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Navalny Buried In Moscow Amid Thousands Of Defiant Mourners

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Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was laid to rest in Moscow on Friday, surrounded by crowds of defiant mourners who chanted his name and blamed authorities for his death in prison.

Outside the cemetery where he was buried, some supporters shouted in grief, while others yelled out slogans against the Kremlin and its offensive in Ukraine.

Despite a heavy police presence and official warnings, thousands of mourners paid their respects to the 47-year-old anti-corruption campaigner whose death in an Arctic prison was announced on February 16.

People come to a makeshift memorial for late Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny organized outside the former Russian Embassy in Tbilisi to honour his memory on March 1, 2024. (Photo by Vano SHLAMOV / AFP)
Navalny’s death has been widely condemned by Western leaders and his allies have accused President Vladimir Putin of responsibility and of trying to prevent a dignified public burial.

The Kremlin, which has dismissed the accusations as “hysterical”, warned against “unauthorised” protests around the funeral.

Navalny’s body first lay in an open casket in a packed church in Maryino, southern Moscow, for a ceremony attended by his parents.

The coffin was closed immediately after the service, meaning many mourners who had wanted to file past were not able to pay their last respects at the Mother of God Quench My Sorrows church.

It was then transported to the Borisovo cemetery, near the banks of the Moskva River, where several large wreaths were arranged around the grave.

“We won’t forget you!”, “Forgive us!” some mourners shouted as the coffin arrived.

‘What are they afraid of?’

“No to war!” some chanted. Others yelled out: “Down with the power of murderers!” and “We will not forgive!”.

Many opponents blame Putin for the death of his top critic.

Police detained some six people in the capital and dozens elsewhere in Russia, according to the OVD-Info rights group.

“Any unauthorised gatherings will be in violation of the law and those who participate in them will be held responsible,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, according to TASS news agency.

“What are they afraid of? Why so many cars?” one mourner, Anna Stepanova, told AFP outside the church.

“The people who came here, they are not scared. Alexei wasn’t either.”

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz praised the thousands who turned out as “courageous”.

The French, German and US ambassadors were seen among mourners outside the church, as were some of Russia’s last free independent politicians.

Music from “Terminator 2” — Navalny’s favourite film — was played as the coffin was lowered, his spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh said.

‘Nothing to say’

The dissident’s widow Yulia Navalnaya, who did not attend, paid tribute to her husband on social media.

“I don’t know how to live without you, but I will try my best to make you up there happy for me and proud of me. I don’t know if I’ll make it or not, but I’ll try,” she said.

“I love you forever. Rest in peace,” she wrote.

Navalnaya has also blamed Putin for her husband’s death.

Putin’s spokesman Peskov has criticised the accusations made by her and some Western leaders as “vulgar”.

As the funeral went ahead, Peskov said he had “nothing to say” to the family of the deceased.

Navalny shot to prominence through his anti-corruption campaigning, exposing what he said was rampant graft at the top of Putin’s administration.

Some mourners mentioned the huge influence Navalny had on their own activism.

“Because of him I began to get involved in politics… He was the first public person that I listened to,” said 26-year-old Denis, a volunteer at a charity.

Navalny was arrested in January 2021 when he returned to Russia after being treated in Germany for a poisoning attack.

“Alexei was tortured for three years,” Navalnaya told lawmakers in Brussels.

“He was starved in a tiny stone cell, cut off from the outside world and denied visits, phone calls, and then even letters.”

“And then they killed him. Even after that, they abused his body,” she said.

‘Ideas will live on’

His body was held for eight days before being returned to the family, which Navalny’s team believed to be a bid to cover up responsibility for his death.

His family and his team have also accused authorities of trying to prevent a dignified public burial, fearing it could turn into a flashpoint for dissent.

Navalny’s team said local investigators had threatened to bury him on the prison grounds if his mother did not agree to a “secret” funeral.

Once the body was released, allies struggled to find a place to hold a funeral ceremony and even hearse drivers.

A civil ceremony allowing the general public to pay their respects to the body — common in Russia — was not allowed.

Navalnaya has vowed to continue his life’s work and urged to “fight more desperately, more fiercely than before.”

In the crowd near the church, some seemed to agree.

“A person has died, but his ideas will live on thanks to those who have gathered here,” said Alyona, a 22-year-old archaeologist who came to pay her respects.

AFP

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Over 2,000 people feared buried in Papua New Guinea landslide

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More than 2,000 people are feared buried in a Papua New Guinea landslide that destroyed a remote highland village, the government said yesterday , as it pleaded for international help in the rescue effort.

The once-bustling hillside community in Enga province was almost wiped out when a chunk of Mount Mungalo collapsed in the early hours of Friday morning, smothering scores of homes and the people sleeping inside them.

“The landslide buried more than 2,000 people alive and caused major destruction to buildings, food gardens and caused major impact on the economic lifeline of the country,” Papua New Guinea’s national disaster centre said in a letter to the United Nations obtained by AFP.

The main highway to the large Porgera gold mine was “completely blocked”, it told the UN resident coordinator’s office in the capital Port Moresby.

The landslip was continuing to “shift slowly, posing ongoing danger to both the rescue teams and survivors alike”, the disaster centre said.

The scale of the catastrophe required “immediate and collaborative actions from all players”, it added, including the army, and national and provincial responders.“The centre also called on the United Nations to inform Papua New Guinea’s development partners “and other international friends” of the crisis.“

 

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New York City Mayor announces rat summit to tackle rodent problem

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By Francesca Hangeior.

 

The United States’ New York City Mayor, Eric Adams, has disclosed that there will be an inaugural National Urban Rat Summit to combat the worsening rodent problems.

Adams in a statement said the summit will take place on September 18 and 19 to assemble the best individuals in rat business from Boston, New Orleans and Seattle.

While making the statement, the mayor said “I hate rats” and the “best way to defeat our enemy is to know our enemy.”

According to the mayor, the summit is meant to bring experts on rats — “from researchers at academic institutions to municipal pest control managers” — to share “best practices” and discuss “rodent mitigation, and advance the science of urban rat management”.

“New Yorkers may not know this about me, but I hate rats, and I’m confident most of our city’s residents do as well,” Adams said.

“With rat sightings down nearly 14% in our city’s Rat Mitigation Zones year over year, we continue to make progress, but we’re not stopping there. The best way to defeat our enemy is to know our enemy. That’s why we’re holding this inaugural summit.”

Speaking about the challenges of rats, the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation Commissioner, Sue Donoghue said that the city is “laser focused” on containing and mitigating rats.

“New York City is laser-focused on rat control and we’re grateful to Mayor Adams and Cornell University for spearheading this summit that will advance best practices and allow cities from across the nation to collaborate on ways to keep rats on the run,” Donoghue said.

Reports have emerged of the rising population of rats in NYC found on subway tunnels and burrows within empty lots and city parks, which has driven out a number of the residents to other neighbouring cities and states.

Last month, New York City health officials issued a warning about the increase in transmitted bacterial illness spread by rat urine after 24 cases were reported in 2023, the most for any year.

Six cases of leptospirosis connected to rat urine have been reported so far in New York City, according to city health officials.

Leptospirosis can lead to kidney damage, meningitis, liver failure, trouble breathing and, in extreme cases, death, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The homeless population or people living in shelters or other facilities where large clusters of people live in tight corridors are at a higher risk of contracting the disease, which has symptoms that can be mistaken for other illnesses, the CDC said.

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HORRIBLE! Man Cuts Open 8-month Pregnant Wife’s Womb To Check Baby’s Gender, Bags Life Imprisonment

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A 46-year-old Indian was sentenced to life imprisonment after he used a sickle to cut open his 8-month pregnant wife’s stomach to check if she was going to give birth to a boy or a girl.

Panna Lal, a resident of Badaun’s Civil Lines in Uttar Pradesh, had attacked his wife, Anita Devi, in September 2020.

The couple were married for 25 years and had five daughters.

However, they used to fight regularly as Panna Lal wanted her to give birth to a boy.

Anita’s family knew about the couple’s dispute and tried to convince Panna Lal to stop fighting but he threatened to divorce Anita and marry another woman to father a son.

On the day of the incident, the couple fought over the gender of the unborn baby again.

Enraged, Panna Lal threatened to cut open Anita’s stomach to check if she was pregnant with a boy or a girl.

When Anita fought back, he threatened to kill her.

He attacked her with a sickle after which she tried to run away from him. He grabbed her and used the sickle to cut open her stomach.

Anita told the court that the cut was so deep that her intestines were left hanging from her stomach.

She ran out to the street and her brother, who worked at a nearby shop, heard her screams and came to rescue her. Seeing him, Panna Lal fled the scene.

Anita was rushed to the hospital. While she survived the attack, her baby, a boy, could not be saved.

The fast track court of Additional District and Sessions Judge Saurabh Saxena sentenced Panna Lai on Thursday, May 23, 2024.

In court, Panna Lal argued that Anita had inflicted the wounds on herself to file a false case against him as he was in a property dispute with her brothers.

Anita’s brother, Ravi Singh told Times of India that when his sister was pregnant for the sixth time, Panna wanted her to abort as he was convinced by a village priest that she was expecting another girl.

“But Anita was adamant on keeping the child. He’s often beat Anita but we never thought he would take such an extreme step. We are happy he got this punishment, Sadly, my sister is not yet able to live a normal life,” he said.

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