Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 9th 2014 Contents A37
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PARIS---The Louvre has al-
ways showcased nudes.
Never quite like this.
Paris police say they ar-
rested six women yesterday
for baring their breasts and
more outside the pointy-
pyramid entrance to the mu-
seum in front of dumb-
struck, applauding tourists.
They were released after
Protest organiser Safia
Lebdi says the demonstra-
tion was connected to Inter-
national Women's Day. She
says the women waved flags
of Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt
and Iran to highlight the
many legal and cultural re-
strictions imposed on
women in the Muslim world.
One of the naked protest-
ers, Amina Sboui, is a former
member of a Paris-based ex-
hibitionist group called
Femen renowned for its top-
Last year Sboui spent
more than two months im-
prisoned in Tunisia for al-
legedly desecrating a
cemetery by writing
"Femen" on a wall. (AP)
SEVASTOPOL, UKRAINE---Dozens of mil-
itary trucks transporting heavily-armed
soldiers rumbled over Crimea s rutted
roads yesterday as Russia reinforced its
armed presence on the disputed peninsula
in the Black Sea. Moscow s foreign minister
ruled out any dialogue with Ukraine s new
authorities, whom he dismissed as the
puppets of extremists.
The Russians have denied their armed
forces are active in Crimea, but an Associated
Press reporter trailed one military convoy
yesterday afternoon from 25 miles west of
Feodosia to a military airfield at Gvardeiskoe
north of Simferopol, over which a Russian
Some of the army green vehicles had
Russian license plates and numbers indi-
cating that they were from the Moscow
region. Some towed mobile kitchens and
what appeared to be mobile medical equip-
The strategic peninsula in southern
Ukraine has become the flashpoint in the
battle for Ukraine, where three months of
protests sparked by President Victor
Yanukovych's decision to ditch a significant
treaty with the 28-nation European Union
after strong pressure from Russia led to his
downfall. A majority of people in Crimea
identify with Russia, and Moscow's Black
Sea Fleet is based in Sevastopol, as is
Vladislav Seleznyov, a Crimean-based
spokesman for the Ukrainian armed forces,
told AP that witnesses had reported seeing
amphibious military ships unloading around
200 military vehicles in eastern Crimea on
Friday night after apparently having crossed
the Straits of Kerch, which separates Crimea
from Russian territory.
"Neither the equipment, nor the para-
troopers have insignia that identify them
as Russian, but we have no doubt as to their
allegiance," Seleznyov said.
The amphibious operation appeared to
be one of the largest movements of Russian
military forces since they appeared in Crimea
a week ago.
Seleznyov also said a convoy of more than
60 military trucks was spotted yesterday
heading from Feodosia toward Simferopol,
the regional capital. An AP reporter caught
up with the convoy and trailed it to a Russ-
The regional parliament in Crimea has
set a March 16 referendum on leaving
Ukraine to join Russia, and senior lawmakers
in Moscow said they would support the
move, ignoring sanctions threats and warn-
ings from President Barack Obama that the
vote would violate international law.
While the US and the EU urged Russia
to engage in dialogue with new Ukrainian
authorities, the Kremlin has refused to do
so, denouncing the change of power in
Ukraine as an "unconstitutional coup."
In the week since Russia seized control
of Crimea, Russian troops have been dis-
arming Ukrainian military bases here.
Some Ukrainian units, however, have
refused to give up.
Aksyonov has said pro-Russian forces
numbering more than 11,000 now control
all access to the region and have blockaded
all military bases that haven't yet surren-
On Friday evening, pro-Russia soldiers
tried to take over another Ukrainian base
in Sevastopol, resulting in a tense standoff
that lasted for several hours.
They turned off power, cut telephone
lines and demanded that about 100 Ukrain-
ian troops, who barricaded themselves into
one of the base buildings, surrender their
weapons and swear allegiance to Russia.
The invaders left around midnight. (AP)
A Malaysia Airlines flight carrying 227
passengers and 12 crew went missing off the
Vietnamese coast yesterday and was presumed to
There were no reports of bad weather and no
sign why the Boeing 777-200ER would have
vanished from radar screens about an hour after it
took off from Kuala Lumpur for Beijing. There were
no signs of sabotage nor claims of a terrorist
attack. However, in Europe, news reports and
officials said at least two people on board may
have been carrying stolen passports.
The Italian foreign ministry said in Rome that an
Italian was listed on the flight's manifest although
no national from the country was on board.
The passenger list provided by the airline
includes Luigi Maraldi, 37, an Italian citizen.
Newspaper Corriere Della Sera reported that
Maraldi's passport was stolen in Thailand last
In Vienna, the Austrian foreign ministry said an
Austrian listed among the passengers was safe
and had reported his passport stolen two years ago
while he was travelling in Thailand.
By late last night, there were no confirmed signs
of the plane or any wreckage, over 20 hours after it
went missing. Operations will continue through the
night, officials said. (Reuters)
GEORGETOWN, GUYANA---Researchers with a
Caribbean trade bloc have found that
decriminalising marijuana and exploring its use for
medicinal purposes could help boost the region's
Caricom leaders are expected to talk about the
preliminary report in a two-day summit that begins
tomorrow in the eastern Caribbean island of St
Experts said the Caribbean already has a built-in
competitive advantage with marijuana cultivation,
noting that Jamaican researchers have launched a
company that produces therapeutic and cosmetic
products derived from the plants.
"The region may wish therefore to explore any
commercial benefit from a potential multi-billion
industry including research and development and
also the production of medical marijuana products,"
the report stated.
Activists in Jamaica, St Lucia and other islands
have pushed to legalise marijuana use, with
Jamaica's health minister recently stating he was
"fully on board" with medical marijuana.
However, many in the Caribbean still consider it a
dangerous drug, and marijuana possession can lead
to jail time and stiff fines across the region.
Caricom spokesman Leonard Robertson said
leaders would examine the report next week, but
noted it is not a key issue on the agenda.
Marijuana has been decriminalised in other parts
of the Western Hemisphere. Uruguay recently
became the first country to approve nationwide pot
legalisation, while the US states of Washington
and Colorado passed recreational laws in 2012.
Twenty US states and the District of Columbia
already have medical marijuana laws. (AP)
Six women stage nude protest outside Louvre in Paris
Russia boosts military
presence in Crimea
Ukrainian riot police stand at the entrance of the regional administrative building during a pro-Russian rally in Donetsk, Ukraine,
yesterday. Pro-Russian activists continued to gather yesterday in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk, as Russia was reported to be
reinforcing its military presence in Crimea. AP PHOTO
Malaysian plane still
over false IDs
Caricom leaders to debate
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