Robbo sez, "Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster members who held a procession in Moscow were dispersed by riot police and Orthodox activists; some were detained for holding an 'unsanctioned rally.'
Best quote in the news post:
'We were detained for simply walking,' a message posted by another Pastafarian said. 'In particular, I was taken in for a sieve on my head.'
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On a Russian highway, a truck filled with propane cylinders explodes 39 times
, boom, boom, boom, each explosion more spectacular than the last.
Взрыв газели с балонами на МКАДе
A wily Russian fellow crossed out the fine-print on an unsolicted credit-card application from Tinkoff Credit Systems in 2008 and wrote in his own terms, giving himself unlimited, interest-free credit and exemption from all fees, with a 3MM ruble fee should the bank change the terms and a 1MM ruble fee should they cancel his card. He crossed out the URL giving the terms and conditions and wrote in his own. And a court has ruled that his changes -- which were blindly accepted by the bank -- are binding. He's now suing them for breach of contract, since they refused to pay him the cancellation fee he'd written in -- he's seeking USD727,000.
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Comedian and national treasure Stephen Fry has written an open letter to UK Prime Minister David Cameron and the International Olympic Committee calling on them to move the upcoming Winter Olympics from Russia to another country, specifically, any country in which homosexuality is not criminalized and LGBT people are not violently scapegoated as they are in Russia. Vladimir Putin recently rammed through legislation that bans being gay, talking about being gay, or advocating for the rights of LGBT people, and violent gangs routinely and savagely attack LGBT people, with impunity. Vicious practices like "corrective rape" and murder are ignored by the police. Fry compares bringing the Olympics to Russia in 2014 to cowardice that led to the 1936 Berlin Olympics, which legitimized Hitler and the Nazis on the global stage.
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A statue of Josef Stalin in his hometown of Gori, Georgia, pulled down in 2010, will be re-erected, thanks to prime-minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, a billionaire who is friendly to Russia.
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Brian Krebs is a security expert and investigative journalist who has published numerous ground-breaking stories about the online criminal underground, much to the consternation of the criminal underground. Krebs has been the victim of much harassment, including a dangerous SWATting (where someone called a SWAT team to Krebs's door, having told them that an armed gunman was inside).
Most recently, a Russian crook called Flycracker crowdfunded the purchase of a gram of heroin on the Silk Road, which he mailed to Krebs, having first called the cops to alert them that Krebs was a narcotics trafficker. Luckily for Krebs, he lurks in the same forums in which this was planned, and knew of it in advance and tipped off the local cops and the FBI.
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Hopefully, Edward Snowden's sojourn in Russia will go better than most of the historic examples of Americans defecting
to that country. — Maggie
Attorney Anatoly Kucherena met with NSA leaker Edward Snowden in the transit zone of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport Wednesday. The Russian lawyer is helping the ex-intel contractor with his Russian asylum request. Kucherena left a brown paper shopping bag behind, and the NYT's Robert Mackey writes
that this bag contained "a change of clothes and English translations of books by three Russian authors — Fyodor Dostoyevsky
, Anton Chekhov
and Nikolai Karamzin
— that might help Mr. Snowden, an American, learn about the nation around the airport he has been trapped in for the past month." — Xeni
Sound it Out # 54: Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin - “Nightwater Girlfriend” (free MP3)
Naming your band after a Russian political leader does not necessarily get you noticed in his home country, but it eventually did for Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin. The Boris Yeltsin Foundation has been following the Springfield, MO band’s consistently lovely music-making for years, and invited them to visit the motherland as headliners of the Old New Rock Festival in Yekaterinburg, Russia this past January.
Once the band accepted the gig, the U.S. consulate in Yekaterinburg named them cultural ambassadors to Russia for a day. SSLYBY performed at a local high school and answered questions about being an American rock band. There’s a forthcoming documentary about this trip called “Discussions with Russians”.
Where do you go from there? SSLYBY returned to Missouri in the spring and wrote/recorded a new record in guitarist Will Knauer’s parents’ attic. It’s called Fly By Wire and is full of deliciously earnest pop gems like “Nightwater Girlfriend”, which you can download below.
Photo by Polona Frelih, of Delo.si, who attended a closed-door meeting held by Snowden with human rights NGOs today at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport.
About that phone call between the presidents of the US and Russia, held just hours after fugitive whistleblower Edward Snowden met with NGO reps and a Wikileaks spokesperson in a Moscow airport to announce he would seek asylum in Russia:
"The two leaders noted the importance of U.S.-Russian bilateral relations and discussed a range of security and bilateral issues, including the status of Mr. Edward Snowden and cooperation on counter-terrorism in the lead-up to the Sochi Winter Olympics," read a White House statement.
The Sochi Olympics in Russia are next year. And Putin will be hosting Obama in Russia for the G20 leaders summit in less than two months.
At YouTube, Cryptome
has published a 30-second video
of the conference Edward Snowden held in Moscow today
. The video first surfaced on Russia's Life News website
, which did not name the source for this clip. Notable because no press were permitted inside, and no video was allowed.
White House spokesperson Jay Carney.
"Mr. Snowden is not a human rights activist or dissident," White House spokesman Jay Carney said today
, adding that "providing a propaganda platform" for the National Security Agency leaker was "counter to the Russian government's previous declarations of Russia’s neutrality."
Previously, the US Ambassador to Russia is reported to have said the administration believes he's no whistleblower, either.
Snowden invited human rights groups to a meeting in Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport earlier today to announce his plans to seek asylum in Russia. A Wikileaks representative was at his side.
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Even though Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says Edward Snowden isn't in Russia
, Putin says he is
: "Putin announced that Snowden is in the transit area of Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport, and he said that Russia would not hand him over to the United States, with whom it does not have an extradition agreement."
The BBC reports that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says that Edward Snowden has not entered Russia at all -- but he and the rest of the country are mighty resentful of all the US officials who've been claiming that he was kidnapped by Russian authorities. Wikileaks says they know where Snowden is, and that he never went to Russia in the first place.
Meanwhile, saber-rattling American politicians are claiming that the big risk from Snowden is that he's had his laptop spirited away by foreign spies and the "four laptop harddrives" copied before it was returned. Apparently, none of these politicos have heard of whole disk encryption, and missed the bit when the story of Snowden's identity broke where Glenn Greenwald described the fact that he only logged into his laptop with a blanket covering him and it, so no one could video-record his keystrokes with a hidden camera.
"We are in no way involved with either Mr Snowden, his relations with US justice, nor to his movements around the world," Mr Lavrov said.
"He chose his itinerary on his own. We learnt about it... from the media. He has not crossed the Russian border.
"We consider the attempts to accuse the Russian side of violating US laws, and practically of involvement in a plot, to be absolutely groundless and unacceptable."
Edward Snowden has not entered Russia - Sergei Lavrov
(via Hacker News)
White House spokesman Jay Carney told Reuters that he thinks that Hong Kong let NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden go as a giant screw-you to America (duh), and says that Snowden is being hidden by the Russians, and says that the USA expects the Kremlin to turn him over