Russian journalist sentenced to 22 years jail term for alleged treason.

A Russian court on Monday (Sep 5) sentenced a former journalist to 22 years in prison for treason after prosecutors said he disclosed state secrets, a ruling his supporters said was a harsh punishment that showed the absence of media freedom in Russia.

Ivan Safronov, a former defence reporter for the Kommersant and Vedomosti newspapers turned adviser to the head of Russia’s space agency, was arrested in 2020 and accused of disclosing classified information.

Safronov’s lawyers said they would appeal the verdict. His supporters say the case is retribution for his reporting which exposed details of Russia’s international arms deals.

Speaking outside the courtoom, Safronov’s lawyer Dmitry Katchev said he was almost lost for words at the ruling.

Safronov was given 22 years for his journalistic activity. I want each of you, who are looking at me now, to think whether it is worth staying in this profession. If somebody was given 22 years for doing his job, he told reporters.

Human rights lawyer Pavel Chikov said the sentence was a savage, demonstratively cruel punishment, corresponding to the current state of Russia.

He said he could not find any examples of any treason cases leading to such a lengthy sentence, let alone against a journalist.

Prosecutors said Safronov shared state secrets about Russia’s arms sales in the Middle East to the Czech Republic’s foreign intelligence arm. He has denied the charges and last month rejected a plea deal that would have seen him serve a 12-year prison sentence.

His arrest in July 2020 sparked outcry from Russian journalists, including at state-run outlets. The European Union had called on Russia to drop all charges against Safronov and release him unconditionally.

Following his arrest, the Kremlin called Safronov a talented journalist, but has repeatedly denied involvement with the case.

Safronov, 32, denied the charges and said the information he is alleged to have passed to the Czech Republic was all open source public information.

During the trial his legal team published links to 19 published articles and government statements that prosecutors claim constitute the state secrets Safronov is alleged to have passed to Czech foreign intelligence.

Ivan never sent any secret information anywhere – for money or for free, He was an ordinary journalist, honestly doing his job, his lawyers said in a statement.

His defence team believe the trial is retribution for Safronov revealing Russia’s plans to sell fighter jets to Egypt.

The estimated US$2-billion deal was scrapped soon after when the US threatened sanctions on Cairo if it went ahead.

Ahead of Monday’s court hearing, several independent Russian media outlets called for Safronov to be released. In a statement, outlets including Meduza, Novaya Gazeta and TV Rain, said it was “obvious” Safronov was being punished for his reporting on Russia’s military procurement deals that had irked the defence ministry.

The heavy sentence more than Russian courts typically hand down in murder cases is seen as a blow against Russian reporting amid an intensification of the pressure put on press freedom by the Kremlin since Russia invaded Ukraine in February.

Separately on Monday, a Moscow court revoked the publishing licence for Novaya Gazeta, a flagship independent newspaper which ceased publishing days after Russia sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine and imposed strict new controls over media outlets.

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Russia using outdated missile, Ukraine General alleges.

The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine announced that Russian troops have begun to use outdated S-300 anti-aircraft guided missiles more often to strike at Ukraine.


According to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, more than 500 such missiles were fired on the territory of Ukraine.

At the same time, as stated, some of them did not reach the target. They are armed with several thousand of these missiles, but most of them are unusable, the General Staff said.

The Ukrainian General Staff also noted that the Russian forces use S-300 missiles due to lack of precision weapons.

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Twin to twin transfusion syndrome.

Definition

Twin to twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS) is a serious condition that occurs in approximately 10 to 15 percent of pregnancies with identical twins that share one placenta, also called a monochorionic-diamniotic twin pregnancy. Blood vessel connections within the placenta allow the fetuses to share blood supply and can cause an imbalance in the fetal blood volumes. As a result of unequal blood flow, one twin (the donor twin) pumps blood to the other twin (recipient twin).

The condition can cause the recipient twin to make too much urine, which may enlarge the bladder, produce too much amniotic fluid, and in advanced stages, cause heart failure. The donor twin will then have decreased blood volume, low levels of amniotic fluid and urine, and a smaller bladder.

The stages of twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome

Twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome is organized into five stages:

Stage I: There is an imbalance in amniotic fluid between the twins.

Stage II: The bladder of the donor twin is absent, meaning it does not fill with urine and is not visible on an ultrasound exam.

Stage III: The excessive blood flow starts to cause problems with the recipient twin’s circulation. This can be detected through abnormalities in blood-flow patterns, which can be seen on an ultrasound.

Stage IV: The heart of the recipient twin begins to fail because of excessive fluid retention. This can be seen as fluid collections around the abdomen and the chest.

Stage V: One or both twins die from severe TTTS.

For stage I, the pregnancy will be monitored closely. “It can stop progressing beyond stage I

Causes

The placenta is a very active organ and provides babies with oxygen and nutrients during pregnancy. It grows along with the babies. Sometimes, for reasons that are not well understood, the normal flow of blood in the placenta’s blood vessels develops an abnormal pattern. When unborn babies share a placenta, the result can be an imbalance in blood circulation, with one baby receiving too much blood through the umbilical cord and the other receiving too little. It is this imbalance that leads to TTTS.

Risk factors

Being pregnant with identical twins or multiples puts a woman at risk for having a pregnancy complicated by TTTS. However, TTTS is an indiscriminate condition, occurring at random in monochorionic pregnancies.

Symptoms of twin to twin transfusion syndrome

Mothers may experience the following symptoms, all of which are due to the excess amniotic fluid around the recipient twin:

Breathlessness

Tightness in the abdomen or unusually rapid expansion of abdomen

Rapid weight gain

Pressure on the stomach

Premature contractions

Normal monochorionic diamniotic (identical) twins with a shared placenta and connecting blood vessels

Identical twins with twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS)

Complications of twin to twin transfusion syndrome

The complications that may occur when your twins have TTTS include:

Selective intrauterine growth restriction (sIUGR): A more complicated state of TTTS where one baby may only have a small amount of the placenta

Cardiomyopathy

Premature labor

A condition called twin anemia-polycythemia sequence (TAPS), where one fetus has a low blood count and the other has high blood count

Loss of one or both fetuses

Complications in the recipient twin

With TTTS, the recipient twin is receiving more fluid and their heart is pumping against higher blood pressure. As a result, they are producing too much urine, which causes a significant increase in amniotic fluid. Other potential problems can occur in the recipient twin, including:

Heart failure

Demise or loss of the twin

Complications in the donor twin

Lacking fluid and blood, the donor twin has less volume and produces less urine, which causes a small amniotic sac. Other complications may occur, including:

Weighing less than expected, a complication is known as intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) or fetal growth restriction (FGR)

Demise or loss of the twin

Twin to twin transfusion syndrome diagnosis

The most important step in evaluating a twin pregnancy for twin-twin transfusion syndrome is to determine whether the twins share a single placenta. An ultrasound examination early in pregnancy (during the first trimester) can best make this distinction.

Other features of TTTS include twins of the same gender, a difference in size between the twins, and a difference in the volume of amniotic fluid surrounding the two fetuses. A detailed sonographic assessment rules out any additional structural anomalies.

Twin-twin transfusion syndrome can also have a huge impact on the cardiovascular system in twins. It is important that twins with TTTS are thoroughly evaluated for heart problems while in utero.

Your evaluation will involve the following exams:

High-resolution ultrasound – An examination to rule out structural abnormalities in the twins. This exam will also confirm placental location and umbilical cord insertions into the placenta, assess amniotic fluid levels in each sac and assess blood flow patterns in specific blood vessels for each twin.

Fetal echocardiogram – A focused ultrasound of each twin’s heart to look for any related heart conditions. Twin-twin transfusion syndrome may cause serious cardiac strain in the recipient twin, resulting in enlargement of the heart and cardiac dysfunction. All twins evaluated for TTTS should undergo a fetal echocardiogram.

Genetic amniocentesis – A procedure in which a small amount of amniotic fluid is removed from the sacs surrounding the fetuses and tested. In some cases, this genetic test may be needed if imaging studies identify structural malformations in addition to TTTS.

Accurate diagnosis is extremely important in distinguishing TTTS from other related anomalies, such as selective intrauterine growth restriction (sIUGR). TTTS and sIUGR can both occur in monochorionic, diamniotic pregnancies, but are differentiated by the lack of polyhydramnios/oligohydramnios in sIUGR. The management of the two conditions are different, and therefore it is important to have a thorough evaluation to determine the most accurate diagnosis.

Treatment options for twin to twin transfusion syndrome

TTTS treatment before birth

The key to twin to twin transfusion syndrome treatment is early diagnosis and intervention. What treatment option will be best for your babies will depend on the stage of the TTTS and your babies’ gestational age at diagnosis. Several options are available, including the following:

Expectant management: This involves continued close ultrasound surveillance throughout the pregnancy. We currently recommend expectant management for most Stage 1 TTTS.

Amnioreduction: This is a procedure that is used to remove excess fluid that has accumulated in the amniotic sac of the recipient twin. The procedure is similar to that of amniocentesis, with the doctor using “real-time” ultrasound images to guide a long, very fine needle into the uterus to withdraw the fluid. We may recommend this intervention for Stage 1 TTTS or when the TTTS is diagnosed later in the pregnancy and fetoscopic laser photocoagulation (see below) is no longer an option.

Fetoscopic laser photocoagulation: This minimally invasive surgery uses a laser to ablate (seal) blood vessels that are contributing to the abnormal flow of blood to the babies (Figures 3-5). Many studies have demonstrated that this procedure for the treatment of twin to twin transfusion syndrome is the most effective therapy for babies with advanced TTTS.

Delivery: If TTTS is discovered later in the pregnancy, delivery of the babies may be the best option.

TTTS treatment after birth

Most babies with TTTS are born prematurely, but our goal will be to have your babies delivered as close to your due date as possible. Babies who are treated with laser ablation are typically delivered around week 31 or 32 of the pregnancy.

We will recommend that your babies be born at one of our specialized mother-baby centers. Children’s Minnesota is one of only a few centers nationwide with the birth center located within the hospital complex.

This means that your babies will be born just a few feet down the hall from our newborn intensive care unit (NICU). If necessary, many of the physicians you have already met may be present during or immediately after your babies’ birth so we can care for them right away.

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Former Nigeria Lawmaker Shehu Sani react to the suspension of Eastern rail line by FG.

Following the report that the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration in an announcement has decided to suspend the ongoing construction of the Eastern Rail Line due to insecurity in the region, a former lawmaker who represented the good people of Kaduna Central Senatorial District, Shehu Sani while sharing on his official Twitter page has revealed that insecurity could not have been the reason behind the suspension.

It might interest you to know that on Friday, September 2, 2022, Engr. Mu’azu Sambo, the newly appointed Minister of Transportation, announced that the Federal Government has decided to stop the ongoing construction of the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri Eastern Rail Line based on the issue of insecurity in the region, adding that the China Civil Engineering and Construction Company (CCEC) had complained bitterly that they are being attacked.

Based on these notes, the President of the Civil Rights Congress of Nigeria and human rights activist, Shehu Sani made it known that insecurity could not have been the main reason behind the suspension of the Eastern Rail Line construction, but it’s because the Chinese Banks has refused to continue to fund the project due to the country’s debt servicing uncertainties.

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Pat Utomi alleges that the presidential candidates of APC and PDP shared dollars non was jailed.

Professor Pat Utomi told Channels Television that the candidates of the APC and the PDP once shared the US Dollar in Nigeria sometime ago but none of them were jailed, but they are walking freely.

Utomi said this after Channels Television asked him what he thinks about any presidential candidate getting funds as support from diasporas outside the country.

Channels also told him that there are implications attached to getting support from diasporas outside the country for political reasons. Pat Utomi on the other hand reminded them that the candidates of the APC and the PDP once shared the US dollar during an election.

If getting support from the diaspora is wrong, then why would someone who shared a foreign currency in Nigeria not get arrested and jailed?

Someone who diaspora has decided to support him, they said that it is an offense, but some politicians shared foreign currencies in Nigeria because of political reasons, but nothing was done to him.

Pat Utomi also disclosed that diasporas are Nigerians who are willing to take back their country, so they are willingly donating their money to support their preferred presidential candidate and he doesn’t see anything wrong with that.

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Peter Obi not on fund raising tour.

The Obi-Datti Media Office has debunked the allegations that the Labour Party, LP, Presidential Candidate, Mr. Peter Obi, who is currently on tour in Europe and America, is on a fund-raising exercise.

The denial came on the heels of demands by members of the All Progressives Congress, APC, on the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to sanction LP for allegedly violating the electoral laws that forbid external funding for contestants.

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NNPC ready for forensic audit on daily petrol suppies.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd) has offered to submit itself for a forensic audit of fuel supply and subsidy management, insisting that the daily fuel supply is 68 million litres.

The NNPC disclosed this on Sunday in a statement signed by Garba Muhammad, Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, NNPC.

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Peter Obi vows never to touch public funds says he is richer than American president.

The Labour Party, LP, presidential candidate, Peter Obi, says he is richer than the President of the United States, US, Joe Biden.

Obi said he is richer than Biden, who is worth $8.9m, because God had “over blessed” him.

To this end, the former Anambra State governor said he would not steal public funds if elected President in 2023.

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6 dead, 6 trapped in Russian volcano as icy wind hinder rescue.

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