Mar 20, 2012

Issue #1700(11), Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The St. Petersburg Times
Issue #1700(11), Wednesday, March 21, 2012

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The Third Northern Dimension Forum, Saint-Petersburg, 29th March 2012, Sokos Hotel Olympia Garden
The aims of the Forum are to foster networking between authorities and businesses, and to ensure that the voice of business is heard within the political decision making circles. This year's Forum focuses on three issues: human resources, transport and clean technology.
Confirmed top speakers, incl.:
  • Andrey Fursenko, RF Minister of Education and Science;
  • Jyri Hakamies, Minister of Economic Affairs of Finland;
  • Matthias Machnig, Minister of Economy, Employment and Technology of the Free State Thuringia, Germany.
Registration: www.aebrus.ru/events/registration
Organizers: Northern Dimension Business Council (NDBC) and Association of European Businesses (AEB)

LOCAL NEWS

NGO Appeals For Sight-Saving Cure
Britain Celebrates Paralympics in City
Are you willing to spend ten minutes to put yourself in the shoes of someone who has almost lost the ability to see? This was the question faced by lawmakers from the St. Petersburg Legislative Assembly on Wednesday, March 14, when volunteers from the local non-governmental organization Society Against Blindness greeted the parliamentarians before the start of their morning session.
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Students from three of the city's regular primary and middle schools took part in sports competitions together with students from three schools for disabled and visually impaired children on March 14. The event was part of a joint Russian-British project titled Paralympic Values that was launched in September and runs through April.
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Dissenters Plan New Wave of Protest Rallies
ITB Expert Offers City Advice on Tourism Policy
Protests against the flawed presidential election will continue in St. Petersburg this weekend. City Hall has authorized a march due on Saturday and a stationary rally due on Sunday. The Yabloko Democratic Party, The Other Russia party, the Solidarity democratic movement, the Party of People's Freedom (Parnas) and National Democrats party will spearhead the march — officially titled "For Citizen's Rights and Freedoms" — starting near Gorkovskaya metro station at 2 p.
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Russia presented a new-look stand at the ITB Berlin travel trade show on March 7, where ITB head David Ruetz offered some advice to Russia and St. Petersburg as to how to successfully market themselves as international travel destinations.
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IN BRIEF
 
SKA Skates to Victory ST. PETERSBURG (SPT) — SKA St. Petersburg took a 3-1 lead in the KHL Western Conference semi-finals Monday night with a crushing 5-1 win over Atlant Moscow Oblast at the Mytishchi arena in the Moscow region.
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NATIONAL NEWS

NTV Pro-Kremlin Film Provokes Opposition Fury
U.S. Plans $50M 'Civil Society Fund' for Russia
MOSCOW — Dozens of people were detained over the weekend in a series of Moscow protests fueled by a pro-Kremlin documentary on state-run NTV television that suggested protesters have been paid to take part in opposition rallies.
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MOSCOW — A United Russia Duma deputy accused the United States of "fighting our country," after the Obama administration said it would boost funding for civil society and democracy in Russia. Irina Yarovaya wrote that U.
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Duma Hurries Bill On Political Parties
Belarus Unmoved Despite Criticism
MOSCOW — Opposition leaders are bracing themselves for a new law that many expect will lead to a mushrooming of political parties in the country. On Friday, the State Duma's public organizations committee decided to send the bill to the floor for a second reading Tuesday without changing its key ingredient: lowering the membership threshold for a party from 40,000 to 500.
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MOSCOW — The Kremlin on Monday hosted controversial Belarussian leader Alexander Lukashenko for talks about deeper economic integration amid growing calls for tougher sanctions against Belarus for the execution of two convicted bombers.
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Official Bashes Use of Meds In U.S. Military
Rare Whale Heads Home to Mother Russia
MOSCOW — A Defense Ministry official took a swipe at the U.S. practice of treating soldiers with anti-depressants, noting that the Russian military, in contrast, does not use medication to treat psychological health issues.
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska — An endangered western Pacific gray whale tracked from Russia to Alaska and along the West Coast to Baja Mexico is on the move again, apparently preparing to cross the Pacific Ocean again.
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Ex-Stripper Tries to Kill Husband
 
MOSCOW — Tatarstan's top court has sentenced a former stripper to five years in prison for hiring a hit man to kill her husband and his mother for their property, investigators said. But the husband and his mother told the Supreme Court that they forgave her and begged that she receive the lightest-possible punishment.
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BUSINESS

Minister Declares Push For Standards of Milk
Strategy Targets Middle Class
MOSCOW — The Agriculture Ministry has begun a dairy crackdown in an effort to wipe out unfair competition in the industry led by America's PepsiCo and France's Danone. Agriculture Minister Yelena Skrynnik urged regional governors in a recent letter to do away with sales of substandard milk, she said Monday.
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MOSCOW — An independent group of advisers, tasked by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to recommend policies that the government should follow for the next eight years, revealed its findings on Friday, proposing social and economic programs targeting the emerging middle class as a driver for the country's development.
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OPINION

My Evaluation of the Presidential Election
regional dimensions: Putin Won't Liberalize Anything
During the March 4 presidential election, I along with the observers for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe monitored more than 1,000 polling stations. This is a considerable number, but in the whole country there were nearly 100,000.
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Politics in Russia are like the weather in that they are both full of wild fluctuations. The country is now in a political light frost, but that will hopefully soon be followed by much warmer temperatures.
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CULTURE

Father of punk
The sound of silence — and of J. S. Bach
Russia's pioneering punk rocker Andrei Panov, better known as Svin or Svinya (The Pig or Swine) will be paid tribute to this week with a memorial event at the bunker club Griboyedov. Timed to be held on the eve of what would have been Panov's 52nd birthday, the event will include screenings of video footage and a documentary film, a photo exhibition and a concert by bands whose members were either Panov's peers or performed with him in different lineups of his band, Avtomaticheskiye Udovletvoriteli (Automatic Satisfiers), also known by its acronym in Russian, "AU," which means something like "halloo!" or "yo!" Called AU Jamboree 6, the event will be held both in the club's underground area and in the Griboyedov Hill upstairs room on Thursday, March 22.
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Nacho Duato's new ballet, which premieres at the Mikhailovsky Theater this week, strives to convey the idea of the immortality of genius and depict its creative process through dance. "Multiplicity. Forms of Silence and Emptiness," which will be shown on March 21, 22 and 24 and on May 15, 17, is a combination of classical music and modern choreography devoted to the life and work of Johann Sebastian Bach.
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Ads reflect life
the word's worth: Speaking with your hands and eyes
"I want to marry a millionaire." "I will give driving lessons to an 18-year-old girl." "I'd like to trade my washing machine for a portable TV." These are examples of classifieds placed in newspapers in the early 1990s, when advertising began to take its first steps in Russia, a country that back then knew little about marketing.
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Щурить глаза: to squint, to narrow one's eyes When I read 18th- and 19th-century American and British literature, I'm taken by how nonverbal language has changed. In old novels, people wring their hands, clasp their hands to their breasts, hold their hand to their forehead, recoil, cringe and clap their hands in joy.
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Leaps and bounds
in the spotlight: Sex and the City, Russian-style
Dance talent from the Bolshoi Theater, London's Royal Ballet, New York City Ballet, the Wiener Staatsoper, Het Nationale Ballet and the Béjart Ballet Lausanne will join the Mariinsky Theater's top soloists at the 12th International Mariinsky Ballet Festival.
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Last week, Channel One began showing "A Short Course in Happy Life," a much-anticipated new drama from Valeria Gai Germanika, the director of the hugely controversial and popular "School" series. That Channel One series in 2010 made school a hot topic, showing sex, violence, alcopops and alienation.
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THE DISH: Nordsee
 
Shipshape Despite being situated inside an upscale boutique gallery, the branch of the German fast-food restaurant Nordsee that opened in St. Petersburg late last year has its own identity. There is an abiding sense of the sea in every aspect of the eatery, resulting in a wholly cohesive culinary experience.
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FEATURES

Exotic Animals Find a Home Near St. Petersburg
Man's Best Friend Offers New Lease on Life
You don't need to travel far to find giant rabbits, miniature horses or African ostriches. All of these exotic animals, which might be expected to be foreign to the Russian climate, live on farms in the Vsevolozhsky district of the Leningrad Oblast.
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For several months now, Dostoyevskaya metro station has closed for two hours one evening a week. During this time, the usual crowds of people hurrying about their journey are replaced by animals, as guide dogs practice using the escalator, accompanied by their owners.
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Putin Tiger Photo Staged?
 
MOSCOW — A tiger can't change its stripes — which is leading Russians to wonder if Vladimir Putin needs to change his story about which one he shot. In one of the macho photo moments the Russian leader often indulges in, he was shown on an expedition in the Far East in 2008 with preservationists tracking wild Amur tigers.
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© 2012 The Saint-Petersburg Times

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