Russia Suspends Opposition Leader’s Sentence. Will It Quiet Criticism Of Kremlin?

Join the Nation’s Conversation To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the Conversation Guidelines and FAQs JetBlue partners with Russia’s Transaero Ben Mutzabaugh, USA TODAY 10:34 a.m. EDT October 17, 2013 Transaero aircraft are seen in an image provided by Transaero Airlines. (Photo: Transaero Airlines) SHARE 1 CONNECT 8 TWEET COMMENTEMAILMORE WASHINGTON Russian carrier Transaero says it has signed an interline deal with JetBlue that will begin by the end of the month. Transaero hopes the agreement will bolster demand for its New York-Moscow route by expanding passengers’ connecting options on either end of the flight. “This is our newest and largest partner in the United States,” Transaero CEO Olga Pleshakova told Today in the Sky on Wednesday about the tie-up with JetBlue. ARCHIVES: Virgin America partners with Russia’s Transaero “Our partnership with JetBlue would be very effective and we hope very fruitful for us,” says Pleshakova, speaking to Today in the Sky through a translator. Interline agreements allow airlines to accommodate passengers and their luggage via a single itinerary that involves flights on both of the interline partners. For example, Transaero passengers flying from Russia to New York will then be able to connect on JetBlue to that carrier’s destinations throughout the United States and the Caribbean. Conversely, Pleshakova says the pact will allow JetBlue customers to purchase tickets connecting in New York to Transaero flights to Moscow and across “the entire Transaero network worldwide.” The move adds yet another carrier to JetBlue’s growing stable of interline partners . The New York-based carrier now has more than two dozen interline deals, including partners ranging from Cathay Pacific and South African Airways to Cape Air and Liat. As for Transaero, it flies to three destinations in the U.S. (New York, Los Angeles and Miami) and one in Canada (Toronto). The airline also has cemented recent interline deals with two other North American carriers: San Francisco-based Virgin America and Canadian low-cost carrier WestJet. Elsewhere, Pleshakova noted another Transaero partnership that allows for connections between the United States and Russia.

A quiz. Everything that happened last summer and everything that happens today depends on Putin, Navalny said. All the prosecutors, all the lawyers, all the judges are just extras here. In July, a lower court handed down an embezzlement conviction to the outspoken lawyer who rose to prominence during large-scale street protests against President Vladimir Putin in 2011 and 2012. He was released the next day pending the outcome of his appeal. Some political observers felt jailing Navalny could empower the opposition and make him into a martyr, reports Russias official RIA Novosti news agency. In the interim, Navalny ran in the high profile Moscow mayoral race where he won a solid and some say legitimizing 27 percent of the vote against a Putin-allied incumbent. His campaign touched on widespread corruption under President Putin and anti-migrant sentiments , reports Agence France-Presse. Since the court today did not overturn Mr. Navalnys guilty verdict, he is unable to run for public office until his suspended sentence is fulfilled. He has expressed interest in running for president in 2018. The suspension of the sentence Wednesday suggested a willingness of the Kremlin to accept the trade-off in greater legitimacy for the political system here in exchange for tolerating Mr. Navalnys often stinging criticism of Mr. Putin, reports The New York Times.

Russia says Iran nuclear talks were ‘quite promising’

Credit: Reuters/Fabrice Coffrini/Pool MOSCOW | Thu Oct 17, 2013 1:29pm EDT MOSCOW (Reuters) – International talks this week on Iran’s nuclear program were “quite promising” and Tehran’s new proposals could produce progress toward ending the standoff between global powers and the Islamic state, Russia said on Thursday. “I would not understate the importance of this round,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said of Iran’s talks in Geneva on Tuesday and Wednesday with Russia, the United States, China, Britain, France and Germany. “In our view, although it was very tough, it was quite, quite promising,” Lukashevich said at a weekly briefing. Iran’s new proposals “could move the negotiating process forward, and are evidence of the Iranian side’s intention to … resolve the issues that are of concern to the six powers,” he said. He gave no details of the proposals. Lukashevich sounded more upbeat than Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, the Russian negotiator at the talks in Geneva, who said on Wednesday that the sides were far apart and there was no guarantee of further progress. Russia, which built Iran’s first nuclear power plant and sells Iran weapons, has in the past been more positive than the West about Iran’s attitude toward the negotiations and less suspicious that it could be seeking nuclear weapons capability. The United States on Wednesday described two days of nuclear negotiations with Iran as the most serious and candid to date after Western diplomats said Tehran hinted it was ready to scale back sensitive atomic activities to secure urgent sanctions relief. (Reporting by Alexei Anishchuk; Writing by Steve Gutterman; Editing by Alissa de Carbonnel and Patrick Graham)

Brazil to ask Russia for permission to question Edward Snowden

The award ceremony was attended by three previous recipients. (AP Photo)The Associated Press In this image made from video released by WikiLeaks on Friday, Oct. 11, 2013, former National Security Agency systems analyst Edward Snowden speaks during a presentation ceremony for the Sam Adams Award in Moscow, Russia. Snowden was awarded the Sam Adams Award, according to videos released by the organization WikiLeaks. The award ceremony was attended by three previous recipients. (AP Photo)The Associated Press In this image made from video released by WikiLeaks on Friday, Oct. 11, 2013, former National Security Agency systems analyst Edward Snowden smiles during a presentation ceremony for the Sam Adams Award in Moscow, Russia. Snowden was awarded the Sam Adams Award, according to videos released by the organization WikiLeaks. The award ceremony was attended by three previous recipients. Snowden, who is charged by a U.S. court with violating the Espionage Act for disclosing the classified NSA programs, has been granted asylum in Russia. (AP Photo)The Associated Press Next Slide Previous Slide BRASILIA, Brazil Brazil’s Federal Police and a Senate investigative panel said Tuesday they want to question National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden to learn more about the spying program that targeted Latin America’s biggest country. According to information leaked by Snowden, President Dilma Rousseff’s communications with aides were intercepted, the computer network of state-run oil company Petrobras was hacked and data on billions of emails and telephone calls flowing through Brazil were monitored by the NSA. “For our investigation, questioning Snowden is a top priority,” said Jose Alberto Freitas, the head of the intelligence sector of Brazil’s Federal Police, before a Senate committee investigating the NSA spy program.