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Moose & Squirrel v Boris & Natasha: what's the deal with the rooskies and trumpland?


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Belarus holds vote, ignores blatant ballot box stuffing


MINSK, Belarus (AP) — Belarus is holding a parliamentary election but with top opposition candidates kept off the ballot, only loyalists to the nation’s authoritarian president will win in what observers see as a dress rehearsal for next year’s similarly skewered presidential vote.


Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has ruled the ex-Soviet nation of 10 million with an iron hand for a quarter century, showing little tolerance for dissent or free media and extending his rule through elections that the West has described as neither free nor fair.


In Sunday’s election, 516 candidates are contesting 110 parliament seats but opposition candidates were not allowed to run for various reasons, including “unfounded criticism of the government.”


“We are seeing that there is no election as such and the government itself decides who should be a parliament member,” said Valery Ukhnalev, a candidate of the left-wing Fair World opposition party.


The current parliament has just two opposition members, and election officials have refused to let them run again, citing technical reasons.


“The authorities don’t need the opposition even for decorum, because the trust in the incumbent leader is fading,” said one of them, Alena Anisim.


About a quarter of the nation’s voters have already cast their ballots in early voting, a process that began Monday and is seen by the opposition as fraught with abuse. Ballot boxes stand unguarded during the early voting process and vote count is done without observers being present.


Election officials have denied opposition claims of voting violations even when presented with concrete evidence of fraud.


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Normally I'd say "Trump seen furiously taking notes" except I don't think he's literate enough to write, plus a pen would be too big for his tiny hands.  Maybe he'll order someone else to study it so he can blame them. 

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Ukraine accuses Russia of returning ships 'stripped of toilets'


Ukraine has accused Russia of removing weapons and equipment - including toilets - from navy boats it returned after seizing them in the Black Sea.


"[Russia] removed even dome lights, sockets, and toilet bowls," Ukraine's navy commander Ihor Voronchenko said.


But Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) said the ships were returned in "normal condition and with good plumbing".


The boats, which were seized last November, were handed over on Monday.


The 24 Ukrainian sailors on board the ships were returned in September in a prisoner swap deal.


Video footage reportedly from inside one of the vessels appears to show a toilet in place and intact, but it is unclear when it was shot.


Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky inspected the two gunboats, Berdyansk and Nikopol, and the Yana Kapa tug on Thursday at the Ukrainian port of Ochakiv, near the coastal city of Odesa.


According to Russian state news agency Tass, Mr Zelensky later told reporters that equipment was "partially missing".


"The admiral and I had a conversation, and some things cannot be disclosed, but part of the weaponry is missing," he said. "I noticed the condition and there will be an investigation. We will definitely contact the Russian side so that it returns everything that was there."


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so along with all else on this matter, the gopers were once again fully briefed just a few months ago by this admin's intel agencies that this ukraine crowdstrike a server crap was not just baloney, but was one of putin's top pieces of disinformation to get out there...they showed them classified materials proving it, and stated in exact words that perpetuating it truly was helping the russian spread that propaganda...there were career top line inc. several trump-appt'd intel and military personnel involved in the presentation in a specific effort to "get them to stop"

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