Putin backs disputed US adoption ban

Updated 21 December 2012
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Putin backs disputed US adoption ban

MOSCOW: President Vladimir Putin yesterday backed tough pending legislation making it illegal for Americans to adopt Russian children in reprisal for a new Washington human rights law.
But in his first major press conference of his third term as president, he also denied running an “authoritarian system” in which all branches of power and most facets of society closely followed the dictates of Kremlin rule.
The highly controversial draft legislation would end around 1,000 adoptions a year and comes as a grim reminder of the rapid deterioration in Russia-US relations since Putin’s election in March.
The bill also includes a clause that bans any Russian non-government organizations involved in politics that receives funding from the United States.
The State Duma lower house of Parliament is due to vote on the bill in its final reading today before it passes to the upper chamber and then for the president’s signature.
Even senior government members such as Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov came out against the measure and some media commentators had expected Putin to show off his rarely-seen humanitarian streak by watering down the measure at the press conference.
But the Russian strongman indicated that he would sign the adoption ban into law.
“I understand that this was an emotional response by the State Duma, but I think that it was appropriate,” Putin told the first major press conference of his third term as president.
“I have not seen the law yet. I do not know its details — I have not seen the text,” he explained in response to another question.
“But yes, I have said I support it. The only question is how exactly it will look.”
His comments came as the latest reminder of the chilling in relations between former Cold War foes Russia and the US since Putin returned to the Kremlin for his third term earlier this year.
Much of the latest mistrust stems from Putin’s often-repeated belief that Washington was responsible for inciting mass protests last winter against the former KGB agent returning to Russia’s top office.


86 people killed in central Nigeria violence: police

Updated 25 June 2018
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86 people killed in central Nigeria violence: police

  • Analysts believe it could become Nigeria’s biggest security concern, eclipsing Boko Haram’s Islamist insurgency that has left at least 20,000 dead since 2009
  • The violence — fueled by ethnic, religious and political allegiances — has killed thousands over several decades

JOS, Nigeria: Eighty-six people have been killed in an attack by suspected nomadic herders against farming communities in restive central Nigeria, police said on Sunday.
The discovery in the Barikin Ladi area of Plateau state came after days of violence apparently sparked by an attack by ethnic Berom farmers on Fulani herders on Thursday.
State police commissioner Undie Adie said a search of Berom villages in the area following clashes on Saturday found “86 persons altogether were killed.”
Adie told reporters six people were also injured and 50 houses razed. Bodies of those who died have been released to their families, he added.
The deaths are the latest in a long-running battle for land and resources that is putting President Muhammadu Buhari under pressure as elections approach next year.
The violence — fueled by ethnic, religious and political allegiances — has killed thousands over several decades.
Analysts believe it could become Nigeria’s biggest security concern, eclipsing Boko Haram’s Islamist insurgency that has left at least 20,000 dead since 2009.
The Plateau state government said it had imposed restrictions on movements in the Riyom, Barikin Ladi and Jos South areas “to avert a breakdown of law and order.”
“The curfew takes effect immediately... and movement is restricted from 6:00 p.m. (1700 GMT) to 6:00 am, except (for) those on essential duties,” said spokesman Rufus Bature.
On Sunday, ethnic Berom youths set up barricades on the Jos-Abuja highway and attacked motorists who looked “Fulani and Muslim,” according to those who escaped the violence.
Plateau state police spokesman Tyopev Terna and Major Adam Umar, from the military taskforce in the state capital, Jos, confirmed the blockade and vandalism to several cars.
There were no official reports of deaths but Baba Bala, who escaped the violence on the road, said at least six people were killed.
“I was lucky the convoy of the (Plateau) state government was passing through the scene of the attack shortly after I ran into the attackers,” he said.
“I escaped with smashed windscreens and dents on my car. I saw six dead bodies and several damaged cars.”