17 Dec, 2020

News digest for 12/16/2020

No EU sanctions can disrupt Turkey’s Mediterranean plans

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu says no EU sanctions will change Turkey’s position on its rights in the Eastern Mediterranean

We will not abandon our rights and interests in the Eastern Mediterranean just because sanctions will be imposed or because the EU will criticize us, ”Cavusoglu quotes Sabah.

Recall that in recent months, Ankara has sent drilling vessels for the exploration of energy resources in the Eastern Mediterranean, defending its rights in the region, as well as the rights of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). Turkish leaders have repeatedly stressed that Ankara is in favor of solving all problems in the region with the help of international law, good-neighborly relations, dialogue and negotiations.

Pompeo accused Russia of fomenting chaos and conflict in the Mediterranean

US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is trying to rewrite history in the Middle East and Mediterranean. Earlier, the Russian Foreign Minister pointed out the negative consequences of Washington’s political activity in the region.

“It is regrettable and useless that Mr. Lavrov is again mistaken in facts and trying to rewrite history … Russia continues to threaten the stability of the Mediterranean by using various methods to spread misinformation, undermine national sovereignty and wreak havoc, conflict and division in states across the region,” the statement reads. statement on the website of the US Department of State.

Turkey and Azerbaijan agreed on gas supplies to Nakhichevan

Energy Ministers of Turkey and Azerbaijan Fatih Donmez and Parviz Shahbazov signed a memorandum of understanding on the supply of natural gas from Turkey to the Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic in Azerbaijan. Reported by RIA Novosti

US imposed sanctions on Turkey

The sanctions were imposed “for knowingly participating in a major deal with Rosoboronexport, Russia’s main arms export company, through the purchase of the S-400 anti-aircraft missile system.”

Turkish Foreign Ministry condemned US decision on sanctions over purchase of Russian S-400

According to the Turkish Foreign Ministry, such actions on the part of the United States are not logical, since the acquisition of Russian weapons is a necessity to ensure the protection of the country, which obviously implies Washington’s refusal to sell Patriot complexes to Ankara. The Turkish Foreign Ministry has promised to give its own response to Washington’s actions.

British scientists have identified the oldest human relative

During a new science project, British scientists have named the most distant animal relative of man. It’s about sponges. The researchers recalled that these are aquatic, mainly marine, multicellular animals with an attached lifestyle.

Finnish parliament extends free education to 18 years

Free compulsory education in vocational schools and gymnasiums was approved by the Finnish parliament on December 15, according to the YLE TV and radio company. The approximate age of children up to which they will now be able to receive free education is 18 years

Hungary passed a bill that bans same-sex couples from adopting children

The document was proposed by the government headed by Prime Minister Viktor Orban. As the British media company BBC explains, same-sex marriage is prohibited in Hungary, but previously the law could be circumvented if only one of the partners applied for adoption.

The tax authorities and the Bank of Russia can expand access to secrets.

The Ministry of Finance of Russia has prepared amendments that expand the tax authorities’ access to banking secrecy – they will be able to receive data on transactions on the accounts of banks and their clients not only upon request, as now, but as part of a regular information exchange with the Central Bank. At the same time, the Central Bank will be able to receive information from the Federal Tax Service that constitutes tax secrets.

Belarus suspended the transit of oil products through the port of Klaipeda in Lithuania

The subsidiary of the Belarusian Oil Company BNK (UK) Limited has suspended the transshipment of oil products through the port of Klaipeda, the Lithuanian state company Klaipedos nafta reported.

Klaipėdos nafta added that the new contracts remain in force, but their implementation has been suspended indefinitely. The agency notes that cargoes are still going to Klaipeda, but in smaller volumes than before.

Lower electricity prices did not help the economy of the Far East

The reduction in electricity prices at the expense of the entire country did not help the economy of the Far East did not lead to the growth of the regional economy, according to the Russian School of Economics (NES). The wholesale electricity market has already paid 129 billion rubles for the reduction in tariffs, but, according to the Institute’s estimates, this did not attract investment to the region, and productivity even decreased. The conclusions of analysts may change the mechanism of subsidies, hopes the regulator of energy markets. Industrialists are pushing for the complete abolition of subsidies.

The European Commission added “VKontakte” and Telegram to the list of resources with pirated content

The European Commission (EC) has expanded the “Counterfeiting and Piracy Watchlist” by adding, in particular, the social network “VKontakte” and the Telegram messenger. The corresponding document, dated December 14, was published on the website of the European Commission.

IKEA invests in a Russian furniture factory

The workshops of the furniture plant are planned to be located in the Kovrovsky district of the Vladimir region – in the special economic zone “Dobrograd”. This is confirmed by the founder of the company “Ascona” and investor Vladimir Sedov, who spoke at the Investment Congress. The construction of the enterprise should be completed in 2021. IKEA is ready to invest 200 million rubles in new production facilities.

Ural builders asked Putin to freeze the rise in housing prices

Ural builders complained to President Vladimir Putin about developers who decided to make money on the state program. Due to the introduction of preferential mortgages at 6% per annum, the demand for housing increased sharply, and developers decided that this was a favorable moment for raising property prices

Oil and gas company CNPC has become a long-term partner of Turkmenistan

The China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) has been implementing projects in Turkmenistan since 2002. The holding’s work consists of investments in the oil and gas industry and the provision of engineering and technical services in the oil and gas fields.

From Azerbaijan to Turkey

To date, more than 76 billion cubic meters of gas have been transported through pipelines from Azerbaijan to Turkey. Energy Minister of Azerbaijan Parviz Shahbazov stated this, Azertac reports.

Unknown species of mountain animals and plants discovered in Bolivia’s forests

20 new species of plants and animals, as well as some species of insects and amphibians that were previously extinct, were discovered by members of a scientific expedition to the Zongo Valley, located in the eastern part of the Cordillera Real mountain range in Bolivia. According to the head of the expedition, Trond Larsen, the specialists studied the so-called “cloud forests” located about 50 km from La Paz for 2 weeks.

Found an effective way to protect neurons and stimulate their growth

A group of several universities led by researchers from the University of California San Diego School of Medicine and the Shealy Institute of Vision at the University of California, San Diego have identified another family of enzymes called four germ cell kinase (GCK-IV kinase), the inhibition of which is potent neuroprotective and also permits axonal regeneration, making it an attractive therapeutic approach for the treatment of several neurodegenerative diseases.

Elastic cement was created in the USA

Elastic cement, created by scientists from the United States, allows you to effectively seal gas wells and wells, eliminating leaks hazardous to humans and the environment. About the development, which was presented by the staff of the University of Pennsylvania, writes the publication “Popular Mechanics”.

A new variety of rice has been developed using ion-beam technology

Breeders are planning to use ion-beam bioengineering to create new agricultural plants in the future. This year, in this way, it was possible to breed about a hundred varieties of corn, wheat and the same rice.

Smart jersey for athletes developed at Innopolis University

Scientists at Innopolis University (Tatarstan) have created a smart T-shirt that records muscle activity and collects data on exercise performance, the university’s press service reports.

“A team of scientists tested the development on a group of athletes in ski jumping and gymnasts. (…) Experiments have shown that the data obtained helps to find errors in the execution of exercises,” – said in the message.

Restore tooth enamel without fillings

Chinese scientists have developed a liquid mixture that can effectively restore the outer layer of damaged enamel. To do this, they used a material that mimics the natural process of mineralization of the protective cover of our teeth. Tooth enamel is formed as a result of the biomineralization process.

Australian scientists explain why you need to work less in winter

Recent research in chronobiology – a branch of natural science about the regulation of sleep and wakefulness in living organisms – has confirmed the theory that the need for sleep and rest increases in winter. Writes about this publication “Popular Mechanics”.

According to Murray, reducing the time of natural light in the morning during the cold season contributes to the phase delay of the body, in other words, in winter people want to wake up later. It is worth noting that many people around the world face a decline in strength during the winter.

Production of silicon qubits at the atomic level

Thanks to a grant from the US Department of Energy, a group of scientists from the University of Texas at Dallas has developed a method for more accurate creation of silicon qubits, which in the future could lead to the mass production of quantum processors based on semiconductor manufacturing.

Scientists have found meteorites with traces of alien organic matter

In early 2018, a meteorite fell on the ice of a lake in Michigan, which was tracked by the National Aerospace Agency’s weather radar. Thanks to this fact, scientists were able to quickly establish the place of the meteorite fall and find it. As a result, the researchers first received a fragment weighing 22 grams, and then several more fragments of a celestial body, the total mass of which approached a kilogram. Analysis of a meteorite that fell in the northeastern United States showed the presence of traces of uncontaminated organic matter.

These are mainly hydrocarbons of extraterrestrial origin, but sulfur and nitrogen-containing substances have been found in some fragments, the study authors say.

Astronomers have clarified the distance to the most distant galaxy

An international team of scientists using the MOSFIRE spectrograph installed at the observatory in Hawaii was able to refine the redshift of the radiation from GN-z11. New research has confirmed that GN-z11 is the farthest and oldest galaxy ever observed. It is located almost 32 billion light years from us.

Roscosmos proposed to launch satellites from a cannon

Specialists of the head scientific institute “Roscosmos” TsNIIMash propose to launch small satellites with carrier shells from electromagnetic guns. This follows from the materials published in the journal Vestnik NPO named after Lavochkin.

Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro wireless earbuds price

On January 14, Samsung announces the flagship smartphones of the Galaxy S21 family. Together with them, the fully wireless Galaxy Buds Pro headphones are expected to debut. The headphones will come in silver, light purple and black colors. They will receive an active noise reduction system and high-quality emitters, created in partnership with AKG specialists. The total battery life, as noted, will reach 22 hours with noise cancellation. The novelty can be purchased for $ 200

Twitter to close the video streaming service Periscope

Twitter’s video streaming service Periscope will cease to exist on March 31, 2021. In addition, from December 15, new users will lose the ability to create accounts on the social network, the company said.

Facebook develops TLDR service

Facebook is developing an artificial intelligence-powered TLDR tool to automatically generate news snippets. It is reported by Buzzfeed News with reference to internal company information. The name of the service comes from the abbreviation “too long, didn’t read” (“too long, did not read”). The neural network will summarize large articles in a bulleted list. It is also assumed that the voice assistant will be able to voice this news.

Disney and Marvel Studios have announced a new series

The show, titled “Legends,” will be a retrospective of the superhero team that has always been the focus of fans’ attention, with each episode known to feature a different character

The first people to get to know the audience will be Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany). This choice was made deliberately to refresh fans’ memories of these characters before the release of their solo series.

On criminal liability for blocking roads

Dmitry Vyatkin (United Russia), the first deputy chairman of the State Duma Committee for the Development of Civil Society and Issues of Public and Religious Associations, on Wednesday introduced a bill to the lower house on criminal liability for deliberately blocking transport infrastructure and obstructing traffic. The document was published in the Duma electronic database

Oracle moves headquarters from California to Texas

Oracle, one of the largest US IT corporations, will move its headquarters from California to Texas. At the same time, the company does not intend to sell its former headquarters, like other offices in Seattle, Denver and other cities.

The readiness of Russians to receive a salary in an envelope

More than 44% of Russian citizens are ready to receive a salary in an envelope, – found out the research center of the portal SuperJob, – the website of the radio station “Echo of Moscow” reports. Experts note that mainly the poor agreed to this option – among Russians who earn more than 80 thousand rubles a month, 36% would agree to this option, but among Russians with a salary of less than 30 thousand rubles a month, this is already 45%.

Arctic navigation season in 2020

European meteorologists note that the navigation season in 2020 has become a record for shipping in the Arctic. Previously, the Northern Sea Route was open to LNG tankers from June to October. Due to the climate crisis, the amount of ice in the Arctic Ocean is rapidly decreasing and in 2020 shipping continues even in December.

EU agreed on third package of sanctions against the Belarusian authorities

The permanent representatives of the 27 EU member states have agreed on a third package of sanctions against the Belarusian authorities, which, according to the community, are responsible for election fraud and human rights violations. This was reported to a TASS correspondent on Wednesday by a source in the delegation of one of the European countries in the EU Council. According to the diplomat, the new list includes about 35 individuals and legal entities.

The European Parliament proposed to open an office of the Belarusian opposition in Brussels

More than 100 MEPs signed an appeal proposing to EP speaker David Sassoli to open in Brussels a permanent office for the Sakharov Prize winners, which this year was received by representatives of the Belarusian opposition. RIA Novosti writes about this with reference to the press service of the European People’s Party (EPP).

EU ambassadors agreed to extend sanctions against Russia

The extension of economic sanctions against Russia for six months, which expire on January 31 of this year, was agreed by the permanent representatives of the 27 member states of the European Union. This was reported on December 16 by a source in the delegation of one of the European countries in the EU Council.

The State Duma approved a ban on publishing data on the property of security officials

The State Duma adopted in the first reading a bill that prohibits the dissemination of information about the private life and property of the military, law enforcement and control officials. This is stated on the website of the Duma

The explanatory note to the bill notes that the publication of such information “interferes with the administration of justice, the fight against crime and other offenses.” An exception will be made when investigating criminal cases, checking for corruption or personal consent of a person.

Wage arrears in Russia

The wage arrears in Russia as of December 1, 2020 amounted to 1 billion 898.2 million rubles, according to the materials of Rosstat. Compared to the level of November 1, 2020, the total debt increased by 1.5%, or by 28 million rubles

The State Duma passed a law for the promotion of drugs on the Internet

For citizens, the fine will be from 5 to 30 thousand rubles, for officials from 50 to 100 thousand rubles, for legal entities from 1 to 1.5 million (or up to 90 days of a ban on work), for foreigners from 4 to 30 thousand. rubles with deportation (or 15 days of arrest).

Also, the liability of operators who do not block resources with such propaganda is becoming stricter: a fine for officials from 10 to 30 thousand rubles, for legal entities – from 100 to 500 thousand, rubles for a repeated violation within a year – from 30 to 50 thousand rubles, and from 500 to 800 thousand rubles, respectively.

In addition, the Duma has a bill on criminal punishment for persuading people to use drugs on the Internet: up to 10 years in prison, and if this resulted in the death of several people – from 12 to 15 years. The document passed I reading

FAS will monitor prices together with the prosecutor’s office

In case of non-execution or delay in the execution of decisions to reduce prices for certain socially significant types of products, the Federal Antimonopoly Service will conduct unscheduled inspections and start cases.

“The measures taken will be permanent and lasting,” the message says.

Seven basic products with zero mark-up

X5 Retail Group announced that the retailer will sell seven basic products in all stores with zero mark-up – at the purchase price from suppliers. The list will include:

Beef stew
Black tea
Cereal flakes
UHT milk

Trading expenses for these goods (including rent, logistics, utility bills, staff salaries) are going to be covered by the company. On store shelves, such goods will be marked with special price tags, the retailer’s press service said.

Paris mayor’s office fined for feminism

The Paris City Hall was fined 90 thousand euros for feminism: too many women were found there in leadership positions. By law, men and women in the administration should be equally divided, or 60 to 40 in favor of men. In Paris, the female half is 19% more since 2018, supervisory authorities found.

The Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, declared the fine absurd, unfair, irresponsible and dangerous, and promised to continue to “vigorously promote women.” She said that she was ready, together with her “directors and all employees of the General Secretariat” to pay this fine to the Ministry of Civil Service from her own pocket.

According to the rules, it is supposed to “burn everything out with fire”

In the Nizhny Novgorod region, Orthodox priests burned a 150-year-old church built without a single nail. The Russian Orthodox Church explained that there is no blasphemy in this, according to the rules it is necessary to “burn everything with fire.”

Roman Kiyanov, a press secretary for the Lyskovo diocese, told the Podyem newspaper that the wooden bell tower in the village of Okishino had long ago fallen into disrepair and was dangerous, and there was no money to restore it.

In Brussels, it was decided to create Eurocomnadzor.

The European Commission has published a cybersecurity strategy designed to protect European institutions, infrastructure and citizens from new threats. Among the proposed measures is the creation of a permanent body to coordinate the fight against virtual threats between different EU structures and the authorities of its individual countries.

The Ministry of Defense will receive compensation twice for the same job

The Russian government ordered to compensate the Ministry of Defense for the costs incurred by the department during the outbreak of covid in the Severo-Yenisei region of the Krasnoyarsk Territory. At the same time, the department has already been compensated for its expenses. Writes about this NGS24.ru. They are going to compensate 256.1 million rubles from the reserve fund of the Putin government.

We are talking about a situation when more than 1,000 shift workers fell ill at the Olympiada deposit of the Polyus gold mining company. Then the Ministry of Defense made a temporary covid hospital and an observatory there. It was in May. The company “Polyus” claims that they fully compensated the expenses of the Ministry of Defense for helping the company in the fight against covid.

Russia has set maximum prices for sugar and sunflower oil

The government, retail chains and manufacturers have set maximum prices for sugar (46 rubles per kilogram) and sunflower oil (110 rubles per liter)

Until the last riot policeman and a real doctor say that he has done his job

Alexander Lukashenko said that he would fight for Belarus until “the last riot policeman and a real doctor” say that he has done his job. He stated this during a meeting with the staff of the regional clinical hospital in Mogilev.

“Nobody should think that Lukashenka has folded his hands, and that’s it, he has already dropped everything and left. Until the last riot policeman and the real doctor say: “That’s it, Lukashenka, you have done your job,” until then I will fight for this country. I have nothing else besides her, ”Lukashenka said.

He also asked not to believe those who say that Lukashenka makes the Constitution for himself. He assured that his position is unchanged and is to save the country

Deflation in China.

Consumer prices in China in November fell by 0.5% (compared to November last year). Especially food – by 2%. Economists attribute this to the rise in the yuan exchange rate, which makes imports cheaper. Since May 2020, RMB dollars have dropped 9%.

Three years for commenting on former Interior Minister Karaev under video

The Human Rights Center Viasna reports that 31-year-old Yuri Kornilovich was accused of publicly insulting a government official in connection with his official duties. The materials of the case say that Kornilovich with his comment “humiliated the honor and dignity” of the head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Belarus at that time, and also “caused him moral suffering”.