Sep 28, 2007
SOFIA (Reuters) - "So many candidates are running in Bulgaria's local elections next month that ballots stretch to 2 metres (6-1/2 ft) and won't fit into the country's largest envelopes...Administration Minister Nikolai Vassilev was quoted by local media as saying Bulgarian-made envelopes are just too small and ballot boxes may be too small, too."
Sep 27, 2007
YahooNews: Gorbachev warned Russians on Wednesday of the risk of a rebirth of Stalinism, saying the country was in danger of forgetting its tragic past. "We should remember those who suffered, because this a lesson for all of us," Gorbachev told a conference marking 70 yrs since the start of Stalin's Great Terror. "We must squeeze Stalinism out of ourselves, not in single drops but by the glass or bucket," Gorbachev added. "There are those saying Stalin's rule was the Golden Age, while Khrushchev's thaw was sheer utopia and Brezhnev's neo-Stalinism was the continuation of the Golden Age."
During the Great Terror, 1.7 million Soviet citizens were arrested between August 1937 and November 1938, of whom 818,000 were executed, the human rights group Memorial said. Historians estimate that up to 13 million people were killed or sent to labor camps in the former Soviet Union between 1921 and 1953, the year Stalin died.
Sep 26, 2007
YahooNews - A Siberian woman who gave birth to her 12th child -- doing more than her fair share to stem Russia's population decline -- was stunned to find that little Nadia weighed in at a massive 7.75 kg (17.1 lb). Nadia was delivered by C-section in the local maternity hospital in the Altai region on September 17, joining eight sisters and three brothers.
The Guinness World Records lists a 10.2 kg baby boy born in Italy in 1955, and a 10.8 kg baby boy who was born in the United States in 1879 but died 11 hours later. The average weight for most healthy newborn babies is around 3.2 kg (7.06 lb), according to World Health Organisation figures.
Turkey’s influential Today’s Zaman has published an op-ed by our very own Mehmet Kalyoncu on H.R.-106, a.k.a. the “Armenian Genocide Resolution” currently before the US Congresses.
“Not necessarily the entire Armenian diaspora in the United States, but the militant groups within it, label any language or conversation that calls to investigate the allegations regarding to the so-called genocide a form of an outright denial.”
The text of the bill does include some findings of fact that are either difficult to source or openly disputed. And so the ethnic-cleansing/genocide/adventure tourism debate rages on....
Sep 25, 2007
Pretty damn, funny. Oh British humor.
Writing in the Moscow Times, Fyodor Lukyanov offers his take on Russian foreign policy, arguing that, "Western principles, which seemed as if they were universally correct after the end of the Cold War, have failed...Quite a number of problems that have arisen over the last 15 years were caused by the implementation of these erroneous policies."
Eternal Remont agrees, and takes personal responsibility for the invasion of Chechnya, the anti-constitutional consolidation of the private economy under state control, the spread of HIV, the de-population of the regions, and of course, the proliferation of narcotics, and the popularity of t.A.T.u.
Especially that last one.
Sep 24, 2007
Catholic? We set up Maryland for you
Poor? Move to Eastern Europe already
The Sofia Weekly: Britons who want to reduce their cost of living have been advised to consider relocating to Bulgaria. The Metro newspaper said the eastern European country had much lower prices than the UK in many areas, such as its property market. As an example, the publication said that people could purchase a two-bedroom flat in Sofia for approximately GBP 22,000. Furthermore, the price of enjoying leisure activities such as eating out was also highlighted. The Metro stated that customers at a restaurant could expect to pay less than GBP 6 for a typical meal, while a litre of beer was said to cost 35p. This contrasts with a recent report from Zagat which found that the UK capital London had the most expensive restaurants in the world. According to the study, an average meal in London costs over GBP 39, more than in cities such as Paris, New York and Tokyo.
Sep 21, 2007
"A new system is in place where harvesters are organised into groups which have a policeman and someone from the prosecution service attached to them to ensure they do their work. Students and schoolchildren have always been used as free labour for the cotton harvest, but while the police presence is nothing new, the deployment of SNB officers is. A student from Andijan told Fergana.ru that policemen were collecting people like him and sending them off to the fields. “They have special people with them who photograph us to ensure no one skips off work. Bogus sick-notes don’t help any more,” said the student."
If ensuring the harvest by any means is Karimov's way of maintaining support for his regime, the coming elections in December will mark nothing more than a continuation of authoriatrianism.
Sep 20, 2007
Did you see that? Russia just had a primary for the presidential election. You missed it? Don’t worry, only one person voted.
“MOSCOW - President Vladimir Putin said five people stood a real chance of succeeding him and identified three of them as Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov, Yabloko leader Grigory Yavlinsky and Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov, said a U.S. professor who spoke with Putin. Putin, however, did not mention acting First Deputy Prime Ministers Sergei Ivanov or Dmitry Medvedev until he was prodded on the sidelines of a meeting with foreign experts, said the professor, Marshall Goldman of Harvard,” The St. Petersburg Times reports.
Meanwhile, Nashi has begun "electoral patrols" ahead of parliamentary elections. "We are convinced that our professionalism and training will guarantee citizens calm and order on the streets of our cities," Nashi said.
Calm as a morgue.
NY Time: The discovery of 4 fossil skeletons of early human ancestors in Georgia, the former Soviet republic, has given scientists a revealing glimpse of a species in transition, primitive in its skull and upper body but with more advanced spines and lower limbs for greater mobility. Until now, scientists had found only the skulls of small-brain individuals at the Georgian site of Dmanisi. They said the new evidence apparently showed the anatomical capability of this extinct population for long-distance migrations.
Sep 19, 2007
"A mysterious illness, featuring flu-like symptoms, is sweeping across two of Turkmenistan’s most populous regions, Ashgabat and Dashoguz. Some health care professionals quietly link the outbreak to cotton cultivation, which requires the heavy use of defoliants, pesticides and other toxic agents.
"Doctors and clinic workers say they have been instructed to diagnose the illness as an upper respiratory ailment. But a health-care official in Ashgabat, speaking on condition of anonymity, admitted that the epidemic is not caused by the spread of germs, but is instead an allergic reaction. And many experts are convinced that chemicals used in cotton cultivation are the culprits." (Eurasianet)
Sep 18, 2007
Sep 17, 2007
Sep 14, 2007
WashPost reports: "One person Collins invited, Andrei Piontkovsky, who writes very cynical, satirical op-eds about Putin and the Federal Security Service...and whose last little book provoked the Russian government to try him for extremism -- e-mailed his regrets. 'Thank you for your kind invitation,' he wrote. 'Unfortunately, the day when insightful and optimistic Mr. Trenin presents his objective analysis, I have another obligation. I'll be in Moscow facing FSB charges of 'extremism.' Please pass Mr. Trenin my fascination with his sense of historical optimism and his intellectual flexibility."
Zubkov on running for president: "If I get something done here, in this post of prime minister, I do not exclude that." Um, that's six months from now.
The UK's Daily Telegraph noted, "It seems unfathomable that the new prime minister, due to be approved by Russia's pliant parliament today, could have made such a bold declaration without the approval of Mr Putin and his inner circle." Adding, "As a man of advancing years - Mr Zubkov will be 66 tomorrow, an age that exceeds the average Russian male's life expectancy by a decade - he is seen as a one-term president."
Meanwhile, some Russian youth thought it best to light themselves on fire to share their thoughts on the successor issue...Eternal Remont will stick to the blog.
Sep 13, 2007
Sep 12, 2007
From the looks of it, his final 're-programming' sessions at Nashi summer camp were a bang-up success, or maybe it was all the money he made from the Nord-Stream deal.
Speaking on the future of the EU, Schroeder warned that the Union was about to “fall hostage to the nationalist anti-Russian interests of certain member countries. The EU must reject such narrow-minded nationalist interests in order to avoid damaging the development of its relations with Russia. It sometimes is in Europe’s interest to forget about the interests of some individual countries,” he said.
That means you Poland!
President Vladimir Putin dissolved Russia's government Wednesday in a major political shakeup ahead of parliamentary and presidential elections, the Kremlin said. The dissolution is expected to result in a new prime minister, who will be seen as Putin's choice to succeed him after he steps down next spring.
Fradkov said he asked for the dissolution of the government because with elections approaching, Putin needed to have a free hand to make decisions, including those concerning appointments.
Parliamentary elections are scheduled for Dec. 2, followed some three months later by presidential balloting. "You might be right that we must all think about how to structure the government so that it better suits the pre-election period and prepares the country for what will happen after the parliamentary and presidential elections," Putin said.
(Ern bites knuckle) And they've considered the environment in their attempt to destroy America. Hooray. (Ern bites knuckle again)
Yahoo News: The Russian military has successfully tested what it described as the world's most powerful non-nuclear air-delivered bomb, Russia's state television reported Tuesday. It was the latest show of Russia's military muscle amid chilly relations with the US. Channel One television said the new weapon, nicknamed the "dad of all bombs" is four times more powerful than the US "mother of all bombs."
Unlike a nuclear weapon, the bomb doesn't hurt the environment, he added.
The U.S. Massive Ordnance Air Blast, nicknamed the Mother Of All Bombs, is a large-yield satellite-guided, air-delivered bomb described as the most powerful non-nuclear weapon in history.
Sep 11, 2007
He opens with a full broadside. "The main struggle of postcommunist transformation stood between radical market reformers, who desired a swift and complete transition, and rent seekers, whose desire was to make money on a prolonged period of market distortions." Oh crap. See, Anders, this is just going to piss people off.
BTW, the book is word for word from his lectures at Georgetown.
The government wants to build a massive nuclear power generator. It just doesn't know how, where, or what to do with it once the thing is operational.
"Belarus lacks qualified builders and planners, particularly people with a specialized education and hands-on experience, as well as licenses from the IAEA."
Licenses? We don't need no stinking licenses.
Sep 10, 2007
Владимир Владимирович™: Однажды Владимир Владимирович™ Путин сидел в своем кремлевском кабинете и смотрел по президентскому телевидению выступление американской певицы Бритни Джин Спирс на церемонии вручения наград MTV Video Music Award.
- Ерунда какая-то… - бормотал Владимир Владимирович™, глядя на неловкие движения американской певицы, - Даже песни у нас стали лучше… че ж еще сделать-то?
И Владимир Владимирович™ задумчиво посмотрел на потолок своего президентского кабинета.
It might explain a lot...
The Sofia Weekly: Dental tourism is an increasing trend with more and more Britons, who combine a holiday to Bulgaria's Black Sea coast with a visit to the dentist. Bulgaria, Turkey, Poland, Hungary, Croatia and Thailand are cashing in from a growing number of Britons who cannot get treatment on the NHS or cannot afford to pay huge bills for going private, the Finance Market online edition reported.
The medical search engine, revahealthnetwork.com, has revealed that 35,000 Britons a year travel overseas for dental work and nearly 60,000 searched online for information on dentists. The company declared that Britons can save up to 70% by travelling overseas for dental treatment - before accommodation and flights are taken into account. Bulgaria is a preferred destination due to the low-cost, high-quality dental care. Prices that local dentists charge are about seven times lower than those in Great Britain.
Sep 7, 2007
Democracy held up in customs.
With the hiss of an espresso machine and a note in Russian explaining the meanings of “tall,” “grande” and “venti,” Starbucks opened its first coffee shop in Russia on Thursday in a mall in this city near Moscow. The opening sealed a victory for the company in a fight with a trademark squatter who had kept Starbucks from coming to Russia for more than three years, just as a coffeehouse culture was emerging here. Starbucks refused to pay the squatter to yield the Starbucks name in Russia and eventually prevailed in court.
The menu of basic coffee drinks is the same as in the United States, and indeed everywhere in the world, Ms. Pucik said. The sandwiches and baked goods are adapted for local tastes. The Russian shop, for example, offers a mushroom-and-cheese sandwich.
Sep 5, 2007
YAHOO NEWS: The mayor of a Siberian oil town has ordered his bureaucrats to stop using expressions such as "I don't know" and "I can't." Or look for another job. Alexander Kuzmin, the 33-year-old mayor of Megion, has banned these and 25 other phrases as a way to make his administration more efficient, his spokeswoman said Tuesday.
Sep 4, 2007
This is not Robert's first brush with the law. He has climbed the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Empire State Building in New York, and many other buildings, often without permission.