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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016


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The Soothsayer

When I was back in Blighty over the past two weeks, the Premier League table played its own version of musical chairs. More than a bit has changed. Arsenal is breaking league records at will and looking supreme at the top.

Business in Brief

Norilsk Profit Falls MOSCOW (Reuters) -- Norilsk Nickel said Thursday that its 2001 consolidated net profit to international accounting standards fell 24 percent to 36.83 billion rubles ($1.16 billion). Norilsk had a profit of 48.69 billion rubles the previous year according to IAS. It gave a separate profit figure of 14.12 billion rubles excluding a gain from a revaluation of unspecified financial instruments. The company was not available to explain the separate profit figure. The company said the profit drop was due to lower world metals prices in 2001 and lower palladium sales. Norilsk Arctic Plans MOSCOW (Prime-Tass) -- Metals giant Norilsk Nickel plans to invest $215 million to reconstruct its Nadezhda nickel-matte smelter in the Arctic, an official from Norilsk Nickel's Arctic division said Thursday. The investment is part of the financing program to reconstruct Arctic facilities by 2015, the official said. $600M Real Deal MOSCOW (Vedomosti) -- Moscow Development Co.

News in Brief

Missile Defense Plan MOSCOW (AP) -- A top military official said Wednesday that Moscow was ready to cooperate with Washington on building a shield against ballistic missiles. ""Russia is ready to cooperate with the United States in the field of missile defense on an equal basis,"" Colonel-General Yury Baluyevsky, first deputy chief of the General Staff said, according to Itar-Tass and the Interfax-Military News Agency. Baluyevsky, who was accompanying Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov on a visit to Washington, said Russia and the United States would make sure that any data on missile defense they may exchange ""never get into the hands of third nations."" He added such cooperation may help Russia develop technologies in which the United States has an edge, while some Russian know-how may advance U.S. works in the field. At the same time, Baluyevsky expressed skepticism about the U.S. ability to build reliable defenses against ballistic missiles.

Last Chapter of the Drinker's Dictionary

As they say in Russian, If you drink in the morning, you have the whole day off.

A Grotesque Parody of Partnership

Russian President Vladimir Putin, the soul-baring friend of U.S. President George W. Bush, is offering another demonstration of why his administration's flighty rhetoric about the ""transformation"" of U.S.-Russian relations has been premature.

The Reform That Putin Should Push

The shortcomings of Russia's bureaucracy are legion, its incompetence is legendary. Therefore, the release of a report this week highlighting the ineffectiveness of the executive branch and its lack of discipline in fulfilling orders and instructions did not come as any great surprise.

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