Most Expensive Streets To Reside


Over the years, with the increase in the number of potential buyers the real estate market is witnessing healthy property investments, especially in luxury property sector. A study conducted by the research firm Wealth-X on the most expensive residential streets in the globe came up with their report. Read on to know more about it as compiled by ibtimes.

#10 Avenue Montaigne, Paris

12121 With the most rich and famous flocked together, Avenue Montaigne in Paris makes it to the list of the most expensive street to live in the country. The avenue has a history that goes back to 350 years and is located in the 8th arrondissement in the Champs-Elysees quarter. The street also holds a great cultural treasure; and no wonder that it attracts the wealthy. The street is as expensive as $26,000 per square meter.

#9 Fifth Avenue, New York

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Fifth Avenue in New York attracts the upper class of the society for its central location. Being placed at the heart of the city, the street has been attracting the rich way behind from 1900. The advantage of the ease of access in the Gotham city comes at a whooping price of $28,000 per square meter.

#8. Ostozhenka, Moscow

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Standing as a witness to the Russian resolution once upon a time, the Ostozhenka street in Moscow is now occupied with luxury hotels, museums and cathedrals. Owning a space in the street is considered as a jewel in the crown as one has to shell out some serious money. The most luxurious residential area of Russia may cost you $29,000 per square meter.

#7. Romazzino Hill, Sardinia

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Costing a hefty amount of $32,900 per square meter, Romazzino Hill makes it to the list of most expensive streets to reside. The residential area set on the island is home to the most influential including the royal family of Qatar and other Russian billionaires. The location is owned autonomously by Italy and is expected to attract more wealth as moving on.

#6. Chemin de Ruth, Geneva

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Chemin de Ruth is most adorned for its location and picturesque landscape that attracts the creamy class of the society. Set in the midst of snow capped hills, the most expensive residential area of Switzerland can cost you as much as $37,000 for just a square meter of a land. Facing the water front of the Lake of Geneva, Chemin de Ruth always attracts the club class.

#5. Paterson Hill, Singapore

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The street with a dead end gained its title “Billionaire’s Row” for the wealthiest of the country owning a property in the lane. A square meter piece of the Paterson hill may cost you $42,500 with its shopping belt, designer stores and restaurants. What’s more than a serine residential area amidst the luxuries of life can tempt the most wealthy and influential?

#4. Boulevard du General de Gaulle, Cap Ferrat, France

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With an array of beachfront villas, Boulevard du General de Gaulle is the world’s most expensive non urban housing location. Located in a vast vicinity of 15 kilometers this beautiful hotspot is enough to lure wealthy population. Boulevard du General de Gaulle is nestled in the lap of the Mediterranean Sea and costs $79,000 per square meter.

#3. Avenue Princess Grace, Monaco

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The palm tree-lined streets of Avenue Princess Grace may look enchanting and breathtaking, however may get you deprived of $86,000 for each square meter that you buy. The residential area in the principality of Monaco is home for the elite class of the society with its location facing the Mediterranean Sea.

#2. Kensington Palace Gardens, London

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Have you ever thought of owning a house next to Duke and Duchess of Cambridge or Lakshmi Mittal? Well, then be ready to shift to Kensington Palace Gardens, but owning a piece of land may demand $107,000 for each meter square. The second most expensive residential area in the globe also contains French, Russian, and Japanese embassies.

#1. Pollock’s Path, The Peak, Hong Kong

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What’s more can give you pride than owning the most expensive piece of land on earth! Well, Pollock’s Path in Hong Kong can fulfill your dream, but the price may be a bit huge of $120,000 per meter square. The street is set atop a hill and the winding paths move close by the most influential, rich and famous of the country. The world’s most high priced street provides a spectacular view of the skyscrapers lining the harbor.

     

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Countries which say a Big No to #Valentinesday


Valentine’s Day is widely celebrated all over the world as a day when no powerful force on earth can stop any lovers from expressing their feelings and love. Unfortunately, there are some places where celebrating this day is considered as something against the culture and hence banned it by terming it as a crime. In case, you were on a look out for the right destination to celebrate Valentine’s Day, don’t visit to the following places, reports PolicyMic.

Malaysia

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In a country like Malaysia where Muslims account for over 60 percent of the population, celebrating Valentine’s Day is totally banned since 2005. The idea of not encouraging such day is firmly based on culture and religion followed by the dominating population in Malaysia.  As per the BBC reports, over 80 young Muslims were arrested in budget hotels and public parks and charged with being in “close proximity,” which is a punishable offense of upto two years imprisonment. Though Malaysia prides itself on being a diverse and tolerant nation, the authorities tends to make and enforce regulations over its Muslims masses.

Iran

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In an attempt to cast out Western influence from the budding minds of Iranian youth, this Islamic country has banned Valentine’s Day since 2011. The country’s lawmaker prohibits the production of Valentine’s Day gifts and also any promotion of the day celebrating romantic love and affections between a man and a woman.  The new Valentine’s Day guidelines strictly warn Iranians that legal action will be taken against the violators. According to the latest instructions, “Printing and producing any products related to Valentine’s Day, including posters, brochures, advertising cards, boxes with the symbols of hearts, half-hearts, red roses and any activities promoting this day are banned,” reports TIME. With the popularity of V-day on the rise in Iran within its 70 percent of the younger population, the ban apparently was imposed to curb it.

Saudi Arabia

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‘Nothing Reds on this day!’ says moral police in Saudi Arabia. In this Islamic nation, not just V-day is banned, even selling or wearing anything red on this day is totally a big ‘No.’ Every year on February 14th brings about the same procedure; flower shops and gift shops are prohibited from selling red roses, anything heart-shaped or red for that matter on that day by the “Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice” (CPVPV) also known as the Religious Police. The penalty for violating the rules would lead to bringing the store shut down permanently. Not just that, all the schoolgirls are also prohibited from wearing anything red –not even a red scarf on this very day. The real motive behind banning anything red on this day is to discourage people from celebrating the day of love as it is a non-Islamic occasion and it may lead people to go “astray”; and also restricting people from dating or having any opposite sex attraction before marriage.

Russia

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The lawmakers of Belgorod, a small city in western Russia has banned Valentine’s Day since 2011. The local authorities stated that Valentine’s Day, like Halloween, is inauspicious for the soul and not at all a Russian tradition. Therefore, it should not be celebrated. Grigory Bolotnov, a consultant to the local government on social and religious issues said “The very atmosphere of these holidays does not foster the formation of spiritual and moral values in youth,” reports the Global post. On this day, schools and clubs have been urged to cancel any Valentine’s Day related events.

Indonesia

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Indonesia, another country in the list dominated by Muslim population,  banned with the world’s most populous Muslim country is also one such country where the celebrations of the V-Day is completely banned by the Islamic authorities, clerics and residents. The Head of the hardline Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), Habib Idrus Al Gadhri exclaimed “It’s Western culture and immoral so it’s ironic Muslims celebrate it,” reports CAPITAL NEWS. In some Indonesian cities such as Balikpapan on Borneo authorities would monitor cheap hotels and conduct raids on unmarried young couples.

Multiple Bombings In Russian City Ahead Of Winter Olympics


Deadly explosions ripped into the Russian city Volgograd for the second day in a row, causing the death of at least 14 people, and raising security concerns in the weeks before the Sochi Winter Olympics.

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Monday’s explosion of an electric trolley bus follows follows a blast at Volgograd’s main railway station on Sunday that killed another 17 and injured 50 civilians. According to Russia’s Investigative Committee, a male suicide bomber caused the blast, though his remains still need to be analyzed to determine an identity and possible affiliation. “The blast was so strong that the windows of the five-storey building opposite were blown out,” said Vladimir Markin, the committee’s spokesman, in a statement. “According to our preliminary data, the power of the explosive device was equivalent to at least 4kg TNT.”

Both Sunday and Monday’s bombs contained shrapnel that was “identical,” pointing to a link between the explosions, the Investigative Committee said. “That confirms the investigators’ version that both terrorist attacks were linked,” Vladimir Markin told Russian television. “They could have been prepared in one place.”

While no individual or group has claimed credit for the bombings, Dmitiri Trenin, Carnegie Institute’s Moscow Director, sees the outlines of a strategic goal in the targets that the perpetrators have chosen. “For the time being, and maybe in preparation for bigger strikes, the terrorists have focused on some of the softer targets in the south of Russia,” Trenin writes. “Soft, but not unimportant. Volgograd, formerly Stalingrad, a symbol of Russia’s tragedy and triumph in World War II, has been singled out by the terrorists precisely because of its status in people’s minds. Their aim was to hurt Russia’s pride, as well as its people.” So far in response, St. Petersburg has cancelled its New Year’s fireworks amid safety concerns.

For now, it remains unclear just how these latest attacks will effect preparations for Sochi, due to take place in just six weeks. Russia had already begun stepping up “security efforts” ahead of the Olympics, including preparing to monitor all communications in the Black Sea city. Moscow has also banned rallies and protests scheduled to coincide with the Olympics, and begun collecting DNA samples from Muslim women. The DNA sampling began after another suicide bombing in Volgograd in October. “In response, security forces have blown up the homes of attackers’ relatives, sealed off mountain villages and rounded up young men suspected of having ties to armed fighters,” Radio Free Europe reported at the time.

That response mirrors what has been seen in parts of the Russian Federation, including the Caucasus states of Chechnya and Dagestan, that have been home to intermittent fighting over the decades, as the Kremlin has clashed with nationalist sentiments from the regions’ inhabitants as well as Islamic extremism. Earlier this year, the Caucasus Emirate’s Doku Umarov called for fighters to disrupt the the Olympics. Fingers have already begun to be pointed towards the region, with Russian news service Interfax reporting a man who received training in Dagestan conducted the first bombing. The governor of Ingushetia also took to Russian television to warn about the need to combat “radical Islam.”

The United States, though at loggerheads with Russia over several other issues — including Syria and the crackdown on gay rights ahead of the Olympics — was quick to offer its sympathies. “The United States condemns in the strongest terms today’s terrorist attack in Volgograd,” State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said in a statement on Sunday. “We send our sincere condolences to the families of the victims and stand in solidarity with the Russian people against terrorism of any kind.” U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, himself a target of Russian animus at times, tweeted out, “All my thoughts and prayers – about victims of these heinous atrocities.”

By Hayes Brown

India’s Air Force modernization plan #IAF #BRAHMOS #MIG


The Indian Air Force is aiming to become the premier Air Force of the world. Currently, the IAF is making use of improved technology and is aiming to improve it further.

       The plans for upgrade on technology and equipment can be seen under the following fields:

1. Fighter aircraft:

  • IAF plans to phase out the aged fleet of MiG 21s. All variants will be phased out by 2014, except the Bison variant, which will see last of service in 2019.
  • IAF is upgrading the its fleet of Dassault Mirage 2000 to the the Mirage 2000-5 Mk-2 variants.
  • The pride of the IAF, 40 Sukhoi Su-30 MKIs will be upgraded for carrying and delivering the BrahMos-II nuclear capable missiles.

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  • LCA(Light Combat Aircraft) Tejas, manufactured by HAL, would hopefully be inducted in IAF by2014. It has currently been granted operational clearance. LCA is a single seater multi-role aircraft. It’s operational capabilities were displayed in the IAF firepower display, Iron Fist-2013.

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  • The MMRCA( Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft) deal was bagged by Dassault Rafael. This is an advanced 4.5 gen aircraft. Running computer simulation battles with the F-22 Raptor, it was able to hold its own.

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  • India and Russia are, currently, working on a “50-50 partnership, involving sharing of technology and intellectual property” to jointly develop the Sukhoi-HAL FGFA( Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft). This aircraft would be a more advanced version of the PAK T-50 stealth fighter recently developed by Russia.
  • India is also developing an indigenous 5th Generation fighter aircraft AMCA( Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft), whose first flight deadline has been set as 2015 and would be inducted by 2020.

 

         2. Transport Aircraft

    • The current heavy lift aircraft of the IAF, Ilyushin Il-76, is nearing the end of service. It would be replaced by Boeing C-17 Globemaster aircraft, the first of which was delivered in September 2013.
    • In addition, IAF has inducted 6 C-130J Super Hercules. This aircraft has proven its worth by landing at the Advanced Landing Ground at Daulat Beg Oldi sector.

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    3. Airborne Surveilance and Warning Aircraft

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    4. Trainer Aircraft

    • The Kiran Mk II AJTs( Advanced Jet Trainers) were phased out by the IAF and were replaced by the BAE Hawks to fit into the AJT role. (The Surya Kiran aerobatics team of the IAF was also disbanded and on a personal note, I think Hawks should replace the Kirans to form an aerobatics team)

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    • HAL Sitara are ordered to act as IJTs( intermediate Jet Trainer Aircraft)
    • Swiss made Pilatus PC-7 aircraft have been chosen to fill up the role of BJT( Basic Jet Trainer) after the fleet of HAL Deepak was grounded after a crash.

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    5. Helicopters

    • The prime attack helicopter helicopter of IAF, Mil Mi-35 will be replaced by Boeing AH-64 Apache Attack Helicopter.
    • The LCH( Light Combat Helicopter) developed by HAL would be inducted hopefully by early 2014.
    • Another attach helicopter, HAL Rudra is in production phase and will see service soon.

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    • VIP Transport helicopters, Augusta Westland AW 101 were supposed to be purchased but unfortunately this plan has been stalled indefinitely.

    6. Unmanned Aerial Combat and Reconnaissance Vehicles

    • DRDO is developing a stealth combat unmanned drone AURA. This project is secret, though the basic design of the drone is known to be somewhat similar to Northrop Grumann B-2 Spirit. Its first flight date is in 2015.

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    7. Missile Systems

    • Air launched version of BrahMos has been developed and Sukhoi Su-30 MKIs will serve as launching platform.
    • Nuclear capable cruise missiles, Nirbhay, with a range of 1000 km, effective low altitude flight features to evade enemy radar systems and the ability to loiter en route the target, is in developmental phase by the DRDO.

US attack on Syria would be “aggression”, says Putin


United States’ military action against Syria without the United Nations’ approval would represent an act of “aggression,” Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has said.

In a wide-ranging interview to Russian state television and Associated Press aired on Wednesday, Mr. Putin said he did not exclude supporting the use of force against Syria at the United Nations if there was “objective, precise evidence” proving that the Syrian Government was behind the use of chemical weapons. But he strongly warned Washington against launching unilateral attack against Syria.

“In line with international law, the U.N. Security Council alone can sanction the use of force against a sovereign State. Any other pretext or method to justify the use of force against an independent sovereign State is inadmissible and can only be qualified as aggression,” Mr. Putin said.

The Russian leader reiterated his view that it would be “absurd” for the Government of President Bashar al-Assad to resort to chemical weapons at a time when the tide of war was swinging its way.

“From our viewpoint, it seems utterly absurd that the regular armed forces, which are on the offensive today and in some areas have encircled the so-called rebels and are finishing them off, that in these conditions they would start using banned chemical weapons while realising quite well that it could serve as a pretext for applying sanctions against them, including the use of force,” Mr. Putin said.

Evidence of poisonous gas attacks must be “convincing” and should not be based on “rumours” or “eavesdropping” by secret services, he added.

Mr. Putin compared the evidence presented by Washington to the notorious “anthrax” vial Secretary of State Colin Powel showed in the U.N. General Assembly to justify the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

“All these arguments turned out to be untenable, but they were used to launch military action, which many in the U.S. called a mistake. Have we forgotten it? … I assure you, we have not. Everybody remembers it and factors in in their decision,” Mr, Putin said.

The Russian President, who will host the G20 summit in St. Petersburg on Thursday, said he would raise the Syrian crisis issue at the summit.

Mr. Putin, a former career officer in the Soviet KGB, refused to disclose what Russia would do if the U.S. attacked Syria.

“We have our ideas about what we will do and how we will do it, in case the situation develops toward the use of force or otherwise,” he said. “We have our plans, but it’s too early to talk about them.”

Mr. Putin confirmed that Russia had a standing contract to supply the S-300 air defence missile system to Syria and had already delivered “some components” before the deal was “suspended.”

“But if we see that steps are taken that violate the existing international norms, we shall think how we should act in the future, in particular regarding supplies of such sensitive weapons to certain regions of the world,” he said.

Three years ago, Russia cancelled a contract to sell the S-300s to Iran under strong U.S. pressure, but last month, Moscow reportedly offered Tehran to supply a still more powerful system – Antey-2500.

–Vladimir Ryahudin–

Edward Snowden, NSA Whistleblower, Drops Russia Asylum Request


Former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden has withdrawn a request for political asylum in Russia after President Vladimir Putin said he should stop “harming our American partners”, the Kremlin said on Tuesday.

Putin’s press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, confirmed Snowden was still in the transit area of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport after flying in on June 23 from Hong Kong, and said he had not crossed through passport control onto Russian territory.

Reiterating comments by Putin, Peskov said Russia would not send the American back to the United States to face espionage charges for leaking details of secret U.S. government intelligence programmes. He also said Russian intelligence had never worked with Snowden.
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“Snowden is in the transit area of Sheremetyevo airport and has not crossed the Russian Federation‘s border (onto Russian soil)… Russia has never extradited anyone, is not extraditing anyone and will not extradite anyone,” Peskov told reporters.

“Hypothetically Snowden could stay in the Russian Federation but on one condition – that he give up any intention to engage in any form of anti-American activities, activities that are harmful to the United States.”

He said Snowden showed no sign of doing this and added: “After learning of Russian’s position yesterday, voiced by President Putin … he abandoned his intention (of staying) and his request to be able to stay in Russia.”

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Russian Cricket Team Starts Spring Preparations


The United Cricket League Russia is preparing for the 2013 games. The popularity of this sport, which has a great following worldwide, until recently was relatively unknown in Russia, points out Tanvir Khan,a member of the team management. He says that it is not surprising that the vast majority of players in the Russian League are Indians, Pakistanis, natives of Bangladesh and Sri Lanka having Russian residence permits. They are all in the majority of cases, like me, either graduates of Russian universities, businessmen or students.

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Tanvir Khan: “The United Russian Cricket League unites eight teams of 11 players each. Some of them are very good and great players. Last year, the League of United Russia was recognized and registered with the International Cricket Council (ICC) in London.

We also have 200 additional players. And among them are a few Russians. Our matches are held at the Moscow State University’s (MSU) baseball stadium which has an artificial turf cover. We play every Saturday and Sunday during the four months of favorable weather conditions. These games invariably attract quite a few Russians, some of whom want to try their hand at the game and have shown impressive results.”

Having crossed from Europe, from its homeland in Britain, to the colonies in South Asia and Africa, cricket has become extremely popular there. And now in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka it is revered as a national sport. The young students, who had come to Russia from these countries to study during the past decade or so, just could not give up their passion for cricket. We are organizing matches in Russia for the 13th year and are also participating in international matches, says Tanvir Khan. And very successfully too for we have won Silver in the European championship.

This year we have scheduled 64 games – says board member of the League of United Russia, Tanvir Khan. We expect the arrival in Moscow of teams from Latvia and Estonia. And then we shall visit them in Riga. Our colleagues in Belgium have invited our team for a friendly match. And this is not at all the complete list of our travel plans for which preparations are on going.

On May 1, this year, the Russian team will hold its first home match at the cricket stadium in MSU. It is possible that some Russian players will also take part in the match. This sport is gaining more and more recognition among the Russians.

7 Innocent Gestures That Can Get You Killed Overseas


 
If you’ve ever had your penis cut off and/or been executed while on holiday, you’ll probably know that it’s easy to offend people from other cultures. Unless you learn the ways of the place you’re visiting, even the most well-meaning tourist can regularly find his oesophagus stuffed with burning goat. But surely just plain common sense and good manners will save you, right?Wrong.

Extend Your Hand, Palm Outward in Greece

What you think you are saying:
“Phew! That was a heck of a moussaka. I’d eat another portion, but I’m completely stuffed.”

What you are actually saying:
“Phew! That was a heck of a moussaka. I’d eat another portion, but I’m too busy rubbing handfuls of shit in your face.”

What the hell?
In Greece, the “hand out” gesture is known as the moutza, and it dates back to the time of the Byzantine Empire, when criminals would be paraded through the streets on horseback, their faces blackened to indicate their shame. If they were lucky, the blackening agent would merely be charcoal. If they were unlucky, it would be a substance much, much worse …

SHIT, is what we’re saying here. Their faces would be covered in SHIT.

If you really want to piss a Greek person off, you can go for the double moutza, which features both hands splayed above your head. However, this will also make you look like a backup dancer from Cats, so it’s your call.

Give the Thumbs-Up In The Middle East

What you think you are saying:
“Ayyyyy! I’m the fuckin’ Fonz!”

What you are actually saying:
“Ayyyyy! I’m going to jam my thumb in your anus!”

What the hell?
It’s not just the Middle East. This seemingly universal gesture is also hideously offensive in West Africa and South America, whose citizens would doubtless get really confused if they ever watched Ebert and Roeper. “This movie is great, Bill! So great that I’d like to anally rape it with my thumb!”

The thumbs-up sign has been confusing people for thousands of years. Contrary to Hollywood legend, Roman gladiators were not spared by a thumbs-up, but by a hidden thumb. If the origins of both gestures are linked, we can only assume this meant, “Do not kill the prisoner, he seems the perfect solution to the emperor’s arthritic finger.”

Finish Your Meal In Thailand / The Philippines / China

What you think you are saying:
“This is a delicious meal. I mean it. I’m not the kind of guy who would lie about something like this. In fact, your meal was so fucking fabulous that I am going to finish every last morsel and then lick the plate so bright that it reveals the face of God.”

What you are actually saying:
“You call yourself a host? I came here for a meal, not some Lilliputian hors d’oeuvre that wouldn’t satisfy a mouse after a sizable brunch. Look at me. No, in the eyes. You disgust me.”

What the hell?
It is always important that the host provides you with tasty food. However, in countries where steak in bleu cheese sauce costs approximately the same as a lung transplant, it is more important that the host provides you with enough food.

In China, if you finish every last bite of your meal, you are implying that you weren’t given enough. Therefore, even if the meal is the most sexually delicious thing that has ever slid down your throat, you should still leave one last morsel on the plate to stare up at you mournfully while you eye it with ill-concealed resentment.

That said, the Orient isn’t as uptight as this example suggests. In China it’s considered perfectly good manners to talk with your mouth full and to burp after your meal. Farting seems to vary according to the situation and your current company, so ask ahead of time. Lighting the fart is frowned upon in almost all provinces.

Say “Hi” to a Member of the Opposite Sex in Saudi Arabia

What you think you are saying:
“Hi Steve! How’s things? Fancy getting a decaf latte?”

What you are actually saying:
“Hi, Steve! How’s things? Fancy booking a hotel room so that I can do immoral sex acts on you in the name of Satan?”

What the hell?
According to sharia religious laws, it is deeply immoral for a woman to greet a man in public, or associate with any man other than her husband without an escort. In February 2008, one American woman openly conversed with a man in Starbucks, and was promptly arrested, strip-searched and forced to sign false confessions.

Though, perhaps this is nitpicking considering women are not allowed to drive, vote, own shops, testify in court or ride bicycles there. Bizarrely, it’s perfectly fine for women to fly high-powered jet planes, although they’re clearly fucked if they feel like taking a bicycle to the airport.

The point being, if you’re a woman and are planning a move to Saudi Arabia, offending them with the whole public greeting thing is probably the least of your problems.

Give an Even Number of Flowers in Russia

What you think you are saying:
“Darling, this week has been the most wonderful of my life. Since I first felt the sweet joy of your caress, I have truly come to know what it is to love and to be loved. Please accept these half-dozen roses as a symbol of my eternal tender devotion.” (Lean forward for kiss.)

What you are actually saying:
DEATH! DEATH! DEEEEEEAAAAAAAATH!!!!!!

(Lean forward for kiss.)

What the hell?
In Russia, even numbers of flowers are only ever given at funerals, and such a gift is seen as inviting death, which you obviously don’t want to do unless you’re banging a goth chick.

Choosing the right gift seems to be a minefield of morbidity everywhere you go. Never give a clock to a Chinese person, as the word “clock” is almost identical to a word for “death.” Don’t wrap your present in white paper there either, as this suggests funerals. And for God’s sake, don’t give anyone in Bangladesh white flowers or they will presumably be obliged to buy a spade and bury themselves while muttering at you reproachfully.

You know what, screw giving a gift. You may come across as a selfish douchebag, but at least no one will hail you as the fourth horseman of the apocalypse.

Give a Gift With Your Left Hand, Pretty Much Anywhere

What you think you are saying:
“Thank you very much for letting me marry your daughter. She is very beautiful. In gratitude, please accept this dainty, yet tuneful instrument. Did I mention that I’m left-handed?”

What you are actually saying:
“Thank you very much for letting me marry your daughter. She is the most worthless heap of dog vomit I have ever encountered, and I dearly wish that she would die. In gratitude, please accept a generous portion of my own effluence. Did I mention that I hate you?”

What the hell?
Toilet paper may have been around in China since 589 AD, but for much of the world, it remains a prohibitively expensive luxury. In places such as India, Sri Lanka, Africa and the whole of the Middle East, doing anything with your left hand is seen as unclean, as it is (as least symbolically) your ass-wiping hand.

Eating out? Don’t even think about using your left hand. It’s better to come across as some kind of retarded monkey child than to imply that you rate your host’s food on the same level as a lightly-steamed assburger.

Of course, poop is not the only reason left-handedness is bad. According to the Qur’an, Satan himself was a southpaw, which is why he was able to successfully fool the right-handed batter that is mankind.

Give the “OK” Sign in Brazil

What you think you are saying:
“Hi Brazil, I’m US President Richard Nixon, and I’m feeling terrific!”

What you are actually saying:
“Hi Brazil, I’m US President Richard Nixon, and I’m feeling that you should all go fuck yourselves!”

(Note: The above examples are only valid if you are US President Richard Nixon)

What the hell?
In Brazil, the “OK” gesture is roughly equivalent to the finger in the US, which means you should not use it when your hotel manager asks you how your room is, unless you want to tell him that it’s purple and velvety and recently molested his wife.

The most famous incident of a misapplied “OK” sign was, in fact, Nixon’s visit to Brazil in the ’50s. While alighting from the aircraft, he lifted both hands to the cameras and double-fingered the entire nation. Nixon went on to greet the Brazilian Prime minister with a savage kick to the testicles, and concluded his visit by urinating from the window of a moving limousine.

If you’re visiting Brazil, you should also never touch any food with your fingers. Even stuff like pizzas and burgers should be eaten with a knife and fork. Not that you’ll ever need to apply this knowledge, because after reading this article, you’d be insane if you ever travel abroad again.

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What next for Syria talks after Damascus attack?


The recent attack in central Damascus which claimed the lives of at least 53 people has again doubted chances for a prompt solution to the Syrian crisis.

сирия дамаск взрыв дым заминированный атомобиль

None of the opposition groups has yet claimed responsibility for the attack. Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry are expected to discuss the situation during the talks in Berlin on February 26. There is not much optimism about the meeting, though. 

Mr. Lavrov earlier said that he was puzzled to known that the U.S. had vetoed the UNSC draft statement to the media composed by Russia which condemns the Damascus attack. Following his meeting with China’s Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi in Moscow on February 22 Mr. Lavrov accused the U.S. of ‘double-standard policy’ and ‘a dangerous trend when our U.S. partners ignore the basic principle which requires a strong condemnation of any attack’. 

On February 24 John Kerry is starting his first Europe and Middle East tour. Washington expects the Syrian crisis to dominate the agenda of the talks with Sergei Lavrov, U.S. Department of State Spokesperson Victoria Nuland said.

Victoria Nuland also said that the U.S. urges the opposition to sit down for talks with the regime, adding that the meeting could take place anywhere, including Moscow. 

Meanwhile, Russian analysts have different views on how Moscow and Washington could influence the outcome of the Syrian crisis. Boris Dolgov, expert at the Russian Institute of Oriental Studies, believes that the U.S. has been softening its position on the issue with Moscow and Washington having a good potential for finding a common ground for cooperation.

“First of all, Moscow and Washington could agree to stop arms supplies to militants in Syria. Certainly, this would require Russia and the U.S to pressure on both the Syrian government and the opposition to sit down for talks.” 

Prominent expert and the president of the Institute of Middle Eastern Studies, Yevgeny Satanovsky, thinks that Moscow and Washington won’t be able to find a compromise on the issue since they have too different approaches to the situation.

“The Syrian settlement is impossible. The talks won’t bring any result since the opposition is split over the idea, most of them not willing to have talks with the regime. They are busy with jihad, and this is not Assad`s resignation they want but elimination of the Alawites (those who belong to a branch of Shia Islam), and Bashar Assad is an Alawite. So, Moscow and Washington can just help each other to have a better understanding of the differences in their approaches.”

Mr. Satanovsky`s pessimism echoes the words by Victoria Nuland when she said that the U.S. was not going to dictate its will to Syrian opposition. 

The conflict in Syria broke out in March, 2011, and last year it turned into a civil war between the armed opposition groups and the regime. The UN says Syria’s death toll has approached nearly 70,000 people.

Andrey Fedyashin

Indian arms orders cross USD 7 billion mark in 2012: Russian Arms Exporter


Indian arms orders cross USD 7 billion mark in 2012: Russian Arms Exporter

The overall value of Indian defence orders placed with Russia has crossed USD 7 billion mark in 2012 and the outlook for current year is even more optimistic, Viktor Komardin, Chief of the delegation of ‘Rosoboronexport’ at Aero India 2013 aerospace show in Bangalore today said. The 9th Aero India show is scheduled for February 6-11.

Currently ‘Rosoboronexport’ is actively negotiating contracts for the modernisation of anti-submarine helicopters Kamov Ka-28 and Sukhoi Su-30MKI and supply of Mil Mi-17B-5 helicopters for Indian Home Ministry. Russia is also in the fray for the sale of refueller aircraft for the Indian Air Force.