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What the world is reading


A new chapter has begun in the diplomatic history of Russia and Ukraine with the election of Viktor Yanukovych as president of Ukraine. Elected to power in February, the pro-West Yanukovych reached a new natural gas and rental agreement with Russian president Dmitry Medvedev, says a report in the latest edition of Beijing Review. "Ukraine can now buy Russian gas at a 30-percent discount if the world gas price is below $330 per 1, 000 cubic meters. If the price rises above that, Ukraine will receive a discount of $100 per 1, 000 cubic meters. Yanukovych also expressed support for Russia's initiative to establish a new security system in Europe, saying that Ukraine will participate as a non-ally of any military or political alliance. These agreements were rapidly approved in both countries' parliaments, as they felt cooperation was key to a bilateral relationship. " However, there is no reason for Ukraine to become complacent. "During Yanukovych's Russia visit in March, Deputy Speaker of Russian State Duma, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, said problems like the Black Sea Fleet were Yanukovychs political bait. The Ukrainian president's goal, he said, was to persuade Russia to continue transporting natural gas through Ukraine. " Ukraine charges rent from Russia's Black Sea Fleet to use its port of Sevastopol. Yanukovych also faced criticism at home. "Ukrainian opposition leader Tymoshenko said Yanukovych was ready to sell state-owned energy transportation systems, , and calling it a yard sale of the country's national interests. " Nevertheless, the two countries are neighbours with extremely close ties and they should strengthen bilateral relationship for geopolitical reasons.


Chris Gentilviso tries out the latest twist to speed dating - speed plating. Brain child of celebrity chef Danny Boome, speed plating is a unique dating and culinary experience in which you get to try out a four-course gourmet meal with four different dates. The firs speed plating session premiered on August 17 in New York City with a batch of 36 awkward attendees who had to talk about food with the person in front of them. "For $100, participants got a four-course meal at Tree, a quaint bistro in New York's East Village, with 20 minutes per course to wine and dine a potential love match. Meal choices had been filed online beforehand, eliminating the ordering onus. Still, the evening got off to a slow start. " Gentilviso got a first hand taste of the experience. "I took my assigned seat across from an alluring Indian woman with big brown eyes and a wide smile. Once she politely ignored me tripping over a floor divider, we began sharing a plate of asparagus mated with artichoke hearts. The otherwise bland veggies took on an aphrodisiac edge with the infusion of saffron aioli and horseradish mayo, tilting the taste buds in a romantic direction. But before we could blink, the 20 minutes were up. I had learned that she was born in Mumbai, on her way to a Ph. D. in African-American literature, and really disturbed by a former date who wore incredibly tight jeans. She learned that I was a clutz. "

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