New COVID-19 Strain Identified in Six More American States

Plot of a novel coronavirus pandemic that spread from China

A new strain of coronavirus 'omicron' was identified in six more American states, Interfax reports.

It is reported that the states of New Jersey, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, Pennsylvania and Utah have informed about the appearance of a new version.

Earlier, “ ; omicron & raquo; was recorded in California, Colorado, Minnesota, New York and Hawaii.

Meanwhile, New York authorities believe that a new strain of coronavirus is already spreading in the city. The City Hall said in a statement that the omicron-strain-infected patient, & nbsp; found & nbsp; in Minnesota, attended a conference in New York. As a result, the City has reiterated its call on New Yorkers to get vaccinated and wear masks in public. & Nbsp;


In Moscow and the Moscow region announced the yellow level of weather hazard

The press service of the Hydrometeorological Center reported that a yellow hazard level due to wind has been declared in Moscow and the region.

“ Yellow & mdash; the weather is potentially dangerous '', & mdash; the message says.

It is noted that gusts of wind can reach 15 meters per second.

The service clarified that in Moscow the warning is valid until 20.00 Saturday, in the area & mdash; until Saturday 12.00.

Also in the region there is a warning of ice until Sunday 12.00.

Earlier & nbsp; scientific director of the Hydrometeorological Center of Russia Roman & nbsp; Vilfand told what winter will be in European Russia. He noted that the fluctuations are associated with global warming. According to the forecaster, temperatures are expected to be five degrees above normal in the central part of European Russia at the very end of November. At the same time, in the north of European Russia, frosts can reach minus 20 degrees.


NASA will give SpaceX three contracts with Boeing for the delivery of people to the ISS

The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration intends to conclude a contract for three additional deliveries of astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) on SpaceX spacecraft, Interfax reports.

Reportedly that NASA plans to conclude a contract with SpaceX on a non-competitive basis. & nbsp; According to the contract between SpaceX and NASA, the last announced flight to the ISS on the Crew Dragon spacecraft is scheduled for March 2023. & nbsp;

Earlier it was reported that the astronauts Anton Shkaplerov and Petr Dubrov & nbsp; will conduct a training & nbsp; on manual docking of the nodal module “ Science '' on the ISS. & nbsp; Recall that on January 19, a spacewalk is planned, during which the cosmonauts will connect the “ Berth '' to the station, and on March 18, the & nbsp; first manned spacecraft Soyuz will dock to it.


Rocket “Zircon” for nuclear submarines can be put into service with the Russian Navy in 2025

A source close to the RF Ministry of Defense said that the latest hypersonic cruise missiles Zircon for submarines it is planned to put into service the Russian Navy in 2025, reports TASS.

“ State tests of Zircon '' for the nuclear submarine will be roughly completed in 2025. The first full-time carrier of Zircons will take part in them. – Perm. At the same time, it is planned that the boat, along with missiles, will enter service with the Russian Navy '', & mdash; he said.

Earlier it was reported that the Russian Navy & nbsp; first tested the Zircon rocket & nbsp; from a nuclear submarine. Zircon hypersonic cruise missile capable of reaching speeds of about 9 Mach numbers and hitting sea and ground targets at a distance of more than 1,000 km.

At the end of September, it was reported that the flight design tests of the Zircon were completed. from the frigate Admiral Gorshkov. In the summer, the same ship successfully fired a hypersonic missile at a ground target located on the coast of the Barents Sea. & Nbsp;


How much will Russia sell to India the right to produce a Kalashnikov assault rifle?

Weekly “Arguments and Facts” # 48. Not cheap help 01/12/2021 Expert's answer 1 + –

In & nbsp; this year, the parties are going to sign contract for 590 & nbsp; million & nbsp; dollars, providing for the production of 680 & nbsp; thous. AK-203 for & nbsp; India, in & nbsp; t. & Nbsp; h. on & nbsp; its territory.

'It's a good deal, & nbsp; & ndash; thinks director of the Center for Analysis of Strategies and & nbsp; Technologies Ruslan & shy; Pukhov . & nbsp; & ndash; With & nbsp; taking into account the fact that the market for small arms is oversaturated with all sorts of copies of the AK, to sell the plant for & nbsp; production of this & shy; assault rifle & nbsp; & ndash; unconditional luck. To & nbsp; besides, to produce AK completely and & nbsp; India will not be able to immediately. First, 70 & nbsp; thous. Will be delivered there. purely Russian AK. In & nbsp; for 2 & ndash; 3 & nbsp; years, the share of Russian parts will be reduced to & nbsp; 20 & ndash; 30%, and & nbsp; only after that it will be possible to talk about & nbsp; Indian AK. All this time Russia will receive royalties from & nbsp; India. In & nbsp; Soviet times, AK was issued under a & nbsp; license in & nbsp; 12 & nbsp; countries, but their validity period has expired. Currently, only & nbsp; Armenia, Azerbaijan and & nbsp; Venezuela have licenses.


Forecasters told about the weather in Moscow on December 4

On Saturday, December 4, Muscovites will experience cloudy and frosty weather with icy ice, according to the website of the Hydrometeorological Center of Russia.

According to forecasters, the daytime temperature in the capital will be from minus three to zero degrees. On Sunday night it will get colder to minus seven degrees.

South-west wind, 5-10 m/s, in places with gusts up to 15 m/s. Atmospheric pressure & ndash; 740 mm of mercury.

In the Moscow region, it is predicted from four degrees of frost to plus one degree, at night the thermometers can drop to minus 10 degrees.

Recall that in the Moscow region on Saturday announced yellow danger level due to the wind, in addition, the region has a warning of ice.

Earlier it became known that the first day of winter in the city was the snowiest in the last five years. & nbsp;


A rock blow occurred at a mine in the Sverdlovsk region

A rock burst last night occurred at the Cheremukhovskaya mine. Deep '' in the village of Cheremukhovo, Sverdlovsk region, TASS reports.

As the press service of the EMERCOM of Russia specified, no one was injured as a result of the seismic event, the mine is operating normally.

The depth of the mine is 1, 5 km, it is considered the second deepest in Russia.

Earlier, the Federation Council announced its intention to strengthen the responsibility of the management and owners of mines for violations of safety.


Is it true that they want to reburial Stalin at the Novodevichy cemetery?

The weekly “Argumenty i Fakty” No. 48. Not cheap help 01/12/2021 Expert's answer 0 + –

lawyer of a man named & nbsp; Selim Bensaad , who calls himself Stalin's great-grandson (the grandson of Yakov Dzhugashvili ). He asks to restore “ historical justice '' and & nbsp; to fulfill the posthumous will of the Secretary General, and & nbsp; along the way to find out the reasons for his death. According to & nbsp; he said, during his lifetime, Stalin said that he wanted to be buried in the & nbsp; Novo & shy; girl's cemetery.

“ This person will have the legal right to demand the exhumation and & nbsp; reburial of Stalin if he presents evidence that he is really his great grandson, & nbsp; & ndash; says historian, writer Roy Medvedev . & nbsp; & ndash; As for the re & nbsp; burial, the necropolis at the & nbsp; Kremlin wall next to the & nbsp; Mausoleum was considered the most honorable for & nbsp; revolutionaries. When they wanted to humiliate Khrushchev, they decided to bury him not there, but & nbsp; on Novodevichy. I think Stalin himself in & nbsp; a similar situation would have been sharply opposed, although his wife Nadezhda Alliluyeva rests on & nbsp; Novodevichy and & nbsp ;.


What sanctions were demanded by Ukraine, Lithuania and Poland, and what Moscow responded

Vilnius, Warsaw and Kiev demanded tougher sanctions against Russia because of the “aggression against Ukraine.” In particular, they called for the introduction of measures against the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. What did Russia answer to this – in the video of RBK


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Putin and South African President discussed the fight against the omicron strain of coronavirus

The heads of state also talked about the Russia-Africa summit, BRICS and trade and economic cooperation

Cyril Ramaphosa and Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke on the phone with his South African counterpart Cyril Ramaphosa, the press service reported Kremlin.

The heads of the two countries agreed to “ join forces in the fight against the pandemic '' coronavirus, “ especially in light of the identification of a new omicron strain.

Putin and Ramaphosa also discussed preparations for the Russia summit & mdash; Africa, interaction within the BRICS and trade and economic cooperation.

The discovery of a new strain of coronavirus in South Africa and Botswana was reported by British scientists at the end of November. WHO warned of the danger of a new variant of the virus, dubbed the omicron: due to mutations in the spike protein, it can be more infectious than others.

In Russia, no cases of infection with the omicron strain have yet been identified. The country has introduced a 14-day quarantine for arrivals from South Africa and neighboring countries. Since November 28, Russia has restricted entry from South Africa, several other African countries and Hong Kong. The restrictions also apply to foreigners who have visited these places over the past ten days.

Putin instructed the government to develop an action plan to combat the omicron strain by December 7. He called for special attention to be paid to improving the effectiveness of vaccines.

On December 3, two arrivals from South Africa were diagnosed with coronavirus infection. It is not specified what strain the passengers were infected with, which airport they flew to and how many people were on board with them.


Khinshtein was removed from the list of Turchak’s deputies in the “United Russia”

Secretary of the General Council of “United Russia” Andrei Turchak proposed six candidates for the position of his deputies. Among them there was no Deputy Alexander Khinshtein and Senator Andrey Klimov

Alexander Khinshtein

At a meeting of the Presidium of the General Council of United Russia approved the candidacies of six deputy secretaries of the General Council Andrei Turchak, RBC correspondent reports.

Among the candidates proposed by Turchak, there were no deputies Alexander Khinshtein, Evgeny Revenko, Dmitry Kobylkin and Senator Andrey Klimov.

Among the deputy secretaries of the General Council were left:

  • the head of the United Russia faction in the State Duma Vladimir Vasiliev;
  • Deputy Head of the Government Staff Alexander Gribov;
  • Deputy Speaker of the State Duma Anna Kuznetsova;
  • Senator Sergei Perminov;
  • an employee of the administration President Daria Lantratova.

Also as head of the executive committee of United Russia approved the acting head of the party's executive committee Alexander Sidyakin, whose candidacy was also proposed by Turchak.

On Saturday, December 4, Turchak was unanimously re-elected secretary of the party's general council. 134 members of the General Council voted for him, and his formal opponent, the head of the Voronezh branch of United Russia, Vladimir Netesov received zero votes.

The head of the party, Dmitry Medvedev, who has held this post since 2012, was also re-elected for a new five-year term.

In addition, United Russia updated the composition of the supreme and general councils. Thus, director Fyodor Bondarchuk and Deputy Defense Minister Yunus-Bek Yevkurov were removed from the Supreme Council.

Among the new members of the Supreme Council: director Vladimir Mashkov, head physician of the hospital in Kommunarka Denis Protsenko, Deputy Speaker of the State Duma Sergei Neverov and vice prime & mdash; Plenipotentiary of the President in the Far Eastern Federal District Yuri Trutnev.

Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matvienko, State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin, State Duma Deputy Speaker Alexei Gordeev and Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin remained in the Supreme Council. , Governor of the Kaliningrad Region Anton Alikhanov, Governor of Sevastopol Mikhail Razvozhaev.

Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke positively about how United Russia; proved itself in the elections to the State Duma in September.

“ I think that United Russia '' She proved herself worthily in rather difficult, in many ways extraordinary conditions of the election campaign, withstood a tough, open competition and won confidently, with a solid advantage '', '' mdash; he noted.

On the eve of United Russia changed more than ten heads of regional offices, and among the new secretaries, most of & mdash; heads of regions.

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Shoigu unveiled a monument to Marshal Vasilevsky

The monument to Marshal of the Soviet Union Alexander Vasilevsky was opened on December 4 in Moscow, near the building of the Ministry of Defense on Frunzenskaya embankment. The ceremony was attended by Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Assistant to the President of Russia, Chairman of the Russian Military Historical Society Vladimir Medinsky. “The headquarters trusted him with the most responsible sectors of the front,” Shoigu said about Vasilevsky. “… He possessed indomitable energy, deep strategic thinking, knew how to defeat the enemy with the least losses and in a short time.”

Shoigu laid a bouquet of red roses at the foot of the monument.

The military leader is depicted in field uniform, with an overcoat draped over his shoulder, at his desk above the maps of military operations. As conceived by the sculptor, the lamp on the marshal's desk lights up at nightfall and illuminates the maps of the Manchurian operation. The authors of the project are a group of sculptors and architects of the Studio of military artists named after M.B. Grekov.


Nazarbayev told why Kazakhstan did not recognize Crimea as Russian

Photo: Still from video

The first president of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, spoke in the film“ Kazakh. The story of a golden man ”, which is based on an interview with Oliver Stone that at one time he did not recognize Crimea as Russian because then he would have to recognize the independence of Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Kosovo. Nazarbayev stressed that Kosovo appealed to him about the recognition of independence.

However, in 2014, Kazakhstan did not take the side of Ukraine. According to Nazarbayev, a coup took place in Kiev. “I love Ukraine, I studied there and am worried about what is happening,” the politician added.

Let us remind you that Nazarbayev headed Kazakhstan from 1991 to 2019. Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev became his successor. However, within the country, Nazarbayev still enjoys great authority.

It should be noted that not a single post-Soviet republic has ever recognized the reunification of Crimea with Russia. Recently, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko said that Crimea is Russian, and even announced his readiness to visit it, but for this he needs an “invitation”.


What secrets keeps the personal life of Olaf Scholz, who replaced Merkel

Like the previous head of the German government, the new chancellor has no children

On Wednesday, December 8, the 16-year “era of Angela Merkel” officially ends in Germany. On this day, the winner of the September parliamentary elections, Olaf Scholz, is to be confirmed as Federal Chancellor. A lot has been said about him as a politician in recent months, but his personal life is often left behind the scenes.

Olaf Scholz. Photo:

In the English-language Wikipedia, the personal life of 63-year-old Olaf Scholz contains only a couple of lines: “Olaf Scholz is married to Britta Ernst, a supporter of the SPD policy. The couple lived in the Altona district of Hamburg before moving to Potsdam in 2018. Scholz belonged to the mainstream Protestant Evangelical Church in Germany, but later left it, and his current religious beliefs are unknown. ”

In principle, this is not surprising. At one time, Olaf Scholz was awarded the nickname “Scholzomat”, which is intended to reflect his boring robotic image of a technocrat. And what is interesting, this was long before he took the positions of Vice-Chancellor and Minister of Finance of the Federal Republic of Germany. This is one side of the coin, and the other is that the German politician has a reputation for being meticulous, confident and extremely ambitious.

Be that as it may, secrecy and non-publicity did not prevent Scholz from quietly building his political career in the Social Democratic Party and at the state level, rising from step to step – and finally getting the “main prize”, the post of Federal Chancellor. Olaf Scholz himself admitted that he was “not one of those who show special emotions in politics.” And this calmness helped him to resist when it was storming around.

And of course, pragmatism is also part of the Scholze style. Occupying high posts in the government of Merkel, Social Democrat Scholz maintained close relations with the Chancellor and even sought to position himself as her true successor, despite the fact that they are from different parties. It is no coincidence that he even used the “trademark” Merkelian gesture, folding his fingers in the form of a diamond.

The image is a way, but nothing is alien to human politics. However, he respects his privacy and his family members very strictly.

The German press sparingly reports that Olaf Scholz's parents are divorced and live in Hamburg. He has two brothers: Jens, 62, (an anesthesiologist) and Ingo, 60 (an information technology entrepreneur). The three brothers agreed not to talk about each other publicly and to keep family life a secret, Scholz himself said in September in one of his election speeches.

But Olaf Scholz did not keep his income secret. In an interview with Bild in June 2021, he told how much he earns: “A good 200,000 euros gross per year.” As Abendzeitung Munchen writes, this means that he is considered rich in Germany, so he wants to change the tax system as chancellor. “I think it's right when someone with a high income like me pays more taxes,” Scholz said.

For more than twenty years, the politician has been a family man who has tied the knot with a party comrade: in 1998, Olaf Scholz married SPD activist Britta Ernst, who is three years younger than him. In addition, they are also fellow countrymen – although the new German Chancellor was born (unlike his wife, who was born in Hamburg) in Osnabrück, both of them spent their childhood in Hamburg and began their political careers there. According to the German press, Scholz and Ernst have known each other since their student days, having met at the Union of Young Socialists and Socialists in the Yuzos SPD.

After graduating from high school, Britta Ernst received a professional education in real estate and housing construction, and then became the holder of a degree in social economics.

Britta Ernst has been an active member of the Social Democratic Party since the late seventies. As she said in an interview, she “socialized in a typical social democratic way” through her parents, a carpenter father and a mother who was educated as a seamstress.

In the early 1990s, Britta worked as a member of the District Assembly Hamburg district of Altona, then was a personal adviser to social democratic politicians.

And since 1997, Britta Ernst was a member of the Hamburg parliament, represented the SPD in the school affairs committee, the scientific committee and the special committee “Street Children”. Over time, she focused primarily on the school and educational sphere – not surprising given that, according to her, he once dreamed of becoming a teacher or naturalist.

From 2001 to 2006, she was the deputy leader of the parliamentary group from the SPD faction and the representative of school politics. Her political priorities are school and educational policy, as well as equality between women and men. From 2006 to early 2011, Ernst was the parliamentary director of her group.

When her husband won the regional elections in Hamburg in 2011 and became burgomaster of the Hanseatic city, Ernst could not have been a senatorial spouse for Britta. speech. At the same time, the protocol role of the first lady of Hamburg categorically did not suit a woman who prefers to deal with real issues. She had to leave Hamburg politics.

In September 2014, she was appointed Minister of Schools and Vocational Education of the state of Schleswig-Holstein. But after the defeat of the SPD in the local elections in 2017, she lost her ministerial post. Britta Ernst later became Minister of Education in Brandenburg from September 2017. And in 2021 she became the president of the Conference of Ministers of Education, which unites the heads of educational departments of the federal states of Germany. As the broadcaster ZDF noted, this is an important position, especially during the coronavirus pandemic: “In the end, no other topic was discussed more emotionally and controversially in times of isolation than education policy.”

So from a certain point of view, there is no reason to consider Britta Ernst just the wife of a famous politician – given her ministerial background, the personal political weight of the future “first Frau of Germany” is quite comparable to her husband.

In one of his interviews, Olaf Scholz spoke about his marriage: “Britta is the unchanging love of my life. Offices come and go, but love remains. ”

Now that Scholz becomes the head of the German federal government, the question of his wife’s professional future arises.

Even before the elections to the Bundestag, Scholz was asked whether his wife would continue to work if he was appointed Chancellor. At the end of July, in a speech for the women's magazine Brigitte, he sharply stated, taking the opportunity to highlight his wife's successful political career, “This is a question that pisses me off. I don’t know if men who are spouses will also be asked about this. ”

In an interview with Bunte, Olaf Scholz said that he and his wife had“ equal relations ”:“ But I would not have problems if my wife played the main professional role. ”

It is not known whether Britta Ernst will continue her political career in Potsdam, becoming the wife of the Federal Chancellor, since none of the spouses of the head of government did without representative tasks (and even Angela Merkel's husband, Professor Joachim Sauer, had to keep his wife company when traveling to various summits ). So more or less serious changes cannot be avoided. By the way, both Merkel and Sauer and Olaf Scholz and Britta Ernst have no children.

Obviously, the new “first Frau FRG” is unlikely to be the heroine of the gossip column. Moreover, even in the old days, the couple carefully kept their professional distance in public.

During this year's election campaign, Olaf Scholz, who is generally extremely cautious about his private life, gave away several “secrets.” For example, he said that it was at the insistence of his wife that he once discovered a healthy lifestyle for himself: “The urge to jog came from my wife Britta Ernst. She told me a good twenty years ago, “Olaf, you can't go on like this!” I definitely had to do something to keep myself fit. ” As reported by the politician, he now runs two or three times a week and an hour and a half on Sundays.

In his free time, Ernst is interested in cinema, loves reading. With her husband, she talks a lot about politics, but also “about literature, sports and good food.” Speaking of food: Scholz admitted that he can cook Konigsberg klops (boiled veal croquettes, sprinkled with caper sauce – by the way, one of Angela Merkel's favorite dishes). According to the politician himself, “in restaurants this is almost never done.” When Olaf Scholz has a day off, he likes to spend it in the kitchen: “I love to cook, preferably on weekends.” lamb. At the same time, Britta Ernst does not have any special gastronomic preferences – she can have pasta, salad or even steak on her table if she wants.

The Social Democratic leader also called Britta Ernst the love of his life. According to him, without her he would be “definitely a completely different person” and, thanks to her, became clearly better.

“She knows what role she wants to play as the Federal Chancellor's wife,” writes about Britta Ernst is a German edition of t-online. “She will be a support for her husband, but she will never forget herself and her own goals.” also independently established itself in politics. This is also one of the reasons why she kept her last name after her wedding to Olaf Scholz. ”


“Their goal is to silence Russians”: the strange affair of journalist Alekseev

Why media representatives are persecuted in the Baltic states

On October 29, a verdict was passed on opposition Russian-speaking journalist Yuri Alekseev in Latvia – the Pardaugava court in Riga sentenced him to one year and two months in prison. While Alekseev is free, he is awaiting the results of the appeal. There is no evidence of his guilt, the case was fabricated by the Latvian state security bodies in order to finally “shut the mouth” of the Russian-language press. Why journalists are persecuted in the “European” Baltic countries, MK understood.

In early December morning, shortly before Catholic Christmas 2017, the famous Latvian journalist Yuri Alekseev left his house, intending to go on business. But he did not manage to get far. Five unknown persons wearing black masks pulled over their faces were already waiting at the entrance of Alekseev. He immediately guessed who it was, seeing on their uniforms on their backs the inscription DP – Drošības Policija, the security police of the Republic of Latvia.

– I was informed that a criminal case was opened against me under the article on inciting ethnic hatred. Alekseev now recalls. – For the fact that I allegedly wrote hundreds of comments on various sites with an appeal to kill Latvians. I had not yet had time to recover from this absurd accusation, but I was already dragged back to the apartment, where the search began. They had a warrant, they were well prepared.

Moreover, we have prepared, apparently, in every sense. The stunned journalist watched as the state security officers rummaged around his apartment, looking in all corners. And suddenly – lo and behold! – The police found new evidence of Alekseev's “criminal” activities. They were taken, literally, from the ceiling.

– Behind the false ceiling, where I have LED flashlights, the police unexpectedly found two bags of cartridges from a Makarov pistol. – says Alekseev. – Only 34 pieces. But here's what's surprising: neither my fingerprints nor my biomaterial were found on the cartridges themselves, nor on the plastic bags. Examination has shown that they are sterile. How can this be? Besides, they didn’t find my pistol either. Why do I need cartridges if there is no pistol? It is clear that they are of no use to me. How could they appear in the apartment? I think that someone brought them to me on purpose. In 2016-2017, I traveled a lot on business trips, I had not been at home for months. It is not difficult to get into the apartment by opening a fairly simple lock, given the current technical means.

This is a great thing – a suspended ceiling, very convenient if you need to throw evidence on someone. He unscrewed the light bulb, thrust through the hole into the ceiling everything that was required to successfully “solve” the case, put the light bulb back in place, and the job was done. The owner of the apartment may not know for years what is stored in his ceiling. The suspended ceiling in the apartment of an oppositionist is like a pocket that is better sewn up so that no drugs are planted there. But Alekseev did not know this, the apartment was bought by him quite recently, and there was already a false ceiling in it.

Yuri Alekseev is one of the most famous Russian-speaking journalists and editors in Latvia. In the 90s and 2000s, he was the chief editor of the newspapers Business & Baltiya, Kommersant Baltic, as well as the magazine Business.Lv. From 2005 to 2009, he was a deputy of the Riga City Council from the association “For Human Rights in United Latvia” (ZaPCHEL). I have never concealed my critical attitude to much that is happening in today's Latvia. He expressed his opinion openly, including in several interviews for MK.

Since April 2011 Alekseev has been the editor-in-chief of the IMHOclub Internet discussion portal. The purpose of this publication is to serve as a “territory of dissenting opinions.” The site published authors who held various positions on topical issues. Among the authors of the portal was, for example, the ex-president of Latvia. The texts, as a rule, caused heated discussions, readers left hundreds of comments under them. But they were all carefully moderated, comments containing obscenities, threats and insults were immediately deleted. The authorities had nothing to find fault with: the publication never went beyond the law. Nevertheless, it immediately made it into the reports of the security police. Alekseev was invited several times to talks, hinting that the portal should be closed.

– In Latvia every year there are reports of the security police: about this and that, in short, about the “enemies of the people.” – says Alekseev. – Already six months after IMHOclub appeared, there was already written about the following: “A resource called IMHOclub has appeared. He is widely quoted in the Russian media. This resource interprets the history of Latvia ambiguously and has a pro-Russian orientation ”. That is, it is “harmful”. Since then, every year IMHOclub and I have personally appeared in these reports. There were even photos of me. The “enemy of the people” has been found, now it is necessary to find how it can be “squeezed”. But, to their great chagrin, they could not find anything, since I am not breaking the law, I am not substituting. Then they figured out how to fabricate a case.

Now Alekseev is charged under three articles of the Latvian Criminal Code: 78 (“Inciting ethnic hatred”), 233 (“Illegal possession of ammunition”) and 166 (“Keeping photographs of pornographic content depicting children”). The topic of pornography mysteriously surfaced a year after the search and seizure of all his equipment from the journalist's apartment – a computer, laptop, voice recorders, mobile phones. The corresponding photos were allegedly found on a computer to which the owner had no access for over a year. It looks more than strange. On November 29, Alekseev turned 63 years old – a venerable age when the “basic instinct” is supposedly dying out … make the trial “closed” in order to remove journalists from the courtroom and prevent widespread media coverage.

Dozens and even hundreds of comments to articles on four popular Internet resources became the basis for the accusation under the article on inciting ethnic hatred. Comments were published under different pseudonyms, but all from the same IP address, which belonged to Alekseev for more than 20 years. The comments are primitive, illiterate and boorish, they contain calls to kill “fascist geeks.” It is assumed that by “fascist geeks” the author meant Latvians and, thus, incited hatred towards them on a national basis. Interestingly, all of these comments were published within one month – from September 5 to October 8, 2017.

The journalist is perplexed: how could he call to “kill Latvians” when he himself is a Latvian, albeit half by his mother. Moreover, he is the grandson of the “Latvian shooter”. His ancestors have lived in Latvia for generations. In his last speech at the trial, he recalled his article published on March 4, 2013 on the Internet. It said: “… it is better to behave competently at the very moment when you write your comment on the Internet. … be aware that before clicking on the “send” button, you need to carefully and slowly (and soberly) re-read your comment – correct grammatical errors, and at the same time – remove words from there that you may regret later. NOTHING IS LOST IN THE INTERNET. ”

– I am a journalist with 30 years of experience and an editor-in-chief with 20 years of experience. – says the oppositionist. – I was in charge of newspapers, magazines, and a website. I am well aware that the Internet remembers everything. If any comment is sent from your IP address, it is easy to calculate. And even erased comments do not disappear anywhere. You will be picked up in 5 minutes. Calls to murder are a serious crime, and I personally have always believed that those who leave such comments on the Internet should be punished. I have always been correct in my articles and called for the correctness of my authors. Can you imagine that, with my journalistic experience, he suddenly went crazy and from his own IP address for one month scribbled criminal comments on the Internet? knowing full well that they will find me? And neither before nor after I did anything like this. Maybe I have a split personality and have already become like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde? When I am “Alekseev No. 1”, I write normal, interesting texts that never go beyond the law, and when “Alekseev No. 2” wakes up in me, I send messages from my own computer calling for the murder of people? At first, I hoped that the professionals in the police would figure it out, figure out the intruders who set me up like that, determine how they did it – hacked the computer, connected to Wi-Fi, or somehow set up nasty things for me. But their task was different: not to figure out who had committed this crime, but to find at least something against me.

– This is being done in an elementary way. From a neighboring apartment, an entrance or just sitting in a car on the street next to the house, you can connect to my home router, pick up a password and write such stupid comments from my IP address. Then initiate a case, conduct a search within its framework, having planted cartridges in advance. These are the methods of the secret police. When they are unable to attract a person legally, they do so. During the search, not only all equipment was seized from me, but also all my archives, hard drives, family photographs. They completely zeroed me out, as they say. Since that time, I have been under recognizance not to leave.

The first court hearing in this case took place at the end of February 2020, and in just a year and a half, five court sessions took place. The process was closed. While the investigation and trial were underway, a second case was opened against Alekseev. According to him, the journalist has been “shining” for 5 to 15 years.

– In November 2018, they took me back and sent me to the remand prison for two days. – he recalls. “Moreover, the moderator of IMHOclub comments, Dmitry Sumarokov, was also detained. Then we were still released. I was left under recognizance not to leave and under police surveillance. At the same time, again, for the third time, all computer equipment and telephones were seized.

This time the charges were brought under Articles 80, part 2 (“Activities directed against the Republic of Latvia”) and 81-note (“Assistance to a foreign state in its activities directed against the Republic of Latvia”), as well as 74-note (“Exoneration genocide, crimes against humanity, crimes against peace and war crimes “). The most severe is article 80 (2), the minimum punishment under it is 5, and the maximum is 15 years in prison. Article 81 (2) stipulates from 2 to 7 years.

– The charges under Article 74 are the funniest. – says Alekseev. – The prosecutor's office believes that I justified the crimes against humanity that the USSR allegedly committed during the Second World War. In my opinion, such crimes were committed by Nazi Germany, and the USSR was not noticed in such a thing. Nowhere and no one was recorded that the USSR committed such crimes, no one ever accused him of this. And the “justification” of this non-existent crime in Latvia is punishable by law. In this case, I was kept under police surveillance for two years, and I had to go to the police station to check in three times a week. From 23.00 to 6.00 I had to be at home, and the police checked it, at night without warning they could show up at my house. The investigation went on for two years, then the case was sent to the prosecutor's office. It has been there for a year and three months. I think the prosecutor is going crazy not knowing how to approach him. The main crime is that in 2011, my friends and I launched the IMHOclub website. For this site I should be jailed for 15 years. Interestingly, the site itself is not banned. For all the time of its existence, it has not violated the current legislation in any way. There are no reasons to close it. And in aggregate, he caused harm to the Republic of Latvia. What is the harm? In Latvia, there is now a situation where any personal opinion that differs from the official point of view, according to the authorities, harms the country.

I am a well-known journalist in Latvia, about the level of Alexei Venediktov in Russia. And looking at what is happening to me, many think: well, if you can do this with Alekseev, then we will be even more crushed. They do this with one purpose: to silence Russian journalists.

Alekseev's case in modern Latvia is not an unfortunate exception, but rather a rule. 14 Russian-speaking journalists who collaborated with the Russian portals Sputnik and Baltnews as freelance writers were prosecuted. Among them are such famous journalists as Vladimir Linderman, Alla Berezovskaya, Andrey Yakovlev. The case against them was opened on January 16, 2020 by the State Security Service. On October 26 this year, the State Security Service completed its investigation and transferred the case to the prosecutor's office. The journalists are accused under the first part of Article 84 of the Criminal Law of Latvia – “Violation of the EU sanctions”. The State Security Service believes that they have violated the sanctions regime against Dmitry Kiselev, the head of the media group MIA Rossiya Segodnya, with which Sputnik Latvia and Baltnews are associated. Kiselev is a figurant of the European Union's sanctions list. In relation to him, the EU regulation of March 17, 2014, which prohibits providing sanctioned persons with access to “finances and economic resources” of the EU countries, is in effect. How, then, could the journalists provide Kiselev with access to “finances and economic resources” of the EU? The fact of the matter is that the investigation considers the articles and notes of the journalists to be “economic resources” that they provided to Sputnik and Baltnews, and therefore to the sub-authorized person – Dmitry Kiselev. Sly. They want to bring journalists to justice for this. They were searched, their phones, computers and bank cards were confiscated, recognizance not to leave was taken. In the future, they may face imprisonment.

– When they come, they confiscate all your computer equipment, all telephones, dictaphones. – says Yuri Alekseev. – They reset you in technique completely. You have to buy everything anew. And it hurts on the pocket. I had three searches, three times they took everything away. But at least my children are adults, but what is it like for those who need to feed their families? And then there's a recognizance not to leave, you can't go anywhere, you can't perform the functions of a journalist. You sit in your apartment like a fool, without a computer and without a telephone, and you think: should I continue to cooperate with Sputnik?

No less free Lithuania does not lag behind free Latvia. A sensation of the past summer: a well-known politician and diplomat, a former deputy of the Seimas and ex-vice-mayor of Vilnius, Algirdas Paleckis, was sentenced to six years in prison for espionage in favor of Russia. Incidentally, the grandson of the first chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Lithuanian SSR, Yustas Paleckis, who is considered the “founder” of Soviet Lithuania. What kind of “military secret” could Paleckis disclose to the Russian intelligence service, who had no access to any secret information? It turns out that he encroached on the most important secret of independent Lithuania – the secret of the events of January 13, 1991 in Vilnius, which are known as “the storming of the Vilnius TV tower by the Soviet military.” Then 13 Lithuanians and one soldier of the KGB of the USSR were killed, and after this tragedy it became clear to everyone in Lithuania: the republic should secede from the Union. Paleckis wrote a book about those old events, collected information, interviewed witnesses. The court found him guilty of collecting data on the judges who investigated the events of January 1991 in Vilnius. He allegedly transferred this data to Russia, for which he created a spy network. Of two people. One of them is himself, Paleckis, and the second is the same “secret witness” who testified against him. The fantasies of the Lithuanian state security with their absurdity compete with the old Soviet anecdote: “Two Ukrainians are a partisan detachment, three are a partisan detachment with a traitor.” And the two Lithuanians, according to the DGB, are a whole spy network with a traitor.

It's hard to believe in all this. How so? At the turn of the 80s – 90s of the last century, the Baltic states were the first to take the notorious “breath of freedom”. Popular fronts, human chains, Atmoda, Sayudis and all that … Where did it all go? Political prisoners, repressions against journalists, persecution of dissidents, rehabilitation of Nazism – who 30 years ago would have thought that the independence of the Baltic states would be exactly like this.


Board Tel Aviv – Moscow changed course due to US reconnaissance aircraft

A passenger plane flying from Tel Aviv to Moscow was forced to change course in order to avoid a rapprochement with an American reconnaissance aircraft over the Black Sea, Interfax reports.

According to the words the agency's source in air traffic control services, the incident occurred the day before, one of the two US reconnaissance aircraft randomly crossed the established civil aviation routes and approached the airliner.

It is noted that the vertical distance between Airbus and American aircraft was less than 20 meters … In this regard, the controllers instructed the passenger aircraft to descend 500 meters and take a safer flight level.

At the same time, the intruder did not respond to requests from the ground.

Earlier it was reported that Russian Su-27 and Su-30 fighters escorted United States reconnaissance aircraft over the Black Sea. There was no violation of the Russian border.


Monument to Marshal Vasilevsky opened in Moscow

A monument to Marshal of the USSR Alexander Vasilevsky was opened in Moscow on the Frunzenskaya embankment, the RF Ministry of Defense reports.

Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and head of the Russian Military Historical Society Vladimir Medinsky took part in the ceremony.

“ Headquarters trusted him with the most responsible sectors of the front. It is no coincidence that today we see this work of our artists Grekov's studio, for which special thanks to them, in the appearance and the image in which he spent the whole war, '' noted Shoigu.

Recall that the marshal personally led the troops during the assault on Konigsberg, this operation was included in all military textbooks.

The composition, more than three meters high, depicts a military leader with an overcoat on his shoulder, sitting at his desk over the maps of military operations.

Previously, Sergei Shoigu with the President of Tatarstan & nbsp; Rustam & nbsp; Minnikhanov & nbsp; laid a memorial stone in & nbsp; Kazan & nbsp; as a sign of the beginning of the construction of a military hospital in the capital of the republic.


How to call a doctor at home?

At the end of 2020, a single telephone number appeared in & nbsp; Russia for & nbsp; all issues related to & nbsp; COVID-19. By dialing 122, residents of the country could ask questions about the & nbsp; coronavirus they were interested in, and & nbsp; also call a doctor in & nbsp; if they discovered symptoms of this disease.

After several months of operation, this telephone line expanded its functionality and & nbsp; became a single all-Russian number for calling a doctor at the & nbsp; house.

Where to call to call a doctor at your & nbsp; house?

To call a doctor at your & nbsp; house, you need to call the & nbsp; single short telephone number 122. To do this, you can use it as a mobile , and & nbsp; landline phone.

What are the advantages of a single number for calling a doctor at & nbsp; home?

Calling & nbsp; number 122 & nbsp; is free, in & nbsp ; then & nbsp; while the doctor's call by the & nbsp; clinic number was paid according to the tariff of the subscriber's cellular operator. In addition, now you don't have to wait for a certain time to call a doctor: in some regions, the service accepts applications around the clock, in others, patients can leave a voice message that will be processed after the clinic opens. As Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Chernyshenko said earlier, in & nbsp; 15 & nbsp; subjects of the country in & nbsp; call centers of a single number 122 also use a voice assistant who issues a doctor's call to the & nbsp; house.

How long to wait for the operator's response?

The average waiting time for a response from a service operator is less than 1 & nbsp; minutes in & nbsp; 80 & nbsp; regions, in & nbsp; 5 & nbsp; subjects & nbsp; & mdash; up to & nbsp; two minutes.



Scientists find out what made the omicron strain “more human”

Plot The spread of a new strain of coronavirus “omicron”

Strain COVID-19 omicron could have gotten one of his mutations from a virus that causes the common cold. This was stated by scientists from the nference company.

They noted that the genetic sequence of the new strain was not found in previous covid variants. At the same time, it is present in respiratory viruses and the human genome.

The head of the research group Venki Sundararajan said that this fragment made it possible to become an omicron. more human. This, according to the specialist, will allow the strain to avoid attacks from the immune system. In addition, the mutation will make it easier for the virus to move from one organism to another. At the same time, the disease itself will pass in a mild or asymptomatic form, Venki emphasized.

A new variant of COVID-19 was discovered in Botswana. Later it became known about the appearance of those infected with this type of virus in South Africa and other countries. It is assumed that changes in his genome indicate a high & nbsp; resistance to antibodies who have been ill and vaccinated.

Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin held telephone talks with the leader of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa. During the conversation, the parties agreed to join forces to combat the new omicron coronavirus strain.


New Releases: The Rave-Ups of ‘Pretty In Pink’ Fame to Drop Album ‘Tomorrow’

New Releases: The Rave-Ups of ‘Pretty In Pink’ Fame to Drop Album ‘Tomorrow’
December 3, 2021
Comments Off on New Releases: The Rave-Ups of ‘Pretty In Pink’ Fame to Drop Album ‘Tomorrow’

Edited by JOHN DALY

The Rave-Ups, known to as many for their appearances in John Hughes films as for their cowpunk style, are set to release their first album in 31 years, called Tomorrow. The album will be released on Omnivore Records Feb. 4.

The Rave-Ups dropped the first single off the album, “How Old Am I?” and it can be heard here.

The band’s three previous albums — 1985’s independently released Town + Country, along with 1987’s The Book of Your Regrets and 1990’s Chance, both for Epic Records — established the group as one of the pioneers of the cowpunk genre that eventually transformed into Americana, following in the footsteps of L.A.-bred country-rock groups from the Flying Burrito Brothers and the Byrds through contemporaries like X, the Blasters, and Rank + File.

The original Los Angeles lineup — singer/songwriter Jimmer Podrasky, guitarist Terry Wilson, bassist Tommy Blatnik, and drummer Timothy Jimenez, who first met while working together in the A&M Records mailroom — have reunited for Tomorrow, set for release February 4, 2022 by Omnivore Recordings, which reissued Town + Country in 2016 with 11 bonus tracks. The first single from the album, “How Old Am I?” is available on all streaming services, with two more songs, “Brigitte Bardot” (a never-recorded Town + Country outtake) and “Coming After Me,” set for January.

When Pittsburgh native Jimmer Podrasky graduated from Carnegie-Mellon University in 1980 (where his theater classmates included Holly Hunter and Linda Kozlowski), he had already formed a version of the Rave-Ups, a rousing punk-rock band that took its cue from the emerging New York and London DIY scenes with groups like the Ramones and the Clash. When he packed up and headed for Los Angeles, he discovered kindred musical spirits in Wilson, a Springfield, Missouri native who had played with the Ozark Mountain Daredevils; Blatnik, a suburban kid from Whittier, Calif.; and Jimenez, a Burbank, Calif. native who had never been outside the state nor on a plane until he toured with the band.

The Rave-Ups’ Town + Country led to major label interest and a recording deal with Epic Records, where they were signed by A&R exec Roger “Snake” Klein, best known for bringing in Indigo Girls, who brought the Rave-Ups on tour with them as an opening act.

The band was introduced to the world when Molly Ringwald, a friend of Jimmer (he dated her sister Beth), had their name scratched onto a notebook in John Hughes’ Sixteen Candles, then appeared as themselves in Pretty in Pink, performing “Rave-Up, Shut-Up” and “Positively Lost Me,” a track that landed on Rhino’s compilation Just Can’t Get Enough: New Wave Hits of the ’80s. After releasing Chance in 1990, Jimmer left the Rave-Ups to raise the son after whom the album was named.

“The best part of this project was when the four of us were in a room making music together,” says Jimmer. “That was brilliant. I never doubted how the four of us would sound. That was the most joyous thing about making this. We didn’t overintellectualize or analyze. We trusted each other musically and the finished album made it all worthwhile.”

Pre-Order Link:

Track List:
1. So, You Wanna Know The Truth?
2. Brigitte Bardot
3. Roll
4. How Old Am I?
5. Cry
6. Coming After Me
7. The Dream Of California
8. She And He
9. When I Write Your Name
10. Violets On A Hill

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Beabadoobee Captures Hearts in LA – Review at U.S. Rocker

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Dennis Quaid and The Sharks to Perform New Album at The Mint March 9

January 23, 2019
concerts, FILM AND TV, Musicians
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The ship “Admiral Panteleev took part in the exercises ARNEX-2021

Anti-submarine ship 'Admiral Panteleev' Together with the combat ships of the ASEAN countries, he took part in the ARNEX-2021 exercises in Indonesia, according to the Russian Ministry of Defense.

The crews of the ships worked out tactical maneuvering, communication and rescue of people at sea.

In the sea maneuvers involved the Navy & nbsp; Russia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, Brunei and Myanmar with Egypt. & nbsp;


Leadership responsibility. Experts on the role of influencers in solving social problems

December 3 at the site of the International Forum of Civil Participation #MYVMESTE “ Russian Media Group '' held a plenary session on Popularity as a Tool for Solving Social Problems. It became part of the holding's partnership with the # WEVMESTE All-Russian Mutual Aid Campaign.

# WEVMESTE & ndash; This is a large-scale all-Russian action of mutual assistance, created to support the elderly and people with limited mobility, as well as doctors, employees of social institutions of NGOs and others in need of the difficult period of the COVID-19 pandemic. Russian Media Group, for which the ESG agenda and the topic of social responsibility became key in 2021, actively joined the project.

In the plenary session held by the Russian Media Group singer, TV presenter Anna Sedokova, Soviet and Russian TV journalist Alexander Gurnov, general director of VTsIOM Valery Fedorov, radio and TV presenter Alla Dovlatova, general director of the ANO Center for the Development of Cultural Initiatives, head of the Tavrida art cluster Sergey Pershin, director of new business development, Sbermarketing Gabriel Gordeev, actress and TV presenter Elena Borshcheva. The discussion was moderated by the Managing Director of the Russian Media Group. Dmitry Mednikov. & nbsp;

Understanding its social responsibility as a media, Russian Media Group actively raises the topic of the role of opinion leaders in the formation of public culture and worldview of the audience.

The panellists discussed the nature of popularity, what responsibility it imposes on opinion leaders, and how much the structure of influencer has changed in connection with the emergence of social networks.

“ Why do we imitate celebrities, listen to them? & ndash; the discussion was opened by VTsIOM General Director Valery Fedorov … & ndash; A person wants to be loved and successful. And the attractive images of the people we see on the screens show us those who have succeeded, who have independence, their own opinion. And the audience has a desire to repeat the actions of celebrities, the romanticization of these actions. In addition, influencers & ndash; they are living real people, not abstract institutions, and this inspires confidence. And we are faced with the question: how to include celebrity in socially useful affairs? ''

Influence of influencers on youth

As Valery Fedorov noted, many people try to become an opinion maker for the sake of monetization, which, however, turns influencer into a marketable product and creates the risk of devaluation of their personal brand. The need to restore the image of independence and independence – the first incentive for a leader of public opinion to do good deeds. & nbsp;

The General Director of VTsIOM also spoke about the important role of influencers in initiating an intense discussion about new complex phenomena, to which society does not have an unambiguous attitude.

“ In England, the monarchy personifies integrity, & ndash; told about the example of Britain Soviet and Russian TV journalist Alexander Gurnov. & nbsp; & ndash; They will go to fight for her, she is a symbol of the country's inviolability. And influence through trust is more important than influence through noise, hype. And to gain trust & ndash; the main thing is not to lie. “

” Our traditions are very rich, but there are problems with ethics and aesthetics, ” took the floor general & nbsp; director of ANO “ Center for the Development of Cultural Initiatives '', head of the art cluster “ Tavrida '' Sergey Pershin. & ndash; There is something in us that makes us follow the principles of the international. Destroy to the ground and build a new world on the rubble. But this leads to zeroing, mangles ethics and aesthetics. And a great responsibility lies with public people, who must find the time to broadcast certain values ​​and attitudes. ''

“ In Tavrida '' now the largest cluster for creative youth is being created, & ndash; told the managing director of the Russian Media Group Dmitry Mednikov … & ndash; Everything that we are discussing now is concentrated there. And next year we are planning to hold our largest “ Music Casting '' there.

“ If you are endowed with such a responsibility as popularity, you have to think every day if you are doing everything right, & ndash; the presenter of “ Russian Radio '' shared her look Alla Dovlatova . & ndash; As Vyacheslav Fetisov said : if your poster is hanging in a child's room, no negative about you should come out into the public space. Yes, today young guys respect someone who earns a lot and looks for positive traits in him, he gets a credit of trust. We can probably guide our children. But young people want to see not a system of prohibitions, but a system of reward. ''

“Children choose for themselves what they like and what & ndash; no. And they can figure it out without our help, & ndash; singer Anna Sedokova agreed with the radio host . & ndash; Social media is of enormous importance today. When I was growing up, in order to show the song to the producer, I had to go to Moscow and watch the Kremlin. And now, when Valeria has a new song, you play it on the piano, mark Valeria & ndash; and if you are talented, Joseph Prigogine sees you. Modern digitalization has reduced the distance. ” The radio host and the singer hugged in a gesture of reconciliation, reminding the audience of the importance of weighing every word when you are a public person.

“ The audience loves you or does not love you, but treats you as a kind of trigger when it is necessary to make a decision , for example to buy something, & ndash; says Director of New Business Development Sbermarketing Gabriel Gordeev. & ndash; You need to understand that any of your words in social networks work for a long time and can “ backfire '' and after 10 years. ''
& nbsp;


Christmas tree lighting ceremony in New York

In New York, on December 2, a traditional Christmas tree lighting ceremony was held in the square near Rockefeller Center. & nbsp; The tree, installed this year, is 85 years old and is 24 meters high. Its branches are hung with 50 thousand lamps, the total length of the garlands is about 8 kilometers. At the top of the spruce is a star weighing more than 400 kg, decorated with Swarovski crystals.

The tradition of installing spruce at Rockefeller Center dates back to 1931, and since 1933, a lighting ceremony has been regularly held.

Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center in New York before the lighting ceremony © Reuters

Before the lighting ceremony on the Christmas tree at the Rockefeller Center in New York © Reuters


Singer Mickey Guyton performing at the Christmas tree lighting ceremony outside Rockefeller Center in New York © Reuters

Singer Alessia Cara performing at the Christmas tree lighting ceremony at the Rockefeller Center in New York © Reuters

Christmas tree lighting ceremony at Rockefeller Center in New York © Reuters


© Reuters

Concert at the Christmas tree lighting ceremony at the Rockefeller Center in New York © Reuters

Christmas tree lighting ceremony at Rockefeller Center in New York © Reuters

Christmas tree near Rockefeller Center in New York before the lighting ceremony © Reuters

Before the lighting ceremony on the Christmas tree at the Rockefeller Center in New York © Reuters


Singer Mickey Guyton performing at the Christmas tree lighting ceremony outside Rockefeller Center in New York © Reuters

Singer Alessia Cara performing at the Christmas tree lighting ceremony outside Rockefeller Center in New York © Reuters

Ceremony of lighting the lights on the Christmas tree at the Rockefeller Center in New York © Reuters


© Reuters

Concert at the Christmas tree lighting ceremony at the Rockefeller Center in New York © Reuters

Christmas tree lighting ceremony at Rockefeller Center in New York © Reuters


Rosselkhoznadzor has banned poultry products from a number of EU territories

The Rosselkhoznadzor introduces temporary restrictions on the supply of live poultry and poultry products to the Russian Federation from the three administrative territories of the EU countries that are unfavorable for bird flu. This was announced by the supervisory authority.

Since December 3, it is impossible to import the specified products into Russia from the department of Nor France, since December 1 & ndash; from the territory of the region of Cuxhaven of the federal state of Lower Saxony of Germany, as well as from the county of Sisachko-Moslavachka of Croatia and from the administrative territory of Austria & ndash; the federal state of Lower Austria. In addition, on November 26, a temporary ban was imposed on the import of poultry products from the Aurich and Cloppenburg regions of the federal state of Lower Saxony, Germany.

Restrictions apply to live poultry, hatching eggs, poultry meat, finished poultry meat products (except for goods, subject to processing that ensures the destruction of avian influenza viruses), feed and feed additives for birds (with the exception of feed and feed additives of plant origin, chemical and microbiological synthesis). The transit of live poultry through the territory of the Russian Federation is also limited.

Earlier it was reported that China had limited the import of goods through the Zabaikalsk border checkpoint; Manchuria. '' Some types of products, as well as coal and wood-based panels, were subject to the restriction.

In early November, Belarus banned the export of buckwheat from the country for three months.


Russian fighters escorted US reconnaissance planes in the Black Sea

Russian Su-27 and Su-30 fighters escorted American reconnaissance aircraft over the Black Sea, TASS reports, citing data from the Russian National Defense Control Center.

The department said that on December 3, Russian control devices detected air targets that were approaching the border of the Russian Federation.

To identify them and prevent violations of the state border, fighters took off from the Air Defense Forces of the Southern Military District. & nbsp;

Air targets were identified as the US Air Force RC-135 reconnaissance aircraft and the US Army CL-600 ARTEMIS reconnaissance and targeting aircraft .

It is noted that there was no violation of the Russian border.

We remind that earlier the Ministry of Defense reported that reconnaissance near the Russian borders was carried out in a week 37 aircraft and UAVs.

It also became known that next year on combat duty in aviation units Astyah of the Russian Aerospace Forces & nbsp; will take over new aircraft with hypersonic weapons.


What are xenobots capable of? Scientists have seen that robots can reproduce

The world will never be the same. Humanity itself brings closer the reality that writers and filmmakers working in the genre of science fiction are so fond of. In it, robots reproduce themselves without asking permission from their creator. And a person in this reality is assigned a certain secondary role, depending on the situation.

Last year, American scientists & nbsp; with the help of a supercomputer & nbsp; developed biorobots – living machines from embryonic frog cells. And now it turned out that they can reproduce spontaneously.

What are these organisms?

In January 2020, & nbsp; became aware of the successful experiment of biologists & nbsp; Tufts University (USA). They took an embryo of & nbsp; African clawed frog, & nbsp; isolated stem cells from it, manually separated them and placed them in a petri dish. There, these cells joined together and formed a & nbsp; new organism & nbsp; microscopic (less than a millimeter) in size – a tiny clot of pink flesh. He could move, group, push small loads, find targets and recover from damage.

In fact, such clots became the first biorobots in history, consisting of living cells. Scientists named them xenobots – after the Latin name of that very frog, & nbsp; Xenopus laevis. The question is, what do robots have to do with it? Why can't you just call it a synthetic organism?

And the thing is that the appearance and behavior of & nbsp; xenobots & nbsp; were set by & nbsp; artificial intelligence. With the & nbsp; & nbsp; supercomputer, scientists & nbsp; made calculations that determine what these microscopic creatures should look like and what they should do. AI analyzed billions of potential body shapes and found the ideal one that would allow frog cells to perform so-called & nbsp; kinetic replication. This process usually occurs at the molecular level; it has not previously been observed on the scale of whole cells or organisms.

What can they do?

Created in accordance with & nbsp; a computer program & nbsp; unique & nbsp; organisms took part in the tests last year. & Nbsp; They moved in concert and explored the habitat, feeding on embryonic energy reserves. In later experiments, they moved in a circle, pushed the granules placed in the liquid (both individually and together) and even transported them on their bodies.

The new work of American scientists shows that & nbsp; xenobots are capable of more – to reproduce their own kind. Actually, they were created for this purpose & ndash; explore the capabilities of self-replicating systems. When AI tested different body shapes of biorobots, it focused precisely on making them more efficient in replication. Analyzed triangles, squares, pyramids, stars & ndash; as a result, the supercomputer settled on the C-shape.

The experiment showed that the artificial intelligence was right. It was with this body shape that xenobots were able to create their own kind. They collect cells floating separately in a Petri dish, keep them inside their “ mouth '' and & nbsp; form “ cubs. '' & nbsp; After a few days, they become adults – they look and move just like the rest. This process was repeated over and over again: & nbsp; a group of 12 xenobots, using 60 thousand cells, created one or two new generations.

“ These cells carry the frog genome, but once freed from becoming tadpoles, they use their collective intelligence and plasticity to do something amazing, '' says Sam Krigman, lead author of the study. & nbsp; & ndash; They reproduce in a completely different way than frogs do. Not a single animal or plant known to science reproduces in this way. ''

Why are they needed?

Reproduction of robots (especially living ones!) Can puzzle anyone. Imagination draws scenes from & nbsp; The Terminator or some 'Robot Rise', where machines get out of control and try to enslave humans. The authors of the study assure that there is nothing to fear, at least for now: the organisms they create are in a controlled environment, and if desired, it can be easily destroyed.

But what are they for? Experiments carried out by American scientists show that an artificially created biological object (representing, in fact, a new form of life) can be embedded with a computer program and made to perform the same actions repeatedly. According to the researchers, such biorobots can be used to search for traces of radioactive contamination, collect microplastics in the ocean, or clean blood vessels from plaque. From medical applications, they also mention the development of vaccines against new viruses and the creation of drugs.

Xenobots will be able to survive in an aquatic environment without additional nutrients for several days or even weeks. And after disposal, they will become part of nature and will not cause any harm to it, unlike metal or plastic from which ordinary robots are made.


Do I need to give scaffolding for building?

Weekly “Arguments and Facts” No. 48. Not cheap help 01/12/2021

The Ministry of Natural Resources proposes to allow the construction of hotels and & nbsp; recreation centers in & nbsp; forests.

We are talking about & nbsp; leased for recreational activities forest fund plots. What more will this initiative bring & nbsp; & mdash; harm or benefit?

Tatiana Kalikhman, Leading Researcher at the Institute of Geography. Sochavy SB & nbsp; RAS :

& mdash; The idea of ​​the Ministry of Natural Resources cannot be assessed unambiguously. It is clear that this initiative is aimed at the & nbsp; development of tourism. But & nbsp; need to consider each case separately. Let's take Baikal. I & nbsp; think that if & nbsp; to build camp sites and & nbsp; holiday homes here, then & nbsp; you need to do it within the & nbsp; borders of the villages, of which there are quite a lot, trying not & nbsp; to capture natural, forest areas. So we & nbsp; will be able not & nbsp; only to save the forest, but & nbsp; and & nbsp; to develop these villages & nbsp; & mdash; create infrastructure and & nbsp; new jobs specifically for local residents, and & nbsp; not & nbsp; for nonresidents. Hotels on & nbsp; forest lands are beneficial, most likely, to big business, and & nbsp; not & nbsp; small entrepreneurs, municipalities and & nbsp; local residents. & Nbsp;

In the & nbsp; forestry and & nbsp; there are so many problems that need to be addressed. One of & nbsp; them & nbsp; & mdash; frames. After in & nbsp; 2006 & nbsp; g. adopted a new Forestry Code, our number of foresters has sharply decreased. Since & nbsp; since & nbsp; forests have no such supervision as they were before and & nbsp; as they should be. In & nbsp; including & nbsp; this caused another problem & nbsp; & mdash; Illegal felling blossomed in a luxuriant color. And & nbsp; it is closely related to & nbsp; one trouble & nbsp; & mdash; forest fires that provoke in & nbsp; including & nbsp; “ black lumberjacks '' to hide the traces of the crime.

There are fewer and fewer suburban forests. This is true for most cities, especially industrial centers. Green Belts around them are shrinking due to the fact that the cities grow in breadth. For example, Irkutsk is actively expanding, so suburban forests are being cut down to make way for new buildings. At the same time, the composition of suburban areas includes other forest areas. Formally, we & nbsp; “ move '' suburban forests in & nbsp; a different place, but & nbsp; in & nbsp; in general, their area is shrinking. On & nbsp; paper, they are declared, but & nbsp; in fact, the green area is decreasing.

I'm not & nbsp; no longer & nbsp; talking about & nbsp; that in & nbsp; cities and & nbsp; instead of boulevards, arrangement of new parks and & nbsp; squares, restoration of urban forests, we & nbsp; most often build cold stone embankments. But & nbsp; do we want & nbsp; do we & nbsp; live in a & nbsp; concrete jungle?

The opinion of the author may not be the same as that of the editorial board

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Putin said that the law on foreign agents should not violate the rights of citizens

The President discussed with the head of the CEC her position on the law on foreign agents. Pamfilova pointed out the need to analyze the practice of applying the law and make a number of changes

The law on foreign agents should not violate the rights of citizens, but should meet the goals for which it was created. This was stated by Russian President Vladimir Putin at a meeting with the head of the Central Election Commission Ella Pamfilova.

Putin told Pamfilova that he knows her position on the law, which is to carefully analyze the practice of its application and make the necessary adjustments. The head of the CEC, in turn, agreed that the law needs to be streamlined so that “ it is more effective and targeted. ''

“ To meet the goals for which it was adopted '', & mdash; the president noted. Pamfilova added that the law should not apply to those “who [it] do not deserve.” “ Did not violate the rights of citizens '', & mdash; concluded Putin.

Pamfilova pointed out that in the September elections to the State Duma, none of the candidates was defeated in their rights. According to her, there was a candidate at the federal level who performs the functions of a foreign agent or is affiliated with an organization.

“ Likewise, observers and the media, which also perform the functions of foreign agents, took part on equal terms with everyone else, '' & mdash; stressed the head of the CEC.

The law on foreign media agents has existed in Russia since 2019; after the amendments were made, the law began to apply to individuals. Those media outlets that receive foreign funding must label the materials with a special signature, and foreign media outlets are required to create legal entities in Russia. In addition, foreign media agents must regularly provide the Ministry of Justice with reports on their activities. As of December 3, there were 99 organizations and individuals in the register of foreign media agents.

Journalists have repeatedly called for the repeal of the law on foreign agents. For example, at the end of August, a number of Russian media outlets, including Novaya Gazeta, Forbes, The Village, 7 × 7, published an open appeal to the authorities demanding an end to the persecution of journalists on the basis of the law on foreign agents. Then the Kremlin did not agree with the wording “ persecution '' and called the appeal “ quite emotional. ''

In September, 23 chief editors and heads of media outlets proposed 12 amendments to the law on foreign agents. According to the first amendment, 'adding media to the list of' foreign agents' on the proposal of the Ministry of Justice, it should take place exclusively in court. '' In response, the presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov considered that the appeal contains constructive proposals.

The Union of Journalists of Russia (UJR) and the Council for the Development of Civil Society and Human Rights (HRC) submitted their amendments to the law to the State Duma, proposing recognize the media as foreign agents only through the courts.

In October, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, editor-in-chief of Novaya Gazeta; Dmitry Muratov turned to Putin, stating the need to finalize the law and get rid of the “ vague criteria. '' In response, the head of state promised to consider the issue.

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