Mar 13, 2012

Issue #1699(10), Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The St. Petersburg Times
Issue #1699(10), Wednesday, March 14, 2012

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LOCAL NEWS

Police Focus on Foreign Crime Victims
Gay Law's Author Rejects Criticism
The number of recorded crimes committed against foreign tourists in the city has hardly risen, while more such cases are now being solved, according to the St. Petersburg police. Andrei Stanchenko, head of the city's Police Investigative Department No.
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St. Petersburg Governor Georgy Poltavchenko signed into law a controversial bill against "promoting sodomy, lesbianism, bisexualism and transgenderism to minors" Sunday, drawing a new wave of criticism from around the globe.
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SKA Advances After 4-0 Win
French Language Sweeps City
SKA St. Petersburg opened its KHL Western Conference semi-final series with a 4-0 win over Atlant Moscow Oblast at the city's Ice Palace on Tuesday night. Vladimir Tarasenko, Fyodor Federov, Viktor Tikhanov and Mattias Weinhandl all scored for SKA, while netminder Jakub Stepanek faced a mere 15 shots on goal.
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St. Petersburg is celebrating the French language for the next two weeks with the Francophonia Days festival, which runs from March 13 to March 30. An extensive program of cultural events dedicated to the language will include the final of the French Language Song Festival for schoolchildren and students in the northwest of Russia on March 16, and a conference of the International French Language Countries Organization on March 21, at which Swiss writer Pascale Kramer will be a guest.
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City Struggles to Elect New Ombudsman
IN BRIEF
Three months without an ombudsman may seem like nothing compared with the nine years that it took the city to elect its first human rights safeguard. The hundreds of locals who were detained during the recent public protests on the streets of St.
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Photo Ban Reviewed ST. PETERSBURG (SPT) — The legislative committee of the city's parliament wants to find a way to restore the right of passengers to film and take photos inside all areas of the metro, the committee's head said this week.
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NATIONAL NEWS

Police Arrested After Fatal Rape
Spoof 'Icon' Signs For Pussy Riot Spring Up
MOSCOW — Investigators on Tuesday named five suspects in the beating death of 52-year-old Kazan resident Sergei Nazarov at a Kazan police station last week. One suspect, 25-year-old Ilshat Garifullin, has been detained, while investigators are seeking the arrest of four others, all aged 23 to 25, from the Dalny police station where Nazarov was allegedly beaten and raped.
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MOSCOW — Icon-like signs have appeared in the city of Novosibirsk portraying a masked member of the all-female punk band Pussy Riot, which has gained notoriety after two of its members were jailed last week for participating in an unsanctioned performance at Christ the Savior Cathedral.
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Russia to Continue to Sell Arms to Syria
Sixty-Eight Political Parties Seek Registration
MOSCOW — Russia has no intention of curtailing military cooperation with Syria despite calls from the West to stop arming President Bashar Assad's regime, a senior Russian government official said Tuesday.
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MOSCOW — The Justice Ministry has received 68 new applications to form political parties, a State Duma deputy said, RIA-Novosti reported. The applications come amidst deliberations on a bill that will soften the requirements for creating a political party by dropping the total number of required members from 40,000 to 500.
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Daily Commute Helps to Boost Sales of E-Books
Politicians To Meet
MOSCOW — The country's burgeoning e-book market is seeing dramatic growth rates, with an ever-increasing number of titles available in electronic format and e-readers continuing to fall sharply in price.
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MOSCOW — Former Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin plans to meet with billionaire politician Mikhail Prokhorov within the next few weeks to discuss possible cooperation. "Prokhorov and I agreed to meet in the coming weeks to discuss future prospects," Kudrin wrote on Twitter in response to a question asking whether he would join forces with the former presidential candidate.
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BUSINESS

Russian Railways To Reconstruct Stations
WTO Entry Set To Lure Investors
Russian Railways will invest more than 7 billion rubles ($34 million) in reconstructing railway stations this year, including 4.3 billion rubles for the reconstruction of stations in Moscow, the state-owned company said Sunday.
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MOSCOW — Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization will lead to a substantial increase in foreign investments in two to three years' time, Economic Development Minister Elvira Nabiullina said during a meeting with President-elect Vladimir Putin on Monday, Interfax reported.
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Vekselberg Quits As RusAl Chair
Bank Wants to Get Rid of 1, 5 Kopek Coins
MOSCOW — Russian billionaire Viktor Vekselberg has stepped down as chairman of aluminum giant RusAl, warning of a "deep crisis" at the company. The resignation prompted RusAl to suspend trading of its shares Tuesday after they shed 1.
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MOSCOW — That inevitable accumulation of almost worthless change could become a thing of the past this year as the Central Bank pushes to remove all 1- and 5-kopek coins from circulation. There are about 7.
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OPINION

Jews in Russia
russian unorthodox: Criminalizing Difference
After last December's elections to the State Duma, a number of Russian citizens went to the studios of the web TV channel Dozhd to tape a short message explaining why they and their country need free and fair elections.
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A prominent Russian satirist told me recently that one of the key differences between Russian humor and that of Western Europe or the United States is that Russian people do not "get" gay jokes. "Unlike Russians, people in America find gay jokes funny," he told me.
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CULTURE

Riding the wave
CHERNOV'S CHOICE
In the world of pop, you have to run to stay in the same place — or change constantly to keep your work interesting. That's exactly what Marc Collin, the French producer and mastermind behind Nouvelle Vague does.
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Pussy Riot, the Moscow-based feminist all-woman punk group notorious for its unsanctioned performance, found itself under unprecedented pressure from the Kremlin when two alleged members were arrested on the eve of the March 4 presidential election.
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Literary music
the word's worth: All the election slang that's fit to print
Nationality is key to the art of composer Rodion Shchedrin. His operas and ballets are almost exclusively inspired by classic Russian literature. Shchedrin's works — both new creations and those written years ago — such as the ballets "Anna Karenina," "The Seagull" and "The Little Humpbacked Horse," and the operas "The Enchanted Wanderer" and "Dead Souls" are now being enthusiastically staged by Russian companies, with the Mariinsky Theater showing the biggest appetite.
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Путинг: a rally in support of Putin Why, oh why, do I read readers' comments on online articles about the presidential election? They make me crazy and depressed. What ignorance, stupidity and bad grammar! Jeez, don't Americans know anything? Russian comments on articles about the election make me crazy, too.
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Back into the fray
in the spotlight: The Buranovskiye Babushki
A heavily anticipated fight between heavyweight mixed martial arts (MMA) athletes Jeff "The Snowman" Monson and Alexey "The Boa Constrictor" Oleinik is set to be the highlight of the M-1 Mixed Martial Arts Challenge 31 at St.
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Last week, Russia finally got it with Eurovision, sending the Buranovskiye Babushki, who dance in shoes made of birchbark, but to a disco beat. The ladies from the Udmurtia republic, known mainly as the birthplace of the Kalashnikov assault rifle, are going to sing "Party for Everybody" in Baku.
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THE DISH: Frida
 
Karmic cuisine Frida is the kind of place that makes you feel as if you have boosted your karma simply by crossing its threshold. The latest café to be opened by the team behind the ever-popular Chainny Dom on Ulitsa Rubinshteina, whose small empire of upscale hippie hangouts also includes the Indian café Kashmir on Bolshaya Moskovskaya Ulitsa, the new eatery bears the distinctive hallmarks of its older siblings.
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FEATURES

The Cradle of Russian Democracy
Fresh Focus on Churches of the North
VELIKY NOVGOROD — Veliky Novgorod is a rather small city of just 200,000 inhabitants and is both the cradle and the symbol of Russian democracy, which was established here more than 900 years ago. For almost 300 years, starting in 1136, the Novgorod Republic was ruled by a local chamber that paid no attention to rulers in Moscow.
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"Wooden Churches: Travelling in the Russian North," a new book by photographer Richard Davies and artist and writer Matilda Moreton, is a cause for both joy and sadness. The book celebrates the simplistic beauty of pre-revolutionary churches hidden away in Russia's northwest but also reflects on the state of disrepair into which many of the buildings have fallen.
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Russians Buy Up London
 
MOSCOW — Russian buyers continue to rank first among foreigners spending on high-end housing in London, giving the market a significant boost in the last few years, a consulting company said Monday. Property shoppers from Russia spend an average of £6.
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WORLD

31 Killed as Bangladesh Ferry Capsizes
Revenge Sought For U.S. Attack
DHAKA, Bangladesh — A ferry packed with about 200 people capsized in a river in southern Bangladesh on Tuesday, killing 31 people and leaving dozens more missing, authorities said. Local police chief Mohammad Shahabuddin Khan said about 35 people were rescued after the ferry sank on the Meghna River after colliding with a cargo boat early in the morning.
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BALANDI, Afghanistan — Taliban militants opened fire Tuesday on an Afghan government delegation visiting one of the two villages in southern Afghanistan where a U.S. soldier is suspected of killing 16 Afghan civilians.
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Poll Suggests Sarkozy To Win 1st Round of Vote
Former Leader's Husband Detained in Philippines
PARIS — French President Nicolas Sarkozy heard his first welcome news in a while Tuesday in his battle for re-election. For the first time in this campaign, a new poll suggests the long-unpopular president could beat Socialist Francois Hollande in the first round of voting next month — but it, like all previous polls, indicates Hollande would win in the crucial runoff.
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MANILA, Philippines — A court Tuesday ordered the husband of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to be arrested on charges that he received millions of dollars in bribes — part of a wide-ranging prosecution of alleged corruption during her presidency.
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© 2012 The Saint-Petersburg Times

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