1 Май, 2021

U.S. Embassy in Russia announced staff cuts

The US Embassy in Russia has been reducing the number of consular services provided from May 12 due to Moscow’s decision to ban the hiring of foreigners. In addition, the staff of the diplomatic mission will be reduced by 75%. This was announced on Friday, April 30, by the press service of the American embassy.

«Since May 12, the US Embassy in Moscow will reduce the number of consular services provided, leaving only emergency services for US citizens and a limited number of immigrant visas in the event of their expiration, as well as immigration visas in cases of threats to life or death,» the message says. …

The US Embassy in Moscow announced that it will stop processing applications for nonimmigrant visas (with the exception of diplomatic travel) from May 12. The embassy also recommends that Americans leave Russia before June 15 if their Russian visa expires.

Biologists have traced changes in the size of the brain of mammals

A large international team led by Jeroen Smaers of the American University of Stony Brook analyzed data on brain-to-body size relationships for 1,400 mammals, both modern and extinct over the past 150 million years.

It turned out that changes in the size of the brain and body in the evolution of a species do not follow a single consistent trajectory. The sizes of the brain and body can change jointly or in different directions, most rapidly — in periods after global catastrophes and trials. Written about this by the authors of a new article published in the journal Science Advances.

A cloud of molecules was first turned into a Bose-Einstein condensate

American scientists were the first to create a molecular version of the Bose-Einstein condensate — a set of quantum objects that behave like a giant atom.

Scientists Demonstrate New Plasma Acceleration Technologies

Scientists from the University of Hamburg used an accelerator to test a method that allows maintaining a particularly narrow energy distribution of the generated electron beams, phys. They also used artificial intelligence to enable the accelerator to optimize its performance. Scientists report their experiments in two articles, published soon after each other in the journal Physical Review Letters.

A billion-year-old fossil found in Scotland

A likely «lost link» in evolution has been discovered in the Scottish Highlands in Lake Lough Torridon, estimated to be one billion years old, Current Biology reports.

The find was named Bicellum Brasieri. Scientists quickly came to the conclusion that the creature was definitely not a single-celled object, but at the same time it was not yet a multicellular object. Bicellum Brasieri, they argue, fills the entire «evolutionary gap» between the simplest forms of life and the Cambrian explosion that followed.

Scientists from the USA calculate the exact length of a day on Venus

A team of scientists from the University of California at Los Angeles (USA) was able to accurately determine the length of the day on Venus, the tilt of its axis and the size of the nucleus. For this, experts have studied the planet using radar for 15 years, reports Nature Astronomy.

Radar measurements have shown that the average length of a day on Venus is 243.0226 Earth days — about two-thirds of the Earth’s year. But the speed of rotation of Venus is constantly changing. Scientists have concluded that the length of the day can fluctuate by about 20 minutes. The authors suggested that the reason for this phenomenon is the heavy atmosphere of Venus. It affects a hard surface by speeding up or slowing down the rotation.

Scientists have also calculated that Venus tilts to one side by exactly 2.6392 degrees (Earth is tilted about 23 degrees). They also calculated the cycles of glaciation, which affect the axis of rotation of the planet. On Earth, one cycle takes 26 thousand years, on Venus — a little more, 29 thousand.

Measurements have shown that the core of the planet reaches about 3,500 kilometers across, which is very similar to Earth, but it is not yet known whether it is liquid or solid.

Microsoft has completed development of the next version of Windows 10

The company has released a fresh build 19043.928 for Windows Insiders, highlighting that this is the final build for Windows 10 21H1. The company also confirmed the official name of the update — Windows 10 May 2021 Update. The final version is already available for «clean» installation from a disk image (ISO file).

Telegram will feature video conferencing

Pavel Durov, founder of the social network VKontakte and Telegram, announced an upcoming important innovation in the named messenger: in May it will implement a video conferencing system.

Who will be banned from educational activities

The Ministry of Education of Russia has posted for public discussion a draft resolution of the government of the Russian Federation «On the approval of the Regulation on the implementation of educational activities.»

The founder of the Muslim publishing house, Aslambek Ezhaev, was arrested.

On April 29, a Moscow court detained the director of the Umma publishing house, Aslambek Ezhayev, who had been detained a day earlier in connection with the financing of terrorism. According to the investigation, since 2012, Ezhaev has transferred over 34 million rubles to people who are wanted in Russia for committing terrorist crimes. FSB named Ezhaev a member of the conspiratorial cell of the «Islamic State»

The Ministry of Health has developed new rules for the medical examination of drivers

Driving candidates in Russia will need to be tested for chronic alcoholism and the presence of illegal substances in the body, including opiates, cannabinoids, cocaine and methadone. This is reported by «Kommersant» with reference to a new order of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation, which regulates the procedure for obtaining medical certificates within the framework of driver’s commissions.

Former head of Navalny’s headquarters sent to prison for Rammstein video

Former head of the Arkhangelsk headquarters of Alexei Navalny, Andrei Borovikov, was sentenced to 2 years and 6 months in a general regime colony. He was found guilty of distributing pornography. This decision was made by the Lomonosov District Court. The reason for the initiation of the criminal case was the clip of the Rammstein Pussy group. Andrey Borovikov posted it on his page on the social network in 2014.

Rammstein guitarist Richard Kruspe commented on the verdict to Andrei Borovikov

“I am very sorry that Andrei Borovikov was sentenced to prison for this. The severity of the sentence is shocking. Rammstein has always defended the principle of creative freedom as an inalienable human right, ”Kruspe said in a statement.

Russians in March took a record amount of consumer loans

In March, the volume of consumer loans issued increased by 16.9% and reached a record 340.6 billion rubles, RIA Novosti reported, citing data from the Equifax credit bureau.

Rosstat reported on the decline in real disposable income of Russians

The real disposable cash income of Russians (show what the population has after paying mandatory contributions and payments adjusted for inflation), according to estimates, in the first quarter of 2021 fell by 3.6% compared to the pre-crisis first quarter of last year, Rosstat said in monthly report on the socio-economic situation in the country.

Rosstat will change the system for calculating the income of the population

Rosstat is modernizing the methodology for calculating real incomes of the population. The reason was the systematic difference in the data, said the Minister of Economic Development Maxim Reshetnikov. At the final Collegium of Rosstat on April 28, the Minister noted the constant discrepancies between the data on income in the system of national accounts and quarterly data

Moscow Exchange net profit for the first quarter of 2021

The Moscow Exchange’s net profit in the first quarter increased by 15.8% to RUB 6,835.3 million. Adjusted net income increased by 1.6%, according to the company’s IFRS statements

Smartphone division of Sony has become profitable

Sony has published its latest financial report, according to which the smartphone division has finally started to make a profit. It is reported by ixbt.com. It turns out that the company’s mobile division has suffered losses since 2017 and could, following LG, leave this market segment forever, but according to the latest data, Sony managed to sell 2.9 million units of smartphones and, for the first time in 4 years, make a profit of $ 255 million. USA.

Rosatom approved construction in Chukotka

Russian President Vladimir Putin approved Rosatom’s project to supply power to a copper deposit in Chukotka. According to RBC, state-owned companies will receive 169 billion rubles. The power supply will concern the Baimskoye gold-copper deposit, which is owned by Kazakhstan’s KAZ Minerals.

Rosatom will order the construction of five floating power units with a capacity of 500 megawatts from the Baltic Shipyard, a member of the United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC). An alternative option was the NOVATEK floating power plant on liquefied natural gas (LNG)

The American command has begun the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan

The American military command on Thursday began the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, according to CNN, citing informed American sources.

«Fewer than 100 troops left Afghanistan, mostly by air,» notes CNN. Later, the fact of the start of the withdrawal of forces was confirmed by the US administration. In total, about 2.5 thousand American soldiers remain on Afghan territory, as well as several hundred more soldiers performing special operations. All of them will leave the country by presidential decree.

NATO has begun withdrawing its mission from Afghanistan.

A NATO spokesman pointed out that the security of the alliance’s troops «will be a top priority every step of the way.» The alliance will give a «decisive response» to any attacks by the Taliban. A NATO spokesman suggested that a complete withdrawal of troops would take several months. White House spokeswoman Karin Jean-Pierre also said that the United States is withdrawing its employees from Afghanistan.

The governor of Primorye proposed to introduce a tax on tourists traveling abroad

The money collected from the Russians, Kozhemyako believes, should be directed to the development of domestic tourism. What should be the size of the «exit fee», the Primorsky governor did not specify.

Hitachi agrees to sell its metallurgical division

Japanese industrial conglomerate Hitachi Ltd. will sell its stake in a listed division of Hitachi Metals Ltd. a group led by Bain Capital for 382 billion yen ($ 3.5 billion).

Hitachi Metals rose 0.6% in Tokyo, the deal was announced after the stock markets closed. Bain’s bid represents a 15% premium over the closing price of Y1,895, Bloomberg reported.