My three and a half year old niece: “You should stop calling him baby Danny, because maybe he doesn’t like being called ‘baby’.”
So, will @EuromaidanPress finally stop Trump-bashing? (probably not)
Girkin was a true believer in the “Russian world”. Russia punishes everyone who believes in anything. It is not a place for believing.
Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Samuelson made a similar argument in the 80s. Genocide made worth while by the economic prosperity of the Soviet Union. (wtf!?!?!)
We forget how numerous, prominent, and degenerate the Soviet Union’s fellow travelers were.
“A reign of terror is not only physical action with arrests, torture, punishments and executions, but it is, above all, mental action.” – Russian philosopher Nikolai Berdyaev (1874-1948)
Moscow has tightened its belt, and its efforts are paying off, even though oil prices have not recovered and the economic sanctions against the country remain in place.
In fact, Russia stands to pull out of recession this year. The country’s economy is expected to start growing again in 2017 — by 1.5%, according to World Bank projections — thanks to a budget based on more realistic oil prices and a slimmer spending plan. Foreign investment has also started trickling back in as the rest of the world grows accustomed to navigating Russia’s sanctions. Western credit rating agencies such as Standard & Poor’s have even raised the country’s outlook from negative to stable.
But despite the overall economic upturn, Russia’s people are still in dire straits. One-quarter of Russian companies cut salaries in 2016, at times even skipping payments to their employees. The average monthly wage in Russia dropped 8% last year (after falling 9.5% in 2015) to under $450 — less than the mean monthly pay in China, Poland or Romania — while the poverty rate jumped to nearly 15%. And the country’s regional governments are not faring much better, much to the Kremlin’s consternation.
An overwhelming problem
Russia’s vast territory is split into 85 official regions of varying shapes, sizes and designations. (Two of these regions, Sevastopol and Crimea, are not internationally recognized as Russian territory since Moscow annexed them from Ukraine in 2014.)
According to the Russian Finance Ministry, only 10 of Russia’s 85 official regions — most of them commodity producers and metropolitan areas with substantial tax bases — are economically or financially stable, down by half since 2015. Of the country’s remaining regions, 30 manage to scrape by because direct federal subsidies make up at least 33% of their revenues. Half of the $3.5 billion in subsidies that the Kremlin disburses each year goes to just 10 of those regions: Dagestan, Chechnya, Yakutia, Kamchatka, Crimea, Altai, Tuva, Buryatia, Stavropol and Bashkortostan. That leaves more than half of Russia’s regions struggling to fulfill their social obligations and meet the federal government’s demands for funding.
Seventy of Russia’s regions send 63% of the income they generate to the federal budget, keeping only the remaining 37%. The federal government, meanwhile, returns at most 20% of the money by way of subsidies and intergovernmental transfers.
(BLOOMBERG) Ukraine signaled a showdown is coming with the International Monetary Fund over a pension revamp that’s needed to maintain disbursements from the country’s $17.5 billion bailout.
Valery Bolotov, the first head of the self-proclaimed “Luhansk People’s Republic” (“LNR”), died. Bolotov’s associate Aleksandr Borodai, the former “Prime Minister” of the “LNR,” told the Russian outlet RBK that Bolotov’s relatives informed him of the death, and the news was confirmed by a source from Bolotov’s circle.
Bolotov was born in Taganrog (Russia) and had a background in the Russian military, contradicting the myth that the war in the Donbas region of Ukraine is a rebellion, rather than a Russian invasion of neighboring Ukraine. . . .
The leaders of the Russian-backed “republics” in Ukraine’s eastern territories have been victims of mysterious deaths, which has fueled speculation on what exactly the relationships between the “republic leaders” and their Russian masters are. The British outlet The Guardian wrote then that Pavlov was “killed as result of either an internal feud or Russia removing ‘inconvenient’ separatist leaders in the field.”
Earlier, a series of mysterious deaths took place in the “LNR” after an alleged military coup against Igor Plotnitskiy, in which former “Prime Minister” Gennadiy Tsypkalov was found hanging in his cell, warlord Yaroslav Zhilin was killed in a restaurant, and former deputy of people’s militia chief Vitalii Kiselyov died in his prison cell. There were four other similar cases during the last six months: Aleksandr Bushuev, Aleksandr Nemogay, Alexander Osipov, and Sergey Litvin were reportedly killed due to their disobedience or growing personal authority. This suggests that those who refuse to follow the rules set by Moscow are being replaced by more obedient individuals.
74% – Finland
73% – Turkey
62% – Ukraine
59% – Russia
58% – Kosovo
55% – Bosnia and Herzegovina
55% – Sweden
54% – Greece
47% – Poland
46% – Serbia
41% – Latvia
39% – Switzerland
38% – Ireland
38% – Macedonia
38% – Romania
37% – Denmark
29% – France
28% – Portugal
27% – United Kingdom
26% – Iceland
25% – Bulgaria
23% – Czech Republic
21% – Austria
21% – Spain
20% – Italy
19% – Belgium
18% – Germany
15% – The Netherlands
The index, which is published by Berlin-based Transparency International, aims to rank nations “based on how corrupt a country’s public sector is perceived to be.” The index ranked 176 countries on a scale of 0 (perceived to be highly corrupt) to 100 (perceived to be very clean).
I don’t think this is accurate.
Holy cow! Appreciate it having been gone. U.S. is so incredibly convenient. Everywhere, ppl make careers out of making life 0.0001% easier.
Innovation for the whole world.
– Butter mixed with olive oil to spread more easily.
– The plastic bags in self-checkout. When you remove one, the next one opens.
Amid the hysteria over this prudent pause in refugee admissions from seven countries whose principal export is dynamite vests, it has been indignantly claimed that it’s illegal for our immigration policies to discriminate on the basis of religion.
This is often said by journalists who are only in America because of immigration policies that discriminated on the basis of religion.
For much of the last half-century, Soviet Jews were given nearly automatic entry to the U.S. as “refugees.” Entering as a refugee confers all sorts of benefits unavailable to other immigrants, including loads of welfare programs, health insurance, job placement services, English language classes, and the opportunity to apply for U.S. citizenship after only five years.
Most important, though, Soviet Jews were not required to satisfy the United Nations definition of a “refugee,” to wit: someone fleeing persecution based on race, religion or national origin. They just had to prove they were Jewish.
This may have been good policy, but let’s not pretend the Jewish exception was not based on religion.
If a temporary pause on refugee admissions from seven majority-Muslim countries constitutes “targeting” Muslims, then our immigration policy “targeted” Christians for discrimination for about 30 years.
Never heard a peep from the ACLU about religious discrimination back then!
North Carolina! Stepped out this morning. The sound of the birds & smell of the air. All so familiar and dear.
President Donald Trump and his Ukrainian counterpart discussed concerns about an escalation in fighting in eastern Ukraine and talked about bolstering the strategic partnership between their countries, according to a readout of the conversation.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko called for boosting dialogue and economic ties with the U.S. and discussed a potential visit to Washington, Svyatoslav Tsegolko, Poroshenko’s press secretary, said in a Facebook post.
In a summary, the White House said Trump had a “very good call” with Poroshenko that included a discussion of Ukraine’s conflict with Russia. “We will work with Ukraine, Russia and all other parties involved to help them restore peace along the border,” Trump said.
It was Trump’s second call to a world leader on Saturday after he earlier spoke with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni and agreed to attend the G-7 Summit in Taormina, Italy, in May.
My 10 months old son had a difficult day last Sunday. First he fell (nothing serious), then he bit down too hard on one of his toys, then he bonked himself in the head with the spoon which we have him as consolation. ( He sometimes prefers dinnerware to toys.)
On Monday, he woke up with a very serious demeanor. I imagined him to be contemplating the years ahead together with his discovery of how cruel unforgiving the world can be. To the surprise of my wife and I, his air of seriousness did not abate. He took no solace in toys or baby sounds.
Only in the evening, did bath-time finally break the spell, and he again started smiling and laughing.