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Sunday, September 18, 2005

Gratuitous Nudity Sunday

Editor’s note: President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenka’s visit to New York had been often referred to by the local media as a “working trip”. And though usually when speaking of the schedule of the president of the country one would logically differentiate between a working trip and a pleasure trip, in the case of this last visit to New York, the wording would seem to have had a lot to do with Mr. Lukashenka’s treatment in New York the last time he went there to attend a UN summit in 2000. The following article is from the International League of Human Rights and was first printed in their journal in September of 2000. I found it while researching the president’s trip to speak at the United Nations. At first glance, especially as Mr. Clinton is currently working to become a leader in the United Nations, I thought it was current news. Of course it wasn't and, other than a street protest that was staged for his arrival and some social snubbing amongst his fellow leaders, all of what I have read seems to indicate that Mr. Lukashenka did not have this sort of thing happen to him this year nor did he allow himself to be in the position of having it happen.

Belarus Updates, 2000

Vol. 3, No. 37 September 2000


Smoked salmon, grilled steak with carrots and mushrooms, and choice French wines were served at the United Nations Millennium Summit reception given by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in September. But Alexander Lukashenko did not have a chance to taste these goodies, Kommersant-Daily wrote in its story. The Belarusian leader left New York in a huff before the event because "he was gravely offended that his name was not on the list of the world leaders who had been invited to the reception." Interfax reported that Lukashenko's name was initially on the list.
Malicious gossipers then claimed, said Interfax, that the Belarusian leader's name was stricken from the list personally by Bill Clinton because Washington does not regard Lukashenko as a democratically elected president, and considers that he is in power unlawfully. Lukashenko was unable to endure such an insult, and announced his immediate departure to Minsk.
Lukashenko's speech in the United Nations on September 6 only added oil to the fire. He sharply criticized the policies of "certain big powers," which, the Belarusian leader claimed, were trying to "foist their will upon other independent states," reported Belapan. And although he did not name the United States a single time in his speech, it was clear to everyone whom he had in mind.
"Lately, efforts have been made to create a sort of club of the chosen, which excludes the majority of the world nations. This arrogant attempt to divide the peoples into 'teachers' and 'students' will not do any good for the promotion of democracy and human rights," Lukashenko said. Official Minsk quickly found an excuse: the Belarussian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that the Belarusian leader had simply "completed" the program of his visit and left for Minsk where on September 7 evening, he met with Li Peng, the Speaker of the Chinese legislature, reported Belapan.
Upon his arrival to Belarus, Lukashenko told journalists that he is satisfied with the results of his New York trip, adding that "it is important that the voice of Belarus was heard at the international forum." According to him, at the UN headquarters he held very productive meetings with the heads of delegations from Algeria, Bangladesh, Turkey, and Iran. "These states that are able not only to support us but also to ask other states to support Belarus," the Belarusian leader commented. [ILHR was unable to confirm that Clinton personally intervened on the question of the invitation to Lukashenko, but a State Department official did confirm privately that the dis-invitation was a matter of U.S. policy, and not an accident--Eds.] (Interfax, Belapan, Kommersant-Daily, September 7-8, 2000)

From Charter 97
OMON against the Truth
21:00, 16/09/2005

The action “We remember” demanding the investigation of the disappearance of the Belarusian politicians, public people and the journalist has taken place today on the 6the anniversary of the disappearance of the Vice President Victor Ganchar and businessman and public figure Anatoly Krasousky. About 100 people, mainly activists of the “Zubr” movement, marched out in the Oktyabrskaya Square holding the portraits of the people who disappeared without traces in 1999-2000: the Vice President of Belarus Victor Ganchar, businessman and public figure Anatoly Krasousky, former Minister of Internal Affairs Yury Zakharenka and journalist Dzmitry Zavadsky. The action was also supported by the activists of the “Malady Front”, the United Civil Party (UCP) and ordinary citizens. The people peacefully standing in the square were scattered by the forces of the Minsk OMON. Around 100 OMON officers in uniform and plain clothes were thrown against the protestors and started pushing the people from the square.

Kremlin Ready to Defend Iran
Created: 13.09.2005 12:51 MSK (GMT +3), Updated: 12:51 MSK
Mikhail Zygar, Dmitry Sidorov

Iranian Vice President Gholamreza Aghazadeh arrived in Moscow Monday. The main subject of his negotiations is the upcoming discussion of Iran’s nuclear program by the IAEA. Moscow has more or less decided to support Tehran during the decisive voting at IAEA in a week — support which could cause the Kremlin a lot of problems.

This is extremely important for the new Iranian authorities. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad swept to victory during July’s presidential elections in Iran. However, until now he has been a very obscure figure in the political arena. Tehran’s foreign partners have only been able to judge the character of the new Iranian head of state by his harsh statements and the make-up of his cabinet — conservative politicians, who support the active development of a nuclear program.
Full Text

Note: Russia is building a power station in the southwestern Iranian city of Bushehr, a project which is sparking controversy as the United States and other Western countries accuse Iran of seeking to secretly build nuclear weapons.

According to the deal, which capped an 800-million-dollar contract to build and bring the Bushehr plant on line, Russia will provide the reactor, the first of what Iran hopes will be up to 20 similar reactors, with the necessary nuclear fuel on condition that Iran sends back spent fuel.

The first delivery of Russian nuclear fuel for the nuclear power reactor of Bushehr will take place within months.
Source: The previous day’s Mos News

Three more article from the Belarus Update
September 9 . September 14, 2005
Edited by Maria Kabalina and Olga Tarasov
International League for Human Rights

Vol. 9, No. 8
Program on Demographic Safety of Belarus for 2006-2010 To Prolong Life Expectancy
The program on demographic safety of Belarus for 2006-2010 is aimed at reducing untimely
mortality, prolonging life expectancy, stimulating birth rate and intensifying migration processes.
The draft program was considered at a sitting of the Presidium of the Council of Ministers
September 12 presided by prime minister of Belarus Sergei Sidorskiy.
As the minister of labor and social security Antonina Morova noted the program is based on the
monitoring and analysis of the demographic situation in the country and regional programs on
demographic security. Today positive demographic processes are taking shape in Belarus. Infant
mortality rate is going down (the lowest in the CIS). The deaths of mothers at childbirth and
children under five have reduced while life expectancy is getting higher. The number of divorces
is shrinking.
At the same time there are still some negative tendencies, among them ageing of the population,
Antonia Morova noted. Over 60-year-olds account for 14.5 per cent while in the world this index
does not exceed 7 per cent.
Source: The National Centre of Legal Information of the Republic of Belarus; September 13,

Editor's note: The current life expectancy in Belarus is 68. However, from personal experience, over the last few years it seems to have been much lower.

Russia, Belarus Launch Project to Obtain Transgenous Milk
Belarusian and Russian researchers are preparing to incorporate a human gene into goats in
order to obtain milk with improved qualities.
"In the middle of September, human genes taken from human breast milk will be transferred into
100 goats. Embryos will be removed from donor goats, human genes will be transferred into them
and the embryos will be incorporated into recipient goats," BelRosTransgen project director,
Belarusian researcher Alexander Budevich told Interfax.
"Genes taken from human breast milk will be brought to Belarus from Russia. The experiment is
expected to produce milk with unique immunity- enhancing qualities," Budevich said.
Source: Interfax; September 11, 2005;

Belarusian Economy Grows 8.5% in 8 mths
Belarusian GDP grew 8.5% year-on-year in January-August, the Statistics and Analysis Ministry
told Interfax.
The ministry said that industrial output rose 9.7%, agricultural output grew 2.7% and capital
investment rose 20.6%.
Foreign trade turnover in constant prices and adjusted for indirect taxation in trade with Russia
grew 19.4% year-on-year in January-July. Exports rose 25.9% and imports grew 13.1% in the
seven months.
Real incomes grew 15.7% year-on-year in January-July.
Source: Interfax; September 13, 2005;

And as a "Special" for the Sunday addition, in view of a monumental amount of comments and concerning my posting of those former Olympic athletes nekkid, I am adding a brief feature for today:

Oh, and don’t bother to click on them, this is all you get.