Eight detained over attacks
Police said they had detained eight nationalists for assaulting “foreign-looking” people during a march down a central Saint Petersburg street on Sunday. Apparent marchers attacked shops and threw stones and smoke-bombs, news Web site fontanka.ru said. Quoting witnesses, it put the number of people held at 16. One victim suffered an injury to his head, possibly after being beaten with a baseball bat, and was taken away by ambulance, the Web site said. Demonstrators roughed up at least two people who did “not look Slav,” Itar-Tass news agency quoted another police source as saying. A police officer said that “eight people were detained for disorderly conduct” during the march that had been joined by about 150 young men and women. “They attacked passers-by,” one officer said.
Register to stop voter fraud
An opposition group has launched a campaign to protect against voter fraud aimed at citizens who live abroad. Representatives from the Democratic Unity Roundtable say they want to make sure no one votes in the place of citizens who live abroad and cannot return to cast their ballot. Opposition leader Henrique Capriles narrowly lost the presidential election in April to ruling party candidate Nicolas Maduro. Capriles has claimed Maduro secured the 1.5-point victory through fraud. The new voting campaign asks citizens living abroad to register online at www.quenadievoteporti.com. Their names will then be verified at polling sites during the December municipal elections if anyone attempts to vote in their place.
Fujimori back in jail
Former president Alberto Fujimori was back in prison yesterday after spending the weekend at a Lima hospital, relatives said. Fujimori is serving a 25-year sentence after being convicted in 2009 of human rights violations during his 1990-to-2000 presidency. The 75-year-old, who has been treated several times for cancerous tongue lesions, was taken to hospital on Friday when doctors detected hypertensive heart illness, his daughter Keiko told reporters. Keiko Fujimori, an influential member of the legislature, said that her father’s blood pressure rose when he was in court on Thursday facing trial on charges that he funneled public money to tabloids that attacked opponents during his tenure. Prosecutors want to give him eight more years in jail and a US$1 million fine for allegedly diverting US$43 million to tabloids that attacked the opposition and slammed his rivals during his 2000 re-election campaign.
Cow burps turned to fuel
Scientists have found a way to transform the gas created by the bovine digestive system into fuel, an innovation that could curb greenhouse gases that cause global warming. Using a system of valves and pumps, the experimental technique developed by the National Institute of Agricultural Technology channels the digestive gases from bovine stomach cavities through a tube and into a tank. The gases are then processed to separate methane from other gases such as carbon dioxide. Methane is the main component of natural gas, used to fuel everything from cars to power plants. “Once you get it compressed, it’s the same as having natural gas,” said Guillermo Berra, head of the institute’s animal physiology group. “As an energy source it is not very practical at the moment, but if you look ahead to 2050, when fossil fuel reserves are going to be in trouble, it is an alternative.”