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Russian murder suspect denies Pussy Riot link

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Russian investigators said Friday they had detained a professor who confessed to trying to mislead the police by scrawling “Free Pussy Riot” in blood on a wall after murdering a mother and her daughter.

The shock discovery of the message in support of the jailed female members of the anti-Kremlin punk band created a furore in the Russian media and became top news on state TV channels.

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Several reports and some top Russian websites openly accused a backer of the band of killing the women — a charge that folds into the Kremlin’s attempts to paint members of President Vladimir Putin’s opposition as extremists.

But the federal Investigative Committee said 38-year-old Kazan university professor Igor Danilevsky confessed to dating the younger woman and stabbing her to death during an argument over finances and vacation plans.

Investigators said the man said he killed the mother as a witness.

“Before leaving, in order to remove any suspicion from himself and make it seem like a ritual killing, he arranged the victims’ bodies in a certain manner and wrote ‘Free Pussy Riot’ on the wall with their blood,” the committee said in a statement.

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The incident occurred on August 22 — just five day after a Moscow court convicted the band members of “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred” for their protest performance in Russia’s main cathedral.

The sentence was condemned by the West as another example of how freedom of expression has suffered in Russia since Putin’s initial rise to power 12 years ago.

The “punk prayer” stunt was staged in Moscow’s Christ the Saviour Cathedral just weeks before Putin’s March 4 election to an historic third term.

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The band’s defence attorneys on Thursday called the message at the murder scene an attempt to cast the supporters of Pussy Riot and the broader anti-Putin protest movement in a bad light.


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‘Stand with Hong Kong’ shirts fill the stands at Nets game as NBA is protested for China subservience

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The National Basketball Association was protested on Friday for bowing to pressure from China.

The NBA has been harshly criticized for standing by the oppressive regime instead of standing in solidarity with the pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.

"Producer and activist Andrew Duncan bought 300 tickets to tonight's Nets vs Raptors game and is hosting hundreds of Chinese pro-Democracy activists to protest the NBA," New York magazine correspondent Yashar Ali reported Friday. "They're all wearing 'Stand With Hong Kong' T-shirts."

Photos from the protest:

1. Producer and activist Andrew Duncan bought 300 tickets to tonight's Nets vs Raptors game and is hosting hundreds of Chinese pro-Democracy activists to protest the NBA.

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Trump polling close friends over whether he should fire Mulvaney: report

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President Donald Trump is considering firing Mick Mulvaney, his acting White House chief of staff and director of the Office of Management and Budget, The Atlantic reported Friday.

"Mick Mulvaney's job was in danger even before his disastrous press conference yesterday, and his equally disastrous attempt to walk that performance back," The Atlantic reported. "The fumble could not have been more poorly timed: According to multiple current and former White House officials, many of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity to relay private conversations, Trump has been steadily souring on Mulvaney for weeks."

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Michael Moore predicts Mick Mulvaney will get into Heaven after confessing Trump’s quid pro quo

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Academy Award-winning filmmaker Michael Moore predicted acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney will ascend to Heaven in the afterlife during a Friday interview on MSNBC's "The Beat" with Ari Melber.

The host played a clip of Mulvaney admitting Trump's quid pro quo while seeking foreign election assistance from Ukraine.

"This man obviously is going to be admitted into Heaven," Moore said. "You know, he told the truth."

"If there was a movie version of this, somebody stuck him with a needle just before he walked out onto the stage there, a truth serum needle, and he just went on and on saying, 'Yeah, that’s what we do. Yeah, of course.' Essentially admitting there is a quid pro quo. In fact, there are many quid pro quos."

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