Russians set to back reforms allowing Putin to extend rule

first_imgRussians are set to approve constitutional reforms on Wednesday denounced by critics as a maneuver to allow President Vladimir Putin to stay in the Kremlin for life.The changes were passed weeks ago by Russia’s parliament and copies of the new constitution are already on sale in bookshops, but Putin pushed ahead with a nationwide vote that ends Wednesday to confer legitimacy on his plans.The Kremlin pulled out all the stops to encourage turnout, with polls extended over nearly a week, the last day of voting declared a national holiday and prizes — including apartments and cars — on offer to voters. Putin says the changes are needed to ensure stability and cement Russian values in the face of pernicious Western influences.”We are voting for the country… we want to pass on to our children and grandchildren,” he said Tuesday in a final appeal to voters.”We can ensure stability, security, prosperity and a decent life only through development, only together and by ourselves.” Falling approval ratings Putin’s approval rating has suffered in recent months, in part over early mistakes in the government’s handling of the coronavirus crisis, and stood at a historic low of 59 percent in one May poll.Analysts say Putin wanted to get the vote over with before Russians — already suffering from several years of falling incomes — are hit by the full economic impact of the pandemic. Putin said in a recent interview that he had not made up his mind about whether to run again and suggested part of the reason for the presidential reset was to allow Russia’s political elite to focus on governing instead of “hunting for possible successors”.The other political reforms amount to a tweaking of Russia’s system of government.The president is granted some new powers including the right to nominate top judges and prosecutors, while parliament has more influence in naming senior government officials.Russian law is given precedence over international law and top officials are banned from having foreign citizenship or residence permits.The minimum wage cannot be below the subsistence level and state pensions must be indexed to inflation.The reforms also enshrine “faith in God” and Russian as the national language in the constitution, define marriage as between a man and a woman and ban giving away Russian territory or questioning the country’s “historical truth”. Initially planned for April 22, the vote was postponed by the coronavirus pandemic but rescheduled after Putin said the epidemic had peaked and officials began reporting lower numbers of new cases.There is little doubt the reforms — which include patriotic and populist measures like guaranteed minimum pensions and an effective ban on gay marriage — will be approved.A state-run exit poll of more than 163,000 voters this week showed 76 percent in favor.Results are expected to be announced after the last polling stations close at 1800 GMT.center_img Topics : ‘Foregone conclusion’Many Russians, especially those who remember the chaos and economic turmoil of the 1990s, agree.”There are a lot of problems in our country. And the amendments, they will help solve them, not completely but in part,” Moscow subway worker Vladimir Bodrov said after voting last week.”And for me, for my children and for my granddaughter, I think that this is a big plus.”But critics say the reforms are a cover for Putin to extend his rule after nearly 20 years in power.Chief opposition campaigner Alexei Navalny said Putin, 67, wants to make himself “president for life” and has called for a boycott.US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun said Monday the vote was a “foregone conclusion” aimed at “the extension of [Putin’s] rule for what effectively is his natural life.”Divided, weakened by years of political repression and with little access to state-controlled media, Putin’s opponents have failed to mount a serious “no” campaign. Restrictions on mass gatherings imposed by the coronavirus have also prevented demonstrations.Golos, an independent election monitor, says it has received some 1,300 complaints of violations, including people voting more than once and claims employers are putting pressure on staff to cast ballots. The Kremlin is keen to see a high voter turnout and makeshift polling stations cropped across the country, including some in buses, tents and on street benches that were ridiculed on social media.last_img read more

Chelsea v PSG line-ups: Matic returns as Blues eye semi-final place

first_imgAs expected, Nemanja Matic returns to the Chelse side for the Champions League last 16 second leg at Stamford Bridge.Oscar also starts and Gary Cahill partners John Terry at centre-back for the Blues, who drew 1-1 in Paris in the first leg. Kurt Zouma and Willian are among the home side’s substitutes.Former Chelsea man David Luiz is in the Paris St-Germain starting line-up. Chelsea: Courtois; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta; Fabregas, Matic; Ramires, Willian, Hazard; Diego Costa. Subs: Cech, Zouma, Filipe Luis, Willian, Cuadrado, Remy, Drogba. PSG: Sirigu; Marquinhos, Thiago Silva, David Luiz, Maxwell; Verratti, Motta, Matuidi; Pastore, Ibrahimovic, Cavani.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img

La Salle’s Mbala leading Cameroon’s bid in Fiba Afrobasket

first_imgRead Next Slaughter shrugs off matchup with Fajardo: ‘It’s team-on-team’ Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Photo from Fiba.comBen Mbala may have missed La Salle’s win over Far Eastern University on Sunday, but the reigning UAAP MVP is still flexing his muscles in a different basketball stage.The 22-year-old Mbala is leading his home country Cameroon in the 2017 Fiba Afrobasket in Tunisia.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES MOST READ BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games View comments WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  Mbala is leading the way for Cameroon, which advanced to the quarterfinals. The 6-foot-7  Mbala is averaging 18.3 points and 9.0 rebounds per game.In his last outing, Mbala posted 16 points and 15 rebounds in an 81-77 victory over Rwanda.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutThe 22-year-old Mbala and the rest of the team face a tall order in the quarterfinals as they take on reigning champion Nigeria on Thursday. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. E.T. returns to earth, reunites with grown-up Elliott in new ad last_img read more

Stringent Vetting Process for Jamaican Citizenship – PICA

first_imgStory Highlights The PICA CEO was responding to questions regarding the process after a ceremony held at the Police Officers’ Club, St. Andrew, on August 9 to grant Jamaican citizenship to 32 persons. “In Jamaica…it’s not a free for all. You have to bring in your police records, we check with the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) and other international agencies. On the local scene, we carry out internal investigations to satisfy ourselves that persons are fit and proper to be granted citizenship of this country,” he pointed out. Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA), Andrew Wynter, says persons who apply for Jamaican citizenship have to undergo a stringent vetting process. Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Passport, Immigration and Citizenship Agency (PICA), Andrew Wynter, says persons who apply for Jamaican citizenship have to undergo a stringent vetting process.“In Jamaica…it’s not a free for all. You have to bring in your police records, we check with the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) and other international agencies. On the local scene, we carry out internal investigations to satisfy ourselves that persons are fit and proper to be granted citizenship of this country,” he pointed out.The PICA CEO was responding to questions regarding the process after a ceremony held at the Police Officers’ Club, St. Andrew, on August 9 to grant Jamaican citizenship to 32 persons.The men and women hail from countries such as Syria, Nigeria, India, Sri Lanka, Cuba, the United Kingdom, Suriname, Canada and Myanmar.Mr. Wynter indicated that the length of time taken to become a Jamaican citizen depends on the category of applicant.“If you are applying by registration or naturalisation or marriage, it can take some time. It will take up to a maximum of two years providing that we have all the information and depending on the findings of the investigations,” he explained.“The shortest is the Jamaican by descent. The Constitution provides that any descendant of Jamaicans is entitled to citizenship,” he continued.Citizenship by descent, as the name implies, means that the applicant must be the descendant of a Jamaican, no matter how many generations removed.PICA has indicated that foreigners of Jamaican descent constitute one of the largest categories of applicants for citizenship.An agency of the Ministry of National Security, PICA is responsible for the processing of applications for citizenship as well as for the renunciation and reinstatement of citizenship.last_img read more

New camouflage technology from BAE hides war machines

first_img BAE Systems Selected to Develop Humvee on-Board Vehicle Power System More information: Press release (PhysOrg.com) — BAE Systems says it has a camouflage system that can render battle machines like tanks invisible or even seen as other objects in the immediate environment to protect against attack. The ‘cloak’ applied to a tank, which is BAE’s illustrated object to showcase its Adaptiv technology, can enable the tank to blend into the environment undetected or to look like another object entirely, avoiding night vision surveillance equipment and infrared targeting by aircraft. In so doing, the Adaptiv technology can mask the vehicle’s infrared signature. Explore further The Adaptiv cloak consists of a sheet of hexagonal hand-sized patches, or as BAE calls them, pixels. Their thermo electric material can switch temperatures quickly. On-board thermal cameras are what drive the panels, picking up whatever scenery is around and then showing that image on the vehicle. Around 1,000 of these panels can cover a small tank.BAE field-tested its technology on a Swedish CV90 tank made to blend into the scenery without detection. Alternatively, the pixels can protect gear by manipulating their appearance. Tanks can be made to look like cars, large rocks, trucks,or cows, for example.The Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV), helped fund BAE’s project; use of the infra-red spectrum in warfare has been an important focus for them.BAE estimates that the technology could be ready for production in two years. Later this month BAE will demonstrate the technology on a CV90 tank at the UK Defense and Security Equipment International exhibition from September 13 to 16. According to reports, research about the Adaptiv approach has been submitted to Britain’s Ministry of Defence.Since the days when infantry men marched in confidence wearing helmets with hanging leaves, technology has come a long way and has a way to go in the use of camouflage in the face of modern weapons. BAE sees its Adaptiv technology as a breakthrough, however. Past attempts have entailed excessive power requirements and that’s where Adaptiv stands out. Adaptiv project manager Pader Sjolund in a statement said Adaptiv panels in contrast consume relatively little power. “Our panels can be made so strong that they provide useful armor protection and consume relatively low levels of electricity,” he said.No doubt developments and ideas to address camouflage for warfare will continue in and outside BAE Systems. “Invisibility cloaks” is a topic of research that has been explored for some time. In 2006, Sir John Pendry at Imperial College London, led a group that focused on a “transformation optics” technique that involves the design of materials that steer light around objects, making them disappear from view.center_img © 2011 PhysOrg.com Citation: New camouflage technology from BAE hides war machines (2011, September 7) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-09-camouflage-technology-bae-war-machines.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more