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Medvedev: GMO Products Will Not Be Sold In Russia’s Market

Медведев: На российский рынок не будут поставляться продукты с ГМО.” April 6, 2014. 

Russia does not plan to import products that include GMO’s. This is what Prime Minister Dmitrii Medvedev has announced, ITAR-TASS reports. 

The head of Russia’s government gave instructions to carry out widespread monitoring of this sector, having analyzed the current state of the market. He ordered seed material to be inspected for genetic modification.

“We have no goal of developing the production of genetically modified products or to bring them into our country. We are capable of feeding ourselves with normal, everyday, and non-genetically-modified products. Americans like to feed themselves with those sorts of products, like foods with genetic modification – let them eat that way, we don’t need to do that, we have enough space and capacity to consume normal food,” Medvedev said at the Deputies’ Congress on Rural Settlements.

 

— 1 week ago
English Vocabulary in Advertising: Worse Than Waterloo

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Louis Rougnon Glasson. “Vocabulaire anglais dans la pub : pire que Waterloo”. Médiapart. February 21, 2014. 

A - Intro. It’s now clear that the French language is in massive disarray.  This goes hand in hand with the underperformance of French education. It’s not a unfortunate product of chance at all, and the people responsible should be unmasked.

The primary culprits: our media, with how triumphantly they’ve made us parade around the old fogeys of the French language: Bernard Pivot, Hélène Carrère d’Encausse, Valérie Pécresse, François de Closets, Jacques Toubon, Philippe de Saint Robert, etc.

As a complement to that hollow-sounding triumphalism, their censorship, their rejection of debate and vigilance has been an elementary and permanent violation of their deontology. Otherwise, the suspicion of a veritable mafia of crutch-sellers for education failure would have regularly put pressure on the French National School System Inspection corps.

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— 1 month ago
Banks Will Spend 400 Billion Rubles on Retail Loan Provisions - S&P

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Dina Ushakova. Banki potratiat na rezervy po poznichnym ssudam 400 mlrd rub. - S&P”. Vedomosti. February 21, 2014. 

In 2014, leaders from the consumer loan market may lose due to the necessity of loan-loss provisions for unsecured loans amounting to 46% of operating income, says Standard & Poor’s (S&P) in a review. Banks are maintaining this rate for the second year in a row. In 2012, provisions for possible losses on such loans ate up 26% of income— but only 6% in 2011.

“[For banks specializing in unsecured loans]  this indicator shows a change in portfolio and reflects the expectations of banks vis-à-vis the worsening quality of their portfolios. The higher it goes, the lower banks’ profits are,” says S&P credit analyst Irina Velieva.

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— 1 month ago
#Russia  #finance  #s&p 
Who Does the Moon Belong to?

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The Chinese plan to explore then exploit the lunar soil’s resources raises the prickly question about the origin of property. Is it still controversial?

Alexandre Lacroix. “A qui appartient la lune?”. Philo Mag. February 2014.

December 2, the Chinese launched their third probe toward the moon, Chang’e 3. This probe landed on the moon, and a little robot came out of it that will spend three months exploring the lunar soil. Sending this probe is part of an ambitious “Chinese lunar exploration program,” which anticipates sending manned missions ten years from now. If this is, to be sure, a strong symbol of national might, what are China’s real motives? Interviewed by the BBC 3 days before the launch, professor Uyang Ziyaun, who directs the program, partially lifted the veil: the Moon, he explained, is a “wonderful” source of minerals and energy. Besides uranium and titanium, the moon’s soil indeed contains helium 3.

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— 1 month ago
#Moon  #International law  #energy 
Global Warming: A Positive Influence

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Fishman Roman. “Global’noe poteplenie - faktor polozhitel’nyi”. Nauka i Tekhnologiia RF. February 10, 2014. 

On Wednesday, February 5, The World Meteorological Organization made public its official observation data from 2013, already noting that it had turned out to be of the warmest since 1850. According to the meteorologists’ data, the air temperature on Earth’s surface ended up being a half-degree higher than the average from the years between 1961-1990. “Global temperature indicators in 2013 correspond to a general long-term trend toward warming,” stated Michel Jarraud, the WMO’s general secretary.

In reality, of the fourteen warmest years in the entirety of the modern history of modern meteorological observation, we have already gone through thirteen of them in the 21st century. In this rating, 2013 took sixth place, with 2001 holding the temperature record. We talked with Doctor of Physical-Mathematical Science, rector of the Russian State Hydrometeorological University, Lev Nikolaevich Karlin about the connection to global warming and what this may hold for Russia.

Not so long ago, the European part of the country had gone through some rather serious freezes, which in the most recent winters, it seems, became a somewhat regular thing. How can this process be linked with global warming?

There mustn’t be any talk about how winters are becoming colder: the current winter, in contrast, remains exceptionally warm.

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— 1 month ago
How I Translated Last Exit to Brooklyn

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Jean-Pierre Carasso. « Comment j’ai trait Last Exit to Brooklyn ». La République des livres. January 17, 2014.

Everyone (or close to that) must know this joke: the restaurateur says to a patron “How did you find your steak?” The client says: “By chance, when I picked up a fry.” Faced with the question, “How did you translate Last Exit to Brooklyn?” I’m tempted to answer with the same kind of twist: “With the most amount of trouble.”

To begin with, Jacqueline Huet and I had to make the effort to overcome a true disgust for some of the most sordid features of Hubert Selby, jr.’s descriptions. The strands of bloody vomit from the unfortunate beaten private; the mix of sperm, urine, and beer that irrigate the atrocious death of Tralala; the (literally) dislocated and disjointed body of Harry, the unconscious working stiff pedophile, and so on.

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— 2 months ago
Protection from “Rocky Visitors”

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Tatiana Kochetkova. Защита от “каменных гостей" Interfax. January 29, 2014.

 The Russian Federation and the US will grapple with the threat of meteors together. To protect Earth against the asteroid Apophis, Russia will need no less than 30 billion rubles and six years of intense work.

The striking appearance of a meteorite in February of last year in the sky over the Ural Region turned out to be unexpected not only for Russians, but for scientists too. Small by cosmic standards, the heavenly body, slightly more than 10 meters in size, not only made the town Chebarkul famous, but forced astronomers to contemplate how they could avoid overlooking the next visitor from the sky. Especially as, by specialists’ estimates, the current likelihood of Earth colliding with large asteroids is only growing; and in 2029, the asteroid Apophis along with its own little entourage will come close to the planet. Scientists are still pondering how to behave around an uninvited guest if it appears at a dangerous distance from Earth.

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— 2 months ago
Oops, the IMF Was Wrong About Austerity

Its effects on European economies were underestimated, according to two of the organization’s economists.

Albertini, Domique. “Oups, le FMI s’est trompé sur l’austérité.” Libération. January 09, 2013.

Most economists now admit that austerity policies are bad for growth and employment. But those measures are even worse than previously thought, as two of them have discovered, and not a minor pair either: Olivier Blanchard, a French chief economist at the IMF and Daniel Leigh, an economist with the same organization. They find that using a bad calculation coefficient led to an underestimate of the negative effects of austerity in Europe. 

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— 1 year ago
#IMF  #austerity  #fmi  #economics  #European Union 
The “Failed: Leuven” Facebook Page Stirs Controversy

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May (with Belga”). “La Page Facebook « Failed: Leuven » fait polémique”. Le Soir. January 8, 2013. 

The “Failed: Leuven” Facebook page contained photos of drunk students. A page that constitutes “a violation of privacy” according to Louvain Police. 

Failed : Leuven” compiled a series of photos of drunk students. And this Facebook page “constitutes a violation of legislation on the protection of privacy and image rights,” according to Louvain’s local police. The page has since been removed from the social network. This is the second case of violated privacy involving Facebook pages in Belgium after the page “Antwerpse Hoere” (“Whores of Antwerp”), whose author was identified this Tuesday.

"Whoever wants to publish a photo of someone, even if their face is unrecognizable, must first request express permission from the person concerned," states police spokesperson Stéphanie Gille.

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— 1 year ago
Confederalism, a New Synonym for Separatism

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Véronique Lamquin. “Confédéralisme: nouveau synonyme de séparatisme”. Le Soir. January 7, 2013. 

When you get down to it, Rudy Demotte is right: confederalism is an “idiot trap.”  Or, in more restrained French: a lure, a sham, a fraud.

Confederalism gives birth to confederations. Which are, in international law, unions of independent states. To this day, there is not a single “Confederal State” in existence anywhere in the world: Switzerland usurped its titular confederation beginning in 1848 and turned into a federal state. If the N-VA intends to make Belgium move toward confederalism, that will necessarily mean the country first breaking up into independent Regions. Which could then create a Belgian confederation through free association. Highly improbable: how to imagine that an independent Flanders’ first move would be to form a free union with partners it had just separated from?

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— 1 year ago