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Posts Tagged ‘RIA Novosti’

Tens of thousands back Putin at Russia rallies

Posted by Admin on February 18, 2012

http://news.yahoo.com/pro-putin-rallies-russia-campaign-heats-074424677.html;_ylt=AixE97_3c3CqDdPG.0QCJeus0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTNibjVwNTluBG1pdAMEcGtnAzg5NmJiZWI1LTUxZGQtMzc3MC05NDFlLTkxOGM2YjMyODg2MQRwb3MDMwRzZWMDbG5fQUZQX2dhbAR2ZXIDNGYyZDhkZGEtNWEyOS0xMWUxLWJiYmItMmU1OGI4ZTJhMTY5;_ylv=3

By Marina Koreneva | AFP – 12 hrs ago

Tens of thousands of Vladimir Putin’s supporters backed his bid for the presidency in rallies across Russia on Saturday, trying to outdo mass nationwide protests staged by his opponents.

At least 50,000 people attended rallies in European Russia, Siberia and the Far East supporting Putin’s candidacy for a historic third Kremlin term in March 4 polls, AFP correspondents and police reports said.

Russians are taking to the streets with increasing regularity ahead of the election as the opposition and camp seek to outdo each other with competing rallies.

Brandishing slogans like “Yes To Changes! No To Revolution!” and “Putin — We Are With You For A Strong Russia!”, at least 10,000 people attended a rally in his support in the former imperial capital of Saint Petersburg

“For me, Putin is stability. In these years I have personally lived better. I am given my pay on time. I have started to be proud of the country,” Putin supporter Anatoly Stepanov, 42, told an AFP correspondent.

Participants were warmed in temperatures of minus eight degrees Celsius by hot tea and Russian pies sold for nominal prices. “Look at those who are against Putin, they are not the people,” grumbled pensioner Anna Patrusheva, 58.

The opposition has accused the authorities of using the state’s resources or even employing financial incentives to encourage people to show up for the Putin rallies.

Several buses were visible on the fringes of the rally that had brought people in from outlying Saint Petersburg regions.

Pro-Putin rallies took place in almost all of Russia’s biggest cities, the main exceptions being Moscowand the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk where the Russian premier was busy attending an economic forum.

According to a police count quoted by Russian news agencies, 12,000 people turned out for the biggest rally in the Far Eastern city of Khabarovsk seven time zones away under the slogan “We Have Something to Protect!”.

Rallies mustering at least 10,000 people also took place in cities including Volgograd, Nizhny Novgorod, and Novosibirsk in Siberia, while several thousand came for events in the Pacific port of Vladivostok and the Siberian city of Irkutsk.

The RIA Novosti news agency said police arrested the over-zealous organiser of the pro-Putin rally in the industrial town of Ivanovo outside Moscow after its turnout of 6,000 was double the figure announced to the authorities.

The demonstrations come ahead of a giant pre-election rally on February 23 in Moscow called by the Putin campaign under the slogan “We Protect the Country!” that organisers hope will muster 200,000 people.

The opposition Novaya Gazeta reported on Friday that factory workers from as far away as Krasnoyarsk would be flown into Moscow to boost numbers.

A page has already been set up on Russian social networking site VKontakte promising that participants from outside Moscow will get transport, an “attractive programme” and two hot meals a day.

The rally is to be followed by a rival action in the capital on February 26 by the opposition, which is counting on tens of thousands to turn out to form a human chain around the capital’s inner ring road.

Putin is still widely expected to win the presidential elections, possibly even in the first round, with his four registered opponents failing to provide a significant challenge.

But analysts say the protest movement could give Putin a rough ride going forward as he embarks on a new six-year Kremlin term amid growing expectations of change.

 

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Ukrainian girls may be jailed for insulting Indian flag

Posted by Admin on February 18, 2012

http://in.news.yahoo.com/ukrainian-girls-may-jailed-insulting-indian-flag-231905518.html

By Indo Asian News Service | IANS India Private Limited – 4 hours ago

Kiev, Feb 18 (IANS) A group of Ukrainian topless protesters may face jail term up to four years for climbing onto the balcony of theIndian embassy in Kiev and tearing down India’s national flag last month, said police Friday.

The protesters had brought down the Indian flag, smashed the doors and windows with it and threw it on the ground.

The activists were enraged by the Indian Foreign Ministry ordering thorough checks into all Ukrainians aged 15 to 40 seeking to enter the country, saying it would help weed out the numerous prostitutes in search of a job, the RIA Novosti reported Friday.

The incident resulted in two cases opened on separate charges of hooliganism and desecration of state symbols, Ukrainian police said.

But no one was charged as of Friday evening.

The incident had occurred Jan 19.

The Indian ambassador to Ukraine, Rajiv K. Chander, was not at his residence when the four women from Femen arrived in Indian attire and stripped to their waists before using a ladder to reach the second-floor balcony, an Indian media report said.

The women tied a banner in English to the balcony that declared: “We are not prostitutes”. They also carried placards in English and Russian that said “Delhi, close your brothels” and “We demand apologies”.

 

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Gita ban:Russian prosecutors to move higher court

Posted by Admin on January 28, 2012

http://in.news.yahoo.com/russian-prosecutors-move-higher-court-seeking-gita-ban-094509967.html

By Indo Asian News Service | IANS India Private Limited – 10 hours ago

Moscow/New Delhi, Jan 26 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Stung by a Siberian court’s rejection of their plea seeking a ban on Bhagavad Gita and branding it extremist literature, Russian prosecutors are now planning to move a higher court for appeal.

Insisting that the Russian translation of the Hindu textBhagavad Gita As It Is‘ should be banned for promoting “social discord”, prosecutors in the Siberian city of Tomsk have moved the local court seeking more time to file an appeal.

The deadline for the appeal expired Wednesday.

“The prosecutors are planning to file the appeal in a superior court. They have sought more time to move the appeal. They are yet to actually file an appeal,” Sadhu Priya Das, an Iskcon devotee based in Moscow, told IANS over phone Thursday.

The Tomsk city prosecutors have insisted that the Russian translation of the book written by International Society for Krishna Consciousness (Iskcon) founder A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada be banned as extremist literature, filing an appeal against an earlier court ruling, a RIA Novosti report quoted a Tomsk court spokeswoman as saying.

The report also quoted Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich as having said that the translated version may not be linguistically true to the original as it contained “semantic distortions”, which may have an effect on its meaning.

The Tomsk district court had Dec 28, 2011 thrown out the case of the state prosecutors, filed in June 2011.

After IANS first reported the case in December 2011, India witnessed a major uproar, including in parliament where MPs wanted the Indian government to immediately intervene in the matter, citing Hindu sensitivities.

India, both through its ministry of external affairs and embassy in Moscow, took up the matter with the Russian authorities and urged them to quickly resolve the matter.

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Indian, 161 others die in Mumbai-style Nigeria terror

Posted by Admin on January 24, 2012

http://in.news.yahoo.com/indian-161-others-die-mumbai-style-nigeria-terror-113031590.html

By Indo Asian News Service | IANS India Private Limited – 12 hours ago

Abuja, Jan 22 (IANS) An Indian was among 162 people killed as heavily armed Islamists carried out a deadly Mumbai-style terror attack in Nigeria‘s second largest city Kano, media reports and Indian officials said Sunday.

Six other Indians, including two children, were wounded and panic gripped the Indian community as a small group of terrorists stormed Kano, split themselves into smaller groups and went on a killing spree Friday evening.

Kevalkumar Kalidas Rajput, 23, who hailed from Gujarat and worked for Kano-based company Relchem since March 2011, was killed, the Indian High Commission in Nigeria said.

He and two Nepali colleagues Hari Prasad Bhusal and Raj Singh died when their car apparently entered a scene of hostilities, the mission said in a statement.

The six Indians from two families were injured because of falling shrapnel and debris. They were taken to hospitals.

Although uneasy calm returned to Kano Sunday, the city of nine million was devastated. Smoke still billowed from buildings that caught fire after being bomb attacked.

The well-planned savagery was blamed on an Islamist group with known ties with Al Qaeda. It targeted security forces in Kano in northern Nigeria.

The main targets were government sites including police stations, the passport office, the state security headquarter and the immigration office — all symbols of authority in religiously-divided Nigeria.

The Indian community in Nigeria is estimated to be 35,000-strong. Most Indians in the country are well-off and enjoy non-controversial existence.

Nigeria is India’s largest trading partner in Africa. Bilateral annual trade exceeded $8.7 billion in 2009-10.

Ashish Kumar Verma, an Indian, told Times Now from Kano that the attackers were about 20 in number and “targetted different places in the city”.

“They blew up police headquarter, passport office… also attacked the IG house,” he said. He said Indians were trying to get out of Kano.

Another Indian, T. Pragnesh, too spoke of the horror. He said the Indian Association in Kano was trying to determine if more people had been killed or wounded.

“We have 162 bodies in the morgue,” a visibly distraught official said at Kano’s main morgue.

The wounded included foreigners from an area home to many expatriates, particularly Lebanese and Indians.

BBC reported that hospitals were overwhelmed with the dead and injured.

The attack left Kano residents terrorized and shocked, some of whom wandered the streets to look for loved ones. Many refused to leave their homes fearing more attacks.

“We don’t know what’s going to happen next, no one thought this would ever happen here. There’s despair,” said Faruk Mohammed.

CNN quoted him as saying that there were at least 25 explosions. “Then it went deathly quiet.”

A 24-hour curfew was declared in Kano, where search and rescue operations were underway for the killers.

Nigeria closed its borders with neighbouring Cameroon and Niger, claiming these countries allowed the militants to move freely into Nigeria, reported RIA Novosti.

Boko Haram, the group behind the attack, has been seeking to impose Sharia law in Nigeria, divided into dominantly Christian south and a largely Muslim north.

Boko Haram colloquially translates into “Western education is sin”.

It was formed in 2002 by preacher Mohammad Yusuf. In 2009, Yusuf was arrested and died in police custody. The death led the group to begin its attacks on police stations.

Boko Haram spokesperson Abul Qaqa said the attacks were in response to the refusal of the Kano state government to release fellow terrorists who had been arrested.

Hundreds of Nigerian troops have been deployed at major streets in Kano to enhance security, reported Xinhua.

President Goodluck Jonathan said that the perpetrators would “face the full wrath of the law”.

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Gaddafi’s family to sue NATO

Posted by Admin on October 28, 2011

http://in.news.yahoo.com/gaddafis-family-sue-nato-111803151.html

By Ria Novosti | IANS – Wed, Oct 26, 2011

Paris, Oct 26 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Relatives of slain Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi will sue NATO in the International Military Court in The Hague for war crime charges, Gaddafi’s family lawyer said.

‘NATO helicopters opened fire on (Gaddafi’s) convoy. This convoy did not pose any threat to civilians. It was an operation to eliminate the Libyan leader, planned by the North Atlantic alliance,’ Marcel Ceccaldi was quoted as saying by France-based Europe1 radio station.

The lawyer also criticized the decision to display Gaddafi’s corpse at a shopping centre in Misrata for four days.

Gaddafi, who ruled Libya for 42 years, died shortly after being captured alive by National Transitional Council fighters near his hometown Sirte Oct 20.

The UN human rights office as well as Russia and the US have called for a probe into the leader’s killing.

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Blast at Japan nuke plant; thousands missing

Posted by Admin on March 12, 2011

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110312/ap_on_bi_ge/as_japan_earthquake

By ERIC TALMADGE and YURI KAGEYAMA, Associated Press Eric Talmadge And Yuri Kageyama, Associated Press 3 mins ago

IWAKI, Japan – An explosion shattered a building housing a nuclear reactor Saturday, amid fears of a meltdown, while across wide swaths of northeastern Japan officials searched for thousands of people missing more than a day after a devastating earthquake and tsunami.

The confirmed death toll from Friday’s twin disasters was 686, but the government’s chief spokesman said it could exceed 1,000. Devastation stretched hundreds of miles (kilometers) along the coast, where thousands of hungry survivors huddled in darkened emergency centers cut off from rescuers, electricity and aid.

The scale of destruction was not yet known, but there were grim signs that the death toll could soar. One report said four whole trains had disappeared Friday and still not been located. Others said 9,500 people in one coastal town were unaccounted for and that at least 200 bodies had washed ashore elsewhere.

Atsushi Ito, an official in Miyagi prefecture, among the worst hit states, could not confirm those figures, noting that with so little access to the area, thousands of people in scores of town could not be contacted or accounted for.

“Our estimates based on reported cases alone suggest that more than 1,000 people have lost their lives in the disaster,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said. “Unfortunately, the actual damage could far exceed that number considering the difficulty assessing the full extent of damage.”

Among the most worrying developments was concerns that a nuclear reacter could melt down. Edano said Saturdya’s explosion was caused by vented hydrogen gas and destroyed the exterior walls of the building where the reactor is, but not the actual metal housing enveloping the reactor.

Edano said the radiation around the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant had not risen after the blast, but had in fact decreased.

Three people being evacuated from an area near the plant have been exposed to radiation, Yoshinori Baba, a Fukushima prefectural disaster official, confirmed. But he said they showed no signs of illness.

Virtually any increase in ambient radiation can raise long-term cancer rates, and authorities were planning to distribute iodine, which helps protect against thyroid cancer.

Authorities have also evacuated people from a 12-mile (20-kilometer) radius around the reactor.

The explosion was caused by hydrogen interacting with oxygen outside the reactor. The hydrogen was formed when the superheated fuel rods came in contact with water being poured over it to prevent a meltdown.

“They are working furiously to find a solution to cool the core, and this afternoon in Europe we heard that they have begun to inject sea water into the core,” said Mark Hibbs, a senior associate at the Nuclear Policy Program for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “That is an indication of how serious the problem is and how the Japanese had to resort to unusual and improvised solutions to cool the reactor core.”

Officials have said that radiation levels were elevated before the blast: At one point, the plant was releasing each hour the amount of radiation a person normally absorbs from the environment each year.

The explosion was preceded by puff of white smoke that gathered intensity until it became a huge cloud enveloping the entire facility, located in Fukushima, 20 miles (30 kilometers) from Iwaki. After the explosion, the walls of the building crumbled, leaving only a skeletal metal frame.

Tokyo Power Electric Co., the utility that runs the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant, said four workers suffered fractures and bruises and were being treated at a hospital.

The trouble began at the plant’s Unit 1 after the massive 8.9-magnitude earthquake and the tsunami it spawned knocked out power there, depriving it of its cooling system.

Power was knocked out by the quake in large areas of Japan, which has requested increased energy supplies from Russia, Russia’s RIA Novosti agency reported.

The concerns about a radiation leak at the nuclear power plant overshadowed the massive tragedy laid out along a 1,300-mile (2,100-kilometer) stretch of the coastline where scores of villages, towns and cities were battered by the tsunami, packing 23-feet (7-meter) high waves.

It swept inland about six miles (10 kilometers) in some areas, swallowing boats, homes, cars, trees and everything else.

“The tsunami was unbelievably fast,” said Koichi Takairin, a 34-year-old truck driver who was inside his sturdy four-ton rig when the wave hit the port town of Sendai.

“Smaller cars were being swept around me,” he said. “All I could do was sit in my truck.”

His rig ruined, he joined the steady flow of survivors who walked along the road away from the sea and back into the city on Saturday.

Smashed cars and small airplanes were jumbled up against buildings near the local airport, several miles (kilometers) from the shore. Felled trees and wooden debris lay everywhere as rescue workers coasted on boats through murky waters around flooded structures, nosing their way through a sea of debris.

Late Saturday night, firefighters had yet to contain a large blaze at the Cosmo Oil refinery in the city of Ichihara.

According to official figures, 642 people are missing and missing 1,426 injured.

Prime Minister Naoto Kan said 50,000 troops joined rescue and recovery efforts, aided by boats and helicopters. Dozens of countries also offered help.

President Barack Obama pledged U.S. assistance following what he called a potentially “catastrophic” disaster. He said one U.S. aircraft carrier was already in Japan and a second was on its way.

More than 215,000 people were living in 1,350 temporary shelters in five prefectures, the national police agency said.

Aid has barely begun to trickle into many areas.

“All we have to eat are biscuits and rice balls,” said Noboru Uehara, 24, a delivery truck driver who was wrapped in a blanket against the cold at center in Iwake. “I’m worried that we will run out of food.”

Since the quake, more than 1 million households have not had water, mostly concentrated in northeast. Some 4 million buildings were without power.

About 24 percent of electricity in Japan is produced by 55 nuclear power units in 17 plants and some were in trouble after the quake.

Japan declared states of emergency at two power plants after their units lost cooling ability.

Although the government spokesman played down fears of radiation leak, the Japanese nuclear agency spokesman Shinji Kinjo acknowledged there were still fears of a meltdown.

A “meltdown” is not a technical term. Rather, it is an informal way of referring to a very serious collapse of a power plant’s systems and its ability to manage temperatures.

Yaroslov Shtrombakh, a Russian nuclear expert, said a Chernobyl-style meltdown was unlikely.

“It’s not a fast reaction like at Chernobyl,” he said. “I think that everything will be contained within the grounds, and there will be no big catastrophe.”

In 1986, the Chernobyl nuclear reactor exploded and caught fire, sending a cloud of radiation over much of Europe. That reactor — unlike the Fukushima one — was not housed in a sealed container, so there was no way to contain the radiation once the reactor exploded.

The reactor in trouble has already leaked some radiation: Before the explosion, operators had detected eight times the normal radiation levels outside the facility and 1,000 times normal inside Unit 1’s control room.

An evacuation area around the plant was expanded to a radius of 12 miles (20 kilometers) from the six miles (10 kilometers) before. People in the expanded area were advised to leave quickly; 51,000 residents were previously evacuated.

“Everyone wants to get out of the town. But the roads are terrible,” said Reiko Takagi, a middle-aged woman, standing outside a taxi company. “It is too dangerous to go anywhere. But we are afraid that winds may change and bring radiation toward us.”

The transport ministry said all highways from Tokyo leading to quake-hit areas were closed, except for emergency vehicles. Mobile communications were spotty and calls to the devastated areas were going unanswered.

Local TV stations broadcast footage of people lining up for water and food such as rice balls. In Fukushima, city officials were handing out bottled drinks, snacks and blankets. But there were large areas that were surrounded by water and were unreachable.

One hospital in Miyagi prefecture was seen surrounded by water. The staff had painted an SOS on its rooftop and were waving white flags.

Technologically advanced Japan is well prepared for quakes and its buildings can withstand strong jolts, even a temblor like Friday’s, which was the strongest the country has experienced since official records started in the late 1800s. What was beyond human control was the killer tsunami that followed.

Japan’s worst previous quake was a magnitude 8.3 temblor in Kanto that killed 143,000 people in 1923, according to the USGS. A magnitude 7.2 quake in Kobe killed 6,400 people in 1995.

Japan lies on the “Ring of Fire” — an arc of earthquake and volcanic zones stretching around the Pacific where about 90 percent of the world’s quakes occur, including the one that triggered the Dec. 26, 2004, Indian Ocean tsunami that killed an estimated 230,000 people in 12 countries. A magnitude-8.8 quake that shook central Chile in February 2010 also generated a tsunami and killed 524 people.

___

Kageyama reported from Tokyo. Associated Press writers Malcolm J. Foster, Mari Yamaguchi, Tomoko A. Hosaka and Shino Yuasa in Tokyo, Jay Alabaster in Sendai, Sylvia Hui in London, David Nowak in Moscow, and Margie Mason in Hanoi also contributed.

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Medvedev welcomes US arms treaty

Posted by Admin on December 31, 2010

http://www.headlinenewsbureau.com/siterun_data/news/world/doc408f9d676abcb1764492d160e8a15470.html

Russian president says country is ready to ratify the arms reduction pact with the US

MPs in Russia could approve a new strategic arms reduction treaty with the US as early as tomorrow after President Dmitry Medvedev welcomed the pact.

The country’s overwhelmingly pro-Kremlin parliament is likely to push the agreement through swiftly, despite doubts over Washington’s desire to station a missile defence shield in Europe.

Medvedev’s office said today he was “pleased to learn that the United States Senate has ratified the Start Treaty and expressed hope that the State Duma and the Federation Council [lower and upper houses of parliament] will be ready to consider this issue shortly and to ratify the document”.

The US Senate voted 71 to 26 in favour of the treaty yesterday, despite expectations that Republican members might try to block its passage.

The speaker of the State Duma, Boris Gryzlov, said the Kremlin-controlled United Russia party, which dominates the chamber, was ready to approve the treaty at a parliamentary session scheduled tomorrow.

The speaker of the Federation Council, Sergei Mironov, said he could push it through the same day.

Under New Start, as the agreement is called, strategic nuclear warheads deployed by each country will be reduced to 1,550 within seven years. Deployed missile launchers would be cut to 700.

Mikhail Margelov, head of the Federation Council’s foreign relations committee, said the treaty “represents a shift away from cold war mentality and demonstrates that Russia and the US are focused on achieving 21st-century global security”.

Its ratification in both countries will be seen as step forward after a difficult period in bilateral relations since Medvedev and Barack Obama signed the treaty in Prague in April.

Two months after that meeting, the US exposed 10 Russian sleeper agents living in New York and Washington, although the fallout was partly defused when they were exchanged for four men jailed in Russia who had allegedly worked for western intelligence agencies.

Relations appeared to be warming last month when the Nato military alliance invited Russia to participate in a US-led missile defence system about which Moscow is deeply suspicious. But the thaw came under threat when WikiLeaks revealed US diplomatic cables suggesting Russia is a “mafia state”.

Analysts say the treaty overrides such irritants, showing progress in the attempts to improve ties with Russia, which began after Obama came to power.

Sergei Rogov, head of the influential US and Canada Institute in Moscow, told the RIA Novosti news agency: “It is, of course, a positive step and it shows that the ‘re-set’ in Russian-American relations is bringing real results, but the question now is, what next?”

Top of the agenda for the Kremlin will be hammering out details of its role in the missile defence project. Vladimir Putin, the prime minister, warned this month that Russia would be obliged to deploy “new strike forces” on its borders if talks with Nato over the system failed to show progress.

Dmitry Medvedev Russia Nuclear weapons United States Tom Parfitt

 

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