The helipad – located in the Kremlin’s Tainitsky (Secret) Garden – has already been tested.“The president will use it as soon as reasonably practicable,” Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov told journalists. Currently, Putin is at his summer residence in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.To commute to the Kremlin from his official residence in Novo-Ogaryvo, just outside Moscow, Putin will use a Russian-made Mi-8 chopper. It is “the only kind of helicopter” the president flies on, Peskov noted.The use of such heavy aircraft as an Mi-8, will cause no damage to the buildings, palaces and cathedrals in the Kremlin – Moscow’s architectural pearl.“All the possible effects on the architecture were thought ahead before the site for this heliport was picked,” Peskov assured. “A scientific approach and a great deal of sensors” were used during the construction, he added.Both Putin and his initial presidential predecessor, the late Boris Yeltsin, occasionally used to fly to work on choppers which landed on the Kremlin’s Ivanovskaya Square, the spokesperson recalled. That spot, however, was not entirely suitable as it was quite crowded with tourists.Official motorcades agitate drivers in Moscow, where traffic is already a nightmare. The long cavalcades of black vehicles carrying authorities – accompanied by sirens and police bikes – only add to the headaches. Every time they cross the city, police block the roads and ordinary drivers have to wait in long traffic jams.According to Peskov, though, motorcades do not really worsen the situation with traffic, but only cause “temporary difficulties.” Still, taking into account public anger, Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev minimized their trips to downtown Moscow, working from their residences outside the city whenever possible.Medvedev has been using a helicopter for several months now to get to his office in the White House – the Russian government headquarters.“The Prime Minister uses a helicopter whenever weather conditions are suitable. It has practically become his main mode of transport,” Medvedev’s spokesperson Natalya Timakova said, cites Itar-Tass. The head of the government prefers flying in Mi-8 and, also, European AgustaWestland helicopters. …
The Electronic Frontier Foundation is calling this the “biggest global threat to the internet since ACTA.” …
At least two people were killed when part of a shoe factory collapsed in Cambodia on Thursday. A concrete roof fell down at the plant in Kampong Speu province, west of the capital Pnomh Penh.
Reports suggest around 100 people could have been working in the factory at the time. It is not clear how many people have been killed – but the Cambodian government has confirmed two deaths.
Cambodian Social Affairs Minister Ith Samheng said: “We pay our deep condolences to those who died. The government will organise an investigation into this incident and take measures to prevent something like this from happening again.”
Samheng said no-one remained trapped in the building.
Workplace safety in the global garment industry has been in the spotlight in recent weeks – after a clothing factory collapsed in Bangladesh in April, killing more than 1,100 people.
Copyright © 2013 euronews
Red carpet ready for Cannes film festival 15/05/2013 12:47 CET
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The Cannes film festival got off to a soggy start but even the heavens opening could not cloud the brilliance of the talent on display.
Opening proceedings was the glitzy adaptation of the Scott Fitzgerald novel ‘The Great Gatsby’ starring Leonardo DiCaprio. It may have had mixed reviews in the US but DiCaprio has been praised for his performance.
Chairing the jury for this, the 66th edition of the festival is the man of the same age – director Steven Spielberg. Together with fellow judges who include Nicole Kidman, he will sit through hours of film footage to pick a winner.
Several previous winners are returning this year including Steven Soderbergh whose film The Candelabra with Michael Douglas playing the flamboyant pianist Liberace will have a screening.
No British films have been selected in the official competition part of the festival although UK director Paul Wright will be making his festival debut with his remote Scottish village saga, ‘For Those in Peril.’
But apart from all the culture what is top of the list for many movie buffs is spotting who’s who on the red carpet.
“It was raining stars for the opening of the 66th Cannes Film Festival – what with the full cast of The Great Gatsby with Leonardo Di Caprio in the lead, and all the members of the Jury,” said euronews reporter Frederic Ponsard, in Cannes.
“In all there are up to 20 films in competition and somewhere among them will be this year’s Palme d’Or winner.”
Copyright © 2013 euronews
Six people have been killed in a suicide bombing, after a group allied to the Taliban say they targeted foreign troops in Kabul.. Another 37 people were injured in the attack in the Afghan capital on Thursday morning. The suicide bomber drove his car at a convoy transporting…
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US tax agency chief Steve Miller has had to leave his job after it emerged his staff had singled out conservative groups for extra scrutiny.
President Barack Obama announced his departure on Wednesday.
Obama said the Treasury Secretary had asked for and accepted the resignation of Miller, who was acting commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
“I have reviewed the Treasury Department watchdog’s report and the misconduct that it uncovered is inexcusable. It is inexcusable and Americans are right to be angry about it and I am angry about it,” Obama told reporters.
“I will not tolerate this kind of behaviour in any agency but especially in the IRS given the power that it has and the reach that it has in all of our lives.
“Given the controversy surrounding this audit it is important to institute new leadership that can help restore confidence going forward.”
Requests for tax-exempt status by groups associated with the conservative Tea Party movement are said to have been subjected to “overly aggressive” reviews.
The US Justice Department has launched a criminal investigation.
The IRS controversy is one of several points of weakness in the Obama administration that Republicans are seeking to exploit. Senior Republicans such as former Vice-President Dick Cheney and one-time presidential candidate John McCain have slammed what they say was a government ‘cover-up’ of an attack on the US embassy in the Libyan town of Benghazi last September. The allegation is that Obama and his team downplayed the involvement of al-Qaeda cells in the attack in order not to harm Obama’s re-election chances. On Wednesday the White House released 99 pages of e-mails between various agencies including the CIA, the State Department and the FBI that government officials claim prove there was no organised cover-up.
And Obama is also under fire for restricting press freedom after it emerged the US Justice Department secretly seized phone records of Associated Press. It’s widely believed US authorities subpoenaed the records to try to identify who provided information about an alleged terrorist plot in Yemen. The US Attorney’s Office has said it values press freedom but is obliged to balance these with national security and public interest.
Copyright © 2013 euronews