December 09, 2011
MOSCOW - While the world watches Russia grapple with accusations of fraud in the recent parliamentary elections, Vladimir Putin has not-so-quietly called "Action!" on his nascent campaign to return to the presidency.
Putin, currently finishing his stint as prime minister after two terms as president, has chosen as his presidential campaign manager Stanislav Govorukhin, a well-known movie director. While he is also a political ally, having served since 2005 in the Duma, the filmmaker's new central role may be an attempt by Putin to shine up his somewhat tarnished image.
The announcement was made this week the headquarters of the "All-Russia People's Front," an organization he started last May that remains closely affiliated with Putin's United Russia party. Govorukhin responded that it would be a "an honor," and "enormous responsibility."
"I will put all my energy into this project," said the director.
At a United Russia conference at the end of November, Govorukhin had publicly declared that Putin should return to the presidency. "Russia needs a brave, strong, smart and capable leader, not only to defend the rights and freedoms of our citizens, but also to remind them of their responsibilities," said the director. "And to force them to fulfill their responsibilities, first of all, to make them follow the laws of the Russian Federation. That leader is among us - it is Vladimir Putin."
The decision was welcomed by United Russia members. "Stanislav Govorukhin is our colleague, our comrade and one of the most experienced deputies in the Duma," said United Russia representative Sergei Zhelznyak. "He is one of the most respected public figures in modern Russia. In that sense, Putin's choice is completely logical. It is addressed to the largest number of people possible, designed to bring together everyone who cares about the fate of Russia."
"Putting on a show"
United Russia's opponents were not impressed. Sergei Obukhov, leader of Russia's Communist party reminded Kommersant that Govorukhin has already led a presidential election campaign in 2000 - his own - and managed to get only 0.44 percent of the vote.
"Apparently, Putin is planning to put on a show that is going to need a director. But Putin is a very talented person, he has already put on a show, complete with special effects, called "Tandem," said the leader of the Yabloko party, Sergei Mitrokhin, referring to the job-swapping with Russian President Dimitry Medvedev. "But maybe now he is hoping to fill the house. So he is going to need Govorukhin."
Political scientist Dmitry Oreshkin has his doubts about what he called "a PR move" by Putin. "The campaign manager's first responsibility is organizational, and Govorukhin is not an organizer. Putin is trying to improve his image with this appointment, but I am not convinced that he chose the right person," said Oreshkin. "His appointment will probably be well received by voters. But with all due respect to Govorukhin, he is not a political manager."
Russian political analysts, instead, expect that the two key players in the campaign will be longtime Kremlin power brokers Vyacheslav Volodin, currently the deputy prime minister, and Vladislav Surkov, considered the mastermind of the 2004 Putin's victory. Insiders, in fact, will be monitoring the dynamic between Volodin and Surkov, as they manage the campaign from behind the scenes.
Read the original article in Russian
Photo - mikhail_golubev
Kommersant ("The Businessman") was founded in 1989 as the first business newspaper in the Russia. Originally a weekly, Kommersant is now a daily newspaper with strong political and business coverage. It has been owned since 2006 by Alisher Usmanov, the director of a subsidiary of Gazprom.
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Anne-Sophie Goninet, Jane Herbelin and Bertrand Hauger
October 18, 2021
Welcome to Monday, where the UK pays homage to slain MP David Amess, Myanmar frees thousands of prisoners, and Facebook gets ready to build its "metaverse." Please fasten your seatbelts: Worldcrunch also takes stock of the long-lasting effects — good and bad — the pandemic has had on the air travel industry.
[*Azeri - Azerbaijan]
🌎 7 THINGS TO KNOW RIGHT NOW
• Myanmar to free political prisoners: Myanmar's junta chief Min Aung Hlaing has announced the release of 5,636 prisoners who had been jailed for protesting the coup that ousted the civilian government in February 2021.
• Powerful Haiti gang behind the kidnapping of U.S. missionaries: The notorious 400 Mawozo gang is believed to be behind the kidnapping in Haiti of a group of Christian missionaries, including 16 U.S. citizens and one Canadian. The brazen kidnapping on Saturday comes as crime is spiking since the killing of President Jovenel Moise in July.
• UK to pay tribute to David Amess: British lawmakers will pay homage in parliament to colleague David Amess, who was stabbed to death Friday in what was described by the police as a "terrorist incident." Officers arrested a 25-year-old suspect whose father, Harbi Ali Kullane, worked as a media adviser to a former prime minister of Somalia.
• COVID update: Russia has registered more than 34,000 cases of new infections in the past 24 hours, a new record since the start of the pandemic. Meanwhile, police in the northeast Italian city of Trieste used water cannons to clear striking dockworkers protesting Italy's new requirements that all employees be vaccinated.
• At least 26 killed in floods in India: Torrential rain has triggered floods and landslides in India's southern coastal state of Kerala, killing at least 26 people.
• Facebook to hire 10,000 in EU to develop "metaverse": The U.S. social media giant plans to hire 10,000 workers in the European Union over the next five years to build a "metaverse," a virtual reality version of the internet that the company touts as the future.
• Punishing parents for children's bad behavior: After limiting gaming hours for minors, China is now considering legislation to reprimand parents if their children exhibit "very bad behavior" or commit crimes.
🗞️ FRONT PAGE
Colombian daily El Espectador dedicates its front page to Alex Saab, "owner of the secrets" of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. The Colombian businessman, wanted by U.S. authorities for allegedly laundering money on behalf of Venezuela's government, has been extradited from Cape Verde to the U.S. where he is scheduled to appear in court today.
#️⃣ BY THE NUMBERS
China's economy registered its slowest pace in a year as the country faces a looming energy crisis with power shortages and increasing pressure on its property sector. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the period between July-September rose 4.9%, the weakest numbers since the third quarter of 2020 and significantly lower than forecasts. The world's second-largest economy faces a debt crisis linked to the China Evergrande Group debt crisis, while energy shortfalls have dropped factory output to its weakest since early 2020, when heavy COVID-19 curbs were in place.
📰 STORY OF THE DAY
7 ways the pandemic may change the airline industry for good
Will flying be greener? More comfortable? Less frequent? As the world eyes a post-COVID reality, we look at ways the airline industry has been changing through a pandemic that has devastated air travel.
⛽ Cleaner aviation fuel: With air travel responsible for roughly 12% of all CO2 emissions from transport, and stricter international regulation on the horizon, the industry is increasingly seeking sustainable alternatives to petroleum-based fuel. In Germany, state broadcaster Deutsche Welle reports that the world's first factory producing CO2-neutral kerosene recently started operations in the town of Wertle, in Lower Saxony. The plant, for which Lufthansa is set to become the pilot customer, will produce CO2-neutral kerosene through a circular production cycle incorporating sustainable and green energy sources and raw materials
.🛃 Smoother check-in: The pandemic has also accelerated the shift towards contactless traveling, with more airports harnessing the power of biometrics — such as facial recognition or fever screening — to reduce touchpoints and human contact. Similar technology can also be used to more efficiently scan physical objects, such as explosive detection. Ultimately, passengers will be able to "check-in" and go through a security screening anywhere at the airports, removing queues and bottlenecks.
✈️ The billion-dollar question: Will we fly less? At the end of the day, even with all these (mostly positive) changes that we've seen take shape over the past 18 months, the industry faces major uncertainty about whether air travel will ever return to the pre-COVID levels. Not only are people wary about being in crowded and closed airplanes, but the worth of long-distance business travel, in particular, is being questioned as many have seen that meetings can function remotely, via Zoom and other online apps.
➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com
"The crimes committed that night are unforgivable for the Republic."
— Emmanuel Macron became the first French president to commemorate the killing of as many as 200 Algerian independence protesters by Parisian police in 1961. For 40 years, French officials ignored the massacre, which took place a year before Algeria gained its independence from France after an eight-year war. In 2012, French President François Hollande acknowledged the killings for the first time on a visit to Algeria, and Macron took it further by attending Sunday's commemoration at the site where the events happened in the French capital. Still, many had hoped the French President would go further and take responsibility for a "state massacre," for a crime many historians consider the most violent repression of a peaceful demonstration in post-War Europe.
📈💥 IN OTHER NEWS
Low trust, high risk: The global rise of violence targeting politicians
The deadly stabbing of British Parliament Member David Amess confirms an ongoing study on trust and governance in democracies around the world: It's bad. In The Conversation, James Weinberg — the study's author and a lecturer in Political Behavior at the University of Sheffield — writes:
⏪ The assassination of Amess, who was stabbed to death in his constituency on Friday, is a tragic moment for democracy. What makes it even more devastating is that such a catastrophic failure is not without precedent or predictability. Labour MP Jo Cox was shot at her constituency surgery in 2016. Before her, another Labour MP, Stephen Timms, survived a stabbing in 2010. And Andrew Pennington, a Gloucestershire county councilor, died in a frenzied attack in 2001 while trying to protect local Liberal Democrat MP Nigel Jones.
☝️ Beyond these critical junctures in the public debate about politicians' safety, elected representatives must live with an increasingly insidious level of popular cynicism that threatens violence on an almost daily basis.
🇬🇧🇳🇿🇿🇦 Not only are these experiences of abuse or threats of physical violence felt across both sides of the political aisle in the UK — they also appear to be growing more common in other democratic contexts where the climate of politics has been presumed to be both calmer and more volatile, from New Zealand to South Africa.
Read the full piece from The Conversation, now on Worldcrunch.com
✍️ Newsletter by Anne-Sophie Goninet, Jane Herbelin and Bertrand Hauger
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