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Medvedev: Russia’s National Projects Focus on Human Development

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Russia’s “national projects”, launched last year after president Vladimir Putin’s May Decree,  intend to provide large-scale investments in human development and improving the well-being of the country’s citizens, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Tuesday at the International Labor Conference in Geneva.

“Last year we launched 12 national projects, the plan for modernizing and expanding the backbone infrastructure. In fact, this is a large-scale investment in people, in their development,” Medvedev said, according to TASS.

The Russian government has published information on its website about all the 12 National Projects, which are going to be implemented up until late 2024. The data were compiled on the basis of documents and certification from the National Projects that were approved at a session of the presidium of the Presidential Council for Strategic Development and National Projects dated December 24, 2018.

The key areas of the country’s strategic development were established by President Vladimir Putin’s order of May 7, 2018. The document outlined 12 priority areas: the Digital Economy, the Ecology, Labor Productivity and Supporting Employment, International Cooperation and Export, Education, Culture, Small and Medium Businesses and Support for Business Initiatives, Healthcare, Demographics, Safe and High-Quality Roads, Housing and Urban Environment and Science.

The work on these projects is aimed at “providing breakthrough scientific-technological and socio-economic development for Russia, increasing the standard of living, creating conditions and opportunities for personal fulfillment and unlocking every person’s talent,” the government stressed. The budget of the National projects will total 25.7 trillion rubles ($398 billion).

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Erdogan says he will not declare ceasefire in northern Syria

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has made it clear to U.S. President Donald Trump that Turkey will never declare a ceasefire in northern Syria and will not negotiate with Kurdish forces it is fighting in its offensive into the region.

Turkey forged ahead with its offensive against the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia in northern Syria on Tuesday despite U.S. sanctions and calls for it to stop, while Syria’s Russia-backed army moved on the key city of Manbij that was abandoned by U.S. forces.

The YPG, the key component of the forces who fought Islamic State, is seen by Ankara as a terrorist group linked to Kurdish separatist insurgents in Turkey.

On Monday, Trump announced sanctions on Turkey to punish it for the offensive. On Tuesday, a senior U.S. official said Washington would threaten more sanctions to persuade Turkey to reach a ceasefire and halt its offensive.

However, speaking to reporters on a flight back from Baku, Erdogan said the offensive would continue until it reaches its aims, and added that he was not worried about sanctions.

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Woman killed in Russian apartment building blast

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A woman died and other young woman sustained injuries when a five-story building partially collapsed following an explosion in Russian village of Novonezhino.

Around 17 apartments were damaged when the ceiling slab, wall and the stair case of the building collapsed, Emergency Department said.

“The people were evacuated, 17 apartments were damaged. Seven elders have been transferred to temporary accommodation center,” the authorities said.

Rescue crews were searching for people who are believed to be trapped under the rubble. Rescuers were assisting the residents save their pets and belongings from the damaged apartments.

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Greek Church recognizes autonomy of Orthodox Church of Ukraine

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The leading figures of the Church of Greece decided at a meeting this weekend to recognize the autocephalous Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU), making it the first of the Eastern Orthodox churches to take such a step.

The Holy Synod of the Church of Greece recognized the autonomy of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine in line with a request by the Istanbul-based Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios

The Orthodox Times says the Greeks’ formal recognition will take place October 19 in Thessaloniki, with Archbishop Ieronymos and the OCU’s Metropolitan Epifaniy of Kyiv and All Ukraine present.

The Patriarchate of Constantinople, generally considered the spiritual headquarters for Orthodoxy, granted the Orthodox Church of Ukraine independence in January in a move that was adamantly resisted by Moscow and the Russian Orthodox Church. The new Orthodox Church of Ukraine installed its first metropolitan, Epifaniy, at a ceremony in Kyiv on February 3 in a process that further established the new church body’s independence

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