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Pussy Riot clash with Russian police in Sochi

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The two best known members of Pussy Riot said they clashed with plain clothes police and Cossacks Wednesday when they tried to stage an action in the centre of Winter Olympics host city Sochi.

The scuffles came a day after members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina were detained by police in Sochi for several hours on Tuesday in connection with a theft case.

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Cossacks, clad in their national clothes, are often seen helping the police with their work in the south of Russia in line with a tradition dating back to Tsarist times.

Plain clothed members of the security forces used tear gas in the clashes, Tolokonnikova’s husband Pyotr Verzilov wrote on Twitter.

Tolokonnikova herself wrote on her Twitter feed @tolokno that they had been attempting to stage a new performance entitled “Putin will teach you to love the motherland”.

“Pussy Riot were attacked by Cossacks, hit with sticks and sprayed with pepper gas,” she said.

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Alyokhina posted pictures on her Twitter of her chest showing severe bruising after the clashes.

The women have since gone to Sochi hospitals for medical treatment. The centre of Sochi is some 30 kilometres (18 miles) north of the Olympic venues.

Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina were sent to penal colonies on a two year hooliganism sentence for performing an anti-Putin song in a Moscow cathedral in 2012.

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However they were freed early on amnesty in December last year.


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‘Pence would be president by noon’: Morning Joe claims GOPers would dump Trump in a minute in a secret impeachment vote

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MSNBC's Joe Scarborough believes the Senate would convict President Donald Trump by an overwhelming margin today if the vote were held in secret.

Former Sen. Jeff Flake said late last month that "at least 35" Republicans would vote to impeach Trump if the vote were secret, but the "Morning Joe" host and analyst Mike Barnicle agreed that number is much higher as public support grows for removing the president.

"I find it very interesting, very interesting that senators are being a little more careful in not attacking Mitt Romney," Scarborough said, referring to the Utah Republican who's been increasingly critical of the president. "Senators aren't rushing to Donald Trump's side. They don't know, for the first time, how this is going to play out. They're not so sure, for the first time, that Donald Trump can shoot a man on Fifth Avenue and get away with it."

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Trump says ‘phase 1’ China trade pact on track for November

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US President Donald Trump on Monday said progress in developing the text of a partial trade pact with China means he will likely be able to sign it next month.

Trump remains upbeat on the chances Beijing and Washington will seal the mini-deal he announced earlier this month -- marking a cooling-off period in the two nations' damaging trade war.

"We'll be able to, we think, sign a completed document with China on phase one," Trump said at the White House.

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said efforts to commit the agreement to paper before the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Chile next month are "on track" though some work remains to be done.

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Teacher at taxpayer-funded private Christian school forced out for being gay

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A private Christian school in Florida that receives taxpayer funding for school vouchers has forced out one of its teachers, she says, because she is gay.

Monica Toro Lisciandro says Covenant Christian School in Palm Bay, Florida not only parted ways with her after she acknowledged she is gay when school administrators asked her, but her students were told her "morals" did not line up with the schools, Lisciandro says.

The school questioned Lisciandro, who teaches theater, after someone called to report saying they had seen her at a pride event.

"Lisciandro said the assistant principal told her the school received word that Lisciandro was in a relationship with a woman, she had attended a pride festival, and she hosted an LGBTQ group in her studio," Florida Today reports.

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