28 December 2012, 15:58

Bailiffs prepare for community service, Russians can’t get enough sleep

Bailiffs prepare for community service, Russians can’t get enough sleep
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Hello and welcome to the Daily Press Review with me, Peter Lekarev. Today and every day we're looking at some of the highlights from the world of the Russian press. *** Izvestia reports that the controversial law aimed to clamp down on unsanctioned rallies will enter a new phase in 2013.

Hello and welcome to the Daily Press Review with me, Peter Lekarev. Today and every day we're looking at some of the highlights from the world of the Russian press.

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Izvestia reports that the controversial law aimed to clamp down on unsanctioned rallies will enter a new phase in 2013. The Federal Bailiff Service prepares to supervise the soon to be introduced punitive measure – community service. As of next year, activists detained during unsanctioned events instead of paying fines may be sentenced to sweep the very streets they wanted to march on, clean municipal buildings, assist at hospitals and other budget-run establishments. The article notes that the decision of introducing this new kind of punishment created an experience void among the ranks of the Service – thus bailiffs decided to adopt practices long used by the Federal Penitentiary Service – the difference is that the Penitentiary Service applies these measures for convicts sentenced for violating the criminal code, whereas the Bailiff Service deals with administrative violations and punitive measures. The article notes that after sentencing, bailiffs will have 10 days to “employ” transgressors – contactt local authorities, request a list of organizations which would most benefit from free workforce and make the arrangements. The article notes that opposition leaders believe these decision will likely by politically motivated – the most dirty jobs will be assigned to most vocal detained activists.

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Chairman of the State Duma Sergei Naryshkin has asked Dmitry Medvedev to review the issue of daylight savings time – and he’s not alone. Moskovskiy Komsomolets writes that some NGOs claim the decision to cancel the change from winter time to summer time and back was basically an experiment on the people of Russia, done without their consent. The article reminds that back in 2003 67 federation subjects of Russia asked State Duma deputies to abolish daylight savings time – but instead, in 2011 it was decided to not switch *from* DST – that means that the country is stuck on ‘summer time’ all year long. Given another historic time-related decision made in 1930, the article explains that during winter Russians are two hours ahead of the “biological time”. Alexander Saverskiy, head of the All Russian NGO “League of patient's advocates” explains that’s why citizens can’t seem to get enough sleep – this ‘Kremlin-time alarm clock’ is unnatural. Medical experts claim this leads to numerous negative manifestations, including aggravation of chronic physical and psychological conditions and even an increased cancer rate. Thus patient’s advocacy organizations have filed a suit with the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation, claiming that abolishment of “winter time” is unconstitutional due to the ‘involuntary experiment’ and leads to health hazards for the general population.

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It’s the season for giving – in Russia, presents are given not on Christmas, but on New Year’s – currently the country is in a state of last-minute shopping spree for both gifts and groceries for the festivities. Novye Izvestia tried to find out what Russians like to give and receive and whether trends have changed over the years. While international retailers highlight the fundamental sweep of gift preferences to gadgets such as tablets and smartphones, even for kids, Russians are a bit more conservative, but the dynamics are the same. According to a poll conducted by the Mail.Ru group, 89% of Russians would like to find a trendy device under the New Year’s tree – 33% hope for a table, 22% prefer something smaller, like a cellphone. However, it seems these expectations will not be fulfilled. The All-Russia Public Opinion Research Center has found out that 35% of Russians will give souvenirs for presents. 29% - gourmet foods, chocolates and candies; 24% - toys; 23% - toiletry products, makeup and fashion jewelry. Only 6% of respondents plan to give electronics – home appliances, at that. 4% are willing to spend on cameras, media players and entertainment titles and only 1 in 100 Russians will give smart gadgets. Overall, a typical Russian family will spend about 7500 rubles this holiday season.

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Rossiyskaya Gazeta also has an article dedicated to the upcoming festivities. Chief Sanitary Inspector of Russia Gennady Onishenko warns to not overdo it with the drinking and even not drink alcohol at all preferably. The daily also looks back at of the bans spearheaded by the health official, including Georgian wines and mineral water, Czech spirits and Ukranian cheeses – while the latter have been recently cleared for import, Russians will have to ring in the new year without some of their favorite wines and infusions. The Chief Sanitary Inspector also plans to help Russians quit their vices next year – his hopes lie with the upcoming bills, prohibiting smoking in public places and sale of alcohol in small shops. As far as celebrations go, it’s best to pass not just on drinking, but on beach trips as well – another favorite activity this time of year. Quote “The decade of horror – New Year’s festivities – is upon us. Don’t binge eat and drink, think of your health. Spend more time outside and with your close ones and less time in front of the TV” unquote. He added that taking a short trip to tropical resorts, resulting in deteriorated physical and psychological states upon arrival back home, is no better than drinking,

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That's all for today. Thanks for listening; this was the daily Press Review with me, Peter Lekarev. Tune in tomorrow for fresh news from the Russian press.

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