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Posts Tagged ‘Election’

Ban on US adoptions is ‘adequate reaction’ – Putin

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 21, 2012

Russian President Vladimir Putin answers journalists' questions during the annual big conference at the International Trade Center in Krasnaya Presnya, 20 December 2012 (RIA Novosti / Iliya Pitalev)

Russian President Vladimir Putin answers journalists’ questions during the annual big conference at the International Trade Center in Krasnaya Presnya, 20 December 2012 (RIA Novosti / Iliya Pitalev)

In response to the first question at his annual international press conference in Moscow, Vladimir Putin said he was in favor of banning the adoption of Russian children by US citizens.

The question dealt with legislation that seeks to prohibit the adoption of Russian orphans by US citizens.

The bill, part of a package of measures drafted by Russian lawmakers in retaliation to the US Magnitsky Act, was approved this week by the Lower House in the second reading.

Putin answered that the Magnitsky Act should be prioritized as it is a deliberately unfriendly piece of legislation aimed at Russia (The act is named after lawyer Sergey Magnitsky, who died in pre-trial detention in Moscow in the course of a massive tax fraud investigation. In addition to banning individuals who US officials believe were involved in the death from visiting the US, it also freezes their US-held assets).

The United States “replaced one anti-Russian law with another,” and this indicates that our foreign partners are living in the past and intend to maintain relations “rooted in a standoff between two systems,” the Russian leader stated.

Speaking on the proposed adoption ban (named in honor of Dima Yakovlev, a Russian boy who died as a result of being left inside of a car on a hot day by his adoptive American parents), Putin said that to his knowledge the majority of Russians disapprove of foreign adoptions. He added that he fully agreed with Prime Minister Medvedev who said that Russia should develop its own adoption system.

The President told his audience that the amendment is not against adoptions per se, but rather a response to the US judicial system that regularly denies Russian diplomats from monitoring the wellbeing of Russian children adopted by US citizens. Putin called this practice “a humiliation,” saying that no one should have to tolerate such an attitude. Read the rest of this entry »

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700,000 Americans petition the White House to secede from the US

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 15, 2012

The White House (AFP Photo/Brendan Smialowski)

The White House (AFP Photo/Brendan Smialowski)

In the one week since US President Barack Obama won his bid for re-election, representatives from all 50 states have filed petitions with the White House asking to secede from the United States.

Just seven days after a citizen of Louisiana asked for the state’s peaceful secession from the rest of the country, hundreds of thousands of electronic signatures from around the United States have been submitted to WhiteHouse.gov for review as Americans from all corners of the country ask the president to grant them amicable separation from the union.

According to the White House’s own rules on the ‘We the People’ portal of the Executive Branch’s official website, a staffer from within the walls of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue will respond in a timely manner to any petition that can garner more than 25,000 signatures. As of the morning of Nov. 14, pleads out of Louisiana, Texas, Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee have all crossed that threshold, with petitions from the rest of the country quickly accumulating enough signatures to soon require a reply as well. Read the rest of this entry »

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Losing luster? Moscow faces thousands-strong opposition rally

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 10, 2012

Activists say up to 50,000 people will attend a sanctioned meeting on Novy Arbat on Saturday afternoon

Activists say up to 50,000 people will attend a sanctioned meeting on Novy Arbat on Saturday afternoon

The Russian opposition is holding a rally in central Moscow on Saturday to protest the results of the recent presidential elections which saw Vladimir Putin winning with 63.6 per cent of the vote.

Activists say up to 50,000 people will attend a sanctioned meeting on Novy Arbat on Saturday afternoon, but others expect a lower turnout, saying that radical calls by the opposition are pushing people away from the movement.

The opposition claims the presidential poll was rigged with various techniques to ensure Putin’s landslide victory. It has vowed to hold more demonstrations before Putin’s inauguration in May. Read the rest of this entry »

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High price of transparency: $300 million webcam experiment to ensure fair Russian vote

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 4, 2012

A massive 200,000 webcam network and half-a million observers are contributing to what is being billed as Russia’s most transparent election yet.

The observant army is a response to angry protesters who chanted ‘we don’t forget and we don’t forgive’ after December’s parliamentary vote. They believe the election was rigged.

In response, the authorities decided webcams at all 98,000 polling-stations would solve the problem. Russian tax payers have forked out over US$300 million for the online monitoring system, doubling the initial cost of the vote. The election is now officially the most transparent – and the most expensive – in the nation’s history, but not everyone is convinced.

Webcams: 2012 election highlight

Some believe installing cameras was an excessive measure, saying past elections were fair enough.

“Cameras won’t change anything, there will always be discontent. It was honest before even without cameras,”believes one Russian voter. And another argues that this will hardly make the vote more transparent, as it was “only made to please the opposition.” Others are of the opinion that the cameras are meaningless given the vast number of polling stations, and installing cameras at all of them will just make things more complicated.

Indeed, one of the main concerns about the CCTV system is whether it can serve a country as expansive as Russia. Hacker attacks on the website which will broadcast their footage shortly before the polls opened only added to these concerns.

Vladimir Kremlev for RT
Vladimir Kremlev for RT Read the rest of this entry »

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Frozen fury: Day of mass-rallies in Moscow despite -20 (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on February 5, 2012

Thousands have braved freezing temperatures in Moscow to march for free and democratic presidential elections. They accuse the government of planning a fraud. A separate pro-government rally elsewhere in the capital has also attracted thousands.

Throughout last week, volunteers distributed leaflets calling on people to join the march “For Fair Elections.” Coming exactly a month before Russia’s presidential poll, the rally is the third of its kind sanctioned by city authorities since anger erupted over alleged vote-rigging in December’s State Duma elections. Security in the capital has been stepped up, with some 9,000 officers on the streets.

‘For Fair Elections’

The event, which started with a march down Yakimanka Street and continued with a rally at Bolotnaya Square, has attracted at least 34,000 people, according to estimates.  Other sources put the figures higher, at up to 50,000.

Watch RT’s exlusive photo report from rallies in Moscow

This, however, is considerably smaller than the record set at the December protest rally in Sakharov Avenue, which attracted some 100,000 supporters. The bitter Russian cold may have had a dampening effect on the protest mood. Read the rest of this entry »

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‘Obama misinterpreted his mandate’

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 4, 2012

Having been elected on a wave of hope four years ago, Barack Obama now faces a significant drop in popularity among disillusioned Democrats.

Back then, a historic campaign turned US politics into a pop culture phenomenon. The Democratic candidate achieved unprecedented support, international fame and a record-breaking US $650 million in donations. Thousands of New Yorkers celebrated the victory, clutching an enormous American flag hand-sewn by Obama supporters.

But the winds have changed – and the same very Democratic symbol waved in honor of the president-elect in 2008 has been donated to the movement that became a phenomenon in 2011.

David Mafouda, who fundraised for Obama in 2008, organized the flag project after being inspired by his rhetoric – a dream shattered by the subsequent years of “politics as usual”.

“Currently what’s inspiring me is OWS. That’s why I brought the flag to OWS,” he told RT. “And the thing that inspired me about it is the fact that it’s a grass roots movement that had a very clear and transparent process.” Read the rest of this entry »

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‘For fair elections’: Tens of thousands at Moscow biggest protest (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 24, 2011

Just two weeks after the Russian capital saw its biggest opposition rally in nearly twenty years, Russians unhappy with the results of the December 4 parliamentary elections have gathered once again.

But this time, it’s in even bigger numbers, with the hopes that their collective voice will be heard. Protest organizers claim up to 120,000 people have gathered for the rally. Police, however, put the number of demonstrators at about 29,000. They are coming together to protest against vote fraud – and to demand a new ballot.

This time around, the rally is being held on Akademika Sakharova Boulevard, with nearby streets closed off to traffic. Police have refrained from calling in reinforcements from the Defense Ministry, but are maintaining a presence at the rally; metal detectors and barriers have been set in advance.

RT’s crew at the scene say the police on duty are friendly and polite, a fact which has also been stressed by human right activists at the rally.

Thirty people are scheduled to speak, including actors, journalists, musicians, politicians and businessmen. But recent polls show that most of the people who attend the rally aren’t interested in being addressed by the politicos and opposition party leaders – they are coming to hear public figures and social activists like TV anchor Leonid Parfenov and blogger Aleksey Navalny, who have already taken the floor. Read the rest of this entry »

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Medvedev on US: ‘If they continue to push us around, we’ll push back’

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 18, 2011

President Dmitry Medvedev has spoken out after a telephone conversation with his US counterpart, saying Obama’s comments on Russia’s recent parliamentary elections were “unacceptable”.

Speaking to a number of United Russia MPs, Dmitry Medvedev stated that, correctly delivered, thoughts and comments on a country’s electoral process are acceptable – and welcome. But when they are reminiscent of Cold War-era statements, it is outrageous. “That is not a reset [in relations], and I’ve had to remind my colleague of that”, said the president. Read the rest of this entry »

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Billionaire Prokhorov to run for Russian president

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 12, 2011

Mikhail Prokhorov, recently ousted from the leadership of the right-wing party Right Cause, has said he will run for the Russian presidency in March.

“I have made a decision. I am taking part in the presidential elections,” Prokhorov told a news conference in Moscow on Monday.

When reporters asked the businessman if he had discussed his decision with the Presidential administration, Prokhorov said he had not. He also said he had met with neither President Dmitry Medvedev nor Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to discuss the move.

Despite this, Prokhorov said he was confident the authorities would apply pressure to him or his business. . “We have a proverb in Russia that no one is guaranteed safe from misery or prison, but I am not afraid. I am not doing anything illegal, I am marching with an open visor and I am not afraid,” Prokhorov said. Read the rest of this entry »

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Moscow faces biggest protest in years (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 11, 2011

The biggest opposition rally in recent Russian history has taken place in the capital. The protest against the results of Russia’s December 4 parliamentary election has drawn an estimated turnout of between 25,000 and 40,000.

The rally has been held on Bolotnaya Square, in Central Moscow, on December 10 between 2 pm and 6 pm.

Earlier the Interior Ministry reported around 25,000 people gathered at the scene.  However opposition leaders claim up to 40,000 on the square.

Before the rally police have blocked access to the squares adjacent to the Kremlin and have restricted entry to Red Square. Read the rest of this entry »

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30,000: Moscow faces biggest protest in years

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 10, 2011

The biggest opposition rally in recent Russian history is taking place in the capital. The protest against the results of Russia’s December 4 parliamentary election is expected to draw a turnout of as many as 30,000.

The rally is being held on Bolotnaya Square, in Central Moscow, on December 10 between 2 pm and 6 pm.

According to Interior Ministry estimates, around 15,000 people have already gathered at the scene.

Police are blocking access to the squares adjacent to the Kremlin and have restricted entry to Red Square from Revolution Square.

Security is being stepped up with police trucks and Interior Ministry troops being moved closer to the scene.

Moscow officials had previously provided protestors with a permit for a 300-strong meeting on Revolution Square, not far from the Kremlin’s walls. But as tens of thousands signed up for the event on social networks, the rally’s organizers agreed to the city’s suggestion that the rally be staged on Bolotnaya Square, which can hold a larger crowd.  And is only about 2 kilometers away from the initial location. Read the rest of this entry »

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Russian Elections: Thousands Defying Ban To Protest Putin Result

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 6, 2011

Thousands of people took to the streets on Tuesday to protest against disputed parliamentary elections in Russia.

Allegations of corruption in Sunday’s parliamentary election were rife, and demonstrators defied a ban on unapproved rallies in Moscow city centre to dispute the official results.

The police arrested at least 300 protesters in the biggest protest seen in Russia for years. Opposition leaders stood in front of a poster proclaiming, ‘The election is a farce!”.

The protestors came up against pro-Kremlin activists rallying to support Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. Putin’s United Russia party won with just under 50% of the vote, a sharp drop in its support.

Foreign monitors claimed that cyber-attacks and harassment of officials had invalidated the result of the poll.

The protests have been happening since Sunday and show little sign of abating. People were held after similar protests in St Petersburg and also in Rostov-on-Don

Putin will be running for president early in 2012, he is almost certain to win unless there is a dramatic change in the system.

http://rt.­com/news/r­ally-mosco­w-election­-police-17­3/

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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‘We have lost respect’ – former US Senator

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 23, 2011

The US is like a drunkard who charges to war with anyone who might pose a threat, ex-Senator and former US presidential candidate Mike Gravel says.

“I like the US. But at the same time I think my country is an imperial country that is going downhill, and our leadership does not even acknowledge the problem,” confesses Gravel.

“Phony triumphalism has turned into a device to make Americans live in fear of a terrorist attack, yet you are a thousand times more likely to catch cancer than ever be hurt by that,” he points out.

“All I can say about what the US is doing – it‘s immoral,” Gravel says, explaining that “as a result of 9/11, we have altered our moral compass. And people began to get used to brutalizing each other.”

“We Americans used to think ‘oh, what happened in Germany could never happen with us!’ Well, it is happening with us. And it is happening to the detriment of our global position.”

“In Afghanistan, in Iraq and in Vietnam at the era, all American soldiers died in vain,” Gravel claims, recalling the millions of war victims in Vietnam, which is now developing along its own path, regardless.

New American policies enable US military or security officials to take a decision and dispatch a drone to kill a suspect without trial – together with all civilians who happen to be close to the target, Gravel says.

“The morality of that is removing responsibility – those who drop bombs [from remotely operated robot drones] do not see people die,” he says. Read the rest of this entry »

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Was the CIA behind the Gaddafi oust?

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on August 25, 2011

Congressman Dennis Kucinch has suggested that the CIA has had a role in the start-up of the Arab Spring this year. Jack Rice, a journalist and former officer at the CIA himself, says it is not that unlikely at all.

For video click here

“Let’s be honest,” Rice said to RT. “The CIA is involved in every place that they try to get involved in. They try to be on the ground in every major country in the region.”

“To deny is,” thinks Rice, “would be naive.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Hawaii senator alleges Obama hiding true father

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 26, 2011

In a new twist to the birther debate, a state senator from Hawaii alleged that the reason US President Barack Obama has

President Barack Obama gestures during a fiscal policy meeting in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, April 4, 2011. (Office White House Photo by Pete Souza)

not release a full birth certificate is not because he was born abroad, but because he is hiding the identify of his true father.

Republican State Senator Sam Slom said the real issue in this debate is not over Obama’s citizenship, but his fathers’.

My particular point of view… is that [Obama] probably was born [in Hawaii] and that the real issue is not the birth certificate, but what’s on the birth certificate,‘ Slom said in an interview on New York’s WABC 770 AM radio station. “It could have to do with what his name is on the birth certificate, who is actually listed as his father, the citizenship of the father.”

In the 2008 presidential campaign the debate over Obama’s birthplace and his citizenship began, but then settles for a while. Recent months however have seen an increase in birther debates. Some allege Obama may have been born in Kenya, or even Indonesia. The schemes range.

Potential Republican presidential contender Donald Trump recently released his certificate and then challenged Obama to do the same. He followed his challenge up by sending private investigators to Hawaii to research the US president’s birth. Read the rest of this entry »

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