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    Proton-M manufacturing defect caused launch failure

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    Proton-M manufacturing defect caused launch failure, Russia's Central Bank suggested banks monitor employees, U.S. congressmen concerned about Russia-Iran oil deal, U.S., Iran to hold nuclear talks, Families of lost Malaysian airliner passengers launch appeal for whistle-blowers, Russia's special economic zones to be controlled by regions.

    Proton-M manufacturing defect caused launch failure, Russia's Central Bank suggested banks monitor employees, U.S. congressmen concerned about Russia-Iran oil deal, U.S., Iran to hold nuclear talks, Families of lost Malaysian airliner passengers launch appeal for whistle-blowers, Russia's special economic zones to be controlled by regions.



    Izvestia reports that the commission assembled to investigate the latest launch failure of the Proton-M rocket has made public its findings. Alexander Danilyuk, head of the commission, told the daily that over 20 members of the body have concluded that a manufacturing defect made during assembly phase have resulted in destruction of the bearing hub of the turbo pump, which caused the launch failure. “This is the final version, I don't think we will be able to add anything to it.” However, a source from the Khrunichev Space Center, where the Proton-M rockets are manufactured, believes that this theory is groundless. “The bearing hub theory does not fit in the created mathematical models. However, we don't have an alternative theory. Frankly, we ourselves don't understand what happened, however, people at both the Khrunichev Center and the Chemical Automatics Design Bureau, which designed the engine, believe that the bearing hub theory does not work.” The newspaper noted that Danilyuk acknowledged the point of view of the Khrunichev center, but dismissed it.

    RBC Daily reports that the Central Bank of the Russian Federation has recommended Russian banks to monitor their employees to prevent leaks of personal data. As of June 1 banks have to analyze correspondents of their employees and monitor their web surfing habits. The renewed standard for information security has replaced the one issued in 2010; this document for the first time uses the term “information leak” and introduces measures to prevent it. The daily notes that according to experts, this means banks will have to start using DLP (data loss prevention) systems. Andrey Prozorov, leading IT security expert of InfoWatch, explains that this is a software solution, which is installed on corporate servers and bank employees, and which allows analyzing user behavior, such as web browsing, information exchange and digital correspondence. He noted that DLP is not explicitly required by the new rules, but the standard requires things like archiving email, which would allow conduction of an internal investigation should a data leak occur. Other experts agreed that the document implicitly requires usage of DLP systems.

    Kommersant reports that American legislators have called upon the U.S. government to introduce sanctions against Russia over an expected oil deal with Iran. Ed Royce, Chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, believes that the discussed contract “could undermine the sanctions regime and weaken American negotiating leverage.” The newspaper talked with representatives of Russian and Iranian governments. A source from Russia's State Duma said that Russia should not look around at the United States and encroach on its own interests. Leonid Kalashnikov, first deputy chairman of the State Duma International Affairs Committee said he didn't rule out the U.S. imposing sanctions as “they have been ignoring all international norms for a while now,” noting that the recent S-300 AA system deal was similarly under pressure from Washington, even though no laws or treaties were broken. Meanwhile, sources from Russian and Iranian governments told the newspaper that the oil contract is in advanced stage of negotiations, but there is a number of disputed issues, including the oil price.

    The Washington Post writes that the United States is reassembling key members of the diplomatic team that held secret negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program, leading to a breakthrough agreement, and sending them to Geneva for direct talks with representatives from Tehran in hopes of making progress toward a comprehensive final deal. The discussions involving Deputy Secretary of State William Burns, Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman and Jake Sullivan, Vice President Biden’s top foreign policy adviser, are set for Monday and Tuesday. The European Union’s political director, Helga Schmid, will sit in on the talks. The daily reminds that the interim deal reached in November by Iran and six world powers — the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany — limited Iran’s uranium enrichment program. In exchange, some penalties imposed against Iran were eased. But sanctions such as those targeting Iran’s oil imports have remained in place. Those nuclear talks are scheduled to resume June 16 with an informal deadline of July 20 for a comprehensive deal, the daily reminds.

    The Telegraph writes that families of passengers on the missing Malaysia Airlines flight have launched a $5 million crowd-funding campaign to hire private investigators and reward any whistle-blower who comes forward with information about the plane’s disappearance. The daily notes that as the search for debris moves to a new uncertain phase covering a vast stretch of the Indian Ocean, some of the families used the three month anniversary of the disappearance of the Boeing 777 to launch a “Reward MH370” campaign to try and find new clues. The article reminds that despite intensive aviation and police investigations, authorities have been unable to explain why the plane carrying 239 passengers made a sudden turn westward and vanished. Some of the families have accused authorities of a cover-up and claim the airline and governments have failed to release information about the flight. For example, Mike McKay, a New Zealander who said he spotted the plane while working on an oil rig off the coast of Vietnam, was reportedly fired for making the claim.

    The Moscow Times reports that as of next year, responsibility for Russia's special economic zones — key institutions that have proved an invaluable boon to domestic and international companies investing in Russia — may be transferred from the federal to regional governments. The decision to delegate management of the zones was reached in late May at a meeting under Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak. The daily notes that the Economic Development Ministry confirmed that the decision had been taken. Kozak's spokesman told the newspaper that the shakeup will have to be approved by the government before coming to fruition. The article reminds that the special economic zone project was launched by the Economic Development Ministry in 2005 and has bloomed to a total of seventeen zones across Russia, which offer tax benefits, customs benefits, simplified registration procedures and other preferential treatment to investors. Crimea is expected to become Russia's eighteenth special economic zone.All existing commitments to investors, including promises of land in the zones and anticipated infrastructural development, will be transferred to the regions, the daily concludes.

    Proton-M, Izvestia, Kommersant, The Telegraph, RBC Daily, The Moscow Times, The Washington Post, Ed Royce, Andrey Prozorov, Alexander Danilyuk
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