A Moscow court on Saturday remanded in custody three more suspected members of the ransomware crime group REvil over illegal trafficking of funds, a day after Russia claimed it had dismantled the group at the request of the United States.
The court identified the three men as Mikhail Golovachuk, Ruslan Khansvyarov and Dmitry Korotayev.
In a rare apparent demonstration of US-Russian collaboration at a time of high tensions between the two over Ukraine, Russian authorities detained and charged the REVil group's members this week.
A police and FSB domestic intelligence operation searched 25 addresses, detaining 14 people, the FSB said on Friday, listing assets it had seized including $600,000 of computer equipment and 20 luxury cars.
The United States welcomed the arrests.
The United States said in November it was offering a reward of up to $10 million for information leading to the identification or location of anyone holding a key position in the REvil group.
A source familiar with the case told Interfax the group's members with Russian citizenship would not be handed over to the United States.
‘Austria to make COVID vaccines compulsory for adults from Feb’
Nehammer, a conservative who took office in December, said those who didn t comply would face a hefty fine
Vienna: Austria will become the first European country to make Covid-19 vaccination compulsory for adults in February, Chancellor Karl Nehammer said Sunday, acknowledging that it was a “sensitive topic.”
Nehammer, a conservative who took office in December, said those who didn t comply would face a hefty fine.
“We will decide on compulsory vaccination as planned. It will come into force at the beginning of February for adults,” he told a news conference.
Since plans for compulsory jabs were first announced last year, Austria has seen impassioned debate both in parliament and beyond on the issue.
To date 71.5 percent of eligible Austrian residents have had their jabs -- several percentage points below many of the country’s EU neighbours.
Nehammer acknowledged the decision covered "a totally sensitive topic" but said it followed careful consideration.
He warned that after an "entry phase" for the policy, restrictions would be "tightened accordingly" in mid-March on those holding out against the jab, including fines of between 600-3,600 euros ($684-$4,100).
Saturday saw some 27,000 people demonstrate in Vienna against the measure which opponents dub an attack on personal freedoms.
On Thursday Parliament is due to pass into law a bill which initially was set to cover all people from 14 upwards but now will cover adults only.
Exceptions will be made for pregnant women and those who can show they have a medical exemption.
The government has widespread support for a policy which only the far-right is opposing.
Austria has to date seen almost 14,000 Covid-related deaths and 1.4 million cases in a population of some nine million.
Compulsory vaccinations against Covid remain rare worldwide, though Ecuador, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Indonesia and Micronesia have introduced such schemes.
Mali ex-president Keita dies two years after coup ouster
Mali’s interim government issued a statement hailing the memory of the illustrious Keita
Bamako: Mali’s former president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, who led the West African country from 2013 until he was ousted in a coup in 2020, died at the age of 76 in the capital Bamako on Sunday, his family said.
Looming over most of Keita’s presidency was the militant insurgency that has rocked the poor Sahel country since 2012, while his toppling marked the rise of the military junta which is now under regional sanctions for failing to restore civilian rule.
Mali’s interim government issued a statement hailing “the memory of the illustrious” Keita, adding that the former president died “after a long illness”.
Keita was forced out of office on August 18, 2020, by young military officers who staged an uprising at a base near Bamako before heading into the city, where they seized Keita and other leaders.
Foreign Minister Abdoulaye Diop said he was “saddened to learn of the death of former President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita”, adding that “it is with great emotion that I bow before his memory”.
Macky Sall, president of neighbouring Senegal, said in a Tweet he was “saddened” by the news, while Niger’s ex-president Mahamadou Issoufou, a former comrade of Keita’s in the Socialist International, hailed him as “a cultured man, a great patriot and a pan-Africanist”.
Politicians and other public figures went to Keita’s home southwest of Bamako to offer their condolences, with police guarding the entrances, according to AFP journalists at the scene.
The government statement said funeral plans would be announced at a later date.
– Protests, coups –
In the weeks before the 2020 coup, Keita had been struggling with protests fuelled by his handling of the jihadist insurgency and failure to turn around Mali’s floundering economy.
Snail-paced political reforms, decrepit public services and schools, and a widely shared perception of government corruption also fed anti-Keita sentiment, driving tens of thousands of protesters into the streets.
Seized by the putschists, the junta that emerged from the rebellion — under pressure from the West African bloc ECOWAS — released Keita weeks later and returned him to his residence in Bamako, under surveillance.
He suffered a mini-stroke the following month and was sent to the United Arab Emirates for treatment. He had been based at his Bamako home since staying out of public life.
The ruling junta would stage another coup in May 2021, toppling a civilian transitional government.
The junta had vowed to hold elections next month to transition the country back to civilian rule. But at the end of the last year, the junta revised its timetable, saying it could stay in power for up to five years.
In response, ECOWAS agreed to sanction Mali earlier this month, imposing a trade embargo and shutting borders, in a decision backed by the United States, the European Union and former colonial power France.
Landlocked Mali, one of the world’s poorest countries, is already feeling the effects of the sanctions, prompting thousands to protest in Bamako on Friday.
– Political veteran –
The son of a civil servant, Keita was born in the southern industrial city of Koutiala, the declining heartland of cotton production.
After studying literature in Mali, Senegal and France, Keita became an adviser for the EU’s overseas development fund before heading a development project in northern Mali.
He then rose through the ranks under Alpha Oumar Konare, the country’s first democratically elected president.
As a socialist prime minister between 1994 and 2000, he quelled a series of crippling strikes, earning a reputation as a firm leader and helping to set up his landslide election in 2013.
Keita was then re-elected in the 2018 elections, beating opposition leader Soumaila Cisse, who died in December 2020 of Covid.
Cisse’s kidnapping by jihadists in March 2020 further illustrated Keita’s inability to stop the violence, with rising public outrage culminating in the coup months later.
Three-week-old baby contracts COVID-19, dies
Several countries have registered a rise in childhood infections since the spread of the Omicron variant.
Doha: A three-week-old baby has died from COVID-19 in Qatar, the health ministry said on Sunday, reporting a rare child fatality from the illness in the Gulf country.
"A three-week-old baby has sadly died as a result of severe infection from COVID-19," the emirate's public health ministry said in a statement.
"The baby had no other known medical or hereditary conditions", and was the second child to have died in the country since the pandemic began, it added.
Child deaths from COVID-19 are infrequent but health authorities in several countries have registered a rise in childhood infections since the spread of the Omicron variant.
The Qatari ministry said youngsters have generally been less at risk of severe COVID infection than older people, but that "a greater number of children are being infected in this current wave and needing medical care than in previous waves".
Gas-rich Qatar has officially recorded almost 300,000 cases of coronavirus and around 600 deaths, from 2.6 million residents.
Cases have surged in recent weeks, and in late December Qatar's main health care provider suspended leave for all medical and administrative staff dealing with COVID-19 cases.
PM Imran Khan to launch Pakistan’s first-ever digital city in Haripur today
NA, Senate sessions to be held today
North Korea fires two suspected ballistic missiles: S. Korea
Three-week-old baby contracts COVID-19, dies
Taliban pledge to open all schools for girls after March 21
Veteran actor Rasheed Naz passes away
Winter activity and political turmoil!
Government, opposition and public!
Present regime and dengue!
The repetition of history and the hidden sciences!
Whispers, rumors and rulers' narrative!
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