18 Dec, 2020

News digest for 12/17/2020

The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution of the Russian Federation on the fight against the glorification of Nazism.

130 countries voted for the document, the USA and Ukraine traditionally voted against, 51 states, including Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Estonia, France, and Turkey, abstained.

US intelligence agencies confirm large-scale cyber attack on government

A joint statement was released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Cyber ​​and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI). The secret services did not specify who was behind the attack. Earlier, the media reported about the hacking of government systems. According to them, it was organized by Russian hackers

On the attack on the editorial staff of Charlie Hebdo

A jury in Paris sentenced two defendants in the 2015 attack on Charlie Hebdo’s editorial office to 30 years in prison each, Le Figaro reports. Ali Rizu Polata and Hayat Boumedienne were found guilty of complicity in the terrorist attack. The charge demanded a life sentence.

Parliament of Moldova lowered the retirement age

In Moldova, the pension reform of 2016 was canceled, returning the previous retirement age: for men it is 62 years, for women – 57 years.

In Spain, arrests in the case of money laundering of the Russian mafia

The Spanish police, together with Europol, have detained 23 people suspected of laundering money from the proceeds of crime for the Russian mafia, according to the Spanish police website. Eight Russian citizens, two Ukrainians, one from Kazakhstan and one from Algeria, 11 citizens of Spain were detained, RIA Novosti reports, referring to the press service of the National Police

“Eaglet” for flights to the moon

Russia is working on the option of creating a lightweight version of the Eagle-Orlyonok spacecraft for two cosmonauts to fly to the moon, a source in the rocket and space industry told RIA Novosti

It is planned that this version will be 5 tons lighter than the base “Eagle”. The ship will be designed for a crew of two, – said the agency’s source.

On the use of nuclear energy in space

Trump signed a directive on the use of nuclear energy by the United States in space. Nuclear power plants are permitted when other energy sources such as sunlight or chemical fuels are in short supply.

He also ordered to ensure the development of uranium fuel for use on the Moon and other space objects – and to demonstrate the capabilities of nuclear power plants for Martian missions.

US Treasury recognizes Switzerland and Vietnam as “currency manipulators”

The United States can recognize a country as a “currency manipulator” if it meets three criteria – its trade surplus with the United States exceeds $ 20 billion, the overall foreign trade surplus is above 2% of GDP, and the Central Bank’s foreign exchange interventions exceed 2% of GDP.

Switzerland, like Vietnam, meets all three criteria. Over the four quarters until June 2020, the overall surplus of its foreign trade balance amounted to 8.8% of GDP, and the surplus in trade with the United States was $ 49 billion.From July 2019 to June 2020, the net purchase of foreign currency by the Swiss National Bank amounted to $ 103 billion ( 14% of GDP).

The cumulative wealth of all the world’s billionaires

More than 2,200 billionaires in the world at the end of 2020, which was marked by the COVID-19 pandemic, became richer by $ 1.9 trillion. The combined fortune of all the world’s billionaires is estimated at $ 11.4 trillion. This is 20% more than their combined state as of December 31, 2019. The main reason for the growth in the wealth of the owners of billions of dollars was the growth in the stock markets, which continued throughout the year.

More than 600 American billionaires are worth $ 4 trillion, up $ 560 billion since the beginning of the year, also fueled by growth in stock markets. The S&P 500, which is near all-time high, is up 13% this year, despite the March coronavirus crash, NASDAQ is up 38%

Roscosmos will register the First in Space trademark

Under this sign, judging by the application to Rospatent discovered by Open Media, it can produce not only clothes and jewelry, but even trampolines and toilet paper.

Completed construction of the Balkan Stream gas pipeline

The construction of the Balkan Stream gas pipeline, which is part of the Turkish Stream, has been completed in Bulgaria. The information was disseminated in the local newspaper Trud, which referred to the Bulgartransgaz company. Now the acceptance of the site by the state commission has been organized.

BRICS Bank approved five new projects

The Board of Directors of the BRICS New Development Bank (NDB) has approved five new projects in Brazil, Russia and South Africa for a total of $ 2.7 billion, according to the bank’s press service posted on Thursday on the website of the financial institution

Pentagon develops microwave blasters for fighters

The Pentagon intends to place blasters on its fighters that operate on microwaves and can melt enemy radars and sensors. British Times writes about it.

QHG Trading changes ownership again

QHG Trading changes its owner again QHG Trading, which received a five-year contract for the supply of oil from Rosneft in 2017 during a privatization transaction, changed its owner again. Instead of Sergei Nevsky’s Investneftetrade, who was arrested at the end of November on suspicion of bribery, the owner of QHG was a citizen of Cyprus Marina Karmysheva. She owns the RLA Group, which is engaged in, among other things, trading in oil and oil products. Ms. Karmysheva also owned a stake in Eleksnet, where Rosneft and MKB are now the shareholders. But all companies deny any connection with Mrs. Karmysheva.

New rules for cash payment will be introduced in Russia

In Russia, in less than a month, new rules for handling cash will begin to operate. They will concern cash payments, transfers and withdrawals from ATMs. Changes are expected from January 10, 2021

Thus, the most specific operations for banks, organizations in the spheres of leasing and insurance, as well as pawnshops, microfinance organizations and credit cooperatives will be under control, writes “Economics Today”. At the same time, payments on anonymous accounts and through non-banking institutions will be excluded from the list of transactions subject to control.

A new version of a protein that makes light harmful to cells

Biochemists have created a new, more efficient version of the phototoxic protein SuperNova, which makes light deadly for cell cultures. Thanks to this, the protein can be used much more widely than before, writes the press service of the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology. An article with the results of the development was published by the International Journal of Molecular Sciences.

Scientists have solved the mystery of ocean turbulence in the Arctic

The seasonal changes in the nature of the Arctic eddies, the reasons for which have remained a mystery since the 1970s, are finally scientifically explained thanks to the work of oceanographer John Marshall of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Marshall found out that the phenomenon is due to ice friction and ocean stratification. Simulations have shown that the ice that covers the Arctic seas in winter becomes a kind of friction brake that slows down the dynamics of turbulence at the water’s surface. At depth, this factor is leveled, and the water behaves in the usual way.

The mystery of da Vinci’s painting “Savior of the World” is revealed

For several centuries, artists and art critics have been trying to solve the riddle of Leonardo da Vinci’s painting “Salvator Mundi” (“Savior of the World”). It’s all about the glass ball, which does not reflect or refract light, which is usually characteristic of such objects.

Computer modeling carried out by scientists at the University of California helped to reveal the secret of the great painter. It turned out that Jesus in the painting by Leonardo da Vinci is holding in his hand not a monolithic, but a hollow sphere.

Scientists explain volcanic anomaly in Australia

Geological scientists at the University of Sydney, together with their New Zealand colleagues, became interested in the causes of hundreds of earthquakes that occurred in a narrow zone from North Queensland to Tasmania and further to New Zealand, despite the stability of the Australian Plate. The tectonic model built in the course of the study links long-term volcanic activity with an oceanic plate moving under the Australian continent. The research results are published in the journal Science Advances.

In Russia, they created a durable material from garbage to cover roads

The scientists from the Plekhanov Russian University of Economics (PRUE named after G.V. Plekhanov) proposed to improve the quality of highways with the help of recyclable materials. The experts said that they managed to create a new material that has high-strength properties and withstands adverse weather conditions for the construction of a road.

Four-year support for Android smartphones

Google and Qualcomm have announced four years of support for Android smartphones. We are talking about devices based on Snapdragon processors with support for Project Treble: this does not apply to already released smartphone models.

Facebook is developing a headset for reading people’s minds

Further evidence has surfaced online that Facebook is developing a headset for reading people’s minds. Moreover, she was able to move so far on this issue that meetings on this topic have already begun within the company.

Labeling of cheese and ice cream in Russia

Labeling of cheese and ice cream starts in the Russian Federation on June 1, 2021, labeling of dairy products with a shelf life of more than 40 days – from September 1, a shelf life of less than 40 days – from December 1, 2021.

Russian scientist Gubanov arrested for treason

Gubanov is accused of transferring secrets to one of the European countries within the framework of an international project to develop a hypersonic civilian aircraft HEXAFLY-INT (high-speed experimental aircraft), a source told RIA Novosti