Saturday, November 23, 2013

CIA suppressed Kennedy facts, 'but there was no conspiracy'by Rory Carroll Saturday November 23rd, 2013 at 10:05 AM

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CIA suppressed Kennedy facts, 'but there was no conspiracy'

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Judge who served on commission speaks out on assassination anniversary amid renewed claims by conspiracy theorists
The CIA and FBI withheld information about Cuba and Lee Harvey Oswald from the Warren commission into John Kennedy's assassination, one of the commission's surviving staff members has acknowledged.
Nevertheless the inquiry did establish the truth, said Richard Mosk, a California court of appeal justice who served on the commission. He said the agencies' lack of full disclosure was unfortunate but did not alter the fact that Oswald acted alone. "It was an easy shot."
Mosk, speaking on the eve of the 50th anniversary of the November 22 1963 assassination, said there were no additional gunmen and no conspiracy. "Nothing came from the grassy knoll."
Speaking to the Guardian from his chambers in downtown Los Angeles, Mosk, 74, lamented that conspiracy theorists used anniversaries to assail the 888-page report, which he called one of history's most extensive and thorough criminal investigations. "It's aggravating. It's not pleasant to have the Warren commission tarred and feathered every 10 to 15 years."
President Lyndon Johnson appointed chief justice Earl Warren to chair the commission seven days after the murder. Mosk, then a 24-year-old attorney from a politically connected California family, was for a time the youngest staff member. Top-secret security clearance gave him full access to the investigation.
The commission worked 12 hours a day, seven days a week, for 10 months, he said. "The chief justice told me truth was our only client."
Countless books and films have challenged the report on the grounds it was misled. Mosk acknowledged federal authorities kept the commission partly in the dark. "For example, yes, the FBI held back information that they had certain contacts with Oswald prior to the assassination.
"And maybe had they followed through, the assassination would not have taken place. But that doesn't have any bearing on whether he did it or whether there was a conspiracy."
The Central Intelligence Agency apparently did not fully cooperate either, he said. "The CIA may have withheld information concerning the United States' activities vis-a-vis Cuba. Again, it would have been nice [to know] and should have been disclosed but there was nothing further that the commission could have done. We investigated the possibility of Cuban involvement to the fullest extent possible."
The information, later revealed, would have made no difference to the central findings, said the judge. "It would have been nice to know but it doesn't affect the conclusions." Asked why the FBI and CIA withheld information he said he could only speculate that it was for national security or to protect themselves.
Even the simplest car accident case generated conflicting evidence so it was normal the JFK investigation did so too. "There will always be some inconsistencies in any factual determination. You have to consider the totality of evidence."
He had no doubt Oswald fired all three shots at the president's motorcade from the sixth floor of a school book depository overlooking the cavalcade's route through Dallas.
"He was a marine marksman. He was a hunter when he was a kid. When he was in Russia he practised with this rifle."
It was a much closer distance than many people realised, said Mosk, who has visited the depository. "It was an easy shot. You have to see it to appreciate that. Even I would have had no trouble making that shot."
Alternative theories which mushroomed after the Warren report fuelled suspicion and distrust of institutions. Mosk said it was "deplorable" that Warner Brothers sent "false history" kits to schools to promote Oliver Stone's 1991 film JFK.
Publishers made fortunes with conspiracy books but often amateur sleuths sincerely wanted to unlock what they thought was a cover-up.
"Many are well-meaning. They're not out to make money. But nevertheless they're barking up the wrong tree."
He regretted that a plaque at the book depository said this was where Oswald "allegedly" shot the president. However books such as Vincent Bugliosi's 1,632-page opus, Reclaiming History, had helped restore public faith in the Warren commission.
Mosk said he had every incentive to discover the truth about that day in Dallas. He had met JFK and his father Stanley, a former California attorney general and state supreme court, campaigned for him. "When you look at films of Kennedy speaking you can't help but wish he would have been able to continue." © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

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Docs: Mass. teacher Colleen Ritzer's throat cut, note left - WTSP 10 News

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Docs: Mass. teacher Colleen Ritzer's throat cut, note left
WTSP 10 News
In this Oct. 23, 2013, file photo, Philip Chism, 14, stands during his arraignment for the death of Danvers High School teacher Colleen Ritzer, as his attorney Denise Regan speaks on his behalf in Salem District Court in Salem, Mass. (AP Photo/Boston Herald, ...

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33 mutilated corpses found in hidden graves in Mexico drug lands

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MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - At least 33 mutilated corpses have been found buried in an area of western Mexico where drug cartels are battling each other, officials said on Friday, the latest in a series of grisly finds amid a scourge of gang-related violence.

London 'slavery' case: police investigate cult motive

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Officers also investigating whether parents of 30-year-old captive were Irish woman who called charity and man released on bail
Police are examining whether three women who were held in a south London house under what detectives described as extreme emotional control for 30 years were part of a cult which operated through beatings and brainwashing to bind them to their captors.
The complex relationship between the women and the couple who are suspected of exerting such influence over them that in three decades they never tried to leave, is at the centre of what senior officers indicated on Friday was going to be a lengthy inquiry.
Officers are also investigating whether the youngest woman, who is aged 30 and thought to have been born inside the house, was the daughter of the 57-year-old Irish woman who eventually reached out for help last month in a phone call to a charity she had seen on the news.
The Guardian understands the 30-year-old's father is allegedly the 67-year-old man who was arrested with his partner, also 67, on suspicion of domestic servitude, false imprisonment and offences against the person. On Friday, both were released on police bail after questioning.
According to those close to the case, the 30-year-old's birth was registered with the authorities and as such should have sparked visits from health visitors and midwives, but it is not known whether thathappened. She never went to school, but is able to read and write, and has been described as intelligent.
Two sources close to the case indicated that the three women were held in the house through a relationship of control which was akin to a semi-religious cult. The third woman freed was a 69-year-old from Malaysia.
The police revealed on Friday that the details emerging were unlike any domestic servitude or forced labour case they had investigated before. The women were able to leave at certain times, but always in a controlled and chaperoned situation.
Commander Steve Rodhouse, of the Metropolitan police, said: "We do not believe that this case falls into the category of sexual exploitation, or what we all understand as human trafficking.
"It is not as brutally obvious as women being physically restrained inside an address and not allowed to leave. We are trying to understand what were the invisible handcuffs that were used to exert such a degree of control over these women … What we have uncovered so far is a complicated and disturbing picture of emotional control over many years, brainwashing would be the simplest term."
His colleague DI Kevin Hyland said the women suffered beatings in the house.
Aneeta Prem, founder of the Freedom Charity, which helped rescue the women, said they lived in basic conditions. "Their movements were controlled while they were in the house. They had to perform various duties within the house and they weren't given options not to do those things."
Rodhouse also revealed that the suspects – who are being investigated by the UK Border Agency over their immigration status – were arrested by the Metropolitan police four decades ago and may have been in touch with other public services over the years. He said: "To the outside world, they may have appeared to be a normal family. This does mean that over the course of many decades the people at the heart of this investigation and their victims will probably have come into contact with public services, including our own." He added that the two suspects "were arrested by the Metropolitan police in the 1970s". The women were being looked after by the Freedom Charity – which helped to rescue them after the Irish woman made a call for help on 18 October after seeing the founder on the television news. On 25 October, they walked to freedom at a pre-arranged time.
Prem said the organisation had received calls from other people saying they were being held. "This has to be a story of hope. A number of calls are coming through from people who have seen the media coverage and want to tell us they are in the same situation," she said. One report suggested that it was the failure to call for medical help when the oldest woman suffered a stroke that led to the call to the charity.
Hyland, who is leading the investigation, said the very process of the women explaining what had happened over such a long period of time was traumatising in itself. He added that the whole of his team of 37 officers were working on the case and removed 55 bags of evidence amounting to more than 2,500 exhibits from the property in south London. Prem, who has met the women several times, said that the couple suspected of holding them were like any other couple and were not extraordinary. As such she believes the neighbours didn't know. "If you'd been in a village maybe this wouldn't have happened because people would have noticed something, but I think in the centre of London you don't notice."
The women are understood to be concerned that the suspects have been released without charge on police bail. But Rodhouse said the investigation would take "some considerable time". He said: "We are unpicking a story that spans at least 30 years of these women's lives, and all of this requires police activity to turn that into evidence. While that process continues we have released the suspects on bail, but they have not returned to the property."
A CPS spokesperson said: "We have provided the Metropolitan Police Service with some very early investigative advice on this matter. We have not been asked to consider any evidence or to give charging advice at this stage." © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

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Letters: Philosophers urge support for jailed Pussy Riot protester

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For singing a "punk prayer" against Vladimir Putin in the cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow, Nadia Tolokonnikova and Maria Alekhina, of the collective Pussy Riot, were sentenced in August 2012 to two years' detention in a "prison colony" for "vandalism motivated by religious hate". After having denounced the inhuman prison conditions and begun a hunger strike, Tolokonnikova, 24, mother of a five-year-old girl, was transferred 4,000 kilometres from Mordovia to the Krasnoyarsk region in Siberia (Nadezhda Tolokonnikova of Pussy Riot's prison letters to Slavoj Žižek, 16 November).
According the Russian human rights commissioner Vladimir Loukine, "serving her sentence in this region would contribute to her resocialisation".
Now there is language we had not heard in Russia since the Soviet era and its hunt for all deviants. In fact, the singer of Pussy Riot has become a symbol of those repressed by the regime: gays hounded in the name of the now legalised struggle against homosexual "propaganda", immigrant workers exploited and brutalised on the construction sites of Sochi and elsewhere, penalisation of anti-religious speech, significant ecological damage caused by construction projects undertaken without consulting local residents, the opposition muzzled, NGOs persecuted. In the face of these increasingly numerous human rights violations, Europe has remained shockingly silent.
In a letter addressed from her prison cell to the philosopher Slavoj Žižek, Nadia Tolokonnikova criticises the complacency of western governments towards Vladimir Putin's repressive and freedom-destroying policies. In particular, she writes in Philosophie magazine (November 2013): "The boycott of the Olympic Games at Sochi, in 2014, would be perceived as an ethical gesture." As called for by Philosophie magazine, we, European intellectuals, call on our governments and all of Europe to break with their attitude of culpable tolerance and put pressure on the government of Vladimir Putin to immediately release Nadia Tolokonnikova and Maria Alekhina.
Russia is a constitutional republic and permanent member of the UN security council. It has signed the European convention for the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms. With the Olympic Games approaching this February, it is time to give them a reminder.
Elisabeth Badinter, Pascal Bruckner, Alain Finkielkraut, Marcel Gauchet, André Glucksmann, Agnès Heller, Axel Honneth, Claude Lanzmann, Edgar Morin, Antonio Negri, Hartmut Rosa, Fernando Savater, Richard Sennett, Bernard Stiegler, Gianni Vattimo, Slavoj Žižek © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds
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WorldViews: The Cuban missile crisis almost ended the world. Was it Kennedy’s fault? 

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One of the most significant moments of the presidency of John F. Kennedy, who died 50 years ago today, began when the United States discovered Soviet nuclear missiles on Cuba. The Cuban missile crisis ended peacefully -- the Soviet Union withdrew the warheads in exchange for Kennedy pulling its own missiles from Turkey -- but came awfully close to sparking World War III, a threat that forever changed Americans' perceptions of the Cold War.
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Missing man claims he was kidnapped, held prisoner, LAPD says - Los Angeles Times

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ABC News

Missing man claims he was kidnapped, held prisoner, LAPD says 
Los Angeles Times
The mystery began four days ago when Darwin Vela took his chocolate Labrador for a walk. Minutes later, Vela's fiancee found the dog whimpering outside with blood on his leash and no sign of the 22-year-old man. Police began searching for Vela, who was...
Witness in Celebrity Burglary Case Who Went Missing on Dog Walk Is FounWTMA

Man missing after dog returns with bloody leash Hattiesburg American

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US jury awards Apple $290 million compensation, Samsung intends to appeal 

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After a long court hearing over allegations Samsung violated Apple patents, a US jury has awarded the US tech giant $290 million. This brings the total Apple patent fines against Samsung to $929 million. The South Korean manufacturer intends to appeal.
The sum was lower than the initial $379.8 million asked by Apple’s advocates.
The federal court of San Jose, California requires the South Korean corporation to pay compensation for using Apple technology in 13 devices, including tablets and phones.
Samsung is unhappy with US jury’s decision and intends to appeal.
“We are disappointed by today’s decision, which is based in large part on a patent that the US Patent and Trademark Office has recently deemed invalid. While we move forward with our post-trial motions and appeals, we will continue to innovate with groundbreaking technologies and great products that are loved by our many customers all around the world,” Samsung said in a statement.
During previous cases involving similar claims by Apple, Samsung was ordered to pay $1.05 billion. Reviewing the case District Judge Lucy Koh said it was unclear how this sum was calculated, and during the latest hearings the payment was reduced by more than $400 million.
The original $600 million award was not vacated, together with $40.5 million that was reinstated by Judge Koh in April and the latest $290 million decision, brings the estimated total to $929m awarded to Apple in penalties. However, it is unlikely the payment will cause significant difference to a company that holds about $130 billion in net cash, says the Financial Times.
“For Apple, this case has always been about more than patents and money. It has been about innovation and the hard work that goes into inventing products that people love. While it’s impossible to put a price tag on those values, we are grateful to the jury for showing Samsung that copying has a cost”, commented Apple.
The ‘patent wars’ between Apple and Samsung have lasted many years, and cost the companies hundreds of millions of dollars. Both companies in different countries’ courts accuse each other of patent violations. Smartphone manufacturers compete in a market estimated at about $280 billion, and recently the Korean company overtook its US competitor in sales volume.
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As Arctic Ice Melts, US Military Adapting Strategy, Forces

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U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced on Friday the Pentagon's first Arctic strategy to guide changes in military planning as rapidly thawing ice reshapes global commerce and energy exploration, possibly raising tensions along the way. Ice on the Arctic Ocean shrank last year to its lowest levels since satellite observations began in the 1970s, and many experts expect it will vanish in summers by mid-century due to climate change. As the sea ice thaws, ships are increasingly...

Curious tale of the central Asian oligarchs and the City of London 

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Mining firm ENRC bids farewell to the Stock Exchange but its Uzbek and Kyrgyz creators are here to stay
It is May 2010 at Monaco's vast Le Sporting banquet hall, where 800 guests have responded to an invitation from one of central Asia's most powerful, and secretive, oligarchs.
The host has packed the venue's gardens with white roses and arranged for entertainment from the singer Jennifer Lopez and French DJ David Guetta.
Several guests execute an impromptu lezginka, a traditional dance from the Caucasus, and a crowd forms to shower them with $100 and €100 bills, a sign of the donors' respect, which is then paid to the musicians.
The grand celebrations have been arranged to mark the wedding of one Sabir Chodiev, the son of Patokh Chodiev, 60, an Uzbek businessman whose then £1.85bn fortune had largely been secured with two Kyrgyz business partners in resource-rich Kazakhstan.
The timing of the wedding just about coincided with the zenith of the worldwide boom in commodity prices and the whole event is estimated to have cost Chodiev around £6m, a fifth of which went on Lopez's one-hour turn.
Those were better times in the world of Patokh Chodiev – plus his two business partners, Alexander Machkevitch, 59, and Alijan Ibragimov, 60 – a trio who largely became known in the City because of their links to a painful hit to many UK savers' pension pots.
After floating their mining company, Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation (ENRC), on the London Stock Exchange in 2007, the company's shares were quickly propelled into the FTSE 100 and, therefore, into many British pension funds.
But the past two years have seen persistent allegations of corruption against the company, along with a string of corporate governance rows, and the shares have crashed, prompting the trio to take the company private again. When the stock market closed on Friday evening the shares, which have fallen by 85% from their peak, were traded publicly for the last time.
So is London bidding farewell to the trio, whose company was dubbed "more Soviet than City" by Ken Olisa, a former non-executive director who was ousted by the three founders? Probably not.
ENRC may be disappearing from the London Stock Exchange, but the professional and personal lives of the tycoons link them inextricably to the UK.
One of their main businesses, private firm International Mineral Resources (IMR), is run out of London, several of their legal scraps are still being fought here, while ENRC continues to be investigated by the Serious Fraud Office for "fraud, bribery and corruption".
Lavish properties in the most exclusive parts of the capital continue to be owned by the businessmen, while among the diverse collection of London names touched by the oligarchs are Miriam Gonzalez, the lawyer and wife of deputy prime minister Nick Clegg; the steel billionaire Lakshmi Mittal; and the British artist Damien Hirst.
The tycoons' partnership was conceived in Kyrgyzstan, one of central Asia's poorest countries to the south of Kazakhstan, where Machkevitch and Ibragimov grew up.
The pair are thought to have met at a wedding in 1971 but pursued separate careers, as Chodiev worked in Japan for the Soviet ministry of foreign trade.
But by the late 1980s, in a move that has never been explained, they came together during the early stages of perestroika. Machkevitch and Ibragimov are believed to have moved to Moscow in 1987 to trade everything from scrap metal to iron ore, aluminium and oil.
Chodiev joined them two years later, with much of the trio's business being conducted in Kazakhstan, a market they knew well.
From there, they gained control of newly privatised chromium, alumina, and gas operations in Kazakhstan, creating partnerships (and eventually feuds) with some of the pioneers of early post-Soviet capitalism, including the London-based Reuben brothers and the metals trader Lev Chernoy.
Quite how this transformation was achieved remains unclear. Observers of the period say anybody could succeed in Kazakh business if they enjoyed powerful sponsorship, which explains the tales of alleged sweetheart deals with Kazakhstan's president, Nursultan Nazarbayev, and of charging "special commissions" to the Mayfair-based Mittal for acting as intermediaries to the Kazakh elite.
A spokesman for the trio would not comment on the payments, while Mittal's spokeswoman has denied the payment was a commission.
What is known for certain, however, is that from the chaos of the 1990s, the trio grew a substantial business, part of which became ENRC.
But by the time that company floated in 2007, some of their wealth had already arrived in Mayfair. In 2005 a British Virgin Islands-based company associated with Machkevitch paid £14.5m for a palatial three-storey Georgian mansion in one of London's most opulent squares.
Five years earlier, Chodiev bought his £10m penthouse in a glass-fronted development near London's Vauxhall Bridge, that boasts a 24 hour concierge service, residents' gym and secure underground car park.
Two Mayfair properties are registered to a company run by Chodiev's daughter Mounissa Chodieva, head of ENRC's investor relations.
A two-mile stroll north to Portman Square brings you to the offices of Amre Youness, who runs the trio's private mining business IMR.
Youness has married into the Heinz family, and so is related by marriage to US secretary of state John Kerry.
But despite his high-level links, IMR's private status has meant the company has been far less visible than ENRC.
Even so, the firm has attracted controversy. It sold ENRC a business that the listed company's former lawyers say may have made "cash payments to African presidents", while IMR is accused in the Dutch courts of "blatant fraud, exacerbated by bribery" by Russian fertiliser group EuroChem. IMR denies the accusations. ENRC and the trio deny all allegations of bribery and corruption.
Meanwhile, the oligarchs are furious at how they believe they have been treated by the City, arguing they have spent millions on lawyers and bankers in order to meet London compliance standards, only for their shares to slump. One close associate says: "They've been mugged by the City."
That anger is being played out against Dechert, the law firm that raised the allegations about payments in Africa, which ENRC is suing for allegedly overcharging for an internal corruption investigation.
The lawsuit names Clegg's wife, Gonzalez, who worked on the project. Dechert did not comment.
That case follows ENRC's pursuit of its former director, the City grandee Sir Paul Judge, who it accuses of leaking company information to the media. Judge denies this and is suing for libel.
Meanwhile, potentially embarrassing details about the tycoons and their families are set to be aired elsewhere in London's high court, as ENRC's former head of corporate finance, Kirill Stein, is suing the trio for £17m in bonuses and interest he says they reneged on paying.
Stein also names as defendants three of the oligarchs' children – Chodieva, Alla Machkevitch and Dostan Ibragimov – all of whom have London connections.
Alla, along with her sister Anna, is a director of the London-based Machkevitch Foundation.
Anna is said to be one of the largest collectors of Damien Hirst: she has acquired pieces including butterfly wing mosaics, cabinets of manufactured diamonds and the signature Hirst "dots".
All of which means that – for now – London and the trio remain bound. © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

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Modern slavery: in an ordinary house | Editorial 

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A society that experienced the Jimmy Savile caseload should not make rash assumptions that current events are a one-off
Even in the light of the rescue of three allegedly enslaved women in south London, many of us struggle to grasp that slavery is not something that was purged from our society two centuries ago but is something that exists here in Britain, now, in our midst, and not even always behind locked doors. Yet grasp it we must, since the case of the three south London women, however remarkable it may be because of the length of their captivity, may even be the tip of a larger iceberg of captivity that modern society has proved disturbingly unable and perhaps unwilling to spot. The UK Human Trafficking Centre identified nearly 2,300 cases in 2012. Numbers appear to be rising steadily. A society that has experienced the ever-expanding Jimmy Savile caseload should not make rash assumptions that the current events are a one-off.
The details of the south London case remain sketchy. But they took place, in the police's haunting phrase, in "an ordinary house in an ordinary street". It seems that three women, aged 30, 57 and 69, were imprisoned for up to three decades – for the entirety of her life in the youngest's case. The women are reported to have been beaten, though whether and how their labour was exploited is not yet clear. It follows that much more detail will be required before the full policy implications can be reliably assessed.
The known details nevertheless suggest that this case falls both inside and outside some of the stereotypical myths about modern slavery. These myths, according to a Centre for Social Justice survey in March, include the assumption that modern slavery always involves the trafficking of human beings across borders – when internal trafficking is a substantial problem too. Nor should it be assumed, as it sometimes is, that modern slavery only involves women and children – when a 2011 study suggests that 40% of cases involve males. Modern slavery is not just another term for prostitution either. Cases are not confined to the sex industry. Victims can be exploited for forced labour of all kinds, as well as street crime, benefit crime and for outright domestic captivity.
The positive news is that this case will be another wake-up call in neighbourhoods as well as social agencies and government. Yesterday, the Freedom charity, which helped secure the south London women's freedom, was reportedly deluged with more calls for help. Frank Field, the Labour MP who is working with the government, is compiling evidence for a new bill. If the south London case can increase the momentum for modern awareness of slavery and modern prevention, then perhaps some good will come of this appalling event. © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

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World Briefing | Europe: Russia: Most of Greenpeace Crew Have Now Been Released on Bail

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All but one of the 30 people arrested after a Greenpeace protest against oil drilling in the Arctic were free on bail Friday after spending more than two months in Russian jails.
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