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QAnon Shaman pictured without horns and face paint in mugshot, as he’s moved to jail with organic food

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QAnon Shaman pictured without horns and face paint in mugshot, as he’s moved to jail with organic food

Donald Trump refuses to take responsibility for Capitol riot

The face of the Capitol rioter known as the “QAnon Shaman” has been revealed in a mugshot, as he is moved to a prison that serves organic food.

The mugshot of Jacob Anthony Chansley, 33, who is also known as Jake Angeli, was released on Thursday when he was moved from the DC Department of Corrections facility in Washington, DC, to Virginia's Alexandria Detention Centre.

He was arrested after he took part in the riots at the US Capitol on 6 January, alongside a mob of pro-Trump supporters. Prosecutors have alleged that he was one of the first to breach the building's security.

Five people died and several more were injured in the insurrection, while a week later, and a week before leaving office, President Donald Trump was impeached by the House for the second time for inciting the riots at a rally close to the Capitol.

qanon shaman

Mr Chansley, who calls himself the “QAnon Shaman”, made headlines following the riots, as he was pictured breaching the Capitol while topless, wearing a horned furry hat and sporting American flag-inspired face paint.

The image released on Thursday is the first time an unrecognisable Mr Chansley has been pictured since the events of that day.

He was moved to the facility in Virginia after his attorney argued that Mr Chansley had not eaten for nine days because organic food was not being served at his prison.

His lawyer, Albert Watkins, claimed that his client had lost 20lbs since being detained in Washington, DC, because eating non-organic food makes him physically ill and is against his beliefs.

Mr Watkins said that Mr Chansley considers eating organic food to be part of his “shamanic belief system and way of life”.

A judge then ordered the prison to serve the 33-year-old organic food, but because they could not comply, he was moved to the Alexandria Detention Centre, as they were “able and willing to accommodate (Chansley's) dietary requests”.

The judge said he granted the request because Mr Chansley’s diet is based on his religious beliefs, and said that his willingness to go nine days without eating shows conviction for it.

Mr Chansley’s lawyers have attempted to deflect blame for his actions at the Capitol on Mr Trump, and claimed their client acted peacefully during the insurrection.

He pleaded not guilty last Friday to charges of obstructing an official proceeding, violent entry, and disorderly conduct while on Capitol grounds.

Mr Watkins said his client would be willing to testify against Mr Trump, claiming that Mr Chansley felt "duped" by the former president's false claims of widespread election fraud.

Reference: Independent: James Crump  

Myanmar coup: Aung San Suu Kyi charged by army over ‘walkie-talkies and handshakes’

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Myanmar coup: Aung San Suu Kyi charged by army over ‘walkie-talkies and handshakes’

Myanmar’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi and the country’s ousted president have been charged by the military with minor offences relating to some walkie-talkies allegedly imported without the proper licence and for shaking hands during the pandemic, according to a police document.

Ms Suu Kyi was arrested on Monday as the armed forces rounded up political leaders and seized control of the country, complaining of voter fraud in the recent general election. The document said Ms Suu Kyi would be detained for a further two weeks while the charges were investigated.

The actions of the military have been widely condemned by the international community, with the UN calling it a major setback for the progress of democracy in Myanmar and the G7 nations urging generals to “restore power to the democratically-elected government [and] release all those unjustly detained”.

But China, which hasn’t criticised the coup so far, has blocked the UN Security Council from formally condemning it.

The police document issued on Wednesday claimed that during a search of Ms Suu Kyi’s residence, military officers found hand-held radios that were imported illegally and used without permission. 

myanmar protests

President Win Myint, who was arrested and removed from office by the military on Monday, would also be charged with offences under the natural disaster management law, according to the police document, after he, his wife and his daughter took part in a September campaign event that saw him shaking hands with many attendees, allegedly in breach of Covid regulations.

On Tuesday, the Myanmar army chief General Min Aung Hlaing, who is now in control of the country, announced plans to investigate alleged fraud in the November elections, while also pledging to prioritise tackling the Covid-19 outbreak and handling the economy, reported Myanmar’s state-run Global New Light of Myanmar newspaper.

He said that a new election commission "would examine the voting data to find correct results, and actions would be taken accordingly in the process." They also plan to scrutinise the voter lists against family household registrations. The military disbanded the previous election commission after it said there was no evidence of widespread fraud in the election.  

In November’s vote, the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party took just 33 seats compared to Ms Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy, which won 396 out of the 476 available.

Min Aung Hlaing emphasised that Covid-19 measures taken by Ms Suu Kyi's government would be continued. So far, Myanmar has recorded over 140,000 cases of coronavirus including 3,100 deaths. The general said he is also looking at measures to boost the economy, especially the agricultural sector which involves 70 per cent of the population.

But according to eye witness reports from Myanmar on Wednesday, those on the front line of the fight against Covid-19 in the country were also leading the non-violent resistance against the coup, with health staff including doctors either stopping work in protest or wearing red ribbons.

A statement by the newly formed Myanmar Civil Disobedience Movement said that doctors at 70 hospitals and medical departments in 30 cities joined the protest, while it accused the army of putting its interests above those of the people during a pandemic.  

Myo Myo Mon, 40, who was among the doctors who stopped work to protest, said: “We really cannot accept this. We will do this in a sustainable way, we will do it in a non-violent way... This is the route our state counsellor desires," referring to Ms Suu Kyi.

The civil disobedience campaign is receiving support from student and youth groups as well. Videos posted online showed residents of Yangon shouting anti-coup slogans and banging on pots, pans or anything else they could get their hands on in demonstration.

Yangon resident San Tint said: “It is a Myanmar tradition to drive away evil or bad karma by beating tin or metal buckets."  

According to the NLD, Ms Suu Kyi had called on the public to reject the coup.  Some users on Facebook have changed their profile pictures to images of Ms Suu Kyi to show solidarity, while others vowed to boycott products from firms linked to the military.

The protest movement could face an uphill struggle, however, as the military establishment on Tuesday warned against any acts that could cause rioting or instability. Correspondents said that despite the online posts of dissent, the armed forces appeared to have a firm grip on the country.

Reference:Independent:  Adam Withnall and Mayank Aggarwal   

Foreign Office tells Richard Ratcliffe to keep quiet as wife's release date nears

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Foreign Office tells Richard Ratcliffe to keep quiet as wife's release date nears

The Foreign Office has told the husband of jailed British-Iranian dual national Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe to stop publicising plans to free her on 7 March or else risk jeopardising her release from prison.

Richard Ratcliffe rejected the advice, writing on Twitter: “We continue to believe that transparency is the best form of protection from abuse. We have also made clear that the government’s role is to remind the Iranian authorities that Nazanin has the UK’s protection not to act as a messenger for the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps mafia tactics and suppression.”

Zaghari-Ratcliffe is under house arrest at her parents’ home in Tehran and is due to complete her five-year sentence for spying on 7 March. Last year Iran threatened to press additional charges against her, but the courts pulled back under media and diplomatic pressure and a trial was postponed.

Ratcliffe is in London with their six-year-old daughter, Gabriella. On Twitter Ratcliffe publicised the Foreign Office warnings and said: “If anything happens to Nazanin or her family or if she is not released to the UK on March 7 – there should be consequences. We will be discussing with the foreign secretary Dominic Raab his back-up plan.”

The dispute between Ratcliffe and the Foreign Office is partly one over tactics, and Ratcliffe’s decision to go public with a high-profile campaign. The Foreign Office is more prone to believing that quiet diplomacy has a greater chance of producing results.

R Radcliffe rescue

In a blistering note sent to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) after a heated video meeting with diplomats on Friday, Ratcliffe wrote: “I do think it was a remarkable lack of judgement by the FCDO to allow itself to be enrolled in passing on IRGC [Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps] threats to the family, and say it would be the fault of our campaigning around Nazanin’s release date if something happened to Nazanin or her family.

“I said on the call that the UK government passing on this message ‘to inform our decision making’ was enabling Iranian mafia tactics. That is not an exaggeration.

“We have discussed repeatedly the ways in which the IRGC have threatened the family, and attempted to manipulate them through insidious messages direct and through mediators.”

He claims he has been repeatedly told by FCDO ministers to be quiet, and even urged at one point to take up therapy.

Ratcliffe added: “The IRGC have an infinite capacity to spot weakness and an opportunity to manipulate – it is why the UK’s weakness on diplomatic protection is so genuinely ill advised. They sniff out every opportunity, unless you push back immediately.”

He also challenges the government to describe his wife’s capture as “state hostage taking” rather than an internal matter. “I don’t want there to be any doubt in the foreign secretary’s mind that we are approaching the time to make good on our conversations to impose a cost on hostage taking. My view is that if you won’t do it now, even when Nazanin is not released at the end of her sentence, then it is safe to presume that you never will.” he wrote.

“Either she is home at the end of her sentence, or there are consequences. Anything else is just noise.”

Last week Iran’s judiciary spokesman, Gholam-Hossein, Esmayaeli, warned Raab not to interfere in Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s case.

He said: “Nazanin-Zaghari is our current convict and she is serving her sentence, and she is yet to stand trial for another charge in her case that has been sent to the court with an indictment. The court has not yet ruled on the new case.”

He added it is against diplomatic norms to comment on our judicial cases.

The Foreign Office is concerned that highlighting the date set for her release from imprisonment is unwise since it might antagonise the regime and prompt it into pressing further charges.

Ratcliffe thinks on the other hand that Iran can respond to external pressure, and points out that the Foreign Office has afforded her the status of diplomatic protection, a legal status that is supposed to elevate her detention as a matter of dispute between the two states.

Raab said last week “we have intensified those negotiations and are leaving no stone unturned. I want to get Nazanin released, absolutely as soon as possible.”

Boris Johnson announces 'national clap' for Captain Sir Tom Moore at 6pm this evening

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Boris Johnson announces 'national clap' for Captain Sir Tom Moore at 6pm this evening

Boris Johnson has announced a 'national clap' for Captain Sir Tom Moore this evening, to mark his death yesterday.

The PM said Captain Tom dedicated his life to serving others, and encouraged people to join in a "national clap" in memory of him.

Mr Johnson told the Commons: "We all now have the opportunity to show our appreciation for him and all that he stood for and believed in.

"That is why I encourage everyone to join in a national clap for Captain Tom and all those health workers for whom he raised money at 6pm this evening."

Captain tom death

The 100-year-old's death has prompted reaction from around the world, after he raised more than £32 million for the NHS during the first coronavirus lockdown.

Charities have vowed that the legacy of Sir Tom, who died on Tuesday morning after testing positive for Covid-19, will live on "for years and years".

His family said the last year of his life was "nothing short of remarkable", and that he had "experienced things he'd only ever dreamed of".

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said his contribution will be formally marked.

Describing him as an "inspiration", the minister told BBC Breakfast: "I will ensure we mark his contribution properly and appropriately at the right moment."

Asked whether a statue might be built "in possibly his home town or where he was born or in London", Mr Hancock told LBC: "Yes, I do think that we should find a way, at the right time, to honour the contribution that he made to the NHS and he was an inspiration to so many people."

Sir Tom set out to raise £1,000 for NHS Charities Together by walking 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday last April - but his efforts struck a chord with the nation and donations flooded in.

In acknowledgement of his efforts, he was knighted by the Queen during a unique open-air ceremony at Windsor Castle in summer 2020. 

Opposition leader Alexei Navalny says jail term 'blatant lawlessness' designed to intimidate Russians

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Opposition leader Alexei Navalny says jail term 'blatant lawlessness' designed to intimidate Russians 

Speaking for the first time since being jailed, Alexei Navalny, the Russian opposition leader, has vowed to fight the Kremlin despite intimidation after a judge ordered he stay behind bars for at least three more weeks.

The politician returned to Russia on Jan 17 for the first time since he was poisoned with Novichok and airlifted to Germany for treatment.

The Kremlin’s most formidable foe, who has been exposing official graft for over a decade, embarrassed authorities further in December by getting a Russian intelligence agent to confess to monitoring him before he was poisoned.

Mr Navalny, 44, was detained on arrival and arrested for 30 days last Monday for violating the terms of his suspended sentence.

In his first public appearance since he was taken into custody, Mr Navalny was shown on a television at a Moscow regional court on Thursday.

The court was considering an appeal against his arrest, which triggered major nationwide protests last weekend.

The court hearing came the day after Russian police conducted a series of simultaneous raids on Mr Navalny’s allies, searching a dozen of locations and breaking down the door to enter his wife’s flat.

Four people including Lyubov Sobol, one of Mr Navalny's key allies, were detained for 48 hours late on Wednesday.


The detentions were part of a criminal probe into those who “created a threat of spreading infection” by organising Saturday’s rally in Moscow.

Speaking publicly for the first time in nearly two weeks, Mr Navalny, who was seen sitting on a chair in a bare room, expressed his “support for those who were arrested and faced other kinds of repressions just because they’re honest people and they’re not afraid.”

Mr Navalny, who was only recently told about massive rallies across Russia, thanked the protesters who took to the streets in over 120 towns and cities.

He said: “These people are the last barricade against those who are pushing our country towards complete degradation: You’re the defenders and patriots of our country!”

The opposition leader told the court that police and courts have been “demonstratively lawless” towards him. He claimed he was intimidated personally, as were Russians who want to take to the streets.

As the judge upheld the previous ruling and ordered to keep him in custody, Mr Navalny said: “You can put one prison guard by my side and a second one by the other side and handcuff me but this is not going to last forever.”

A court hearing on Tuesday will rule whether to convert his three-and-a-half year suspended sentence into a prison term.

The Russian opposition has raised the stakes in its battle with the Kremlin by urging its supporters to gather on Sunday near the headquarters of the intelligence agency, the FSB.

Mr Navalny claims the agency was behind his attempted assassination in August last year.

Russian prosecutors have responded by issuing a warning against illegal gatherings.

Investigators on Thursday also brought charges against Mr Navalny’s right-hand man Leonid Volkov, who currently lives abroad, accusing him of inciting teenagers to take part in unsanctioned protests.

Reference: The Telegraph: Nataliya Vasilyeva  

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