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Russian Opposition Leader Navalny ‘Poisoned’ – Spokeswoman

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Nerve Agent Novichok Found In Russia's Alexey Navalny - Germany

The spokeswoman for a Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny has on Thursday said the politician is in a coma and on a ventilator in a hospital in Siberia after falling ill from suspected poisoning during a flight.

Kira Yarmysh said 44-year-old Navalny, who is a staunch critic of President Vladimir Putin was flying from Siberia to Moscow after a work trip to Tomsk when his plane made an emergency landing after he fell ill.

In a Twitter post, Yarmysh, the press secretary for the Anti-Corruption Foundation, which Navalny founded in 2011 stated “this morning Navalny was returning to Moscow from Tomsk, she said further that “during the flight, he felt ill. The plane made an urgent landing in Omsk. Alexei has toxic poisoning.”

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Yarmysh added: “We suspect that Alexei was poisoned by something mixed into [his] tea. It was the only thing he drank since morning. Doctors are saying that the toxic agent absorbed faster through the hot liquid. Right now Alexei is unconscious.”

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Interfax news agency quoted the cafe’s owners as saying they were checking CCTV cameras to try to establish what had happened.

In another report, Yarmysh told the Echo Moskvy radio station that Navalny was sweating on the plane and asked her to talk to him so that he could “focus on the sound of a voice”.

Yarmysh added “Alexei is still unconscious. He was put under ventilator. Police were called to the hospital on our demand.”

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However, according to the hospital where Navalny is receiving treatment, the deputy head physician told a media outlet that it was not certain Navalny had been poisoned, although “natural poisoning” was one of the diagnoses being considered.

Anatoly Kalinichenko said that doctors were “genuinely trying to save his life”.

Video footage on social media shows Navalny being taken on a stretcher to an ambulance on the airport runway.

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Belarus President Closes Western Borders, Puts Army On High Alert

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Belarus President Closes Western Borders, Puts Army On High Alert

Protesters in Belarus are still angry in their sixth week of mass protests demanding the resignation of president Alexander Lukashenko.

The president has announced, in retaliation, he is putting troops on high alert and closing the country’s borders with Poland and Lithuania.  He also said the Belarusian border with Ukraine would be strengthened.

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Lukashenko insists the six weeks of protests are driven by the west. He faces increasing criticism from the united states and the European Union.

Demonstrations began after the disputed august presidential election official results gave the authoritarian leader a sixth term in office–results opponents say were manipulated.

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Bolivian Interim President Anez Withdraws From Election Race

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Bolivian Interim President Anez Withdraws From Election Race

Bolivia’s interim president Jeanine Anez has withdrawn from next month’s presidential election, saying she’s withdrawing in the interest of the party.

Anez, a former conservative senator, took office during the power vacuum that followed former president Morales’s departure after allegations of irregularities in last year’s election.  Those allegations fueled violent protests, and army pressure forced the country’s first indigenous president into exile in Mexico.

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Anez says if she does not step down, Morales would possibly return to power.

She declined to name the candidate for whom she will vote.

Next month’s election is the delayed rerun of last year’s ballot.  Anez’s candidacy had sparked controversy after she initially ruled herself out and pledged to guide the country to transparent new elections.

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By pulling out of the race, analysts say Anez could increase chances that the election will be pushed to a second round by consolidating the anti-Arce vote.

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To avoid a second round, the election winner requires at least 40 percent of valid votes in the first round and a 10-point advantage over the closest competitor.

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First Case-Free Day For New Zealand In Five Weeks

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First Case-Free Day For New Zealand In Five Weeks

New Zealand for the first time in more than five weeks has reported no new confirmed cases of the coronavirus amid efforts to stamp out an outbreak discovered in Auckland last month ending a spell of 102 days free of community transmission.

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The South Pacific nation with its population of five million has reported more than 1,800 cases of COVID-19 and 25 fatalities.

The report on Friday also marked the fourth consecutive day without any cases of community transmission. All recent cases have been found among quarantined travellers returning from abroad.

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Following strict measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic which were widely praised, New Zealand is in its deepest recession in decades after the country’s GDP shrank by 12.2% between April and June as the lockdown and border closures hit.

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Auckland lockdown began on 12 August after four cases were detected in the city of 1.5 million.

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