Film about Nicholas II’s affair with Matilda Kshesinskaya to go ahead
RUSSIA: Russia has cleared a film about the last tsar’s affair with a ballerina despite protests from the religious right.
Tsar Nicholas II was executed during the Russian Revolution and, despite his bloody record, made a saint by the Orthodox Church in 2000 on anti-communist grounds.
Priests and right-wing politicians such as Chechnya strongman Ramzan Kadyrov have agitated for the film to be banned and mass prayer meetings have been held against it, as saints are not supposed to have affairs with ballerinas and they fear it could tarnish his image.
Argentina’s Communist leader Patricio Echegaray dies
ARGENTINA: The Communist Party announced the death of its long-term leader Patricio Echegaray on Wednesday.
Mr Echegaray had led the party since 1989 and was described as a “selfless internationalist” who had struck up a close friendship with Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro.
He had been “actively involved” in Latin American revolutions including that of the Sandinistas in Nicaragua and El Salvador, the Farc’s long guerilla war in Colombia and Venezuela’s Bolivarian revolution, the party said.
He was imprisoned during the military dictatorship but had held office in the United Left and supported former president Cristina Fernandez in more recent years.
Pope orders charity to stop mercy killings
BELGIUM: A Catholic charity is at loggerheads with the Pope after it ruled that doctors could carry out mercy killings of patients at its psychiatric hospitals.
Belgium and the Netherlands are the only countries in the world which allow euthanasia of mentally ill patients.
Pope Francis ordered the charity’s Roman superior to warn it to stop, saying its behaviour was “outrageous and unacceptable.”
Troops demolish attackers’ homes
PALESTINE: The Israeli military said yesterday that it had destroyed the West Bank homes of three Palestinians who attacked occupation troops earlier this year.
Palestinian officials said the military destroyed two homes in the village of Deir Abu Mashal on Thursday, where two Palestinians involved in a June attack lived.
The mayor said the forces couldn’t demolish a third house because it was connected to other homes.