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Sunday, October 07, 2007

Belarus at CIS summit, Union state, Visas; simpler but higher, Pinsk, Business, Culture, Polish scandal, Belarusian blogs, Basketball and Tennis news…

  • From the Top...
  • #244

    Belarusian president among 11 heads of state take part discussing CIS Future Development Concept in Dushanbe

    From: BelTA
    Participating in meetings of the CIS, EurAsEC and CSTO Councils of the Heads of State.
    A summit of the CIS heads of state has started in Dushanbe. Leaders of the CIS member-states are expected to hold a narrow format meeting and then to continue discussion in an extended format.

    The summit agenda includes 20 issues, the main of each is the draft conception of further development of the Commonwealth which determines the priority trends of the cooperation of the CIS member states in various spheres – from economy to inter-parliamentary cooperation.

    The presidents are expected to discuss the issues related to the agreed migration policy of the CIS member states. They will also consider personnel issues including the appointment of the Chairman of the Air Defence Coordination Committee of the CIS Council of Defence Ministers.

    Belarus proposed to present the Honorary Medal of the Commonwealth to the President of Tajikistan in recognition of his contribution to the strengthening and developing of the CIS, mutual understanding and mutually beneficial cooperation of the CIS member states.

    Participants of the summit are set to discuss a package of the documents related to cooperation in fight against terrorism, legalization of illegal incomes and illegal drugs turnover.

    A draft CIS Future Development Concept and a draft Plan of Main Actions to be taken to implement the Concept, proposals concerning coordinated migration policy are key issues on agenda of the session of the CIS Heads of State Council.

    The draft CIS Future Development Concept determines priority avenues of cooperation between the member-states in various areas ranging from economy to interparliamentary cooperation. Economic cooperation based on market methods, mutual respect and mutual benefits has been named the CIS priority.

    A representative of the Belarusian delegation told BelTA, every avenue of cooperation outlined by the Concept is backed by specific actions, executors and deadlines laid down by the Plan of Main Actions. The draft Plan lists only the actions which fulfilment is feasible and necessary. Most deadlines cover the near future and middle future — up to 2009.

    As far as politics is concerned, ways to establish the exchange of opinions about key issues of the global policy have been determined as well as ways to develop cooperation in monitoring elections and referendums, establish and promote contacts between other regional organisations and integration associations.

    As far as interparliamentary cooperation is concerned, the draft Plan of Main Actions provides for defining ways for further rapprochement of national laws of the CIS member-states in various areas of multilateral collaboration.

    Humanitarian ties are a key element of cooperation within the CIS framework. The Plan of Main Actions lists measures aimed at further development of general educational, scientific, informational, and cultural space, healthcare, sports and tourism.

    To tackle migration problems, the draft Plan of Main Actions provides for measures aimed at increasing the level of cooperation between migration agencies of the CIS member-states. A list of joint measures to prevent illegal migration and regulate labour migration has been compiled.

    In the area of security there are plans to work out various special programmes to reinforce the culture of peace, intercultural dialogue practices, toleration in national and religious affairs. A range of measures has been developed to step up efforts in the fight against international terrorism, other manifestations of extremism, and organised international crime.

    The draft CIS Future Development Concept determines priority avenues of cooperation between the member-states in various areas ranging from economy to interparliamentary cooperation. Economic cooperation based on market methods, mutual respect and mutual benefits has been named the CIS priority.

    Every avenue of cooperation outlined by the Concept is developed through specific actions, executors and deadlines laid down by the Plan of Main Actions. The draft Plan lists only the actions which fulfilment is feasible and necessary. Most deadlines cover the near future and middle future — up to 2009.

    As far as politics is concerned, ways to establish the exchange of opinions about key issues of the global policy have been determined as well as ways to develop cooperation in monitoring elections and referendums, establish and promote contacts between other regional organisations and integration associations.

    As far as interparliamentary cooperation is concerned, the draft Plan of Main Actions provides for defining ways for further rapprochement of national laws of the CIS member-states in various areas of multilateral collaboration.

    Humanitarian ties are a key element of cooperation within the CIS framework. The Plan of Main Actions lists measures aimed at further development of general educational, scientific, informational, and cultural space, healthcare, sports and tourism.

    To tackle migration problems, the draft Plan of Main Actions provides for measures aimed at increasing the level of cooperation between migration agencies of the CIS member-states. A list of joint measures to prevent illegal migration and regulate labour migration has been compiled.

    In the area of security there are plans to work out various special programmes to reinforce the culture of peace, intercultural dialogue practices, toleration in national and religious affairs. A range of measures has been developed to step up efforts in the fight against international terrorism, other manifestations of extremism, and organised international crime.

    Additionally, Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan will launch their customs union in 2011, Russian President Vladimir Putin told reporters here on Saturday.

    Putin was here for the Eurasian Economic Community (EurAsEC) summit, which focused on economic integration and energy cooperation, as well as on a number of financial issues.

    The Russian president said he and the leaders of Belarus and Kazakhstan have signed the documents that provide the legal foundation for a customs union between the three countries.

    The customs union is an efficient tool for promoting cooperation within the framework of EurAsEC and will gradually take on new members, Putin said.

  • Other Belarusian News...

    Minsk to host session of Union State Council of Ministers October 19

    From: BelTA
    Minsk will host a session of the Union State Council of Ministers on October 19, Deputy State Secretary of the Belarus-Russia Union State Sergei Shukhno told BelTA.

    According to him, the agenda of the session has not changed, it includes 17 items. The key issue is the Union State budget for the next year. A report on budget implementation in 2007 has been prepared. The session will also focus on the results of the trade-economic cooperation between Belarus and Russia in January-June this year. The parties will also consider the course of implementation of the intergovernmental agreement on measures booting the trade-economic cooperation between the two countries. The agreement was signed in March 2007 in Minsk.

    The Council of Ministers will consider several new programmes, among them is the Kosmos-NT programme on the development of basic elements, technologies and application of orbital and ground means of the multifunctional outer space system.

    Proposals relating to the Union State programme "War on crime on the territory of the Union State Treaty member states for 2008-2010" will be voiced.

    The session will take stock of the progress made in implementing an action plan of the foreign policy of Belarus and Russia in 2006-2007.

    The agenda also includes issues on harmonizing Belarusian and Russian legislations, preparation of an agreement on cooperation in production and supply of medicines.

    The regulations on the commission for formation and maintenance of the Union State united transport system are expected to be endorsed. The commission is headed by the transport ministers of Belarus and Russia.

    The Council of Ministers will also discuss joint events in the defence sphere, issues on boosting Union State TV and radio broadcasting, Sergei Shukhno noted.

    Nominees for the 2007-2008 Union State Prizes will be discussed as well.

    Belarus to conclude agreements with neighbouring states on simplified border crossing procedures

    From: BelTA
    "Belarus will conclude agreements with the neighbouring states on the simplified border crossing procedures for the population living in the border areas after the accession of these countries to the Schengen zone scheduled for January 1, 2008, chief of the consular department of Belarus" Foreign Ministry Andrei Giro told reporters on October 5. This is a preliminary agreement, said the official.

    At present Belarus has been negotiating the issue relating to the conditions of mutual trips of citizens with Lithuania, Latvia and Poland. Consular consultations with the Foreign Ministry of Lithuania were held on September 18-19; with the Polish side – on October 2-3.

    With the two sides Belarus reached an agreement on the necessity to introduce simplified border crossing procedures for the population living in the border areas. “It does not conflict with the relevant Schengen regulations”, Andrei Giro noted.

    According to him, Latvia has already presented its draft of such a bilateral agreement.

    "All the issues relating to the movement of the population living in the border areas should be settled by the moment of accession of Lithuania, Poland and Latvia to the Schengen zone," Andrei Giro underlined.

    Belarus can adequately raise visa fees for Lithuania, Latvia, Poland

    Belarus retains the right to adequately raise visa fees for citizens of Lithuania, Latvia and Poland, Head of the Consular Affairs Department of the Belarusian Foreign Ministry Andrei Giro said on October 5.

    In his words, the possibility is not negotiable, Belarus will take the decision guided by its advisability. “There are three options: the increase in visa fees may be mirrored to make up ?60, visa fees may be left at ?5 to attract tourists and businessmen, or the happy medium may be chosen,” said Andrei Giro.

    He remarked, the problem is being discussed with all interested Belarusian ministries and agencies. The decision will be measured and will take into account all factors, including the country’s attractiveness as a transit state and the stimulation of tourism export.

    Belarus is in talks with Lithuania, Latvia and Poland about the conditions of mutual travels to be enforced after these countries accede to the Schengen Zone Agreement on January 1, 2008. The possibility of facilitating visa procedures for some population categories is discussed.

    Even at present the Schengen Zone Agreement allows free visas for children under 6 and participants of scientific and student exchange programmes. The matters are more complicated for representatives of culture and sports. For example, Belarus and Poland reached an agreement that Polish consular services in Belarus will consider the possibility of issuing free visas in every case.

    Belarusian children over 6 and grown-ups accompanying them, who are going to the health centre “Belarus” in Druskininkai, will get free Lithuanian visas.

    Viktar Gaisenak Partakes in the High-Level Dialogue on Interreligious and Intercultural Understanding and Cooperation for Peace

    From: MFA
    From 3-7 October, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belarus Viktar Gaisenak is taking part in the 62nd session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

    On October 4, Belarus’ Deputy Foreign Minister addressed the participants of the High-Level Dialogue on Interreligious and Intercultural Understanding and Cooperation for Peace.

    Mr. Gaisenak confirmed Belarus’ commitment to strengthening interreligious and intercultural dialogue based on the principles of understanding, equal rights and tolerance. Respect for the right of states to preserve cultural identity and for peoples to freely determine their own ways of development was the core of the international dialogue and an inalienable element of maintaining international peace and security, he said.

    The Deputy Foreign Minister noted that Belarus was a multi-national and multi-confessional state and had over 140 ethnic groups and 3,000 religious organizations representing 25 confessions, protected by law and practical measures. He mentioned the adoption and successful implementation of the Government’s 2006-2010 programme of development of the confessional sphere, national relations and cooperation with compatriots abroad.

    Mr. Gaisenak pointed out that Belarus was consistently taking concrete measures in the UN aimed at enhancing religious and cultural understanding. Belarus was among the first states to join the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Cultural Expressions. Belarus had traditionally co-sponsored all resolutions adopted by the General Assembly promoting dialogue among civilizations, he said. In June 2007, Belarus participated in the Trilateral Forum for Interreligious Cooperation for Peace and the Ministerial Meeting on Interreligious Dialogue and Cooperation for Peace.

    The Belarusian diplomat mentioned the Tehran Ministerial Meeting of Non-Aligned Movement member states, which had focused on cultural diversity and human rights. Consideration by NAM of intercultural dialogue and cooperation issues, he said, was a proof that the topic was one of the keys to promoting sustainable development and understanding at the national, regional and global levels.

    Mr. Gaisenak stated that adoption of the Tehran Declaration and Programme of Action for Human Rights and Cultural Diversity as well setting up of the NAM Center for Human Rights and Cultural Diversity were of great importance both for NAM and the world community as a whole.

    BBC: Abramovich plans to buy Belarusian oil and chemistry industry

    From: Charter '97
    Roman Abramovich’s secret visit to Minsk caused persistent rumors. And the reason for the trip became known in one week: Abramovich came solely on business, and not due to his passion for sports and women, BBC radio Russian service reports.

    Abramovich arrived in Minsk on September 25 from London with his private Boeing to spend 3 hours 37 minutes in the Belarusian capital.

    A delegation of Russian businessmen headed by “Slavneft” president Yuriy Sukhanov landed in the old airport of Minsk, located nearly in the city center, right after the Boeing.

    General Director of “Slavneft” office in Minsk Sergey Shevchenko told “Komsomolskaya Pradva v Belorussii” on Thursday, October 4, that Roman Abramovich had discussed investment opportunities with Lukashenka.

    It is unknown yet what scopes of the Belarusian economy are of Abramovich’s interest.

    “Abamovich is one of those oligarchs who play the Kremlin’s rules and will defend Russia’s interests in Belarus,” Stanislau Shushkievich says.

    Meanwhile, analysts in Minsk point to the confidentiality of the talks.

    “Vital economic decisions have been made in a more and more secret way lately,” political analyst Valery Karbalevich emphasized.

    “The confidential nature of the official economic deals is indicative of some dark schemes; it means that the authorities try to hide something from public’s eye,” he proceeded, “but the Belarusian enterprises - even though formally - belong to the entire nation, not only to the administration!”

    Privatization wave

    Nevertheless, the Belarusian state has already lost the control share of Velcom - country’s major mobile operator.

    The Cypriot SB Telekom Ltd. became the owner of the company in late August, without the public trade which was promised.

    The sum of the deal is kept secret, although the amount can be assumed judging by the fact that 70 percent of the foreign company were bought by Telekom Austria Group for EURO 1.05 bln.

    Minsk moto- and bicycle factory became the property of another Austrian company - ATEC Holding GmbH has purchased 93 percent of its shares for $ 7.2 mln. Independent experts claim the purchase unprofitable and again point to the confidentiality of the deal.

    “The Belarusian property is now being sold out,” Leanid Zaika, the manager of the analytical center “Strategiya”, says. “There are $ 132 bln of the national property which hasn’t been divided yet among the officials.”

    However, Lukashenka has repeatedly emphasized that “we don’t need privatization which could create oligarchs. These are people’s enterprises, even though somebody can dislike it. And they cannot belong to one person.”

    “Indeed, I don’t give anything to anyone. But I am ready to sell for a good price. Nobody will give anything for nothing,” Lukashenka has remarked several times.

    According to the experts of Global Insight, the Belarusian economy was on the brink of default in early August.

    “Instead of a profound economic reorganization the Belarusian authorities have embarked on unofficial sales of state-owned enterprises,” Yaroslav Romachuk, the head of the research center Mizes, said.

    According to several analysts, chemical and oil-refining enterprises are to be put up for sale soon. The profitability of these enterprises has reduced from 28 to 1-5 percent within the last 6 months, after Russia imposed the export oil duty.

  • News from Pinsk...

    Non-state Newspaper Miastsovy Shliakh Suspends Its Activity for Economical Reasons

    From: Viasna
    The editorial office of the non-state newspaper Miastsovy Shliakh decided to suspend its activities because of a hard financial situation.

    The chief editor Viktar Yarashuk commented: ‘We cannot work in the present economical situation. The newspaper is suspended – it still exists, but will not be published. We have not received wages, which are 190 000 rubles (about $88), for four months already. Lately we haven’t had even a mailman and had to deliver the newspaper on our own.’

    The financial difficulties are defined by many circumstances. For instance, Pinsk printing house refused to print the newspaper. That’s why every day the circulation was transported from Baranavichy, 150 kilometers away. The local branch of Belsayuzdruk refused to sign an agreement for distribution of the newspaper and include it into the subscription catalog.

    Pinsk-based furniture maker holding investment talks with several Russian companies

    From: Naveny
    ZAT Pinskdrew is in talks with several Russian companies for investment in its woodworking units, Andrey Usaw, production director of the company, told reporters in Minsk on October 5.

    “It’s premature to talk about specific agreements because negotiations are still underway,” he said.

    He noted that Pinskdrew includes several enterprises involving foreign capital. In particular, German partners take part in manufacturing plywood, upholstered furniture is made in partnership with a Polish company, and matches in partnership with a Ukrainian company.

    Potential foreign investors are apprehensive of Belarus, but Pinskdrew is successful in inviting them because of its long experience in the Belarusian market, Mr. Usaw noted.

    According to Mr. Usaw, Pinskdrew’s output rose by 18.3 percent year-on-year to about 153 billion rubels in the first eight months of 2007. It produced furniture worth 83.1 billion rubels, a 21-percent increase. The company, based in Pinsk, Brest region, accounted for 11.5 percent of all furniture manufactured in Belarus from January through August. Its profitability rate stood at 15 percent as of September 1. New models of furniture accounted for 20 percent of its output.

    Pinskdrew is one of Belarus' leading and oldest manufacturers of furniture and plywood, making more 200 types of cabinet furniture, as well as upholstered furniture and matches. Seventy percent of its output is exported.

    In 2005, Pinskdrew celebrated its 125th anniversary. The company has 27 subsidiaries. It employs some 6,000 staff.

  • New business..

    Sixty-two Belarusian companies nominated for this year’s government quality award

    From: BelTA
    Sixty-two various Belarusian companies have been nominated for the 2007 Quality Award to be conferred by the Government of the Republic of Belarus. The decision was passed by the Award Commission under the State Standardisation Committee of Belarus, the Committee’s press service told BelTA.

    This year 33 companies awarded in 2001 and 2004 will have to confirm their titles of the Quality Award winners. The Quality Award has been granted in Belarus since 1999.

    At present expert teams are examining the nominated companies verifying the conformance of their quality management with quality requirements established by the award. The expert teams pay special attention to the manufacturing of new products, assimilation of cutting-edge technologies, including energy and resource-saving ones, the introduction of quality management systems based on international standards and used to manufacture products and render services.

    Results of the contest will be announced during a national conference Quality 2007 in Minsk at the end of the year. Winners will get award certificates and symbols as well as the right to use the 2007 Quality Award logo in their products, documents and advertising. The list of winners will be posted on the website of the State Standardisation Committee of the Republic of Belarus (, will be published as part of a review of national quality awards of the European Quality journal and the scientific journal Standardisation. The list will also be included into the annual catalogue of Quality Award winners. The catalogue will be shipped to Belarus’ representative offices abroad.

    Big companies from USA, FGR ready to invest in construction of new aircraft repair and overhaul plant in Belarus

    Big companies from the USA and FRG are ready to take part in a project aim to design and build a new aircraft repair and overhaul plant in Belarus, Minister of Transport and Communications of Belarus Vladimir Sosnovsky said in the Belarusian parliament on October 4.

    “These are world’s leading companies, which have gained wide experience of setting up such facilities. They can guarantee certification of the plant in line with the relevant international standards and this is a very important aspect. It means these companies will act as dealers of Boeing and Airbus for Belarus,” said the minister.

    The project aimed at building the new plant is estimated at $170 million. Bearing in mind the necessity to liquidate the old facility and to develop the infrastructure in the region of Minsk-2 Airport this figure may reach $200 million. According to the official, these are preliminary calculations. A business plan should be ready by the middle of October.

    At present the Belarusian side is negotiating the issue with several potential investors from Russia. Certain Russian financial-industrial groups show interest in the project. Foreign partners, including the ones from the United Arab Emirates were informed about the project as well. “We consider it as highly efficient and export-oriented project. It may attract interest of foreign investors,” the Minister of Transport and Communications is confident.

    Swedish baby food producer Semper opens representative office in Minsk

    The Swedish baby food producer Semper opened a representative office in Minsk, Aleksey Uzhanov, a representative of Decna AS – an exclusive supplier of Semper baby food to Belarus, told a press conference in Minsk on October 4.

    According to him, it will be SPMB PROM Co. that will study the market, establish sales channels, certify products and provide marketing support to the trademark Semper in Belarus. By 2009 Semper plans to occupy an 80% niche of the premium segment of the Belarusian baby food market. At present the index is 55%. On the whole, the company has conquered 10% of the Belarusian baby food market. According to the international research company Rubicon, the aggregate capacity of the Belarusian baby food market is $15.5 million in monetary terms and 2.850 tonnes in absolute numbers. Semper products account for 20% of the baby food imported by Belarus.

    On the whole, Semper manufactures 130 various foodstuffs for children under 3 – milk mixtures, juices, fruit, vegetable, meat and fish pottages, paps, tea and cookies and foods for people suffering from celiac disease. The company sells its products to Finland, Norway, Great Britain, Russia, Ukraine and other European countries.

    Semper started working in Belarus in 2002. This year 72 different foodstuffs will be offered to the Belarusian consumers.

    There are about 1.5 million children under 15 in Belarus including 90 thousand kids under 3. “The birth rate is growing in the country as well as the demand for baby food,” chief part-time gastroenterologist of the Health Ministry of Belarus Dmitry Mirutko told the press conference.

  • Cultural happenings...

    Concert of German musician Matthias Jakob “Masterpieces of World Organ Art” to be held in Minsk

    From: BelTA
    Famous German musician Matthias Jakob will give concert “Masterpieces of World Organ Art” in the Big Hall of the Belarusian Philharmonic Society on October 6. As BelTA learnt in the German Embassy in Belarus, the concert is one of the events of the Year of German Culture in Belarus “Moments of Culture 2007: Four Seasons”.

    According to the German diplomatic mission, the autumn programme of the Year of German Culture includes a lot of musical events. During the concert of organ music, Matthias Jakob will execute the creations of Bach, Reger, Frank, Bukstechude.

    The famous German organist performed in many European countries and the USA. His repertoire is mostly based on the compositions by Max Reger.

    According to the German diplomats, this year is a special year for the Belarusian-German cultural cooperation. During a year, Belarusian viewers and listeners got familiar with various aspects of the German culture. Special preference is given to the musical art.

    Recently, German musical duet DYKO has been a success in Minsk. German musicians also gave an on-line master class.

    Alexander Soloveichik from Belarus wins festival of young singers in Bulgaria

    Alexander Soloveichik from Belarus won the 5th international festival of young singers Silver Yantra held in the Bulgarian city of Veliko Tarnovo on September 28 – October 1, BelTA was told by official representative of the festival in Belarus Vadim Ruzov.

    Alexander Soloveichik was the only singer who was awarded two prizes – “For the best song sung in the national language” and a special children’s jury prize. The Belarusian singer, who performed in the age group under 16, sang a song written by her teacher Vasily Rainchik.

    Apart from the prizes the Belarusian delegation came back home with the gifts presented by Veliko Tarnovo mayor Rumen Rashev to Minsk mayor Mikhail Pavlov, said Vadim Ruzov.

    The 5th international festival of young singers Silver Yantra gathered participants from 15 countries including Russia, Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, France and Italy.

    Writer Yawhen Budzinas dies after illness

    From: Charter '97
    Prominent Belarusian writer Yawhen Budzinas died at the age of 63 at 9:30 a.m. on October 4 after a long illness.

    The writer died in the hospital where he was put a week earlier with stage IV prostate cancer.

    He will be buried in Dudutki, Pukhavichy district, Minsk region, where he founded a titled crafts museum, currently a popular tourist destination, in 1994. The date of the funeral has not yet been set.

    Born in Moscow on February 18, 1944, Yawhen Budzinas moved with his family to Vilnius at the age of two. He graduated from Minsk Radio Technical Vocational School in 1972 and worked as an engineer, teacher in mathematics, the Russian language and literature, a departmental head at the newspaper Znamaya Yunosti, a correspondent of the APN news agency and the magazine Druzhba Narodov. In 1990, he became chairman of the Palifakt publishing house.

    Yawhen Budzinas was a member of the USSR Union of Writers and the holder of the USSR Union of Journalists prize.

  • Around the region...

    Belarus Dashes Veshnyakov's CIS Hopes

    From: Kommersant
    Former chairman of the Russian Central Elections Committee Alexander Veshnyakov's candidacy for executive secretary of the Commonwealth of Independent States will not be discussed at the CIS summit in Dushanbe tomorrow because Belarus remains opposed to his appointment to that post. A consensus is required for the appointment. Moscow's plan to replace current CIS head and former Russian interior minister Vladimir Rushailo with Veshnyakov became known in June but his candidacy was not discussed at the summit in St. Petersburg that month. Veshnyakov may be offered an ambassadorial post in Europe instead.
    Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko told Russian President Vladimir Putin and Kazakh President Noursultan Nazarbaev in St. Petersburg that he was categorically opposed to Veshnyakov's appointment. Efforts to sway the Belarusian leader have been unsuccessful.

    Members of the Russian CEC suggested in unofficial conversations with Kommersant that the cause for Lukashenko's opposition was probably the observers' delegation Veshnyakov led during the Belarusian presidential elections of 2002. Although the Russian delegation gave the elections a positive assessment, unlike all Western delegations, Veshnyakov noted that individual Belarusian presidential orders could be interpreted as violating the CIS convention on elections. Veshnyakov was personally instrumental in establishing that convention. At the time of the elections, Belarus was the only CIS member state that had not ratified it. The Belarusian presidential press service declined to comment on the issue.

    Pro-West blocs gain advantage in Ukraine elections

    From: RIA Novosti
    The final votes in Ukraine's parliamentary elections were counted on Friday, with pro-West blocs gathering enough votes to form a coalition government.

    Following elections on September 30, five blocs made it into the Supreme Rada, with the pro-Russian Party of Regions headed by Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych leading with 34.32%.

    Its arch-rival, the Yulia Tymoshenko bloc, gained 30.71%, followed by the other Western-leaning bloc, the pro-presidential Our Ukraine - People's Self-Defense bloc, with 14.15%.

    Voter turnout was 62.38%.

    Since none of the parties can claim a majority 226 seats in the new 450-member parliament, consultations are currently underway to form a coalition.

    The Tymoshenko bloc and the Our Ukraine - People's Self-Defense bloc have confirmed their intentions to form up a coalition, Yulia Tymoshenko's press service said.

    "The parties have confirmed the agreement signed earlier to establish a coalition of democratic forces in parliament," the two blocs said in a statement following negotiations.

    Yanukovych's party said on Tuesday it was already in talks on forming a coalition, but gave no more details.

    The president dismissed the Supreme Rada in April and called snap elections, accusing Yanukovych of "usurping power." The longtime political foes agreed on the September 30 vote following months of litigation and street rallies.

    Asteroid could hit Earth in 2029 - Russian astronomer

    From: RIA Novosti
    An asteroid, discovered in 2004, could pose a threat to Earth in 2029, the director of the Institute of Astronomy said Monday.

    Boris Shustov said at an international space forum in Moscow that the Apophis asteroid, which is due to cross earth's orbit in 2029 at a height of 27,000 km (17,000 miles), could under certain conditions hit Earth in 2029.

    The explosion could surpass the famous Tunguska explosion of June 30, 1908, which affected a 2,150 square kilometer (830 sq miles) area of Russia felling over 80 million trees in the Krasnoyarsk Territory in Siberia.

    The meteoroid's air blast was estimated to be between 10 and 20 megatons in TNT equivalent or 1,000 times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. The explosion caused a shockwave around 5.0 on the Richter scale.

    However, the asteroid is not likely to repeat the plot of Hollywood blockbusters, as modern technology would allow the asteroid's orbit to be corrected using small satellites, Shustov said.

    "To blast an asteroid, as some hot shots suggest, is quite an unpredictable step, and a more cautious approach is welcomed now," he said.

    He said that a microsatellite with 10 liters of fuel could correct the path of the space body.

    Last month a mystery object, believed to be a meteorite, fell to earth in a remote Peruvian region causing a crater 30 meters (98.5ft) wide and 6 meters (19.6ft) deep. Local residents, including policemen who collected samples from the site, complained of vomiting and nausea.

    Polish premier doesn't have a driving licence

    From: AFP
    After announcing he doesn't have a bank account and hands his salary over to his mother, Polish Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski Tuesday had another revelation: he doesn't hold a driving licence.

    "I admit that I don't have a licence, which I regret," the 58-year-old premier told reporters who were accompanying him on the election campaign trail.

    Asked if he planned to learn to drive, Kaczynski replied: "In life, nothing is impossible."

    "Maybe I'll do it one day but, to tell the truth, I haven't thought about it," he said.

    Kaczynski's comments came as he was quizzed about his conservative government's record on road construction, which has become a campaign issue ahead of Poland's October 21 snap parliamentary elections.

    Poland currently lacks a national motorway network, and there are growing jitters over the chances of having one in place in time for the 2012 European football championships, which Poland is due to co-host with Ukraine.

    In May, Kaczynski who is unmarried and lives with his mother, revealed that he had never opened a bank account and that she held the purse-strings.

    Kaczynski said he had chosen not to open an account to avoid the risk that anyone trying to conjure up a scandal might transfer funds into it and then try to discredit him.

    Kaczynski's married identical twin, Lech Kaczynski, is president of Poland.

    The brothers, who founded Poland's Law and Justice (PiS) party, won the country's presidential and parliamentary elections in 2005 after campaigning on an anti-corruption platform.

    PiS has revived the anti-graft message in the latest election battle, which began after parliament was dissolved following the collapse of Jaroslaw Kaczynski's coalition government in August.

    ''Can Elections Pull Poland's Politics Out of the Gutter?''

    From: PINR
    he Polish Sejm has voted to dissolve itself two years ahead of regularly scheduled elections, with new voting planned for October 21. The country has watched its leaders lurch from one crisis to the next, without a clear sense of purpose or attention to critical domestic issues. In recent months, the government has been racked by scandals, public embarrassments, foreign policy blunders, allegations of ties to criminal syndicates, debilitating personality clashes, and legislative gridlock -- resulting in a loss of its majority status and capacity to govern.

    Early elections will provide the Sejm with the semblance of a fresh start, although key political figures are likely to remain unchanged. The European Union and United States will be watching as well, with major international agreements either postponed or potentially up for renegotiation.

    Law and Justice: Background on the Ruling Party

    Poland is in the unique position of being governed by twin brothers, President Lech Kaczynski and Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski, of the leading rightist Law and Justice Party. Since achieving a narrow victory in the Sejm in September 2006, the party has struggled to maintain a coalition; its latest coalition with the Self Defense Party and a radical nationalist party lasted only four months.

    During previous elections, the party capitalized on a fear of rapid market reforms, labeled by the president during his campaign as a "dangerous liberal experiment." Their strongest supporters came from the countryside (gaining two-thirds of the vote there) and from Catholics who feared a dilution of traditional values. As mayor of Warsaw, President Kaczynski twice banned gay pride parades and spoke in support of reintroducing the death penalty.

    The son of a freedom fighter, the president was a leading proponent of a state-of-the-art museum commemorating the Warsaw Uprising against the Nazi occupation, contributing to a sense of solidarity with the older generation. He has also strived to appear as the champion of the poor in a country with an official unemployment rate of 18 percent, promising to maintain welfare benefits and rejecting tax increases proposed by the opposition to spur economic development.

    In the realm of foreign policy, the staunchly anti-communist party has focused on close ties to the United States, occasionally at the expense of relations with the European Union and Russia. Affairs with Germany have suffered the most, as the party and its coalition members have spotlighted minor quarrels with their neighbor to gain supporters domestically.

    Scandal Stage One: Andrzej Lepper

    Its struggle to maintain a majority coalition government pulled Law and Justice into a riptide of scandals. No single episode towered above the rest in public outrage; the cumulative effect was to turn the Sejm into a stage for political soap opera with daily dramas fueling the tabloids and public disenchantment. While many names and faces emerged in the press, a gravitational force seemed to spiral around two Members of Parliament: Andrzej Lepper and Janusz Kaczmarek.

    Andrzej Lepper is the leader of the populist Self Defense Party. Through his party's coalition of necessity with Law and Justice, he was awarded two additional positions: agricultural minister and deputy prime minister (one of four such appointments). The uneasy coalition began to crack almost immediately, with Deputy Lepper's departure in 2006 after he was accused of "squabbling" by the prime minister. He returned by the end of the year in order to avoid early elections, only to resurface in the news attached to a sex scandal.

    Together with Deputy Stanislaw Lyzwinski, he was accused of requiring female employees to trade sex for government employment. This led in turn to a paternity scandal for Mr. Lyzwinski, who later appeared to be cleared by DNA testing. The edgy coalition -- already damaged by the earlier fracture -- was now on shaky ground, as Lepper was believed to have embarrassed the ruling party and the prime minister who had campaigned on a moral values platform.

    Surviving the sex scandal, Lepper was finally sacked in July by the prime minister for "sowing discord." Lepper, a former pig farmer and champion of rural rights, had voiced his opposition to the budget offered by the prime minister -- in particular the funds for continued troop deployment in Afghanistan. Lepper complained publicly that the prime minister did not consult him and refused to speak with him on the matter, but instead was "only interested in having people kneel before him." Worse than the charges of "sowing discord," Lepper was concurrently alleged to have profited from his position as agricultural minister by participating in a bribing scheme of millions of dollars to re-designate agricultural land for commercial use. As a result of the personal and political clash, Lepper lost his position and the party was expelled from the coalition.

    On September 3, another blow was dealt to Lepper's career when the man responsible for crafting his public image was detained as part of a joint police-Interpol action against a child pornography ring. Piotr Tymochowicz, one of the best known media advisors and PR specialists in the country, is one of the 38 persons already detained in what is expected to be an expanding net of arrests. Lepper has struck back, asserting that he is completely innocent of wrong doing in all regards, and that the series of scandals is designed to defame him. Read the full story...

  • From the blogs...

    Шляхетства vs патрыятызм

    From: Krewa for by_politics
    Я не патрыёт. Наадварот, лічу “патрыятызм” блюзнерствам, прафанацыяй сапраўднай шляхетнасці. Чаму? Баюся, разгляд гэтага пытання прывядзе да несуцяшальных высноў для тых, хто клічуць сябе патрыётамі і разлічваюць быць гаспадарамі дзяржавы, не ўлічваючы яе спецыфікі, як структуры. Свае развагі паводле думкаў прафесара Пятра Хамякова я пакідаю ніжэй.

    Шаноўнае спадарства! У дзяржавы няма гаспадароў, у яе ёсць толькі слугі. І калі для вас сумяшчэнне шляхетнасці і слугі ў адной асобе дапушчальна, тады мы з вамі расходзімся ў тэрміналогіі і поглядах, наконт чаго, як вядома, спрачацца дарэмна. Антычныя мысляры ўвялі ва ўжыванне пазначэння розных тыпаў кіравання: арыстакратыя, дэмакратыя, манархія, а таксама іх скажоных, "дрэнных" аналогаў - алігархія, ахлакратыя, тыранія. Мы не схільныя ўдавацца ў дэталі і аспрэчваць класікаў, аднак гэтыя канцэпцыі даюць падставу сцвярджаць, што так званыя "добрыя" варыянты дадзеных тыпаў дзяржаўнага кіравання - толькі нашы ідылічныя ўяўленні аб іх.

    Там, дзе выявіла сябе старажытная дзяржава, яшчэ не секуліразаваўшыся да сваёй супрацьлегласці - дзяржавы нацыянальнай, - усе палітычныя інстытуты, усе спосабы кіравання нясуць на сабе адбітак людаедства, падступствы раздвоенай псіхікі. Таму, згаджаючыся з вялікімі, што шляхетства - найлепшы спосаб кіравання, зазначым, што менавіта шляхетства яны не ведалі, а мелі справу з тымі або іншымі праявамі алігархіі. Што ж такое алігархія? Паспрабуйма растлумачыць, зыходзячы з канцэпцыі развіцця дзяржавы як кіраўнічай структуры. Алігархія - гэта спосаб кіравання, калі кіруючая група абмяжоўвае ўладу дэспата (імператара, цара, фараона і т. п.) або наогул ліквідуе пірамідальную структуру кіравання ў верхніх пластах сацыяльнай піраміды. Але гэта не ўплывае на людаедскую сутнасць дзяржавы. Насельніцтва застаецца яго галоўным гаспадарчым рэсурсам. І гэты рэсурс эксплуатуецца вынішчальна. Для народных мас алігархічнае кіраванне было, мабыць, найгоршым. У экалогіі вядомы самы эфектны метад стабілізацыі сістэмы "драпежнік-ахвяра". Над драпежнікам трэба паставіць яшчэ аднаго драпежніка або паразіта. Тады актыўнасць першага драпежніка рэзка падае. Ці не гэты эфект інтуітыўна адчувалі народныя масы, практычна заўсёды прывітаючы прыход тыраніі на змену алігархіі, першымі ахвярамі якой станавіліся менавіта алігархі? Гэтае ўнутранае пачуццё сваёй прамой выгады і ляжыць у аснове любых вернападданніцкіх народных памкненняў у сітуацыях, пакуль дзяржава застаецца першым чынам людаедам, а не абаронцам. У нацыянальнай дзяржаве, якае не можа быць людаедскай сістэмай (для свайго народа), імператар (правадыр, манарх, цар і т. п.) не патрэбен. Такім чынам, алігархія з'яўляецца вельмі няўстойлівай сістэмай, якая непазбежна правакуе крызіс і эвалюцыянуе ў бок тыраніі. Але ў тыраніі не могуць быць зацікаўленыя "лепшыя людзі" - шляхта. Яны таму і лепшыя, што им не патрабуецца дапамога сілавых структур для доказу сваёй перавагі. Але мы не можам зваць нейкія групы, якія кормяцца ад дзяржавы ў абмен за службу гэтай людаедскай структуры, лепшымі людзьмі. У такой структуры перамагае далёка не лепшы: не наймацнейшы, не самы адважны, не самы сумленны і ўжо, вядома, не самы разумны і таленавіты. Людзей, якія маюць досвед жыцця ў СССР, у гэтым асоба пераконваць не трэба. Дарэчы, цікава адзначыць, што само паняцце шляхетнасці ўвайшло ва ўжытак не ў азіяцкіх дэспатыях, а ў Еўропе, дзе дзяржаўасць была ў сілу шэрагу чыннікаў у значнай ступені "уціхамірана". У дэспатыях існуюць вяльможы - аблашчаныя літасцямі службоўцы вышэйшага ўзроўня, але не шляхта.

    У гэтай сувязі цікава задумацца, а для чаго (функцыянальна) існуюць спадчынныя арыстакратычныя прывілеі? Бо нашчадкавы шляхцюк, чалавек, які мае добрую спадчыннасць, з дзяцінства атрымаў адпаведную падрыхтоўку, носіць зброю і рэальна распараджаецца вялікім аб'ёмам матэрыяльных сродкаў, - проста не можа асцерагацца быдла. Апошні будзе папросту раздушаны ў любым канфлікце са шляхтай. Арыстакрату для перамогі над быдлам не трэба дэманстрацыі ніякіх рэгалій, трэба проста выняць меч, якога няма ў плебея і якім плебей не здольны валодаць. Перад кім жа тады неабходна так настойліва сцвярджаць сваю перавагу? Ды перад дзяржавай, вядома. Яна, у адрозненне ад быдла, мацней за любога шляхцюка. Вось і трэба стала нагадваць яму, што са шляхтай "не пакладзена" паступаць як з быдлам. Але дзяржава ў гэтых пытаннях такая непамятлівая... Вось і знішчаецца шляхта, якія выцясняецца халопамі-алігархамі, і не дапаможа шляхце ніякае каставае замацаванне іх прывілеяў, пакуль моцна дзяржава.

    Аднак ці былі хоць калісьці праўдзівыя арыстакраты - лепшыя водзі, якія бралі сабе не першы кавалак, але прымалі першы ўдар? Вядома жа, былі. Супольнасці агністых паляўнічых, краманьёнскія роды і плямёны былі пабудаваныя менавіта па такім прынцыпе. Найболей таленавітыя, моцныя, адважныя і шчодрыя заўсёды былі наперадзе: і ў паляванні, і ў бою з ворагамі, і ў творчасці. Менавіта яны прымалі рашэнні ў самых цяжкіх сітуацыях, што ў пазнейшых інтэрпрэтацыях выглядала як "кіраўніцтва". Смутныя легенды аб іх захаваліся ў усіх народаў, па якіх не прайшла "коўзанка" найстаражытных дзяржаў. Гэтыя легендарныя персанажы адначасова дораць людзям агонь і метал, ратуюць плямёны ад знішчэння суседзямі, яны адначасова і геніі, і героі. Іх нашчадкі складаюць старажытную арыстакратыю. Нагадаем словы вялікага Вагнера: "Не шукайце гістарычнага ў нибелунгах, шукайце нибелунгава ў гісторыі". Рушым услед гэтай радзе і мы. Відаць, усе лепшыя людзі старажытных плямёнаў склалі зборную выяву гэтых геніяў-герояў і іх дзяцей. Але іх дзецьмі было ўсё племя, бо для старажытных плямёнаў і родаў не было сваіх і чужых дзяцей сярод суродзічаў. Акрамя таго, такіх герояў-геніяў больш кахалі супляменніцы, і ў іх больш, чым у каго-альбо былі важкія падставы лічыць вялікую частку супляменнікаў сваімі сваякамі: Таму старажытным плямёнам не было патрэбы асоба вылучаць прамых нашчадкаў тых або іншых герояў. Такім чынам, старажытная арыстакратыя ў прамым сэнсе гэтага слова - улада лепшых. Гэтыя лепшыя не супрацьпастаўляліся племяню і не мелі адмысловых прывілеяў у спажыванні. Ці азначае гэта ў апісваемай "арыстакратычнай" структуры кіравання адсутнасць няроўнасці? Вядома жа, не. Лепшаму паляўнічаму даваўся лепшы лук, лепшаму ваяру - лепшы меч. Зразумела, гэта было вельмі ганарова і прыемна для лепшых "адмыслоўцаў". Пэўна, нават ва ўмовах дэфіцыту сілкавання лепшаму ваяру знаходзіўся і лішні кавалак перад вырашальнай бітвай. Але гэта не былі так званыя "прывілеі". Гэта было цалкам функцыянальна з пункта погляду жыццезабеспячэння роду ў цэлым. Пры гэтым ні для каго не было падставы сумнявацца ў рэальнасці дадзенай цэласнасці. Такім чынам, старажытнаарыстакратычная няроўнасць - гэтая няроўнасць функцыянальная, а такім чынам - сітуацыйная. Сёння самымі патрэбнымі былі лепшыя кавалі, заўтра - ваяры, пазаўтра - знатакі па пошуках водных крыніц і г. д. Гэта рэзка адрознівае дадзеную структуру ад дзяржаўна-алігархічнай, дзе заўсёды наперадзе адмыслоўцы аднаго профіля - інтрыганы ў сваім крузе, тыраны з ніжэйстаячымі. Такім чынам, галоўны прывілей старажытных арыстакратаў - радасць быць самымі патрэбнымі для сваіх суродзічаў. Так, асаблівасць старажытнага светапогляду не ў адсутнасці жорсткасці наогул, а ў адсутнасці жорсткасці да сваіх. Дабрабыт свайго роду даражэй існаванні іншага. У сваіх народаў арыстакраты былі радаснымі, моцнымі, добрымі і шчодрымі багамі. Гэтае радаснае, гераічнае, шчодрае светаўспрыманне не магло не стаць адным з дадатных стэрэатыпаў. Страта гэтага стэрэатыпу складала адну з найважных страт у працэсе станаўлення старажытнадзяржаўнай ўзлаванай змрочнай прытомнасці. Таму тыраны і алігархі ўсяляк імкнуліся звязаць сябе з гэтымі геніямі героямі генеалагічнай сувяззю. Але, хутчэй за ўсё, гэтай сувязі не было. У дзяржструктурах заўсёды перамагалі не найгаднейшыя, а самыя подлыя.

    Калі ўлічваць інэрцыйнасць грамадскага развіцця пры адсутнасці глыбокіх крызісаў, гэта было грамадства, якое імкнулася хутчэй захаваць лепшыя рысы радавога ладу, чым рынуцца на шлях старажытнадзяржаўнага людаедства. Лагічна прадставіць, што трансфармацыя нораваў адбывалася ў двух кірунках. Арыстакратыя імкнулася захаваць лепшыя традыцыі старажытных узаемаадносін у сваім крузе. У той жа час адбывалася павольнае адчужэнне арыстакратыі ад асноўнай масы племя. Такім кароткім пераходным момантам і вызначалася асоба праўдзівай арыстакратыі, захаванае старажытнымі аўтарамі. Канцом гэтага пераходнага моманту быў пераход нейкай грані, калі арыстакратыя канчаткова адасобілася ад асноўнай масы. Тады вельмі хутка аформіліся класічныя дзяржаўныя інстытуты па эксплуатацыі супляменнікаў як рэсурсу. Арыстакратыя па функцыях перарадзілася ў дзяржаўную алігархію з хуткім наступным насычэннем апошняй людзьмі з нізкімі маральнымі асновамі. Таму арыстакратыя, якая запамяталася старажытным аўтарам, сапраўды прывабная. Яна прывабная як вясна або як залатая восень. Прывабная дынамічнасцю, гарманічным спалучэннем, падавалася бы, несумяшчальных уласцівасцяў. Гэта менавіта прывабнасць няўстойлівага рэжыму, захапляльнага душу балансавання на грані. Шляхецкае кіраванне ў то час не вытрымала выпрабаванняў. Як толькі арыстакратыя зрабіла адназначны выбар у бок адзяржаўлення (а гэта, па істоце, сацыялістычны выбар) яна запусціла працэсы рэсурсава-экалагічнага крызісу ў дачыненні чалавечага рэсурсу, асноўнага для дзяржавы. Крызіс скончыўся крахам. Дзяржаве не патрэбныя арыстакраты, яму патрэбныя толькі халопы. Халопы з рознай ступенню камфортнасці ўтрымання, але ўсё роўна халопы. І гэтую драму заўсёды разумелі праўдзівыя арыстакраты. і, нарэшце, апошняя заўвага з нагоды арыстакратыі. Арыстакратычнай форме кіравання адпавядала і вызначаны светапогляд. Можна сцвярджаць, што ў цэлым менавіта гэтаму перыяду можа адпавядаць паганства - сістэма гледжанняў і вераванняў, якая абапіраецца на глыбокае і яснае разуменне прыроды, светлая, шчодрая, радасная. Гэта сістэма, спалучае актыўнасць і адказнасць, сістэма, дзе чалавек выступае як бы суаўтарам тварэння. У той жа час арыстакратычнае паганства не ёсць нейкая "ідэалогія разгулу", як спрабуюць намаляваць яе некаторыя нядобрасумленныя крытыкі. Быўшы звязанай з арыстакратычнай сістэмай кіравання, гэта рэлігія дысцыпліны і гіерархіі. Але дысцыпліны ўсвядомленай, выцякаючай нібыта з саміх законаў прыроды. У гэтым яе адрозненне ад пераважнага рабства блюзнерскіх ідэалагізаваных манатэістычных дзяржрэлігій. Такім чынам, у працэсе павольнага пераходу да "запазычанай у іншых" дзяржаўнай структуры ў шэрагу старажытных плямёнаў даволі доўгі час магла існаваць арыстакратыя - фактычнае кіраванне лепшых. Традыцыі гэтых пор доўгі час маглі захоўвацца і ў далейшым. Тым не менш, і арыстакратыя як форма кіравання, і паганства як форма рэлігіі былі недарэчныя пасля канчатковага афармлення дзяржаўных інстытутаў. І яны змяніліся алігархіяй, хутка змеценай больш эфектыўнай у тых умовах тыраніяй і спадарожным манатэізмам. Вяртанне да шляхетства ў праўдзівым разуменні гэтага тэрміна стала магчымым толькі з эвалюцыяй старажытнадзяржаўных структур у нацыянальную дзяржаву. Ці жывем мы сёння ў нацыянальнай дзяржаве – пытанне з шэрагу рытарычных. Мы жывем у антынацыянальнай дзяржаве, гэтае вынікае з паўсядзёных рэалій тутэйшага жыцця. Такіх рэалій, як вынішчэнне шляхетнасці, маргіналізацыя этнасу, прафанацыя Традыцыі. Тутэйшае грамадства пад пагрозай вымірання. А хамы і блазны прыватызуюць званне эліты. Сёння быць патрыётам не толькі блюзнерства, гэта хімерычнае трызненне няўдалых правакатараў і дурняў. І менавіта з гэтай хімерычнасці паўстае шэраг нацыяналістычных мітаў, якія прафанізуюць Крыўскую ідэю, як увасабленне нашай балцкай спадчыны, нардычнага гонару і сцвярджальнай моцы гістарычнай праўды.

    Окт. 5: День учителя

    From: Sammi
    От души поздравляю всех учителей, преподавателей, репетиторов, руководителей кружков и т.д. с профессиональным праздником!

    Примите слова благодарности и низкий поклон за ВАШ нелегкий труд!

    Моя мама преподавала, среди подруг в Гродно есть преподаватели...среди знакомых в Минске, да и ваша покорная слуга тоже..

    Поздравляю всех, кто читает ЖЖ и кто хоть когда-то был причастен к "наставничеству"...

    Особая благодарность моей первой учительнице Гречиц (Авдеевой) Галине Ивановне, которая учила меня в 1-3 классах в СШ № 119 г. Минска!
    Дай бог ей здоровья!...

    Минск простился с Лучано Паваротти

    From: Minsk blog
    3 октября в Минске прошел концерт «Жизнь — музыка» памяти великого итальянского тенора Лучано Паваротти. Организован он был при содействии посольства Италии и поддержке Министерства культуры Республики Беларусь.

    В этот вечер оркестр Национального академического Большого театра оперы РБ наполнил здание Белгосфилармонии музыкой любимых композиторов Лучано: Дж. Верди, Г. Доницетти, П. Масканьи, Дж. Пуччини и Дж. Россини. Их творчество он популяризировал во всем мире без малого сорок лет. Дань уважения человеку эпохи отдали звезды белорусской оперной сцены: заслуженный артист Украины, дирижер Виктор Плоскина, лауреаты и дипломанты международных конкурсов Ю. Городецкий, О. Якушевич, Т. Гаврилова, заслуженный и народный артисты Беларуси В. Ковальчук и В. Петров и мн. др. Любимую партию Паваротти Альфредо из «Травиаты» исполнил заслуженный артист Беларуси С. Франковский.

    Лучано Паваротти был для оперы тем же, что Рудольф Нуриев для балета или Сергей Эйзенштейн для кино. Он поднял оперное искусство на новую высоту, за что и был прозван самым жарким голосом Италии. Великий Лучано дал более тысячи концертов, исполнил главные партии в более чем 26 операх. Паваротти был одарен не только великим голосом, но и великим сердцем: он активно занимался просветительской и благотворительной деятельностью, организовывая специальные концерты «Паваротти и друзья». Он хотел запомниться нам «оперным певцом, представителем мира искусства, который смог реализоваться в нем»…

    Можешь ли ты стать гражданином Великобритании

    From: Desperate Immigrant
    С 2005 года в Англии обязателен Citizenship Test для всех кто подает заявление не только на британское гражданство, а даже пока еще на постоянный вид на жительство ( Settlement или Indefinite Leave to Remain). Тест выполняется на компъютере в тест-центре, а готовиться к нему можно по выпущенной Home Office-ом специальной книге. Вопросы касаются состава населения, правительства, финансов, занятости, ежедневных потребностей, основных законов. Исторических вопросов минимальное количество - решили не мучать иммигрантов тысячелетиями истории Великобритании.

    В интернете же есть несколько сайтов предлагающих бесплатно пройти тренировочныей образец теста.

    Я собрала и типа перевела несколько вопросов с разных сайтов, чтобы все желающие читатели могли проверить много ли они знают о Великобритании. Вопросы выбрала не самые специфические, важные не только проживающим здесь (таких там много), а более общего характера.
    Под катом тест , а ответы на него в соседнем посте, ссылка внизу.

    Так что велкам проверить свою эрудицию.

    Городская симфония

    From: Teddy Bear Confessions
    Киев. Подол. Осень.
    Желтый. Оранжевый. Синий.
    Мир состоит из вопросов
    И идеально прямых линий

    Звон куполов. Утро.
    Голос знакомый и древний
    Здесь лучше ходить без маршрута
    Прислоняться к деревьям

    Город растет как тесто
    Скоро начнется слякоть
    Я уже раскусил это место
    И постепенно вгрызаюсь в мякоть

    Небо. Пары. Объятья
    Губы капризно вздулись
    Седые холмы на распятии
    Проспектов и улиц

    Трамвай ползет сонный
    Искру высекает как кремень
    Бесшумное тикает отведённое
    Нам всем время

    Новоявленные вельможи,
    Наполняют дворцы и таверны
    Заползает змеей под кожу
    Симфония постмодерна.

  • Sport...

    Belarus’ women join best quartet at EuroBasket

    From: BelTA
    USK Prague's Sviatlana Volnaya has averaged double-digit scoring in each of the last five EuroLeague Women campaigns. This past summer, Volnaya averaged over 11 points per game (team best) to lead Belarus to a EuroBasket 2007 berth
    The Belarusian women basketball team entered the quartet of the best players at the European Championships in Italy.

    Belarus continued their dream run at the EuroBasket by upsetting the defending champions Czech Republic 52-46 (11:15, 20:12, 8:14, 13:5) to reach the semi-finals for the first time in their history. Ekaterina Snytina finished with 10 points while her team-mates Natalia Marchenko and Yelena Levchenko added 11 apiece.

    The initiative taken by the two teams in turn ended by Ekaterina Snytina jump for a 43-41 lead. Belarus led to the end of the game.

    Latvia beat France 66:62 and joined the best four on the continent. October 5 will see two more quarter finals: Lithuania-Russia and Belgium-Spain.

    October 6 in the semi-finals Belarus will meet the winner of Belgium-Spain duel. However, Belarus has already solved its strategic task and ensured its participation in the qualification tournament before the Olympics-2008. The tournament will welcome the teams that take from the second to the sixth places at the EuroBasket. The champion of the European Championships will get the Olympics-2008 ticket to Beijing.

    Women champions will be determined October 7.

    Victoria Azarenka to play Pauline Parmentier in Tashkent Open final

    From: Canadien Press
    Top-seeded Victoria Azarenka of Belarus and Pauline Parmentier of France advanced to the final of the Tashkent Open on Saturday.

    Azareanka beat fourth-seeded Elena Vesnina of Russia 6-4, 6-2 in their semifinal, and Parmentier upset third-seeded Olga Govortsova of Belarus 6-2, 7-5.

    Both players have not dropped a set on the way to their first career WTA Tour final.

    The 18-year-old Azarenka, ranked 35th, reached the fourth round at the U.S. Open.

    The 87th-ranked Parmentier made a decisive break in the 11th game and finished the match by holding her serve at love.

    "I was thinking of my first WTA final all the time," she said.

  • Endnote...

    Real-life Cinderella story lights up drab Belarus

    From: AFP
    Natasha Aliyeva(R)
    Alexander Demyanovich sounds pretty understanding for a young man who's been ditched by his sweetheart. Then again, she left him for a billionaire prince from Dubai -- and you don't get that every day in drab Belarus.

    "I don't regret that Natasha married a prince," says Demyanovich, 21. "She always wanted to do something great."

    That sense of admiration is palpable in Minsk, capital of a country best known for the repressive policies of Soviet-style President Alexander Lukashenko, gas price wars with neighbouring Russia, and the production of tractors.

    And in a place where young people don't get many chances, Natasha Aliyeva, 19, took hers.

    She was only two months into her 10-dollar-a-day (seven euros) waitressing job at the Minsk Hotel when she was told to bring an orange juice up to the 820-dollar-a-night "presidential suite."

    The man ordering? Sheikh Saeed bin Maktoum bin Rashed al-Maktoum, son of the late ruler of Dubai and nephew of the current ruler, Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashed al-Maktoum whom Forbes magazine listed as worth 14 billion dollars in 2006.

    The 31-year-old prince, who happened to be in the ex-Soviet republic for an international shooting competition, liked orange juice. He ordered several more.

    And he also liked Aliyeva, who discovered they both had an interest in volleyball, according to her colleagues in the hotel.

    Just two weeks later, on August 27, they were married and Aliyeva was soon on her way to Dubai to join the emirate's ruling family.

    Back in the uniform greyness of Minsk, her friends and former colleagues are on tenterhooks to know how the real-life Cinderella is doing.

    "Natasha was an ordinary Belarussian teenager who liked to wear jeans and miniskirts and hang out in nightclubs," said Natalya, manager at the Minsk Hotel restaurant. "She never thought she would marry a prince... (but) she has really fallen in love with him."

    Yevgeny Ivanyuk, who studied at Belarus State University until being expelled for his opposition to the country's authoritarian government, applauded her good luck.

    "She is just very cool and terribly lucky," he said. "In this country you will never be able to live well. There's no freedom, no way to express yourself. With the sheikh her life will at least be interesting. Yes, it's a fairy tale Cinderella story."

    Aliyeva's mother said she was also happy despite temporarily having two daughters move out -- in addition to Natasha, her 25-year-old sister Galina, who speaks English, has gone to Dubai to act as interpreter.

    Both women converted to Islam and in fact have roots to the religion, since their father is originally from Azerbaijan, another ex-Soviet republic inhabited mostly by Muslims.

    In Dubai, all matters pertaining to the private life of members of the ruling family are strictly confidential and even considered taboo in the Gulf Arab monarchies.

    It is believed there that Natasha has taken the name Aysha and is the prince's second wife. Muslim men may be married to up to four wives, and the prince already has five children with his first wife.

    Back in Minsk, Natasha's mother, Liliya Aliyeva, is pleased.

    "My daughter is just happy and I am happy for her," said Aliyeva, 52, who works as a nurse.

    But not everyone in Belarus, a predominantly Christian country of 10 million people, is applauding.

    Yekaterina Lychkina, a former teacher of Aliyeva at Belarus State University's physical education faculty, said she was "very worried" for the fate of a girl who "always had bad marks" in class.

    Alexei Gatatulin, deputy dean of the physical education department where Aliyeva specialised in working with pre-school children, said she should have kept to her homeland.

    "Judge for yourself: what is better, to lose your normal lifestyle, religion, not to see your parents and to leave your motherland, then live in luxury in a foreign country with lots of strangers, or, to stay in your native country, work with kids and be happy with your family?" Gatatulin asked.

    If Aliyeva had stayed, she would have graduated in three years and might have earned around 200 dollars a month as a kindergarten gym teacher.

    But Alexander Demyanovich, the first love of Natasha, says his ex was always likely to do something special.

    "Our relations were very complicated. Natasha is very hot tempered. It was impossible to convince her to change her mind on anything. However, there was a positive aspect to her character -- she is very passionate. On top of that, she's a real Eastern beauty."