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    RUSSIA NOW

    Post  Carol on Mon Dec 13, 2010 2:44 pm


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JEZAmqafIWg&feature=player_embedded
    Thousands, donning white ribbons, came to protest on the streets of Russia. For many, Saturday's protests against recent election results that kept Vlamidir Putin's United Russia party in power, were their first protest. Of the 20,000 gathered in Moscow, most are from the nation's educated middle-class who are now openly calling for Putin to go. This weekend's protests mark the return of Russian street politics dormant since the collapse of the Soviet Union, but these protests are being carefully managed by the over 50,000 police and Interior Ministry troops stationed on the ground.

    Al Jazeera's Neave Barker reports from Moscow.

    Personal Note: This is how I felt when Bush was illegally elected - twice



    Kamchatka, Russian Volcano, Spews Giant Ash Clouds
    MOSCOW — Two volcanoes erupted Thursday on Russia's far-eastern Kamchatka Peninsula, tossing massive ash clouds miles (kilometers) into the air, forcing flights to divert and blanketing one town with thick, heavy ash.

    The Klyuchevskaya Sopka, Eurasia's highest active volcano, exploded along with the Shiveluch volcano, 45 miles (70 kilometers) to the northeast, the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry's branch in Kamchatka said, adding that flights in the area had to change course.

    Ash clouds from the remote volcanoes billowed up to 33,000 feet (10 kilometers) and were spreading east across the Pacific Ocean, vulcanologist Sergei Senyukov told Rossiya 24 television. Streams of lava flowed down the slopes of Shiveluch.

    The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration on Thursday issued a notice to pilots that they should remain alert for possible ash clouds, saying emissions have "intermittently complicated air travel" in the area of the Kamchatkan Peninsula.

    "Any air carriers, including foreign air carriers, that observe or experience any difficulties resulting from an encounter with volcanic ash, please notify air traffic control immediately," the notice said.

    Several pilots have reported seeing ash clouds in the Alaskan region, FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown said. However, the ash has been below 25,000 feet, while planes are assigned altitudes above that level so there was no difficulty, she said. Thus far FAA hasn't issued any flight restrictions due to ash, she said.

    The FAA spokeswoman Tammy Jones said the agency does not anticipate any impact from the eruptions on air traffic to the United States.

    The Volcanic Ash Advisory Center in Tokyo issued an advisory for planes to be alert for the ash cloud, although Tokyo's Narita airport said it had no flights diverted yet.

    South Korean flights in the region reported no disruptions, according to South Korea's Incheon International Airport Corporation, and South Korea's two main airlines, Korean Air and Asiana Airlines.

    read more at link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/28/kamchatka-russian-volcano_n_775476.html


    ~~~



    Superpack of 400 ravenous wolves terrorize Russian village
    February 9, 2011 – RUSSIA – A ‘super pack’ of wolves have been terrifying a Russian town after leaving more than 30 horses dead in just four days. Four hundred bloodthirsty wolves have been spotted prowling around the edges of Verkhoyansk, in Russia, attacking livestock at will. Twenty four teams of hunters have been put together to get rid of the wolves, with a bounty of £210 for every wolf skin brought to officials. Stepan Rozhin, an administration official for the Verkhoyansk district in Russia, said: ‘To protect the town we are creating 24 teams of armed hunters, who will patrol the neighborhood on snowmobiles and set wolf traps. ‘A pack of wolves this size is unheard of, with the animals usually preferring to hunt in smaller groups of just six or seven. The massive group is believed to be made from hundreds of packs and has left animal experts baffled. Dr Valerius Geist, a wildlife behavior expert, said the harsh Siberian winter – where temperatures plummet to minus 49C – had killed off the animal’s usual prey. He said: ‘It is unusual for wolves to gather in such numbers to hunt large animal like horses. ‘However, the population of their usual prey, rabbits, has decreased this year due to lack of food, so wolves have had to change their habits. ‘Wolves are very careful to choose the most nutritious food source easiest obtained without danger – which in this case happens to be horses. ‘They will start tackling dangerous prey when they run out of non-dangerous prey.’ Villagers have already managed to snare a number of the animals but the pack is so sizeable that is likely to take some time to deal with. -Daily Mail


    ~~~



    Volcanoes Erupt Side by Side in New Satellite Picture
    Russian volcano erupts sending ash four kilometres high
    7 February 2011 - A volcano in Russia has begun erupting, spurting ash up to four kilometres into the sky. Aircraft have been warned against flying in the area around the Kizimen volcano on the Kamchatka Peninsula because of the threat posed to engines by the particles of volcanic ash.

    Volcanoes Erupt Side by Side in New Satellite Picture - satellite photo from 13 February 10 - almost a year later.


    ~~~


    Islamists advancing on Russian territory
    Airport attack could be opening shot in war over central Asia[/center]
    Reports out of Russia appear to be confirming that the suicide bomber in Monday's attack at Domodedovo airport, which killed 35 and injured nearly 200, may have been a convert to Islam on jihad, according to a Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin.

    Authorities haven't revealed all details of the attacker, but analysts now are raising concerns that the explosion may have been an opening shot by al-Qaida in a war over central Asian territory, including parts of Russia, it wants as its own.

    Militants in the northern part of Afghanistan and central Asia appear to be trying to convince Russia that they should be in control of its predominantly Islamic southern tier provinces of Chechnya, Ingushetica, Dagestan and Kabardino-Balkaria.

    Analysts even wonder if the goal is for those regions to become "separate" from Russia.

    Read more at http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=256405


    ~~~


    Recent actions by the Russian leadership could indicate a shift in the way Russia hopes to be perceived internationally.

    At the end of November, a number of seemingly unrelated but important messages came out of different branches of the Russian government. Taken together, they may signal a shift in the way the Russian political leadership wants to position Russia in the world. First, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin wrote an article for the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung in which he forcefully advocated the idea of a strategic partnership between Russia and the European Union. In essence, the Russian prime minister proposed the creation of a common Russian-European economic space "from Lisbon to Vladivostok."

    In this context, Lisbon was not meant as simply a geographic landmark; Putin's proposal came on the heels of the Russia-NATO summit held there. At the summit, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and the leaders of the alliance agreed to collaborate on building an anti-ballistic missile defense system (ABM) in Europe. If implemented, such a system could pave the way to the creation of a common Russian-European security space.

    Critics would argue that Russian-NATO cooperation on ABM is far from assured and that Putin's strategic partnership proposal sounds more like a dream than a solid business plan, yet both Russia's willingness to mend fences with its sworn Cold War enemy and its desire to become engaged economically with the EU seem to indicate that Moscow now considers the European direction of its foreign policy as a major, if not the major, priority.

    Second, on Nov. 26, the Russian State Duma, passed a resolution acknowledging that the 1940 Katyn massacre of 20,000 Polish citizens was committed on the direct orders of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin. The resolution went on to express the Duma's "deep sympathy for the victims of this unjustified repression."

    A cynic might wink mischievously and note that the Duma resolution conveniently preceded Medvedev's visit to Poland on Dec. 6-7. However, when presenting the resolution, sponsor Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the Duma's foreign affairs committee, called the document "historic" and stressed its importance for the Russian people, who were also victims of Stalin's crimes themselves. The competent and well-informed Kosachev could not, of course, be unaware that in January, Medvedev will be holding a meeting of his Human Rights Council focused on the topic of de-Stalinization.

    Third, three days before the Duma session, Medvedev caused a stir among Russian pundits with a video blog address in which he warned about "stagnation" in Russian politics and called for more political openness. However unlinked Medvedev's video comments and the Duma resolution might first appear, they both work toward changing Russia's image abroad - by trying to shed its reputation as a giant that craves its Stalinist past and menaces its neighbors.

    Finally, on Nov. 30, President Medvedev gave his third annual address to the Federal Assembly. Given that Medvedev's first address was devoted to political reforms and the second to economic modernization, many experts predicted that Medvedev's third address would focus on social issues. They were correct. The core of the president's speech was the thesis that modernization, both in political and economic spheres, is just a tool to solve the country's most pressing social problems: negative demographic trends, ecological deterioration, and worsening situations in education and health care. But what made the address somewhat unique was Medvedev's focus on child welfare. In a show of passion, completely unprecedented for a Russian political leader, Medvedev concluded his speech with the following:

    "Everything we do, we do for those whom we love the most. It's our kids, for we wish them to live better than us, be better than us and achieve what we didn't have time to achieve."


    Many Russian analysts called the address "bland" and accused the president of missing the opportunity to propose a set of breathtaking political reforms, including, for example, the formation of a new political party. Well, apparently the president and his advisors knew what every political analyst is supposed to know, too: One year before the beginning of a new election cycle, the country's president should focus on things about which the citizens care the most: the welfare of their families and, yes, their children. (Incidentally, political parties are held in very low esteem by ordinary Russians, as public polls repeatedly show.)

    Besides, by publicly displaying his affection for Russian children, Medvedev, himself the father of a 15-year-old, might have again attempted to present Russia in a more positive way: As a kinder and gentler country. The gentle giant, so to speak.

    Medvedev could argue that it's nicer to live in a country that is at peace with its neighbors. He could also argue that it's nicer to live in a country that cares for its children. And that it's much more fun to be the president of such a country.

    continued at link: http://russianow.washingtonpost.com/2010/12/russia-the-gentle-giant.php

    Russia to secure global uranium supplies with a new fuel bank
    The State Atomic Energy Corporation (Rosatom) will provide guaranteed uranium supplies worldwide.

    Russia to host 2018 world cup
    FIFA announced that Russia has won the right to host the World Cup in 2018.Russia.



    FOCUSING ON THE NEEDS OF CHILDREN WINS THE HEARTS OF ALL NATIONS FOR THE SIMPLE REASON THAT MOST ADULTS RECOGNIZE THAT THE CHILDEN ARE THE LEADERS OF TOMORROW AND THE ELDERLY's CARETAKERS. Simply put: What goes around, comes around.


    Last edited by Carol on Sat Dec 10, 2011 11:19 am; edited 9 times in total


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    Re: RUSSIA NOW

    Post  Carol on Tue Dec 14, 2010 9:48 am

    http://russianow.washingtonpost.com/2010/11/red-to-green-russia-begins-energy-saving.php


    Some eco-friendly families place solar panels on their country homes (Novosibirsk Region)

    Red to Green: Russia Begins Energy Saving
    Russia needs energy efficiency in order to improve its competitiveness. Government and businesses have projects in this sphere. Every year, Russia wastes enough energy to power the French economy, but new evidence suggests that the Kremlin is determined to change its ways.

    The Russian government approved a $300 billion energy-efficiency program that will trim the fat from Soviet-era factories and buildings, signaling new efforts at a green energy revolution.

    "The political winds have changed at the top, and there is a growing consensus that climate change is happening and a will to change and build a more efficient economy," said Kevin James of London-based investment adviser Climate Change Capital.

    He added that the forest fires of the summer led to a realization that climate change may not be entirely positive for Russia. (Prime Minister Vladmir Putin once famously quipped that global warming meant Russians would need to spend less on fur coats.)

    President Dmitry Medvedev, however, has taken a much tougher line on the environment, supported by a report from the World Bank, which said that improving energy efficiency will improve the country's productivity and competitiveness.

    Russia is the world's biggest oil and gas producer, and cheap government-capped domestic energy prices have drained the motivation to conserve energy. Medvedev aims to make the country's economy 40 percent more energy efficient by 2020.

    Medvedev has introduced political initiatives to reduce Russia's dependence on oil, from phasing out the use of incandescent light bulbs to state support for billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov's project to build a hybrid car plant in Togliatti (Russia's domestic auto capital).

    Yet Russia lags far behind China, which is already the world's leading manufacturer of wind turbines and solar panels and is on track to produce the world's first completely battery-powered car.

    continued at link:

    http://russianow.washingtonpost.com/2010/11/red-to-green-russia-begins-energy-saving.php



    Last edited by Carol on Tue Dec 14, 2010 10:08 am; edited 2 times in total


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    Re: RUSSIA NOW

    Post  Carol on Tue Dec 14, 2010 9:56 am


    Tycoon Prokhorov’s Hybrid Car

    http://www.slashgear.com/russias-city-car-to-be-first-homegrown-hybrid-car-22109868/

    Hybrid cars are all over the planet, as people try their best to be eco-friendly in this day and age (not to mention it does wonders to the vehicle’s mileage). But, up until now, Russia had yet to create their very own hybrid car. That’s about to change, thanks to billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, who has just unveiled the first homegrown hybrid car for the country. It only took him 180 days and $210 million of investment money to come up with the design.
    http://www.slashgear.com/russias-city-car-to-be-first-homegrown-hybrid-car-22109868/

    The Car Arc solar powered car port is created from bent tubes, running parallel to one another, with a polycarbonate roof. On top of that roof, Bike Arc puts a thin solar panel, which will constantly pull in the rays of the sun on a day-to-day basis, and therefore keep your electric car charged while it sits underneath it. But, the design isn’t just for cars, as the company says that you will be able to keep your electric bikes charged, too. It’s still just a concept for now, unfortunately.
    http://www.slashgear.com/bike-arcs-car-arc-solar-powered-car-port-keeps-your-electric-cars-and-bikes-charged-28104950/

    http://www.slashgear.com/volvo-working-with-imperial-college-to-create-cars-with-bodies-made-from-batteries-28104885/


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    Re: RUSSIA NOW

    Post  Carol on Tue Dec 14, 2010 4:14 pm

    Reid Says Senate Has Votes to Ratify Russia Treaty
    By Laura Litvan and Viola Gienger - Dec 14, 2010 11:30 AM GMT-1000

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said the chamber will have the 67 votes needed to ratify a new U.S.-Russia nuclear arms treaty and that he intends to complete work on the agreement before lawmakers leave Washington.

    Ratification of the treaty, which has drawn opposition from some Republicans, would give President Barack Obama a victory on one of his top foreign policy priorities. Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed the accord in April, agreeing to cut each nation’s deployed nuclear warheads by about one-third to a maximum of 1,550.

    Reid said today he aims to begin debate on the resolution of ratification tonight or tomorrow.

    Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat, said he also believed that scheduling a vote on the jammed calendar of the lame-duck session was the only obstacle to ratification.

    “I share the confidence that if we can get the treaty on the floor, we can ratify it,” Kerry told reporters on Capitol Hill today.

    continued at link: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-12-14/senate-will-have-67-votes-needed-to-approve-russia-arms-treaty-reid-says.html


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    Re: RUSSIA NOW

    Post  Carol on Tue Dec 14, 2010 4:44 pm

    Russian Armed Forces on High Alert Over North Korea
    Photo Courtesy - Yonhap News Agency(MOSCOW) -- Russia announced Tuesday that its armed forces in the east are on high alert. This comes in light of what it calls an "inadequate situation" on the Korean peninsula as tensions have increased in recent weeks between the North and South.

    The head of Russia's military said they continue to follow what is happening and have taken measures to raise the forces' combat readiness.

    On Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov welcomed his North Korean counterpart to Moscow. In the meeting, Lavrov expressed concern with North Korea's ongoing uranium enrichment activities. He also condemned North Korea's attack on the South's Yeonpyeong Island, which has been the source of the recent increased tension.

    continued at link: http://www.nktoday.com/contents/view_content/7802/russian-armed-forces-on-high-alert-over-north-korea


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    Re: RUSSIA NOW

    Post  Carol on Tue Dec 14, 2010 10:31 pm

    Sidestepping the U.S. Dollar, a Russian Exchange Will Swap Rubles and Renminbi
    By ANDREW E. KRAMER - Published: December 14, 2010

    MOSCOW — Russia and China are poised to take a small but symbolic step in their expanding economic relationship, a move that in the long term could make the dollar less relevant to business between the two nations.

    On Wednesday, a Moscow securities exchange is scheduled to open direct trading between the Chinese currency, the renminbi, and the Russian ruble. If the market develops, it could eventually cut the dollar out of a portion of Russian and Chinese trade.

    Although China’s business with Russia is only a sliver of what it does with the United States, there is room to grow: Russia is the world’s largest energy exporting nation, and China a big consumer as the world’s second-largest economy, behind the United States. And yet when a railroad tanker of Russian oil crosses the border into China, the transaction is settled in dollars.

    The new currency exchange is meant to start changing that. The trading system will operate through the Moscow Interbank Currency Exchange, or Micex, which is Russia’s largest stock exchange and also handles foreign currency transactions. It will be the first trading in the Chinese currency outside mainland China and Hong Kong.

    continued at link: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/15/business/global/15iht-ruble15.html?_r=1


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    Re: RUSSIA NOW

    Post  Carol on Wed Dec 15, 2010 8:40 am



    The newly appointed editor of Russian Vogue has courted controversy by putting Vladimir Putin's alleged mistress on her first front cover.
    The January 2011 issue features former rhythmic Olympic gymnast Alina Kabayeva, 27, wearing a £21,000 gold Balmain dress with her hands on her hips.

    By Andrew Osborn, Moscow 8:16PM GMT 14 Dec 2010


    Vladimir Putin and Russian gymnast Alina Kabayeva in the Kremlin Photo: EPA
    Viktoria Davydova’s decision to give her such prominence in the magazine is one that is likely to irritate the strong man Russian prime minister who has scornfully denied a newspaper report that he has left his wife Ludmila, with whom he has two daughters, for Miss Kabayeva.

    While there is no substantive evidence that Mr Putin, 58, is romantically linked to Miss Kabayeva, who also happens to be an MP for Mr Putin's ruling United Russia party, the alleged affair has long been the hottest gossip topic among Russia's elite.

    continued at link:
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/8202295/Vladimir-Putins-mistress-on-cover-of-Russian-Vogue.html


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    Re: RUSSIA NOW

    Post  Carol on Tue Dec 21, 2010 10:24 am

    Senate on track to ratify US-Russia nuclear pact

    WASHINGTON – The Senate is on track to ratify a new arms control treaty with Russia, a top foreign policy priority of President Barack Obama. Republican Sens. Robert Bennett of Utah and Bob Corker of Tennessee said Tuesday they would vote for the treaty. Corker told reporters that the treaty will definitely pass and likely with a solid bipartisan vote. Earlier Tuesday morning, Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennesssee, the Senate's No. 3 Republican, announced that he would back the accord.

    The Constitution requires two-thirds of those voting in the Senate to ratify the pact. Democrats need at least nine Republican votes. Eight Republicans have said they would back the treaty and three others have said they are leaning toward approval.
    A vote to end debate on the treaty was scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.

    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama inched closer to winning approval of a major arms control treaty with Russia Tuesday, as the No. 3 Republican leader in the Senate announced his support.

    The move by Lamar Alexander gave Obama's hopes of a foreign policy victory a boost as the Senate moves toward a vote on ratification this week. The top two Republican leaders have opposed the treaty.

    "Americans are safer and more secure with the New START treaty than without it," Alexander said.
    Defense Secretary Robert Gates, in a statement Tuesday, was urging the Senate to ratify the pact this week. He said the treaty would "provide the necessary flexibility to structure our strategic nuclear forces to best meet national security interests."

    The administration has stepped up its lobbying of pivotal Republicans to win approval of the treaty, which has become Obama's main priority for the remaining legislative session.

    With lawmakers moving toward a final vote expected this week, the White House and senior Democrats were expressing confidence Monday that they had the votes.
    continued at link: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_us_russia_nuclear;_ylt=Arnuo3hM8HTkWUDx3Urq0c7xIsV_;_ylu=X3oDMTMybXBha3JmBGFzc2V0Ay9zL2FwL3VzX3VzX3J1c3NpYV9udWNsZWFyBGNjb2RlA21wX2VjXzhfMTAEY3BvcwMxBHBvcwMxBHNlYwN5bl90b3Bfc3RvcmllcwRzbGsDc2VuYXRlb250cmFj


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    Re: RUSSIA NOW

    Post  Carol on Tue Dec 21, 2010 10:50 am

    China and Russia to Hold Joint Naval Exercises

    China and Russia will hold their first joint naval exercise next year in the northern part of the East Sea, Hong Kong's Phoenix TV reported Monday citing Russian media. China and Russia used to hold joint military exercises on land near their shared border that stretches 4,350 km, but the annual exercise, dubbed "Peace Mission," will be held at sea for the first time in 2011.

    It is unclear whether the drill is a response to joint military exercises earlier this year involving U.S., South Korean and Japanese troops. Phoenix TV did not say when the joint drill will take place but reported, "Russia has already prepared a basic training plan and both sides plan to meet early next year to discuss it."


    continued at link: http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2010/12/21/2010122101002.html


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    Re: RUSSIA NOW

    Post  Carol on Wed Dec 22, 2010 9:20 am

    US poised to approve nuclear arms pact with Russia

    WASHINGTON – The Senate is poised to approve a nuclear arms pact with Russia, handing President Barack Obama a huge victory on his top foreign policy priority.

    Passage of the New START treaty appeared assured after 11 Republicans joined Democrats in a vote Tuesday to end debate on the pact. That signaled that Obama should have the two-thirds majority he needs when the Senate votes on final approval Wednesday.

    The approval would mark a big comeback for Obama's arm controls efforts after the treaty appeared all but dead just weeks ago. It also would allow Obama to continue efforts to improve relations with Russia.
    Ratification would mark a third recent major political victory for Obama, even though his Democratic party was trounced in last month's congressional elections. In recent days he won passage of a bipartisan tax deal and a vote ending the ban on gays openly serving in the military.

    "We are on the brink of writing the next chapter in the 40-year history of wrestling with the threat of nuclear weapons," Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry, a Democrat, said after the vote.

    The treaty would limit each country's strategic nuclear warheads to 1,550, down from the current ceiling of 2,200. It also would establish a system for monitoring and verification. U.S. weapons inspections ended last year with the expiration of a 1991 treaty.

    continued at: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_us_russia_nuclear;_ylt=AtLOO6j8oeJji5mUaStqaqJH2ocA;_ylu=X3oDMTMya21wNG11BGFzc2V0Ay9zL2FwL3VzX3VzX3J1c3NpYV9udWNsZWFyBGNjb2RlA21wX2VjXzhfMTAEY3BvcwMyBHBvcwMyBHNlYwN5bl90b3Bfc3RvcmllcwRzbGsDdXNwb2lzZWR0b2Fw


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    Re: RUSSIA NOW

    Post  Carol on Thu Dec 23, 2010 9:24 am

    Vice Admiral: Obama was outmaneuvered by Russians on START
    U.S. Naval Institute - December 23, 2010

    President Barack Obama was outmaneuvered by the Russians and should have abandoned the New START negotiations instead of seeking a political victory, says former nuclear plans monitor Vice Admiral Jerry Miller, USN (Ret).

    The Obama administration is continuing a dated policy in which we cannot even unilaterally reduce our own inventory of weapons and delivery systems without being on parity with the Russians,” Miller told the U.S. Naval Institute in Annapolis, Md. “We could give up plenty of deployed delivery systems and not adversely affect our national security one bit, but New START prohibits such action - so we are now stuck with some outmoded and useless elements in our nuke force.”

    After meeting resistance from several Republicans, the U.S. Senate ratified the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) with Russia by a vote of 71-26 on Wednesday.

    “The Soviets/Russians were done in by Reagan and our missile defense program because they cannot afford to build such a system,” said Miller. “They instead try to counter our program with rhetoric at the bargaining table. And they won by outmaneuvering Obama. START plays right into their hands.”

    Former President Ronald Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) is often credited with bankrupting the U.S.S.R. because the Soviets were unable to keep pace with the technology being developed by the United States.

    “We have always been superior in quality of our nuclear force, so we did not have to negotiate with a party we do not trust,” said Miller. “If Obama wanted to save some money and improve national defense, he should have gotten out of the nuke negations and acted unilaterally. START is simply a political victory for Obama.”

    continued at: http://www.usni.org/vice-admiral-obama-was-outmaneuvered-russians-start

    The World from Berlin
    'Barack Obama Was the Biggest Loser of 2010'

    After months of stalling, the US Senate has finally approved the New START disarmament treaty with Russia. The ratification is a major triumph for US President Barack Obama, but German commentators warn that it may be the last such success for a long time.

    SPIEGEL's Washington correspondent Marc Hujer writes on SPIEGEL ONLINE:

    "Barack Obama was the biggest loser of 2010. He allowed the angry Tea Party movement to grow powerful, he did not pass any decent laws despite his majority in Congress and he was aloof, elitist and indecisive. He had to accept a formidable, yet entirely understandable, defeat in the midterm elections as a result. No one expected much from Obama, at least not during the rest of this year."

    continued at: http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,736320,00.html


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    Re: RUSSIA NOW

    Post  Carol on Thu Dec 23, 2010 11:48 am

    23 December 2010 Last updated at 05:22 ET

    Russia applauds US vote to back nuclear arms treaty
    Mr Obama called the treaty "the most significant arms-control agreement in nearly two decades"
    Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev has welcomed US ratification of a landmark treaty to cut nuclear arsenals and says he hopes Russia's parliament will ratify it too.


    continued at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-12066501


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    Re: RUSSIA NOW

    Post  Carol on Sun Dec 26, 2010 8:22 am


    Critically endangered Amur tigers occasionally wander into remote villages
    Tiger team marks 20 years of conflict resolution


    Living within the habitat of a dangerous animal is not easy.

    But it is particularly challenging when that animal is the critically endangered Amur tiger.

    If a tiger wanders into a remote Russian village it poses a threat, but also raises a difficult quandary: how can people protect themselves without resorting to killing a creature that is on very the brink of extinction?

    A special Tiger Response Team in Russia has sought to solve that problem.

    The World Conservation Society (WCS) and an anti-poaching patrol dubbed Inspection Tiger are working closely with the team.

    It was set up by the government in 1999 to help resolve "human- tiger conflict".

    Amur tigers live in the mosaic of forests in Russia's Far East - an expanse of more than 150,000 sq km of tiger habitat that is dotted with small human settlements.

    "There's a grey area where both tigers and humans co-exist," explains Dale Miquelle, director of the WCS Russia Programme.

    continued at link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/earth/hi/earth_news/newsid_9313000/9313098.stm



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    Re: RUSSIA NOW

    Post  Carol on Tue Dec 28, 2010 11:41 am

    Russia rejects criticism of Khodorkovsky's trial


    Dec 28, 9:54 AM (ET)

    By LYNN BERRY

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    MOSCOW (AP) - Russia's Foreign Ministry on Tuesday fired back at U.S. and European criticism of the second conviction of jailed oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, telling Western leaders to mind their own business.

    Khodorkovsky, a billionaire oligarch who posed a challenge to Vladimir Putin early in his presidency, was convicted Monday of stealing oil from his own company and laundering the proceeds.

    U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton led a chorus of political figures in the United States and Europe in condemning the ruling, saying that it raised "serious questions about selective prosecution and about the rule of law being overshadowed by political considerations."

    The Russian Foreign Ministry said the claims were unfounded and accused the West of trying to put pressure on the court.

    "We expect everyone to mind their own business - at home and in the international arena," the ministry statement said.

    The sentence, expected to be announced before the end of the week, is likely to keep Khodorkovsky behind bars for several more years. The judge on Tuesday continued to read his verdict, a lengthy summary of the 20-month trial.

    The street in front of the courthouse was blocked by police to prevent a repeat of Monday's protest, when a few hundred demonstrators chanted "Freedom!" and "Down with Putin!" at times drowning out the reading of the verdict.

    Judge Vladimir Danilkin has been reading in a low monotone and so quickly that even Khodorkovsky's lawyers sitting directly in front of him say they have had trouble understanding.

    Khodorkovsky's lead lawyer, Vadim Klyuvgant, told reporters at the end of Tuesday's session that so far the verdict has made little sense.

    "Well, I don't know, it might be my personal peculiarities of perception, but, first, it is very difficult to understand what is being uttered, and second, when you do manage to capture something, it is difficult to understand its logic, let alone any grounds for an honest and just assessment."

    The Foreign Ministry said the case against Khodorkovsky and his business partner Platon Lebedev involved "serious charges of tax evasion and money laundering," crimes that are punishable under the law in any country.

    "In the United States, by the way, people are given life sentences for such crimes," the ministry statement said.

    continued at http://apnews.myway.com/article/20101228/D9KCVKCG0.html


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    Re: RUSSIA NOW

    Post  Carol on Tue Dec 28, 2010 12:21 pm

    Tsar Putin orders Microsoft off government computers
    Payback time for insult
    28 Dec 2010 07:54 | by Nick Farrell in Rome

    The Tsar of Russia, Vladimir Putin, has issued a decree calling for Microsoft to be taken off all government computers and replaced by Linux.

    While weirdie beardie open saucers will be cheering, it is worthwhile to point out that Tsar Putin is jolly cross with Microsoft at the moment.

    For a while he had a cracking good method of dealing with people who didn't like him much.

    Coppers would appear on the doorstep of foreign NGOs or dissident organisations and say that they believed that computers in the organisation were using pirated Microsoft software. To make sure everything was pirated, the coppers would take all the computer gear out of an organisation and make it unable to function.

    Microsoft was not aware of the crackdown and when it found out it was furious. What it did was give such groups free licences which meant that Putin's coppers were powerless to nick the computer gear.

    No one is arguing that given the extreme budget problems in Russia, Linux would be the best way forward. However the timing of Putin's announcement sends a message to foreign companies that unless they toe the line, they will lose government contracts in what is a huge market.

    The introduction of Linux in government should begin in the second quarter of 2012. It will mean that every government post in the Russian Federation will be forbidden to hire staff or allocate cash unless they use free software.

    There have been many moves within Russia to attempt to get Open Sauce software accepted. But they have generally fallen flat on their face. With Putin's backing it seems to now be a certainty, unless of course he changes his mind. All it would take is Steve Ballmer on his hands and knees begging for forgiveness and promising never to make the Tsar/Czar/Kaiser/Caesar cross again.

    Read more: http://www.techeye.net/software/tsar-putin-orders-microsoft-off-government-computers#ixzz19QqAjueg
    http://www.techeye.net/software/tsar-putin-orders-microsoft-off-government-computers#ixzz19QR61FxD

    Quote:
    Russia is so poor they cant afford Windows 7 upgrades. Believe me when i say this has nothing to do with hacking, windows is stable and solid in the correct hands and run with the correct hardware.

    All you linux heads have been lied to im afraid. Linux is open source which means that all the code for it is open source. Its not hard to work out what happens when all your coding is available to the world. Half the attacks on linux go unnoticed because you cant tell when its being attacked.


    You haven't got a Xxxxxxxx clue what you're talking about. Windows 7 is bloatware, spaghetti code of the worst kind. People will have no choice upgrading (to something) once Micro$oft end of life XP in a few years. My company still use Win2000, Office2000, Exchange 5.5 and SQL2000, all of which are no longer supported by ANYONE.

    As for open source, you fail to understand that you can view the source code, so millions of eyes can see and fix problems, with Micro$oft, at best "white hats" poke about in the dark finding vulnerabilities, that Micro$oft kindly fix (often breaking something else). Companies and governments can write, customise and compile there own O/S. Unix was around 20 years before Microshit.

    Micro$oft's software is now a mill stone around everyone's neck, because any new developments need to be backwards compatible. If Microsoft start from scratch, everyone would start a migration to open source. Micro$oft is Xxxxxx, and they know it!


    http://www.linuxjournal.com/content/allegations-openbsd-backdoors-may-be-true
    Allegations of OpenBSD Backdoors May be True, Updated
    Dec 22, 2010 By Susan Linton
    It was just last week that Theo de Raadt, OpenBSD founder and developer, posted an email that claimed the Federal Bureau of Investigations paid OpenBSD developers to leave backdoors in its IPSEC network security stack. Since then early audits have found some questionable code, contributors denied any wrongdoing, and the original source reaffirmed his allegations.

    When the original post hit the mailing list December 14, journalists attempted to contact those named in the allegation. Brian Proffitt, FOSS journalist at ITWorld, contacted two individuals by the name given in the original email as participating in the deception and received denials from both. Another named in the email, Jason Wright, answered the posting from de Raadt saying,

    Every urban lengend is made more real by the inclusion of real names, dates, and times. I will state clearly that I did not add backdoors to the OpenBSD operating system or the OpenBSD crypto framework (OCF). The code I touched during that work relates mostly to device drivers to support the framework. I don't believe I ever touched isakmpd or photurisd (userland key management programs), and I rarely touched the ipsec internals (cryptodev and cryptosoft, yes). However, I welcome an audit of everything I committed to OpenBSD's tree. I demand an apology.

    Gregory Perry, original source of de Raadt's information, suggested a review of all the code committed by "Jason Wright and several other developers he worked with originating from NETSEC." de Raadt told iTWire's Sam Varghese that "Until 2 days ago I had no idea that both Jason and Angelos (Keromytis) in the past did work for a company that does that business. And it is true, wow, that company really was in that business! Now they (the company) belong to Verizon."

    continued at link...


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    Re: RUSSIA NOW

    Post  Carol on Wed Dec 29, 2010 4:59 pm


    A volcano in Russia has begun erupting, spurting ash up to four kilometres into the sky.
    Aircraft have been warned against flying in the area around the Kizimen volcano on the Kamchatka Peninsula because of the threat posed to engines by the particles of volcanic ash. B.C. flights cancelled as Russian volcano erupts VANCOUVER - An eight-kilometre-high cloud of ash, spewing from a remote Russian volcano, forced three flights from Vancouver to Asia to be cancelled Monday. "There were a total of three round-trip flights that were affected," said Air Canada spokeswoman Angela Mah.A satellite...

    http://article.wn.com/view/2009/06/16/BC_flights_cancelled_as_Russian_volcano_erupts/

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-12385920


    ~~~

    Putin assails officials over Moscow airport logjam
    Wed Dec 29, 7:49 am ET
    MOSCOW – Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has harshly reprimanded officials over a logjam at Moscow airports and banned all Cabinet ministers from taking leave for the New Year holiday, saying they need to be available in the event of further problems.

    Putin told a Cabinet meeting Wednesday that those in charge of operations at Moscow airport should "stop whining and start working."

    Icy rains over the weekend covered runways and planes with a thick layer of ice and caused a blackout at the capital's largest airport, Domodedovo, which halted all flights for a day. Domodedovo resumed operations Monday, but a backlog of delayed flights left thousands stranded.

    The second-biggest airport, Sheremetyevo, also had dozens of flights canceled or delayed.
    Putin said that top officials shouldn't take their New Year vacation until further notice.
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101229/ap_on_re_eu/eu_russia_airport_delays


    Last edited by Carol on Mon Feb 07, 2011 10:11 pm; edited 2 times in total


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    Re: RUSSIA NOW

    Post  Carol on Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:10 pm


    Russian ships stranded in 30cm thick ice

    Russian ice breakers are battling through 30 centimetre thick ice to reach three ships with over 400 passengers and crew that have been stranded in the north Pacific since December 30. The refrigerator vessel Coast of Hope, Commonwealth and a research vessel Professor radioed for help on after becoming trapped in thick ice on Thursday.

    Local authorities dispatched two ice breakers to help the stricken vessels.

    The Magadan reached the fishing vessels in the Sea of Okhotsk by Sunday evening local time, Russian media reported. But a second, larger, ice breaker, the Makarov, is still two days away.

    continued at link http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/8236090/Russian-ships-stranded-in-30cm-thick-ice.html


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    Re: RUSSIA NOW

    Post  Carol on Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:21 pm

    Personal note: I don't know who is doing Vladimir Putin's PR ops these days but whoever it is should get a gold medal. Vladimir comes across as a multi-talented Renaissance man with a heart of gold. Help name the puppy? Singing and playing the piano just to name a few accomplishments. Amazing.

    Vladimir Putin sings and plays piano with celebrity friends
    Celebrity guests at the fundraiser for children diagnosed with cancer included Sharon Stone, Goldie Hawn and Mickey Rourke. Mr Putin sung Fats Domino's "Blueberry Hill" in English, and also played the Russian song "From Where Does The Motherland Begin" on the piano.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newsvideo/8196192/Vladimir-Putin-sings-and-plays-piano-with-celebrity-friends.html


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    Re: RUSSIA NOW

    Post  Carol on Tue Jan 11, 2011 9:12 pm


    A sensational speech of the famous Russian TV journalist Leonid Parfenov on press freedom in Russia. The speech was delivered at the awards ceremony of Vladislav Listyev Award, a Russian journalist and showman murdered in 1995.

    Russian TV channels censored the speech which however found its audience on the web.

    Translation: Amalia Oganjanyan, Natalia Karbasova


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    Re: RUSSIA NOW

    Post  Carol on Thu Jan 20, 2011 11:13 am

    Alexander Remizov
    The housing of the future as envisioned by Russian architect Alexander Remizov could be constructed quickly, withstand environmental disasters, and house 10,000 people at a time. The eco-friendly dome, 'The Ark,' is designed to withstand biblical flood levels and can be built on land or sea.

    Solar panels and a rainwater collection system are included in the design to provide power and water. A greenhouse-like environment gives lush vegetation and provides oxygen-rich air for the inhabitants.

    “The Ark” can be scaled to house between 50 and 10,000 people. It can be constructed on land and water.

    “The Ark is an attempt to answer the challenges of our time. Provision is made for an independent life support system. All the plants are chosen according to compatibility, illumination and efficiency of oxygen producing, and with the aim of creating an attractive and comfort space. Through the transparent roof there is enough light for plants and for illuminating the inner rooms,” Remizov was quoted saying.




    The Ark on Water


    The Center of the Ark


    Inside Ark

    http://www.batangastoday.com/russian-architect-alexander-remizov-released-a-prototype-design-of-the-ark/8666/
    http://news.yahoo.com/nphotos/Ark-Eco-Building-Future/ss/events/sc/011011theark;_ylt=AuR4y_76CRW94nmoE2szpagPLBIF;_ylu=X3oDMTE3cThmNGwxBHBvcwMzBHNlYwN5bl9zbGlkZXNob3cEc2xrA3RoZWhvdXNpbmdvZg--


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    Re: RUSSIA NOW

    Post  Carol on Fri Jan 28, 2011 11:23 am

    Medvedev Signs U.S.-Russia Nuke Treaty
    Jan. 28, 2011
    New START's Limit on Strategic Nuclear Warheads Will Take Effect Once Ratification Documents Are Exchanged


    (AP) MOSCOW - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Friday signed the ratification of a nuclear arms cut pact with the United States, the centerpiece of President Barack Obama's efforts to reset ties with Moscow.

    The treaty, known as New START, limits each country to 1,550 strategic warheads, down from the current ceiling of 2,200, and also re-establishes a system for monitoring that ended in December 2009 with the expiration of a previous arms deal.

    In a statement to his security council on Friday, Medvedev said the pact will take effect when the ratification documents are exchanged by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and American Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/01/28/world/main7293698.shtml?tag=cbsnewsLeadStoriesAreaMain;cbsnewsLeadStoriesPrimary


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    Re: RUSSIA NOW

    Post  icecold on Sat Jan 29, 2011 8:39 am

    Linux Vs Windows Security analysis...

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/10/22/security_report_windows_vs_linux/


    Russia's relations with Finland have improved. Else this would have happened at an earlier date.
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    Re: RUSSIA NOW

    Post  Carol on Sat Jan 29, 2011 9:48 am

    That's good to know ice. My brother had a forgiven exchange student from Russia and my niece was a foreign exchange student to Russia, so I do have a fond spot for Russia in my heart. Some of what they do - not allowing entire families to travel outside of their nation I don't agree with. I hope that they eventually realize that people want to stay when they are free to travel. You know how it is. Ater traveling one appreciates going home to what's famliar even more. I mention this because one of our young friends could not bring his child when he was going to college here.

    Yet, Russia also has amazing architecture (far superior to the US) and I enjoyed meeting the Russian youth who traveled here.

    If one just steps back and looks at what is going on... people are pretty much the same world over - they just have different cultures and ways of doing things. The biggest headache for all of us world-wide is politics. More often then not those elected or who take control develop inflated egos - then decide they are elitists and everyone else should grovel.

    It is the corruption in politics worldwide that is so utterly galling. I have often thought that if those in politics were required to live in a hovel and drive a beat up car they would serve their fellow man far better then living in grand style off the sweat of those who support them. My motto is 'When the humble serve... the people are served.' Ghandi comes to mind as an excellent example of a humble political figure.


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    Re: RUSSIA NOW

    Post  icecold on Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:35 am

    I am a student of Russian history. I really love the Russian people. I don't give a XXXX about politics,
    Most Russians are joyful, sensitive, mystical people.
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    Re: RUSSIA NOW

    Post  Carol on Tue Feb 08, 2011 7:44 am


    Russian police prepare for major overhaul
    Just weeks after terrorism and extremism again paid a visit to the Russian capital, President Dmitry Medvedev is putting police reform on the fast track.
    Although the fight against corruption inside the police ranks has been a top priority for the Russian president, the outbreak of a racially-motivated riot just outside the walls of the Kremlin, followed later by a savage terrorist attack at Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport has provided yet more impetus for the initiative.
    Medvedev announced the new Police Bill, which will go into effect on March 1.
    While mentioning the January 24 Domodedovo bombing, which killed 36 people and injured 193, the Russian leader slammed public safety issues at a “whole host of facilities” to make his case for broadening police powers “to ensure public safety.”
    "The terrorist attack at Domodedovo Airport has shown that at a whole host of facilities public safety issues are being addressed unprofessionally and absolutely unacceptably,” Medvedev told a group of reporters on Monday as the new bill was announced. “The new law considerably enhances the powers of police structures to ensure security of large public gatherings and examine security of facilities of the infrastructure and their protection against terrorism.”

    The president added that he hoped “the police will use these powers in the most efficient way."
    Medvedev then promised "tough action against any manifestations of extremism and attempts to incite ethnic and religious hatred."

    "Extremists must not be given a slightest chance to destabilize the domestic situation,” he said, “particularly when publicly important events take place."

    read more at http://rt.com/politics/russia-police-medvedev-reform/


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