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Russia braces for latest Navalny protests




Russian authorities have closed metro stations and are restricting movement in Moscow ahead of planned rallies in support of jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

Many restaurants and shops in the center of the city will remain closed and underground transportation will be diverted.

More than 4,000 people were arrested across Russia during rallies last week.

Mr Navalny was jailed on his way back to Russia after recovering from an assassination attempt by a nerve agent.

An opposition figure was arrested January 17 for failing to comply with a suspended sentence. He had just arrived from Berlin, where he spent months recovering from a deadly attack.

Russia's anti-Putin outrage erupts: 'We have to protest'
Alexei Navalny: Critic of Putin
Putin condemned the protests as Western concerns grew
Russian officials say they had to report to the police regularly because of the suspended sentence for embezzlement.

Mr Navalny has condemned his detention as "unlawful" and said authorities knew he was being treated for poisoning in Novochok, Berlin, in Russia last August.

Covid EU and UK reset relations after NI vaccine row



Cabinet Secretary Michael Goff has said that relations between the UK and the EU will be "restored" once Brussels launches a provision in the Brexit agreement to curb vaccine exports.

The government is confident that the European Union will not stop vaccines from entering the UK.

This comes after a large-scale condemnation of Brussels overturned a decision that could have seen a check on the Irish border.

Mr Goo added that the European Commission had acknowledged its "mistake".

He said he had spoken to European Commission Vice President Maro Schiffio and that the couple had agreed to put the people of Northern Ireland first.

EU fiasco puts pressure on NI commission
What is wrong with the EU's vaccine program?
The WHO has criticized the EU for controlling vaccine exports
Mr Gove said the UK was "on track" to deliver 15 million jaws by February 15, adding that the UK's program would continue as planned.

And Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said he had been reassured that "the European Union needs to be reassured that it has no intention of preventing suppliers from fulfilling the vaccine distribution agreement in the UK".
The UK government says it is "committed to supporting equal access to vaccines around the world" but would be quick to formally talk about donating some of its vaccine supply to other countries.

But a government spokesman added: "This epidemic is a global challenge and international co-operation in vaccine development is still an integral part of our response."

The World Health Organization (WHO) has said that "vaccine nationalism" could prolong the epidemic and widen global inequality.

Working to protect everyone


The threat of EU border control came amid a deep controversy over delays in the production and distribution of the vaccine in the subcontinent.

The bloc is introducing a so-called transparency mechanism, which can block the bloc from allowing countries to export vaccines if the company that makes them does not respect existing agreements with the European Union.

The European Union's move to impose measures on the Irish border has been widely condemned, and industry leaders across the UK and Europe have warned against an export ban.

Richard Torbett, head of the UK Association of Pharmaceutical Industry, and Richard Torbett, head of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, are working hard to protect everyone. The European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations wrote in the Observer.

India protests Internet cut to hunger striking farmers in Delhi


India has suspended mobile internet services in three areas around the capital Delhi, where farmers are on hunger strike in protest of new agricultural laws.

The government said the shutdown would continue until Sunday night to "maintain public safety".

Tens of thousands of protesting farmers have been camping on the outskirts of Delhi for more than a month.

Negotiations between the unions and the government have failed to break the deadlock.

The protests made international headlines on Tuesday when a tractor rally ended in violent clashes in which one protester was killed and dozens of policemen were injured. Some protesters stormed and captured Delhi's historic Red Fort until police pushed them back.

What happened after the protests of Indian farmers?
How Prime Minister Modi misrepresented the mood of Indian farmers
What has brought Indian farmers to the streets?
On Saturday, the Interior Ministry said mobile internet services were suspended in Sanghu, Ghazipur and Takri - the districts where farmers have gathered - until 23:00 (17:30 GMT) on Sunday.

Farmers' leaders said it was time for a one-day hunger strike on Saturday to mark the anniversary of independence leader Mahatma Gandhi.

Union leader Darshan Pal said, "The farmers' movement was peaceful and will be peaceful."
According to Reuters, the protesters expressed their displeasure when the internet was shut down. One farmer, Sandy Sharma, accused the officials of trying to "spread panic", while another, Yadav, said it was "killing democracy".

The government's crackdown comes amid growing tensions in areas where farmers live.

Clashes broke out in Sanghu on Friday when a group of unidentified men approached the farmers and reportedly drove them away.

Farmers say the men threw stones at them and destroyed their tents. Several injuries were reported. Indian media reported that the men were local residents who had accused the protesters of disturbing the peace and damaging the local economy.

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