Band members flee to avoid prosecution
MOSCOW (AP) – Two members of the punk band Pussy Riot have fled Russia to avoid prosecution for a protest against Vladimir Putin that sent three of their band mates to prison, the group said Sunday.
Five members of the feminist group took part in a provocative performance inside Moscow’s main cathedral in February to protest the Russian leader’s rule and his cozy relationship with the Orthodox Church. The women wore their trademark garishly colored balaclavas, which made it difficult for police to identify them, and only three were arrested.
After a controversial trial that highlighted Putin’s crackdown on dissent since he began a third presidential term in May, the three band members were convicted of hooliganism and sentenced to two years in prison Aug. 17. Days later, Moscow police said they were searching for the other band members, an apparent warning to the group to stop its anti-Putin protests.
Pussy Riot tweeted Sunday that the two activists had fled Russia and are “recruiting foreign feminists to prepare new protest actions.” No mention was made of where they went.
At least 12 other members of the group remain in Russia, another message on Twitter said.
10 killed in floods blamed on dam release
YOLA, Nigeria (AP) – An emergency management official in northeast Nigeria says 10 people were killed in floods that swept through the region.
Adamawa state Emergency Management Agency official Shadrach Daniel Baruk said others remained trapped by the flooding Sunday.
Baruk blamed the release of water from a dam in the neighboring nation of Cameroon for the flood. He said heavy rainfall in the rural region of farms and cattle ranches also contributed to the deadly deluge. He said thousands of people had been displaced.
The flooding in Adamawa state comes as flooding recently killed at least 68 people in Plateau state in central Nigeria.
Nigeria is experiencing its annual rainy season, which sees torrential rains fall throughout the West African nation.
Israel denies entry to pro-Palestinians
AMMAN, Jordan (AP) – Israeli authorities refused entry Sunday to about 100 pro-Palestinian activists, including three Americans, attempting to cross overland to the West Bank from Jordan, according to their leader.
French organizer Olivia Zemor of the “Welcome to Palestine” campaign said Israeli authorities asked no questions and stamped “entry denied” into the passports without an explanation.
Earlier, she told reporters in the Jordanian capital, Amman, that the group aimed to deliver one ton of school supplies to Palestinian children in refugee camps in Bethlehem.
Gunmen open fire on protesters; 2 killed
SANAA, Yemen (AP) – Security officials say gunmen in an unmarked vehicle drove past a sit-in in Taiz, Yemen’s second largest city, and opened fire on protesters, killing one.
Activist Shaher Mohammed Saeed says he heard and saw gunshots from a white pickup truck driving past protest tents in Taiz at dawn Sunday.
Hundreds of protesters there are pushing for sweeping reforms related to the uprising that began last year and ousted the country’s longtime leader.