Navalny sentenced to more than two years in prison
A Moscow court found that President Vladimir Putin’s loudest critic had broken his parole. Aleksei Navalny, Russia’s most prominent opposition leader, was sentenced to more than two years in prison on Tuesday, a decision that would likely send him to a penal colony far away for the first time.
Authorities placed several of his top allies under house arrest and deployed a huge police presence in cities across Russia on Sunday to quell protests demanding his release – some of the largest street demonstrations of the Putin era.
“You can’t lock up the whole country,” Mr Navalny told the court. He said the Russian president was angry for survival after being poisoned with nerve agent Novichok in August.
Accusations: Prosecutors alleged that Mr Navalny breached a suspended suspended sentence he received in 2014. He and his brother were convicted of theft from two companies, a conviction that the European Court of Human Rights described as “arbitrary and manifestly unreasonable”.
What’s next: The decision to send him to prison removes his direct voice from the Russian political landscape, but it could stimulate his supporters and further strengthen the Russian opposition to Putin around the figure of Navalny.
Weighing up an answer to the coup in Myanmar
President Biden promised to work for democracy on Monday and threatened to reinstate sanctions against Myanmar after a military coup. The return to military rule in Myanmar after five years of quasi-democracy is a test of the new government’s foreign policy.
State Department officials said Tuesday they discovered a military coup had taken place – an assessment that automatically curtails US aid to Myanmar. The UN Security Council should meet to discuss a global response.
Western governments have called for the release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the country’s civilian leader who was arrested in the coup along with her top lieutenants. Protests broke out in Myanmar’s largest city, Yangon, on Tuesday. People slammed pots, honked their car horns and sang: “The evil is gone,” reported Reuters.
Analysis: Myanmar’s army is now fully responsible – but it never really left, writes our Southeast Asian office manager. With the coup, the generals tore apart the democratic front they had built on a system they still strongly preferred.
Interpreter: Outsiders often assumed that Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi was defending the generals against genocide allegations so as not to upset them – but it turned out that she was “much tougher than the military,” according to one analyst, with anti-Rohingya feelings put it.
Study shows Russia’s vaccine is effective and safe
The Sputnik V vaccine developed in Russia has been shown to be 91.6 percent effective against the coronavirus, appears to be safe and does not cause serious side effects, according to an analysis published in the medical journal The Lancet.
Based on the results, Russia is well positioned to supply a cheap vaccine at home and abroad. The required two shots of the Sputnik V vaccine are $ 10 each and do not require deep cold storage. Around 50 countries, including India and South Korea, have pre-ordered the vaccine.
Russia was skeptical about approving its vaccine without disclosing clinical trial data. The vaccine’s developer, Gamaleya Research Institute, which is part of Russia’s Ministry of Health, announced in December that the vaccine had an effectiveness of 91.4 percent. This is how the Sputnik V mounts work.
Here are the latest updates and maps of the pandemic.
In other developments:
Japan has extended the state of emergency in Tokyo and nine other prefectures by one month to March 7th. Although infections had receded, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said hospitals were still under pressure.
A coronavirus variant first observed in the UK has received a worrying mutation that could make it difficult to control with vaccines.
If you have 3 minutes it is worth it
Online memorials for Covid-19 victims
Mayandi Soundara Raj, an engineer pictured on a motorcycle, was “a perfect husband” to his wife until his death on July 10th. Arkadipta Basu, who died on September 17th, showered her family with “love and affection” man.
Mr Raj and Ms Basu are among those featured on a new website for the more than 154,000 coronavirus victims in India. The site is designed to bring dignity and closure to families as burials were so limited. Above a funeral in New Delhi in August.
The following also happens
Trump impeachment: The nine impeachment executives of the House of Representatives put their case against former President Donald Trump on file, arguing that he was “solely responsible” for the attack on the US Capitol last month. The process is scheduled to begin next Tuesday.
Chinese dissident: Friends and family have lost touch with Yang Maodong, a dissident who tried to visit his sick wife in the United States but failed to board a flight to San Francisco. He disappeared after sending messages about his situation from Shanghai Airport.
We’ll help you start a new project. At home, you have ideas for what to read, cook, see, and do while being safe at home.
And now for the background story about …
Facebook groups that tell lies
The QAnon conspiracy theory, promoting fake health treatments, and promoting violence based on false claims of election fraud have a common thread: Facebook groups. In our On Tech newsletter, experts have put together recommendations on how to make these forums less toxic.
Stop automated recommendations. Facebook has announced that it is taking a temporary break in computerized referrals for people who want to join political or health groups. Some experts said Facebook should go further and stop computerized group suggestions entirely.
Provide more control over private groups. Two social media researchers, Nina Jankowicz and Cindy Otis, have suggested not to privately allow groups over a certain number of members – which means newcomers must be invited and outsiders cannot see what is being discussed – without regular human review of theirs Content.
Target the habitual group perpetrators. Renée DiResta, a disinformation researcher at Stanford, said Facebook needed to be “more determined” against the groups that are repeatedly harassed. Jade Magnus Ogunnaike of civil rights group Color of Change said Facebook should make full-fledged employees – usually contractors – for reviewing the material on the site.
That’s it for this briefing. Until next time.
Carole Landry helped write this briefing. Theodore Kim and Jahaan Singh took the break from the news. You can reach the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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• Our Moscow correspondent Anton Troianovski discussed the arrest of Aleksei Navalny with Radio New Zealand and Channel 4 News.