Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 7th 2015 Contents A21
Saturday, March 7, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Russian President Vladimir Putin
cut his salary by ten per cent yesterday
as his country faces the worst eco-
nomic crisis in years. The move will
cost him around 900,000 rubles
($14,000) a year.
The Russian economy is struggling
because of low oil prices and economic
sanctions imposed by the West over
Moscow s role in the conflict in Ukraine.
The ruble has collapsed, losing 40
per cent against the dollar in just six
months. GDP is expected to shrink
by five per cent this year, inflation is
soaring, and living standards are
Putin ordered pay cuts for all mem-
bers of his administration yesterday,
just months after demanding ten per
cent spending cuts across the govern-
ment---with defence being the only
department spared the austerity.
Putin earned 3.6 million rubles
($59,800) in 2013, his latest available
financial declaration reveals.
But according to newer official doc-
uments, his presidential salary more
than doubled in April 2014, bringing
it to roughly 9 million rubles per year
That is a modest wage compared to
some other world leaders. President
Barack Obama makes $400,000 a year,
while German Chancellor Angela
Merkel brings home $240,000 per year.
But Putin s real net worth remains
a mystery. Officially, he owns two apart-
ments, a garage, two GAZ Volga cars,
a caravan, and a piece of land.
Unofficially, he is thought to be
much, much richer. Bill Browder, the
CEO of Hermitage Capital Manage-
ment, and formerly Russia s largest for-
eign investor, told CNN he thinks Putin
might be worth as much as $200 bil-
Putin has previously denied being
the richest person in Europe.
Putin gets tough,
slashes own salary
A boy who dressed as a character
from Fifty Shades of Grey was exclud-
ed from his school s World Book Day
celebrations, according to his moth-
er.Liam Scholes, 11, went to Sale High
School as Christian Grey from the
explicit novel, wearing a grey suit and
carrying cable ties and an eye mask.
His mother Nicola Scholes, a teacher,
said the Greater Manchester school
ruled the costume was "inappropriate"
and excluded her son from photographs.
Scholes said she feels Liam s outfit
was actually more appropriate than
some of the costumes worn by others.
She said it was deemed "appropriate
for a teacher to dress up as a serial
killer" and "acceptable for kids to dress
up as people that kill others" and "come
in with (toy) guns."
"Liam was advised to dress as James
Bond...but (he) was a promiscuous
character who kills people," she said.
"Personally, I m more offended by a
Scholes told BBC Radio 5 Live that
her son s classmates all found it funny,
but that the school had no sense of
"It has been massively blown out of
proportion. It was meant as a laugh
She said she would not have allowed
her eight-year-old son to dress up as
the character because he was still in
However, she said secondary school
children "all talk about sex" and Liam s
school friends all knew who he had
dressed up as.
Fifty Shades of Grey boy,
11, causes stir at school
A GRAVE JOB
A grave digger works as his wife watches, at a cemetery where workers killed by a blast at the
Zasyadko coal mine will be buried, in Donetsk Thursday. Thirty-three miners were confirmed dead late
on Wednesday after the coal mine blast in the rebel-held city of Donetsk near the battle front in eastern
Ukraine, indicating no one trapped in the rubble survived. Mine officials said the explosion was most
likely caused by gas and not fighting in the war between Moscow-backed rebels and Ukraine
government forces. REUTERS PHOTO
ARUSHA---A court in Tanzania has
sentenced four people to death for the
murder of an albino woman who was
killed so her hacked-off limbs could
be used in magic, officials said yes-
The sentencing comes after Tanza-
nia s President Jakaya Kikwete blasted
the wave of killings of albinos, whose
body parts are used for witchcraft, as
a "disgusting and big embarrassment
for the nation."
The killers who were convicted
include Charles Nassoro, the husband
of the murdered woman. Court officials
in Mwanza, northwest Tanzania, said
the victim had her legs and right hand
hacked off with an axe and machete
after being attacked while eating dinner
in her village.
"The prosecution has proved the case
beyond reasonable doubt," High Court
judge Joaquine Demello told state radio
after Thursday s verdict.
She also told the Citizen newspaper
the sentence had also taken into account
"the escalating killing of people with
albinism in the country."
According to a UN expert, attacks
on people with albinism have claimed
the lives of at least 75 people since
2000, and that albino body parts sell
for around $600, with an entire corpse
Despite the handing down of the
death penalty, Tanzania has had a de
facto moratorium on capital punishment
and carried out its last execution, by
hanging, in 1994. There are currently
17 people on death row in the country
for killing albinos.
Albino killers sentenced
to death in Tanzania
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