U.s., Russia Reach Agreement On Syria That Avoids Military Strike

John F. Kerry and Sergei Lavrov

1 after Urals crude prices rose. The standard export duty may increase to $416.40 a metric ton, or about $56.81 a barrel, from $400.70 a ton this month, according to Bloomberg calculations based on oil price data from the Finance Ministry . Russias government depends on the oil and gas industries for about half of its budget revenue. Production in August hit a post-Soviet era record of 10.52 million barrels a day, according to data from the Energy Ministrys CDU-TEK unit, in line with President Vladimir Putin s output goal for the next decade. The government introduced extraction tax breaks for unconventional reserves this month to encourage production of new fields. The discounted rate on some eastern Siberian and Caspian Sea grades may rise to $208.30 a ton in October from $196.50 a ton this month. The levy on extra-heavy crude, set at 10 percent of the standard duty, may climb to $41.60. Russia bases the export taxes on the average Urals blend price from the 15th day of one month to the 14th of the next. The benchmark export grade averaged about $113.42 a barrel during the most recent period, Alexander Sakovich , a Finance Ministry adviser, said today by phone. In the previous monitoring period, it was $109.83, according to the ministry. The Economy Ministry will publish the levies on its website before they come into effect, according to Sakovich. The duty for middle distillates, such as diesel, and heavy products, such as fuel oil , may rise to $274.80 a ton from $264.40. A gasoline tax, set at 90 percent of the crude duty since May 2011 to counter domestic shortages, may increase to $374.70 a ton in October from $360.60 a ton this month. The government may raise the duty on liquefied petroleum gases such as butane and propane to $121.30 a ton next month, compared with $75.50 a ton currently.

FIVB Lausanne, Switzerland, September 15, 2013 Two-time defending world champions Russia guaranteed themselves a spot at the FIVB Volleyball Womens World Championship Italy 2014 following their 18th European Championship title on Saturday. The 3-1 victory over Germany also qualified the Russia for the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Champions Cup in November. The World No. 6 team defeated No. 9 Germany 3-1 (25-23, 23-25, 25-23, 25-14) at the 2013 CEV Volleyball European Championship Women in Berlin on Saturday. It was definitely our toughest game, said Russias head coach Yuriy Marichev following the game. I told my players to focus on our strength at the net. It helped. I am very happy. As the winner of the 2013 CEV Volleyball European Championship Women, Russia have qualified for the 2013 FIVB Volleyball World Grand Champions Cup featuring a total of six teams per gender with the hosts Japan being joined by the continental winners from Asia, Europe, NORCECA and South America with an additional country selected by the FIVB. The five best-ranked teams of the 2013 CEV Volleyball Womens European Championship Russia, Germany, Belgium, Serbia and Croatia as well as the organizers from Belgium and the Netherlands have qualified for the 2015 CEV Volleyball European Championship Women. Despite their loss on Saturday, Germany also qualified for the 2014 FIVB Volleyball Womens World Championship, as the two best-ranked teams are allotted a spot. The first World Championships were organised in 1949 for Men and 1952 for Women. Both gender events have remained the biggest events in volleyball, along with the Olympic Games since 1964. For further information visit www.eurovolley2013.org and www.cev.lu for detailed match statistics.

Tim Tebow Headed To Russia? Report Claims Quarterback Offered $1 Million To Play Overseas

Obama had called for Assad to surrender power, and some analysts argue that the deal benefits the Syrian leader more than it hurts him. By relying on Assad for cooperation, the arrangement lends credibility to his government and allows him to continue using aircraft, tanks, artillery and other conventional arms in a civil war that already has taken more than 100,000 lives. “It achieves a situation whereby we are rehabilitating Assad, we are relying on him and we are waiting for him,” said Salman Shaikh, a fellow at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the nonpartisan Brookings Institution. “Of course we will try to pressure him, but without the necessary enforcement attitude and tools that are required to do so.” Assad is “the ultimate winner” because he avoided U.S. airstrikes and got time to win the war, said Alexander Golts, deputy editor of the online publication Yezhednevny Zhurnal in Moscow. “The Kremlin is really going out of its way to make Assad comply and make this plan work because as long as it is working, Putin is back on top of things, appearing to save both Assad and President Obama,” he said. The deal is a setback for Western-backed Syrian armed opposition groups, which had sought U.S. airstrikes to weaken Assad’s defenses and allow rebel forces to regain strategic positions they have lost in recent months. Speaking to reporters in Istanbul, Turkey, Gen. Salim Idriss, who heads the U.S.-supported rebel Supreme Military Council, stopped short of calling the deal a betrayal by Washington but rejected it as a delaying tactic by Russia to protect its ally. “We don’t recognize the Russian initiative and we think that the Russians and the Syrian regime are playing a game to waste time and to win time for the criminal regime in Damascus,” Idriss said. Though the United States has begun furnishing some rebel groups with machine guns and other light weapons, many analysts believe opposition forces cannot topple Assad without outside military intervention. That prospect seems dimmer now than just a few weeks ago. It appeared increasingly unlikely that Congress would support use of force in Syria, but critics on Capitol Hill quickly denounced the deal because it had no enforcement component. Sens.

Russia qualifies for FIVB World Volleyball Grand Champions Cup, World Championships

Here Tebow speaks to media in the New England Patriots’ locker room after team football practice in Foxborough, Mass., Monday, Aug. 26, 2013. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola) Get Sports Newsletters: Subscribe Follow: Tim Tebow , Report Tim Tebow Russia , Tim Tebow Headed To Russia , Tim Tebow Play Overseas , Time Tebow Russia , Sports News , Tim Tebow La Kiss , Tim Tebow Quarterback , Sports News Could Tim Tebow be headed for the playing fields of Mother Russia? A new report published by English-language blog Russia Behind The Headlines (RBTH) alleges that the 26-year-old quarterback, recently released by the New England Patriots, has been offered $1 million to play a limited number of games as part of a Russian football tournament. The RBTH report, first published on September 9th, was followed by a second post on September 14th. That story included an interview with Moscow Black Storm owner Mikhail Zaltsman, who confirmed an offer has been extended. We have offered him $1 million for two games, Zaltsman told RBTH. I talked with him personally and he wanted to go. Zaltsman hopes to fly the former Heisman Trophy winner to Moscow to play in his team’s semifinal match against rival the Moscow Patriots on Sept. 28, according to RBTH. If the the Black Storm wins its match against the Patriots, Tebow would stay on to play in the tournament’s final as well. Even if the offer is legitimate, Bleacher Report notes that “a move to Moscow is the last thing Tebow needs:” He is already viewed as a media- and fan-created sideshow thanks to nonstop coverage on television and a huge following based on his achievements in college alone. Playing in an even lesser football league than the secondary ones in North America won’t do anything to help his already diminished credibility. It’s been a rocky few years for the outspokenly-religious athlete. After becoming a fan favorite with the Denver Broncos, he endured a tumultuous season with the New York Jets.