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Rival Petitions Want Russia, U.S. Branded 'Sponsors of Terrorism'

Published: May 13, 2014 (Issue # 1809)



  • U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel at the Pentagon in Washington. (File)
    Photo: Aaron Hostutler / Defense.gov

Two rival petitions urging the U.S. government to designate either Russia or the U.S. as a "state sponsor of terrorism" for their respective policies in Ukraine are vying for signatures on the White House website, with the anti-Russian one enjoying a strong lead so far.

The petition targeting Russia had a one-week head start, having been posted on the "We the People" section of the website on April 23, and had garnered more than 53,300 signatures by Monday afternoon.

"In its unannounced war against Ukraine, Russia relies on covert operations which fall squarely within the definition of 'international terrorism'" under U.S. law, the petition said. The appeal needs to gather at least 100,000 signatures by May 23 to require the White House to respond.

The rival appeal, which uses the same language except for replacing "Russia" with "USA," showed up on April 30. It had slightly more than 500 signatures by Monday.

Both petitions blamed the violence in Ukraine on "armed operatives" saying that the respective foreign forces "acting under disguise, attempt to influence the policy of Ukrainian government by intimidation or coercion."

The anti-American petition then added its own line, complete with spelling errors, to comment on the supposed U.S. operatives: "Luckily, they have disappeared by now."

Currently, the U.S. designates four countries as state sponsors of terrorism — Cuba, Iran, Sudan and Syria.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said during ABC television's "This Week" program on Sunday that a more appropriate expression to describe Russia would be an "adversary in Ukraine."

Hagel also criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin's statements that Moscow had pulled back its troops from the Ukrainian border.

"Well, they're not leaving, as far as we can tell," he said. "You have to ask President Putin as to why he says they're leaving and when, in fact, they're not leaving."

Moscow denied accusations by Ukrainian and Western officials that its troops are engaged in the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine, and instead accused the U.S. and European governments of having fostered the conflict.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Oct. 31


Put your grammar and logical thinking to the test in a fun and friendly environment during the British Book Center’s Board Game Evening starting at 5 p.m. today. The event is free and all are welcome to attend.



Saturday, Nov. 1


The men and women who dedicate their lives to fitness get their chance to compete for the title of best body in Russia at today’s Grand Prix Fitness House PRO, the nation’s premier bodybuilding competition. Not only will men and women be competing for thousands of dollars in prizes and a trip to represent their nation at Mr. Olympia but sporting goods and nutritional supplements will also be available for sale. Learn more about the culture of the Indian subcontinent during Diwali, the annual festival of lights that will be celebrated in St. Petersburg this weekend at the Culture Palace on Tambovskaya Ul. For 100 rubles ($2.40), festival-goers listen to Indian music, try on traditional Indian outfits and sample dishes highlighting the culinary diversity of the billion-plus people in the South Asian superpower.



Sunday, Nov. 2


Check out the latest video and interactive games at the Gaming Festival at the Mayakovsky Library ending today. Meet with the developers of the popular and learn more about their work, or learn how to play one of their creations with the opportunity to ask the creators themselves about the exact rules.



Monday, Nov. 3


Non-athletes can get feed their need for competition without breaking a sweat at the Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament this evening at the Cube Bar at Lomonosova 1. Referees will judge the validity of each matchup award points to winners while the city’s elite fight for the chance to be called the best of the best. Those hoping to play must arrange a team beforehand and pay 200 rubles ($4.80) to enter.



Tuesday, Nov. 4


Attend the premiere of Canadian director Xavier Dolan’s latest film “Mommy” at the Avrora theater this evening. The fifth picture from the 25-year-old, it is the story of an unruly teenager but the most alluring (or unappealing) aspect is the way the film was shot: in a 1:1 format that is more reminiscent of Instagram videos than cinematic art. Tickets cost 400 rubles ($9.60) and snacks and drinks will be available.



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