Russia Keeps Greenpeace Ship Captain Behind Bars

Russia: Police arrest 1,600 migrants after riots

Two of its activists had climbed on to an oil platform owned by energy giant Gazprom to protest its drilling in a sensitive Arctic environment which Greenpeace says risks environmental catastrophe. The Russian authorities have now charged all 30 crew with piracy, which carries a maximum sentence of up to 15 years. The so-called “Arctic 30” have been placed in pre-trial detention until November 24. Last week the same court turned down bail requests from two British activists among the Arctic 30. Russian news agencies quoted Willcox as saying during a break in his hearing on Monday that he had many regrets and if he could start again, would have stayed in New York rather than embarking on the Arctic voyage. He also said he was suffering from heart problems. “I’m innocent and I do not understand what I’m accused of,” Greenpeace quoted Speziale as saying in court Monday. “I don’t have anything against your country. Russia and Argentina have good relations. But now I’m arrested for something I haven’t done. I really want to come back to my country and continue working and studying,” she added.

Police said they were all detained to check whether they were involved in any wrongdoing, but they have not been accused of any specific crime. Footage showed detainees standing against walls or lined up in front of camouflage-clad police. By rounding up migrants, authorities seemed to be trying to appease residents who had taken to the streets of the Biryulyovo district to demand police find the killer of Yegor Shcherbakov, 25, and act to prevent crimes by migrants. Migrant labour has played a significant role in Russias transformation during an oil-fuelled boom that took off around the time president Vladimir Putin came to power in 2000. But many in Moscow are uneasy at the influx of migrants from the mainly Muslim North Caucasus and ex-Soviet states of the Caucasus and Central Asia, although many do low-paying jobs, such as in construction, that few local residents want. On Sunday, the mob in the southern neighbourhood fought with police, smashed shops and street stalls and stormed the vegetable market, targeting sites employing migrants. Police arrested at least 380 people as they struggled to quell the violence, which left several people, including officers, injured and shone a spotlight on tension between ethnic Russians and Muslim incomers. Russian authorities frequently carry out raids detaining illegal immigrants but critics say efforts are undermined by police corruption. We must learn to live together and counteract rampant corruption and related attempts to break up our country by exploiting ethnic problems, human rights ombudsman, Vladimir Lukin, told state TV. A group that lobbies for economic migrants in Russia warned of an increased risk of ethnic violence in Moscow. The nationalists are pursuing their political goals. This is clearly very dangerous. We are warning migrants to be careful for now in crowded areas and on public transportation, said Mukhamad Amin, head of the Federation of Migrants of Russia.

Russia Stocks Fall 2nd Day Before Rates Decision Amid U.S. Woes

OAO Magnit, its largest food retailer, traded down 1.3 percent at 8,440 rubles. Russias central bank will probably leave borrowing costs unchanged for a 13th month, holding the one-week auction rate, its new benchmark introduced last month, at 5.50 percent at todays meeting, according to all 23 economists in a Bloomberg survey. With the U.S.s borrowing authority set to lapse Oct. 17, Senate leaders in Washington sought a pact to avert a default and re-open the government. Russias central bank has acted quite conservatively even in better times, Sergey Kucherenko, who manages about $50 million in Russian equities at OAO Nomos Bank in Moscow, said by phone. I expect it to keep rates unchanged amid the U.S. budget turmoil. Above-target inflation has prevented Russias central bank from countering a slowdown in economic growth to the weakest pace since a 2009 contraction. U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was negotiating with Minority Leader Mitch McConnell after talks between President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner broke down. Alrosa Price Crude, Russias main export earner, traded up 0.4 percent at $102.39 in New York. Russia receives about half of its revenue from the oil and natural gas industries.

In Russia’s Sochi, gays oppose boycott calls

Performers pose for a photo backstage before their show in a gay club in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi, on September 28, 2013

He also promised that organisers would respect all visitors and not interfere in their private lives. ‘What is there to be joyful about?’ Yet it remains uncertain if Sochi, one of European Russia’s southernmost cities and close to the traditionally conservative societies of the Caucasus mountains, is ready for gay pride events. Sochi is more homophobic than Moscow, said Slavsky. People dance in a gay club in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi, on October 3, 2013 (AFP Photo/M “My understanding is that a parade is joyful,” he said. “What is there to be joyful about? Homophobia, murders and suicides?” In June Slavsky plucked up the courage to hold a small gay rights picket in Sochi with a handful of friends. The police did not interfere — but only because they did not understand the slogans on placards written in English, he said. He said he had also tried to establish a gay rights organisation, but gave up after meeting no support from the gay community. While Tanichev said he hopes foreign athletes will speak up for gay rights during the Olympics, he said he would not participate in any gay rights rallies or parades himself. “Nobody will go to gay pride parades, and nobody needs these parades today,” Tanichev said. A file picture taken on May 25, 2013, shows a Russian gay rights activist holding a poster reading ” He added that his club polled guests and found that 99 percent said they opposed such events as “provocative”. An established businessman, Tanichev said his club had never been trashed by ultra-conservatives or harassed by police, despite hosting nightly drag queen shows. Nevertheless the door of the Lighthouse club is always kept locked, and under a strict door policy, first-time visitors are turned away unless they are accompanied by someone known to the doorman. ‘I will move away’ For Slavsky being gay in Sochi is a constant and sometimes dangerous struggle. He told of a harrowing campaign of verbal and physical attacks that had forced him to delete his social networking page, change his mobile number and even move apartment.