Russia Launching New Search Engine ‘sputnik’ To Compete With Google

Russia Corporate Scandals ‘Striking,’ Prosperity CEO Says

See also: 20 Searches Made Ridiculous by Google Autocomplete Rostelecom ,the countrys state-controlled telecom service,has been charged with creating a search engine to compete with the likes of Google, as well as well local search-engine leader Yandex , which is based in the Netherlands, according to Reuters . Even with state backing, however, Sputnik will face stiff competition. On its website , Yandex claims that it currently generates62% of all search traffic in Russia. But recent events have destabilized the company. Yandex lost its popular co-founder, Ilya Segalovich, in July to cancer. That led to a brief dip in Yandex’s stock, and doubt about the companys long-term future. So while Yandex is currently the market leader and Google is close behind with roughly 25% of Russias search users Rostelecom may be launching Sputnik at just the right time. Rostelecom has already spent $20 million on the search engine, according to a report in Russias Vedomosti . The site will reportedly be accessible at www.Sputnik.ru, and will launch some time in the first quarter of 2014. Rostelecom did not immediately respond to a request for comment. BONUS:Google Tricks and Easter Eggs Google Tricks and Easter Eggs Gravity Enter “Google Gravity” in the search bar. Hit “I’m feeling lucky” (if you have Google Instant enabled, it’s on the right hand side of the suggested searches).

Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Colombia qualify for World Cup; England, Russia close

Belgian riot police are covered with foam sprayed by Belgian firefighters during a protest for better work conditions in central Brussels October 7, 2013.    REUTERS/Yves Herman (BELGIUM - Tags: BUSINESS EMPLOYMENT CIVIL UNREST POLITICS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)

The election featured a two-round majoritarian electoral rule: If one candidate won the first round of the election with more than 50 percent of the vote, then that candidate would be declared the winner (as turned out to be the case in this election); however, if no candidate had won a majority of the vote, the top two candidates would have advanced to a runoff election.] ***** After reading Timothy Fryes and Scott Gehlbachs interpretations of the recent mayoral election in Moscow on The Monkey Cage, I thought I would offer my own, different explanation for this event. As you highlight in your earlier posts, a fundamental question that political scientists address is: When and why do incumbents manipulate elections? In the case of the Moscow mayoral election, the puzzle has been the reverse: Why would a government that has a history of manipulating elections decide to hold a free one? In a research paper titled Third Parties and the Success of Democracy (co-authored by Svitlana Chernykh ), we provide a general answer to these questions that also clarifies why the Kremlin decided to hold one of the freest elections in the recent memory. Our logic goes as follows: An authoritarian incumbent will find a clean election most valuable when he needs to dispel the impression that the opposition might be more popular than he is. This is precisely the scenario before the Moscow mayoral election last month. Moscow is the most likely place in Russia where an opposition candidate might enjoy widespread popular support. If the incumbent, Sergey Sobyanin, held a nontransparent election and claimed a quick victory, the opposition might have believed that the election was stolen by the regime and incite those opposed to President Vladimir Putin to fight for a victory in the streets. After all, finding out ahead of the election who was the most popular candidate in Moscow was not easy, due to the widespread belief that opinion polls were manipulated by the regime. Just as in Iran in 2009, this could prove costly for Putin and Sobyanin even if they did eventually succeed in suppressing such protests. Holding a (reasonably) free and fair mayoral election was therefore the best way for Putin to convince Muscovites that his candidate was indeed the most popular one. While the leading opposition candidate, Alexei Navalny, came out of the mayoral race looking better than expected, the election managed to dispel any hopes that the opposition might be more popular in Moscow than the regime is. After all, Sobyanin beat Navalny by more than 20 percentage points.

The best way to demoralize the opposition in Russia? Beat them in a fair election

Its the worst year since after the crisis in 2009. Prosperity and investors including Templeton Emerging Markets Group and Allianz Investments are contesting a move by OAO Rosneft (ROSN) , the worlds biggest publicly traded oil producer, not to buy out minority shareholders in oil producer TNK-BP. President Vladimir Putins government is struggling to lure foreign investors to counter capital outflows due to corporate governance disputes this year at TNK-BP, OAO Pharmstandard, Russias biggest drugmaker, and OAO Uralkali, the worlds largest potash producer. Russias benchmark Micex Index (MOSBIRZ) trades at the cheapest levels of all major emerging-market indexes. 27 after Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin said his company may buy back minority shareholders at a premium. Until then, Sechin had resisted minority investors demands, saying at Rosnefts annual general meeting in April that Rosneft was not a charity fund. Disappointing Offer Rosneft has approved a buyout at 67 rubles a common share and 55 rubles for preferred shares in RN Holding. Sberbank CIB analysts said the offer was disappointing for investors as they estimated Rosneft paid about $3.70 a share, or about 120 rubles a share, to London-based BP Plc (BP/) and a group of Russian billionaires in a $55 billion cash-and-share deal. Westman said Prosperity hasnt received the offer. We will want to see a buyout offer that is higher, but some investors had given up and didnt think we get anything, he said. Alexander Branis, chief investment officer at Moscow-based Prosperity, advises the Kremlin on corporate governance and will shortly submit proposals on mandatory offers for minority shareholders, according to Westman. As part of our work trying to make Moscow into an international finance center, we are coming up with proposals to strengthen the hand of minority shareholders, he said, without going into specific details. Hermitage Capital Hermitage Capital, once Russia s largest portfolio investor, shut its Russia fund in March as its founder, Bill Browder, was being sued for libel in London and tried in absentia for tax evasion in Moscow. Hermitage, a shareholder activist fund that American-born Browder started in 1996 with the late billionaire Edmond Safra, peaked at more than $4 billion in 2005, according to Browder. Russia that year barred Browder from the country without explanation, triggering years of legal conflict, including over the 2009 death of Hermitage adviser Sergei Magnitsky while he was in pretrial detention in Moscow.

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11, 2013. CAPTION By Associated Press, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland and Colombia qualified for next years World Cup on Friday night, while England and Russia won and moved into position to clinch next week. Germany (8-0-1) defeated Ireland 3-0 at Cologne on goals by Sami Khedira, Andre Schuerrle and Mesut Ozil to guarantee first place in Group C and reach soccers biggest tournament for the 16th straight time. The weeks best news photos Heres a quick way to catch up on the weeks news, through some of our favorite photos. Belgium (8-0-1) earned its first berth since 2002, winning 2-0 at Croatia on a pair of goals by Romelu Lukaku to ensure first place in Group A. Switzerland (6-0-3) clinched Group E with a 2-1 victory at Albania on second-half goals by Xherdan Shaqiri and Michael Lang. In South America, Colombia (8-4-3) trailed by three goals but rallied for a 3-3 draw at home against Ecuador to clinch. Teofilo Gutierrez scored in the 69th and Radamel Falcao converted penalty kicks in the 75th and 84th minutes. Fourteen of the 32 spots at next years tournament in Brazil are set. The United States, Argentina, Australia, Costa Rica, Iran, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands and South Korea already qualified, and Brazil gets an automatic berth as host. In North and Central America and the Caribbean, Honduras (4-3-2) won 1-0 at home against Costa Rica (4-2-3) on Jerry Bengtsons 65th-minute goal and ensured itself of no worse than fourth place and a playoff against Oceania champion New Zealand. Mexico faced a must-win match at home against Panama with both teams at 1-2-5 and El Tri trailing on goal difference. The nine European group winners qualify, and eight of nine second-place teams advance to playoffs, which will include Croatia and Sweden. England (5-0-4) maintained its Group H lead, beating Ukraine 4-1 at Wembley on second-half goals by Wayne Rooney, Andros Townsend and Daniel Sturridge plus an own goal by Branko Boskovic on a mis-hit clearance attempt. England would clinch its fifth straight berth by beating visiting Poland on Tuesday.

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