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Supporters of Alexei Navalny plan candle-lit protest

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Supporters of Alexei Navalny plan candle-lit protest

MOSCOW – Supporters of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny plan to hold candle-lit gatherings in residential courtyards across Russia on Sunday despite warnings that they could be arrested.

Navalny’s allies have declared a moratorium on street rallies until the spring after police detained thousands of people at protests in the past few weeks against the opposition politician’s arrest and imprisonment.

But they want Russians to show solidarity with Navalny by gathering outside their homes for 15 minutes on Valentine’s Day evening, shining their mobile phone torches and arranging candles in the shape of a heart.

“(President Vladimir) Putin is fear. Navalny is love. That’s why we will win,” Leonid Volkov, one of Navalny’s close allies, wrote on Twitter when calling on people to gather.

Navalny was arrested last month on his return from Germany following treatment for poisoning, in Siberia, with what many Western countries say was a nerve agent. He was jailed on Feb. 2 for violating parole on what he said were trumped-up charges.

He blames Putin for the poisoning, and Western countries are considering new sanctions against Russia. The Kremlin denies any involvement and questions whether Navalny was poisoned.

Volkov, who is based in Lithuania, is one of several Navalny allies now abroad or under house arrest in Russia.

He urged people to flood social media with pictures of Sunday’s gatherings – a new venture for the opposition that resembles political actions in neighbouring Belarus – using the hashtag #loveisstrongerthanfear in Russian.

Another activist has called on women to form a human chain on a pedestrian street in Moscow on Sunday afternoon in support of Navalny’s wife Yulia, who according to media reports flew to Germany this week, and other women affected by the police crackdown against protesters.

Russian law enforcement agencies said on Thursday that people taking part in unsanctioned rallies could face criminal charges.

Some rights groups accuse police of using disproportionate force against protesters in recent weeks. The Kremlin has denied repression by police and says the protests were illegal as they were not approved and risk spreading COVID-19.

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FDA panel OKs Johnson & Johnson single-dose COVID-19 vaccine

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FDA panel OKs Johnson & Johnson single-dose COVID-19 vaccine

A panel of expert advisers to the US Food and Drug Administration on Friday recommended that the agency approve the use of Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose COVID-19 vaccine — clearing a path for the shot to be rolled out across the country.

The FDA is likely to authorize the vaccine within the coming days. Once approved, the shot would be the third COVID-19 vaccine available in the US, after the two-dose vaccines made by Pfizer and Moderna.

The FDA panelists voted unanimously that the benefits of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine outweighed any risks.

Johnson & Johnson has pledged to deliver 20 million doses by the end of March and 100 million by late June, which would give a much-needed boost to the country’s vaccine supply.

The Biden administration said earlier this week that it anticipates shipping out 3 to 4 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine next week if the FDA green-lights it for emergency use.

With Post wires

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Feds bust NY Capitol rioter who photographed congressional documents

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Christopher Moynihan has been arrested and charged after he broke into the Senate chamber and took photos of official congressional notes and documents during the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riot.

A Capitol rioter from New York who broke into the Senate chamber and took photos of official congressional notes and documents during last month’s siege has been arrested and charged, according to federal authorities.

The suspect, Christopher Moynihan of Salt Point, was busted Thursday afternoon after two people he previously worked with told investigators they saw him in video footage of the riot, according to New York prosecutors.

In the footage, Moynihan is seen in the Senate chamber taking photos of official congressional documents that are “believed to detail the objections and votes of certain congressional members on the certification of electoral results,” an FBI agent wrote in a affidavit in support of federal charges against the suspect.

“There’s got to be something we can use against these f–king scumbags,” Moynihan is heard saying on the video as he rifles through the documents, prosecutors said.

Moynihan’s former co-workers gave the feds his cellphone number, and investigators linked it to a cell site near the Capitol on Jan. 6, according to court documents.

The suspect was hit with a number of charges by prosecutors in White Plains federal court, including disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

Five people died in the riot — including Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick — as a frenzied mob of Donald Trump supporters stormed the building that day in an attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election results.

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Man tried to bury wife alive at California beach, cops say

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Man tried to bury wife alive at California beach, cops say

A man attempted to bury his wife alive during a horrifying attack at a California beach Thursday night, cops said. 

The woman called 911 just before 9 p.m., reporting that her husband had just tried to kill her on Coronado Beach, local police said. 

The couple visited the beach earlier in the evening and got into an argument that escalated when the suspect, later identified as Jose Luis Mares III, 23, of Moreno Valley, started attacking his wife, cops said. 

He tried to throw her into the surf, and then brought her near a lifeguard tower, where he tried burying her in the sand, according to cops and local outlet KSWB-TV.

“She said there was a hole in the ground and the hole had previously been there from probably kids digging it during the day,” Detective Ryan Brennan of  the Coronado Police Department told the station. “But during the struggle, she said he threw her in that hole when he began putting sand on top of her.”

He kicked her repeatedly, and then stopped and ran away, Brennan told the outlet. 

“We don’t know what scared him away,” the police official said. “Perhaps it was someone walking by.”

The woman escaped and ran toward Ocean Boulevard, where a passerby found her on the sidewalk. Paramedics brought her to a trauma center in San Diego. 

Cops found Mares a short time later hiding in the backyard of a nearby home, authorities said. 

He was charged with attempted murder, assault causing great bodily injury, domestic violence, false imprisonment and a parole violation, police said. 

Mares was a parolee previously convicted for carjacking and burglary, the local station reported, citing the California Department of Corrections.

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