‘from Russia With Love’ Series Profiles Gay Couples Living Under Putin’s Rule

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is now the worlds biggest oil and gas producer October 4, 2013, 1:12 PM By Claudia Assis The U.S. will end 2013 as the worlds largest producer of petroleum and natural gas, surpassing Russia and Saudi Arabia, the Energy Information Administration said Friday. The EIA estimated combined U.S. petroleum and gas production this year will hit 50 quadrillion British thermal units, or 25 million barrels of oil equivalent a day, outproducing Russia by 5 quadrillion Btu. Petroleum production includes crude oil, natural gas liquids, condensates, and biofuels. U.S. and Russian energy production over the past two years have been roughly equivalent. Since 2008, U.S. petroleum production has increased 7 quadrillion Btu, with dramatic growth in Texas and North Dakota, the EIA said. U.S. natural gas production has risen 3 quadrillion Btu over the same period, the agency said, while Russia and Saudi Arabia each increased their combined petroleum and natural gas production by about 1 quadrillion Btu since 2008, the EIA said. The EIA data confirm an analysis by The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, saying the U.S. was poised to overtake Russia as the worlds largest producer this year if it hasnt already. Tapping shale rock for oil and gas has fueled the U.S. boom, while Russia has struggled to keep up its output.

Move over, Russia: U.S. is now the world’s biggest oil and gas producer

“Hopefully one day well get a Jack Russell terrier. Right now, we just want simple human happiness.” Victoria and Dasha are just two of the fourteen LGBT subjects profiled in photographer Anastasia Ivanova’s touching series, ” From Russia with Love .” The project, covered in the queer arts and culture journal, Muff Magazine , features images of gay women living under Putin’s presidency, a regime that’s become infamous for its harsh anti-gay legislation . Victoria, 24 and Dasha, 27 “Sometimes our gay friends in Germany, America or England talk about their lives, and we feel as though its another world,” Olgerta and Lisa, two other subjects, told Ivanova. “No doubt they think the same about us, when we tell them of the situation in Russia. Our future is simple. We must leave.” Ivanova, and artistic director EA Bukanova, present the images of LGBT couples of all ages accompanied by personal stories about their relationships and personal lives. The women freely discuss how they met their significant others, the hardships they face as LGBT individuals, and the various hopes and dreams they have for their country. The stories range from beautiful accounts of romance in cities like Moscow and St. Petersburg to disheartening experiences that shed further light on the dismal human rights situation occurring overseas. Scroll through the photos of couples profiled in the story and head over to Muff Magazine for the full accounts. “In the future, all we want is to keep our little family together. Maybe if were lucky one day well have a child.” -Irina, 27 and Antonina, 31 “In public, we try not to hide our feelings, and are determined to hold hands and kiss each other freely, but the gay rights situation in Russia will end badly. The way we live makes us outlaws.” -Kate, 29 and Nina, 32 “We like to believe that one day the country will be free and happy, but in reality the policies our government is trying to implement do not seem to be ones that lead to a bright future.” -Katerina, 20 and Zhanna, 25 “There are no gay rights in Russia. Fighting for them feels like being involved in a criminal cabaret show and we dont want any part of it.” -Olga, 32 and Ulia, 28 “Weve been activists for almost fifteen years.

Russia and the Caribbean

Citigroup recommends buying Yandex as the company, which gets about 90 percent of revenue from text-based advertising, benefits from economic growth and increasing Internet penetration in Russia, according to the report. The bank started coverage of Mail.ru with a buy and a 12-month target price of $44 per share, implying a 12 percent gain. Mail.ru was also added to Citigroups focus list for the region. Mail.ru added 0.9 percent to $39.34 in London yesterday, the highest level since May 8, 2012, and traded at 25 times estimated earnings. The company has been trading at a discount to Yandex since March, the data show. Totally Unjustified The discount is totally unjustified, Alexander Vengranovich, an analyst at Otkritie Financial Corp. in Moscow, said by phone from Moscow yesterday. There should be no discount and Mail.ru has a chance to catch up. It looks more attractive to investors because its cheaper and because it is expected to pay a special dividend following sale of stakes in Facebook and Qiwi. Vengranovich cut his recommendation on Yandex to a hold July 29 and reiterated a buy on Mail.ru in September. Internet advertising remained the fastest-growing segment as it increased 30 percent, the data show. Russian Internet advertising grew more than fivefold to 56 billion rubles in the five years to 2012, according to AKAR. A new version of Yandex-market expected later this year will help the company increase its share in e-commerce market and boost revenue, Lepetukhina said. Yandex considers entering the video content segment, which would allow it to make money with video advertising. Lepetukhina cut her recommendation on Mail.ru to hold from buy last month and reiterated a buy on Yandex in August.

Citigroup Buy Swells Yandex Jump to 78%: Russia Overnight

State-controlled VTB bought 100 percent of Nordic telecom Tele2’s Russian business in April for $3.55 billion. Analysts have said they expect VTB to sell the firm on to another party, with many pointing to Rostelecom, the country’s fifth largest telecoms operator, as an option. Interfax news agency earlier reported that Russia’s anti-monopoly service, FAS, received a request from companies representing Bank Rossiya for permission to buy 50 percent of telecoms operator Tele2 Russia from VTB. “Bank Rossiya is considering the possibility of participating in this deal,” a press officer for the bank said by email, making no further comment regarding the details of its interest. St Petersburg-based Bank Rossiya was reported in the Russian press in June to be interested in buying a stake in Tele2, but the bank was expected to be an intermediary rather than the final purchaser of the business. Bank Rossiya is part owned by Yuri Kovalchuk, a St. Petersburg banker whose association with President Vladimir Putin dates back to the early 1990s. Interfax reported on Friday that Invinte B.V. and ABR Investments, affiliated with Bank Rossiya, applied for permission from FAS. A FAS official confirmed two companies had applied but could not name them or the entity they represent. VTB said that the bank might sell a stake in Tele2 in the next couple of weeks but that it intends to remain a large minority shareholder with a share not less than 20 percent. The bank declined comment on potential buyers.

UPDATE 2-Bank Rossiya says may take part in Tele2 Russia deal

What this suggests is that most of the Anglophone Caribbean has some catching up to do. So far, Jamaica is the only Caricom nation actively courting Russian tourists, receiving a twice weekly service from Moscow into Montego Bay. However, Barbados, the Bahamas and some Eastern Caribbean nations have also begun to consider the possibilities, although in some cases runway extensions may be required to facilitate the high take-off weight of long east bound flights. The second significant change in the Russian presence in the region has been the dramatic improvement is Russias relationship with Cuba. Earlier this year the Russian Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev, signed ten wide ranging agreements significantly strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries, effectively reversing its withdrawal following the fall of the Soviet Union. The agreements include a formula to resolve finally in 2014 the US$25 billion of Soviet-era Cuban debt that Russia holds; a preferential tariff arrangement on trade with Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan; and collaboration in a wide range of other areas of joint scientific, environmental, aviation and informatics interest. Re-engagement has also resulted in a rapid increase in trade, discussions on joint ventures in industry, technology and tourism, and in military co-operation, publicly demonstrated by the recent call in Havana by a naval task force led by the cruiser Moskva. At the same time there has been a growth in interest in improved relations with the Anglophone Caribbean. Russia has cancelled the remaining debt owed by Guyana, is offering police training and scholarships and through RUSALs majority shareholding in the Bauxite Company of Guyana (BCGI) is looking to increase its local involvement. Russian companies are also increasing their bauxite related investment in Jamaica with Rusal, which controls 65 per cent of Jamaica’s alumina capacity and operates three of the island’s four refineries, investing US$100m in a coal-fired electricity generating plant, with the objective of reducing its energy costs and reopening idle plants in 2016. There is also interest in investing in the tourism sector In the Eastern Caribbean there has been a rapid growth in interest in investment in tourism to take advantage of citizenship schemes being introduced there. In St Kitts for instance, where government has removed visa requirements for Russians, a recently announced US$50m investment is partly backed by a Canadian agency that promotes to wealthy Russians and others, locations where investment for citizenship is possible.