Medvedev urges release of two imprisoned band members
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Friday that the women in the Pussy Riot punk band serving two-year prison sentences should be set free. Three members of the band were convicted on hooliganism charges in August for performing a "punk prayer" at Moscow's main cathedral during which they pleaded with the Virgin Mary for deliverance from President Vladimir Putin. One of them, Yekaterina Samutsevich, was released on appeal last month, but the other two, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alekhina, were sent to prison camps to serve their sentences. Medvedev said the women have been in prison long enough and should be released. But his comment is unlikely to take effect, since he is widely seen as a liberal yet nominal government figure whose pledges and orders are seldom followed through on.
Judge says unseal Watergate records
Some documents sealed in the 1970s as part of the court case against seven men involved in the Watergate burglary must be released, a federal judge in Washington said Friday.
U.S. District Chief Judge Royce Lamberth ordered that some materials being sought by Texas history professor Luke Nichter be released. Nichter says the court records could help explain the motivation behind the 1972 break-in at the Democratic National Committee's headquarters that ultimately led President Richard M. Nixon to resign from office two years later.
Japan: Japanese leaders reacted angrily Friday after the police on Okinawa said a U.S. Air Force serviceman was suspected of breaking into an apartment while drunk and punching a schoolboy, just weeks after two U.S. sailors were accused of raping a woman on the same island.
Nigeria: Soldiers shot dead more than 40 people, likely civilians, during an operation in Maiduguri, a city long under attack by a radical Islamist sect known as Boko Haram, a hospital official said Friday.
Iran: Angry Iranians gathered in front of the former U.S. Embassy in Tehran on Friday, almost 33 years after the mission it was seized by Islamic students on Nov. 4, 1979.
israel: Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Friday that he planned to visit the Gaza Strip, a move that would enhance the legitimacy of the Hamas-controlled Gaza government and antagonize Israel.