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Catholic Churches of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia #wingnut rferl.org

The Catholic Churches of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia, despite widespread condemnation, are planning to hold a public mass on May 16 in Sarajevo for Croatia's pro-Nazi collaborators and civilians killed by communist partisans at the end of World War II.

The commemoration, usually held every May near the southern Austrian town of Bleiburg, was canceled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Bosnian and Croatian churches have stepped in and are organizing the event under the auspices of the Croatian parliament, which in 2016 reintroduced state sponsorship of the commemoration after having revoked it in 2012 amid criticism that it was rehabilitating the Nazi-allied Ustasha regime.

Sarajevo Archbishop Vinko Puljic is due to hold the mass in the cathedral of the Bosnian capital.

All three members of Bosnia's tripartite presidency, along with most political parties and nongovernmental organizations, as well as the Serbian Orthodox Church, Jewish leaders, and the U.S. and Israeli embassies have condemned the event.


The war-time Independent State of Croatia (NDH) controlled by the Nazi-backed Ustasha included Bosnia and parts of Serbia. The Ustasha persecuted and killed hundreds of thousands of Serbs, Jews, and anti-Nazi Croatians.

At the end of the war, the Ustasha, accompanied by civilians and Slovenian and Serbian collaborators, fled towards Austria, but British forces there refused their surrender.

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Russian activists #conspiracy rferl.org

[Blue Whale is a "game" on Russian social media, where participants are encouraged to perform certain tasks, the final one being suicide. While it appears to be a real phenomenon, it also has proven fodder for conspiracy theorists who exaggerate its scope and speculate about its origins.]

At a hearing on February 16 of Russia's Public Chamber to discuss proposed legislation increasing punishments for inciting suicide, members heard allegations that Blue Whale had been created by "Ukrainian nationalists" as "a professionally prepared campaign that has caught up at least 2 million youths," according to a report of the meeting in the daily Kommersant.

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Yelena Mizulina #fundie rferl.org

The Russian lawmaker responsible for the country's notorious "gay propaganda" law has proposed new legislation that would decriminalize domestic violence.

Current Russian law prescribes prison sentences of up to two years or a fine of up to 40,000 rubles ($600) for people found guilty of spousal or child abuse.

But Yelena Mizulina, a member of the upper house of parliament, called those punishments unacceptable, and called for changing "these absurd positions."

Russian news media said her proposed amendments to the Criminal Code would turn domestic violence into a misdemeanor, administrative offense.

The "gay propaganda" measure Mizulina helped push into law in 2013 prohibits the distribution of "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relationships."

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RadioFreeEurope – RadioLiberty #fundie rferl.org

September 14, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- Since the creation of the Islamic republic in Iran in 1979, the acceptability of dog ownership has been debated by the authorities.

Iranian officials say that according to Islam, dogs are considered to be dirty animals, and people who own dogs are viewed as being under Western influence. Some conservative clerics have denounced dog ownership as "morally depraved" and say it should be banned.

Friday prayer leader Hojatoleslam Gholamreza Hassani, who is known for his hard-line stances, was quoted a few years ago as saying that all dog owners and their dogs should be arrested.

In the past, dog owners have received warnings or were forced to pay fines for having a pet dog. Despite such harassment, dog ownership has increased over the years, especially among young people in Tehran.

One of them is 23-year-old Banafshe, whose dog was recently detained in Tehran for 48 hours and then released on bail. Banafshe says she was walking her young puppy, Jessica, when Iranian police snatched the dog and took her to a dog "jail." The dog's crime was "walking in public."