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22 апреля, 03:24

Friday Talking Points -- Trump Suffering From '100 Days Envy'

We'd like to boldly add a new disease's definition to the political lexicon. We feel this is necessary since Donald Trump seems to have caught a rather drastic case of "100 Days Envy." Symptoms are a tendency to flail around looking for a legislative win you can brag about, and an unnatural fear of being called a loser by the entire planet's media for not even coming close to fulfilling pretty much any of the grandiose promises you made for your first 100 days in office. The only cure for such a malady is time. Give it a few more weeks, and the media will probably forget all about how much fun it is to mock your lack of achievements. It'll all get better soon, but you're going to have to take your medicine while it happens, sorry about that. Heh. To put all of this another way: next week's scheduled "100 Days Schadenfreudefest" has already begun, here at Friday Talking Points headquarters. We have to wonder, given Trump's masochistic fascination with Saturday Night Live, if this all wasn't spurred on by Alec Baldwin's Trump portrayal last week, during which he asked that the list of his 100-days accomplishments be read to him. The list consisted of: "1. Confirmed Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court," and nothing else. This is but a harbinger of the coming flood of "100 days" stories written in the next week, all of which will conclude exactly the same thing: Trump has absolutely squandered any political capital he might once have had. He got a Supreme Court justice confirmed, and that is indeed the extent of his major accomplishments. Which is one of the big reasons why he's now less popular than United Airlines. This is all the more schadenfreude-y because Trump himself promised so much for his first 100 days. Here's but one of his tweets with a list of things he'd accomplish. Note well -- only one thing on that list has actually even been attempted. It then failed spectacularly (the "repeal and replace" fiasco in the House). And remember all that talk about how we'd "get tired of winning" and beg Trump to slow down with all the winning because we couldn't take it? With one week to go, is anyone now tired of Trump's incessant winning? Didn't think so. Panic is reportedly setting in over at the White House. The new idea is to try to jam through the "repeal and replace Obamacare" bill once again. A quick review -- this bill had an artificial deadline set originally (by Paul Ryan), was so hastily constructed that the final version didn't even get a chance to be scored by the Congressional Budget Office, and did not have the support of enough Republicans to get passed. This was due to two groups, one of which thought the bill was pretty awful because it kicked 24 million people off health insurance, and the other that (incredibly) thought that that the bill wasn't awful enough. Now the White House is setting its own artificial deadline (pass it before Trump's 100 days are up, so he's got something to brag about), it is being so hastily constructed that the final version will not have enough time for the C.B.O. to score it, and (amazingly) has been tailored to be even more awful than the first go-round, in order to tempt Tea Partiers to vote for it. This is going to lose even more centrist Republican votes, and is likely doomed to failure even in the House. Wow. It's like déjà vu all over again (as Yogi Berra famously said). Here's Trump, predicting victory: "The plan gets better and better and better, and it's gotten really good, and a lot of people are liking it a lot. We have a good chance of getting it soon. I'd like to say next week, but we will get it." This is, of course, fake news. The plan is actually getting worse and worse, and a lot of people are hating it a lot -- a lot of Republican people, even. And they're going to attempt to do all this in the midst of a looming deadline of a government shutdown if a continuing resolution budget bill doesn't pass. Good luck, guys! But because at this point it's hard not to feel sorry for Trump, we'd like to offer up a suggestion to both the White House and the Republicans running Congress. Why not pass a single-page "We hate Obamacare" resolution? Just fill it up with all the "Obamacare is bad... mmm'kay?" stuff you want (with apologies to Mr. Mackey). However, the one-page bill wouldn't actually change anything, it would just be a way for you to express your displeasure to the world. See, Trump doesn't really care what he signs, as long as he gets to sign something. This is obvious -- compare what he said he wanted to do on healthcare before he got elected with the garbage-fire that is the Ryancare bill. Trump doesn't care, so just pass some meaningless "sense of the Congress" resolution about how much the GOP hates Obamacare. Kind of like all those dozens and dozens of bills the House passed back when they knew Obama would veto them. This way, everybody wins. Trump gets to sign something, he gets to brag about it, Republicans get to vent, but (crucially) nobody's health insurance gets taken away. The perfect solution! In keeping with this reach-across-the-aisle (with tongue firmly in cheek) attitude, we'd now like to say something positive about a Donald Trump photo-op. No, really! Trump went up to a Snap-On tools factory to announce a crackdown on H-1B visas, and we honestly have to admit that even we were impressed by the backdrop -- an American flag mosaic made entirely of Snap-On tools. Now that was a nice flag! Maybe it's a "guys who love tools" thing, we don't know, but we were indeed impressed with whoever had the initiative to put such a cool thing together for a presidential visit. Well done! And, incredibly enough, even on message for Trump's speech! Somebody at Snap-On deserves a raise.... Also pleasant to see on television last week was the news that Bill O'Reilly will not be appearing on television anymore. Yep, Bill-O has finally been dumped by Fox News. Only a decade or so after the world learned what a complete and utter pig he is -- on a regular basis -- towards women he wants to have sex with (no matter what they thought of the prospect). Really, this should come as no surprise to anyone, since we've had the transcripts for a long time now. But when advertisers started dropping Bill like a hot potato, Fox finally acted. "About time" doesn't even begin to cover it. Like Glenn Beck before him, Bill O'Reilly got the boot because he was starting to affect the company's bottom line and attracting massive protests right outside their front door. The one iron-clad law of working for a corporation has always been: "Everybody can be replaced -- even you." Especially when the company's trying to buy Europe's Sky News network. Hey hey, ho ho, Bill O'Reilly's got to go. To close on a more positive note, we would like to point out that this weekend is the second in a string of three where anti-Trump protests are happening, so we'd encourage everyone to attend the nearest march for science this weekend. Technically, this one is not so much "anti-Trump" as "anti-anti-science" -- fighting the tide of politicians refusing to believe the data in front of them, on all sorts of important issues. So it's not an "anti-Trump" rally so much as an "anti-Republican idiocy" rally, really. Hopefully all the marches all get good weather and overwhelming turnout! A special House election happened in Georgia this week. Democrat Jon Ossoff got a whopping 48.1 percent of the vote, in a "jungle primary" that had more candidates on the ballot than the Republicans put up for president last time around. Ossoff's nearest competitor was a Republican who pulled in just under 20 percent of the vote. That's impressive -- a 28-point margin win! Especially considering this is Newt Gingrich's old House seat. Which is why Jon Ossoff is easily our Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week this week. Ossoff beat expectations handily, since most polls showed him with support in the 41-45 percent range. He did five points better than his polling average, which can only be called extremely impressive in such a red district. This also showed the Democrats' turnout was much better than anyone expected, and the Republican turnout was down from what they'd expected. This is all to the good. However... ...Jon Ossoff also failed to gain an absolute majority of the vote (by two points), which means there will be a runoff election in June where he faces off against a single Republican opponent. That was very disappointing to a whole lot of Democrats, which is why we've also got to hand Ossoff the Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week award as well. If Ossoff had cleared the 50-percent bar and won the seat outright (no runoff necessary), then Democrats across the country would have rejoiced and proclaimed the inevitability of a "wave election" coming in 2018 which would sweep the Republicans out of power in at least one house of Congress. Whether this would become true or not, this would have energized the party's faithful by giving them a clean win in a previously staunch Republican district to crow about. By falling short, Democrats now have to pin their hopes on either the Georgia runoff or a special House election in Montana where they think they have a good shot at another upset. Ossoff still has a chance, of course. There were other Democrats in the race, who (together) pulled in about a single percent of the vote. This means 49 percent of the people who voted in the special election voted for a Democrat. So all Ossoff might have to do to win in June would be to pick up a single additional point -- putting the race squarely in the "tossup" category. But for the next two months, Ossoff won't have the luxury of being able to stay largely above the fray, as he did in the primary phase (when all the Republicans were mostly focused on attacking each other). Now it will be a one-on-one partisan race, meaning Ossoff's going to have to go on the offense a lot more. We'll see if he can maintain his sunny atmosphere throughout. Bazillions of dollars from both sides have already been spent on this race, and that flood of money and advertising is only going to increase. We feel sorry for anyone attempting to watch television for the next few months in Atlanta, that's for sure. The contest will very likely become a referendum on Donald Trump. Trump's not very popular even with Republican voters in this district, so his performance over the next two months will likely influence the race. But the big disappointment this week was clearly that we have to go through this phase at all. If Ossoff had pulled in two percent more last Tuesday, he'd be on his way to being sworn in right now, because no runoff would have even happened. For that disappointment, Ossoff becomes the winner of both the MIDOTW and the MDDOTW -- a convergence which has only happened three previous times in this column's history. [Jon Ossoff is currently a candidate for office, and it is our longstanding policy not to provide links to campaign sites. Therefore, to either commiserate with or congratulate Jon Ossoff, you'll have to search out his contact information on your own, sorry.] [Editorial note: For the record, the three previous dual award winners were: Joe Biden won both awards in FTP 223 (8/17/12) for two remarks he had made that week; Eric Holder in FTP 144 (10/22/10) for settling a decades-old case brought by Native Americans against the federal government but also for weighing in (unethically, if not illegally) on the side of defeating California's first attempt (Proposition 19) at legalizing recreational marijuana; and Hillary Clinton way back in FTP 22 (3/7/08), for winning the Rhode Island, Ohio, and Texas primaries, but also for how she campaigned in these states (which saw the first airings of the infamous "3:00 A.M." ad) -- and for blowing the line: "Live, from New York, it's Saturday Night" in her SNL appearance. This column was even subtitled "Hillary Sweeps The Awards!" which is why we're pointing out the relative rarity of such an occurrence -- only the fourth time in 433 Fridays!] Volume 433 (4/21/17) Another mixed bag of talking points this week. Which includes a fun one towards the end, where you get to make up your own conspiracy theories! So without further ado, let's just get right to it. Maybe Matt Lauer can help? This is already a running joke on late-night television. "Perhaps Donald Trump should appoint Waldo to run the Navy. Maybe he could find where our aircraft carriers are in all of that ocean. No, wait -- I've got a better idea! Let's get Matt Lauer on the case. He could fly around the world and broadcast 'Where in the world is the U.S.S. Carl Vinson' segments! Now that'd be good television -- or at least better than the White House clown show we saw over the past few weeks on the issue." Like a lead balloon More bad news for Trump from Gallup. "In the past month, Donald Trump's poll numbers have taken quite a few major hits. On the question of whether Trump keeps his promises or not, he fell from 62 percent believing he kept his word to only 45 percent in one month's time. This drop was across the board -- among women, men, millennials, baby boomers... pretty much everybody. Among independents, the drop was from 59 percent to 43 percent. But that's not the only metric where Trump's numbers are tanking -- once again, it's pretty much across the board. 'Strong and decisive leader' went from 59 percent to 52 percent. 'Trump can bring about changes this country needs' went from 53 percent to 46 percent. He's really in the toilet on 'honest and trustworthy,' which went from 42 percent to a dismal 36 percent. And we're not even at 100 days yet, so those numbers can fall even further! Donald Trump is definitely going to set all kinds of records for 'most unpopular president ever,' that's for sure. No wonder he's so worried that he hasn't done much of anything in his first 100 days...." Who's gonna pay? Mexico! So it goes, in Trump's fantasyland. "Remember when Donald Trump used to give rallies and call out to his audience: 'Who's gonna pay for the wall?' and they'd scream back: 'Mexico!' at the top of their voices? Well, if indications are correct, Trump is about to threaten to shut down the government if he doesn't get what he's asking for -- which is forcing American taxpayers to pay for his wall to nowhere. He went from guaranteeing Mexico would pay for his folly to now throwing a tantrum if Congress doesn't force all of us to pay for it, because he never had a plan to make Mexico pay for it in the first place. That's a pretty stunning broken promise, and Trump's only going to call attention to his hypocrisy if he chooses to have this fight next week." Headline of the week Nothing like showing our best... um, face... to the world. "Donald Trump announced he's going to name none other than Scott Brown to be America's ambassador to New Zealand. This prompted one of the biggest newspapers in New Zealand to run one of the best headlines I've seen in a long time: 'Man tipped for US ambassador role in NZ a former nude model who supports waterboarding.' That about sums it up, don't you think?" Want to save a quick billion? This isn't going to happen any time soon, but sooner or later someone's going to notice it on Capitol Hill. "Congress is about to tackle the budget, tax reform, and if rumors are true they're also going to revisit healthcare reform. They should really check out a recent study which shows how they could save a cool billion dollars a year on Medicaid alone. All they'd have to do for these savings to appear would be to approve medical marijuana. That's it. Prescriptions for pain pills would go down, life would get better for patients, and the federal government could pocket a billion dollars a year in savings. Just by making this one change." He's Hillary's love child! Open the floodgates! Release the conspiracies! "While much more media attention was paid to Bill O'Reilly being forced out of a job, we found the news from Representative Jason Chaffetz even more interesting. Chaffetz chairs the House committee whose duty it is to oversee government, and he sure had a fine old time investigating Hillary Clinton within an inch of her life last year. However, since Trump has taken over, Chaffetz has been refusing to investigate anything Donald Trump does. So he's stepping down from the committee, and now it seems he might even just quit Congress before his term is up, ostensibly to run for governor of Utah. But it only seems appropriate that conspiracy theories are now popping up for why Chaffetz is abruptly stepping down. After all, he never met a Hillary conspiracy story that wasn't worth the committee's time to investigate, so turn-about is indeed fair play. There are already unfounded rumors that he's secretly gay or is being blackmailed somehow by the Russians, but surely we can do better than that! Maybe he was raised by Bigfoots! Bigfeet? Whatever... or perhaps he gets regularly probed by aliens on invisible spacecraft? No, wait -- I've got it! He's the secret love-child of Orrin Hatch and Hillary Clinton! I think that's worth investigating, don't you?" Shooting the.... The Washington Post had an amusing article this week on the (ahem) oratory style of the new head of the Democratic National Committee, Tom Perez. It would have been a lot more amusing, though, if they had run it with a more-accurate title, such as: "Tom Perez Talks Some Shit." Perez was asked about his use of this particular word, and responded very candidly. In fact, our talking point from Perez consists of the only quotes from the article which don't actually contain rough language (you'll have to read it for yourself to see what else he had to say!). Speaking of his penchant for vulgarity, Perez responded: Talk about ridiculous. I grew up in Buffalo. We're a blunt community. We tell it like it is. I think folks want to hear the straight skinny; they don't want double-talk. When asked about the Democratic mantra of "when they go low, we go high," though, Perez showed some real backbone -- which is really why we're highlighting his comments this week: They consistently went low, and you know what? It's a great aspiration to want to turn the other cheek. But my first goal is to make sure we're standing up for our values. And in today's toxic politics, it was clear from Day One that Mitch McConnell's one goal was making Barack Obama a one-term president. We have to fight with a similar relentlessness. Chris Weigant blogs at: Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant Full archives of FTP columns: FridayTalkingPoints.com All-time award winners leaderboard, by rank -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

19 апреля, 23:25

Sherwin-Williams (SHW) Q1 Earnings: What's in the Cards?

Sherwin-Williams Company (SHW) is set to release first-quarter 2017 results ahead of the bell on Apr 20.

19 апреля, 03:03

New Study Suggests U.S. Has A Lot Of 'Closet' Atheists

function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); U.S. surveys in recent years have calculated atheists make up between 3 percent and 10 percent of the population. But the percentage may actually be much higher, because the stigma surrounding disbelief in God likely prevents people from honestly answering pollsters’ questions about their beliefs, according to a new report by University of Kentucky psychologists Will Gervais and Maxine Najle.  “There’s a lot of atheists in the closet,” Gervais said in a recent interview with Vox. Gervais and Najle’s report, to be published in the next issue of the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, concluded the true number of American atheists may be as high as 26 percent of the population. There’s a lot of atheists in the closet." This stands in stark contrast to surveys conducted by Pew Research Center and Gallup — highly reputable polling operations. A 2014 Pew survey found the percentage of Americans who said they were atheists to be just over 3 percent, with 9 percent of adults reporting they didn’t believe in God, which is the definition of atheism. A 2016 Gallup poll found that 10 percent of Americans reported they did not believe in God. Gervais isn’t buying that data. “We shouldn’t expect people to give a stranger over the phone an honest answer to that question,” Gervais told Vox. The University of Kentucky study aimed for a more accurate analysis using what’s called “the unmatched count technique.” Gervais and Najle sent a poll to two nationally representative samples of 2,000 adults. Instead of asking respondents directly about their belief in God, the researchers asked participants to read through a list of statements, including things like, “I own a dog,” and “I enjoy modern art.” One group of respondents had the statement, “I believe in God,” included on their list. The participants were asked to write down the number of statements that were true for them. Gervais and Najle operated on the assumption that the two groups should have roughly the same number of dog owners, art lovers, et cetera. Any major differences would account for those who don’t believe in God. There are profound social pressures to be -- or at least appear -- religious." Gregory Smith, associate director of research at Pew Research Center, was skeptical of the new report. “I would be very reluctant to conclude that phone surveys like ours are underestimating the share the public who are atheists to that kind of magnitude,” Smith told Vox. But there is social stigma surrounding atheism in the U.S., which Gervais argued may lead people to tell pollsters they believe in God even if they don’t. A January 2017 Pew survey asked respondents to rate different groups on a “feeling thermometer” ranging from 0 to 100. On average, atheists received a rating of 50, the second-lowest rating for a religious group, after Muslims. An analysis of data from the 2014 Boundaries in the American Mosaic Survey found that 42 percent of U.S. adults say atheists don’t share their vision of American society. “Given the centrality of religious belief to many societies, and the degree to which many equate religious belief with morality, there are profound social pressures to be ― or at least appear ― religious,” Gervais and Najle wrote in the report. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

18 апреля, 17:35

Can PPG Industries (PPG) Spring a Surprise in Q1 Earnings?

PPG Industries Inc. (PPG) is set to release first-quarter 2017 results ahead of the bell on Apr 20.

18 апреля, 16:06

Туркмения объявила тендер на строительство второго калийного завода

Туркменистан, после запуска крупнейшего в стране Гарлыкского калийного комбината, объявил тендер на строительство Карабильского горнорудного калийного комплекса по производству хлорида калия стоимостью $1,4 миллиарда, сообщили Рейтер в понедельник источники в концерне Туркменхимия. По информации источников, Карабильское месторождение по размеру сопоставимо с Гарлыкским, запасов которого хватит на 50 лет для выработки ежегодно 1,4 миллиона тонн продукции.

18 апреля, 11:35

6 unmissable films about the 1917 Russian Revolution

The events of 1917 in Russia, the subsequent Civil War, and the establishment of the new Soviet government continue to inspire the artistic world, from painters and writers to architects and composers. Film directors are no exception. RBTH remembers six films that could help you better understand and interpret the history of the revolutionary era. 1. October: Ten Days That Shook the World, 1927 This film is the final part of director Sergei Eisenstein's trilogy. He admitted that the revolution had "given him the most precious of all things: It made him an artist." The revolutionary triptych began with his debut, Strike, and continued with Battleship Potemkin about a sailors' rebellion in 1905. October is the cinegrapic quintessence of the revolution, from the toppling of the Emperor Nicholas II monument to Lenin's speech declaring the victory of the revolution. The most important and most famous scene in the film is when the sailors storm the Winter Palace. It’s included in almost all documentary films about the 1917 events. 2. Chapaev, 1934 This is an adventure film by the Vasiliev brothers about self-sacrificing Red Army commander Vasily Chapaev, who with his friends Petka and Anka fought the White Guard. The film is an illustration of the Russian Civil War and bygone heroes. The heroic tale of Chapaev was a sensation adored by viewers and critics, and received a prize at the first Moscow Film Festival. It was also highly esteemed by Stalin. The film is still loved today. In fact, Russian President Vladimir Putin says it’s his favorite Russian film. 3. Lenin in October, 1937 Shot 20 years after the revolution, Mikhail Romm's film concentrates on the personality of Vladimir Lenin – a funny neurotic before turning out to be the genius of the revolution. In the opinion of his contemporaries, actor Boris Schukin played the revolution's leader so virtuously that viewers stood up and applauded when he appeared on screen – it was as if they were standing in front of Lenin himself. The film came out in the U.S. and Europe and foreign reviewers generally praised the movie, and remarked that Schukin's Lenin is "interesting, vivid, and likeable for the viewer." 4. The Flight, 1970 This two-part film based on the works of Mikhail Bulgakov (primarily his play Flight and the novel The White Guard) has an outstanding cast headed by Lyudmila Savelyeva (Natasha Rostova in Sergei Bondarchuk's Oscar-winning War and Peace, 1969) and Alexei Batalov (Gosha from the Oscar-winning Moscow Doesn't Believe in Tears, 1980). Having participated in the 1971 Cannes Film Festival, Alexander Alov and Vladimir Naumov's film depicts the radical rupture of moral and ethical values that occurred during the revolution, as well as the difficulties of the immigration and the lost role of the intelligentsia in the new Soviet era. 5. Sunstroke, 2014 This film by Oscar-winner Nikita Mikhalkov, which is based on the eponymous story by Ivan Bunin and his diaries Cursed Days, in which the author depicts the revolution as a catastrophe, divided Russian society. The plot takes place in the fall of 1920 when an unnamed captain from the remnants of the czarist army finds himself in a Bolshevik filtration camp, remembers his onetime love, his civilian life and asks himself "How did all this happen?" Through romantic images and direct references to Sergei Eisenstein's films Mikhalkov tries to reflect on the events that took place 100 years ago and that forever changed the country and its people. 6. Angels of the Revolution, 2014 This is an unusual story of the consequences of the revolution filmed by Venetian Film Festival-winner Alexei Fedorchenko (First on the Moon, Silent Souls). It's about a group of revolutionaries who come to the taiga to "enlighten" the indigenous peoples in the name of art. Fedorchenko's screen heroes are based on 1920s avant-garde artists: Painters, architects, musicians, and others. The mosaic of facts blended with the director's imagination shows the confrontation between the foremost Soviet citizens and the smaller peoples of Siberia and the North who were detached from the revolutionary sentiment.

17 апреля, 16:05

Nucor (NUE) to Post Q1 Earnings: What's in the Cards?

Nucor Corporation (NUE) is set to release first-quarter 2017 results ahead of the bell on Apr 20.

12 апреля, 17:30

Everything you need to know about St. Petersburg's 5 main cathedrals

Click on the map to check out our guide 1. Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral: The royal burial vault and the city's talisman Photo credit: Shutterstock Founded in 1712, Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral is St. Petersburg's oldest church – and it’s the tallest church in the historic part of the town as well, with its gilded spire reaching a height of 122.5 meters. At present, construction of taller buildings in the city center is forbidden by law.  Peter the Great, the first Russian emperor and the founder of St. Petersburg, wanted the main cathedral of the new Russian capital to be taller than the Belfry of Ivan the Great in the Kremlin – the tallest landmark of the old capital. Even before the cathedral was completed, he ordered that the new royal burial vault be established within its walls, not in Moscow. Almost all the Russian emperors are buried in the cathedral, starting from Peter the Great himself to Nicholas II, who was brutally murdered by the Bolsheviks in 1918. Photo credit: Shutterstock The gilded angel that crowns the spire of the cathedral is one of the most recognizable symbols of St. Petersburg. It’s also the city’s talisman. The industrial climbers who renovated the cathedral in 1997 discovered a note inside the angel from their predecessors, the 1960s renovation team. In the note, the former team of workers complained of pressing deadlines and low wages. This discovery started a new tradition: Every time a team of renovators climbs the spire, they leave a message to their future colleagues - 122 meters off the ground. Tip: At midnight and at noon, the carillon on the cathedral belfry chimes the national hymn, and in the summer, carillon concerts are held in the square in front of the cathedral.   2. The Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ on Spilled Blood Photo credit: Shutterstock This temple is commonly known as the Church of the Savior on Blood. The architects designed the cathedral in imitation of Moscow's medieval temples, and the designs of the mosaics that decorate its interior were created by renowned artists belonging to the Russian Romantic movement of the late 19th century. The story behind it is tragic: It was established in 1883 as a memorial on the very spot of the fatal terrorist attack on Czar Alexander II. Photo credit: Shutterstock Inside, the walls of the cathedral are covered with seven square kilometers of mosaics. The eyes of Jesus Christ in the mosaic beneath the central dome appear always to be watching you, no matter what part of the cathedral you are in. Opposite the altar, in the western part of the cathedral, a jasper canopy shelters a fragment of the cobblestone pavement onto which Czar Alexander I was thrown by the explosion of his assassin's bomb. Tip: Make sure to see the cathedral from the inside. In the museum ticket office, you can borrow an audio guide in one of a dozen languages for 200 rubles and learn a lot about the artistic techniques and materials used in the cathedral. At 7:30 in the morning, you can enter the cathedral free of charge during the Russian Orthodox service.   3. St. Isaac's Cathedral: The city's best panorama point Photo credit: Shutterstock St. Isaac's Cathedral is one of St. Petersburg's most photographed landmarks, mostly because of its colossal size: The golden dome of Europe's third highest cathedral is visible from dozens of kilometers away. Over the 40 years that St. Isaac's Cathedral was being built (1818–1858), Petersburgers found it hideously ponderous and utterly disproportionate to the surrounding buildings, but they accepted it eventually – and the present-day St. Petersburg is unthinkable without St. Isaac's. Photo credit: Shutterstock The 262 steps of the staircase leading to the colonnade of the cathedral are worth the effort of climbing them. The colonnade encircles the dome at 44 meters above the ground, the height of a 16-story building. Wherever you look, you see St. Petersburg, cut by innumerable rivers and channels into dozens of islands. To enter the colonnade, you will need a separate ticket, which can be bought at the museum ticket office or from a vending machine at the entrance. From June to August, during the "white nights," the colonnade is open to visitors until four in the morning. Tip: The best view of St. Isaac’s Cathedral can be seen from the center of Isaakievskaya Square, marked by the equestrian monument to Emperor Nicholas I.   4. Kazan Cathedral: The sacred stronghold of Orthodox Christianity framed with Vatican-style columns Photo credit: Lori/Legion-Media Forming a majestic semicircle around the Kazan Cathedral, the colonnade resembles that of St. Peter's Cathedral in the Vatican, but its true purpose is to mask the fact that the real facade is turned away from Nevsky Prospect, the city's main avenue. According to the church’s architectural canons, the altar must face the East. Presently, the colonnade is closed to visitors, but the cathedral itself opens every day in the morning, and admission is free because it is an active church with services held daily. Photo credit: Shutterstock A year after its 1811 consecration, the Kazan Cathedral was proclaimed a memorial to Russia's victory over Napoleon. Statues of the two most prominent military commanders of the war were installed in the square in front of the cathedral. The western side features the monument to Barclay de Tolly, and the eastern side has the monument to Mikhail Kutuzov, immortalized as one of the characters in Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace. Tip: The best view of the Kazan Cathedral is from the other side of Nevsky Prospect. Just look out the windows of Singer Coffee Shop on the second floor of the House of Books bookstore (28 Nevsky Prospect).   5. Smolny Cathedral: A chameleon of a temple, but beautiful from any angle Photo credit: Lori/Legion-Media Smolny Cathedral is situated outside the historical center of St. Petersburg. It can be quite tricky to get there because the name "Smolny" denotes not only the cathedral but also the headquarters of St. Petersburg's administration, situated in the neighboring building. You’ll know you’ve arrived at the right destination when you see lots of parked tourist buses and newly-married couples drinking champagne with their guests: The cathedral is one of the top wedding photo locations for St. Petersburg couples. Photo credit: Lori/Legion-Media One distinctive feature of its architecture is the lack of any main facade. Each wall of the building is a facade, making the cathedral look equally festive from all sides, even from the modern residential area on the opposite bank of the Neva River. The color of Smolny adjusts to the color of the city sky: In sunny weather, it shifts toward light-blue, and in gloomy weather, it looks grayish. The side of Smolny you’ll see depends on the always fickle St. Petersburg weather.

11 апреля, 17:29

Top Ranked Income Stocks to Buy for April 11th

Top Ranked Income Stocks to Buy for April 11th

Выбор редакции
09 апреля, 12:00

Grazie mille, maestro: Monteverdi’s Venice

The 450th anniversary of Claudio Monteverdi’s birth is the cue for a year of music in his home townA raunchy Beyoncé video blaring from a tiny bar’s TV might seem an unlikely backdrop for an earnest discussion on the intricacies of reconstructing music from 400 years ago – but this is Venice, where sex and melody have always been close, and the composer we are talking about is Claudio Monteverdi. The first composer to break through convention and display the true nature of humanity, he will be celebrated around the world this year, the 450th anniversary of his birth.Sipping his Spritz under the glaring screen is today’s manifestation of Monteverdi – Marco Gemmani, maestro di cappella of the basilica of San Marco, the job Monteverdi held from 1613 until his death in 1643. We had stopped for a drink after he had given a rare tour of the singing galleries of the great basilica, a manifestation of the meeting of east and west. A Byzantine glory, it is covered in ancient mosaics and floored in dazzling Cosmati marble, and is as much a symbol of Venice as bobbing gondolas and creepy carnival masks. Continue reading...

06 апреля, 03:05

50% Of Americans Live Payday-To-Payday; 33% Can't Write A $500 Emergency Check

It's been more than seven years since the 'great recession' officially ended, but while Fed policies have successfully generated massive asset bubbles which have accrued solely to the benefit of America's wealthiest, the majority of American families remain as vulnerable to financial disaster as they were during the height of the crisis. In fact, a recent study found that some 50% of Americans are woefully unprepared for a financial emergency with nearly 1 in 5 (19%) having absolutely no savings set aside to cover an unexpected expense.  Meanwhile, nearly 1 in 3 (31%) Americans couldn't write a $500 check to cover an unexpected household emergency expense if they had to, according to a survey released by HomeServe USA, a home repair service. Moreover, a separate survey released Monday by insurance company MetLife found that 49% of employees are “concerned, anxious or fearful about their current financial well-being” with less than 40% reporting that they're "in control" of their finances.   If you're like us, then perhaps you're confused by how the information above jives with the Fed's assertions that 'everything is awesome' which seems to be reinforced by new daily highs in equity markets.  Of course, the issue is that the overwhelming majority of Americans haven't participated in the Fed's latest asset bubbles and are instead still crippled under the same amount of debt as they had during the recession. In fact, the New York Federal Reserve on Monday predicted that total household debt will reach its previous peak of $12.7 trillion this year with lower mortgage balances being offset by much higher student and auto debt.   For evidence of 'main street' America's struggles with soaring debt balances, one has to look no further than the shocking delinquencies of 2016 vintage subprime auto ABS structures which are underperforming even 2007/2008 vintage securitizations.   And while most have attributed the rising delinquencies solely to deteriorating lending standards and an increasing mix of 'deep subprime' loans, UBS Global Macro Strategist, Matthew Mish, thinks there is a better answer, namely failed Fed policies.  As we've also argued over the years, while the Fed's misguided QE and interest rate policies have done a masterful job of creating asset bubbles around the world they've done precious little to actually stimulate economic/wage growth, in real terms. In our view, the root causes of the rise in delinquency rates can be traced back to US consumer income inequality and aggressive easing in lending conditions, primarily from non-bank lenders. In short, the mosaic we see is one where central bank reflation efforts, namely QE and low interest rate policies, have been more successful at fuelling higher asset prices and wealth creation for a subset of the consumer and less effective in stimulating real income growth (particularly at the median and below). Wealth creation becomes self-reinforcing in an environment of financial repression, with more cash looking for opportunities for deployment. For the financial sector that means more loan growth, and many less regulated, non-bank financial intermediaries have happily filled the void, incentivized by low interest rates that help sustain a lower cost of capital for themselves and lower funding costs for their borrowers.   However, the overall credit quality of borrowers has not kept pace with improvement in the aggregate economy. Our prior Evidence Lab work posits that about 38% of US consumers do not generate positive cash flow and roughly 25-30% of US consumers have not seen improving consumer finances (i.e. they do not own their own home or have significant wealth tied to stock markets). As of Q4'16, 18% of US consumers indicated they were likely to default on one loan payment over the next 12 months vs. 13% in Q3'16. This cohort of at-risk consumers reported being about 4x as likely to embark on a major durable goods purchase (e.g. house, car) in the next year.   This is not just a theoretical issue, but perhaps a problem already. 37% of those aged 21-34 in Q4'16 stated they were likely to default on one loan over the next 12 months, up from 27% in Q3, and outpacing other age brackets. We have only asked this specific question twice before in our Evidence Lab Survey and will be keen if these trends continue in our Q1 survey   And while the subprime auto market, on a standalone basis, may not represent the 'systemic risk' that subprime housing did in 2007, when combined with outstanding subprime balances on student loans and other types of debt it's a $1.3 trillion issue. Is subprime auto lending too small to matter from a financial stability point of view? In isolation, yes. According to TransUnion, subprime auto lending balances outstanding total $179bn, or 16% of all auto loans outstanding. And subprime balances are about 1.2x above balances as of Q3'09. However, our earlier thesis would suggest subprime auto may be too narrow a lens to view the debate. More broadly, the good news is that subprime mortgage debt outstanding totals $567bn, or 7% of all mortgage loans. Subprime balances are about 0.4x 2009 levels. The bad news is subprime student loans balances total $370bn, or 30% of all loans outstanding. And balances are 2.3x 2009 levels. Subprime credit card debt totals $113bn ($88bn bankcard, $25bn private label) – reflecting 12% and 20% of all loan balances, respectively, and about 0.8x 2009 levels. And subprime personal loan balances total $17bn, or 16% of all debt, and 1.1x levels seen in 2009 (Figure 7).   In short, we estimate subprime consumer debt outstanding totals a still significant $1.25tn, comprised primarily of mortgage, student and auto loans.   But, as UBS concludes, the next massive subprime debt unwind won't be that big of a deal because this time around all of the risk has been laid off on taxpayers... Comparatively, however, debt levels outstanding are down from 2009 peak levels near $1.9tn. In addition, loan loss risk is increasingly borne by the government (e.g., student, FHAbacked mortgage loans), not the banks.

05 апреля, 22:30

A Fight to Restore the Constitution at Customs Checkpoints

Senators are pushing a bipartisan bill to protect the Fourth Amendment rights of Americans returning home by ending intrusive, warrantless searches of their phones and computers.

05 апреля, 00:15

UBS Blames Fed For "Crisis High" Subprime Defaults; Says Auto Is Just The Beginnning

For months now we've been writing about the mysteriously rising subprime delinquencies afflicting auto ABS structures despite repeated confirmations from the Fed and equity markets that 'everything is awesome' (see "Auto Bubble Burst Begins As Subprime Delinquencies Soar To 2009 Levels" and "Signs Of An Auto Bubble: Soaring Delinquencies In These 266 Subprime ABS Deals Can't Be Good" for a couple of recent examples). Shockingly, as confirmed by the chart below, 2016 vintage subprime auto ABS structures are even underperforming 2007/2008 vintage securitizations.   And while most have attributed the rising delinquencies solely to deteriorating lending standards and an increasing mix of 'deep subprime' loans, UBS Global Macro Strategist, Matthew Mish, thinks there is a better answer, namely failed Fed policies.  As we've also argued over the years, while the Fed's misguided QE and interest rate policies have done a masterful job of creating asset bubbles around the world they've done precious little to actually stimulate economic/wage growth, in real terms. In our view, the root causes of the rise in delinquency rates can be traced back to US consumer income inequality and aggressive easing in lending conditions, primarily from non-bank lenders. In short, the mosaic we see is one where central bank reflation efforts, namely QE and low interest rate policies, have been more successful at fuelling higher asset prices and wealth creation for a subset of the consumer and less effective in stimulating real income growth (particularly at the median and below). Wealth creation becomes self-reinforcing in an environment of financial repression, with more cash looking for opportunities for deployment. For the financial sector that means more loan growth, and many less regulated, non-bank financial intermediaries have happily filled the void, incentivized by low interest rates that help sustain a lower cost of capital for themselves and lower funding costs for their borrowers.   However, the overall credit quality of borrowers has not kept pace with improvement in the aggregate economy. Our prior Evidence Lab work posits that about 38% of US consumers do not generate positive cash flow and roughly 25-30% of US consumers have not seen improving consumer finances (i.e. they do not own their own home or have significant wealth tied to stock markets). As of Q4'16, 18% of US consumers indicated they were likely to default on one loan payment over the next 12 months vs. 13% in Q3'16. This cohort of at-risk consumers reported being about 4x as likely to embark on a major durable goods purchase (e.g. house, car) in the next year.   This is not just a theoretical issue, but perhaps a problem already. 37% of those aged 21-34 in Q4'16 stated they were likely to default on one loan over the next 12 months, up from 27% in Q3, and outpacing other age brackets. We have only asked this specific question twice before in our Evidence Lab Survey and will be keen if these trends continue in our Q1 survey   And while the subprime auto market, on a standalone basis, may not represent the 'systemic risk' that subprime housing did in 2007, when combined with outstanding subprime balances on student loans and other types of debt it's a $1.3 trillion issue. Is subprime auto lending too small to matter from a financial stability point of view? In isolation, yes. According to TransUnion, subprime auto lending balances outstanding total $179bn, or 16% of all auto loans outstanding. And subprime balances are about 1.2x above balances as of Q3'09. However, our earlier thesis would suggest subprime auto may be too narrow a lens to view the debate. More broadly, the good news is that subprime mortgage debt outstanding totals $567bn, or 7% of all mortgage loans. Subprime balances are about 0.4x 2009 levels. The bad news is subprime student loans balances total $370bn, or 30% of all loans outstanding. And balances are 2.3x 2009 levels. Subprime credit card debt totals $113bn ($88bn bankcard, $25bn private label) – reflecting 12% and 20% of all loan balances, respectively, and about 0.8x 2009 levels. And subprime personal loan balances total $17bn, or 16% of all debt, and 1.1x levels seen in 2009 (Figure 7).   In short, we estimate subprime consumer debt outstanding totals a still significant $1.25tn, comprised primarily of mortgage, student and auto loans.   But, as UBS concludes, the next massive subprime debt unwind won't be that big of a deal because this time around all of the risk has been laid off on taxpayers... Comparatively, however, debt levels outstanding are down from 2009 peak levels near $1.9tn. In addition, loan loss risk is increasingly borne by the government (e.g., student, FHAbacked mortgage loans), not the banks.

03 апреля, 17:23

Mosaic Declares Production Disruption at Esterhazy Mine

The Mosaic Company (MOS) recently announced a production outage at its Esterhazy K2 potash mine in Saskatchewan. This incident is likely to reduce production by 200,000 to 300,000 tons.

03 апреля, 17:15

Top Ranked Income Stocks to Buy for April 3rd

Top Ranked Income Stocks to Buy for April 3rd

03 апреля, 16:43

Monsanto (MON) to Post Q2 Earnings: What's in the Cards?

Monsanto Company (MON) is scheduled to report second-quarter fiscal 2017 (ended Feb 2017) results before the opening bell on Apr 5.

24 марта, 23:34

Why Are Shell And Toyota Backing Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles?

Royal Dutch Shell sees that facing a lower-carbon transport future will need a “mosaic of fuels and engines,” but the energy conglomerate is leaning toward hydrogen as the alternative fuel of choice. Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are classified globally as zero emission vehicles, and are seeing a wave of policy support in North America, Europe, and Asia. The water vapor emissions are fascinating to many. Shell sees a distinct place for itself in supporting the vehicles and leading development of the fueling infrastructure needed…

24 марта, 16:30

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Milacron Holdings, Galapagos NV and Raymond James Financial

The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Milacron Holdings, Galapagos NV and Raymond James Financial

24 марта, 00:12

Who Will Win the March Madness of Trump Stocks?

Based on our internal research and metrics, it looks like Milacron Holdings will lift the 2017 March Madness trophy and could be considered a top bet in the first year of Trump presidency.

23 марта, 20:26

Интернет - инструмент политики

Т.е. инструмент достижения политических целей: Локальное применение: завоевание и удержание власти в своей стране. Глобальное противостояние: интернет как рычаг силы - давление на противника, на его эллектрорат. Генри Киссинджер назвал это глобальной шахматной партией (найдите почитайте - это классика - ее нужно знать). Однако это не игра. Это очень серьёзно. Данный текст — компиляция цитат (ссылки и авторы приводятся) и моих размышлений на тему, - подготовлен как материалы к лекции для студентов 1 курса МО МГИМО. Собрал вместе Александр Немченко 23 марта 2017 г. г. Москва   А начиналось все просто сказочно.       http://rvb.ru/pushkin/01text/03fables/01fables/0799.htm А. С. Пушкин СКАЗКА О РЫБАКЕ И РЫБКЕ Жил старик со своею старухой    У самого синего моря;           Они жили в ветхой землянке      Ровно тридцать лет и три года.  Старик ловил неводом рыбу,      Старуха пряла свою пряжу.                                       Раз он в море закинул невод,    Пришел невод с одною тиной.     Он в другой раз закинул невод,  Пришел невод с травой морскою.  В третий раз закинул он невод,  Пришел невод с одною рыбкой,    С непростою рыбкой, - золотою.  .......................... Вот идет он к синему морю,         Видит, на море черная буря:                                   Так и вздулись сердитые волны,                          Так и ходят, так воем и воют.                                Стал он кликать золотую рыбку.                                   Приплыла к нему рыбка, спросила:                                 "Чего тебе надобно, старче?"                                 Ей старик с поклоном отвечает:                              "Смилуйся, государыня рыбка!                                Что мне делать с проклятою бабой?                                Уж не хочет быть она царицей,                                Хочет быть владычицей морскою;                                Чтобы жить ей в Окияне-море,                                Чтобы ты сама ей служила                                И была бы у ней на посылках".                                                                Ничего не сказала рыбка,                                Лишь хвостом по воде плеснула                                     И ушла в глубокое море.                                           Долго у моря ждал он ответа,                                      Не дождался, к старухе воротился                                  Глядь: опять перед ним землянка;                                  На пороге сидит его старуха,                                      А пред нею разбитое корыто.                                                                       Сказка ложь, да в ней намек - добрым молодцам урок!     DARPA https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/Управление_перспективных_исследовательских_проектов_Министерства_обороны_США Управление перспективных исследовательских проектов Министерства обороны США DARPA - Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Основано в 1958 году в ответ на запуск в СССР первого искусственного спутника Земли. Перед DARPA была поставлена задача сохранения превосходства военных технологий США. DARPA существует независимо от обычных военных научно-исследовательских учреждений и подчиняется непосредственно руководству Министерства обороны. Штат DARPA насчитывает около 240 сотрудников (из которых примерно 140 — технические специалисты); бюджет организации составляет около 3 миллиардов долларов.   ARPANET (от англ. Advanced Research Projects Agency Network) — компьютерная сеть, созданная в 1969 году в США Агентством Министерства обороны США по перспективным исследованиям (DARPA) и явившаяся прототипом сети Интернет. 1 января 1983 года она стала первой в мире сетью, перешедшей на маршрутизацию пакетов данных. В качестве маршрутизируемого протокола использовался IP, который и по сей день является основным протоколом передачи данных в сети Интернет. ARPANET прекратила своё существование в июне 1990 года. В декабре 2009 года DARPA запускало красные шары-метеозонды в небо США, чтобы проверить возможности сбора, анализа и обмена информацией с помощью социальных сетей. Все 10 шаров были найдены менее чем за 9 часов[6], призовой фонд проекта составил 40 000 долларов. Осенью 2014 года стало известно о завершении разработки революционного процессора Terahertz Monolithic Integrated Circuit (TMIС) способного работать на тактовой частоте 1 ТГц[7][8]. Этот результат стал рекордным на момент выхода процессора. Примечательно, что предыдущий рекорд производительности был так же установлен DARPA в 2012 году. В сентябре 2015 года представитель DARPA заявил, что несколько десятков людей, которым вживили разрабатываемые агентством искусственные имплантаты, дающие направленные электрические разряды в определённые доли мозга, показали значительные улучшения в тестах на проверку памяти. Согласно предварительным результатам исследователи смогли не только записать и интерпретировать сигналы, сохраняющие воспоминания, но и улучшить способность пациентов запоминать целые списки объектов. http://devicebox.ru/internet-history/ Первый сервер сети ARPANET был запущен 2 сентября 1969 года в Калифорнийском университете города Лос-Анджелес. Это был к Honeywell DP-516 с оперативной памятью всего 24 Кб. 29 октября 1969 года в 21 час по местному времени между двумя первыми узлами сети ARPANET, расположенными на удалении 640 километров друг от друга — в Калифорнийском университете (UCLA) и Стэнфордском исследовательском институте (SRI) — бы проведен первый сеанс связи. Ученый Чарли Клайн (Charley Kline) смог тогда подключиться к компьютеру в SRI и передать всего три символа «LOG» до того, как сеть перестала работать. Он хотел написать слово LOGON, но не успел. Следующая попытка увенчалась успехом. Некоторые источники именно 29 октября считают Днём Рождения Интернета, хотя фигурируют и другие даты.     В 1971 году было разработано первое приложение для отправки электронной почты (e-mail). Тогда сеть использовалась, в основном, для рассылки электронной почты. Начиная с января 1983 года сеть ARPANET сменила протокол с NCP на TCP/IP. Этот протокол успешно применяется и в наши дни. В 1983 году за сетью ARPANET закрепился термин «Интернет». В 1991 году паутина стала общедоступной. В 1993 году был выпущен первый браузер Mosaic, который обладал графическим интерфейсом.   ВОЕННАЯ СЕТЬ http://www.aif.ru/dontknows/file/chto_takoe_voennyy_internet Такая глобальная военная сеть существует не только в российской армии. Наша по масштабу сравнима с закрытой сетью, действующей в вооружённых силах США. Военный интернет создан также и в Израиле и Китае.   Ролик "История Интернета" https://youtu.be/MbMAPoga8tE Длительность = 8 мин.   Уязвимая сеть передачи данных     Неуязвимая сеть передачи данных     Социальные параметры интернета http://www.shapovalov.org/publ/7-1-0-89 1. Для широкого распространения информации он не требует от потребителя сети высоких материальных затрат, что позволяет использовать этот источник массовой информации небогатым слоям населения, причем как небогатым получателям информации, так и небогатым авторам информации. Последнее наиболее важно, ибо от личной позиции автора информации и зависит в первую очередь характер информации, правдивая эта информация или ложная. Технология и организация традиционных СМИ (печатные СМИ, радио и телевидение) такова, что позволяет отсечь редакциям неугодных авторов на самом начальном этапе производства информационного продукта. Сам автор или даже группа авторов изготовить самостоятельно информационный продукт методами традиционных СМИ тоже не в состоянии, слишком уж велики материальные издержки на его производство и распространение. 2. Способность интернета почти мгновенно оповещать огромное количество потребителей, в чем интернет на сегодня практически вплотную приближается к телевидению и, скорее всего, в самое ближайшее время даже намного его превзойдет в массовости. 3. Скорость поступления информации потребителю (оперативность) – здесь интернет вообще вне конкуренции, особенно после того, как массе населения стали доступны технологии, позволяющие передавать информацию через мобильные телефоны. 4. Сложность организовать цензуру и хоть как-то отслеживать и контролировать поступающую в интернет информацию. Т.е. на сегодня это действительно наиболее свободные средства массовой информации. 5. Наличие обратной связи, т.е. возможность потребителей информации тут же высказать свое мнение относительно того или иного информационного продукта, что позволяет автору мгновенно среагировать и быстро скорректировать свой информационный продукт в нужном русле - качество, которым обладает на сегодня только интернет. 6. Доступность информационного продукта любому пользователю в любое время. Возможность многократного использования информационного продукта. Замечательная особенность, присущая только интернету. 7. Единое мировое информационное пространство, в котором нет ни границ, ни таможен, ни даже расстояний. Уникальная особенность интернета.   Кибервойна http://vpoanalytics.com/2014/06/27/internet-kak-sredstvo-dostizheniya-voennyx-i-politicheskix-celej/ Дмитрий Литвинов, Александр Крикунов «Центр анализа террористических угроз» В настоящее время сеть Интернет все активнее и масштабнее используется в интересах информационного противоборства сторон, являющихся участниками различных конфликтов. Она предоставляет широкие возможности в плане оказания влияния на формирование общественного мнения, принятие политических, экономических и военных решений, воздействия на информационные ресурсы противника и распространение специально подготовленной информации (дезинформации). При этом необходимо различать два направления ведения информационного противоборства: непосредственно информационное и психологическое. В первом случае объектом воздействия становятся компьютеры и информационные системы, во втором — индивидуальное и массовое сознание. В случае проведения психологической войны на первое место выходят процессы формирования общественного мнения. В этом случае эффективно воздействует преуменьшение значимости того или иного события, недопущение его в информационное пространство, использование, так называемой, «спирали молчания», то есть представления мнения меньшинства, как мнения большинства населения и смещение, таким образом, смысловых и идеологических акцентов. В рамках информационно-психологических операций действия сил и средств могут быть направлены на: •реструктурирование враждебных отношений избранных индивидов и групп; •усиление отношений дружески настроенных индивидов и групп; •поддержание постоянной нейтрализации тех, чьи отношения являются неструктурированными, кто является «безопасным», будучи нейтральным. •Кроме психологической составляющей информационного противоборства в ходе глобальной информатизации существенное влияние оказывает и техническая составляющая, которая формирует принципиально новую среду противоборства конкурирующих государств — киберпространство. Если в мире к настоящему времени сложился в той или иной степени стратегический баланс сил в области обычных вооружений и оружия массового уничтожения, то вопрос о паритете в киберпространстве остается открытым. В процессе формирования киберпространства происходит сближение военных и гражданских компьютерных систем и технологий. Государственные органы все шире закупают для решения военных и других специальных задач аппаратно-программные средства, разработанные коммерческими производителями для широкого круга пользователей.   Растет также потребность в совместимости гражданской информационной инфраструктуры с правительственной и военной. В связи с этим происходит их технологическое и организационное слияние. Так, 95% линий связи компьютерных сетей Министерства обороны США развернуто на базе общедоступных телефонных каналов, а свыше 150 тыс. компьютеров подключены к сети Интернет, что делает их чрезвычайно уязвимыми. Весь стандартизированный компьютерный комплекс может быть быстро выведен из строя применением одного конкретного средства, атакой, ориентированной на общий для стандартизированной сети уязвимый элемент — например, операционную систему или протокол связи. По мнению западных аналитиков, ЦРУ, АНБ и военная разведка США активно изучают возможности и методы проникновения в компьютерные сети своих потенциальных противников. Для этого, в частности, разрабатываются технологии внедрения электронных вирусов и «логических бомб», которые, не проявляя себя в обычное время, способны активизироваться по команде. В кризисной ситуации «электронные диверсанты» могут дезорганизовать оборонную систему управления, транспорт, энергетику, финансовую систему другого государства. Перспективными для таких целей считаются «заражённые» микросхемы, внедряемые в экспортируемую Соединёнными Штатами вычислительную технику.   Способы использования Сети Интернет в целях влияния на военные и политические решения. Виртуальные “сидячие забастовки” и блокады. Виртуальная сидячая забастовка (демонстрация) или виртуальная блокада – это своеобразное “виртуальное” исполнение физической забастовки или блокады. В обоих случаях цель состоит в том, чтобы привлечь внимание к действиям протестующих и причинам этих действий, с помощью нарушения нормального функционирования сети и блокирования доступа к услугам. Для проведения атак создаются специальные сайты, с которых скачивается автоматизированное программное обеспечение. Каждый участник должен посетить сайт, с которого загружается специальное программное обеспечение, которое запрашивает доступ к сайту-мишени каждые несколько секунд. Кроме того, это ПО позволяет протестующим производить иные операции – например, связанные с ошибками сервера. Например, если они направят браузер на несуществующий файл типа “права человека”, то сервер выдаст сообщение “права человека на этом сайте не найдены”. Распространение специально подобранной информации (дезинформации). Оно осуществляется путем рассылки электронных писем e-mail, организации новостных групп, создания сайтов для обмена мнениями, размещения информации на отдельных страницах или в электронных версиях периодических изданий и сетевого вещания (трансляции передач радио- и телестанций). Web-хакерство и компьютерные взломы. Наиболее распространенным направлением использования глобальной сети в интересах вышеупомянутого противоборства является замена информационного содержания сайтов, заключающаяся в подмене страниц или их отдельных элементов в результате взлома. Такие действия предпринимаются в основном для привлечения внимания к атакующей стороне, демонстрации своих возможностей или являются способом выражения определенной политической позиции. Помимо прямой подмены страниц широко используется регистрация в поисковых системах сайтов противоположного содержания по одинаковым ключевым словам, а также перенаправление (подмена) ссылок на другой адрес, что приводит к открытию специально подготовленных противостоящей стороной страниц. Особо следует выделить так называемые семантические атаки, заключающиеся во взломе страниц и последующем аккуратном (без заметных следов взлома) размещении на них заведомо ложной информации. Подобным атакам, как правило, подвергаются наиболее часто посещаемые информационные страницы, содержанию которых пользователи полностью доверяют. Вывод из строя или снижение эффективности функционирования структурных элементов сети путем применения специальных программных и аппаратно-программных средств на основе программного кода: программные и аппаратные закладки, компьютерные вирусы, «сетевые черви» и т. п. Опыт Франции Информационное противоборство в информационно-телекоммуникационных сетях рассматривается французскими военными как универсальное средство, позволяющее решать широкий спектр задач — от деструктивного воздействия на компьютерные системы и сети противника до получения разведывательных сведений стратегического характера в интересах национальной обороны и обеспечения успеха боевых действий. Принципами организации информационно-технического противоборства являются: непрерывность; единство управления; адекватность угрозам; унификация правил применения сил и средств; обеспечение квалифицированными кадрами. Французские эксперты выделяют три фазы проведения операций в киберпространстве: подготовительный этап, в ходе которого основные усилия сосредотачиваются на сборе информации о противнике; собственно воздействие на неприятеля; обеспечение безопасности своего информационного пространства. В соответствии с проектом концепции мероприятия должны осуществляться по следующему алгоритму: Обоснование целесообразности и принятие решения о его проведении. Для этого собирается информация о компьютерных системах и телекоммуникационных сетях противника. Кроме того, обобщаются сведения о собственном наступательном и оборонительном потенциале. Обеспечение превосходства над противником в информационной сфере путем получения доступа к данным, циркулирующим в автоматизированных информационных системах противника. Актуализация возможностей и намерений неприятеля, идентификация вероятных объектов атаки. Деструктивное воздействие на информационную инфраструктуру неприятеля: дезорганизация работы отдельных компьютеров и их сетей; снижение пропускной способности информационно-телекоммуникационных сетей и ухудшение функционирования систем управления оружием. Одновременно рекомендуется проводить мероприятия по защите собственных информационных систем от подобных акций противника. Использование превосходства в киберпространстве для осуществления информационно-психологического воздействия на противника (введение в заблуждение, подрыв моральных и волевых качеств, нарушение процесса принятия решений, разрыв иерархических и функциональных связей в системе управления). Таким образом, глобальная сеть Интернет сегодня играет огромную роль в глобализации информационных войн и является эффективным средством воздействия на информационные ресурсы своих соперников и военно-политическое руководство противоборствующих сторон при принятии ими важных решений. При этом следует отметить, что на заседании комитета начальников штабов блока НАТО в 2011 году было принято решение о приравнивании кибератак на информационные ресурсы стран участниц блока к военной агрессии. Что подчёркивает важность киберпространства и его решающее значение в современном информационном противоборстве. ГИС Интернет является одним из эффективных средств достижения военных и политических целей между противоборствующими государствами и их коалициями. Что активно используется соперниками в информационных войнах.   Этот текст в формате PDF Презентация в формате PPT Презентация в формате PDF                                       Tweet

27 февраля 2013, 21:26

The 5th UN Alliance of Civilizations Global Forum opens at Vienna

Hofburg Palace, Vienna (Austria) - Speakers at the opening of the 5th Global Forum of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations all emphasized conflict resolution using Syria as an example. Under the sparkling chandeliers of the Hofsburg Palace in Vienna, world leaders and other participants are meeting to discuss ways to further the goals of the UNAOC while encouraging more responsible leadership. The foreign minister of Austria Michael Spindelegger opened the session by stressing how his country's tradition of wanting a dialogue matches the goals of the UNAOC. That theme was later elaborated on by the country's Federal President Heinz Fischer. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon spoke about conflict resolution, job creation and specific troubles going on around the globe. "In too many places, anti-Muslim sentiment has become commonplace," Ban Ki-moon said. "Migrants from all backgrounds are vilified instead of embraced. When such attitudes are left unchallenged, racists feel empowered." He spoke at length about Syria, describing it as a 'mosaic of tribes, religion, culture and traditions. Later, during a press conference, he blamed the language of hatred for creating a divide in the world.