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Russian singer flees country while under house arrest for activism by disguising herself as a food courier

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The lead singer of Russian protest band, Pussy Riot, has escaped house arrest in Moscow by disguising herself as a delivery driver,  Maria Alyokhina was facing a sentence in a penal colony under harsh laws banning criticism in the country. But she was able to evade police in the Russian capital despite effectively being under house arrest in an escape she likened to a “spy novel”. Now safely in Lithuania, Alyokhina is among tens of thousands of Russians who have left the country after draconian laws to clamp down on opposition were brought in following the invasion of Ukraine. She said the band now plans to tour to raise money for those affected by the war. She told The New York Times : “A lot of magic happened last week. It sounds like a spy novel.” In an interview, she revealed that she disguised herself as a food courier to get away from Moscow, where she was being closely watched. Alyokhina, 33, said: “I don’t think Russia has a right to exist anymore. “Even before, there were questions about how it is united, by what values it is united, and where it is going. “But now I don’t think that is a question anymore.” Alyokhina, who has been jailed repeatedly for staging protests against the Putin regime, was able to cross the border into Belarus. She was helped by an Icelandic friend who was able to smuggle her travel documents.These helped her reach Lithuania a week later, the newspaper reported, as her Russian passport had been confiscated by authorities. She said that although modern Russia looks like a “big demon” from the outside, her escape demonstrates that it is “very disorganised”. In her experience, the activist said, the “right-hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing”. Punk band Pussy Riot were first catapulted into the limelight a decade ago when they held a dramatic anti-Putin protest at Christ the Saviour Cathedral in Moscow. This landed members a two-year prison sentence but did not deter their activism.The post Russian singer flees country while under house arrest for activism by disguising herself as a food courier appeared first on Linda Ikeji Blog.
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Robert Sarver to sell Phoenix Suns and Mercury after N-word scandal

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Robert Sarver will be selling both the Phoenix Suns and the Phoenix Mercury after an NBA investigation revealed that he used the n-word multiple times during his tenure as an owner in the leagues. The NBA investigation also revealed that Sarver made inappropriate comments toward women, and didn’t treat his employees fairly or equally. Commissioner Adam Silver who fined him $10 million and suspended him one year over the offence, had insisted the punishment was strong enough. Sarver however announced on Wednesday morning September 21, that he is “beginning the process of seeking buyers for the Suns and the Mercury”, just after fans and multiple star players including LeBron James, Chris Paul and Draymond Green called for more severe sanctions.  He said in the statement;  “Words that I deeply regret now overshadow nearly two decades of building organizations that brought people together — and strengthened the Phoenix area — through the unifying power of professional men’s and women’s basketball.”But in our current unforgiving climate, it has become painfully clear that that is no longer possible — that whatever good I have done, or could still do, is outweighed by things I have said in the past.”I do not want to be a distraction to these two teams and the fine people who work so hard to bring the joy and excitement of basketball to fans around the world.”I want what’s best for these two organizations, the players, the employees, then fans, the community, my fellow owners, the NBA and the WNBA. This is the best course of action for everyone.”In the meantime, I will continue to work on becoming a better person, and continuing to support the community in meaningful ways. Thank you for continuing to root for the Suns and the Mercury, embracing the power that sports has to bring us together.”The post Robert Sarver to sell Phoenix Suns and Mercury after N-word scandal appeared first on Linda Ikeji Blog.
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Photos of President Buhari at the 77th UN General Assembly meeting while delivering his speech

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President Buhari delivered Nigeria’s National Statement at the 77th United Nations General Assembly in New York today, September 21. The address given today will be the last in his capacity as Nigeria’s president. 
 He was joined at the meeting by Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau state, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos state, Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara state, Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno state, Minister of Foreign Affairs Geoffrey Onyeama and others. See more photos below… 
The post Photos of President Buhari at the 77th UN General Assembly meeting while delivering his speech appeared first on Linda Ikeji Blog.
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Court refuses to grant Baba Ijesha‘s bail application pending appeal

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Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of Ikeja Special Offences Court on Wednesday September 21, refused to grant a bail application filed by convicted Nollywoord actor, James Olarewaju, alias Baba Ijesha. Ijesha had sought bail for an appeal to the five-year conviction for sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl. Taiwo struck out the bail application on grounds of the actor not meeting exceptional circumstances and criteria.  The judge said;  “The applicant must show special and exceptional circumstances because the term given to him is five years which is to run concurrently.“There is no evidence that the appeal has been entered and there is no indication before this court that the court will not treat the case expeditiously.“It is in the view of this court that the applicant has failed to show special circumstances to warrant him bail because he is facing a serious crime.“In view of this case, I am inclined to refuse the bail application of the applicants pending appeal.”  The post Court refuses to grant Baba Ijeshas bail application pending appeal appeared first on Linda Ikeji Blog.
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