MOSCOW (AP) — Rattled by nationwide protests over jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny, Russian authorities are moving rapidly to block any new ones – from piling legal pressure on his allies to launching a campaign to discredit the demonstrations. Unprecedented mass rallies across Russia on Jan. 23 demanding Navalny’s release from jail resulted in thousands of arrests, and dozens of criminal investigations were opened. Scores of his associates and top allies have been jailed, with some facing criminal charges that carry prison terms. President Vladimir Putin likened organizers of the protests to “terrorists,” and lawmakers charged that Navalny was a Western stooge and betrayed his country to benefit Russia’s adversaries. Navalny’s team admits the pressure is unprecedented, but says it won’t give in and is calling for another demonstration Sunday. A look at the unrest and the Kremlin’s strategy: WHAT LED TO THE PROTESTS? Navalny, Putin’s fiercest critic, returned to Russia on Jan. 17 after five months in Germany, where he was recovering from a poisoning with a nerve agent that he blames on the Kremlin and that Russian officials deny. The 44-year-old Navalny was arrested at the airport upon arrival and jailed for 30 days, pending a court hearing into whether to send him to prison for alleged probation violations of a past conviction — which he claims was politically motivated. A court Thursday refused to release Navalny, rejecting his appeal of his arrest. Navalny is famous for his video investigations of official corruption. After his arrest, his team released a report on his YouTube channel about a $1.3 billion seaside compound allegedly built for Putin, featuring lavish Italian furnishings and even expensive toilet brushes. It has gotten over 100 million views. The Kremlin and even Putin — who never mentions Navalny by name — denied it was built for him. Navalny’s team called for mass protests demanding his release on Jan. 23, and tens of thousands of people took to the streets in more than 100 Russian cities in the largest and the most widespread outpouring of anger toward the Kremlin in years. Rallies took place despite their lacking authorization, something that previously deterred a big turnout because of the threat of arrests. WHAT WAS THE RESPONSE BY AUTHORITIES? Days before the protests, scores of Navalny’s associates were detained. Warnings that his team was encouraging minors to take to the streets started spreading among parents. Navalny’s team rejected the accusations. At the protests themselves, over 4,000 people were detained, according to OVD-Info, a human rights group that monitors political arrests. It said it was the most in its nine-year history of keeping records in the Putin era. In some cities, rallies were dispersed aggressively, and human rights advocates said there were instances of violence. About 20 criminal investigations were opened on a wide range of charges. On Wednesday, Moscow police carried out a series of raids on apartments and offices belonging to Navalny associates and opposition figures, including his own apartment. The searches were conducted as part of investigations into alleged violations of coronavirus regulations during the protests, a charge that carries up to two years in prison. Five people — including Navalny’s brother Oleg and top ally Lyubov Sobol — have been detained for 48 hours in the case. Russia’s Investigative Committee also accused Navalny strategist Leonid Volkov of encouraging minors to participate in unauthorized protests. Volkov, who left Russia two years ago, faces a possible prison term if he returns. The case against him was opened a day after he wrote a Facebook post urging minors not to protest. “We haven’t faced this kind of pressure before,” Ivan Zhdanov, head of Navalny’s Foundation for Fighting Corruption, told the AP. WHAT ABOUT OTHER OPPOSITION GROUPS? For years, Russia’s opposition has consisted of fractured groups that often disagree with each other, although there have been instances of unity in recent years: In 2019, a campaign to allow opposition candidates to run for Moscow city council saw a dozen different politicians rally together and galvanize mass protests every weekend for several weeks. Navalny’s case drew unanimous support from various opposition politicians, even those who usually disagree with him. They attended the Jan. 23 rally, issued statements demanding his release and shared the video about “Putin’s palace” on social media. “The pressure on someone who is an opponent to the sitting government, of course, affects everyone, and we need to defend each and every one and try to help somehow,” Moscow politician Yulia Galyamina, who rose to prominence in the 2019 campaign and faced prison herself for protest violations, told The Associated Press. Some activists have gotten caught in the crossfire. Moscow police detained a member of the Civil Society movement, raided his home and that of another member in the Navalny investigations. The home of Galyamina’s spokesman also was raided. DOES THE KREMLIN SEE THE PROTESTS AS A THREAT? Officials dismissed last week’s protests as small. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said a “negligible number” of people turned out to the rallies, compared with the number of people who vote for Putin. At the same time, state-controlled TV, which usually ignores opposition protests, dedicated long segments to the rallies, focusing on instances of violence by demonstrators and emphasizing police restraint. Navalny’s team said Wednesday on the messaging app Telegram that the raids this week are a sign of Putin’s “crazy fear” of mass rallies. Analysts believe the government takes the protests very seriously. Tatyana Stanovaya, founder of R.Politik, a political think-tank, says the leadership to some extent understands that there have been reasons for the public’s frustration since an unpopular 2018 pension reform, in which retirement ages were raised. But the Kremlin also believes the unrest that Navalny is fomenting is being backed by foreign adversaries. “On one hand, there is public frustration, on the other hand, there’s … opposition that in the Kremlin is perceived as an instrument of foreign intelligence agencies. This combination can work to toughen the authorities’ line,” Stanovaya told AP. “I think we’re already seeing it.” WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT? Both analysts and Navalny allies believe the crackdown will continue and probably escalate as the standoff between the politician and the authorities continues. “I’ve been working with Navalny for 10 years, and year after year this repression machine against us has never slowed down — it has only picked up speed,” Sobol told reporters a day before her arrest. Other Navalny allies remain undeterred. “We hope that this will anger the people even further ahead of the rallies on Jan. 31, and even more people will turn up,” Zhdanov said. It is crucially important for authorities to keep the situation under control ahead of September’s parliamentary election, political analyst and former Kremlin speechwriter Abbas Gallyamov said on Facebook. The election will determine who controls the State Duma in 2024, when Putin’s current term expires and he can seek reelection to another six years in office, thanks to constitutional reforms last year. “In the midst of worsening living conditions and growing demand for changes, a person is already inclined to refuse their support to the authorities. To add insult to injury, protesters appear, showing the discontented that they’re not alone,” Gallyamov said. “Intensifying street protest could cost the authorities an electoral catastrophe. To avoid it, any means are good.” TAGS Facebook EXPLAINER: Behind the Kremlin’s response to Navalny rallies Facebook Twitter WhatsApp WhatsApp By Digital AIM Web Support – January 29, 2021 Twitter Local NewsWorld News Pinterest Pinterest Previous articleHDPE Market Procurement Intelligence Report With COVID-19 Impact Analysis | Global Forecasts, 2021-2025Next articleGOOD NEWS: MC program awarded ‘Best in Class’ Digital AIM Web Support
Jones 5-for keeps Essequibo unbeaten streak aliveBy Clifton RossAN MVP 5-wicket haul from pacer Joshua Jones saw Essequibo extend their unbeaten streak, trouncing West Demerara by 75 runs in yesterday’s 4th round encounter at Bourda.Chasing a 200-plus score, West Demerara folded for a paltry 138 in 46.5 overs despite some fight from spinner Richie Looknauth who scored 41 and former Windies U-19 keeper Tevin Imlach with 30.Essequibo’s Joshua Jones accepts the man-of-the-match trophy from GCB Assistant Administrator Selena Bacchus. (Clifton Ross photo)Travis Persaud also resisted with 25 but Jones proved to be a handful, while pacer Ronsford Beaton (2-34) and all-rounder Ricardo Adams (2-15) were the other wicket-takers.Essequibo racked up as solid first-innings score of 213 all out in 50 overs, after capitalising on their familiarity with the Bourda ground.Identical knocks of 51 from opener Kevon Boodie and the in-form wicketkeeper-batsman Kemol Savory helped lay the foundation while a few other batsmen chipped in with scores.West Demerara spinners Richie Looknauth (3-25) and Keshram Seyhodan (3-33) almost kept the champs quiet with their six wickets. A late order assault, though, from the likes of Quintin Sampson (26) and Neiland Cadogan (21) helped stretch the total.The chase began in timid fashion with the openers looking jumpy, due to the pace of Beaton, who removed national opener Tagenarine Chanderpaul (4) and Andre Seepersaud (2) within a short space of time.Opener Ronaldo Renee (5) was pinned lbw to Ricardo Adams as the innings began to go left. Looknauth looked like he needed more from his partners but got little support as the Essequibo bowlers stayed on top of the opposition.Jones’ burst and the frequent loss of wickets kept the Berbice franchise at bay for most of the chase and when Looknauth departed, it became difficult for the chasing side.The MVP Jones also recorded a hat-trick when he removed Malcolm Hubbard, Marvin Dhanpaul and Seyhodan, further flinging the innings into disarray as their team crumbled inside 50 overs.Earlier, batting first Boodie notched up another half-century, his second fifty of the match, with some mature stroke-play as he hit a solitary four and six from 77 deliveries before being bowled by Malcolm Hubbard.Seyhodan landed a double blow when he removed Marvin Williams (1) and David Williams (0), without troubling the scorers. Savory continued to look fluent this season with his stylish approach and wide array of strokes.The left-hander was crucial in the repair phases of the team following Boodie’s departure. Not as brisk as the opener’s fifty, Savory grafted an innings of grit and resilience to keep the champs firm during the middle passage.His four fours were well-placed as his focus seemed to be running between the wickets. When he departed, the captain came out and contributed 21, paving the way for Sampson and Cadogan.The two pinch-hitters added 33 runs as they picked apart the Berbice bowling, with Sampson again showing his brutal strength by hitting two sixes, one of which sailed out the ground; similar to what he did against Georgetown in the opener.After a flurry of shots and some brisk running, the pair fell but their side had already reached a winning total.Round four bowls off tomorrow across venues in the country.
West Ham shocked Manchester City as they brought an end to the league leaders’ 100 per cent start to the season with two first-half goals. Victor Moses stunned City after six minutes as Dimitri Payet’s through-ball gave him the opportunity to lash home.And the visitors’ advantage was doubled after half an hour as Diafro Sakho scrambled it past Joe Hart from close range. Kevin De Bruyne, impressive throughout, got a goal back for the hosts in first-half injury-time, firing powerfully along the ground.’Despite City’s efforts, though – and they were extensive – they simply could not find their way through the West Ham back line in the second half.–Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @Joy997FM. Our hashtag is #JoySports
What the Clippers are saying the day after Luka Doncic’s game-winner tied series, 2-2 BEVERLEY VS. WESTBROOKThe Thunder will, of course, be plenty familiar with Clippers guard Patrick Beverley.OKC superstar Russell Westbrook and Beverley – both among the league’s hardest-playing competitors – have a tense history. That includes an incident in the 2013 playoffs when Beverley crashed into Westbrook’s knee while lunging for the ball after he’d been granted a sideline timeout. Westbrook suffered a torn meniscus that required surgery the next day and ended his postseason.Since then, OKC fans have regularly serenaded Beverley with boos, including earlier this season when the two tangled again, earning double technical fouls and Beverley a flagrant foul-1.Rivers said he anticipates another difficult matchup with Westbrook, as well as another spirited duel between him and Beverley.“You’re not going to match (Westbrook’s) energy,” Rivers said. “You know, Pat may. … Pat just goes and plays. I don’t think he calls anyone out, he just accepts the challenge of anyone. That’s just Pat.”BILL WALTON TO JOIN LAWLERRelated Articles Clippers vs. Mavericks Game 5 playoff updates from NBA beat reporters PLAYA VISTA — The Oklahoma City Thunder might not recognize the Clippers when they meet them for the fourth time this season on Friday night at Staples Center.The teams have faced off three times already, but not since Dec. 15 – before the Clippers traded or waived six players and added five others. They won’t, however, welcome back Luc Mbah a Moute to the floor yet; he is listed as out on the injury report released by the team Thursday afternoon.Mbah a Moute practiced with the team for the first time in months Wednesday, but “Luc didn’t make it,” Coach Doc Rivers said before Thursday’s practice.“He went a little bit and then had to pull himself out,” Rivers added. Clippers hope they can play to their capabilities, quell Mavericks’ momentum Kristaps Porzingis ruled out as Clippers, Mavericks set for Game 5; Follow for game updates Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error On the bright side, “Wilson (Chandler) did make it” Thursday, Rivers said.Mbah a Moute, a 6-foot-8 forward, has missed all but the first four games of the season with a “sore left knee,” and Chandler, a 6-9 forward, has been recovering from a right quad strain and hasn’t yet played for the Clippers since they brought him aboard as a part of the Tobias Harris trade with Philadelphia. Chandler is considered questionable for Friday’s game, according to the team.“Wilson actually looked pretty good,” Rivers said. “You think of all the time he missed, you can tell he’s back because all of our stuff, he ran. It’s like he had been playing, so that was probably the most positive part of it.”Danilo Gallinari said Chandler – with whom he previously played nine seasons as teammates in New York and Denver – said he felt for his friend, who’s had to acclimate to a new team without being able to compete.“But he’s getting closer,” Gallinari said. “He practiced with us already, so I’m happy that he’s closer to playing. I know Wilson very well and I look forward to seeing him on the court. He can help us a lot.” Ralph Lawler will call his final regular-season Clippers game on April 10, when the team has plans to celebrate Ralph Lawler Night. His longtime friend and former broadcast partner Bill Walton will join for the occasion, with plans to provide commentary on Fox Sports Prime Ticket.Additionally, the Clippers plan to honor Lawler – who will be inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in September – for his 40 years as the “Voice of the Clippers” throughout the game and with a halftime ceremony. The Clippers will unveil a logo on the court honoring Lawler, and players will wear a special shooting shirt thanking him.Also, the first 10,000 fans at the game will receive Ralph Lawler bobbleheads that will recite Lawlerisms at the push of a button, including Lawler’s law, “Bingo!,” “Oh me, oh my!” and “The lob, the jam!” For Lakers’ LeBron James, Jacob Blake’s shooting is bigger issue than a big Game 4 victory