Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Russia downgrade: Can Putin shrug off the sanctions? - CNBC

Russia downgrade: Can Putin shrug off the sanctions? - CNBC

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Russia downgrade: Can Putin shrug off the sanctions?
Russia's President Vladimir Putin attends the closing ceremony of the Europe-Asia summit (ASEM) in Milan, Oct. 17, 2014. The news on Russia's economy seems to be going from bad to worse, with the latest blow a downgrade of its sovereign credit rating ...
Business Insider: Putin's next move could make Eastern Europe explodeKyiv Post

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Навальный: Путин не позволит сработать ни одной украинской реформе - GORDONUA.COM

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Навальный: Путин не позволит сработать ни одной украинской реформе
"Путин (Владимир Путин, президент РФ. – "ГОРДОН") заложил основы краха, который рано или поздно постигнет его режим. Он говорит о расширении "русского мира", хотя сам его лишь сужает. На белорусских стадионах поют антипутинские песни, в Украине Россию ненавидят все.
Навальный: "Путин уничтожает Россию. Зачем основывать свой режим на коррупции?"Inopressa

Все похожие статьи: 5 »

Total CEO dead in runway crash; plow driver drunk

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MOSCOW (AP) -- Christophe de Margerie, the charismatic CEO of Total SA who dedicated his career to the multinational oil company, was killed at a Moscow airport when his private jet collided with a snowplow whose driver was drunk, Russian investigators said Tuesday....

Survivor's Blood Used in Ebola Treatment 

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There is no known cure for Ebola, but several U.S. patients have received donations of blood and plasma from a survivor of the Ebola virus. VOA's Katherine Gypson looks at whether the blood...
From: VOAvideo
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Driver involved in runway death of Total boss was drunk, say Moscow investigators video 

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The driver of a snow plough that collided with the aircraft carrying Total CEO boss Christophe de Margerie was drunk, say Russian investigators. De Margerie died on Monday when his private plane crashed during take-off from Moscow's Vnukovo airport. In France, Total boss Jean-Jacques Guilbaud makes a statement seeking to reassure the industry and employees Continue reading...

Tory party returns impermissible donation linked to Russian banker 

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Electoral Commission says it was not clear Henley Concierge Limited, associated with exile Andrei Borodin, was trading in UK
The Conservative party has handed back a £28,000 donation from a company believed to be associated with an exiled Russian banker which the Electoral Commission has ruled is an impermissible donor.
Conservative central office accepted the sum from a company called Henley Concierge Limited following the auction of a portrait of Margaret Thatcher by the artist Darren Baker at the partys 2013 summer fundraising ball.
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Page 2

Total Oil Chief Dies When Jet Hits Plow 

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Christophe de Margerie, who became C.E.O. in 2007, and three crew members were killed when a business jet struck a snowplow during takeoff.

Putin is dragging the West into murky waters 

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A suspicious sighting off the Swedish coast implies the Russians are up to their old Cold War tricks, says Con Coughlin

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Putin Expresses Condolences Over Death of Total CEO in Russian Plane Accident 

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Russian President Vladimir Putin has sent his condolences over the tragic death of Total's CEO Christophe de Margerie, the TASS news agency cited the Kremlin's spokesman as saying.

Christophe de Margerie, C.E.O. of Total, French Oil Giant, Dies in Accident

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MOSCOW — The chief executive of the French oil company Total, Christophe de Margerie, one of the most powerful and colorful figures in the energy industry, was killed when his business jet collided with a snowplow late Monday night on a runway of Vnukovo International Airport in Moscow.
Mr. de Margerie, a staunch defender of Russia’s energy policies during the conflict over Ukraine, went to Moscow to attend a meeting of corporate executives with Prime Minister Dmitri A. Medvedev and was returning to Paris.
The collision occurred a few minutes before midnight as the executive’s Dassault Falcon was accelerating for takeoff, the airport said in a statement. Russian prosecutors said Tuesday that the driver of the snowplow was intoxicated. The jet’s three crew members also died, Total said.
“The thoughts of the management and employees of the group go out to Christophe de Margerie’s wife, children and loved ones as well as to the families of the three other victims,” the company saidin a statement.
Mr. de Margerie, 63, led the fourth-largest of the Western multinational major oil companies by market capitalization, after Exxon, Royal Dutch Shell and Chevron, and the second-largest company in France after the drug maker Sanofi.
A member of one of the most prominent families in France, Mr. de Margerie was a grandson of the founder of the Taittinger Champagne house and the latest in a long line of ambassadors and business leaders.
Known as “Big Mustache” among his colleagues for his trademark facial hair, he cut a swashbuckling figure and was on friendly terms with a wide range of industry and political figures. He often spent late nights debating the issues of the day and telling jokes with friends, and he was said by colleagues to require little sleep.
He was also a strong manager who inspired respect and admiration, even if his late-night revelries sometimes exasperated his colleagues. He helped position Total in countries like Qatar, Russia and Saudi Arabia as a company that could provide Western capital and technology but that was less tied to the interests of the United States and Britain than rivals like ExxonMobil and BP.
“Mr. de Margerie is one of the most central and characteristic figures in the industry, and in our view, his loss will be deeply felt at Total both personally and organizationally,” Peter Hutton, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets in London, wrote in an email. “He has been a stronger driver of strategy, execution and culture of the company than most C.E.O.s, and while there is a strong management team, this will lead to a sense of void at the center for some time.”
Mr. de Margerie started with the company in 1974 and rose from positions in the finance and exploration divisions. He was a close associate of Thierry Desmarest, who built Total into a giant through a series of mergers culminating with the takeover of Elf Aquitaine in 2000.
After becoming chief executive in 2007, Mr. de Margerie helped consolidate the merger. And he broadened Total’s base, expanding into Russia and the oil sands in Canada. He was also on good terms with Saudi oil figures and recently scored a coup by building a large refinery in the country, OPEC’s leading producer.
He helped make Total one of the largest players in British and Norwegian waters. Recently, he made a small investment in British shale, possibly with the intention of provoking the French government, which so far has prevented oil companies from exploring for France’s potentially rich shale oil and gas deposits.
In a statement, the Élysée Palace said that President François Hollande appreciated Mr. de Margerie’s “independent character, his originality and his attachment to his country.”
“Under Mr. de Margerie, Total became one of the leading global companies,” the statement said. “Abroad, Mr. Christophe de Margerie brilliantly defended the level of excellence and success of French technology.”
While Mr. de Margerie was not an overtly political figure, he has accompanied Mr. Hollande on state visits to Brazil, the United Arab Emirates and Poland, among others.
Mr. de Margerie had not been a big winner for investors. The company’s stock price has fallen by about 16 percent since he became chief executive.
​Shares in Total fell as trading began in Paris, recovered by midmorning and were up about 2.7 percent at midday. European stocks broadly posted gains and oil company shares rose as crude prices seemed to at least temporarily stabilize.
Analysts say the bench of possible successors to Mr. de Margerie is strong, though none has his outsize personality.
Often mentioned as a candidate is Patrick Pouyanné, Total’s president of refining and chemicals. Mr. Pouyanné is considered to have done a good job handling the tricky task of reducing his unit’s size in Europe and also has the benefit of having run the company’s business in Qatar, an important location for the company.
Another candidate is Philippe Boisseau, who heads the gas and alternative energy business. Oil companies often pick the head of exploration and production as chief executive, but Arnaud Breuillac has held the role less than a year.
The Interstate Aviation Committee, an agency that investigates plane crashes in former Soviet states, said that it had opened an inquiry into the accident — a type known as a runway incursion — and that the French authorities would be invited to join in the work.
The Russian state news channel Rossiya 24 reported that a thick fog shrouded Vnukovo airport overnight on Tuesday and that several planes could not land and were redirected to other Moscow airports.
The Russian news agency RIA Novosti quoted an aviation expert speculating that the Dassault pilot had tried to take off early to avoid the snowplow on the runway but snared the vehicle’s roof with the aircraft’s wheels and crashed.
The snowplow driver was not injured, according to the statement from the airport.
The Investigative Committee, a Russian law enforcement organization responsible for determining criminal culpability in crashes, said in a statement that it was considering “an error of the flight controllers or actions of the snowplow driver as key versions of the accident,” along with poor weather and pilot error.
“It has already been established that the snowplow driver was in a state of alcoholic intoxication,” the statement said. “It is possible a decision will be made to suspend a number of the airport employees for the period of the inquiry.”
Despite the imposition of sanctions on Russia this year, the major oil companies have tried to conduct business in Russia as usual, given their tremendous investments in the country, and Mr. de Margerie’s presence in Moscow was notable in this context.
President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia sent a message to Mr. Hollande saying Russia had “lost a true friend of our country.”
In the business world, Mr. de Margerie had gained attention for his public opposition to the sanctions applied by the United States and Europe.
“He was one of few who spoke out against the isolation of Russia, against creating obstacles to obtaining credit,” Aleksandr Konovalov, an energy analyst, told RIA Novosti. “He was an advocate for integrating Russia in the world economy, and not on the side of isolation.”
Total is a minority owner of a Russian oil field, the Kharyaga field, and an investor in the Russiannatural gas company Novatek, the second-largest gas producer in Russia after Gazprom. Total produced 179,000 barrels of oil and the equivalent in natural gas in Russia in 2012, the company said.
In Total’s most ambitious project in Russia to date, the company was a partner in Novatek’s plans to build a plant to liquefy natural gas on the Yamal Peninsula of Russia and ship fuel to China over seaways in the Arctic Ocean that were newly opened because of global warming.
Mr. de Margerie was an outspoken supporter of Russia’s position in natural gas pricing and transportation disputes with Ukraine, telling Reuters in an interview in July that Europe should not cut dependence on Russian gas but rather focus on making the supplies more secure, comparing the standoff with Moscow to building “a new Berlin Wall.”
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· · · · · ·

Christophe de Margerie, C.E.O. of French Oil Company Total, Dies in Accident 

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Mr. de Margerie was killed when his business jet collided with a snowplow on the runway of Vnukovo International Airport in Moscow.

Window on Eurasia: Another Indication a New Russian Attack in Ukraine May Be Imminent 

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Paul Goble


            Staunton, October 21 – Many in both Ukraine and the Russian Federation have suggested in recent days that a new and large-scale Russian military attack in Ukraine may be imminent, but perhaps the clearest evidence for that has been provided by an unexpected source: Ella Panfilova, the Russian human rights ombudsman.


            In an interview published yesterday in “Rossiiskaya gazeta,” she warns that Russians should be prepared for a “second wave” of refugees from various parts of Ukraine in the near future. She suggests that the reason for this is the approaching winter, but new violence would be even more likely to provoke such flight (rg.ru/2014/10/20/pamfilova-dz.html).


            Panfilova said that many Russians think that the refugee issue is disappearing given that many of the 800,000 who came to Russia in the summer have now returned to their homes in Ukraine. But far from all have, and she suggests they are about to be joined by more and not just from the Donbas where violence has been ongoing.
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Киев: Первая полоса рубежа обороны на Донбассе уже готова на 85% - ИА REGNUM

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Киев: Первая полоса рубежа обороны на Донбассе уже готова на 85%
«Работы по обустройству первой полосы рубежа обороны на Донбассе уже выполнены на 85%», — заявил сегодня, 21 октября, заместитель министра регионального развития, строительства и жилищно-коммунального хозяйства Украины Дмитрий Исаенко, передает корреспондент ИА ...
Киев заявил о частичном завершении обустройства первой полосы обороны в ДонбассеВзгляд
Оборонный рубеж в Донбассе готов на 85% – МинрегионстройСЕГОДНЯ
Первая линия «Стены» на границе готова на 85%УНИАН
Федеральное агентство новостей No.1 -Корреспондент.net
Все похожие статьи: 39 »

Медведев: Союзное государство должно быть ориентиром интеграции для ЕАЭС - Российская Газета

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Российская Газета

Медведев: Союзное государство должно быть ориентиром интеграции для ЕАЭС
Российская Газета
Премьер-министр России Дмитрий Медведев прибыл в Минск для участия в заседании Совета министров Союзного государства России и Белоруссии, на котором будет рассмотрен весь комплекс отношений двух государств. Повестка Совмина насчитывает 35 вопросов, среди которых ...
Рапота: РФ и Белоруссия согласовали балансы поставок на 2015 годРИА Новости
Дмитрий Медведев прибыл в Минск на заседание Совета министров союзного государстваПервый канал
Дмитрий Медведев принимает участие в Совмине Союзного государстваRusskie.Org
RosInvest.Com -Нефть России
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Трагедия во Внукове и реакция рынка 

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Последствия гибели президента французской нефтяной компании Total Кристофа де Маржери анализируют журналис...
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Большая часть российских войск остается вблизи Украины – СНБО - СЕГОДНЯ

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Большая часть российских войск остается вблизи Украины – СНБО
В Совете национальной безопасности и обороны Украины заявили, что Россия не отводит свои войска от украинской границы. "Мы наблюдали начало движения российских войск, которые базировались вдоль украинско-российской границы на территории РФ. Они якобы участвовали в ...
В СНБО назвали причину мощного взрыва на химзаводе в ДонецкеЛІГА.net
В СНБО Украины заявили об остановке обмена пленными со стороны ополченияВзгляд
Боевики вызвали взрыв на территории донецкого завода, потому что хотели сделать взрывчаткуУНИАН
Телеграф -новостной портал iPress.ua -ИА "Инфолайн"
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Survivor's Blood Used in Ebola Treatment

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There is no known cure for Ebola, but several U.S. patients have received donations of blood and plasma from a survivor of the Ebola virus. VOA's Katherine Gypson looks at whether the blood of Ebola survivors has value in the medical community.

Russia This Week: Putin’s Neo-Imperialism and the Price of Oil

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Ben Judah's article at Politico, Putin’s Coup: How the Russian leader used the Ukraine crisis to consolidate his dictatorship has sparked avid commentary, notably from the person quoted in it -- Radek Sikorski, the former Polish foreign minister and now speaker of parliament.
Judah quoted a number of sensational revelations from Sikorski, as we reported on our Ukraine blog, such as Russian offers to Poland to divvy up Ukraine -- which Warsaw ignored. Deposed president Viktor Yanukovych, mired in corruption, was reportedly blackmailed by Moscow with threats to seize Crimea -- and more.
Sikorski also had a number of stark comments about Russian President Vladimir Putin:
“What is happening now is the full embrace of neo-imperialism,” Sikorski says. “They have exploited every post-Soviet and neo-Soviet atavism and made it real because an alarming proportion of the population believes it. This is how they have refueled their regime.
"Putin has instilled fear of stepping out of line with talk from his propagandists about the “sixth column.” The regime has long smeared the opposition with textbook accusations of them being Russia’s “fifth column.” But the Orwellian new invention of a “sixth column” refers to those inside the regime opposing expansionism due to their ties to the West. Alexander Dugin, the Kremlin-controlled ideologue now promoted across official airwaves as the champion of this new conservatism, has even called these insiders the main existential enemies of Russia. “The oligarchs with property in London know they are the outdated remnants of a previous era,” said one Kremlin adviser.
Sikorski then said his quotations were "over-interpreted" and "not authorized." Judah responded that in the US, it is not customary for journalists to go back and clear quotes with interview subjects, as it is in Europe.
Despite his walk-back, Sikorski then soon was re-tweeting Judah's comments:
Putin's war against Ukraine is bad enough in its own terms, but Judah's point is that it is a shield to consolidate further authoritarianism:
Within the establishment there have been sudden sackings of intelligence officials and generals believed to be disloyal. Meanwhile, beyond the Kremlin walls, the security services have moved to finish the job on the Russian opposition. Through repression and infiltration, there is no meaningful opposition activism left. The main opposition leaders have all been forced to flee the country, isolated or placed under house arrest. The protest movement is dead. “We believe most of the people who took to the streets of Moscow back in 2011 have emigrated,” one Russian official familiar with the matter says. “And we believe the rest will soon follow.”
It's true that some opposition figures, creative intellectuals and entrepreneurs have been forced to flee Russia, although Russia never had a huge opposition in or out of parliament to begin with so "main leaders" as distinct from small groups all over the country are less important. People like Boris Nemtsov remain active in Moscow, and even under house arrest Alexey Navalny makes himself heard, for better or worse. 
The Peace March last month against the war in Ukraine drew 26,000 people in Moscow and thousands in other cities around the country, which is significant given the years of prison handed to Bolotnaya Square demonstrators and other civic activists.
Meanwhile, the "Russian World" supporters of separatism in the Donbass and the carving out of pieces from neighboring countries drew only a few hundred for a rally last weekend. While some close-ups might make them appear more in number, if you drew back you saw the crowd was very thin.
 Photo by Savik Shuster
Translation:  The rally "Battle for the Donbass" in Moscow attracted about 200 people.
They compensated for sparse numbers by toxic anti-semitic signs like this one directed against Ukrainian oligarch Igor Kolomoiskiy:
You, Russian! Help Russians, or else you will be next!
As for Dugin, he was fired from his position at Moscow State University (MGU) earlier this year because evidently even Putin, chair of the board of MGU, found him too far out in inciting violence against Ukrainians.
Yegor Prosvirin, editor of the ultranationalist site <a href="http://sputnikandpogrom.com" rel="nofollow">sputnikandpogrom.com</a>, was called in by the authorities for questioning on charges of "extremism" and fears he may be "sewing mittens in Krasnokamensk" a remote prison labor colony, by the end of the year. Of course the fortunes of the Russian-backed separatists like Col. Igor Strelkov, promoted by Dugin, Prosvirin and others through fund-raising and even military assistance have diminished.
To get an idea of how much of a force to contend with the "Novorossiya" backers and Russian nationalists in general are these days, we will have to see how many turn out for the annual Russian March in two weeks:
Russian-March.jpgTranslation: Russian March: For the Future of Russian Children
TV Rain is still broadcasting critical coverage of issues like the Russian soldiers killed in the war in Ukraine, and blocked sites like grani.ru or kasparov.ru can be read with circumvention software.
To be sure, each day brings new assaults on civil society, such a the Justice Ministry's move to close down Russian Memorial Society, a leading human rights organization, and the situation is grim.
Will it ever change?
Like other critics of the Kremlin, Sikorski believes that if the cost of oil will fall below what Putin needs to balance the budget, say $110 per barrel, then reformers may prevail over the Slavic Walter White:
“Should it go decisively below $80 a barrel and stay there for two years he’s in trouble,” warns Sikorski. “But what’s bad for him is not necessarily good for us. He’s a gambler. And he’s got a lowered sense of danger. He’ll take these huge gambles because the real danger for Putin is his own life. He can’t let go. He can’t leave the Kremlin. Once you’ve spilt blood, once you’ve had apartment bombings, once you’ve sent death squads abroad, once you’ve had Georgia, Ukraine, all these mothers, and all the bodies of soldiers being disposed of from secret wars… You can’t just let go.”
Radio Liberty/Radio Free had a neat graphic illustrating the supposed beneficial  correlation -- oil prices dip down, and Boris Yeltsin appears to free the media and the economy after mass protests and the failed coup; oil prices go up and Putin re-launches the war in Chechnya.
Of course, along the way things like the global recession and the EU Accession Agreement also occur to complicate the theory.
The cost of oil (Brent) is at $82.90 and $85.55 (WTI) today. Coincidence or not, rights campaigner Ludmila Bogatenkova was released from jail - but pending trial on charges of fraud that lawyers say were fabricated in retaliation for her work in exposing the cases of Russian soldiers who were killed in Ukraine.
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Порошенко подписал закон, который позволит заочно судить Януковича - РИА Новости

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РИА Новости

Порошенко подписал закон, который позволит заочно судить Януковича
РИА Новости
"Президент подписал закон, который позволит провести суд над Януковичем", - написал пресс-секретарь Порошенко Святослав Цеголко в своем микроблоге в Twitter. Президент Украины Петр Порошенко. Архивное фото. © РИА Новости. Николай Лазаренко | Купить иллюстрацию.
Порошенко нашел способ судить ЯнуковичаДни.Ру
Порошенко подписал закон о заочном суде над ЯнуковичемГазета.Ru
Порошенко разрешил заочно судить ЯнуковичаМосковский комсомолец
Интерфакс - Украина -Взгляд
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Порошенко объявил «артиллерийскую тишину» в Донбассе - РБК

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Порошенко объявил «артиллерийскую тишину» в Донбассе
Президент Украины Петр Порошенко объявил режим «артиллерийской тишины» в Донбассе, сообщает «Cегодня.ua». Украинский лидер назвал это очередной попыткой прекратить стрельбу. «Мы должны обеспечить это перемирие. Все европейские лидеры поддерживают нас в этом.
Режим артиллерийской тишины на Донбассе: все подробностиСЕГОДНЯ
Порошенко ввел режим «артиллерийской тишины» в обстрелянном накануне ДонбассеНТВ.ru
Петр Порошенко заявил о введении режима «артиллерийской тишины» в ДонбассеКомсомольская правда
Комсомольская Правда в Украине -Подробности -Коммерсантъ
Все похожие статьи: 75 »

Poll: Venezuela's Maduro Approval Rating Drops to 30 Percent

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Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's approval rating dropped to 30.2 percent in September from 35.4 percent in July, according to a survey by pollster Datanalisis, amid an ongoing economic crisis that has weighed on his popularity. The OPEC nation faces the highest annual inflation in the Western Hemisphere at 63.4 percent, chronic shortages of consumer goods and an economy that business leaders say has entered recession. The poll conducted between Sept. 25 and Oct. 7 showed that...

Apple Revenues Up 12% After iPhone Launch

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The iPhone 6 has already outsold its predecessor, before the Chinese market is included, but iPad sales continue to struggle.

Zuckerberg Seeks Revenge As Facebook Sues Lawyers For Paul Ceglia - Forbes

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Zuckerberg Seeks Revenge As Facebook Sues Lawyers For Paul Ceglia
Facebook did just that, digging up evidence the convicted felon had a history of dubious financial behavior and may have falsified the 2003 contract he said promised him 84% of the social-networking firm. Ceglia was indicted for fraud over the allegations in ...
Facebook Sues DLA, Milberg, Former NY AG Over Ceglia CaseThe Am Law Litigation Daily
Facebook Sues Law Firms, Claims FraudABC News
Facebook Files Suit vs. Paul Ceglia's LawyersAllFacebook
Reuters -Buffalo News -Times of India
all 75 news articles »

Only three Ebola-infected travellers per month are likely to fly from west Africa 

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Lancet study says that exit screening from Ebola-hit countries most efficient; only 8.7% of travellers from the region go to UK
Fewer than three people a month infected with the Ebola virus are likely to try to board planes out of west Africa, according to a study that says exit screening would be the most efficient way to try to prevent travellers spreading disease.
The UK and US have set up entry screening at airports for passengers arriving from west Africa, butthe paper in the Lancet medical journal says this will have little chance of detecting somebody infected with the virus and that it will cost money that could be better spent.
Continue reading...
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Page 5

Private Jet Crashes in Moscow, Killing All Four People Aboard

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A Falcon 50 private jet crashed and burned on takeoff from Moscow’s Vnukovo airport in foggy weather early Tuesday morning, killing all four people aboard, Russian officials said.

Total CEO de Margerie killed in Moscow plane accident - airport spokeswoman - Reuters

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Total CEO de Margerie killed in Moscow plane accident - airport spokeswoman
MOSCOW (Reuters) - The chief executive of French oil major Total, Christophe de Margerie, was killed in an airplane collision with a snowplow at Moscow's Vnukovo International Airport, airport spokeswoman Elena Krylova said on Tuesday. "Tonight, a plane ...
Total's CEO de Margerie Dies in Plane Crash, Interfax SaysBusinessweek
Total's CEO dies in Moscow plane crashBBC News
Oil CEO Dies in a Moscow Plane CrashNBCNews.com
RT -Telegraph.co.uk
all 57 news articles »

Total's CEO de Margerie Dies in Plane Crash, Interfax Says - Bloomberg

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Total's CEO de Margerie Dies in Plane Crash, Interfax Says
Christophe de Margerie, the Total SA (FP) chief executive officer who oversaw the biggest increase in reserves at the French oil explorer in at least 15 years, died in a Moscow plane crash, Interfax reported. The 63-year-old CEO died at Moscow's Vnukovo ...

and more »

A World Without OPEC? - New York Times

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Wall Street Journal

World Without OPEC?
New York Times
Perhaps more important than the price increases themselves was the new world order the embargo signaled. The embargo “set in motion geopolitical circumstances that eventually allowed [OPEC] to wrest control over global oil production and pricing from ... 
World Oil Demand: And Then There Was NoneBrookings Institution (blog)

all 603 news articles »

Ukraine Used Cluster Bombs, Report Charges

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The Ukrainian Army appears to have fired cluster munitions, a weapon banned in much of the world, into the heart of Donetsk, according to physical evidence and interviews with witnesses and victims.

After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules 

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European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for...
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UN Rights Chief Urges Venezuela to Free Opposition Leader

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Top United Nations human rights official Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein called on Monday for the release of Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez and scores of others detained in a crackdown on protests that began in February. Zeid said in a statement issued after meeting Lopez' wife Lilian Tintori in Geneva on Friday that the "prolonged and arbitrary detention" of political opponents and protesters was only exacerbating tensions in the oil-rich Andean country. A U.N....