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September 11, 2018

Russians protest against pension reform

Russians protest against pension reform

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  • 16 July 2018: France beats Croatia 4-2 to win 2018 FIFA World Cup
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Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Rally against raising the retirement age (2018-09-09; Saint Petersburg).
Image: VOA.

A member of the protest holds a sign saying “‍[This is] Pension default (not reform)! Impeachment to Putin! Fire Medvedev! Remove Gosduma!”.
Image: VOA.

On Sunday, reportedly over a thousand Russians were arrested for illegally protesting against government plans for pension age adjustment. The protest spanned several regions across the country. The plan would raise the retirement age an additional five years, with new age for men at 65, for women at 60.

According to monitoring data from media project OVD-Info, 1018 people were arrested, including 452 people in St Petersburg, 183 people in Yekaterinburg, 60 in Krasnodar, 43 each in Moscow and Omsk, 23 in Perm, 22 in Kazan, 20 in Tver, 17 in Ufa, 15 in Habarovsk, 13 each in Tomsk and Belgorod, 12 each in Chelyabinsk and Lipetsk, 10 in Novosibirsk, and some 80 in other cities.

Locations of the arrests.

In Moscow, the rally started at Pushkin Square at 2 p.m. local time and anti-riot police pushed people away. They marched toward the Kremlin. On their way, they again clashed with Police and did not complete the route.

The protests reportedly started in the Far East and Siberia first, followed by western regions of the country.

Regional elections were also on Sunday.

The pension adjustment plan has reportedly coincided with a significant drop in approval rating of Russian President Vladimir Putin.



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July 16, 2018

France beats Croatia 4-2 to win 2018 FIFA World Cup

France beats Croatia 4-2 to win 2018 FIFA World Cup

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Monday, July 16, 2018

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  • 16 July 2018: France beats Croatia 4-2 to win 2018 FIFA World Cup
  • 16 July 2018: FIFA World Cup 2018: Belgium beats England 2-0 to claim third place finish
  • 13 July 2018: FIFA World Cup 2018 semifinals: Croatia sends England home, 2-1
  • 13 July 2018: FIFA World Cup 2018 semifinals: Umtiti scores only goal, France reaches finals beating Belgium
  • 10 July 2018: FIFA World Cup 2018 quarterfinals: England beats Sweden, Croatia knocks out hosts Russia
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Yesterday, France defeated Croatia 4–2 in the final of 2018 FIFA Football World Cup to win the tournament for the second time. French teenager Kylian Mbappé became the second teenager to score in a FIFA World Cup final after Pelé did in 1958’s tournament.

Croatia dominated the ball possession, having almost twice as much as France. In the sixth minute, French defender Samuel Umtiti won a free kick in the defensive half. In the 17th minute, Croatian midfielder Marcelo Brozović committed a foul and the referee awarded France a freekick. Mario Mandžukić ended up scoring an own goal from Antoine Griezmann’s assist, giving France an early lead. Domagoj Vida and Ivan Rakitić tried to equalise for Croatia, later, but their attempts were either blocked or went wide. In the 27th minute, French defensive midfielder N’Golo Kanté was shown a yellow card for a bad foul. A minute later, Ivan Perišić scored a left-footed shot from Vida’s assist, equalising for Croatia. The sides were not tied to 1–1 score for long. In the 35th minute, the referee awarded France a penalty kick, after confirming with the video assistant referee. Ivan Perišić had a handball in the penalty area. Greizmann scored from the penalty, putting the ball in the left corner and sending Croatian goalkeeper Danijel Subašić in the opposite direction. Frenchman Lucas Hernández was booked by the referee in the 41st minute. The first half ended with France leading 2–1.

In the second half, Griezmann missed a chance to score from Olivier Giroud’s assist. France made their first substitution in the 55th minute, as N’Golo Kanté was replaced by Steven N’Zonzi. Just before the one-hour mark, Paul Pogba had a shot towards goal but was blocked and Pogba collected the ball, and on the second attempt, the French midfielder scored from the left-footed shot, doubling the lead for France. Kylian Mbappé scored the fourth goal in the 65th minute, from Hernández’s assist. With this goal, Mbappé became the second teenager to score in a FIFA World Cup final. In the 69th minute, Mandžukić scored the second goal for Croatia, intercepting French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris‘ pass. However, Croatia could not catch up the two-goal difference, and the match ended 4–2, as France won their second FIFA World Cup.

French coach Didier Deschamps became only the third person to win the FIFA football World Cup as a player and a coach. As a player, Deschamps won the World Cup in 1998, when he was the captain of the French team. Two years ago, the Deschamps-led French team ended up as the losing side in the UEFA Euro 2016 tournament, 1–0 against Portugal in the extra-time.

After the match, Croatia’s coach Zlatko Dalić said, “I congratulate France on their title […] I have to congratulate my players, it was maybe the best game we played in these championships; we controlled the match but we conceded. Against such a strong side as France, you must not make mistakes. We are a bit sad but we have to be proud as well for what we’ve done.”

Croatian midfielder Ivan Rakitić said, “We were the better team in the first half, we were attacking, but we were unlucky tonight. They scored four goals from their three shots on goal. But I congratulate France, they deserved it.”

Tournament top scorer Harry Kane won the Adidas Golden Boot award. The English striker scored six goals in the entire tournament. Belgium’s goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois won the Adidas Golden Glove award. Croatia’s captain Luka Modrić won the Adidas Golden Ball prize.




July 15, 2018
1800 MSK (UTC+0300)
France 4–2 Croatia Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow, Russia
Attendance: 78,011
Referee: Flag of Argentina.svg Néstor Pitana (Argentina)
Mario Mandžukić Scored after 18 minutes 18′ (o.g.)
Antoine Griezmann Scored after 38–39 minutes 38–39′ (pen.)
Paul Pogba Scored after 59 minutes 59′
Kylian Mbappé Scored after 65 minutes 65′
N’Golo Kanté Booked after 27 minutes 27′
Lucas Hernández Booked after 41 minutes 41′
N’Golo Kanté Substituted off after 55 minutes 55′
Steven N’Zonzi Substituted on after 55 minutes 55′
Blaise Matuidi Substituted off after 73 minutes 73′
Corentin Tolisso Substituted on after 73 minutes 73′
Olivier Giroud Substituted off after 81 minutes 81′
Nabil Fekir Substituted on after 81 minutes 81′
2–1 (HT) Ivan Perišić Scored after 28 minutes 28′
Mario Mandžukić Scored after 69 minutes 69′
Šime Vrsaljko Booked after 90+2 minutes 90+2′
Ante Rebić Substituted off after 71 minutes 71′
Andrej Kramarić Substituted on after 71 minutes 71′
Ivan Strinić Substituted off after 81 minutes 81′
Marko Pjaca Substituted on after 81 minutes 81′

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  • “Ronaldo-less Portugal beats France 1-0; wins Euro ’16” — Wikinews, July 12, 2016

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June 9, 2016

IUPAC proposes four new chemical element names

IUPAC proposes four new chemical element names

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Thursday, June 9, 2016

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The periodic table as it stands today. The four newly discovered elements are officially added by IUPAC following the five months of public review. The new names would replace the current placeholder names.
Image: Sandbh.

The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) announced yesterday the proposed names of four chemical elements recently discovered by scientists around the world. According to the rules of IUPAC, the four names — nihonium, moscovium, tennessine, and oganesson — are to be subject to a five-month period of public scrutiny which ends November 2016. IUPAC allows the teams of scientists who discover and synthesize new elements to name them, subject to process.

Element number 113, nihonium, is named after the Japanese name for the country of JapanNihon — where it was first synthesized and discovered by researchers at the RIKEN institute.

Elements 115 and 117, moscovium and tennessine, were co-discovered by researchers in the United States and Russia. Moscovium’s name comes from the Moscow-based Joint Institute of Nuclear Research where researchers discovered the element. Similarly, tennessine is named after the US state of Tennessee where chemical research is commonly conducted.

Lastly, element number 118, oganesson, is named for a Russian physicist, Yuri Oganessian, team leader from the synthesis of tennessine, element 117.

Elements 113, 115, 117, and 118 complete the bottom row of the current periodic table. Further discoveries would likely add a new row on the table. Currently, these elements are given the systematic placeholder names ununtrium, ununpentium, ununseptium and ununoctium, respectively.

The elements are formed as a result of colliding two smaller atoms together to form a larger atom. These resultant atoms are made in small amounts, are generally unstable, and decompose into smaller components in periods of time less than a second.

IUPAC confirmed discovery of these four elements in December. These were the first confirmed discoveries since IUPAC confirmed elements 114 and 116, flerovium and livermorium, in 2011.



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February 1, 2015

Fire ravages large academic library in Moscow

Fire ravages large academic library in Moscow

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Sunday, February 1, 2015

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  • 1 February 2015: Fire ravages large academic library in Moscow
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Firefighters in front of the partially destroyed building.
Image: Sergey Leschina.

A fire Friday night and Saturday morning caused major damage to the Institute of Scientific Information on Social Sciences in Moscow, Russia. It is among the nation’s largest academic libraries.

The fire began at 10p.m. local time on the third floor, damaging much of one wing. Russian Academy of Sciences boss Vladimir Fortov called it “a great loss to science”. He said around 15% of the library’s 14.2 million books and other documents are likely damaged.

Russia Today said 147 personnel battled the blaze with 38 vehicles. The emergency ministry puts the number of firefighters at over 200. The blaze left no injuries and was contained by around midnight.

A close-up of the damaged roof as firefighting work continues
Image: Sergey Leschina.

Thought to have escaped the fire are the library’s collection of rare and ancient Slavic manuscripts. Other documents housed include Russia’s largest repository of articles from the United Nations and UNESCO in particular, and UN precursor the League of Nations. Large numbers of other documents in old and modern languages from across Asia and Europe are on-site, as are reports from national legislatures. Parliamentary documents held include Italian documents from 1897, US documents from 1789, and UK documents from 1803.

Founded in 1918 and boasting 49,000 readers served by 330 staff, the library has lost around 2,000 square metres. The roof has partially collapsed. Arson has been ruled out with an official telling Ria Novosti an electrical fault is considered likely.



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January 12, 2015

Millions march in France and around the world in support of Charlie Hebdo

Millions march in France and around the world in support of Charlie Hebdo

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Monday, January 12, 2015

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Marchers in Paris.
Image: Yann Caradec.

Following the shootings at the offices of Charlie Hebdo, millions of people turned out yesterday for marches in Paris, in cities across France, and around the world. Reported estimates of between 1.5 and 2 million people rallied in Paris, and the French interior ministry estimated 3.7 million or more rallied across France.

44 world leaders attended the Paris march including French President François Hollande; German Chancellor Angela Merkel; British Prime Minister David Cameron; Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy; Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi; the President of Mali, Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta; Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority; King Abdullah II and Queen Rania of Jordan; Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu; the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov; the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban; and the President of Gabon, Ali Bongo Ondimba.

US Ambassador to France Jane D. Hartley attended. White House Spokesman Josh Earnest responded to criticism for not sending a higher level representative on behalf of the United States: “It is fair to say we should have sent someone with a higher profile.” Earnest said the rally had been planned on Friday and President Obama attending the rally on such short notice presented “significant security challenges”. Secretary of State John Kerry said he already had a prior engagement in India.

Charlie Hebdo has previously published cartoons featuring the Islamic prophet Muhammed. These include original depictions and reprints of controversial cartoons originally by Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten. Some of these cartoons were on display at the marches.

Marche Charlie Hebdo Paris 07.jpg

Paris: flowers and tributes to the victims of the shooting.
Image: Guerric Poncet.

6 Marche républicaine 11 janvier 2015 Paris - Le crayon comme pancarte AB P1340202.jpg

Paris march: a protester holding up two colouring pencils, in solidarity with journalists and cartoonists killed in the attack.
Image: Basili.

Crayons libres 2.jpg

Paris march: protestors holding up two giant pencils.
Image: Eric Walter.

Les crayons.jpg

Paris march: more protestors holding up giant pencils.
Image: Eric Walter.

Foule en défilé.jpg

Paris march: marchers fill the street.
Image: Eric Walter.

Marche du 11 Janvier 2015, Paris (4).jpg

Paris march: more marchers filling the streets.
Image: Yann Caradec.

Pancarte 2.jpg

Paris march.
Image: Eric Walter.

Paris Rally, 11 January 2015 - Boulevard Beaumarchais - 05.jpg

Paris march: marchers moving up Boulevard Beaumarchais.
Image: Poulpy.

2 Marche républicaine 11 janvier 2015 Paris - Foule des manifestants quai station Mirosmenil AB P1340193.jpg

Paris march: marchers fill the platform at the Miromesnil Métro station.
Image: Basili.

Rassemblement de soutien à Charlie Hebdo - 11 janvier 2015 - Bordeaux 10.JPG

Bordeaux rally.
Image: LeJC.

Bourg-en-Bresse rally in support of the victims of the 2015 Charlie Hebdo shooting, 11 January 2015 (2).JPG

Rally in Bourg-en-Bresse.
Image: Benoît Prieur.

Marche républicaine 2015, Chambéry 9.JPG

Rally in Chambéry.
Image: Florian Pépellin.

Marche républicaine du 11 janvier 2015 à Lyon 49.JPG

Rally in Lyon.
Image: Jitrixis.

Manifestation en soutien à Charlie Hebdo et aux victimes des fusillades, Rennes, 2015-01-11-1.jpg

Rally in Rennes.
Image: Édouard Hue.

Manifestation en soutien à Charlie Hebdo et aux victimes des fusillades, Rennes, 2015-01-11-11.jpg

A sign at the march in Rennes showing a number of the Charlie Hebdo cartoons.
Image: Édouard Hue.

Manifestation en soutien à Charlie Hebdo et aux victimes des fusillades, Rennes, 2015-01-11-7.jpg

Rally in Rennes.
Image: Édouard Hue.

Rennes 11 janvier 2015 - Marche républicaine 03.jpg

Rally in Rennes.
Image: Pymouss.

Dimanche 11 janv 2015 Reims soutien à Charlie 05969.JPG

Rally at the Place Royale in Reims.
Image: G.Garitan.

French flag projected onto The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London.JPG

French flag projected on to the side of the National Gallery in London as a sign of solidarity.
Image: Simeon87.

Tributes to the victims.jpg

Signs, pens, sketch pads and cartoons left as a memorial in Trafalgar Square in London.
Image: Zefrog.

Participant holding a pen.jpg

A pen held up as part of the rally in London’s Trafalgar Square.
Image: Zefrog.

Je suis Charlie rally at Daley Plaza in Chicago, 11 January 2015 (5).jpg

A man holding both a French and American flag at a rally in Daley Plaza in Chicago.
Image: Stel Cape.

Cologne rally in support of the victims of the 2015 Charlie Hebdo shooting-191954.jpg

A small rally in Cologne.
Image: Raimond Spekking.

JeSuisCharlie in Moscow S0147494 (16255052582).jpg

Candle lights at a rally in Moscow.
Image: Ilya Schurov.

JeSuisCharlie in Moscow S0177502 (16070064457).jpg

Snow-covered flowers and tributes outside the office of the French Ambassador in Moscow.
Image: Ilya Schurov.

JeSuisCharlie in Moscow S0357555 (16068596810).jpg

At the rally in Moscow.
Image: Ilya Schurov.

Je suis Charlie, Stockholm 11 January 2015 (2).jpg

Rally in Stockholm.
Image: Henrik M F.

Stockholm rally in support of the victims of the 2015 Charlie Hebdo shooting (15).jpg

Rally in Stockholm.
Image: fcruse.

Stockholm rally in support of the victims of the 2015 Charlie Hebdo shooting (9).jpg

A pencil in the snow at the Stockholm rally.
Image: fcruse.

Wien - Gedenkkundgebung Gemeinsam gegen den Terror - Je Suis Charlie - I.jpg

Rally in Vienna.
Image: Haeferl.

Je suis Charlie, Berlin 11 January 2015 (2).jpg

Rally in Berlin.
Image: Tim.

Je suis Charlie, Brussels 11 January 2015 (122).jpg

Rally in Brussels.
Image: Miguel Discart.



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  • “Twelve dead in shooting at offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo” — Wikinews, January 7, 2015

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August 22, 2014

Four arrested after building spire in Moscow painted in Ukrainian colors

Four arrested after building spire in Moscow painted in Ukrainian colors

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Friday, August 22, 2014

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Russian authorities have detained four people on Wednesday on suspicion of vandalism, following an incident where the spire of the iconic Kotelnicheskaya Embankment Building in Moscow was painted in the colors of the Ukrainian flag. The suspects, reportedly consisting of two men and two women, allegedly ascended the building by stairs to reach its top floor, before using climbing equipment to complete the ascent, according to Moscow police.

File photo of the Kotelnicheskaya Embankment Building in 2009.
Image: SphinxTheGeek.

Over the course of the previous night, the suspects proceeded to paint the top half of the building’s star-shaped spire blue and erected a Ukrainian flag atop at about 7:15 am local time, reports the Interfax news agency, with information corroborated by Moscow’s municipal emergency services. The alterations to the building made by the suspects remained for several hours, before workers removed the flag and repainted the spire to its normal color. Containing 32 floors and standing at a height of 176 m (577 ft), the Kotelnicheskaya Embankment Building is one of the Seven Sisters, skyscrapers constructed between 1947 and 1953 in Moscow under the direction of Joseph Stalin.

Following the act, at least one of the suspects then reportedly descended from the building by parachute, reported state news channel Rossiya 24, and captured on a video published by Lifenews, reportedly filmed by a local resident. Additional video broadcast by Rossiya 24, taken from a window, captured a parachuting suspect landing in a nearby playground. Among the suspects was Alexander Pogrebov, who has denied the charges brought forth by authorities. “I was detained for parachuting off the skyscraper. I chose that place because it’s beautiful. […] It just so happened that at the time of the jump, someone else committed an act of vandalism — they destroyed the spire with paint, and raised the Ukrainian flag.” said Pogrebov in an interview to LifeNews.

Pogrebov’s comments were supported by a police official, who stated to the Itar-Tass agency: “The two young men and two girls say they jumped from a high building with parachutes. They say they didn’t hoist any flag and didn’t paint the flag.” If convicted of vandalism, Pogrebov and the other suspects may be sentenced to a maximum of three years imprisonment. Over the phone to Bloomberg, an unidentified duty press official stated the suspects were previously arrested over other charges. According to reports from Russian state television, all four suspects were Russian citizens.

Other acts by Russian protestors to show support and solidarity with Ukraine, contrasting the approval which came following the Russian annexation of Crimea, included the singing of the Ukrainian national anthem by protestors while being arrested. Russian musician Andrey Makarevich, who fronts the band Mashina Vremeni, which translates to “Time Machine”, was labelled as a “traitor” by Russian lawmakers and musicians who supported Russian interests, after he traveled to eastern Ukraine last week to perform for displaced children in regions held by the Ukrainian army.

On a post on Twitter, Russian opposition leader Gennady Gudkov stated “I don’t justify youngsters who painted a star on the skyscraper, but this is an administrative offense, not criminal”. In 2011 and 2012, following accusations of electoral fraud during the parliamentary elections at the time, Gudkov supported protestors who took to the streets of Moscow in opposition to Russian president Vladimir Putin.

The act comes just days prior to Ukraine’s Day of the National Flag on August 23 and Independence Day on August 24. The country’s president, Petro Poroshenko, expressed his approval from Kiev of the act and praise for the suspects in a written post on Facebook. “On the eve of Independence Day we are starting an initiative called ‘Our Colours,’ which is devoted to the Ukrainian flag”((uk)), wrote Poroshenko. “And it is symbolic that, on this day, our colours have been painted on what is perhaps the greatest skyscraper in Moscow. I urge Ukrainians throughout the world, wherever they are, on the eve of the anniversary of our independence, to decorate their homes, offices, and cars in our national colours.”((uk))

“I like very much the fact that, on the eve of celebrating the Ukrainian flag, one of Moscow’s highest buildings was painted in our colors,” Poroshenko said in a video posted on Facebook. “I congratulate these Ukrainians.” Following the deaths of more than 2,000 people and the displacement of 300,000 from their homes amid fighting in eastern Ukraine between the Ukrainian armed forced and pro-Russian separatists, Poroshenko is scheduled to discuss the crisis with Putin next week, the first such meeting in two months.



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August 12, 2013

Dibaba’s comeback: Long-distance track star wins her first World Championship title since 2007

Dibaba’s comeback: Long-distance track star wins her first World Championship title since 2007

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Monday, August 12, 2013

Tirunesh Dibaba carries the Ethiopian flag at the 2012 IAAF World Championships
Image: Erik van Leeuwen.

Tirunesh Dibaba won her first World Championship title in six years, coming first in the 10,000 meter race at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow, Russia last night. Dibaba finished with a time of 30 minutes and 43.37 seconds, giving her the third World Championship victory of her career.

Dibaba’s victory last night ended a six-year drought for the athlete on the World Championships stage, having been unable to win a World Championship title since 2007. In that period of time, Dibaba had more luck in the Olympics, winning the 10,000 meter final in 2008 and successfully defending her title in 2012.

Dibaba waited until the final two laps of the race to take the lead, sprinting the final 500 meters in 59.98 seconds. She easily left her fellow competitors behind, with silver-medalist Gladys Cherono of Kenya trailing by almost two seconds. Belaynesh Olijra of Ethiopia, one of Dibaba’s training partners, took the bronze medal, crossing the finish line in a time of 30 minutes and 46.98 seconds.

Dibaba spoke about wanting to return the Ethiopian women’s track team to glory, when talking to reporters after her race. The team had not won gold at a 10,000 meter final at the IAAF World Championships for two years.

“Because of that, both as a team and individually, we trained very hard,” she told reporters.



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May 26, 2013

Kamchatka deep-focus underwater earthquake reaches Moscow

Kamchatka deep-focus underwater earthquake reaches Moscow

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Sunday, May 26, 2013

Friday, an undersea earthquake off the far east coast of Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula was felt in the capital city of Moscow, 10,000 kilometers away. The earthquake occurred 600km below sea level in the Okhotsk Sea and recorded an 8.2 magnitude on the Richter Scale, with the Moscow shock measured as 1.0 on the scale. No casualties or damage were reported.

Citizens in Moscow said that the tremors were not “really strong” but they were enough to shake things hanging on walls. The last time such a shock was felt in Moscow was in 1984.

Alexei Lyubushin, chief researcher of the Institute of Physics of the Earth at the Russian Academy of Sciences said it is common for such quakes to have large scale but low damage, “This is a so-called deep-focus earthquake, that’s why it was felt at such a large territory. If an earthquake happens at such a low depth, the waves move along low layers, practically the mantle, but weaken significantly before reaching the earth surface. This is why there usually is no injuries or casualties in such cases. … The waves can even move through the Earth’s core.”

Sahkalin Island was under a tsunami warning on Friday, however, it was lifted soon after. The island may have to prepare for a tsunami situation again, with another under sea earthquake predicted in the next week with a magnitude of over 7.0.



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February 6, 2013

Moscow experiences the snowiest winter in 100 years

Moscow experiences the snowiest winter in 100 years

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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Snow in Moscow’s Red Square (2006)
Image: Valerii Tkachenko, Flickr.

The Moscow authorities confirmed they recorded the highest level of snowfall this winter in the capital city of Russia in 100 years. Recent heavy snow has produced major traffic jams since Monday. The traffic stopped in queues up to 20 km long. The weather caused bad visibility and icy roads. The airport services were not affected until late Monday, when the authorities had to divert even the prime minister Dmitry Medvedev’s plane heading from Sochi. The plane landed safely in St. Petersburg and had to wait for better conditions.

The record amount of this winter’s snow was confirmed by the Moscow city hall officer Pyotr Biryukov. He said more than two meters of snow have fallen from sky on Moscow since the beginning of the winter.

The Yandex.ru traffic analyst Leonid Mednikov estimated the total length of the traffic jams queues as being up to 3,500 kilometers. The most affected streets included arterial roads: the Volokolamsk highway, the Andropov Avenue and the Kutuzovsky Avenue, as well as the Moscow Ring Road and several highways in the city outskirts. Many Muscovites spent up to 10 hours in cars on their way home from their jobs.

Congestion of this sort is not unusual in Moscow: the last similar incident occurred just two weeks ago, although the authorities of the city deployed thousands of snow-clearing machines to handle the snow. More snow is expected in February and March.



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April 1, 2012

Ex-KGB head Leonid Shebarshin dies at age 77

Ex-KGB head Leonid Shebarshin dies at age 77

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Sunday, April 1, 2012

Russia
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Leonid Shebarshin, a retired senior spy who headed the former Soviet Union‘s KGB for a day, has apparently killed himself. He celebrated his 77th birthday earlier this week.

The KGB’s logo. Shebarshin headed the service for a day.
Image: Jgaray.

Born in 1935, Shebarshin had experience as an agent in India, Pakistan, Iran, and Afghanistan. He was made head of the KGB’s foreign intelligence arm, the First Main Directorate, in 1989 and held the post until 1991.

That year saw a coup by figures including the KGB’s leader Vladmir Kryuchkov against Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. When the coup failed, Shebarshin was appointed Kryuchkov’s interim replacement on August 22. The next day, he was replaced in that role and resigned soon after. The Soviet Union collapsed later that year.

Shebarshin is believed to have left a suicide note before killing himself with a shot to the head from the pistol he was gifted upon retirement, according to media and the local Investigative Committee. His body was found at his Moscow apartment Friday. The gun was nearby.

Shebarshin’s wife has been dead for several years. He is thought to have lived alone in his city centre apartment.



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