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23 мая, 08:21

Almost There

Almost There

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23 мая, 08:00

You think we’ve had 50 years of gay liberation? In the UK it’s barely four | Peter Tatchell

Britain is celebrating the anniversary of the 1967 act, but in fact anti-gay laws were enforced more aggressively by the state after it was passedThe 50th anniversary in July of the Sexual Offences Act 1967 will be marked by celebratory events, from Queer British Art at the Tate to the BBC’s Gay Britannia season. I feel ambivalent about the celebrations: 1967 was progress, but the criminalisation of homosexuality in the UK did not in fact end until 2013. The 1967 act was just a start. It was the first gay law reform since 1533, when anal sex was made a crime during Henry VIII’s reign; all other sexual acts between men were outlawed in the Victorian era, in 1885. Related: Peter Ackroyd: A secret history – 2,000 years of gay life in London Continue reading...

23 мая, 02:03

MSNBC Hits Ratings Milestone Amid Blitz Of Trump Bombshells

During an especially frenzied news cycle, MSNBC scored its best week in its 21-year-history by beating out both CNN and Fox News in total prime-time viewers and among the demographic prized by advertisers. The week of May 15 kicked off with the bombshell that President Donald Trump revealed highly classified information to Russian diplomats, followed the next day with a report that he urged then-FBI Director James Comey to drop an investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn. More revelations about Flynn followed, along with the naming of a special prosecutor for the Russian investigation. Trump’s reported boast to the Russians about firing “nut job” Comey capped off one of the more chaotic weeks in U.S. politics.  MSNBC progressive hosts Chris Hayes, Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O’Donnell averaged 2.44 million total viewers and 611,000 viewers ages 25 to 54, a coveted demographic, according to Nielsen data. But the network’s win comes as a third of it’s prime-time lineup may soon head out the door. As HuffPost reported earlier this month, NBC News chief Andy Lack has continued shifting MSNBC away from its liberal brand by hiring more Republicans and former Fox News talent ― even as its ratings indicate there’s a strong market for left-leaning programming in the Trump era. Yashar Ali reported on assignment for the HuffPost that it appeared the network was not going to renew O’Donnell’s contract, despite his success in the hour following “The Rachel Maddow Show.”  The 10 p.m. host confirmed Wednesday that his contract ends June 4. Contract expires June 4. I'll let you know where you can watch me June 5 if it's not msnbc. I'm sorry this situation has become public. https://t.co/bS8V8GXbZ1— Lawrence O'Donnell (@Lawrence) May 17, 2017 CNN came in second in the key demographic with 589,000 viewers, while Fox News ranked third for the first time in 17 years, with 497,000 viewers ages 25 to 54. Fox News was a close second in total viewers with 2.405 million and CNN ranked third at 1.649 million. Fox News, which has led the cable news ratings race for 15 years, came out of the gate strong after ratings king Bill O’Reilly left last month in the wake of a sexual harassment scandal. But the current prime-time lineup of “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” “The Five” and “Hannity” has struggled in handling the big news of the day if it reflects poorly on the Trump White House.  The network’s right-leaning hosts largely ignored the big Comey news in prime time last week, as 10 p.m. host Sean Hannity has continued promoting a bogus conspiracy theory about the death of Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich. Hannity apparently plans to give oxygen to the Rich conspiracy on Monday night, with veteran Fox News contributor Geraldo Rivera joining in the conservative host’s ghoulish pursuit. type=type=RelatedArticlesblockTitle=Related Coverage + articlesList=59162d8ce4b00f308cf5534a,5910746ce4b0e7021e99410e,5922d252e4b094cdba558aef -- 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.

23 мая, 00:47

How Watergate Helped Republicans—And Gave Us Trump

Democrats hoping for impeachment shouldn't get too excited.

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23 мая, 00:08

Cyprus president: Talks proposal could bring swift results

The Greek Cypriot president of ethnically divided Cyprus on Monday urged Turkish Cypriots to accept his proposal to deal first with the toughest issues holding back progress in troubled reunification talks rather than trying to address everything in one go.

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22 мая, 23:49

The Iranian Opportunity

By re-electing moderate President Hassan Rouhani, Iran's voters have made clear their desire to continue along the path toward openness. The world should welcome the result as an opportunity to improve relations with a country that is central to progress toward a more peaceful Middle East.

22 мая, 21:58

Trump Changed His Tone on Islam—Will He Change Strategy?

The president’s speech in Riyadh represented a welcome shift from his former rhetoric. The question is what actions will follow.

22 мая, 21:51

Frustrated Republicans try to rewrite Congress’ rules

Long-standing norms are being swept aside in the GOP’s haste to enact its agenda.

22 мая, 21:43

Avoiding a Second Pearl Harbor: Why America Must Boost Hawaii’s Defenses

Dan Goure Security, Trump's Ballistic Missile Defense Review needs to seriously consider recommending an accelerated program to provide a dedicated missile defense capability for Hawaii. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s (DPRK) efforts to develop long-range ballistic missiles and nuclear warheads are accelerating.  Pyongyang already has or will soon possess ballistic missiles capable of threatening virtually any target in the Western Pacific region. As if that were not enough to cause U.S. defense planners sleepless nights, the latest Worldwide Threat Assessment by the Director of National Intelligence believes that 2017 will be the year that North Korea tests an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), a weapon with sufficient range to deliver a nuclear weapon to Hawaii, Alaska and the continental U.S.   There have already been more North Korean missile tests this year than in any previous one.  While not all have been successful, a recent Washington Post article makes clear that these tests show the increased sophistication of Pyongyang’s missile designs, the improved reliability of key components and the continual progress toward development of a true ICBM. On May 13, North Korea fired an intermediate-range ballistic missile on an unusual trajectory, lofting it more than 2,000 km above the Earth. Pyongyang claimed that this showed the missile’s capacity to carry a heavy nuclear warhead, the kind that North Korea may already be capable of building.   The most recent test, on May 21, may have been the second of a canisterized, road-mobile, solid fuel, medium-range missile. Such a system is particularly dangerous because it can be deployed and made ready to fire in a very short period of time with few warning signs. Last month, the North demonstrated the ability to do simultaneous launches, firing four medium-range missiles at one time. Western analysts believe that the DPRK may have been practicing a barrage attack on South Korea, U.S. and Japanese defense positions. Read full article

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22 мая, 21:28

Net Neutrality Proponents Gear Up For New Fight Against Ajit Pai

Ajit Pai, Chairman of the FCC, is in for a battle as he diligently tries to unravel net neutrality and all of the progress made under the previous administration.

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22 мая, 20:03

See Benjamin Armas And Ori Carino Voided At Howl Arts Before It Is Gone

Ori Carrino's and Benjamin Armas’s recent exhibition at HOWL! Arts is in direct conversation with a neighborhood weighted by the history of upwards economic progress that has mostly resulted in social regression (mass gentrification, etc.).

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22 мая, 19:38

Ford's Board Makes Zero Progress By Replacing Their CEO With One Of Their Own Members

By naming an insider as CEO, Ford falls further behind in the race to become an automotive mobility company.

22 мая, 19:23

Socialism Is So Hot Right Now. Thank Bernie Sanders.

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); WASHINGTON ― Consider the Bernie Bro (Wellus actuallius), an aggressive subgenus of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ supporters. In the year since Sanders lost the Democratic primary, members of this species have been pushed out of their native habitat and forced to migrate to new ecosystems. Some nested down in social media, encroaching on classmates’ Facebook posts and female journalists’ Twitter updates with condescending diatribes about Slavoj Žižek. Others made their way to the hostile environs of Donald Trump’s campaign, finding sustenance in the idea that there was no difference between the Republican and Democratic nominees for president. Still more found their way to your dinner table, nourishing themselves on ponderous expositions of neoliberalism, where and how they refill their beer growlers, and why Bernie would’ve won.   Herds of other Bernie Bros, however, have staked out a far more hospitable environment: the Democratic Socialists of America, or DSA. For the uninitiated, DSA ― the inheritor of the American Socialist Party, co-founded by Eugene Debs and instrumental in the progressive reforms of the early 20th century ― is a chapter-based national political advocacy organization that crusades for policies such as a higher minimum wage, safer working conditions and universal health care. DSA openly uses the big, bad, scary s-word that countless Republican consultants have used to smear Democrats over the years. And despite decades of efforts to stigmatize it, socialism is kind of in right now. This was partly fueled by Sanders’ underdog presidential campaign ― he identifies as a democratic socialist but caucuses with the Democrats in the Senate ― as well as by an economic recovery that has left many working people in the dust, experiencing a growing sense of disillusionment with the Democratic Party. “We were highly visible in the Sanders campaign,” Joseph Schwartz, a DSA national vice chair and professor of political science at Temple University in Philadelphia, told HuffPost. Schwartz said DSA’s growth began to accelerate as the Sanders campaign picked up steam in mid-2015, and has continued since Trump took office. DSA has rooted itself in the millennial psyche with astonishing speed. A quiz posted on Reductress earlier this month was titled, “Is He Into You, Just a Friend, or Trying to Get You to Join the Democratic Socialists?” Comedian Rob Delaney regularly promotes the group on social media. And that rose emoji you keep see popping up on Twitter? It’s likely a reference to both DSA’s logo and that of Socialist International, the global consortium of socialist organizations. Along with #resist and #NeverthelessShePersisted, the rose emoji has remained one of the more enduring social media trends since last November. “The real massive influx was starting with the day Trump was elected,” Schwartz recalled. “Many people want to fight back against Trump, but they also realize that the centrist, pro-corporatist views of the Democratic Party are partially what gave rise to him.” DSA officials say their member rolls shot up from around 8,500 on Election Day to about 21,000 as of early May, and they’re getting upwards of 10 requests a week to help open new chapters. New members are overwhelmingly young and tech-savvy, thanks in no small part to the groundwork the Sanders campaign laid by bringing millions of young people into politics. This engagement was on full display at a May Day rally in Washington, D.C., earlier this month. Around noon, some 100 or so activists from a variety of progressive organizations gathered in a small park in D.C.’s Mount Pleasant neighborhood. Making small talk near the obligatory drum circle were around 10 members of DSA’s D.C.-area chapter, nearly all of whom had signed up to join DSA on or after Election Day. DSA’s contingent was one of the largest on hand, but was nearly all white and male ― contrasting sharply with the rest of the crowd, which was far more diverse and representative of the neighborhood’s large Salvadoran community. The DSA attendees who spoke with HuffPost said they had joined DSA since November and were first drawn to it through the Sanders campaign. “Ever since Trump won, I think people have been feeling very scared and want to do something, and DSA is a great organization to channel that,” said Nick from Poughkeepsie, New York, who declined to give his last name. “I had an awakening during Sanders campaign. I was monitoring the growth of all these organizations and saw that DSA was gaining all these members and felt like DSA spoke to me.” James Mathias, 25, from northern Virginia, had previously volunteered for Barack Obama’s first presidential campaign and later participated in the Occupy Wall Street movement. After voting for Sanders in the 2016 primary, he voted for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in the general election. While he wasn’t wild about Clinton’s policies, he felt compelled to vote for her out of political necessity, given Virginia’s swing state status. Mathias said political realism drew him to DSA and that he has yet to experience the organizational or political disappointment he did with Occupy and Obama. “Each time, I kind of drifted in and out, because both of those things petered out, either literally or philosophically,” Mathias recalled. “Occupy wasn’t focused on engaging with existing political structures. DSA is focused on building power for political ends. I really see a bias for action and not shying away from political structures.” Indeed, DSA doesn’t fashion itself as a vehicle for high-level political office ― most of its members who have run for office have run in municipal elections ― but rather as “America’s largest Socialist organization,” per its website. This isn’t a wishy-washy expression of being (The Socialist International was in our hearts all along!), but an acknowledgement that its foundational work is in lending organizational support to candidates from other parties and organizations whose policies align with its agenda. This includes other liberal advocacy organizations and economically progressive politicians like Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Sanders. DSA didn’t endorse Clinton in the 2016 general election, but its chapters actively organized a “Dump Trump” movement targeted at the Republican nominee. That left open the possibility of voting for Green Party nominee Jill Stein or even Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson, but DSA officials told HuffPost they expected a large number of their supporters would back Clinton. Despite DSA’s often antagonistic attitude toward the Democrats, Democratic officials say they’ll happily accept DSA’s support whenever it’s willing to offer it.  “We welcome the help of groups across the country who are fighting to defeat Republicans and elect progressive leaders that stand for the same values that make our party so great,” DNC spokeswoman Xochitl Hinojosa told HuffPost in an email.  While a membership of 21,000 is still small as political entities go ― progressive advocacy group MoveOn.org touts over 7 million members, for example ― DSA members’ engagement has caught the attention of the progressive community. They showed up in large numbers at May Day rallies across the country this year, including a New York City rally that attracted well over 1,000 DSA members. “The people who are joining DSA are people who are extremely active,” said Bob Master, a veteran labor activist and the co-founder and co-chair of the Working Families Party of New York. This gives the group tremendous leverage, Master said: Having a young, energized and tech-fluent base of volunteers is a welcome addition to any political coalition. DSA’s willingness to adapt to the current political framework and engage with other organizations has drawn plaudits from other progressive activist and organizations. “DSA has been an excellent ally, joining with our members in canvassing area businesses; they hosted a fundraiser party that raised $1,000 and helped us expand our operations,” said Hannah Kane, an organizer at Many Languages One Voice, a Washington, D.C., immigrant community group that led the May Day protest. “They’ve just been all-around excellent partners.” George Goehl, the co-director of People’s Action & People’s Action Institute, a Chicago-based advocacy organization, partly attributes DSA’s rise to “the Democratic Party and its constant tacking toward the middle and feeling like the answers to its problems lay in a more moderate, less-structural set of reforms.” “We failed in the last election because we had a candidate who was unable to tap into the anger that people are feeling,” echoed Master. “The Democratic Party cannot limit itself to saying ‘Trump is a bad guy because he fired James Comey.’ [It] has to speak to the growing sense of economic stagnation and diminishment.” Naturally, Democratic officials disagree with this assessment. Hinojosa, the DNC spokeswoman, said the party and its new chairman, Tom Perez, possess “an unwavering commitment to workers and will continue to fight for working families on behalf of the Democratic Party.” We failed in the last election because we had a candidate who was unable to tap into the anger that people are feeling. Bob Master, co-founder and co-chair, Working Families Party of New York DSA naturally draws comparisons to the Green Party, a fact that is not lost on DSA members or leaders. But DSA officials see major differences between the organizations ―  particularly in the Green Party’s complete separation from other political parties and what they see as the Greens’ inordinate focus on presidential elections. “We’re more flexible in terms of tactics,” said Schwartz. “We prioritize doing social movement work, and we see electoral politics as coming out of that.” The Green Party’s emphasis on its presidential tickets, he added, “is not an intelligent way to build an independent third party.” Green Party officials dispute that. In an email to HuffPost, Scott McLarty, media director for the Green Party of the United States, noted that “the Green Party runs hundreds of candidates for local and state office every election cycle.” “One of the main reasons we run presidential candidates is the support they give to state parties and to state and local candidates,” added McLarty. DSA has several challenges as its membership balloons, including what to do with all those new members. Although individuals unable to pay membership dues are still allowed to join, DSA relies on dues to maintain operations, which includes paying the salaries of the eight full-time employees in its national office. Right now, only two DSA chapters employ part-time employees, but DSA officials expect that number to grow considerably as large chapters in places like Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco continue to add members. Activists outside DSA also say it’s imperative that the group not lose focus on its overarching mission, or let the Democratic Party’s decidedly less-than-socialist views dilute its platform. DSA’s biennial convention in Chicago this August will be a major test of both its organization and focus. The group’s 2015 gathering in Baltimore featured roughly 150 attendees, but organizers expect this year’s convention to attract 500. Organizers hope to avoid what transpired at last year’s Green Party convention, which got so bogged down by ideological infighting and poor planning that it ultimately devolved into one giant lightbulb joke.   “Managing growth is really hard, and when organizations grow, it’s hard to stick with your principles,” said Goehl. “A little too much power or access can pollute things.” An arguably greater challenge for DSA is diversifying its ranks and combating the growing impression that it is merely a refuge for wayward Bernie Bros. Indeed, most DSA members interviewed for this article were white men. DSA officials acknowledge that this overwhelming whiteness is inherently limiting. “We have to make space for diverse voices, including from immigrant communities,” said Schwartz. “If we don’t tackle things like mass incarceration, police brutality and the lack of economic opportunity for people of all races, we won’t unite working people.” In addition to promoting an agenda that it believes appeals to communities of color, DSA officials argue that the group’s focus on economic matters has the potential to appeal to female voters, who tend to back Democratic candidates and prioritize social welfare issues such as paid maternity leave and access to affordable health care. Julia Griffin is a 21-year-old DSA member from northern Virginia who works in the service industry and who attended the May Day rally in Washington. She said her Christian faith helped draw her to DSA; she sees in socialism a helping-thy-neighbor ethos that’s central to her religious beliefs. “After the election, I was so frustrated with the Democratic Party and so disappointed with everything that went on, I definitely needed to feel part of an organization that was actively working to make people’s lives better,” said Griffin.   Ultimately, activists outside DSA say that if it wants to transcend its status as yet another outside group hoping to influence Democratic politics, it’ll need to establish itself as a real third party ― not only by notching some wins with local candidates, but also by enacting reforms once they take office. “If you’re attracting working-class and low-income members, you got to deliver some tangible victories,” said Goehl, of People’s Action & People’s Action Institute. He listed the establishment of local credit unions as an example of the type of policy reforms he believes locally-elected DSA members could achieve.    “You can deliver a wide range of victories ― they can be electoral, they can be narrative, but they have to be tangible after a while,” Goehl added. “This is not theoretical to people; this is about having a place to live and having health care.” -- 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.

22 мая, 19:01

Report: Africans see rise in life quality

AFRICANS are seeing a steady improvement in the quality of their lives, with some countries even nearing world averages, according to a wide-ranging report on the continent’s future released yesterday. While

22 мая, 18:52

My White Inheritance

To what extent do you own your inheritance? Life is cumulative. At the end of our lives, we take all that we’ve earned, learned, and collected and pass it along to those that carry on our legacy. Recently, while doing research on my family like so many do on the internet, I pieced together parts of my family history. Decades of census reports track the progress of my ancestors from their arrival to America from Europe and Canada in the early 1900’s through the steel mills of central New England, each generation moving up in education and class. My family history embodies America’s promise. My great-grandfather, Anthony Golaszewski, an immigrant from Poland arrived at Ellis Island in 1907. With the help of a relative, he landed a job in a steel mill in Worcester, MA where he lived for the rest of his life. Like many immigrants at the time, he lived on U.S. soil for decades before becoming a citizen.In 1938, Anthony’s daughter, Helen, married Wallace Polewaczyk, who also worked in Worcester’s steel mills, and moved into a triple-decker home in the Polish neighborhood. While they never owned property, they lived a modest life that fulfilled the dreams that carried Anthony across the Atlantic. Anthony’s granddaughter, Irene, in 1969 married my father, John Cormier, a second generation American of Italian and French Canadian heritage. My mother graduated from high school and my father earned two master’s degrees. Together they ascended to the next level of the American dream, purchasing their first home and, years later, a second home by the ocean shortly after their fourth child was born (that’s me). My research also uncovered a few painful parts of my family history. My older brother was arrested for cocaine possession in 1989. As an 11-year-old, I read about his arrest in our local paper, a traumatic moment that altered my understanding of addiction and its impact on our family. Between the lines of my family history lies an unspoken but potent truth in my inheritance. More than my thinning crown or prominently bridged nose, a defining characteristic has been handed down to me through my ancestry. My family history embodies white America’s promise. As I track the progress of my family, each data point has an implicit racial component that adds to the legacy I inherited. While we’re a family that has few material heirlooms and even fewer trust funds, I benefit from an inheritance that has provided me with a level of comfort, access and power directly tied to our whiteness. It’s not shocking or newsworthy to hear that race impacts one’s lived experience or privilege. That seems obvious, though it’s not always acknowledged or accepted by my fellow white brothers and sisters. While it’s true that my life will forever be linked to the economic stability and supportive environment in which I was raised, it’s not simply about wealth and asset accumulation. It’s broader than that. And all of it can be tied to the fact that my ancestors were – and I am – white. When Anthony came to America of his own accord in 1907, he depended upon the coterie of Polish relatives and familial acquaintances to start his life and find housing in the New World. This network of support is as American as Ellis Island and as critical to immigrants today as it was to Anthony. Even though Massachusetts was one of the first states to ban slavery and repeal Jim Crow laws, housing discrimination based on race was still legal until 1948, and continued through racist practices like redlining for decades after that. Anthony had access to reliable housing which aided his ability to get a steady job that sustained him and his family throughout his life. My grandparents could marry in 1938 because they were both white and born in a state without anti-miscegenation laws. Massachusetts’ infamous “1913 law” that effectively banned interracial marriage was not fully repealed until 2008. As a gay man, I am keenly aware of the importance of marriage, and the economic stability and social acceptance that it can provide. Helen and Wallace had access to rights and benefits that were denied to mixed race couples. When my parents married in 1969, they both had access to education that helped them advance their careers. At the same time, Boston area schools were failing generations of African-Americans (see also: the 1974 Boston busing riots). My siblings and I went to public elementary schools that continued to struggle to fully integrate in the 1970’s and 80’s. In 1988, the so-called “war on drugs” targeted communities with a racial bias that disproportionally incarcerated African-Americans. Federal penalties for crack cocaine were 100 times harsher than those for powder cocaine. Had my brother been caught with crack instead of powder cocaine, our family would likely have been drained financially by legal fees and emotionally by frequent trips to prison for years or decades. This is not to say that my family was free of struggle and challenges. When Anthony arrived in this country, Polish immigrants were overwhelmingly poor and worked in grueling conditions in industrial factories – which undoubtedly contributed to the high rates of alcoholism, violence, and domestic abuse in their community and within my family. So, what now? What do I – and others who recognize the lived and inherited components of being white – do now? For starters, we can admit this openly and push back when we hear comments about boot straps and self-made men (spoiler alert: they don’t exist). We can find our own ways of authentically owning our racial inheritance, including fighting racism and white supremacy. The question posed to us is more about the future than the past. It’s not enough to simply acknowledge the privilege that comes with being white. What we do with this perspective throughout our lives will be the legacy we leave behind. Awareness effects action. Because life is cumulative. And what we pass along will define our legacy. -- 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.

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22 мая, 18:28

Leader of Nigeria's ruling APC party warns of coup threat

LAGOS (Reuters) - Nigeria has paid a high price to achieve democracy and will foil any attempts by those hoping to stage a coup, the national leader of Nigeria's ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) party said on Monday.

22 мая, 17:40

Is Russia the world’s heaviest-drinking country?

There are a number of stereotypes about Russia such as cold climate, harsh manners of Russians, and rampant alcoholism. Russia is widely portrayed as the most alcohol-dependent country in the world. Critics of the country say that drinking is almost an inherent trait of the Russian people. However, this is an absolute myth. A land without vodka It may be hard to believe, but the consumption of alcoholic beverages was absolutely unusual in Russia in ancient times. Before the adoption of Christianity in Russia (10th century), there was apparently no drunkenness at all. There were no vineyards and therefore no wine. People only drank beverages with low alcohol content such as mead, beer and braga. Vodka, contrary to popular beliefs, was not a Russian invention. It was brought to Russia by Genovese merchants in the late 14th century. In fact, the drink that was brought to Russia tasted nothing like the vodka that is available in the country now.  The Genovese introduced Russians to ‘aqua vita’ – a pure grape spirit from southern France. Russians didn’t like it, and initially it was used for medicinal purposes. Imported product In the 15th century, Russian monasteries started vodka production. The beverage was initially imported along with wine. There is contradicting information about the inclination of Russian people towards alcohol in the notes of the foreigners from the 15th and 16th centuries. Austrian Envoy Sigismund von Herberstein wrote in ‘Notes on Muscovy’ (1549), that the Russians “indulge in excessive drinking whenever the occasion arises.” Konstantin Makovsky. A Boyar Wedding Feast (1883) However, scientist Sebastian Munster in his ‘Cosmography’ (1544) argued that Russians “rarely drink wine, and only then, when satisfied with a generous festive feast.” Still the heaviest drinkers in medieval Europe were not Russians, but Germans. There were many sayings about their desire to consume alcohol, such as, “drunk as a German.” The Russian state actually played a role in the spread of alcohol addiction in the country. A monopoly on the sale of alcohol filled the state treasury with huge revenues. The situation became catastrophic in the 19th century, when the industrial production of vodka began in the country. By 1911, vodka comprised of 89.3 per cent of the total alcohol produced in the country. Anti-alcohol movement On the other hand, a powerful and unique anti-alcohol movement started in the Russian Empire in the 19th century. Many public communities were established to prevent the growth of alcoholism in the country. In 1859, many bars and taverns were ravaged and destroyed by anti-alcohol activists. The struggle against alcoholism continued during the Soviet days. With harsh measures the Soviet authorities closed liquor stores, stopped the functioning of breweries, initiated an anti-alcohol campaign among the population, and restricted the sale of alcohol. The USSR was not the world's leader in alcohol consumption. At the peak of alcohol consumption in the country in 1984, an average person consumed 8.4 liters of alcohol per year. At that time an average person in Luxembourg consumed 18 liters, while it was 13.5 liters in France and 12.5 liters in Portugal. Due to the collapse of the Soviet Union, unemployment, rampant crime and difficult living conditions, the consumption of alcohol in Russia reached enormous proportions in the 1990s. This was also the era of the proliferation of substandard, counterfeit alcohol. In the 2000s, Russia began to actively deal with this problem at the state level. Russian state intervention in the 2000s In 2009, the Russian government adopted an anti-alcohol state policy that lasts until 2020. It aims to “reduce the level of alcohol consumption per capita by 55 percent.” Following the goals and objectives of this policy, Russia has banned the consumption of alcohol in public places, restricted advertising of alcohol products on television and completely banned alcohol advertisements in the printed media. The country has also limited the sale of alcoholic beverages in the evening and at night and increased fines for selling alcohol to minors. As a deterrent, the government has also increased the rate of excise duties on alcohol. In May 2017, there was an initiative to ban the demonstration of alcohol in television programs, documentaries and feature films, however, experts say that this is impossible. Russians drink Medovukha at the private Honey Museum in Russia's Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk. Source: Reuters State interventions played a more significant role in the reduction of alcohol consumption in Russia than what shows up in official statistics. Who is the world’s largest per capita alcohol consumer? According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the heaviest-drinking country in the world in 2016 was not Russia, but tiny Lithuania. Gauden Galea, Director of the Division of Noncommunicable Diseases and Life-course at WHO/Europe, told the Delfi portal that an average Lithuanian consumed 16 liters of alcohol in 2016. Belarus is in the second place (15 liters per capita per year) with Latvia in third place (13 liters). Russia and Poland shared fourth place with 12 liters. 2016 was not an exception for Russia in this regard. The country has not been the heaviest-drinking country for many years. In 2013, Russia ranked fifth, in the 2014 – fourth, 2015 – sixth. Galea noted that Russia and Belarus observed a significant decrease in alcohol consumption. According to Russia's Federal State Statistics Service, consumption of alcohol in Russia has dropped from 18 liters per person in 2009 to 12 liters in 2016. This marked progress in the fight against alcoholism is associated with many factors including improved living standards, a growing health consciousness and a deliberate policy of the state. However, alcoholism continues to be a problem in the country. Although Russia does not occupy first place when it comes to consumption of alcoholic beverages per capita, it is still close to the top. 

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22 мая, 16:30

Candidates For Seattle Mayor Must Improve Their Stands On Housing

This year's election for Mayor of Seattle will likely to determine whether Seattle will follow San Francisco and become an overpriced enclave of progressive elites or a city that takes a different and innovative approach to growth and change.

22 мая, 16:02

Survey Measurement of Probabilistic Macroeconomic Expectations: Progress and Promise -- by Charles F. Manski

Economists commonly suppose that persons have probabilistic expectations for uncertain events, yet empirical research measuring expectations was long rare. The inhibition against collection of expectations data has gradually lessened, generating a substantial body of recent evidence on the expectations of broad populations. This paper first summarizes the history leading to development of the modern literature and overviews its main concerns. I then describe research on three subjects that should be of direct concern to macroeconomists: expectations of equity returns, inflation expectations, and professional macroeconomic forecasters. I also describe work that questions the assumption that persons have well-defined probabilistic expectations and communicate them accurately in surveys. Finally, I consider the evolution of thinking about expectations formation in macroeconomic policy analysis. I favorably observe the increasing willingness of theorists to study alternatives to rational expectations assumptions, but I express concern that models of expectations formation will proliferate in the absence of empirical research to discipline thinking. To make progress, I urge measurement and analysis of the revisions to expectations that agents make following occurrence of unanticipated shocks.

22 мая, 15:51

ExxonMobil, SABIC Ink Deal to Forge Ahead with U.S. Project

ExxonMobil Corporation???s (XOM) affiliates and SABIC recently inked an agreement to carry out a comprehensive study of the planned Gulf Coast Growth Ventures project in Texas.