Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

24 January 2012. Sergei Yolkin’s World: An Étude in Shades of Ochre

An Étude in Shades of Ochre

Sergei Yolkin

2012

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Neanderthal tribes living in what is now the Netherlands in the late Pleistocene, about 250,000 years ago, were able to turn red iron oxide, hematite, into ochre pigment, which they could use for painting on prepared animal skins, Dutch and Spanish archaeologists reported in a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

24 January 2012

Sergei Yolkin

RIA-Novosti

http://ria.ru/caricature/20120124/547624609.html

VOR Presents… Sixteen-Year-Old Laura Dekker Completes Solo Circumnavigation

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Laura Dekker is the world’s youngest solo circumnavigator, who sailed alone around the globe. Laura embarked on her solo voyage from the Caribbean island of St Maarten on 20 January 2011, and returned unscathed a year and a day later. In the second image above, we see Laura’s yacht Guppy in St Maarten at the end of her voyage.

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Teen captain Laura Dekker sailed 27,000 nautical miles on her 11.5-metre (38-foot) sailboat Guppy. On 21 January 2012, her boat docked in  the Netherlands Antilles in the Caribbean.

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A small fleet of vessels and Coast Guard vessels met the young adventurer at the harbour at St Maarten; she finally reunited with her parents later at a formal party in a local yacht club.

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16-year-old Laura Dekker meets her mother, father, and sister upon arrival in St Martin after her solo trip around the world.

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Laura Dekker was born 20 September 1995 in New Zealand, when her parents were making a round-the globe-journey of their own, and spent the first four years of her life at sea.

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Laura’s an experienced yachtswoman. She first sailed on the open sea when she was six, and she nurtured the dream of sailing solo around the globe since the age of ten.

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Laura announced her plan to embark on a solo round-the world voyage when she was 14. However, the Dutch Council for Child Care spoke out against the risky adventure, issuing an injunction prohibiting her from making vital decisions and putting her under state and psychiatric care. In December 2009, Laura violated the court’s decision and ran off to St Maarten, where the authorities apprehended her and brought her back home. In the image above, we see the Guppy at the end of Laura’s adventure.

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In July 2010, a Dutch court finally permitted Laura to make her solo round-the-globe journey. After completing preparations, the Guppy sailed from the Antilles on 20 January 2011.

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Laura Dekker celebrated her sixteenth birthday at sea. Until recently, Australian Jessica Watson, 17, was considered the world’s youngest circumnavigator, having made a 210-day non-stop solo voyage around the world. Nevertheless, Laura’s record won’t make it into the Guinness Book of World Records, since officials refused to register records achieved by young navigators after Dekker’s 2009 fallout with social care services {if that isn’t “goodthinking” in the Orwellian sense, I don’t know what it is: editor}.

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22/24 January 2012

Voice of Russia World Service

http://english.ruvr.ru/photoalbum/64513291/64517705/

http://rus.ruvr.ru/photoalbum/64381282/64381292/

2012 Republican Presidential Primary: From South Carolina to Florida

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The focus of the 2012 Republican presidential primary shifted from South Carolina to Florida, following what proved to be a very bad week for Mitt Romney. Whereas just a week ago the nomination of the former Massachusetts governor was all but certain, a last minute rise by former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich has thrown the race into the tossup category, with Gingrich winning South Carolina and former US Senator Rick Santorum now being declared winner of Iowa.

Following the New Hampshire primary on 10 January, Romney had a double-digit lead in South Carolina. However, with a series of attacks on his business record, poor debate performances, the annulment of his victory in the Iowa caucuses, and a surge in Gingrich’s popularity, Romney’s edge eroded. Not to mention there are now three primary winners with Santorum taking Iowa, Romney in New Hampshire, and Gingrich in South Carolina. According to Dick Morris, political analyst and former Bill Clinton advisor, the race is now anyone’s game… well, anyone but Ron Paul’s. He said, “It is entirely possible that you have a functional three-way tie here. Because you have one guy who’s in last place moving up and two guys above him are moving down”.

The Romney campaign has been working to shake off accusations that he’s out of touch and that he destroyed jobs as the head of Bain Capital, his private equity firm. This has led to calls for him to release his tax records, about which he was asked in Thursday’s debate, and for which he gave an unpopular response. During the debate, he declared, “Every time we release things drip-by-drip, the Democrats go out with another array of attacks”.

Gingrich, however, hasn’t been without scrutiny, some of it concerning his record as Speaker of the House and the rest of it about his private life. However, people perceive him as having handled the negative press much better, such as in his response to questions about recent allegations that he asked his second wife for an open marriage. He told CNN’s John King, the debate moderator, “I think the destructive, vicious, and negative nature of much of the news media makes it harder to govern this country, harder to attract people to run for office, and I’m appalled that you would open a debate with a question like that”.

Many credit Gingrich’s debate performance with making the difference in South Carolina, with many voters saying that delectability is the most important quality they are looking for, and they think that Newt Gingrich is the candidate who can best beat Obama. They also seem undeterred by his past personal proclivities. Supporter Jan Broadhurst said that it was in the past and she has moved on, applauding him for taking on the “liberal media”, saying, “It doesn’t matter. Part of being a Christian is forgiveness, he’s asked for forgiveness, he should be given the benefit”.

After weeks and even months of expecting Mitt Romney to come out on top, many are concerned about Gingrich’s recent rise, particularly Republican politicians such as South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, Virginia Governor Bob McDonell, and former New Hampshire governor and US Senator John Sununu, all of whom campaigned for Romney in South Carolina. Sununu told VOR that Gingrich is simply unqualified to be president, saying, “Newt Gingrich was thrown out as speaker of the house by his own leadership. There’s no stronger condemnation of his lack of performance as speaker than the fact that his own people got rid of him”. Sununu added that the accusations about Romney’s business history and about releasing his tax returns were unfair, saying, “Put it in context. Are you going to be surprised that he turns out to be rich?” However, despite the South Carolina results, Sununu was insistent in his support, noting that Romney’s campaign is set up for the long run. For his part, Mitt Romney, feeling the heat, is fighting back, taking on new frontrunner Gingrich for what he calls illegal lobbying after he left the speaker’s office. At a campaign stop in Tampa, Florida, he said, “If you’re working for a company, and, then, you’re speaking with Congressmen in a way that would help that company, that’s lobbying”.

Although his win in South Carolina certainly buoyed up Gingrich, Dick Morris told VOR that everything would change in Florida. Although Gingrich leads by several points now, it’s a large state, there’s no certainty, with more than a week to go before Florida’s primary. Morris said, “Florida’s the first time that money becomes important. Until now, [they] were running in tiny states and Florida is very, very expensive”. Whilst many in the Republican Party have expressed fear that the protracted battle is helping President Barack Obama in his bid for re-election, Morris expressed the opposite view. In a conversation with Rick Santorum and VOR, he claimed that the attention on the GOP race is actually good for the Republican Party, saying, “The US campaign trail’s been a wild ride, as Newt Gingrich, who weeks ago wasn’t even supposed to be in contention, won South Carolina. Now, America’s looking ahead to the Florida primary, a 50-delegate contest, in one of the most expensive campaign states in the country”.

24 January 2012

Carmen Russell-Sluchansky

Voice of Russia World Service

http://english.ruvr.ru/2012/01/24/64483154.html

Kalashnikov to Advise Russian Deputy PM

Lieutenant General Mikhail Kalashnikov (1919- ), legendary Soviet Russian arms designer… still goin’ strong at 92!

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On Tuesday, legendary Russian gun designer Mikhail Kalashnikov agreed to become an aide to Dmitri Rogozin, the newly appointed Deputy Prime Minister in charge of the country’s defense industry, our RIA-Novosti correspondent reported. Kalashnikov, 92, accepted the offer, which Rogozin made during a visit to the Izhmash plant in the Volga city of Izhevsk, which produces Kalashnikov AK assault rifles. Rogozin said, “I have a personal request for you… to become my advisor”. Rogozin, who was the Russian envoy to NATO before his appointment as Deputy Prime Minister late last year, added, “I’ll have only one advisor in Russia, and that’ll be Kalashnikov”. In September 2011, Army General Nikolai Makarov, Chief of the General Staff, said that the Defense Ministry had stopped procuring AK-74 rifles because there was an oversupply of the weapons, indicating that new models of small arms and light weapons would replace it. The AK-74 is the most widely used and well-known assault rifle in the world. Some 50 armies around the world, as well as countless guerrilla movements, use it.

24 January 2012

RIA-Novosti

http://en.rian.ru/mlitary_news/20120124/170923428.html

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