Thugs break into homes of 3 Sputnik employees in Ankara, shout anti-Russian & nationalist slogans

Groups of people descended on homes of three Russia’s Sputnik agency staffers in Ankara, Turkey, chanting “Turkey for the Turks” and accusing journalists of treason for working for Moscow, RT Editor-in-Chief reported on Twitter.

What appears to be a coordinated attack on Sputnik employees in the Turkish capital was first reported by Margarita Simonyan, RT and Sputnik’s Editor-in-Chief on Saturday, and later confirmed by the agency itself.

Simonyan tweeted that three separate groups, each numbering about 10 hooligans, swooped on the flats of three agency’s employees, hurling threats and accusing them of betraying their homeland, Turkey, for doing journalistic work for the Russian outlet.

“They were shouting: ‘Turkey for the Turks!’ ‘Traitors!’ and ‘Russian spies!’”, Simonyan tweeted, comparing the raids to the pogroms against ethnic Armenians by Turks in the Ottoman Empire.

“My great-grandmothers would have experienced a déjà vu now.”

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FILE PHOTO. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan. ©Presidential Press Office / Handout via REUTERS
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Simonyan noted that it she was now awaiting a police response to the assaults, adding that it’s unclear at the moment how the perpetrators obtained the home addresses of “not the most public of our employees.”

The agency has confirmed that unknown miscreants attempted to storm into the apartments belonging to three of its journalists.

Police were called to the scene. However, by the time officers arrived, the attackers were already gone, the agency said. No one has been hurt as result of the incident.

The attack comes at the time of increasing tension between Moscow and Ankara. While partners in the Astana peace process, the two countries have been increasingly at odds over the Syrian army ongoing anti-terrorist offensive in Idlib against armed militants, some of which are backed by Turkey.

The situation has escalated even more after Turkey said that 33 of its troops were killed in a Syrian strike in the last militant stronghold this week, vowing retaliation to Damascus and calling NATO consultations on the issue.

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While the US-led military alliance sided with Turkey, scolding both Syria and Russia for the flare-up in Idlib, the block stopped short of pledging any additional military assistance to Ankara, prompting Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu to ask the US to redeploy Patriot anti-aircraft missiles on Turkish soil.

Moscow dismissed the accusations, saying that the slain Turkish troops were embedded with terrorists and were not supposed to be in the area at the time of the bombing in the first place. Ankara, despite suffering heavy casualties, refused to withdraw its troops. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday demanded Russia “gets out the way” and lets his armed forces to set scores with the Syrian military one-on-one.

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Bernie as bad as… coronavirus?! CNN host compares ‘unstoppable’ Sanders to deadly disease (VIDEO)

Radio personality and CNN host Michael Smerconish thought it fitting to compare Bernie Sanders and his surge in the Democratic polls to the coronavirus outbreak. The remark has sparked massive online anger and a storm of mockery.

Smerconish made the outlandish comparison while discussing the prospects of the Democratic forerunner in South Carolina – the last of the four early states – which is voting in the Democratic primaries on Saturday.

“Can either coronavirus or Bernie Sanders be stopped?” the host wondered.

The comparison between Sanders and the virus – which has killed nearly 3,000 globally – was apparently deemed to be fine by the network, since it also appeared in the channel’s chyron.

The presenter’s ‘unconventional’ way of describing Sanders’ solid lead in the Democratic polls has since been met with an overwhelmingly negative reaction online, with many condemning the remark’s extremely poor taste.

While many were outraged and lashed out at the blunder, others chose to bombard CNN with mockery and jokes.

Some even insisted that the abilities of Sanders deserve more credit than some puny virus.

Even the ever-reliable anti-Semitism card has been invoked, with critics arguing that the comparison of a Jewish candidate to a virus closely resembles the propaganda purveyed by Nazi Germany. Ironically, Sanders’ opponents have repeatedly accused the candidate of being an anti-Semite over his criticism of Israel’s policies and support for the creation of a Palestinian state.

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Washington state declares emergency over coronavirus as CDC warns risk is ‘increasing’

Washington Governor Jay Inslee has declared a state of emergency after three new cases of COVID-19 and one death resulting from the coronavirus were confirmed there on Saturday. Inslee said that the time had come for “proactive measures”, adding that state officials have been preparing ever since the first US coronavirus case was confirmed in Snohomish County. The measure will also allow the authorities to use the National Guard if necessary.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have so far reported that the two new coronavirus cases were linked to a Life Care Center in Kirkland, a suburb of Seattle, adding that those infected were a patient and a health care worker. Both of them are alive. However, it is still unclear how exactly they were infected.

The CDC has also warned that the “risk to the public is increasing”, noting that it sees signs the coronavirus could spread within the community. The watchdog sees no evidence of a spread at the national level at this time.

VIDEO shows how Moscow Instagram blogger’s deadly pool party with DRY ICE went HORRIBLY WRONG

Three people have died and more are in hospital after a birthday surprise at a Moscow party had unforeseen consequences. Video shows dry ice being poured into a pool for effect, inadvertently creating a carbon dioxide gas chamber.

The chilling incident occurred at a Moscow sauna late on Friday. Ekaterina Didenko, an Instagram blogger with over a million subscribers, was celebrating her 29th birthday with her family and friends.

No-one expected the festivities to turn into a tragedy when the blogger’s husband Valentin presented the guests with a surprise treat. The man brought out a large amount of dry ice – solid carbon dioxide – and after everyone donned symbolic ‘protection’, he poured it into a pool to create the fancy gas effect for everyone to take photos and videos.

Footage of the fateful moment emerged online on Saturday. It shows the revelers wearing improvised protective costumes and goggles and gathered by a small indoor pool. One of them reads the instructions aloud, jokingly warning that the dry ice might be very dangerous before pouring the substance into the pool. The guests then proceed to jump in, with the bravest one submerging himself completely – while one of the onlookers jokes “He’s dead, he’s not with us anymore.”

© YouTube / Вести 24

The joke, however, turned grim within moments. Upon coming into contact with the water, the dry ice evaporated, creating a thick plume of carbon dioxide – effectively turning the pool into a gas chamber. 

Three people, including Valentin, were left dead in the aftermath of the stunt, while several others remain in hospital. The small indoors location, as well as the large amount – 25 to 30 kilograms – of dry ice used, created a lethal concentration of the gas. The ‘protective equipment’ the revelers sported proved completely useless, as it didn’t include full-body wetsuits and rebreathers.

© YouTube / Вести 24

The tragic accident promptly went viral on the Russian-language portion of the internet. Some expressed condolences to the widowed blogger, whose two children are now left without a father. Many others attacked her over the “stupidity” of the stunt and the couple’s “ignorance.” Didenko is a certified pharmacist, blogging about pharmacies and drugs, and her late husband had a high-level technical education, so there have been questions raised as to whether the two should have known better than to play with dry ice.

It remains unclear where Valentin procured such a large amount of dry ice – and some earlier Instagram posts by Didenko suggested that he might have cooked it himself.

Russian law enforcement has launched a probe into the accident, which will likely target both Didenko and the owners of the sauna, who were reportedly aware of – but had not stopped – the deadly stunt.

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Tulsi to MSM: Stop referring to Al-Qaeda in Syria’s Idlib as ‘rebels’ to make them seem like ‘freedom fighters’

The US media and officials who stubbornly keep referring to armed groups dominated by an Al-Qaeda offshoot in Syria’s Idlib province as ‘rebels’ only disgrace themselves and their country, US Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard has said.

Gabbard, who is one of the Democratic Party contenders in the 2020 presidential race, castigated American mainstream media and Trump administration officials for a consistent effort to whitewash the extremists entrenched in the north-western province of Idlib – Syria’s last major stronghold of anti-government forces. Such actions betray the memory of the 9/11 terrorist attack, one of the worst tragedies in modern American history, she said.

The corporate media needs to stop referring to Al-Qaeda and their affiliated groups in Idlib as ‘rebels’ in a deceptive effort to make them seem like freedom fighters. I and thousands of Americans enlisted after Al-Qaeda’s attack on 9/11. The media and the Trump administration’s continued labelling of these terrorists as ‘rebels’ is a disgrace and dishonor for all our men and women in uniform and our entire country.

In her address, published on Twitter, the congresswoman also demanded that US President Donald Trump refrain from aiding Turkey in what she called its “invasion of northern Syria,” which she said might lead the US to a conflict with Russia. She also called on Congress to pass her Stop Arming Terrorists Act, which would bar Washington from assisting countries supporting terrorist groups.

The US special representative, James Jeffrey, recently stated that he had not seen Hayat Tahrir al-Sham – an Al-Qaeda offshoot controlling most part of militant-held Idlib – “planning or carrying out international terrorism attacks.” This statement, referring to a group already designated a terrorist one in the US itself, provoked an angry reaction from Moscow, which called it “absolutely unacceptable.” 

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Earlier, the US media repeatedly referred to militants and extremists in Idlib as ‘rebels’ suffering from the actions of the Syrian Army, while completely ignoring the atrocities committed by Islamists. 

Gabbard’s statement comes amid a rapid escalation of tensions in Syria’s Idlib province, where the Syrian Army operation against militants and extremists – some of whom were supported by Ankara – led to deadly clashes between the Syrian and Turkish forces deployed to the area. Ankara then vowed to launch a full-scale military operation to stop the Syrian Army’s advancement.

The developments also strained Turkey’s relations with Russia, which is both a Damascus ally and Ankara’s close partner. Moscow still actively seeks to ease the tensions through diplomatic means, though Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has so far seemed determined to continue on his current path.

Turkey also asked the US to deploy Patriot air defense systems on Turkish soil as a demonstration of the support it expects from a NATO ally.

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‘There are dark evenings and this is one of them’: Grenoble goalkeeper reflects after THROWING the ball into own net (VIDEO)

Brice Maubleu, the hapless goalkeeper of French side Grenoble, has spoken after his catastrophic howler consigned his team to a 2-0 defeat at Caen.

Grenoble custodian Maubleu ended all hopes of his side taking any points from their away trip to Normandy when, inexplicably, his attempt to throw the ball out from his penalty area ended in disaster.

Maubleu didn’t release the ball correctly as he threw, and unintentionally hurled the ball toward his own goal.

Realizing his mistake, Maubleu charged after the rolling ball, but was unable to stop it from crossing the line for one of the most bizarre goals scored so far this season.

The goal sent Grenoble to a 2-0 away defeat and left the keeper to ponder a mistake that ended up trending online for all the wrong reasons.

“There are dark evenings and this is one of them,” he admitted to reporters after the game

“On the goal, I wanted to quickly set Jérôme (Mombris) away, but I saw that he was not looking at me so I revised my decision and then the ball left my hands, a bit like what happened to (Marseille goalkeeper Steve) Mandanda.

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“This happens sometimes and people think that it can’t possibly happen to others. In the end, I play the ball thinking that all was still ok but apparently the ball had already gone in.

“I am disappointed because it gave our opponent a two-goal lead. I will have to quickly get back working and move on because it will likely do the rounds on social media.

“The goalkeeper position is exposed and there are risks. After that, I was back in my match and made saves even though those won’t be remembered.”

The goal evoked memories of Mandanda’s error eight years ago, when his attempted throw appeared to stick in his glove before dropping perfectly for Valencienne’s Foued Kadir during a Ligue 1 match.

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Still the best despite the international ban: Russian athlete Anzhelika Sidorova sets new WORLD-LEADING pole vault result

Russian world champion pole vaulter Anzhelika Sidorova, who is not eligible to take part in international athletics events due to a ban imposed by World Athletics, has set a new world-leading result at a competition in Moscow.

The 28-year-old cleared a height of 4.95m, posting a new season-best result at the Russian pole vault festival in Luzhniki.

READ MORE: ‘A neutral flag isn’t shame, shame is being stuck in a doping row’: World high-jump champ Lasitskene on Russia’s sport crisis

Inspired by her incredible progress, reigning world title holder Sidorova moved the bar to 5m, but failed to successfully tackle the height on any of the three attempts.

Being a member of the Russian athletics team, Sidorova is not allowed to compete internationally – despite having a clean doping record.

Last year she won the IAAF World Athletic Championships in Doha, Qatar, beating reigning Olympic title holder Ekaterini Stefanidi from Greece and Olympic runner-up Sandi Morris of the USA.

Last autumn, World Athletics suspended the Authorized Neutral Athlete (ANA) process, prohibiting Russian team members from taking part in international events even under a neutral flag.

The reason for the tough action was a scandal over alleged manipulation and document falsification in connection with the doping case of silver high-jumper Danil Lysenko.

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If the issue is not resolved and Russian competitors are forbidden from receiving even a neutral status, they could miss the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.

On February 28 RUSAF elected its new president Evgeny Yurchenko, who will have less than five months to save Russian athletes from a possible Olympic ban.