‘We don’t drive carts or tanks!’ Putin says he can imagine himself buying Tesla car

Russian President Vladimir Putin says he has tried driving various foreign electric cars, and may even buy one himself. Because, believe it or not, it is not all carts and tanks that people drive in Russia.

When asked by a journalist whether he could see himself buying a Tesla car, Putin replied: “Why not?” The Russian leader was speaking during the plenary session at the Russian Energy Week.

“We are open, we buy and sell – we buy everything that is useful for us, and sell everything that is profitable. Therefore, there is nothing special about it. Do you think that we will only drive carts – or tanks? No, we don’t drive carts anymore,” he said.

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‘Witchcraft’ blamed for disappearance of 7 black cats from Yorkshire villages

The sudden disappearance of up to seven black cats from two sleepy North Yorkshire villages has locals concerned they’ve been snatched for witchcraft in the lead-up to Halloween.

The black cats vanished one by one in August and September from their homes in Croft-on-Tees and Dalton-on-Tees just a mile down the road. Black cats are considered by some to be symbols of evil omens, witchcraft and back luck.

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© Yannis Behrakis

There are no reports of cats of any other color going missing.

Harriet Boyd, 39, a lecturer in dental therapy from Croft, whose much-loved cats Arthur and Austin have vanished, said she can’t help but wonder if their disappearance is something “very sordid and strange.”

“I have been thinking in terms of witchcraft, or perhaps the closeness to Halloween. It is a disturbing thought but it’s still there,” Boyd told the Times.

Jackie Schmidt, who lives nearby, lost her black cat Tom last month. She told the newspaper that the “only plausible answer is that someone is taking them.”

“You have to wonder at someone who would do that.

“We put an ad in a local paper and that’s when we got a call from a lady in Dalton saying two black cats, very similar to the ones missing in Croft, had disappeared from there, too.

“It’s very peculiar and worrying. If we get another cat it won’t be black because this can’t be a coincidence.”

In the mid-14th century, black cats became linked with the devil and many were killed during the Black Death pandemic. In the 16th century, they became associated with witches because many of the women who were tortured to death for practicing witchcraft kept cats as companions.

So bizarre is the spate of black cat disappearances that the police are investigating.

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UEFA charges Spartak Moscow with racism after alleged monkey chants at Liverpool youth game

UEFA has begun disciplinary proceedings against Spartak Moscow after accusations their fans racially abused Liverpool player Bobby Adekanye with monkey chants during a youth game.

Spartak Moscow II played Liverpool under-18s, managed by former club captain Steven Gerrard, on Tuesday, September 26, before the two senior sides met at Otkrytie Arena in their Champions League Group E game.

Liverpool made an official complaint to UEFA, in which they claimed Spartak fans in the stands aimed monkey chants at Nigerian-born Dutch Adekanye after the 18-year-old winger came on as a second-half substitute.

UEFA has subsequently charged the reigning Russian Premier League champions and the matter is set to be reviewed on October 19.

On the pitch, Spartak II went on to win the game 2-1 at Football Pitch 4 in the Russian capital.

On the evening of September 26, Spartak and Liverpool played out a 1-1 draw, Philippe Coutinho equalizing after Fernando had put the hosts ahead with a precise free-kick curled into the top right-hand corner.

That game was threatened to be played behind closed doors after Spartak fans fired a rocket at the referee during their previous Champions League group game at FK Maribor in Slovenia.

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Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp. © John Sibley

Instead the Moscow club were subsequently barred from selling tickets to fans for their next away game in the tournament – a November 1 tie against Sevilla in Spain, as well as being fined €60,000 ($ 72,000).

The match in Slovenia was marred by violence when home fans attempted to attack Spartak and also initiated violent street battles with police before the match kicked off.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp told RT Sport in his post-match press-conference in Moscow that he recognized “a really good atmosphere” at the ground, where fans made commemorative banners to welcome the return of the Champions League football after a 15-year absence.

“What I recognized was a really good atmosphere,” Klopp said. “I’m not really interested in the great atmosphere at an away stadium.

“But about the discussions (about the fans’ behavior), when we heard it, it’s not that we’re looking forward to game behind closed doors, I prefer playing in a full stadium.”

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Elusive supermassive black hole ‘couples’ discovered by NASA (VIDEO)

Several pairs of supermassive black holes have been detected by NASA observatories in a rare find that scientists say could shed light on how the phenomena produce the strongest gravitational wave signals in the universe.

The ‘couples’ form when two galaxies collide and merge with each other, forcing their supermassive black holes close together.

READ MORE: Black hole 100,000 times bigger than sun discovered near center of Milky Way 

Five black hole ‘couples’ were identified by astronomers using a combination of data from a number of telescopes, including NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, the Wide-Field Infrared Sky Explorer Survey (WISE) and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS).

Previously, fewer than 10 confirmed pairs of growing black holes were observed from X-ray studies – and these sightings were based mostly on chance detections.

“Astronomers find single supermassive black holes all over the universe. But even though we’ve predicted they grow rapidly when they are interacting, growing dual supermassive black holes have been difficult to find,”explains Shobita Satyapal, lead author of a research paper on the discovery.

Scientists undertook a systematic search of telescope data to identify the dual black hole systems.

Closely-separated pairs of X-ray sources were found in five systems, providing evidence that they contain two growing supermassive black holes.

The data also suggests that these giant black holes are buried in large amounts of dust and gas.

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Protester interrupts Theresa May's conference speech, hands her P45 dismissal notice (VIDEO)

Theresa May’s keynote conference speech has been interrupted by a protester who handed her a P45, usually handed to employees when they are sacked, as she addressed party members in Manchester.

The disturbance disrupted the Prime Minister mid-flow.

The man has been labelled a “legend” on Twitter.

May was forced to repeat her lines as the man ran around to the front row to stage his protest – before handing her a huge P45.

She was being applauded as she began to talk about Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s past and present politics.

The protester headed straight for Boris Johnson, who was sat in the front few rows, before shouting angrily at him.

May was forced to come to an abrupt stop as Tory fans jeered and shouted for security to remove him.

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Britain's Prime Minister, Theresa May © Hannah McKay

The crowd began shouting “out, out!”

But Twitter went wild for the campaigner, labelling him  a “hero.”

Apparently completely undeterred by security forcing him out of the door, the man turned and shouted back at the angry Tories.

“Shall we, er…” a clearly flustered May began.

But the room stood and cheered for her, meaning the PM was unable to begin again.

“I was about to talk about somebody I’d like to give a p45 to,” she began.

“And that’s Jeremy Corbyn.”

Comedian Lee Nelson has claimed responsibility for the prank.

Nelson is the same prankster who threw money over Fifa President Sepp Blatter two years ago.

The breach has raised major questions over security.

“Gotta love a government we’re told can handle national security can’t keep REPEAT OFFENDING PRANKSTER Lee Nelson out of their hall,” one woman said on Twitter.

“Seems to have been comedian Lee Nelson. How the hell did he get so close to the PM? Huge questions over security,” Huff Post deputy political editor Owen Bennet said.

Others believe it did an otherwise boring speech a favor.

“Think she must have paid him, cos it sparked big applause,” one woman wrote on Twitter.

The Prime Minister’s speech had already been marred by repeated coughing fits, leaving her frontbench colleagues looking despondent. 

F-off

Things continued to get worse. Even the stage scenery went awry. The letter ‘F’ fell off the slogan behind the PM, later followed by the letter ‘E’.

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Venezuela suggests global oil trade in Russian ruble & Chinese yuan

The President of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro has proposed oil producing countries should discuss creating a currency basket for trading crude and refined products.

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© Marco Bello

“Developing a new mechanism of controlling the oil market is necessary,” he said on Wednesday at the Russian Energy Forum, being held in Moscow this week.

According to Maduro, trading paper futures has an adverse impact on the oil market, undermining attempts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to stabilize prices.

Introducing alternative currency baskets, including the yuan, ruble, and other currencies will eliminate the impact of futures trading, according to the Venezuelan president.

Maduro insisted Venezuela is dealing with its debt to Russia, and that Rosneft’s deal with Venezuelan state oil producer PDVSA is “subject to negotiation.”

“We fulfill all the obligations to Russia. If we get more favorable terms for restructuring the debt, this will be the result of a deal between the two governments,” said Maduro.

Maduro pointed out that US sanctions make it difficult to negotiate the debt issue with American debt holders.

READ MORE: Trump hopes EU joins imposing sanctions on Venezuela government

Caracas is framing a plan to deliver its crude to alternative markets should the White House impose sanctions on trading the country’s oil, Maduro said in response to a question on the possibility of PDVSA’s default.

“Venezuela has plans A, B, C, and others. There are other international companies interested in buying oil and refined products. We will create the best terms for them,” he said.

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‘Truly Russian game’: Putin mocks FC Zenit St. Petersburg for fielding 8 foreign players

Vladimir Putin had an acid exchange with the boss of FC Zenit, accusing him of not staying true to his word after the latter expressed a rather bold ambition to Russianize football – despite starting a recent Europa League match with only three Russians.

The Russian president couldn’t help but point out the irony of FC Zenit’s president Sergey Fursenko claiming to ‘Russianize’ soccer, given his side recently fielded a team with only three Russian players.

Describing growing interest in the game in Russia as “a football revolution,” Zenit’s boss praised his team’s contribution in luring spectators to stadiums.

Fursenko was speaking at a meeting of the sport’s officials in Kremlin on Tuesday.

“The beauty of football is more important than the result. By playing spectacular football, Zenit has drawn in a huge amount of fans to the stadiums – up to 50,000,” he said. “Notably, new types of people now go to stadiums – families with children.”

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Ari of Lokomotiv Moscow © Nina Zotina

Fursenko went on to paint a picture of the bright future of Russian football, noting the potential for advertisers to start pouring money into local teams to achieve the standard of their foreign rivals.

“Moreover, football will become a truly Russian game,” Fursenko said, as he concluded his emotional speech.

Putin quipped: “You’ve got eight foreigners running across the pitch, playing for Zenit in the Europa League, well done.”

The Russian leader was referring to a September 28 group stage meeting between Zenit and Real Sociedad, which the St. Petersburg side won 3-1.

Only three players in the line-up – goalkeeper Andrey Lunev, Alexander Kokorin and Daler Kuzyaev – were Russian citizens.

Of the remaining eight, five were Argentine, one Slovenian, one Serbian and one Italian.

It’s worth noting, however, that three other Russians – Dmitry Poloz, Artyom Dzyuba and Aleksandr Erokhin – came on as subs during the match.

A maximum of six non-Russian players per team can be on the pitch at any time, according to a limit on foreign players in the Russian Premier League. However, this rule does not apply when playing in European competition. 

Last week, Vice-President of Russian Football Union Sergey Anokhin said that the authorities will scrap the limit only if all government funding to the clubs is cut. Otherwise, the money invested in the Russian football will be wasted on foreigners instead of developing football infrastructure in Russian regions, he argued.

“Foreign players took that money home. No new football arenas or centers as a quarter of century ago… We should understand that it is too much of a cost for two wins in UEFA Europa League.”

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Saudi King’s historic visit to Moscow: Middle East, bilateral issues on table

King Salman of Saudi Arabia is scheduled to arrive in Moscow on Wednesday for the first such visit by a reigning Saudi monarch. He will meet Russian President Putin to discuss bilateral issues, as well as conflicts in north Africa and the Middle East.

Putin and King Salman may discuss defense industry cooperation between the two countries, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday.

“It can be assumed that it will also be on the agenda,” Peskov said when asked about the matter.

READ MORE: Russia & Saudi Arabia to set up $ 1bn energy fund

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Las Vegas police bodycam reveals chaos & terror of Mandalay shooting (VIDEO)

Police have released chilling bodycam footage from Sunday’s mass shooting in Las Vegas, capturing the sounds of screams and rapid gunfire as authorities responded to the deadliest shooting in US history.

At least 59 people were killed and more than 500 injured when Stephen Paddock opened fire at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival. He shot from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on to the spectators gathered below.

READ MORE: Deadliest US shooting: 58 killed, and 527 injured at Las Vegas music fest

In the bodycam footage, officers urgently order people away from the direction of the gunfire while a series of shots can be heard in the near background.

The footage, shared by Las Vegas Metropolitan police, shows chaotic scenes as officers try to guide people out of harm’s way amid heavy gunfire.

The video was compiled from several body cameras worn by law enforcement at the scene. Police said they are still going through a significant amount of footage from the incident.

During the latest press briefing, Undersheriff Kevin McMahill revealed that the shooting lasted up to 11 minutes and involved more than a dozen volleys of gunfire.

McMahill confirmed that leaked photos circulating on social media purporting to be from inside Paddock’s hotel room and showing the deceased suspect are authentic. The 64-year-old killed himself as authorities entered his room.

An internal investigation has been opened to determine the source of the leaks.

Police also confirmed the presence of cameras in the hotel, set up by the suspect.

Two cameras were located in the hallway to allow the attacker watch as authorities approached the room, while another camera placed inside the room door’s peephole provided a view of the hallway.

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Tory conference: Can Theresa May rescue her leadership, or has her party lost patience? (WATCH LIVE)

Theresa May’s political stock is collapsing after a battering in June’s snap election, and amid deadlocked Brexit negotiations. Can the PM convince her party she is the woman for the job, stop the cabinet infighting and rally them behind her?

Amid a crippling cabinet split over government policy and Brexit, the Tory leader is to address her party at its annual conference in Manchester, where she is expected to brief them on their “duty” to serve Britain.

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© Leon Neal

“For beyond this hall, beyond the gossip pages of the newspapers, and beyond the streets, corridors and meeting rooms of Westminster, life continues – the daily lives of ordinary working people go on,” the PM will say in her first major speech to the party since the self-imposed disaster of her snap election in June.

“And they must be our focus today. Not worrying about our job security, but theirs. Not addressing our concerns, but the issues, the problems, the challenges that concern them.

“Not focusing on our future, but on the future of their children and their grandchildren – doing everything we can to ensure their tomorrow will be better than our today.”

It comes just days after Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson gave an interview in the Murdoch-owned Sun tabloid where he set four red lines for Brexit, which include the resolve to limit the transition period to two years only and “not a second more.”

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© Toby Melville / Reuters

Because his remarks go far beyond May’s statements in Italy two weeks ago, the interview was seen as yet another challenge to the Tory leader’s authority.

Johnson, who also set himself out as a ‘man of people’ as he called on the government to allow a pay rise for public sector workers, had already stirred controversy at the beginning of the month when he penned a 4,300-word essay in the Telegraph, in which he said the UK would never agree to a divorce bill.

This neglected the fact the government had just agreed a £30 billion bill could be paid over a two-year transition period.

During the speech May will also seize the chance to quieten speculation over her leadership as she steers the UK out of the EU.

“There will be obstacles and barriers along the way. But it has never been my style to hide from a challenge, to shrink from a task, to retreat in the face of difficulty, to give up and turn away,” the PM will say, according to Sky.

“And it is when tested the most that we reach deep within ourselves and find that our capacity to rise to the challenge before us may well be limitless.”

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