MOSCOW (AP) — Police in Moscow detained Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny for most of the day Friday in an apparent bid to prevent him from joining a rally that he organized in another city, where several people were also detained.
Navalny had planned to travel to the Volga River city of Nizhny Novgorod where he was to lead a rally, the latest in a series of demonstrations he has organized across Russia, when he was detained early Friday. He was kept at a Moscow police station until late evening.
After he announced his presidential bid last year, Navalny, a top Kremlin foe and arguably Russia’s most popular opposition politician, inspired a grassroots campaign in Russian regions to support his nomination. The crackdown comes after he held rallies in six Russian cities, from Murmansk in the northwest to Khabarovsk on the border with China.
Navalny posted a video on his Instagram account early Friday of what he said were officers outside his home asking him to come to a police station. He said he was held there without charges or any explanation why he had been detained.
The Interior Ministry said in a statement Friday that Navalny was detained because of his calls for unsanctioned rallies.
The rally in Nizhny Novgorod, however, had received City Hall approval. When several hundred people gathered for the rally Friday evening, police ordered them to disperse and detained several demonstrators.
After his release, Navalny tweeted that the authorities’ efforts to derail opposition rallies will fail.
“A plan to block regional rallies won’t work,” Navalny said, adding that other demonstrations are set to be held in Orenburg in the Urals and Arkhangelsk in northwest.
Navalny has been summoned to attend a court hearing Monday on charges of violating the rules of organizing a rally.
His campaign chief, Leonid Volkov, was kept in police custody in Nizhny Novgorod for most of the day Friday until being released and ordered to attend Monday’s court hearing on the same charges.
“The Kremlin views my meetings with voters as a huge threat and even an insult,” Navalny tweeted. “They were saying for so long that opposition has no support in the regions, and it now pains them to even look at our rallies.”
The Kremlin has dismissed Navalny, who has faced repeated jailings and criminal cases, as an urbanite out of touch with people living in Russia’s 11 time zones where President Vladimir Putin draws his support from.
That began to change earlier this year when Navalny opened campaign offices in 80 cities and towns, most of which had not seen a political life for decades, attracting thousands of supporters.
In Germany, Ulrike Demmer, a spokeswoman for Chancellor Angela Merkel, told reporters Friday that the German government “views the arrests of activists including Navalny … with incomprehension and great concern.”
Vladimir Isachenkov in Moscow and Geir Moulson in Berlin contributed to this report.
TREMONT, Maine (AP) — Maine firefighters say they had to rescue a New York couple who took a wrong turn and mistakenly drove into the Atlantic Ocean.
WMTW-TV reports (http://bit.ly/2xMLCnq ) firefighters were called to the docks in Tremont around 8 p.m. Tuesday after there were reports of two people trapped in a car in the water. Officials say the couple’s SUV was in 8-to-10 feet (2.4 to 3.1 meters) of water after they traveled down a boat ramp into the water.
A video shows extremely foggy conditions in the area of the dock.
Rescuers were able to pull the couple onto a skiff, and then pulled the SUV back to shore.
An ambulance crew evaluated the couple.
Information from: WMTW-TV, http://www.wmtw.com
NORTH VERNON, Ind. (AP) — Authorities have arrested an Indiana man on an assault and battery warrant for allegedly punching a man and woman who were demonstrating against last month’s white nationalist protest in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Jennings County Sheriff Gary Driver says 37-year-old Dennis L. Mothersbaugh, of Vernon, was arrested Thursday. He is being held in the Jennings County Jail pending extradition to Charlottesville.
The (Columbus) Republic reports that Virginia authorities issued the warrant for Mothersbaugh after cellphone video surfaced on social media showing him marching with white supremacists and punching a man and a woman protesting against them. Mothersbaugh is accused of being with a group demonstrating against the scheduled removal of a Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee statue from a Charlottesville park.
It isn’t clear if Mothersbaugh has an attorney who might comment on his behalf.
JERUSALEM (AP) — The U.S. ambassador to Israel raised eyebrows Thursday by saying that Israel occupies a tiny portion of the West Bank — just 2 percent — and that settlements there are part of the Jewish state proper.
The comments angered the Palestinians and are at odds with decades of U.S policy in the Mideast.
“I think the settlements are part of Israel,” American Ambassador David Friedman said in an interview with the Israeli news site Walla.
He refrained from answering when asked if settlements would be removed in a peace agreement with the Palestinians.
“They (Israelis) are only occupying 2 percent of the West Bank,” he said.
A State Department spokeswoman later said Friedman’s remarks “should not be ready as a change in U.S. policy.”
“I’m aware of what he said,” spokeswoman Heath Nauert told reporters in Washington. “His comments — and I want to be crystal clear about this — should not be read as a way to prejudge the outcome of any negotiations that the U.S. would have with the Israelis and the Palestinians. It should also not indicate a shift in U.S. policy.”
Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 war. The Palestinians have limited autonomy in 40 percent of the area, with Israel in full control over the remaining 60 percent. Palestinians demand the West Bank as part of a future state.
The Palestinians, along with much of the international community, view Israel’s West Bank settlements as illegal and an obstacle to peace. Israel disputes this, saying the fate of the settlements must be resolved through negotiations with the Palestinians.
“Obviously, there is important security considerations to those settlements, there’s important nationalistic, historical and religious significance to those settlements and I think the settlers view themselves as Israelis, and Israel views the settlers as Israelis,” Friedman said.
Nabil Shaath, an aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, responded in a video clip on Twitter that the U.S ambassador had displayed “absolute ignorance of facts of law and of the position of the United States.”
Friedman’s remarks are “very bad news for the future of any American attempt to make peace in the Middle East,” Shaath added.
Senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat called Friedman’s comments “false and misleading.” He said in a statement that “such positions undermine ongoing efforts toward achieving a just and lasting peace between Israel and Palestine,” based on 1967 borders.
Friedman is a member of President Donald Trump’s team spearheading efforts to restart Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
Friedman, Trump’s former bankruptcy attorney, was appointed ambassador earlier this year, a move that was opposed by Democrats and some Jewish groups because of donations to Israeli settlements, opposition to Palestinian statehood and vocal support for hard-line Israeli government positions.
In an interview to the Jerusalem Post earlier this month Friedman referred to the “alleged occupation” of Palestinian territories. The State Department later clarified that his comments did not reflect a change in U.S. policy.
Trump has called an Israeli-Palestinian peace accord “the ultimate deal,” and has sent envoys, including his son-in-law Jared Kushner, to meet with the two sides. But little apparent progress has been made, and the Palestinians have expressed frustration over the efforts.
CLEVELAND (AP) — Myles Garrett practiced.
For the Browns, that’s enough to celebrate.
“We almost started to throw a little party to see him back out there,” defensive back James McCourty said. “We should have had him introduce himself to the defense again.”
The top overall pick in this year’s draft, Garrett returned to the practice field for the first time in three weeks on Thursday, increasing the possibility he could make his regular-season debut Sunday against Cincinnati.
Garrett has missed Cleveland’s first three games with a high right ankle sprain, leaving a hole in Cleveland’s defense and depriving the Browns a chance to see a player they believe could change their franchise’s fortunes.
The 6-foot-4, 275-pounder stretched, ran and joined Cleveland’s defensive lineman as they went through individual drills during the portion of practice open to the media.
Afterward, coach Hue Jackson said Garrett “looked like Myles” but wouldn’t go as far as saying the rookie defensive end will play Sunday.
“We will continue to evaluate, see where he is and kind of go from there,” Jackson said. “But it was good to have him back out there, running around, making plays and doing all of that. We will see where he is.”
Garrett got hurt on Sept. 6 when a teammate inadvertently fell on his ankle during practice.
At the time, the Browns said he would need at least a month to recover, but the 21-year-old has come back quicker than expected.
It’s possible he’ll be used only in obvious pass-rush situations this week, but Jackson said the team will continue to take a restrained approach with him.
“I want to make sure that we cross all the T’s and dot all the I’s and talk to the medical staff about what the expectation would be of him and what we are going to do,” Jackson said.
“He is a huge piece of our organization and our future. We want to be cautious but smart as we go through it. I think we are getting closer, than we are further away.”
Garrett, who was listed as “limited” on the injury report, has a brief history with injuries, lending to the Browns’ reserved plan.
He sprained his foot during the spring and was limited by an ankle sprain during his junior season at Texas A&M.
Jackson said he’ll watch videotape of the practice to make sure Garrett did not favor the ankle.
Also, how Garrett’s ankle responds after a full practice will have a major influence on whether he plays.
Cleveland’s pass rush has struggled without Garrett on the edge, and the Browns are eager to see him impact games with his speed and presence.
“The better players you have out there, the better you are going to be,” McCourty said. “It sounds so simple, but I just think that is what it is.
“Myles was the No. 1 overall pick for a reason. I think we all know he possesses a special type of talent. Just having that caliber of talented player out on the field, we will all benefit from it.”
NOTES: DT Danny Shelton sustained a calf injury on Wednesday and the team is awaiting MRI results. “It doesn’t feel too bad, but we will see what the doc says,” Shelton said. … LB Jamie Collins remains in concussion protocol.
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NEW YORK (AP) — Shares of Roku, an early player in streaming-video gadgets, soared Thursday after its initial public offering of stock raised $219 million.
The shares priced at $14 each, the top of the company’s expected range, suggesting strong demand from investors and valuing the company at $1.3 billion. The shares rocketed almost 68 percent Thursday, closing the day at their peak of $23.50.
The Los Gatos, California, company is known for its boxes and sticks that let users watch Netflix, Hulu and the growing universe of streaming-video options on their TVs. It has the biggest share of the streaming-gadget market, but has deep-pocketed competitors in Amazon, Google and Apple.
Most of Roku’s revenue comes from sales of its streaming players, but it’s seeking to capitalize on its “platform” by building its business of showing ads to users, whether on its home screen or inside video apps.
The company is unprofitable and has amassed $244 million in losses since it was founded in 2002.