- ‘Tis the Season: London florist creates $4.6 million Christmas wreath
- No tailgating allowed at Super Bowl XLVIII
- Pentagon to transport African troops to Central African Republic
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend’s shopping jumps to his death
- Ukraine leader to talk with protesters; Washington urges caution
- Pope Francis: A nun saved my life
- Israeli P.M. Netanyahu backs out of Mandela funeral
- Elian Gonzalez makes first trip outside Cuba since custody battle
- U.S., British intelligence agents enter online sci-fi world to spy on gamers
- Sarah Palin to host the outdoors show ‘Amazing America’
NJ Nets owner fails to buy Russia media holding
MOSCOW (AP) - The owner of the New Jersey Nets, who is running against Vladimir Putin in Russia’s presidential election, tried without success on Wednesday to buy a leading media holding company in the country.
Mikhail Prokhorov, who is worth about $18 billion according to Forbes magazine, announced his candidacy earlier this week for the March presidential election.
“We’re not considering the proposal. … We’re not going to sell the Kommersant publishing house,” Usmanov told reporters. He said that he instead offered to buy Prokhorov’s stake in the RBK media group, a competitor of Kommersant‘s.
He did not say how Prokhorov had responded, and its was not immediately possible to reach the owner of the U.S. pro-basketball team.
Usmanov, a metals magnate, bought Kommersant for $200 million in 2006. The holding company, which includes Russia’s top business daily and other publications, has since expanded into radio and television broadcast.
On Tuesday, Usmanov fired an editor and a senior manager after the Kommersant Vlast weekly published an article about alleged fraud in Russia’s Dec. 4 parliamentary election and a photo of a ballot containing vulgar words directed at Putin. The weekly’s editor, Maxim Kovalsky, said he was told that’s why he was fired.
Russia’s parliamentary election saw a sharp drop in support for Putin’s United Russia party, and widespread allegations of ballot-stuffing and other violations. The ballot led last weekend to the largest anti-government protets that Russia had seen since the 1991 collapse of its communist government.
Usmanov said recent reports in Vlast “bordered on petty hooliganism,” and Kovalsky’s deputy, Veronika Kutsillo, said the offending photo was just a pretext behind the move by Usmanov, who previously had expressed his dissatisfaction with the magazine’s contents.
“This isn’t merely a punishment of an obstinate editor, it’s a signal that the magazine’s course must change,” Kutsillo said in an e-mailed message, adding that she decided to resign.
More than 50 Kommersant journalists signed an open letter to protest Kovalsky’s dismissal. “We view this firing as an intimidation effort aimed at preventing any criticism of Vladimir Putin, even if this concerns photographs,” the letter said.
On Wednesday Usmanov met with Kommersant’s staff, saying he felt he “was able to explain his decision.” He said, “Not only that, but I also told them that the same moral principals will be used in my future decisions on the ethics journalists must adhere to.”
Putin has enjoyed blanket positive coverage from state-controlled television networks. Some of the print media, which have remained independent and often critical of the government, have faced pressure from owners fearing their business interests could be hurt as a result.
Prokhorov’s presidential bid follows his botched performance before the parliamentary election when he formed a liberal political party with the Kremlin’s tacit support but abandoned it under what he called Kremlin pressure.
Some observers said that Prokhorov may have made amends with the Kremlin and might be running for president to accommodate voters unhappy with the authorities.
By Tom Fitton
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend's shopping jumps to his death
- MILLER: Brady Campaign says Colorado recalls due to NRA, not grassroots opposition to gun control
- CURL: Obama tells a whopper on IRS scandal
- MSNBC host: Obamacare a 'wealthy white men' racist word
- Ted Cruz sees legal landmines ahead for Obamacare
- WOLF: The president's other Obamacare lies
- Lawmakers see 'false narrative' of Obama as a terrorist fighter
- Obama lied about Syrian chemical attack, 'cherry-picked' intelligence: report
- Satanists petition for statue at Oklahoma Statehouse
- Israeli P.M. Benjamin Netanyahu backs out of Nelson Mandela funeral
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Richard Ivory, editor-in-chief of Hip Hop Republicans and HHR at Communities Digital News, turns his interests, and pen, to the people making news today.
Find the latest news and happening that effect those in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland Metro region.
The world impacts us. What happens in our towns, cities, states, country and on this planet makes a difference to us.
Happiness is attainable. Morning to night. I love to teach, deal with folks that have an issue and really wish to tackle it and write.
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow