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Lawmaker Says Women Need Time Off While Menstruating


Do women we need a menstruation Bill to to protect  their rights? 

 

A nationalist deputy from Russia‘s State Duma put forward legislation Monday entitling working women to two days holiday every month during the “critical days” when they are menstruating.

“In this period, the majority of women experience psychological and physical discomfort,” LDPR member and Moscow mayoral candidate Mikhail Degtyaryov, 32, said in a statement. “Often the pain for the fair sex is so intense that they are forced to call an ambulance.”

The disruption to working women caused by menstruation is so severe that it represents a problem for society, according to the draft bill submitted by Degtyaryov to the Duma.

“Strong pain induces heightened fatigue, reduces memory and work-competence and leads to colorful expressions of emotional discomfort,” reads a copy of the bill published on Degtyaryov’s website. “Therefore scientists and gynecologists look on difficult menstruation not only as a medical, but also a social problem.”

Obliging employers to provide a holiday for female employees will ensure “fair working conditions” for women and increase their “psychological health,” according to Degtyaryov.

It was not immediately clear, however whether the menstruation bill would have enough support to be passed by the Duma. Andrei Isayev, a member of the incumbent United Russia party and the head of the Duma’s Labor, Social Politics and Veteran Affairs Committee, said Monday that the legislation was “ill conceived.”

The nationalist LDPR party is known for its traditional, and sometimes outspoken approach to many gender

lifestyle and moral issues. Last month, party leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky said that the new head of Russia’s Central Bank — Elvira Nabiullina — would struggle because the post demanded “male brains.”

Degtyaryov is the LDPR’s candidate in Moscow mayoral elections scheduled for September 8. Less than 1 percent of Muscovites are planning to vote for him, according to a July 17 poll by the Levada Center.

The Moscow Times

Comment

I am sure the above idea would appeal to many women . Maybe females  everywhere should be floating the idea with their elected representatives

via Lawmaker Says Women Need Time Off While Menstruating | News | The Moscow Times.

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Snowden Gets Whistleblower Award in Germany


Fugitive US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden has become the winner of this year’s Whistleblower Award established by German human rights organizations, the German branch of Transparency International said in a statement.

“This year’s winner of the Whistleblower Award is Edward Snowden,” the statement posted on TI Germany website on Monday said.

The award, established in 1999, is sponsored by the Association of German Scientists (VDW) and the German branch of the International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms (IALANA).

A VDW spokesperson told RIA Novosti on Monday that the award money, amounting to 3,000 euros, would be passed to Snowden through his representatives – either a lawyer or a “friendly” organization.

Snowden, who faces prosecution in the United States for leaking highly sensitive classified data about the US National Security Agency’s surveillance activities, submitted a request for temporary asylum in Russia last week, having been holed up in the transit zone of a Moscow airport since arriving from Hong Kong on June 23.

He is still waiting for a decision by the Russian migration authorities.

Washington has repeatedly called on Moscow to reject Snowden’s request for asylum and send him back to the United States to stand trial on charges of espionage and theft.

via Snowden Gets Whistleblower Award in Germany | World | RIA Novosti.

A1 close to winning landmark victory to recover logistics park from Quinn Group for Irish Govt.


Russia’s famously creaky legal system will be put to the test on July 17 with an asset recovery case – and according to A1, the specialist distressed asset firm that is part of Alfa Group, it will pass.

The case smacks of poacher turned gamekeeper: A1 is the M&A arm of Alfa Group (and as Alfa Ekho, was the first company the founders of the group, who include oligarch Mikhail Fridman, set up). Suffice to say, Alfa Group didn’t cover itself in corporate governance glory in the 1990s.

However, in April A1 went into a joint venture with the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC), which has been trying, so far unsuccessfully, to recover 12 assets in Eastern Europe (mostly buildings and some companies) that used to belong to the bankrupt developer, Quinn Group.

Sean Quinn, the founder of the group, defaulted on loans worth €2.8bn from the Anglo Irish Bank, which went bust and its assets were taken over by IBRC, which has since been trying to convert them back into cash.

The trouble is that Quinn has not been playing ball. The ownership of most of the assets has been transferred to a number of shell companies and the IBRC has been struggling to make much headway through the Russian legal system. So earlier this year it turned to A1, which is run by one of the three original founders of Alfa Group, Alexei Kuzmichyov.

On July 17, the courts in the regional capital of Kazan will decide in a key case in A1’s campaign in a dispute involving the $60m state-of-the-art logistics park Q-Park, which the Quinn Group built in Kazan, the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan, Russia.

The problem is that the ownership of the park passed from a Quinn Group holding company called Demesne (held via a subsidiary called Logistika), which now belongs to IBRC, to several shell companies that A1 believes are still under the control of Sean Quinn, putting the park out of the reach of creditors.

A1 said in a statement: “It later turned out that on May 11, 2011 the shares of ZAO ‘Logistica’ have been sold to Sean Quinn, Jr.; on June 3, 2011 shares were resold to ZAO ‘Vneshkonsalt’ and in fall of 2011 sold to two Panama companies – Forvar Overseas S.A. and Lockerbie Investments S.A. These acts were allegedly committed in order to eliminate the [IBRC] from the corporate control of ZAO ‘Logistica’ and foreclosure on the assets of ZAO ‘Logistica’.”

Two shell companies – Vneshkonsalt and another creditor to many of the disputed assets, Stroitelnie Tekhnologii – are names that have come up again and again as the owners of almost all of the disputed assets, including Q-Park, according to A1.

A1 says that it doesn’t know who is behind them, but believes they are answering to Sean Quinn. Indeed, both Sean Quinn and his son were arrested last year in Ireland for attempts to receive rental payments for the disputed properties in Russia and Ukraine in violation of the bankruptcy proceedings. “The holdings and properties have been moving in mysterious ways,” says Andrei Polyakovsky, spokesperson for A1. “What we are certain of is that a misappropriation of funds by an unknown group is taking place”.

A1 is trying to prove that Q-Park still owes Demesne $60m from credits for construction and working capital loans, then it can take back control of the park, put its own administrator in and start preparing the company for sale.

All in all, IBRC and A1 are trying to recover 12 assets in Eastern Europe (11 in Russia and the Ukraina shopping mall in Kyiv) collectively worth some $500m. Q-Park is the second most valuable, but the most expensive is the Kutuzov Towers in central Moscow that is worth up to $200m by current estimates. Work on recovering that has already begun, but will take up some time to complete, says Polyakovsky.

And A1 is supremely confident that it will win, because it never loses a fight as a point of principle. This sounds boastful, but it is not an idle boast. Alfa Group was schooled in the ways of business during the chaos of the 1990s and emerged from that time as one of the most powerful conglomerates in the country with a reputation for playing hard and sometimes rough against its rivals. “A1 doesn’t lose in corporate standoffs,” says Polyakovsky. “It’s a principle in the company and part of our strength. Even if we end up losing money on the investment, we will fight within the legal field as long as we have to reach our goal. ”

This was why IBRC came to A1 for help in the first place. A1 contributed $18m to the joint venture as running-about money, plus it is spending about $1m a month on the work, according to Polyakovsky. IBRC contributed all the titles and deeds to all the assets. According to sources familiar with the deal, the proceeds from the recovery and sale of the initial property will be used to compensate A1 costs. After that, the proceeds will be shared with A1 one getting approximately 30% and IBRC getting the larger part.

via A1 close to winning landmark victory to recover logistics park for Irish govt – BUSINESS NEW EUROPE.

Edward Snowden has documents on how to evade NSA surveillance, journalist says


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Journalist Glenn Greenwald speaks during an interview with the Associated Press in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, July 14, 2013. Greenwald, The Guardian journalist who first reported Edward Snowden’s disclosures of U.S. surveillance programs says the former National Security Agency analyst has “very specific blueprints of how the NSA do what they do.”(AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)

RIO DE JANEIRO — Edward Snowden has very sensitive “blueprints” detailing how the National Security Agency operates that would allow someone who read them to evade or even duplicate NSA surveillance, a journalist close to the intelligence leaker said Sunday.

Glenn Greenwald, a columnist with The Guardian newspaper who closely communicates with Snowden and first reported on his intelligence leaks, told The Associated Press that the former NSA systems analyst has “literally thousands of documents” that constitute “basically the instruction manual for how the NSA is built.”

“In order to take documents with him that proved that what he was saying was true he had to take ones that included very sensitive, detailed blueprints of how the NSA does what they do,” Greenwald said in the interview in Brazil, where he lives. He said the interview took place about four hours after his last interaction with Snowden, with whom he said he’s in almost daily contact.

Snowden emerged from weeks of hiding in a Moscow airport Friday, and said he was willing to stop leaking secrets about U.S. surveillance programs if Russia would give him asylum until he can move on to Latin America.

Greenwald told The AP that Snowden has insisted the information from those documents not be made public. The journalist said it “would allow somebody who read them to know exactly how the NSA does what it does, which would in turn allow them to evade that surveillance or replicate it.”

Despite their sensitivity, the journalist said he didn’t think that disclosure of the documents would prove harmful to Americans or their national security.

“I think it would be harmful to the U.S. government, as they perceive their own interests, if the details of those programs were revealed,” said the 46-year-old former constitutional and civil rights lawyer who has written three books contending the government has violated personal rights in the name of protecting national security.

He has previously said the documents have been encrypted to help ensure their safekeeping.

Greenwald, who has also co-authored a series of articles in Rio de Janeiro’s O Globo newspaper focusing on NSA actions in Latin America, said he expected to continue publishing further stories based on other of Snowden’s documents for the next four months.

Upcoming stories would likely include details on “other domestic spying programs that have yet to be revealed” which are similar in scope to those he has been reporting on. He did not provide any further details on the nature of those programs.

Greenwald said he deliberately avoids talking to Snowden about issues related to where the former analyst might seek asylum to avoid possible legal problems himself.

Snowden is believed to be stuck in the transit area of Moscow’s main international airport, where he arrived from Hong Kong on June 23. He’s had offers of asylum from Venezuela, Nicaragua and Bolivia, but because his U.S. passport has been revoked, the logistics of reaching whichever country he chooses are complicated.

Still, Greenwald said that Snowden remains “calm and tranquil,” despite his predicament.

“I haven’t sensed an iota of remorse or regret or anxiety over the situation that he’s in,” said Greenwald, speaking at a hotel in Rio de Janeiro, where he’s lived for the past eight years. “He’s of course tense and focused on his security and his short-term well-being to the best extent that he can, but he’s very resigned to the fact that things might go terribly wrong and he’s at peace with that.”

via Edward Snowden has documents on how to evade NSA surveillance, journalist says | syracuse.com.

Edward Snowden offered asylum by Venezuelan president


Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro said on Friday he had decided to offer asylum to former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, who has petitioned several countries to avoid capture by Washington.

“In the name of America’s dignity … I have decided to offer humanitarian asylum to Edward Snowden,” Maduro told a televised military parade marking Venezuela‘s independence day.

The 30-year-old former National Security Agency contractor is believed to be holed up in the transit area of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo international airport.

WikiLeaks said on Friday that Snowden had applied to six more nations for asylum, bringing to about 20 the number of countries he has asked for protection from US espionage charges.

Maduro said Venezuela was ready to offer him sanctuary, and that the details Snowden had revealed of a US spy program had exposed the nefarious schemes of the US “empire”.

“He has told the truth, in the spirit of rebellion, about the US spying on the whole world,” Maduro said.

“Who is the guilty one? A young man … who denounces war plans, or the US government which launches bombs and arms the terrorist Syrian opposition against the people and legitimate president Bashar al-Assad?”

“Who is the terrorist? Who is the global delinquent?”

Russia has shown signs of growing impatience over Snowden’s stay in Moscow. Its deputy foreign minister said on Thursday that Snowden had not sought asylum in that country and needed to choose a place to go.

Moscow has made clear that the longer he stays, the greater the risk of the diplomatic standoff over his fate causing lasting damage to relations with Washington.

Earlier on Friday, Nicaragua said it had received an asylum request from Snowden and could accept the bid “if circumstances permit”, president Daniel Ortega said.

“We are an open country, respectful of the right of asylum, and it’s clear that if circumstances permit, we would gladly receive Snowden and give him asylum in Nicaragua,” Ortega said during a speech in the Nicaraguan capital, Managua.

Ortega, an ally of Venezuelan president Maduro, did not elaborate on the conditions that would allow him to offer asylum to Snowden, who has been at the eye of a diplomatic storm since leaking high-level US intelligence data last month.

Options have been narrowing for Snowden as he seeks a country to shelter him from US espionage charges.

A one-time cold war adversary of the United States, Ortega belongs to a bloc of leftist leaders in Latin America that have frequently taken up antagonistic positions with Washington.

Nicaragua, one of the poorest countries in the Americas, has benefited greatly from financial support from Venezuela, and Ortega was a staunch ally of late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chávez.

via Edward Snowden offered asylum by Venezuelan president | World news | guardian.co.uk.

US sends Government arrest warrant for Snowden


The Irish Government has received a request from the US authorities to arrest fugitive US intelligence analyst Edward Snowden. The provisional arrest warrant received by the Irish Government from the US authorities is now being handled by the extradition Unit in the Garda’s crime and security branch based in Garda headquarters, Phoenix Park, Dublin. The warrant has been issued as a pre-emptive strike against any effort by Mr Snowden to evade the US authorities by flying from Moscow to Havana on a commercial flight that stops off at Shannon for refuelling. The warrant would enable the Garda to arrest Mr Snowden under the Extradition Act 1965.

He could be brought before a District Court where a judge could detain him in custody for up to 18 days during which time the Americans could execute a full extradition process to bring him back to America to stand trial.

He is wanted for questioning in the US following his releasing information outlining how the US government was engaged in the wholesale interception of email and telephone messages.

Mr Snowden had fled to Hong Kong and then to Russia, where his plans to leave the country were scuppered when the US authorities cancelled his passport meaning he could not fly on a scheduled flight.

He is believed to be in the transit lounge of Moscow airport.

While the receipt of the provisional arrest documentation by the Department of Justice yesterday appears based on the possibility he may try to travel to Havana on the regular Aeroflot flight via Shannon, security sources in Dublin believe this is unlikely.

“We would think he’ll stay in Russia for at least a while but the papers are with us now so the option of using Shannon to get to Cuba is probably out for him,” one source said.

Mr Snowden (30) has already made efforts to seek political asylum in a large number of countries including Ireland. He could not make such an application unless he was physically in Ireland.

However, if he travelled via Shannon as part of his efforts to get to Cuba and was arrested under the provisional arrest warrant pending an extradition process by the American authorities in the Irish courts, he could apply for asylum while being held in prison here.

The plane of Bolivian president Evo Morales was denied permission to fly over some European countries on Wednesday after leaving Moscow when it was suspected Mr Snowden could be on board.

He worked for the National Security Agency as a contractor in Hawaii, has been trying since June 23rd to find a country that will offer him refuge from prosecution in theUnited States on espionage charges.

Russian president Vladimir Putin is unwilling to sendMr Snowden to the United States, with which Russia has no extradition treaty.

via US sends Government arrest warrant for Snowden – Irish News, World News & More | The Irish Times – Fri, Jul 05, 2013.

With Snowden believed to be stuck at a Moscow airport, mysteries about his case abound


“Putin said Monday that Snowden could stay in Russia on condition he stop leaking U.S. secrets. Putin’s spokesman later said Snowden had withdrawn his request for asylum after learning the terms”

MOSCOW — National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden arrived in Moscow on an Aeroflot flight from Hong Kong on June 23, according to the airline, but he has been out of the public eye and his circumstances and plans are murky. Snowden is believed to have remained in the airport’s transit zone, caught in legal limbo after his U.S. passport was annulled by Washington. Here is a look at some of the mysteries surrounding the case of the world’s most famous fugitive.

WHY DID SNOWDEN LEAVE HONG KONG?

The Hong Kong government was believed to be trying to persuade Snowden to leave in order to remove a major irritant in relations with the United States. And Snowden apparently feared that the government could hold him in custody if he stayed and fought a U.S. extradition request.

Albert Ho, a local legislator, said he inquired on behalf of Snowden whether he could remain free pending the outcome or leave Hong Kong if he chose to do so. Ho said officials never got back to him with an answer, but an intermediary who claimed to represent the government sent a message to Snowden saying he was free to leave — and should do so.

WHY RUSSIA?

President Vladimir Putin relishes defying the United States, accusing Washington of trying to dominate global affairs. When Snowden was still in hiding in Hong Kong, Putin’s spokesman said Russia would consider granting him asylum if he asked for it.

Snowden could have seen Russia as a safe haven that would not send him to the U.S. under any circumstances. Putin so far has met his expectations, bluntly rejecting Washington’s expulsion request.

WHERE IS SNOWDEN NOW?

Putin says Snowden remains in the transit zone of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport and hasn’t crossed the Russian border, a statement repeated by other Russian officials. Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa told the AP that the country’s ambassador had seen Snowden once in Moscow. Hordes of journalists have besieged the airport, including a nearby hotel that has a wing for transit passengers, but none has seen Snowden or talked to him since his arrival and there have been no photographs of him.

Some security experts have speculated that Snowden could be in the hands of Russian intelligence agencies eager to learn the secrets he possesses. Putin has flatly denied that Russia’s special services have debriefed Snowden.

WHAT IS SNOWDEN’S RELATIONSHIP WITH WIKILEAKS?

Snowden didn’t turn to the secret-spilling website to warn the world of the NSA’s massive surveillance program, saying he wanted to deal with journalists whose judgment he trusted about what should be made public and what should be held back.

But it didn’t take long for WikiLeaks to adopt Snowden and his cause, jumping in to offer its assistance as a kind of renegade travel agency. WikiLeaks’ role as Snowden’s unofficial handler doesn’t sit well with some, including Snowden’s father, who has expressed frustration that the organization may not be giving his son the best advice.

WHO IS WITH HIM?

WikiLeaks says its legal adviser Sarah Harrison is with Snowden, “escorting him at all times.” Harrison has been equally elusive. WikiLeaks said that on Sunday she delivered Snowden’s request for asylum to 21 countries, including Russia, to the Russian consulate at the Moscow airport.

HOW DID HE GET STUCK?

WikiLeaks initially said Snowden was bound for Ecuador, where he has requested asylum. He booked an Aeroflot flight to Cuba — presumably as a transfer point — the day after his arrival in Moscow, but he didn’t show up and his seat remained empty. The U.S. annulment of Snowden’s passport, which has made it impossible for him to legally cross the Russian border or board a plane, could have been a reason behind the change in plans.

He also could have been concerned that the U.S. would force the plane to land while flying over U.S. airspace or felt uncertain about his final destination.

WHO MIGHT OFFER HIM SHELTER?

Putin said Monday that Snowden could stay in Russia on condition he stop leaking U.S. secrets. Putin’s spokesman later said Snowden had withdrawn his request for asylum after learning the terms.

Ecuador, which has sheltered WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in its embassy in London for more than a year, has given mixed signals about offering him shelter.

Bolivia, whose president attended a summit of gas exporters in Moscow this week, has been seen as a possible safe haven. The plane carrying President Evo Morales home from Moscow was rerouted and delayed in Austria. Bolivia says it is because of suspicions Snowden was on board, though Bolivian and Austrian officials both say Snowden was not on the plane.

Another potential option is Venezuela, whose president attended the same energy summit in Moscow and made a stopover in neighboring Belarus on Wednesday.

ARE THERE MORE LEAKS COMING?

It’s quite possible. Snowden said his work as an NSA systems analyst allowed him to take in a huge range of material, and U.S. officials have given conflicting assessments of how much information he may have had access to. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said she had been told Snowden had perhaps more than 200 sensitive documents.

Assange has promised more leaks, saying measures have been taken to prevent anyone from blocking publication of more NSA documents in Snowden’s possession.

Glenn Greenwald, the Guardian journalist whose work has been central to breaking the story, suggested media organizations involved already had all the material Snowden wanted to make public. Greenwald indicated it was up to the newspapers what to publish and when.

Kelvin Chan in Hong Kong and Raphael Satter in London contributed to this report.

via With Snowden believed to be stuck at a Moscow airport, mysteries about his case abound.

Snowden applies for political asylum in Russia


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Vladimir Putin has for the first time floated the idea of United States whistleblower Edward Snowden remaining in Russia, hours after the fugitive applied for political asylum in the country.

Mr Snowden applied for asylum at the consular office at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport at 10:30pm last Sunday evening through his WikiLeaks handler, Sarah Harrison, a consular official said.

“The UK citizen Sarah Harrison passed on a request by Edward Snowden to be granted political asylum,” said Kim Shevchenko, of the airport’s consular department. He said he then called the foreign ministry, who sent a courier an hour later to pick up the request.

He declined to say where Ms Harrison or Mr Snowden, who have not been seen since landing in Sheremetyevo last week, were staying. “She didn’t say and I didn’t ask,” he said.

‘Our American partners’

In a move likely to enrage the US, Mr Putin said yesterday: “If he wants to go somewhere and someone will take him, go ahead. If he wants to stay here, there is one condition: he must stop his work aimed at bringing harm to our American partners, as strange as that sounds coming from my mouth.”

Mr Snowden has been in the airport since June 23rd, after flying in from Hong Kong, from where he leaked secret documents detailing US National Security Agency surveillance programmes.

Stripped of his US passport, he has been stuck in limbo since.

His attempts to get political asylum in Ecuador, whose London embassy is sheltering WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, appear to have dried up amid intense US lobbying and reported disagreements within the Ecuadorean government.

Snowden met Russian diplomats yesterday morning and handed them a list of 15 countries to which he would like to apply for political asylum, the Los Angeles Times reported, citing an unnamed source in the foreign ministry.

Mr Putin appeared to leave himself some latitude, noting Mr Snowden would be unlikely to meet his conditions for staying in Russia.

“Considering that he considers himself a human rights activist and a fighter for human rights, he probably doesn’t plan to stop this work, so he should choose a host country and head there,” Mr Putin said.

“When this will happen I, unfortunately, do not know.”

Speaking at a press conference after a meeting of gas exporting countries, he reiterated that Russia would not extradite Mr Snowden to the US.

“Russia never gives anyone up and doesn’t plan to give anyone up. And no one has ever given us anyone.”

‘Snowden is not our agent’

For the second time Mr Putin, unprompted, insisted Mr Snowden was not working with Russia’s secret services. “Mr Snowden is not our agent, never was and isn’t today. Our special services have never worked with him and are not working with him.”

Russia maintains one of the world’s most developed intelligence mechanisms and is widely believed to engage in snooping on its own citizens.

Nicolas Maduro, the Venezuelan president, is in Moscow for the two-day gas conference and it was believed he and Mr Putin would discuss Mr Snowden’s fate.

Mr Putin’s foreign policy advisor, Yury Ushakov, said the two had not discussed Mr Snowden yet.

A campaign calling for Mr Snowden to stay in Russia has gathered momentum since he first arrived in Moscow. Yesterday morning, several MPs and influential Russians floated the idea during a meeting of the Public Chamber, a body that advises the Kremlin.

“It’s not right that Snowden is sitting in this terminal like in a prison,” said Sergei Markov, a former MP with close ties to the Kremlin.

“Unlike prison, he can’t even go out and breathe fresh air. On humanitarian grounds, I think he should be presented with a way to enter Russian territory.”

– (Guardian service)

via Snowden applies for political asylum in Russia – US News | Latest US News Headlines | The Irish Times – Tue, Jul 02, 2013.

The No-Show – By Anna Nemtsova


HAVANA — We’re waiting for you in Havana, Snowden. Are you on your way?

It’s still unclear what happened on Monday, June 24, the day after leaker Edward Snowden arrived in Moscow from Hong Kong. That day, Snowden was supposed to board a plane to Havana to then transfer to Ecuador, one of the very few places willing to shield him from the American officials who regard him as a traitor. He even had a boarding pass for the window seat in row F, in economy class. But he never showed up, and his seat stayed empty.

Was Snowden trapped in the transit zone of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport against his will by the Russian security service, curious to see the data he had in his computers? Or was he afraid of flying in a plane that could be grounded while passing over the United States, where American courts were waiting to lock him up in jail for over 30 years? Until the very moment the Aeroflot crew closed the plane’s door, it looked like he was coming: Russian police surrounded Gate 28, patrolling outside and inside the airplane. The crew members on the plane looked tense and upset, as if they were facing a horrible trial. We still don’t know what happened at the last moment, but in the end Snowden stayed in Moscow.

I was on that plane, waiting for him along with several dozen other journalists from international news agencies and TV channels, all of us eager to quiz him about his claims. I wanted to ask Snowden about the evidence he had to prove his claims that the U.S. and British intelligence agencies, despite their governments’ public advocacy for freedom of the Internet, had been spying and stealing tons of personal data from people in their home countries.

For a long time, after we took off, we still could not believe that Snowden was not among us: After all, who knew what disguise he might be using? (This might seem a bit less crazy when you consider that we just saw an American spy wearing a wig last month.) Trapped on the flight for 12 hours, journalists walked around the plane looking into every passenger’s face. Other reporters were already waiting to greet Snowden in Cuba. They looked for him inside and outside Havana’s airport, asking every young blond male if he was Snowden. I’m still hoping to meet up with Snowden here in Havana, though Ecuadorean diplomats now say it may take months to issue him political asylum.

There’s one very specific reason Snowden may be having trouble finding a way out of the Moscow airport’s transit lounge, where he apparently is right now: his papers. Right now the only travel document he has is one of dubious status issued by the Ecuadoreans. After the American authorities canceled his U.S. passport on Monday, no airline wants to sell him another plane ticket. (He apparently managed to buy his ticket for Havana while his passport was still valid.)

There are other theories. “He got frightened that Americans would bring him down on that plane,” says Igor Bunin, a Moscow political analyst. “He’s a huge pain for the Kremlin, a Catch-22. Now that he’s turned into an anti-American government star, Russia can’t kick him out, but keeping him means even a bigger international scandal.” I’d love to ask Snowden about his days and nights in Russia if I ever get the chance to meet him.

My friend Olga Bychkova, a host from radio Echo of Moscow, described a scene she witnessed in the airport’s transit zone on the day of Snowden’s arrival on Sunday. “I saw about 20 Russian officials, supposedly FSB [security service] agents in suits, crowding around somebody in a restricted area of the airport,” Bychkova told me. “The Kremlin pretends they have nothing to do with him being stuck in Moscow, but in reality they’re all over him.”

What’s up Mr. Snowden? Do you really hate reporters? If you’re “a free man,” as President Vladimir Putin says, why hide from crowds of journalists waiting to talk to you in Sheremetyevo airport for three days? WikiLeaks claims that you — the biggest leaker in the history of the National Security Agency — are “in a safe place.” If you’re safe and free, why didn’t you use your ticket last Monday? You would have had a great chance to explain the reasons for renouncing your wealthy life with a beautiful girlfriend. Just imagine: 12 hours in front of the world’s major networks on the flight to Cuba! Russian commentators think that you’re not as free as the Russian leader claims, that somebody did not allow you to fly Monday. “Snowden will fly out of Russia when the Kremlin decides he can go,” says Moscow political analyst Dmitry Oreshkin. “He might not even be in the airport. The safest place would be a GRU [Russian military intelligence] apartment.” That would also explain why no one has seen your face in Moscow yet.

via The No-Show – By Anna Nemtsova | Foreign Policy.

WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange pushes Snowden bid for Ecuador asylum


WikiLeaks has brokered an offer of political asylum in Ecuador for United States intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Video arrival in Moscow

Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino has confirmed that his government “has received an asylum request from Edward J Snowden”.

WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange this morning welcomed Educador’s decision to assist Mr Snowden.

“I would urge the Government of Ecuador to accept Ed Snowden’s asylum application,” Mr Assange said by telephone from Ecuador’s embassy in London.

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“There is deep irony that the Obama Administration is charging the whistleblower who has revealed worldwide spying with the crime of espionage.

“He is clearly being persecuted by the US government for telling us the truth.”

Mr Snowden flew from Hong Kong to Moscow yesterday accompanied by WikiLeaks legal advisers. He was met by Ecuadorean diplomats on his arrival at Moscow airport.

It is expected Mr Snowden will depart Moscow later today to fly to Ecuador with a stop-over at Havana, Cuba.  He will travel in the company of Ecuadorean diplomats and the Government of Ecuador has issued with travel documents to ensure his safe passage.

The United States government is demanding that Mr Snowden should “not be allowed to proceed further” overseas.

The US State Department has confirmed that the US revoked Mr Snowden’s passport due to “felony arrest warrants” against the former employee of intelligence contractor Booz Allen Hamilton.

“Persons wanted on felony charges, such as Mr Snowden, should not be allowed to proceed in any further international travel, other than is necessary to return him to the United States,” a State Department spokesperson said.

Mr Assange has confirmed WikiLeaks’ involvement in Mr Snowden’s sudden departure from Hong Kong.

In a statement issued last night WikiLeaks said Mr Snowden was “bound for the Republic of Ecuador via a safe route for the purposes of asylum, and is being escorted by diplomats and legal advisors from WikiLeaks”.

“Mr Snowden requested that WikiLeaks use its legal expertise and experience to secure his safety. Once Mr Snowden arrives in Ecuador his request will be formally processed.

“Owing to our own circumstances, WikiLeaks has developed significant expertise in international asylum and extradition law, associated diplomacy and the practicalities in these matters,” Mr Assange told Fairfax Media.

“I have great personal sympathy for Ed Snowden’s position. WikiLeaks absolutely supports his decision to blow the whistle on the mass surveillance of the world’s population by the US government.”

Mr Assange, who has himself spent a year at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London where he has diplomatic asylum, said that he was “thankful to the countries that have been doing the right thing in these matters.  WikiLeaks hopes that Ed Snowden’s rights will be protected, including his right to free communication.”

“I am also thankful and proud of the courage of WikiLeaks’ staff and all those who have assisted his exit from Hong Kong.”

Former Spanish Judge Baltasar Garzon, legal director of Wikileaks and lawyer for Mr Assange said WikiLeaks was “interested in preserving Mr Snowden’s rights and protecting him as a person. What is being done to Mr Snowden and to Mr Julian Assange – for making or facilitating disclosures in the public interest – is an assault against the people”.

Mr Assange also criticised the cancelation of Mr Snowden’s passport, saying it was “a clear abuse of state power to cancel a citizen’s practical national identity when they need it most.

“The Australian government attempted to do this to me under US pressure in December 2020, but fortunately the anger of Australian people and media ultimately prevented the Gillard government from cancelling my Australia passport.”

Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Patino visited London last week and held lengthy discussions with Mr Assange at Ecuador’s embassy.

There has been an angry reaction in US government and political circles to news of Mr Snowden’s departure from Hong Kong and arrival in Moscow.

General Keith Alexander, director of the National Security Agency attacked Mr Snowden as  “an individual who is not acting, in my opinion, with noble intent”.

Republican Senator Lindsay Graham earlier told Fox News: “I hope we’ll chase him to the ends of the earth, bring him to justice and let the Russians know there will be consequences if they harbor this guy.”

Congressman and member of the US House of Representatives intelligence committee Peter King said: “I think it is important for the American people to realize that this guy is a traitor, a defector, he’s not a hero.”

The Hong Kong government announced yesterday that Mr Snowden had left the special administrative region of China “on his own accord for a third country through a lawful and normal channel.”

The Hong Kong government’s statement also said the documents for Mr Snowden’s extradition submitted by Washington “did not fully comply with the legal requirements under Hong Kong law.”

“As the [Hong Kong] Government has yet to have sufficient information to process the request for a provisional warrant of arrest, there is no legal basis to restrict Mr Snowden from leaving Hong Kong.”

via WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange pushes Snowden bid for Ecuador asylum.

Soviet anti Religious art


down_withholidays

 Fight and hooliganism are the constant companions of church holidays; the drunken victims of religious festivals; thousands of young people die yearly in honor of -Holy Christmas-; after the holiday.
Source: Hoover Political Poster Database. 2007.
opium_ofpeople
Religion is the Opiate of the People
He who lives and works in need his entire life is taught by religion to be meek and patient in this world, offering the comfort of hope for heavenly reward. And they who live on the labor of others are taught by religion to
women_religion
Selected passages from church teachings about the inferiority of women, with verses at the foot of the poster which conclude: -Woman! Go to the Soviets, to the factory committees, to the unions, listen to lectures, study, read newspapers, enroll in the workers faculties, the technical schools, colleges. Know: you’re foolish to search the heavens. Remember: how did you live in the past? The working woman is a comrade, throw away your belief in the priests and god.-
bez1926

N. Kogout: Cleanliness is the Foundation of Good Health (1926)
Set in the Caucasus region; the mullah being swept away holds the Koran.
Source: Bezbozhnik u stanka. Moscow: M.K.R.K.P.. 1923.

bez1923

Mikhail Cheremnykh: “Gesundheit!” (1923)
This poster from a 1923 issue of THE GODLESS showed how grossly offensive the antireligious campaign could be.
Source: Bezbozhnik u stanka. Moscow: M.K.R.K.P.. 1923.

workweek

I’m Going Over to the Six-Day Work Week (1929)
Heavenly Powers: Guards! They have a knife! Save me!
Source: Bezbozhnik u stanka. Moscow: M.K.R.K.P.. 1923.

big_3009

We have unmasked the anti-Soviet plans of the capitalists and the church. 1932

a39047a997a1f57718e2cb50f35add4c (1)

“The Triumph of Christianity” Soviet anti-religious poster from the 1920’s

Soviet Propaganda Art- Part 3


Stalinist Posters & Political Art (1930-1953)

Gorky2Stalin49

A. M. Yar-Kravchenko, Gorky Reading his Tale “Death and the Maiden” to Stalin, Voroshilov & Molotov (1949, oil on canvas, 94 x 220 cm)

stalin-post49

B. N. Karpov et al, I. V. Stalin (1949)

glory2stalin50

Yu. P. Kugach et al., To Great Stalin — Glory! (1948)

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