News 10 Jan

Russian moves to ban tobacco advertising

MOSCOW, January 10 (RIA Novosti) – The Russian government has decided to completely ban tobacco advertizing, by signing up to a World Health Organization anti-smoking convention.

In its first session of the year, the government approved a draft law on joining the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), which stipulates a ban on advertizing tobacco products.

The FCTC requires parties “in accordance with their respective constitution and constitutional principles, to undertake a comprehensive ban on all tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship within five years of the WHO FCTC’s entry into force for that Party.”

About time, considering that 70% of men and 30% of women smoke in Russia, one of the highest rates in the world, and that 300,000 people die from smoking every year in Russia.

India could become largest Kamaz truck maker outside Russia – illustrates the recent phenomenom of how large well-capitalised emerging market companies are starting to branch out geographically – not just to the West (as with the highly publicised merger between Mittal Steel and Arcelor in 2006), but to each other.

Russia, Greece, Bulgaria initial Balkan pipeline project co. deal – another blow against European energy independence.

Putin appoints ‘nationalist’ Rogozin as Russia’s NATO envoy – lol. Talk about rubbing salt into wounds.

Russia’s first space launch of 2008 scheduled for January 28 – Russia’s space industry has not been dormant since the fall of the Soviet Union. Indeed, in the last few years it has embarked on a number of ambitious objectives. These include the reactivation of GLONASS (equivalent of the GPS), numerous scientific projects (Spektr, Radioastron, Koronas-Foton, Moon-Globe and Rezonans), the upgrade of its Soyuz space vehicles and development of the Kliper reusable space shuttle and plans to build a lunar station and put a human on Mars within a generation. And Roskosmos manages to do it with about 1/20th of NASA’s budget. This all calls for a future Editorial.

New serial Tu-160 Blackjack bomber undergoes flight test, Russia to have 50 silo-based Topol-M ICBM systems by end of 2008 – which goes to show the strategic arms industry isn’t idle now either. Seems like the US will have to do without nuclear primacy.

Drunken Russian plane passenger detained after hijack attempt – some things never change, though.