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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

04/04/2006

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The Long Shadow of California

Last year's blackout in Moscow and this winter's tight supplies have triggered debate as to what electricity restructuring portends for the future.

Boob Tube News

On Sunday, my wife and our 8-year-old daughter returned from a spring-break getaway to Paris. In the days before they left Moscow, the television news was filled with reports from France about the demonstrations against the ""first job contract"" law, which is intended to encourage firms to hire young people with little or no experience.

Organizing a Civil Society

The Kremlin's Public Chamber project, which President Vladimir Putin named as one of the most significant political achievements of 2005, is much more extensive than it might seem if you look no farther than the Garden Ring.

Spring in Siberia Shows the Ugly Side of Life

The most longed-for season in Siberia is undoubtedly spring, yet when it comes it is far from a pretty sight. While a welcome relief after four cold, dark months, the Siberian spring reveals the ugly side of the Russian lifestyle.

Relief on Horizon for City's Builders

Hopes have risen that the past year's slowdown in residential construction might soon end now that long-sought legislative changes appear to be moving ahead.

Long-Overdue Hotel Fully Open at Last

After more than two years of delays and speculation over whether the Courtyard by Marriott Moscow City Center would ever open its doors, the four-star hotel is finally fully operational.

Sistema Planning Fall IPO for Its Property Business

Russian conglomerate AFK Sistema plans an initial public offering for its property business, Sistema-Hals, Vedomosti last week quoted Sistema's president as saying.

A Year of Opportunity in China's Small Cities

Property investors in China have about a year to buy in up-and-coming cities such as Chengdu, Dalian and Tianjin before rising prices depress yields to the levels of Beijing and Shanghai, according to consultants.

Business in Brief

State Spending to Slow State spending will grow by a maximum of 9 percent annually over the next three years, Interfax quoted Economic Trade and Development Minister German Gref as saying. Spending ""will grow by 7 percent to 9 percent over the next three years,"" Gref told President Vladimir Putin, Interfax reported. (Bloomberg) Manufacturing Pace Slows LONDON -- Growth in Russia's manufacturing industries lost momentum in March because of a decline in new orders, a gauge of industrial output showed. The Purchasing Managers' Index fell to 52.5 in March, the lowest level in four months, from 53.6 the previous month, London-based Moscow Narodny Bank said. (Bloomberg) Putin Ally to Head Union Sergei Chemezov, the general director of the state arms export agency, is set to take over as chairman of the Machinery Manufacturers Union, Kommersant reported Monday, without saying how it got the information. The union's members will vote on the appointment in the next two weeks, the report said.

News in Brief

Microsoft Space Tourist A former software developer at U.S. giant Microsoft could make a trip to the international space station next year aboard a Russian rocket, RIA-Novosti reported Monday. Hungarian-born Charles Simonyi, who was one of the key developers behind applications such as Microsoft Word, would become the world's fifth space tourist. ""A preliminary contract with Simonyi has been concluded for spring 2007,"" Alexei Krasnov, head of manned spaceflight programs at the Federal Space Agency, told RIA-Novosti. Simonyi now runs Intentional Software, which he co-founded in 2002. He is also an experienced pilot. Japanese entrepreneur Daisuke Enomoto is in training and is expected to fly later this year. (Reuters) Synagogue Attacker's Father A Moscow court on Monday convicted the father of the young man who stabbed nine men in a synagogue of illegally storing ammunition in his apartment, RIA-Novosti reported. The court handed Alexander Koptsev Sr.

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