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Another spectacular homicide with strong political overtones in Russia’s capital–Stanislav Markelov, who represented Russia’s best known exposé journalist, Anna Politkovskaya, was shot dead just after giving a press conference. The Times (London) reports:
Officials said that Stanislav Markelov… was shot dead in the street by an unknown gunman moments after speaking out about the case of Yuri Budanov. Budadov was sentenced to 10 years in jail in 2003 for the murder of 18-year-old Kheda Kungayeva, a Chechen woman snatched from her home in March 2000 and taken to the colonel’s office. There she was allegedly raped before Budanov, who accused her of being a rebel sniper, strangled her. The case caused widespread revulsion and Budanov became the first senior Russian officer convicted of human rights abuses during the Chechen campaign. He was released from jail four days ago.
Politkovskaya was shot dead on October 7, 2006—which, coincidentally or not, is Vladimir Putin’s birthday. She had been a courageous critic of Putin and his government, particularly of its actions in the Caucasus. A murder prosecution relating to her death is pending in a Moscow court now. It has repeatedly featured witnesses and evidence linking her murder to senior Russian intelligence service figures.
More from Scott Horton:
Conversation — March 30, 2016, 3:44 pm
Joseph Hickman discusses his new book, The Burn Pits, which tells the story of thousands of U.S. soldiers who, after returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, have developed rare cancers and respiratory diseases.
In Havana, the past year has been marked by a parade of bold-faced names from the north — John Kerry reopening the United States Embassy; Andrew Cuomo bringing a delegation of American business leaders; celebrities ranging from Joe Torre, traveling on behalf of Major League Baseball to oversee an exhibition game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Cuban national team, to Jimmy Buffett, said to be considering opening one of his Margaritaville restaurants there. All this culminated with a three-day trip in March by Barack Obama, the first American president to visit Cuba since Calvin Coolidge in 1928. But to those who know the city well, perhaps nothing said as much about the transformation of political relations between the United States and Cuba that began in December 2014 as a concert in the Tribuna Antiimperialista.
Estimated temperature of Hell, according to two Spanish physicists ‘ interpretation of the Bible:
The ecosystems around Chernobyl, Ukraine, are now healthier than they were before the nuclear disaster, though radiation levels are still too high for human habitation.
A TSA agent in Seattle was arrested for taking up-skirt photos of women in the airport, a Maryland police officer was arrested for taking up-skirt photos of an off-duty colleague, and the Georgia Court of Appeals ruled that taking up-skirt photos is legal in the state.
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“Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'”