Putin hails extension of New START Treaty
Russian President Vladimir Putin has welcomed the decision to extend the New START nuclear weapons treaty by a full five years. The decision came after a telephone conversation between the Russian leader and President Joe Biden.
The remainder of the coversation focussed on a range of issues including the poisoning of Alexey Navalny and both sides are stressing that the nuclear deal doesn’t indicate a wider re-set. However, the ability to harvest low hanging fruit at least shows that President Putin has not yet decided to test his new opposite number.
Mirziyoyev signals crack down on lazy ministers and governors
President Mirziyoyev of Uzbekistan has made a string of public comments about the need for his ministers and regional governors to smarten up their act. From decrying the number of meetings they are holding in their offices in the capital, Tashkent, and urging them to get out more, to warning that one or more of them is about to get fired, the President is setting out a public face of being on the side of the public and against lazy bureaucrats.
It has long been suggested that Mirziyoyev’s main concern is to see his country rise in a number of key international indicators covering economic as well as social indices. He recognises that if his country is to attract investment from abroad then it must be seen as a good (or at least improving) place to do business. Hence the major focus in his announcements about corruption.
The president faces re-election later in 2021 and, whilst no one seriously believes that he will not win another term, he is clearly anxious to make the support he receives as genuine as possible. The flurry of press comments appears to be as much for the domestic as for foreign ears.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says platform will halt political suggestions
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has said that the tech giant will scale back on the way that its algorithm makes suggestions about political sites. This move had been signalled in relation to American users.
Recognising that users are perhaps tired of their reading being dominated by political fights, Facebook has already been criticised by some campaign groups who fear that their attempts to put single issue messages in front of voters may be affected.