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Japanese payment system to issue 3mn cards in Russia by end of 2016

RT -

"We are ready to discuss the project of joint payment cards with the National Payment Card System," said the company’s CEO Takashi Suetsugu.

"We’ve already signed agreements with three Russian banks, including Gazmprombank, Alfa-Bank and VTB,” he said. “But we would also like to cooperate with one of the biggest players in this market, for example with Sberbank.”

Suetsugu added most partners plan to issue the first JCB cards at the end of December-January. So, by the spring, several banks will be cooperating with JCB.

“We are discussing the possibility of cooperating with more than 15 potential partners that occupy 80 percent of the payment market,” he said.

In the spring, Visa and MasterCard stopped servicing Russia’s sanctioned Rossiya and SMP banks and their subsidiaries. This prompted Russia to speed up efforts to create its own national payment system.

Bank Rossiya started issuing bank cards using Russia’s domestic universal electronic card (PRO-100) payment system in early November.

READ MORE: Blacklisted Bank Rossiya issues new cards using domestic payment system

A number of banks decided to cement relations with the Chinese system, UnionPay, and Japan’s JCB.

In October, the CBR (Central Bank of Russia) registered JCB International Eurasia LLC, JCB’s payment operator.

Japanese payment system to issue 3mn cards in Russia by end of 2016

RT -

"We are ready to discuss the project of joint payment cards with the National Payment Card System," said the company’s CEO Takashi Suetsugu.

"We’ve already signed agreements with three Russian banks, including Gazmprombank, Alfa-Bank and VTB,” he said. “But we would also like to cooperate with one of the biggest players in this market, for example with Sberbank.”

Suetsugu added most partners plan to issue the first JCB cards at the end of December-January. So, by the spring, several banks will be cooperating with JCB.

“We are discussing the possibility of cooperating with more than 15 potential partners that occupy 80 percent of the payment market,” he said.

In the spring, Visa and MasterCard stopped servicing Russia’s sanctioned Rossiya and SMP banks and their subsidiaries. This prompted Russia to speed up efforts to create its own national payment system.

Bank Rossiya started issuing bank cards using Russia’s domestic universal electronic card (PRO-100) payment system in early November.

READ MORE: Blacklisted Bank Rossiya issues new cards using domestic payment system

A number of banks decided to cement relations with the Chinese system, UnionPay, and Japan’s JCB.

In October, the CBR (Central Bank of Russia) registered JCB International Eurasia LLC, JCB’s payment operator.

Play it by ear: Obama stuns Aung San Suu Kyi with kiss

RT -

Obama arrived at Suu Kyi’s home in Rangoon on Friday to give Myanmar’s nominally civilian government a tongue lashing over its treatment of religious minorities, and a recent ruling that will keep ‘The Titanium Orchid’ out of the next presidential race.

Suu Kyi, released four years ago after spending the better part of two decades under house arrest, cannot run for the country’s highest office due to a constitutional clause, which prohibits those with strong ties to a foreign national from running for president. Her sons are British citizens, as was her late husband. Obama threw his support behind Suu Kyi’s bid to change the constitution.

“I don’t understand a provision that would bar somebody from running for president because of who their children are,” AP cites Obama as saying at Suu Kyi’s lakeside home.

“That doesn’t make much sense to me” he continued.

But it was what Obama did out of earshot of the microphone that really left an impression on Myanmar’s longstanding pro-democracy icon.

Following joint comments by the Commander in Chief and the alluring lawmaker, Obama gave Suu Kyi an awkward side hug before planting a big wet one right on her ear.

Suu Kyi, a widow of over 15 years, took the gesture with good grace.

The same might not be said for Barack’s wife, Michelle, who has previously gotten peeved with her man for being a bit too familiar with female world leaders.

During a memorial service for Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg last year, Michele Obama looked visibly upset as Obama bantered with Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt, at one point putting his hand on her shoulder. Obama later took a selfie with Thorning-Schmidt and British PM David Cameron while Michele looked way.

Later photographs showed that Barack and Michele had switched seats, with the mopey president’s back inclined slightly to Thorning-Schmidt, while Michele rolled her eyes.

Of course, Obama’s not the only world leader to spark controversy with a largely innocuous gesture, which happened to be photographed from every which way.

Earlier this week, Putin put a shawl around China’s First Lady Peng Liyuan during a fireworks display at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Beijing.

The move spawned a fusillade of headlines in the cut of ‘Coatgate.’

Chinese censors later scrubbed the footage of the incident.

And during the 2013 G20 summit in Saint Petersburg, Putin provoked a similar snarkstorm when he offered a shawl to German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Putin, the blanket man: http://t.co/hHcKIGkfiN Remeber St Petersburg and Merkel? pic.twitter.com/LFdUnh1PwU

— Nikolaus von Twickel (@niktwick) November 11, 2014

Play it by ear: Obama stuns Aung San Suu Kyi with kiss

RT -

Obama arrived at Suu Kyi’s home in Rangoon on Friday to give Myanmar’s nominally civilian government a tongue lashing over its treatment of religious minorities, and a recent ruling that will keep ‘The Titanium Orchid’ out of the next presidential race.

Suu Kyi, released four years ago after spending the better part of two decades under house arrest, cannot run for the country’s highest office due to a constitutional clause, which prohibits those with strong ties to a foreign national from running for president. Her sons are British citizens, as was her late husband. Obama threw his support behind Suu Kyi’s bid to change the constitution.

“I don’t understand a provision that would bar somebody from running for president because of who their children are,” AP cites Obama as saying at Suu Kyi’s lakeside home.

“That doesn’t make much sense to me” he continued.

But it was what Obama did out of earshot of the microphone that really left an impression on Myanmar’s longstanding pro-democracy icon.

Following joint comments by the Commander in Chief and the alluring lawmaker, Obama gave Suu Kyi an awkward side hug before planting a big wet one right on her ear.

Suu Kyi, a widow of over 15 years, took the gesture with good grace.

The same might not be said for Barack’s wife, Michelle, who has previously gotten peeved with her man for being a bit too familiar with female world leaders.

During a memorial service for Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg last year, Michele Obama looked visibly upset as Obama bantered with Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt, at one point putting his hand on her shoulder. Obama later took a selfie with Thorning-Schmidt and British PM David Cameron while Michele looked way.

Later photographs showed that Barack and Michele had switched seats, with the mopey president’s back inclined slightly to Thorning-Schmidt, while Michele rolled her eyes.

Of course, Obama’s not the only world leader to spark controversy with a largely innocuous gesture, which happened to be photographed from every which way.

Earlier this week, Putin put a shawl around China’s First Lady Peng Liyuan during a fireworks display at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Beijing.

The move spawned a fusillade of headlines in the cut of ‘Coatgate.’

Chinese censors later scrubbed the footage of the incident.

And during the 2013 G20 summit in Saint Petersburg, Putin provoked a similar snarkstorm when he offered a shawl to German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Putin, the blanket man: http://t.co/hHcKIGkfiN Remeber St Petersburg and Merkel? pic.twitter.com/LFdUnh1PwU

— Nikolaus von Twickel (@niktwick) November 11, 2014

World’s Top 20 to discuss how to boost global GDP by 2%

RT -

Most of the leaders arrived in Brisbane late Friday evening, with the main summit events scheduled to kick off on Saturday.

FOLLOW LIVE UPDATES HERE

"Like last year, this year’s G20 must be more than a talkfest," Australian President Tony Abbott said.

“The emphasis on this meeting is on trying to lift economic growth. The target is to try and get countries to commit to an extra 2% growth on what they would otherwise achieve,” Michael Pascoe, an Australian financial journalist, told RT.

However, topics like climate change, Ukraine, and Ebola are likely to crop up, despite the summit being a forum for economic dialogue.

“The G20 is primarily an economic meeting. It’s not a human rights meeting, it’s not meant to be an international relations meeting, it’s about getting the global economy functioning more effectively,” Pascoe said, adding that whenever politicians are in town, they will talk politics.

Many of the leaders are arriving fresh from the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit held in Beijing this week, where the US and China struck a major climate change deal, and Russia and China signed several energy accords, including a second major gas deal.

“I think you can expect the G20 to be a continuation of the APEC meeting. There are big factors at stake here,” Pascoe said.

G20 members include: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the UK, the US and the 28-nation EU.

Much attention will be on the leader of Russia, Vladimir Putin.

READ MORE: ‘Economic isolation breach of intl law': Top 5 takeaways from Putin ahead of G20

“Russia is an important global economy. You wouldn’t be having a G20 meeting without a major player. On the scale of things, the Russian economy is the same as Italy’s in GDP terms. You got to have a place at the table, and of course from a geopolitical view, it’s more important than its size in GDP,” Pascoe said.

Obama is expected to push the US led Trans-Pacific partnership (TPP), a trade agreement that doesn’t include China or Russia. The five BRICS nations- Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa are all advocates for developing economies.

The meeting will also show developing new alliances within the group, which as a whole control 80 percent of world trade.

Australia may be put in the hot seat for its controversial stance on emissions, after it became the first developed country in history to slash carbon credits.

World’s Top 20 to discuss how to boost global GDP by 2%

RT -

Most of the leaders arrived in Brisbane late Friday evening, with the main summit events scheduled to kick off on Saturday.

FOLLOW LIVE UPDATES HERE

"Like last year, this year’s G20 must be more than a talkfest," Australian President Tony Abbott said.

“The emphasis on this meeting is on trying to lift economic growth. The target is to try and get countries to commit to an extra 2% growth on what they would otherwise achieve,” Michael Pascoe, an Australian financial journalist, told RT.

However, topics like climate change, Ukraine, and Ebola are likely to crop up, despite the summit being a forum for economic dialogue.

“The G20 is primarily an economic meeting. It’s not a human rights meeting, it’s not meant to be an international relations meeting, it’s about getting the global economy functioning more effectively,” Pascoe said, adding that whenever politicians are in town, they will talk politics.

Many of the leaders are arriving fresh from the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit held in Beijing this week, where the US and China struck a major climate change deal, and Russia and China signed several energy accords, including a second major gas deal.

“I think you can expect the G20 to be a continuation of the APEC meeting. There are big factors at stake here,” Pascoe said.

G20 members include: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the UK, the US and the 28-nation EU.

Much attention will be on the leader of Russia, Vladimir Putin.

READ MORE: ‘Economic isolation breach of intl law': Top 5 takeaways from Putin ahead of G20

“Russia is an important global economy. You wouldn’t be having a G20 meeting without a major player. On the scale of things, the Russian economy is the same as Italy’s in GDP terms. You got to have a place at the table, and of course from a geopolitical view, it’s more important than its size in GDP,” Pascoe said.

Obama is expected to push the US led Trans-Pacific partnership (TPP), a trade agreement that doesn’t include China or Russia. The five BRICS nations- Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa are all advocates for developing economies.

The meeting will also show developing new alliances within the group, which as a whole control 80 percent of world trade.

Australia may be put in the hot seat for its controversial stance on emissions, after it became the first developed country in history to slash carbon credits.

Window Washing a Skyscraper Is Beyond a Robot's Reach

Slashdot -

HughPickens.com writes "Patrick McGeehan writes in the NYT that the image of a pair of window washers clinging to a scaffold dangling outside the 68th floor of 1 World Trade Center have left many wondering why robots can't rub soapy water on glass and wipe it off with a squeegee relieving humans of the risk of injury, or death, from a plunge to the sidewalk? The simple answer, several experts say, is that washing windows is something that machines still cannot do as well as people can. "Building are starting to look like huge sculptures in the sky," says Craig Caulkins. "A robot can't maneuver to get around those curves to get into the facets of the building." According to Caulkins robotic cleaning systems tend to leave dirt in the corners of the glass walls that are designed to provide panoramic views from high floors. "If you are a fastidious owner wanting clean, clean windows so you can take advantage of that very expensive view that you bought, the last thing you want to see is that gray area around the rim of the window." Another reason for the sparse use of robots is that buildings require a lot more maintenance than just window cleaning. Equipment is needed to lower people to repair facades and broken windows, like the one that rescue workers had to cut through with diamond cutters to rescue the window washers. For many years, being a window cleaner in Manhattan was regarded as one of the most dangerous occupations in the world: by 1932, an average of one in every two hundred window cleaners in New York was killed each year. Now all new union window cleaners now take two hundred and sixteen hours of classroom instruction, three thousand hours of accredited time with an employer and their union makes sure workers follow rigorous safety protocols. In all, there are about 700 scaffolds for window washing on buildings in New York City, says union representative Gerard McEneaney. His members are willing to do the work because it pays well: as much $26.89 an hour plus benefits. Many of the window cleaners are immigrants from South America. "They're fearless guys, fearless workers."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Cameron in Lycra? PM skips G20 jog, says spandex not a vote winner

RT -

The activity was scheduled for the eve of the G20 summit in Brisbane, Australia, but Cameron told business leaders at a breakfast the next morning: “I thought that might involve wearing more Lycra than is consistent with seeking re-election.”

Rather than breaking a sweat, the prime ministers instead opted for a stroll to the Opera House along Sydney’s Macquarie Street. Neither PM opted to sport their controversial Lycra for the occasion, donning smart-casual attire.

The May 2015 general election will see Cameron attempt to oust his Liberal Democrats coalition partners and return a fully Conservative government.

Cameron’s fears of inviting unwanted attention by wearing unstatesman-like Lycra, however, were overshadowed by Labour leader Ed Miliband’s huge decline in popularity in the run up to the general election.

Dubbed his “worst week in politics,” Miliband has met criticism from his own MPs and traditional Labour voters about his perceived inability to govern the country.

In a survey by Ipsos Mori published on Wednesday, it was found that only 13 percent of voters think that Miliband is ready to be prime minister.

There are further claims that Miliband is facing a backlash from “depressed” frontbenchers who are concerned he is leading Labour to defeat.

Cameron is using the G20 conference to consolidate the UK’s position on tackling extremism.

In a speech to the Australian parliament on Friday, Cameron outlined the UK’s proposed anti-terror laws, highlighting the struggle against “extremist narratives” and stressing the importance of maintaining democratic values.

He further urged leaders to continue work on both EU-US and Australia-EU trade agreements.

Lycra gaffe aside, a more serious criticism came from Australian Senator Christine Milne, who claimed Cameron neglected to address climate change in his speech.

Milne said both Abbott and Cameron had failed to talk about the “elephant in the room.”

The G20 business breakfast did, however, provide an opportunity for the Australian PM to reflect on the UK and Australia’s historical relationship.

Abbott called the relationship “as warm, as intimate and as important as any relationship on this earth.”

Cameron in Lycra? PM skips G20 jog, says spandex not a vote winner

RT -

The activity was scheduled for the eve of the G20 summit in Brisbane, Australia, but Cameron told business leaders at a breakfast the next morning: “I thought that might involve wearing more Lycra than is consistent with seeking re-election.”

Rather than breaking a sweat, the prime ministers instead opted for a stroll to the Opera House along Sydney’s Macquarie Street. Neither PM opted to sport their controversial Lycra for the occasion, donning smart-casual attire.

The May 2015 general election will see Cameron attempt to oust his Liberal Democrats coalition partners and return a fully Conservative government.

Cameron’s fears of inviting unwanted attention by wearing unstatesman-like Lycra, however, were overshadowed by Labour leader Ed Miliband’s huge decline in popularity in the run up to the general election.

Dubbed his “worst week in politics,” Miliband has met criticism from his own MPs and traditional Labour voters about his perceived inability to govern the country.

In a survey by Ipsos Mori published on Wednesday, it was found that only 13 percent of voters think that Miliband is ready to be prime minister.

There are further claims that Miliband is facing a backlash from “depressed” frontbenchers who are concerned he is leading Labour to defeat.

Cameron is using the G20 conference to consolidate the UK’s position on tackling extremism.

In a speech to the Australian parliament on Friday, Cameron outlined the UK’s proposed anti-terror laws, highlighting the struggle against “extremist narratives” and stressing the importance of maintaining democratic values.

He further urged leaders to continue work on both EU-US and Australia-EU trade agreements.

Lycra gaffe aside, a more serious criticism came from Australian Senator Christine Milne, who claimed Cameron neglected to address climate change in his speech.

Milne said both Abbott and Cameron had failed to talk about the “elephant in the room.”

The G20 business breakfast did, however, provide an opportunity for the Australian PM to reflect on the UK and Australia’s historical relationship.

Abbott called the relationship “as warm, as intimate and as important as any relationship on this earth.”

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