stay away. What is happening now in Nagorno-Karabakh is a battle between the two countries.

Britain introduces nationwide quarantine

A nationwide quarantine for a period of a month will be introduced from November 5 in Britain. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that the situation is worse than the worst-case scenario, and if we do not take action, we could get several thousand deaths a day.

The court in Kemerovo fined a local resident for criticizing the Constitution

Alexey Fedorov published a video criticizing the Constitution in July on his Youtube channel. Thus, he expressed his disagreement with the adoption of the amendments introduced by Vladimir Putin. Fedorov is sure that, given the number of protesters in Khabarovsk, 70-65% of the population could not vote for them. According to MBKh Media, the court found him guilty of contempt of the Constitution and demanded to pay 30 thousand rubles