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Yemeni rebels sentence activists to prison for criticism



SANAA, Yemen (AP) — A court in Yemen’s rebel-controlled capital on Tuesday sentenced four activists to prison terms ranging from six months to three years for their criticism of Iranian-backed rebels on social media, a lawyer said.

According to their lawyer, Waddah Kutaish, the four were convicted of fomenting chaos, disturbing the peace and insulting Iranian-backed rebels, also known as the Houthis.

They were detained in Sana’a in December and January on charges related to videos they posted on social media last year criticizing the Houthis for alleged corruption and their economic management.

The rebels control Sana’a and much of northern Yemen. The arrest and trial of activists are part of Houthis crackdown on dissent and those who are seen as working for the enemy A Saudi-led coalition that has been fighting the Houthis in Yemen’s civil war since 2015 in an attempt to bring back an internationally recognized government.

One of the activists, Ahmed Ilau, was sentenced to three years, and another activist, Mustafa al-Mumari, to one and a half years. The two remaining activists, Ahmed Hajar and Hamoud al-Mesbahi, were sentenced to a year and six months, respectively, according to the defense lawyer.

The court also ruled to shut down the activists’ YouTube channels and fined each of them 10 million Yemeni rials, or about $40,000, Kuteish added. He called the verdict “politically motivated” and said he would appeal.

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Gwyneth Paltrow to stand trial for skiing accident in Deer Valley



PARK CITY, Utah. Gwyneth Paltrow will stand trial Tuesday in a lawsuit filed by a retired optometrist who alleges the actress-turned-lifestyle influencer brutally slammed him into him in 2016 while skiing in Utah at one of the most prestigious ski resorts in the United States. States.

Terry Sanderson, 76, said Paltrow was driving down the slopes so recklessly that they collided, leaving him on the ground as she and her entourage continued their descent down Deer Valley Resort, a ski-only mountain known for its groomed runs. après ski. yurts with champagne and a chic clientele.

“Gwyneth Paltrow went out of control on skis,” Sanderson’s lawyers argue in the lawsuit, “knocking him hard, knocking him out and causing a head injury, four broken ribs and other serious injuries. Paltrow got up, turned around and drove away, leaving Sanderson dazed, lying in the snow with serious injuries.”

In a case that spanned several years after the 2016 incident, Sanderson is suing Paltrow for $300,000, alleging that the Park City accident resulted from negligence and caused him bodily injury and emotional distress.

At ski resorts, the downhill skier has right-of-way, so the central question in this case is who was further down the beginner’s track when the collision occurred. Both Paltrow and Sanderson say in court papers that they were even worse when the other one crashed into them.

Sanderson also accused Deer Valley and its employees of “covering up”, not providing full details of incident reports, and not following the resort’s safety policies.

After his original $3.1 million lawsuit was dismissed, Sanderson changed the complaint and he is now seeking $300,000. Paltrow, an Oscar-winning actress best known for her roles in Shakespeare in Love and Marvel’s Iron Man, filed a counterclaim in response, seeking attorneys’ fees and $1 in damages.

Paltrow countered that he was in fact the cause of the collision, exaggerating his injuries and trying to take advantage of her fame and wealth. In addition to her acting career, she is also the founder and CEO of goop, a leading wellness company.

In court documents, her lawyers deny Sanderson’s claims and claim he was the one who slammed into her – an impact in which she received a “blow to the whole body.” Her counterclaim alleges that members of the Paltrow group checked on Sanderson, who assured them that he was fine. This casts doubt on his motives and injury claims, noting that he had 15 documented illnesses prior to the incident.

“He demanded that Ms. Paltrow pay him millions. If she does not pay, she will face negative publicity as a result of his allegations,” her lawyers wrote in a 2019 court filing.

The Park City trial is expected to last more than a week.

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Saudi Arabia frees American jailed for tweeting about crown prince



Saudi Arabia has released a 72-year-old US citizen who was jailed for critical tweets about the kingdom’s government and the crown prince, his son said on Tuesday.

Saad Ibrahim Almadi, a U.S.-Saudi citizen and retired project leader who lived in Florida, was imprisoned for more than a year and sentenced to 19 years.

His son, Ibrahim Almadi, told NBC News early Tuesday that all charges against his father were dropped and that he was at his home in Riyadh with his family, but was banned from traveling.

“He considers the United States his home, not Saudi Arabia,” Ibrahim said of his father, adding that he was worried about the elder Almadi’s health.

“He requires immediate medical attention and attention in the United States. [reason]The travel ban worries us a lot,” he added. Ibrahim said he was confident that the family would be able to bring his father back to his family in the US with the assistance of the State Department.

Neither the Saudi authorities nor the US government have confirmed Almadi’s release.

The case was one of many alleged human rights abuses that have strained relations between the two countries, which publicly raised the issue of oil supplies late last year following a clash over the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

President Joe Biden has previously said he raised concerns about Almadi’s imprisonment and the affairs of other US citizens during meetings with King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman when he visited Saudi Arabia in July to reset relations.

Since the crown prince’s rise to power – a de facto ruler bent on opening up and modernizing the ultra-conservative kingdom – human rights groups have expressed growing concern about the Saudi government’s crackdown on dissent.

Almadi’s son said his father was arrested on multiple charges, including supporting terrorism, shortly after landing in Riyadh in November 2021 to visit family.

In October, the court sentenced him to 16 years. 2022, his son said. Last month, an appeals court extended his sentence to 19 years.

Ibrahim said that his father was detained due to several tweets sent over the past few years.

He added that his father was not an activist, but a private individual who expressed his opinion on Twitter while in the US, where free speech is a constitutional right.

According to the Associated Press, Almadi’s tweets included one noting the crown prince’s rise in power in the kingdom, and a tweet that talked about Khashoggi’s murder.

The news of Almadi’s release comes a week after his son met with State Department officials. “I gave the whistle to Saad[‘s] state,” Ibrahim tweeted March 14th.

“His only way back is through wrongfully delayed identification. They assure me that the process [is] continues and freedom of speech should never be criminalized,” he continued.

In a statement released on Tuesday, The Freedom Initiative, an American human rights organization campaigning for the freedom of prisoners illegally detained in the Middle East and North Africa, welcomed the news.

“We are pleased that Saad Almadi has been released, but he should not have spent a day behind bars for harmless tweets,” Abdullah Alaud, the Saudi director of the organization, said in a statement.

The Freedom Initiative reports that at least six people from the US are currently detained or trapped due to politically motivated travel bans to Saudi Arabia.

“There are too many non-U.S. people in Saudi custody to draw attention to their cases,” Alaud added. “Almadi’s release shows that strategic pressure is at work and US officials must continue to press for the release of prisoners and the lifting of travel bans.”

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Russia expected to release violent criminals who fought in Ukraine, UK says



Russian society is expected to face a “serious challenge” in the coming weeks. thousands of convicts are likely to be released, according to British intelligence.

According to the Ministry of Defense, an influx of released “violent criminals” is expected if they fought on the side of the Wagner Group paramilitary organization.

Led by Russian oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin, who has close ties to President Vladimir Putin, this group of mercenaries has recently been credited with several Russian battlefield successes in Ukraine and has bolstered its ranks by recruiting prisoners.

According to the UK MoD: “Wagner prisoner recruitment peaked in autumn 2022, when prisoners were offered commutation after six months of service.”

And Moscow, apparently, will keep its promise.

The Ministry of Defense continued: “While approximately half of the recruited prisoners were likely killed or injured, evidence from Russia suggests that the group is making good on its promise to free the survivors.

“The certificates issued to the released Wagner veterans claim that they were approved by President Putin’s decree.”

Visitors take pictures near the Wagner PMC in November.

Shortly after a public spat between Wagner and Putin over how much ammunition the Kremlin is giving private fighters (with Prigozhin accusation of the Russian Defense Minister of “treason”) The UK believes Wagner is now “probably banned” from recruiting new prisoners.

This means that this mass exodus of prisoners will “exacerbate” Wagner’s personnel problems after the death of so many soldiers on the battlefield.

The DoD added on Tuesday: “The sudden influx of violent offenders with recent and often traumatic combat experience is likely to be a major problem for Russian wartime society.”

Previously, UK officials claimed that Wagner was trying to recruit from schools and sports centers instead.

The Russian public is already facing pressure on their economy due to the war and sanctions imposed by Ukraine’s allies and the partial mobilization of reservists last September protests and attempts to flee the country.

The announcement came after Putin made a surprise overnight trip to the occupied Ukrainian city of Mariupol in what Lord Ricketts, the former UK permanent representative to NATO, said was a show for the local public.

On Monday, he told Sky News: “It was a pretty empty propaganda exercise that won’t convince a lot of people outside of Russia.”

Ricketts also suggested that this was a sign that “he was able to travel” even after Last week, an international arrest warrant for Putin was issued.

The Russian president will also meet his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping this week for a three-day conference in Moscow, an important step for Putin, who has become increasingly isolated on the world stage due to his war in Ukraine.

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