Already Feuding Over Greenpeace, Russia And Netherlands Now Tiff Over Diplomat’s Arrest

Russia To Debate Taking Children Away From Gay Parents

In Russia, 110 people own 35% of the country’s wealth, the report says. (Credit Suisse) Also By Ricardo Lopez October 9, 2013, 8:12 a.m. Global wealth levels have set records, but in Russia, the explosion in wealth has given way to the highest income inequality level, a new report showed. In Russia, just 110 people own 35% of the country’s wealth, according to a report released Wednesday by Credit Suisse. The country (population 139 million) has the highest wealth inequality in the world, save for a few Caribbean islands, the report said. To put that into context: Worldwide, there is 1 billionaire for every $170 billion in household wealth. In Russia, there is 1 billionaire for every $11 billion, the report said. Credit Suisse’s annual Global Wealth Report also found that since 2000, household wealth around the world has more than doubled, reaching a high of $241 trillion. Strong economic growth and rising population levels in the last 13 years are major reasons for the trend.Average wealth per adult is now at $51,600. The richest countries include Switzerland, Australia, Luxembourg and the United States. In the U.S., wealth levels have fully recovered, the report said. Americans account for 42% of the world’s billionaires. ALSO:

An artisan gives finishing touches to an effigy of demon king Ravana in preparation for the upcoming Hindu festival of Dussehra in the northern Indian city of Chandigarh October 8, 2013. The effigies are burnt during the festival which commemorates the triumph of Lord Rama over Ravana, marking the victory of good over evil. REUTERS/Ajay Verma (INDIA - Tags: RELIGION SOCIETY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)

We are trying to understand its points of vulnerability. We think that consumers of Gazprom gas in Europe will be appalled by what the company is doing in the Arctic. Greenpeace denied in separate statements that the ship was carrying drugs and said the accusation that campaigners tried to ram a boat carrying border guards is a fantasy. New charges will obviously be brought against some of the activists, Russias Investigative Committee said, without giving details. Targeting Gazprom Greenpeace is planning to target Gazprom and European companies buying its natural gas to secure the activists release, according to Naidoo. The group is considering a consumer campaign against the state-run Russian company, which supplies about a quarter of the European Unions gas, he said. Gazprom, Russias largest company, plans to become the first Russian explorer to start producing oil in the Arctic offshore as soon as this year. Greenpeace activists scaled the same drilling platform in 2012. This confirms that their goal is not to protect the environment but to attract attention, Sergei Kupriyanov , a spokesman for Moscow-based Gazprom, said by phone. The activists were detained not by Gazprom but by state investigative bodies and our European clients have absolutely nothing to do with it. 30 Countries Greenpeace campaigners earlier this month occupied gasoline stations in Germany operated by Gazprom. They also delayed a Champions League soccer game between Basel and Germanys Schalke 04, sponsored by Gazprom, unfurling a protest banner. Last month, demonstrations were staged in 30 countries, including Brazil , France and the U.S., outside Russian diplomatic missions and Gazprom offices. If we make it difficult for Gazprom to sell to Europe, that will hurt the company, said Naidoo, adding that any campaign would also target partners of Gazprom, including companies in Germany and other EU states that buy its gas. Adding to the tensions, President Vladimir Putin yesterday demanded a Dutch apology after police arrested a Russian diplomat in The Hague and allegedly beat him in front of his family, according to a statement by the Foreign Ministry in Moscow. The Netherlands today said the envoys diplomatic immunity had been violated and offered its apologies over the incident. Arctic Sunrise Two citizens of the Netherlands are among the Greenpeace activists in custody in the port city of Murmansk. The countrys authorities said Oct.

Russia Says Drugs Seized on Greenpeace Ship as New Charges Loom

The debate will likely coincide with the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi which have already been marred by boycott calls over Russia’s controversial new anti-gay legislation. The bill, published on the website of Russia’s Duma lower house of parliament, says the state can strip parents of custody if they practise “non-traditional sexual relations,” the term used in Russian laws to describe homosexual relations. Russia’s homosexual community has feared such a measure ever since President Vladimir Putin in June signed a “gay propaganda” law which sparked international condemnation. Pop singers Madonna and Lady Gaga and openly gay British actor Stephen Fry also heavily criticised the law, which bans the disseminating of information about homosexuality to minors. In a note explaining the parenting bill, lawmakers said the proposed amendment to the family code was in line with the “propaganda” law. “Harm to the child’s psyche is great if one of the parents practises sexual contact with the same sex,” the note says. The author of the bill, Alexei Zhuravlyov of the United Russia ruling party, has cited a controversial study on gay parenting conducted in 2012 by conservative US professor Mark Regnerus. The New Family Structures study claimed that adult children of lesbian mothers reported lower income and poorer health than children brought up by heterosexual couples. However many peer reviews said its results were inconclusive. Last month, when the Russian bill on parenting was first proposed, Regnerus himself criticised it as a “political project” that would harm children, in an article for US news website The Atlantic Wire. In an interview with Slon.Ru last month, Zhuravlyov said that “exposing” homosexuals would be easy enough once their children were in school. “Homosexuals should not bring up children,” he said. “It brings more harm than an orphanage.” Russia does not allow gay marriage or civil partnerships.

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Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans said Friday that he would seek to recover the ship at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, based in Hamburg, Germany, because it wasnt clear whether the ships seizure was legal. He said he would seek the release of the 30 detainees, among them activists and journalists, via diplomatic channels. Greenpeace, meanwhile, staged demonstrations around the world over the weekend calling for the release of the Arctic 30, who are being held in the northern Russian city of Murmansk. A Murmansk court on Tuesday denied bail to two of the activists and a freelance photographer who was with them. According to Borodins Twitter account, men he took to be Dutch police entered his home late Saturday night after he had refused them entry, that he identified himself and told them he enjoyed diplomatic immunity. The Russian diplomat said they handcuffed him anyway and knocked him in the head. He and his two young children were then taken to a police station and released in the early hours of the following morning. A report by Dutch state broadcaster NOS said that police traced a car that was involved in an accident earlier in the evening to Borodins home, and neighbors told police who came to investigate they were worried for the safety of the children inside. Russias Foreign Ministry dismissed an apparently similar explanation brought forward by Dutch diplomats in a formal communique. The attempt of the Dutch side to somehow justify the brutal act of the police does not stand up to the most elementary criticism, the Russian ministry said in a statement. The facts speak for themselves: During the night, a highly placed Russian diplomat had his apartment broken into by the police, who beat him, put him in handcuffs and took him to the police station. Borodin tweeted Tuesday that he and his children were fine but that he would not speak further about the matter because it is no longer a private affair. Russian lawmaker Alexei Pushkov, known as a hardliner on foreign policy, said on Twitter that it was unlikely Dutch police would have acted against the diplomat without approval from their superiors.

Greenpeace to Target Gazprom as Russia Says Drugs Seized on Ship

9 (Bloomberg) — Russia said it found drugs on a Greenpeace ship, warning it may file more serious charges against some of the groups activists already facing as long as 15 years in jail for alleged piracy during an Arctic protest. Investigators are also trying to determine who among the campaigners was responsible for trying to ram into Russias Coast Guard craft, endangering the life of officials, the Investigative Committee said in a website statement today. The detention of 28 activists and two journalists from 18 countries has provoked a diplomatic row as the Netherlands seeks to force Russia to release the Dutch-registered ship and its crew through international arbitration. Two Greenpeace protesters scaled OAO Gazprom s Prirazlomnoye rig in the Pechora Sea on Sept. 18. A day later Russias Coast Guard boarded the groups Arctic Sunrise ship in international waters and towed the vessel to Murmansk. We can only assume the Russian authorities are referring to the medical supplies that our ships are obliged to carry under maritime law, Greenpeace said in an e-mailed statement. The ship was first searched by Russian officers weeks ago, they scoured every corner of it, so we assume this announcement is designed to deflect attention from the growing global outrage over the continued imprisonment of the detainees. Adding to the tensions with the Netherlands, President Vladimir Putin yesterday demanded a Dutch apology after police arrested a Russian diplomat in The Hague and allegedly beat him in front of his family, according to a statement by the Foreign Ministry in Moscow. The Netherlands today said the envoys diplomatic immunity had been violated and offered its apologies over the incident, according to a Foreign Ministry statement. Arctic Sunrise Two citizens of the Netherlands are among the Greenpeace activists in custody in the port city of Murmansk and their boat, Arctic Sunrise, is Dutch-registered. The countrys authorities said Oct. 4 that they had started arbitration on the basis of the United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea, a decision Greenpeace said it applauds. Russian investigators said they found morphine and opium straw onboard the ship as well as dual-use equipment that may have been intended for other than ecological purposes. Greenpeace International s executive director, Kumi Naidoo , sent a letter to Putin asking for a meeting and offered to come to Russia and make himself a personal guarantor of the groups activists if they are released on bail, according to an e-mailed statement. Gazprom plans to become the first Russian company to start producing oil in Arctic as soon as this year.