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Wed, 13 Nov 2019
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Eye 1

Child prison & death in a blaze: Mother commits suicide after kids she kept in lockup for 10 years escape

Dina Azizova
© vk.com / Dina Azizova
No school, no IDs and constant CCTV surveillance. Nobody in town knew that they existed. Three kids were locked up behind the fence of a private home for a decade, as their mother tried to protect them from the 'cruel world.'

A week ago, a phone rang at the police station in the town of Ust-Katav in the industrial Chelyabinsk Region in Russia's Urals. A panicked woman was calling, claiming that her three children - two girls aged 20 and 11, and 15 year-old-boy - were kidnapped.

The police acted fast and found the trio only a few hours later, but they opted against returning them home, as the story the kids told stunned even the experienced operatives. The shaken children revealed that there was no abduction and that they themselves escaped from their mother, who kept them under hatches for a whopping 10 years. They did nothing wrong, but were basically forced to serve a prison term that could be handed for a murder in Russia.

Eye 1

Protestant Church of Germany reports 770 sexual abuse cases

child abuse kid little girl
© gettyimages / Fairfax Media
The Protestant Church in Germany (EKD) identified around 770 victims of sexual abuse in the year since it launched a process to review the crimes. Many of the victims were orphaned or abandoned children cared for in church facilities, but assaults also took place in parishes, Bishop Kirsten Fehrs said on Tuesday at the EKD annual meeting in the city of Dresden, DPA reported.

To expand the participation of victims in the process, the church will set up an advisory council for those affected. Fehrs also announced that the 1.3 million euros (1.4 million dollars) already set aside for the next year to prevent and come to terms with sexual abuse will be topped up with another 1 million euros.


'Evo, I hope your exile is short': Roger Waters sends message of support to Bolivia's Morales

morales roger waters
© (L) REUTERS/Manuel Claure; (R) Reuters / Piroschka van de Wouw
Bolivian President Evo Morales was "ripped away from his people by greed," former Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters said in a message of support to the exiled leader, ousted in a coup and forced to seek asylum in Mexico.

"Evo Morales, if you see this, more power to you. I hope your exile is short, your people need you. They need a leader like you," Waters said in the video posted online, adding that the socialist leader had done a "great job" as the country's first indigenous leader.

"You've pulled so many of your people out of poverty and gave them a sense of dignity," the rock 'n' roll legend said.

"You have right and history on your side and the sooner you are able to come home to your beloved Bolivia, the better it would be for the people and for you... but also for the rest of us."

Comment: For more on the situation in Bolivia, see: Bolivia Coup Led by Christian Fascist Paramilitary Leader And Millionaire - With Foreign Support

And for more from Roger Waters - one of the few musicians in the public eye that knows and that dares speak the truth:


Guaido followers invade Venezuelan embassy in Brazil; announce 'new ambassador'

guaido supporters Brazil
© Reuters/Sergio Moraes
Guaido supporters in Brazil
Supporters of Venezuelan opposition figure Juan Guaido have seized Venezuela's embassy in Brazil. While embassy officials said they were "invaded by force," Guaido's "envoy" to the country has declared herself the new ambassador.

About 20 Guaido supporters jumped the embassy wall and occupied the facility, according to local reports. Videos posted on social media show police lined up outside the embassy while others stand around the building.

Reporting on the invasion, Venezuelan Charge d'Affaires, Freddy Efrain Meregote, has requested help from all political parties and social movements to resolve the crisis.

Meregote has dismissed claims that some embassy officials helped the occupiers get in the embassy, saying that "all officials recognize Nicolás Maduro as the legitimate president of Venezuela."

Stock Up

What sanctions? Russia has best-performing stock market in the world

Moscow biz center
© Pexels.com
Moscow City Business Center
The Russian stock market has delivered the biggest returns to investors around the world this year. Global rate cuts and increased dividend payouts have been driving investor interest in Russia.

The MSCI Russia Index which tracks the 23 largest Russian publicly-listed companies has surged 44 percent since the start of the year, according to Sberbank analyst Cole Akeson.

That is almost four times the returns of the MSCI Emerging Markets Index which includes Russian stocks and companies listed in 23 other developing economies such as China, Brazil, Mexico and India, the analyst told business news outlet RBC.

Last year, the MSCI Russia Index grew by just 0.51 percent over the entire year amid fears of a US-China trade war and general poor performance globally for equities.The stock market's current surge has been driven by higher global risk appetite and a search for higher-paying assets amid interest rate cuts, said Mikhail Ganelin, senior analyst at Aton. He explained that it has benefited Russian stocks, which are seen as riskier and have lower levels of liquidity.

Car Black

Suicide attack: US convoy hit on Kabul-Paktia highway in Afghanistan

Suicide attack
© Unknown
A suicide attack has hit a US military convoy on the Kabul-Paktia highway, a source told Sputnik on Tuesday, without providing any information about casualties.

The attack took place at around 11.00 a.m. local time (06:30 GMT), the source specified.

Comment: VOA, 12/11/2019: Officials say US airstrike mistakenly kills 4 Afghan soldiers
An airstrike carried out by American forces in eastern Afghanistan has mistakenly killed at least four Afghan soldiers and injured six others.

A provincial police spokesman said the overnight incident occurred in the troubled Logar province during clashes between Afghan security forces and Taliban insurgents.

Shahpoor Ahamadzai told VOA the fighting erupted Monday night after insurgents assaulted a security outpost near the provincial capital of Pul-e-Alam.
Map Afghanistan
© Unknown
The Taliban attack prompted the Afghan National Army (ANA) to call in U.S. air support, which resulted in the "friendly fire" incident, Ahmadzai explained.

A U.S. military spokesman told VOA it was aware of reports an American airstrike conducted in support of Afghan forces may have resulted in ANA casualties. "U.S. and Afghan forces are working closely together to develop a shared understanding of this event. A joint investigation is ongoing," the spokesman said.

Update on Suicide Attack:

A U.S. military spokesman confirmed the attack, saying it only killed the assailant driving the vehicle. "No U.S. or Coalition service members were wounded or killed in the attack. We are investigating the incident."

There were no claims of responsible from the Taliban, which often claims attacks against U.S. and NATO forces stationed in Afghanistan.


Lebanese army arrests soldier after protester dies from gunshot wound to head - second death so far in protests

lebanon protest
© AP
A man was shot dead south of Beirut, Lebanon's state news agency said early Wednesday, after the army announced it had opened fire to disperse protesters blocking roads.

The victim "succumbed to his injuries" in hospital, according to the National News Agency, the second death in nearly a month of unprecedented protests that have erupted across Lebanon.

The army said in a statement that it had arrested a soldier after he opened fire in the coastal town of Khalde, just below the capital, to clear protesters "injuring one person."

The Progressive Socialist Party, led by influential Druze politician Walid Jumblatt, said in a statement that the man was one its members.

A long-time opponent of President Michel Aoun, Jumblatt appealed to his supporters to stay calm.

"In spite of what happened, we have no other refuge than the state. If we lose hope in the state, we enter chaos," he said.

Protesters in Lebanon blocked roads with burning tyres in several parts of the country including the capital Beirut following a broadcast interview with President Michel Aoun in which he urged them to go home.

Comment: See Elijah Magnier's analysis of the ongoing protests in Lebanon and Iraq:


Ukrainian swamp: Detectives detain bribery suspect in presidential office

Ukraine president office
© Shutterstock
The presidential office of Ukraine in Kyiv.
Ukrainian anti-corruption detectives on November 12 have detained the head of one of the main departments at the presidential office for allegedly demanding a $300,000 bribe, the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office (SAP) said on Facebook.

The official was arrested while taking half the amount from an individual as payment for assistance in getting a person appointed to a management position at the state-run Naftogaz oil and gas conglomerate.

Comment: Could it be that Zelensky has greenlighted the beginnings of the effort to address the rampant, entrenched corruption in Ukraine's government?


Eco-hypocrite Greta Thunberg hitches another top-dollar yacht ride to Europe, while plebs should live with 'flight shame'

thunberg yacht ride
© Reuters / Twitter @GretaThunberg
Greta Thunberg poses with the crew of La Vagabonde
Swedish eco-activist Greta Thunberg has managed to find a ride across the Atlantic with a pair of sailing YouTubers. Once again, the activist will make her journey on a yacht far beyond the means of the ordinary working Joe.

After hitching a ride from Europe to New York aboard a €4 million racing yacht in August, Thunberg embarked on a whirlwind tour of climate change summits and street-level protests. However, when the UN's COP25 climate summit in Chile was moved to Spain due to political unrest, the Swedish activist was left marooned in the US.

Avoiding combustion-powered planes and boats, Thunberg's options were limited. However, she announced on Tuesday that she had been offered a seat on board the La Vagabonde, an ultra-sleek catamaran owned by a couple of Australian YouTubers who make a living sailing around the world chasing the sun.



Moscow policeman 'assaulted' by protestor says man does not deserve punishment

Nikita Chirtsov
Nikita Chirtsov in a Moscow court on November 12.
A Moscow police officer who authorities say was assaulted by an activist has said the suspect "does not deserve imprisonment."

Investigators say Nikita Chirtsov pushed Yuriy Mikhalyonok during an unsanctioned protest on July 27, inflicting physical pain on the officer.

A Moscow court on November 12 ruled that Chirtsov must remain in pretrial detention until April 30, despite Mikhalyonok saying during the hearing that he "did not feel any pain during the attack" and that he is "ready to make peace" with Chirtsov.

Prosecutors have asked the court to sentence Chirtsov to 3 years and 2 months in prison.

Mikhalyonok told RFE/RL after the hearing on November 12 that Chirtsov's "action against me was not that heavy."

"I think the punishment for this action should not be imprisonment. He [Chirtsov] does not deserve a prison term," Mikhalyonok said.

Comment: Moscow police went a bit overboard in their response to the Moscow protests. Luckily, public outcry resulted in overturning some of the more obviously manufactured charges: Needless to say, the foreign interventionists didn't get the "big show" they were hoping to in Moscow, despite their fervent wishes.