Massive opposition protests challenge Putin

first_img Also On POLITICO From the archive Alexei Navalny, Russian dissident in winter By Francesca Ebel US foreign office condemns Russian crackdown on protests By Rebecca Morin Anti-Putin opposition leader Alexei Navalny, protesters detained at Moscow rally By Nicholas Vinocur “We want the downsides of the Kremlin not letting Navalny stand in the election to grow higher than the downsides of allowing him to run,” Leonid Volkov, his campaign manager, told POLITICO. “This will happen when everyone recognizes that keeping him off the ballot is a sign of weakness by Putin.”A video watched by millionsMore than 13 million people have so far watched an online video in which Navalny alleges that Medvedev funneled funds from charities and NGOs into mansions and luxury yachts. The Kremlin has refused to comment on the claims.This week, lawmakers from Russia’s Communist Party, the second largest party in parliament, asked for a parliamentary investigation into the allegations, in a move that raised eyebrows in Russia’s carefully-managed political system.While Putin’s popularity remains high, almost three years of economic decline have plunged millions into poverty and the Kremlin is sensitive to allegations of high-level corruption. As many as 41 percent of Russians are struggling to feed themselves, according to a recent poll from the Moscow Higher School of Economics.“Navalny is pressuring and will continue to pressure the Kremlin, but he is unpredictable and his participation in the election would make the campaign very difficult for Putin,” Gleb Pavlovsky, a former Kremlin advisor who is now critical of Putin, told POLITICO. “The Kremlin will want to keep him off the ballot.”This article was updated with new figures for the number of people arrested in Moscow. A bid from the oppositionNavalny’s presidential bid looked to have been derailed last month when he was convicted on fraud charges he said were revenge for his opposition to Putin and handed a five-year suspended sentence.Under Russian law, anyone under criminal conviction is barred from running for public office. Navalny, a liberal politician with a foot also in the nationalist camp, says the constitution stipulates that only people serving jail time are banned from standing in elections. In an audacious attempt to force himself onto the ballot, he has recently begun opening election campaign offices across Russia.“I represent the interests of millions of people who want to see real change in Russia,” he told hundreds of campaign volunteers in Tomsk, a university town in west Siberia, this month. “I demand my right to participate in this election.”Navalny and his supporters have faced mounting pressure as they take their message of dissent to Russia’s heartland: The opposition leader was twice assaulted by pro-Kremlin activists last week, while campaign volunteers have had their apartments and cars vandalized. In Barnaul, in south Siberia, Navalny was sprayed with a green dye, while in Volgograd, in Russia’s south, he was attacked by people who claimed to be Cossacks. He escaped uninjured.Despite the threats and intimidation, Navalny plans to open more than 80 campaign offices in the coming months. His campaign team says it has registered over 40,000 volunteers and raised 26 million rubles (€422,000) in public donations in just three months.While Putin’s popularity remains high, almost three years of economic decline have plunged millions into poverty. “In any normal European country, allegations that the prime minister was involved in large-scale corruption would result in an investigation,” said Pavel Troshin, a 20-year-old student, shortly before dozens of police officers in body armor began the first of several attempts to clear the square. “But in Russia, there is absolutely zero reaction from the authorities.”‘Russia without Putin’The size of the Moscow rally was hard to estimate but police, who traditionally significantly downplay attendance at opposition protests, said 7,000 people had turned out. The real figure may have been much higher. The protests were the first time that Russia’s National Guard, a new security force formed last year to quash mass dissent, was called into action. Protesters later marched toward Red Square, where they chanted “Russia without Putin!”The scale of Sunday’s protests and the fact that opposition supporters defied the authorities’ ban on demonstrations will cause concern in the Kremlin.Protesters in Moscow included thousands of young people who have lived their entire lives under Putin. “Young people are more in tune with the situation in our country,” said Yekaterina, 17. “We get our information from the internet, while most adults just watch state TV.” It was a sentiment echoed by Vladimir, 37. “Young people still have faith that Russia can be a normal country,” he said. “But most adults lost hope long ago and are resigned to corruption.” Both declined to give their surnames for fear of reprisal.Protests also took place in Russia’s far east, Siberia, the Urals region, the Black Sea coast and the far north of the country. In Vladivostok, a Pacific Ocean port city, police made dozens of arrests. More than 5,000 people defied police warnings to attend a protest in St Petersburg. Police said 130 people were arrested in that city.Navalny leading the protest, prior to his arrest | Evgeny Feldman for Navalny campaign/EPAThe scale of Sunday’s protests and the fact that opposition supporters defied the authorities’ ban on demonstrations will cause concern in the Kremlin ahead of next year’s presidential election. Putin has not formally announced he will run, but high-level leaks to Russian media suggest he will seek a fourth term in office that would take him to 2024 — and a quarter of a century in power. Only Joseph Stalin ruled Russia for longer. MOSCOW — Russian police detained Alexei Navalny, the Kremlin critic who wants to take on Vladimir Putin in next year’s presidential elections, during the largest nationwide protests for more than five years.Sunday’s opposition rallies, which had been called by Navalny over allegations that Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev took over a $1 billion in bribes from state banks and wealthy businessmen, took place in more than 80 towns and cities across Russia, as furious protesters defied police bans on unsanctioned political gatherings.More than 850 people were detained in Moscow, according to rights activists, including Navalny’s entire anti-corruption organization, and 130 in St. Petersburg. Protesters filled a square just a short walk from the Kremlin, plastering a statue of Alexander Pushkin, the country’s 19th-century national poet, with anti-government stickers and signs. “Put Medvedev on trial!” read one sign. Clashes broke out between protesters and riot police after Navalny, a 40-year-old anti-corruption lawyer, was arrested near the square.last_img read more

Weekly unemployment claims fall back under 400

first_imgVermont Business Magazine Weekly unemployment claims in Vermont fell below 400 again last week, consistent with typically low summer totals. There were 364 new, regular benefit claims for Unemployment Insurance in Vermont, a decrease of 55 from the previous week’s total and 15 more than they were a year ago. Generally, claims have been running below last year’s totals. Claims were down slightly in nearly all regions of the state and in most industry categories.Altogether 4,308 new and continuing claims were filed, a decrease of 62 from a week ago, and 276 fewer than a year ago. The Department processed 0 First Tier claims for benefits under Emergency Unemployment Compensation, 2008 (EUC08). The total for all programs was 4,308 claims, 62 fewer than last week, and 276 fewer than the same time last year.For the week by industry, Services claims were slightly in number as the prior week and still represent the preponderance of claims for any one sector, at 52 percent of all claims. Manufacturing claims were down from the prior week and from last year both in number and percentage, while Construction claims were up slightly as a percentage of the total but about the same in actual numbers of claims. By region, there was little change, with most areas of the state about the same as last week and down noticeably from last year. Barre was the only Labor Market Area that saw an increase from the prior week and the prior year.The Unemployment Weekly Report can be found at: http://www.vtlmi.info/(link is external). Previously released Unemployment Weekly Reports and other UI reports can be found at: http://www.vtlmi.info/lmipub.htm#uc(link is external)Vermont’s unemployment rate held at 3.6 percent in June, as total employment grew and unemployment fell. SEE STORY.NOTE: Employment (nonfarm payroll) – A count of all persons who worked full- or part-time or received pay from a nonagricultural employer for any part of the pay period which included the 12th of the month. Because this count comes from a survey of employers, persons who work for two different companies would be counted twice. Therefore, nonfarm payroll employment is really a count of the number of jobs, rather than the number of persons employed. Persons may receive pay from a job if they are temporarily absent due to illness, bad weather, vacation, or labor-management dispute. This count is based on where the jobs are located, regardless of where the workers reside, and is therefore sometimes referred to as employment “by place of work.” Nonfarm payroll employment data are collected and compiled based on the Current Employment Statistics (CES) survey, conducted by the Vermont Department of Labor. This count was formerly referred to as nonagricultural wage and salary employment.last_img read more

Positive reinforcement plays key role in cognitive task performance in ADHD kids

first_imgShare Share on Facebook Email The findings come out of a novel study published in the journal Behavioral and Brain Functions that collectively examined two leading theories on ADHD, combining what previous work had mostly looked at separately.One of those theories suggests that lower-than-average cognitive abilities contribute to symptoms associated with ADHD, such as inattentiveness. The other theory favors motivation over ability, focusing on whether kids with ADHD have an increased sensitivity to reward.“When asking whether the performance difference we see is the result of ability or motivation, this research has more of an answer than any study that comes before it,” says UB psychologist Larry Hawk, the paper’s principle investigator.The results of the research conducted by Hawk, Fosco, UB graduate student Michelle Bubnik and Keri Rosch of the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, Maryland, have clinical parallels as well.Behavioral therapy, which uses positive consequences to increase the likelihood of achieving certain behaviors, is among the leading psychosocial interventions for children with an ADHD diagnosis.The authors point out that the benefits of reward are not specific to children with ADHD.“The major difference is that typically developing kids usually perform well even when simply asked to do their best,” says Fosco. “But kids with ADHD typically need an external or an additional reinforcement to perform their best.”It’s a tricky area of research area, according to Hawk, since some of the subjects are being tested on tasks on which they have a demonstrated history of poor performance.There is also a degree of variability between the two groups. The authors say that having a diagnosis of ADHD doesn’t necessarily mean that a child will perform poorly on any given task, and neither does the absence of a diagnosis mean that the child will perform well on any given task.“You can’t say kids with ADHD respond more to reinforcement because they were doing poorly to begin with,” says Hawk. “We showed that was not true. It was greater motivation to obtain external rewards that drove the effects we observed.” A little recognition for a job well done means a lot to children with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) – more so than it would for typically developing kids.That praise, or other possible reward, improves the performance of children with ADHD on certain cognitive tasks, but until a recent study led by researchers from the University at Buffalo, it wasn’t clear if that result was due to heightened motivation inspired by positive reinforcement or because those with ADHD simply had greater room for improvement at certain tasks relative to their peers without such a diagnosis.“Our results suggest that the motivation piece is critical,” says Whitney Fosco, a graduate student in the Department of Psychology in the UB College of Arts and Sciences. “Kids with ADHD showed more improvement because they are more motivated by the opportunity to gain rewards, not because they simply did worse from the beginning.”center_img Pinterest LinkedIn Share on Twitterlast_img read more

News report says multiple Saudi hospitals treating nCoV cases

first_imgMay 7, 2013 (CIDRAP News) – A media report late yesterday suggested that the 13 novel coronavirus (nCoV) cases reported in Saudi Arabia in the past few days are not confined to just one hospital, contrary to a May 5 statement from the Saudi health ministry.Malek al Moosa, executive director of a small hospital in Hofuf, in the country’s Eastern province, said the hospital has treated many of the nCoV patients but that it was not the only hospital treating such patients, the Wall Street Journal reported.Also, a man who is a cousin of three patients in the current case cluster, including one who died, said his cousins went to three different hospitals in the province, the newspaper said. The story did not name the man.The 13 cases, with 7 deaths, have all been reported since May 2. On May 5, Ziad A. Memish, MD, deputy minister for public health, reported that transmission of the disease seemed linked to one healthcare facility. He said there had been no transmission in the community.But Moosa denied that his hospital was the center of the outbreak, according to the Journal. “We have maybe paid the price of being transparent,” by testing patients and reporting the results, he said.The unidentified man whose cousins were infected told the newspaper that the Saudi health ministry “just wants to close the books” by saying the recent cases are limited to one hospital.Reports of the hospital cluster have stirred concern about possible person-to-person transmission of the virus and have prompted experts to recall how hospital outbreaks spurred the spread of SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome), another coronavirus infection, a decade ago.The novel virus is believed to be spreading to humans from some unidentified animal source. But person-to-person transmission has been clearly shown once before, when two family members of an infected UK man caught the virus from him after he returned sick from a trip to Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. Other small case clusters also have occurred, but human transmission has not been proved in those.In other developments, the Saudi government has invited an international team of experts to help investigate the outbreak, the Journal story said. The team is expected to arrive this week.Also, the World Health Organization (WHO) released guidance yesterday on infection prevention and control in caring for confirmed or probable nCoV case-patients.The 9-page document recommends assigning probable or confirmed cases “to be cared for exclusively by a group of skilled [healthcare workers] both for continuity of care and to reduce opportunities for inadvertent infection control breaches that could result in unprotected exposure.”The WHO also advises that relatives and visitors in contact with nCoV patients be limited to those “essential for patient support” and should be trained to use the same infection control precautions as healthcare workers use.The agency also recommends, among other things, that all staff members and visitors approaching within 1 meter of nCoV patients wear a medical mask, eye protection, gown, and gloves, and perform hand hygiene before and after patient contact.The WHO previously published recommendations on surveillance and clinical management for nCoV cases.Also today, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) published a brief epidemiologic update on the nCoV cases in Saudi Arabia.See also: May 6 Wall Street Journal storyMay 6 WHO infection control guidanceMay 7 ECDC epidemiologic updatelast_img read more

Struggling with the Job or Talent Search? Fine Tune Your Career Networking R.A.D.A.R.

first_imgThe television series Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, on ABC from 1964 to 1968, was the decade’s longest running science fiction show and introduced life on the nuclear submarine Seaview. There were battles with giant octopi, aliens, other submarines – you get the picture. In the background was the constant ping-ping-ping of the submarine’s radar, always looking for something. As viewers, we got to  find out what they would discover –we knew there was something out there.When it comes to career opportunities or needs for future quality talent, we all would like to know what or who is out there – the position or talent that awaits us when the need arises. For most we wait for the need to be identified before we start looking for that right job or the perfect candidate. When in reality it is the Relationships we create Ahead of Demand that Accelerate Results when we need them.Some reading this are currently working or have full staffs while others are desperately seeking work or filtering a tsunami of talent in an effort to fill just a few opportunities. Whatever your case is, focus on executing strategies that create the right relationships today so you can accelerate results when you need them in the future. Over the next few weeks we will explore real world initiatives and best practices you can execute to insure you hear the ping-ping-ping of your own R.A.D.A.R. and can feel confident you are prepared for your next opportunity or quality talent hire ahead of the actual need…after our recent economic condition it’s best to get ahead and know what’s out there.last_img read more