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Russian railways halt ticket sales over time change dispute

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Russia’s railways on Friday halted ticket sales for trains leaving after late October amid confusion created by the authorities’ failure to decide in good time whether to put the clocks back this winter.

Last year Russia cancelled putting the clocks back at the end of summer time, in a move over which ordinary Russians were not consulted and resulted in many grumbling about getting up on dark mornings during short winter days.

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Then-president and incumbent Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, the move’s champion, defended it at the time as preventing trauma to “unlucky cows” being milked an hour later.

Re-elected to the Kremlin, President Vladimir Putin swiftly announced the move by his protege would be reassessed taking public opinion into account.

But it was only on Thursday that the head of the parliament’s health committee submitted a bill calling for Russia to stay in winter time all year round, paving the way for the switchback.

Russian Railways (RZD) now face a nightmare situation, since trains that travel across its vast domestic area of operation or go abroad will have to be re-timetabled at short notice if a move to winter time is approved.

“Since the State Duma is discussing a bill on Russia’s moving to ‘winter’ time from October 28 2012, RZD is forced to temporarily halt the sale of tickets for long-distance trains that leave after October 26,” the state monopoly said Friday.

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An Internet poll by a ruling party deputy found that 55 percent backed a return to winter time.

“We call for putting the clocks back an hour to winter time, then 54 regions will live on astronomical time,” said the author of the time change bill, Sergei Kalashnikov, quoted on the ruling party’s website.

A senior member of United Russia party, Andrei Isayev, backed him, telling RIA Novosti news agency that “this will mean that schoolchildren don’t get up at the crack of dawn.”

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With cities from the western exclave of Kaliningrad to the Kamchatka on the Pacific nine time zones away, Russia is used to time change confusion. RZD simplifies this by keeping all timetables on Moscow time.


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Genocide expert breaks down how all of the ‘warning signs’ are present in Trump’s America

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Defense research scientist and genocide expert Brynn Tannehill laid out a terrifying warning on Thursday about President Donald Trump's administration.

As the United States Senate conducted an impeachment trial for the commander-in-chief, Tannehill posted an extended Twitter thread examining the situation in America from her perspective as a researcher studying the conditions that lead to genocide.

Here is what she wrote:

I study genocide. It's been a theme in my academic endeavours for nearly 30 years. More accurately, I study the conditions in the lead up to genocide, be they cultural, social, political, economic, etc... 1/n

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Year of Rat hails easy ride for Donald Trump — but bumps for Harry and Meghan

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As the world prepares to welcome the Year of the Rat, feng shui masters predict a lucky year for Donald Trump, but warn Harry and Meghan's futures are less certain as they make a bid for freedom.

Both the US President and the Sussexes have begun 2020 with a bang.

The former is facing down an impeachment trial -- and seeking re-election in November -- while the latter are beginning a new chapter in Canada after consciously uncoupling from the gilded but pressured career of being a working British royal.

But if experts in the field of Chinese horoscopes are to be believed, it is the US president that will have the easier journey this year.

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John Roberts caused a ‘crisis of democratic legitimacy’ — it’s ‘entirely fitting’ he has to preside over his mess: columnist

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Supreme Court Justice John Roberts was blasted in The Washington Post on Thursday for his culpability in creating the dynamics that resulted in President Donald Trump -- and his impeachment.

"There is justice in John Roberts being forced to preside silently over the impeachment trial of President Trump, hour after hour, day after tedious day," Dana Milbank wrote. "Roberts’s captivity is entirely fitting: He is forced to witness, with his own eyes, the mess he and his colleagues on the Supreme Court have made of the U.S. political system. As representatives of all three branches of government attend this unhappy family reunion, the living consequences of the Roberts Court’s decisions, and their corrosive effect on democracy, are plain to see."

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