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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Russian Court Remands Activists to Jail

A Russian Court has decreed that 10 Greenpeace activists and an accompanying photographer will be held in jail for two months while authorities determine whether the Arctic Sunrise protest was an act of piracy. Another 20 activists have yet to be arraigned. Four days ago, Russian security forces boarded the Greenpeace boat in international waters and forced the vessel and its crew into Murmansk port at gunpoint.

Before he was remanded to custody, Roman Dolgov told the court he joined the Greenpeace crew as a scientific expert and had not taken part in the demonstration. “I hope that common sense prevails.” Russian President Vladimir Putin looked to avoid any diplomatic fallout from his armed forces’ actions yesterday. While he defended the coast guard’s seizure at The Arctic – Territory of Dialogue conference yesterday, he agreed, “It’s completely obvious that, of course, they are not pirates.

Clash in the Kashmir

Militants disguised as members of the Indian Army stormed a police station and army base in the Indian-controlled Kashmir today, killing a score of people. This brace of attacks comes just one day after Manmohan Singh, India’s prime minister, suggested he would meet with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at the U.N. General Assembly this week, much to the chagrin of his opposition. Bharatiya Janata Party President Rajnath Singh objected loudly, “pursing a spineless diplomacy at this juncture will present India as a ‘soft state’ which could be pushed around by any big or small country.”

Prime Minister Singh demurred, stating “Such attacks will not deter us and will not succeed in derailing our efforts to find a resolution to all problems through a process of dialogue.”

Serbian Pride Will Happen Despite Violent Threats

Serbian gay rights activists hope to hold the first Pride march in three years this weekend in the capital, despite the threat of violence similar to the reactionary riots at the 2010 ‘Parada na gordosta’. At a news conference, Belgrade Pride organizer and rights activist Goran Miletić said, “We are working out all the details with the police, but we haven’t heard their security assessment yet.” Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dačić, while not altogether supportive of the march, said it would go ahead, unless the security assessment suggested a grave threat to public safety. When asked yesterday if he would attend, Dačić replied: “No. Do I have to become gay?

Rapist Released After Month in Prison

Stacey Rambold, convicted of the convicted of the 2007 rape of student Cherice Moralez in August, has been released after serving 30 days in prison. Judge Todd Baugh sentenced Rambold to 15 years in jail for the rape of Moralez, who killed herself before the case was brought to trial, but Baugh suspended all but 30 days of the sentence, citing the emotional maturity of Moralez. Baugh has since characterized his judgement as “stupid and wrong” but an attempt to modify the sentencing has been blocked by Montana’s supreme court. Prosecutors have appealed the sentencing, but Rambold will remain free as the case progresses. A complaint to have Baugh disbarred is pending before the state Judicial Standards Commission.

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