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The family of Alexei Navalny, a prominent critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin who recently died in a Russian prison, has reportedly been informed that his body will not be released for two weeks. According to a representative for Navalny, his mother was told that his body is being held for “chemical analysis”. Despite efforts to locate the body, there has been no confirmation of its whereabouts from Russian authorities, and attempts to find it have been repeatedly blocked. Navalny’s wife has accused Russian authorities of concealing his body and alleged that it is being held until traces of Novichok, the nerve agent used in a previous poisoning attempt on Navalny, disappear.

In a video statement, Navalny’s wife, Yulia Navalnaya, accused President Putin of being responsible for her husband’s death and called on viewers to join her in seeking justice. Navalny’s death was announced on Friday, with authorities stating that he had never regained consciousness after collapsing during a walk in the Siberian penal colony where he was imprisoned. His mother and lawyer rushed to the colony upon hearing the news, but their attempts to locate the body have been thwarted by prison officials and local authorities.

The Kremlin has stated that an investigation into Navalny’s death is ongoing, but no results have been reported thus far. Navalny’s spokeswoman has said that investigators informed Navalny’s mother that the body would not be released for two weeks due to “chemical analysis”.

Western leaders have blamed President Putin for Navalny’s death and are considering imposing new sanctions on Russia in response. The UK Foreign Secretary has indicated that Britain and other G7 nations are likely to impose fresh sanctions on individuals implicated in Navalny’s death. However, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has dismissed these statements as “arrogant” and “unacceptable”, while Russian prison authorities have attributed Navalny’s death to “sudden death syndrome”.

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Yulia Navalnaya, widow of the Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny, has directly accused President Vladimir Putin of bearing responsibility for her husband’s demise. Through a video shared on Navalny’s social media platforms, Navalnaya unequivocally stated that Putin had “killed the father of my children” and robbed her of her “closest and most beloved person.”

Navalnaya further criticized Russian authorities for allegedly concealing Navalny’s body, insinuating that they were attempting to obscure the true cause of death. She suggested that they might be waiting for any potential traces of a Novichok poisoning to dissipate, referencing Navalny’s previous poisoning with the nerve agent in August 2020. This incident had been later linked to an FSB hit squad, as uncovered by a joint investigation by CNN and Bellingcat.

Despite Navalnaya’s strong assertions, she did not provide any evidence to substantiate her claim that a second poisoning led to her husband’s recent death in an Arctic penal colony. The circumstances surrounding Navalny’s demise remain unclear, with the Kremlin acknowledging an ongoing investigation into the matter. As of now, the results of this investigation are yet to be determined.

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A former employee opened fire at a shipping company’s office near Athens, resulting in the deaths of three individuals. Reports indicate that the gunman, identified as a 70-year-old Egyptian national, fatally shot two men and a woman, including the company owner, before taking his own life with a hunting rifle. The incident, which began with the armed man entering the building and firing at employees, led to a hostage situation in Glyfada, a location about 12km south of Athens.

Despite efforts by police negotiators to resolve the standoff, the gunman ultimately ended his own life. Shootings are uncommon in Greece, which maintains strict gun possession laws, and this event has shocked the community. Glyfada is home to numerous Greek and international shipping companies, including European Product Carriers, which owns a significant fleet of vessels including oil tankers.

Eyewitnesses described the terrifying ordeal, with one company worker recalling hearing the gunshots and fleeing for safety upon learning about the attacker. The tragic incident underscores the potential risks and consequences of workplace violence, prompting reflection and concern within both the local and international shipping community. The authorities continue to investigate the motive behind the attack and any potential lapses in security measures that may have contributed to its occurrence.

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French prosecutors have launched a preliminary investigation following actress Judith Godrèche’s complaint against filmmaker Benoît Jacquot, alleging historical rape. Godrèche, now 51 years old, claims that Jacquot, aged 77, raped her when she was just 14 in 1986, with subsequent offenses occurring during a relationship that extended into the 1990s. The complaint was officially submitted by her lawyer to the Juvenile Protection Brigade in Paris.

Godrèche, who gained recognition for her roles in Jacquot’s films such as “The Beggars” (1987) and “The Disenchanted” (1990), had previously hinted at their relationship in an autobiographical TV program titled “Icon of French Cinema.” Last month, she publicly identified Jacquot on social media after watching a documentary where he discussed his relationship with an adolescent.

In response to the allegations, Jacquot has firmly denied them, as stated in an interview with Le Monde newspaper. He has chosen not to provide further comment, reiterating his stance from the newspaper.

Godrèche, recognized for her performances in films like “The Overnight” (2015) and “The Spanish Apartment” (2002), has a notable career in French cinema. Meanwhile, Jacquot has been directing films since the mid-1970s, with his 2012 film “Farewell, My Queen” premiering at the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival.

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Italian junior culture minister Vittorio Sgarbi has resigned amidst accusations of laundering stolen goods, which he vehemently denies. The allegations center around the theft and alteration of a 17th-Century painting titled “The Capture of Saint Peter” by Rutilio Manetti, a follower of the Baroque master Caravaggio.

Sgarbi is specifically accused of modifying the stolen painting by adding a candle to the top corner, purportedly to obscure its provenance. He claims to have discovered the original artwork while restoring a villa owned by his mother more than two decades ago. According to Sgarbi, the stolen painting in 2013 was a mere copy, and the one he possesses is the authentic piece.

The controversy came to light through an investigation by the Italian TV broadcaster Rai, particularly the program Report. The stolen painting was reported missing from a castle in the northern Italian region of Piedmont, with the canvas cut out of its frame in 2013. Suspicion arose when a friend of Sgarbi, who had visited the property, expressed interest in purchasing the artwork. Additionally, the program reported that another acquaintance of the politician transferred a damaged version of “The Capture of Saint Peter” to a restorer, bearing a hole identical to the missing piece cut out in 2013. When Sgarbi exhibited the restored painting in 2021, it featured the added candle in the top corner.

In addition to the accusations related to “The Capture of Saint Peter,” Sgarbi faces legal scrutiny over another artwork—a painting attributed to the French artist Valentin de Boulogne, valued at €5m (£4.3m). This piece was seized by police in Montecarlo, and Sgarbi is being investigated for its alleged illegal export. He maintains that the seized painting is a copy and does not belong to him. Sgarbi’s resignation is framed as an effort to avoid a conflict of interest amid the ongoing investigations surrounding these art-related controversies.

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Hans-Georg Maassen, formerly in charge of countering neo-Nazis in Germany, is now under investigation for suspected right-wing extremism by the intelligence agency he led until 2018. Maassen revealed a letter from the Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) confirming the investigation, but the agency, citing data protection rules, cannot comment on individual cases. Maassen, critical of the inquiry, accuses Interior Minister Nancy Faeser of using intelligence services against political opponents.

The investigation points to Maassen’s alleged belief in far-right and antisemitic conspiracy theories, anti-migrant rhetoric, and a supposed sympathy for the far-right Reichsbürger movement. His tenure as head of domestic intelligence was marked by accusations of downplaying the far-right threat, and over time, he became known for extreme comments on social media. In 2018, he left office after questioning the authenticity of a video depicting xenophobic far-right violence in Chemnitz.

Maassen’s rhetoric has since intensified, with comparisons of migrants to cancer in an article titled “Chemotherapy for Germany.” Experts suggest he may have become radicalized, ironic given his previous role in combating radicalization.

Maassen recently confirmed that his new party, the Values Union, launched in January, is open to cooperation with the far-right AfD to gain power after upcoming regional elections. This departure from the established “firewall” against collaboration with the AfD signals a shift in German politics. Members of the Values Union attended a controversial November meeting where mass deportations were discussed, sparking nationwide protests against the far right with the slogan “We are the firewall.”

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A “dangerous object” discovered outside the Israeli embassy in Stockholm has been destroyed by Swedish police, following what the Israeli ambassador labeled an “attempted attack.” The incident prompted a significant police cordon, though no injuries were reported. Authorities have not provided detailed information about the object, but it was described as a “live” device by embassy staff, leading to its assessment and subsequent controlled destruction by the national bomb squad.

The Swedish Prime Minister, Ulf Kristersson, characterized the situation as “very serious,” and the country’s Security Service is actively investigating to determine those responsible. As a precaution, increased surveillance has been implemented around the embassy and Jewish institutions in the area.

The Israeli ambassador expressed gratitude for the swift action taken by the Swedish authorities, asserting that acts of terrorism would not intimidate them. Meanwhile, Sweden’s Deputy Prime Minister, Ebba Busch, expressed her dismay at the incident, highlighting the frightening level of hatred against Israel and calling for a concerted effort to stop violent extremism.

Police are currently conducting an investigation into the incident and have not yet identified the individuals or groups behind the placement of the suspicious device. The embassy, located in Stockholm’s affluent Ostermalm area, remains under scrutiny in the aftermath of the attempted attack.

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Luis Rubiales, the former president of the Spanish football federation, has been unsuccessful in his appeal against a three-year ban from football-related activities imposed by FIFA. This decision follows an incident where Rubiales kissed Jenni Hermoso on the lips after Spain’s Women’s World Cup final victory against England. Hermoso later filed a legal complaint, alleging that the kiss was not consensual.

FIFA stated that Rubiales violated the principles of fair play and displayed offensive behavior, citing Article 13 of the FIFA disciplinary code. The governing body’s appeal committee expressed satisfaction that Rubiales behaved contrary to these principles during and after the final of the FIFA Women’s World Cup. The ban could potentially be contested before the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

A Spanish judge has proposed that Rubiales should stand trial over the incident, describing the kiss as “not consensual and… a unilateral and surprising initiative.” Prosecutors had previously charged Rubiales with sexual assault and coercion. Despite Rubiales maintaining that the kiss was a “consensual peck,” the controversy led to his resignation as the president of the Spanish football federation, sparking a global conversation about sexism in women’s sports.

The incident also had repercussions in the coaching staff, as World Cup-winning manager Jorge Vilda was sacked in September and is under investigation as part of the criminal case against Rubiales. Jenni Hermoso, who claimed her image was tarnished by the kiss, made a return to the national side in October, scoring a crucial 89th-minute winner against Italy.

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In the recent past, a Portuguese dog named Bobi gained worldwide attention for being declared the oldest dog ever by Guinness World Records (GWR), surpassing a century-old record. However, doubts regarding the accuracy of Bobi’s age have emerged, leading GWR to suspend the title and initiate an investigation.

Bobi, a purebred Rafeiro do Alentejo, with an average life expectancy of 12 to 14 years, was officially recorded as living to 31 years and 165 days based on Portugal’s pet database managed by the National Union of Veterinarians. Skepticism arose as some experts questioned the evidence, including discrepancies in old photos and the absence of definitive registration confirming Bobi’s birth in 1992.

Wired magazine’s investigation revealed uncertainties about the accuracy of Bobi’s age claim, leading to growing skepticism among veterinarians. The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons member, Danny Chambers, expressed doubt, stating that none of his veterinary colleagues believed Bobi was genuinely 31 years old.

In response, Guinness World Records has launched a formal investigation, temporarily halting applications for both the titles of the oldest living dog and the oldest dog ever until conclusive findings are communicated. Bobi, who lived with the Costa family in Portugal, reportedly faced backlash from some in the veterinary community, with owner Leonel Costa attributing the skepticism to Bobi’s unconventional diet, similar to that of humans, rather than traditional pet food.

Leonel Costa emphasized that all requirements set by GWR to validate Bobi’s age were met, defending Bobi’s unique diet choice against the recommendations of many veterinarians. The controversy arises after Bobi’s death, challenging the record previously held by Australia’s Bluey, who lived to the age of 29 and died in 1939.

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The initial trial related to the 2023 earthquake in Turkey has commenced, concentrating on the collapse of an Adiyaman hotel that resulted in 72 fatalities. The Isias Grand hotel in Adiyaman hosted a school volleyball team from Turkish-controlled northern Cyprus and a group of tourist guides during the earthquake, with 11 individuals charged for violating construction regulations. The earthquake, occurring on February 6, claimed over 50,000 lives in Turkey and Syria, causing the collapse or severe damage of 160,000 buildings and displacing 1.5 million people.

Charges have been brought against 11 people for breaching construction rules in connection with the collapse of the Isias Grand hotel in Adiyaman during last year’s earthquake. The hotel, which housed a school volleyball team from northern Cyprus and tourist guides, was one of the numerous buildings affected by the earthquake, resulting in significant casualties. The Turkish government initiated investigations, leading to the arrest of nearly 200 individuals, including construction contractors and property owners, for their roles in the disaster.

The trial began with the prosecution focusing on the Isias Grand hotel in Adiyaman, where a tragic incident unfolded during the earthquake last year. A group of 39 individuals, including students, teachers, and parents, had chosen the hotel for a volleyball tournament. The collapse of the hotel resulted in the loss of 35 lives from the group, with only four parents surviving. The trial has prompted the families of the victims to demand severe sentences for the accused individuals and the inclusion of charges against Turkish officials responsible for licensing the hotel.

The Isias Grand hotel, operational since 2001, faced allegations of construction malpractice, including the improper use of materials and unauthorized additional floors in 2016. The indictment revealed that gravel and sand from the local river were mixed with construction materials in the hotel’s columns. Families of the victims expressed outrage, accusing the Culture and Tourism Ministry of neglecting proper inspections despite granting the hotel a four-star rating, and they insisted on accountability for those responsible.

The extensive building collapses resulting from the earthquake stirred widespread criticism of the Turkish government for encouraging a construction boom without effectively enforcing building regulations. The trial has intensified calls for accountability, with grieving families emphasizing the need to charge those responsible for the Isias Hotel’s approval and urging justice for the lives lost. If found guilty, the 11 defendants could face prison terms ranging from two years and eight months to more than 22 years.

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