News 2 July 2010
A Russian Progress spacetug has failed to dock with the International Space Station, either automatically or under manual control from the ISS. Russian and American mission controllers have so far declined to give a timetable of further attempts.
The US hopes Ukraine will improve its energy market, the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Friday, during her visit to Ukraine. Clinton noted that transparency and efficiency of the energy sector will put an end to resonant crisis in the sphere.
Russia and the European Union have postponed a new partnership agreement until after this country’s entry into the World Trade Organization. At the same time, talks about this treaty are going on and should produce preliminary results at the end of their current round on July 22nd.
The Lower House of the Russian Parliament has passed a bill to outlaw insider trading in stocks. Head of the financial markets committee Liana Pepelayeva tells us the measure should strengthen investor confidence.
The new German President Christian Wulff has pledged effort to broaden public involvement in national politics. He was speaking at a Berlin inauguration ceremony Friday two days after being elected to his post in a third round of voting in the Federal Assembly.
Graffiti drawn by the best European creators will cover the walls of Yekaterinburg. The city hosts a street-art festival, featuring 100 graffiti makers from Germany, Russia and Spain. The jury selected 49 sketches out of 150 received.
A state of emergency has been declared in Russia’s republic of Udmurtia (western Urals) hit by severe drought. 40 degrees C heat has killed 140,000 ha of crops in 9 regions. 200 mln rubles will be allocated to make up for the damage.
J acob (Jackie) Selebi, who used to be South Africa's commissioner of police and the president of Interpol, is facing 15 years in prison. He is accused of corruption and accepting bribes worth $157,000.
One person is dead and 11 hurt after a powerful bomb ripped through a Serb rally in Mitrovica in northern Kosovo. The people were protesting at plans by the separatist Kosovo government to open an office in their predominantly Serb-populated neighbourhood. Serbia has condemned the attack as a deliberate provocation.
The Netherlands have defeated the five-times champions Brazil with 2-1 at the FIFA 2010 quarterfinals. Robinho put the ball in the net for Brazil, but the team’s midfielder Felipe Melo scored an own goal. Wesley Sneijder scored for Holland. The Oranje will play either with Uruguay or Ghana at the semifinal.
The leader of Poland’s Civic Platform party, Acting President Bronislaw Komorowski has won a nationally televised debate on the closing day of campaigning ahead of a presidential run-off on Sunday. Polls give him 41 percent. His rival in the race, the leader of the Law and Justice party Jaroslaw Kaczynski has only 37
Russian political establishment thinks the country needs official interpretation of its Soviet past which will put an end to quarrels with the CIS countries. The head of Russia's Duma Foreign Affairs Committee, Konstantin Kosachev set the main guidelines for the new document.
The Russian Lower House’s committee on defence has tabled a bill to mark September 2nd as National End of War Day. On this day in 1945, imperial Japan unconditionally surrendered to the Allied Powers, which included the Soviet Union.
Russia’s efforts in public health have significantly intensified childbirth and increased the average life expectancy from 65 to 69 years. This means they work and must go on. Prime Minister Putin told this to an executive session of his council on priority national programmes in Tambov southeast of Moscow Friday.
Russia ’s President Dmitry Medvedev forwarded his condolences to Pakistan’s president Asif Ali Zardari over Thursday's terrorist attack in the country and urged the international community to fight against global terrorism.
Final counts from last Sunday’s referendum in Kyrgyzstan return a 90-percent ‘yes’ to initiatives to radically devolve power from the presidency to Parliament, endorse the interim administration that took over from the ousted President Kurmanbek Bakiey and make Interim Prime Minister Roza Otunbayeva Acting President for the period to 2012.
Vera Zvonareva and Elena Vesnina have advanced to Wimbledon women’s pair final. They have beaten the Williams sisters and Gisela Dulko/Flavia Pennetta (Argentine, Australia) with 6-3,6-1. On Thursday, Vera Zvonareva also reached the women's singles final. She will play with Serena Williams.
The Lower House of the Russian Parliament has unanimously passed the initial version of a Kremlin bill for business - and R&D-friendly customs and taxation regimes in the planned Russian research and development hub in Skolkovo, in the valley of the River Setun just west of Moscow.
L aurent Blanc has been officially appointed French football team’s coach on Friday. The FFF president Jean-Pierre Escalettes presented Blanc at a press-conference today. The 44-year-old Blanc replaces Raymond Domenech, who resigned after the team’s fail at the FIFA group stage. Blanc broke the contract with Bordeaux club to coach the national team.
Large-scale renovations are to start in Red Square - a symbol of Moscow and Russia - by the end of this year. It means that replacing the famous cobble stones may interfere with the traditional military parade on the 9th of May 2011. A comprehensive reconstruction of Red Square began in spring.
The first night of the opera “Fidelio” by Beethoven staged by the Perm Opera and Ballet Theatre is to take place on the grounds of the History of Political Repressions Museum in Perm on the 3d of July.
Delivering a speech on Thursday, British Foreign Secretary William Hague set out the country’s new national foreign policy concept, based on a more “proactive” diplomacy. The UK’s Foreign policy will become more “active in Europe and across the world,” Mr. Hague pointed out.
Russia ’s prime minister Vladimir Putin has pledged help to the regions hit by drought, during his visit to the Tambov region. Some 200 Russia’s regions and at least 6,3 households were hit by drought. A state of emergency is declared in the suffered regions, including the Volga ones.
Russia’s integration with Pacific Rim economies is high on the country’s economic agenda, and Russia’s Far East should be the first to do so. A statement to that effect came from President Medvedev as he spoke in Khabarovsk. Russia’s Far East boasts vast natural resources and good prospects for development.
US Ambassador to Russia, John Beyrle, hopes to see concrete achievements in bilateral relations. This came in a statement in the run-up to the 4th of July, Independence Day. The Ambassador said bilateral relations have significantly improved since last year.
The Economic Court of the Commonwealth of Independent States has scheduled a hearing on a demand by Belarus that Russia must sell oil to it duty-free. The suit will be looked into on September 7th. At the same session Friday, the Court threw out a Belarusian request to fast-track the case.
Poland is making preparations for the presidential run-off. It is very hard to say now who will be Poland’s new head of state: acting leader Bronislaw Komorowski or the leader of the opposition party “Law and Justice” and the former prime minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski.
Red Line: this week we discuss Belgian crisis & EU, the role of Russia in modern world and Michael Jackson's life after death
The Ukrainian Parliament has passed a law on the principles of domestic and foreign policy, which provides for dropping the country’s NATO membership bid and thus officially enshrines Ukraine’s nonaligned status. Kiev now intends to integrate into the European and regional collective security systems without joining any military-political alliances.
The star tenor Placido Domingo has been singing baritone for the first time in Verdi's "Simon Boccanegra" at the Royal Opera House. The singer said he wanted to expand his repertoire by singing different voice parts.
“A historic choice for Russia” is how Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has described the creation of a trilateral customs union by Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus.
In the period before January, Russia and Ukraine may create a joint gas company. The assets would be Russian gas and Ukrainian transit pipelines. The company would operate the pumping of Russian natural gas to Europe across Ukrainian territory. Ukraine’s First Deputy Premier Andrei Kluyev told this to an investment forum of CIS bankers in Moscow on Friday.
US President Barack Obama has signed what he calls the toughest sanctions in history against Tehran. The sanctions are meant to cripple Iran’s ability to develop and finance its nuclear pogramme. The sanctions are to apply to companies dealing with the Revolutionary Guards of Iran.
The FIFA has threatened Nigeria's Football Team with disqualification if the country's president Goodluck Jonathan doesn't recall his decree banning the team to participate in international games for two years. This came from a FIFA representative. FIFA Charter does not allow political interference from governments.
A Latvian citizen, Uldis Freimanis, will face trial, accused of Nazi propaganda. On Thursday, he arranged a parade in Riga marking the anniversary of the 1941 Nazi’s invasion into Latvia. Latvia’s Interior Minister Linda Murniece told the Baltkom radio station that the event was aimed at dishonoring Latvia.
Russia ’s State Duma has approved a law banning drink driving. Russia’s Traffic Safety Laws and Code of Administrative Offences will be also amended in this respect. The decree bans driving under the influence of alcohol and other drugs.
Russia’s role in the 45th International Film Festival in the Czech city of Karlovy Vary, from the 2nd to the 10th of July, is participation in two competition and one non-competition programmes and also membership in the panel of judges.
Estelle Winters interviews Konstantin von Eggert, Carnegie Moscow Center expert.
Only objections by the three Baltics lie in the way of visa-free travel between Russia and the European Union. The Russian EU Ambassador Vladimir Chizhov told this to Russian and European networks in a television link between Moscow and Brussels on Friday.
The Polish presidential candidates Bronislaw Komorowski and Jaroslaw Kaczynski are running virtually neck-and-neck as their country winds up campaigning ahead of run-off presidential elections on Sunday. The outcome is hinged on choices by a small minority of voters who still remain undecided. The hopefuls differ on domestic affairs but largely agree on foreign policy matters.
Russia's ascension to the World Trade Organization and the Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation will help to improve democracy in the country, the U.S. Department of State said in its report 'Advancing Freedom and Democracy.
The President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has criticized Moldova for establishing a solemn remembrance occasion on the anniversary of what the Moldovan authorities call the annexation of their country by the Soviet Union.
12 Serbs have been injured in a blast in the city of Kosovska Mitrovica during a rally. Protesters are against Kosovo’s Albanian authorities’ plans to open their office in the Serb dominated part of Mitrovica. The explosion is believed to be caused by a bomb
The agenda of the 4th Pacific Economic Congress in Vladivostok on the 2nd and 3rd of July focuses, among other issues, on the economic development of the Russian Far East. Russia’s Far East should become incorporated in global economy. And it boasts years-long experience of successful cooperation with the region’s major economies.
The third phase of the deep-sea expedition to Lake Baikal, involving the use of “Mir-1” and “Mir-2” submersibles is underway.
The Seliger-2010 International Educational Youth Forum is currently underway in the Tver Region (July 1st to 28th). Tens of thousands of young people from all parts of Russia meet in the summer tented camp on the bank of the picturesque Seliger Lake. An international shift will be held there for the first time this year.
The forces of motorized rifle brigade of the Far East military district have conducted a special training operation on liquidation of insurgent groups.
Arab countries are set to have a Palestinian State created before the end of this year, says the Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit. The ongoing indirect talks between Palestinians and Israelis can’t be seen as serious, Gheit told an international conference on the future of the Palestinian Autonomy in Paris on Thursday.
The European Commission launched an anti-dumping probe into wireless modems imported from China, the Interfax news agency reported. According to an official with China's Commence Ministry the introduction of protective sanctions by the EU will concern about 1,000 Chinese companies and will cost them more than $4 billion.
The US Congress has approved a bill on funding President Barack Obama’s new strategy for Afghanistan and has allocated 33 billion dollars for the purpose. Under the strategy the United States will send an additional 30,000 troops to the Asian country.
For two weeks every July, Colmar, a small sunny town in the eastern French province of Alsace, becomes sort of a Mecca for music lovers and one of Europe’s summer cultural highlights.
Google Inc has said that one of its web search features has been blocked in China. This is the result of on going standoff between the company and the Chinese authorities. However, some experts insist that Google has triggered the conflict. Tensions between the U.S.
Three blasts rocked a mosque in Lahore, in the east of Pakistan, during the prayer time on Thursday. At least 42 people are said to have been killed. Another 175 are reported injured.
The Russian female athletes won gold and bronze medals at the European Women Freestyle Wrestling Championship for juniors (athletes younger than 20) in Samokov, Bulgaria, RIA-Novosti reported.
The World Wife-Carrying Championship opens in the small town of Sonkajärvi in Finland. This year the unique
Gazprom and Beltransgaz have signed a supplement to the contract for Russian gas transit via Belarus. The parties agreed the rate of payment at 1.88 dollars per 1,000 cubic metres per each 100 kilometres. The rate will remain effective until the end of this year. Earlier Gazprom paid Belarus 1.45 dollars.
Development of the Pacific region of Russia is the subject of an economic congress to be held in Vladivostok on the 2nd and 3d of July. The agenda contains numerous issues, such as versions of post-crisis development, Russia’s strategy of entering the Asian markets and cooperation with the Asian-Pacific countries.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has visited a furniture factory in Birobidzhan, in the Russian Far East, and has also been shown local small business-made products. He says he is now certain that the products in question are by no means inferior to those from the neighbouring China.
It is only possible to get rid of corruption and shady businesses by changing the performance of the law enforcement bodies and the Russians’ attitude towards the situation, says the Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.
The six international mediators on the Iranian nuclear program are scheduled to meet in Brussels on Friday, July 3 rd . This initiative came from Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. The six-party negotiations traditionally involve five permanent UN Security Council members - Germany, Russia, China, France, the UK and the USA, plus Germany.
Ankara intends to seek satisfaction of its demands following the Israeli attack on the humanitarian aid convoy in the Mediterranean, said Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.
On July 2, Vladivostok, Russia's largest port city on the Pacific Ocean and the administrative center of Primorsky region marks its 150 anniversary. Founded as a naval outpost it gradually grew into a city with population of 600,000, an industrial, scientific and cultural center.
Dmitry Medvedev has become the first Russian head of state to visit Birobidjan, the capital of Russia’s Jewish Autonomous Region. He will meet with members of the business community and attend a series of meetings at the city’s cultural center, synagogue and furniture factory.
Most printed media are focused on the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. According to the Vremya Novostei
Kyrgyz interim government’s head Roza Otunbayeva will serve as president of the transitional period until the end of 2011. This came in a statement by Chairman of the republic’s Central Election Commission Akylbek Sariyev, when he declared the official results of the referendum on Kyrgyzstan’s new Constitution.
A pensioner from Russia's Black Sea resort of Sochi plans to reach North Pole by car. Driving his old Volga former taxi-driver Alexander Patrushev travelled half of Russia and now wants to see "the world's end".
The summer heat hits the regions of South and Central Russia. In particular in the Penza region the heat killed the harvest on the half of all plough lands and the Nizhny Novgorod region the hot weather caused forest fires. The sun is also baking Germany, Spain and France where the temperature has reached +40º C
A Russian film week opened in Vienna late Thursday. The program of the "Classics and avant-garde" mini film festival includes six Russian films made in the last three years both by renowned directors and young and talented filmmakers. The screening takes place in the Burg Kino film theater in the center of the Austrian capital.
Toyota recalls 270,000 cars due to engine flaws, ITAR-TASS reported Friday. The recall will cost $220 million to the Japanese company. In particular the company recalls 137,000 Lexus cars produced in 2006-2008.
Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov has urged Russian citizens not to buy Moldovan goods produced in protest against the decision of the Moldovan government to announce June 28 as the Soviet Occupation Day. The boycott of the Moldovan goods should continue until the Moldovan authorities abolish their decision and apologize to the Moldovans and Russian citizens, Luzhkov said.
Ukraine has made a final decision not to join NATO. Ukraine’s Parliament approved a law Thursday night on the fundamentals of home and foreign policy that provides for the country’s non-aligned status.
A railroad blast in Dagestan has derailed 10 freight cars and injured two people. According to the local law enforcement agencies, the explosion proved so powerful that it made the carriages pile up. T he blast damaged the nearby power transmission line, bringing railway traffic to a halt, specifically two passenger and three goods trains.
Eight coalminers were rescued earlier today from a flooded mine in the Shansi province, in Northern China, where they had been blocked for 35 hours. A total of 23 people were in the Changping coalmine when it began to be flooded by surface water following torrential rain. 14 miners managed to make their way out on their own.
Barack Obama has approved fresh sanctions against Iran to stiffen the Islamic Republic’s international isolation and limit Tehran’s fuel imports. The White House claims that the sanctions aim at preventing Iran from developing its nuclear programme and the creation by Tehran of ballistic missiles.
The first games of the world football championships quarterfinals are due in South Africa today. Holland will take on Brazil, while Uruguay will play with Ghana. The Dutch are not seen as the favourites of the championships.
Dmitry Medvedev has come out for boosting Russia’s role in Asia and the Pacific. Russia has a perfectly strong position in the APEC, SCO, ASEAN and BRIC international alliances, Medvedev told a Khabarovsk meeting on the development of the Russian Far East.
Eugene Nikitenko interviews Nick Anstee, Lord Mayor of the City of London, on the idea of Financial Center in Moscow. NIKITENKO : To begin with, Mr. Anstee spoke about his itinerary and things he has succeeded in doing so far here.
Russian President Medvedev signed the amended law on concessional agreements. Speaking at meeting on the development of Russia’s Far East in the Asia-Pacific the Russian President noted that the amendment targeted reaching an agreement in communal management and reaching a consensus between government and municipal organizations.
Iran’s Ministry of Defence says Tehran is ready to start manufacturing long-range missiles to protect the country from the likely outside attacks. The decision was voiced amid Russia’s halt in supplies of its S-300 rockets to Iran as part of the new sanctions.
The New York district Court heard the cases of four out of ten detained on charges of espionage for Russia. The court ruled to release Vicky Pelaez on bail. The judge explained the decision by Pelaez’s straightforward acknowledgment of her true citizenship and name. She will now remain at home under electronic surveillance.
Pakistan’s eastern city Lahore was rocked by a triple powerful blasts on July 1st leaving at least 41 dead and over 120 injured. The explosions were set off by suicide bombers at one of the shrines visited by both Sunni and Shia communities.