BISHKEK -- Jailed human rights activist Azimjan Askarov has died in custody, according to Kyrgyz Ombudsman Tokon Mamytov and human rights activist Tolekan Ismailova.
The cause of death and whether it was related to the coronavirus pandemic has not yet been determined.
Askarov, a well-known ethnic Uzbek human rights activist sentenced to life in prison on charges rights groups described as trumped-up, had been transferred to a different detention center on July 24 amid reports about an abrupt worsening of his health.
Ismailova, the chairwoman of Kyrgyzstan's One World-Kyrgyzstan human rights organization, told RFE/RL on July 24 that an ambulance brought Askarov to a detention center in Bishkek that was better equipped to administer medical services.
Confirming the death, the Kyrgyz authorities said Askarov had been suffering from preexisting medical conditions and had recently refused to be treated with oxygen.
Rarely seen photographs of the David-versus-Goliath fight between Poland and communist Russia that raged on the outskirts of Warsaw 100 years ago
Polish troops march in Kyiv in May 1920.
After several skirmishes with Russian troops in the blurred border areas, Polish along with some nationalist Ukrainian fighters captured Kyiv in the spring of 1920. It was not a popular move. British Prime Minister David Lloyd George remarked, "The Poles are inclined to be arrogant and they will have to take care they dont get their heads punched."
Vladimir Lenin rallies a crowd of Red Army soldiers in Moscow before they head west to fight the Poles.
Polands seizure of Kyiv was a gift for Russia's new communist rulers. With victory in the Russian Civil War looking assured for Lenin's forces, the Bolsheviks were plotting the spread of the "revolutionary fires" of communism to Western Europe, particularly to Germany.
Left-wing militants in Germany's Ruhr region in the spring of 1920
Germany was in economic turmoil after World War I and, with the streets seething with unemployed soldiers and political extremists, a communist revolution there looked increasingly possible if Lenin's cavalry could clatter into German cities to help kick off a violent uprising.
The only thing standing between Russia and Germany was Poland.
Red Army soldiers reading a newspaper while assigned to the Polish Front.
Russian communist cavalry on its way to fight Polish forces
Although the opposing armies had various modern weapons at their disposal including lumbering, unreliable tanks, the swiftly moving battlefronts meant cavalry was key, and much of the fighting resembled wars from another era.
Polish volunteers stand armed with scythes
A Polish horseman described watching one tense face-off between Polish and Bolshevik Cossack cavalry:
"A colorfully-dressed rider galloped out of the swarm of Cossacks on a magnificent black horse and, waving his sword above his head shouted: 'Well, my lords, I'm Cossack Kuzma Kruchkov. Who'll take me on?'
"At this, a murmur ran along the row of officers standing in front of the first lancers. 'Raciecki! Yes, Raciecki.' Captain Raciecki (the best swordsman in the regiment) passed his sword to his left hand to make the sign of the cross with his right and then began to move towards Kruchkov at a walk. Kruchkov sprang towards him at a gallop. Raciecki parried the first cut, aimed at his head, himself slashing fiercely to the right and down, cutting Kruchkov open from the collar to the waist. At this, a howl went up among the Cossacks and the whole lot turned tail as our regiment began to charge."
Polish fighters kneel to pray.
Polish troops being transported to the front line in boxcars. The troops were "decorated with flowers by Polish boys and girls as they passed."
On August 6, Polish forces planned a final stand at Warsaw as vast dust clouds from the advancing communist horsemen were spotted smudging the horizon, and panic swept over the city.
Polish troops just east of Warsaw await the communists.
One American pilot who volunteered for the Poles was Merian C. Cooper (above). After Cooper's plane was shot down he spent several months in Red Army captivity before escaping. He would later return to the United States to co-direct and produce the 1933 hit movie King Kong. It is Cooper himself depicted piloting the plane that finishes off King Kong in the film's final action sequence.
Polish fighters get ready for battle.
A Bolshevik delegation arrives for talks with Polish representatives before the battle for Warsaw.
In case you were unaware, there have been serious issues between the two countries
Here are a few articles on the conflict.
It could get really bad
Armenians And Azerbaijanis Clash In Moscow
Azerbaijanis and Armenians have engaged in fights and violent rampages in Moscow following recent cross-border clashes between the two Caucasus nations.
Moscow police said on July 25 that they had arrested more than 30 people on charges of involvement in fights and disturbances.
On the same day, in St. Petersburg, police detained dozens in a bid to prevent another outbreak in clashes between members of the Azerbaijani and Armenian communities.
The spate of violent incidents apparently began when groups of Azerbaijanis beat up Armenians in Moscow early on July 24 and later attacked Armenian-owned stores.
Armenia Accuses Azerbaijan Of Launching Fresh Attack On Border
The Armenian military has accused Azerbaijani forces of again attacking one of its positions at a section of the border where deadly fighting raged last week.
Defense Ministry spokeswoman Shushan Stepanian said late on July 21 that an Azerbaijani commando unit suffered heavy losses while being repelled by Armenian troops deployed in the Tavush region. Some of the unit's soldiers were "left trapped" as a result of the failed incursion, she said, without elaborating.
"The Armenian side suffered no casualties," Stepanian wrote on Facebook.
Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry denied the claim.
Explainer: Armenian-Azerbaijani Violence A Deadly Reminder Of Stalled Peace Efforts
Three days of fighting on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border has alarmed the international community and stoked deep national resentments in both countries.
Sixteen people in all -- most of them soldiers but including one civilian -- died in artillery and other attacks between the neighboring foes between July 12 and July 14 along a remote northern section of their border.
It is the latest in a growing history of deadly episodes that stem from a dispute over the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.
It also is the worst episode of violence there in at least four years.
Their conflict erupted in 1988 amid ethnic Armenian demands for independence for the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan and unification with Armenia as Soviet authority in Moscow was collapsing.
Idle Threat? Azerbaijan's Hint At Missile Strike On Armenian Nuclear Plant Increases Tensions
Azerbaijan dramatically escalated tensions amid its border battle with Armenia this week with an implicit threat to bomb the region's only nuclear power plant and unleash "great catastrophe" on Armenians.
The July 16 warning drew outrage from Yerevan and deepened concerns that the worst violence in four years between Azerbaijan and Armenia, who are technically still in a war begun in the late 1980s, could quickly spiral out of control.
At least 16 Azerbaijanis and Armenians have died in the fighting near a northern section of their internationally recognized border that has included heavy artillery, tank, and drone attacks since it began on July 12.
Yerevan and Baku routinely threaten and accuse the other of provocations that have killed dozens of people in recent years, many of them civilians, with neither side willing to back down publicly for fear of being viewed as weak in the more than 30-year-long standoff.
Azerbaijani, Armenian Ambassadors Call On Compatriots In Russia To Keep Calm
The ambassadors of Armenia and Azerbaijan have called on their countrymen to avoid "provocations" and confrontations amid reports that ethnic Armenians and Azerbaijanis have clashed in Moscow and some other Russian cities in recent days amid an escalation of tensions between the two South Caucasus countries.
Vardan Toghanian and Polad Bulbuloglu issued separate statements calling on Armenians and Azerbaijanis residing in Russia not to violate laws of the Russian Federation.
The call came after Moscow police said more than 30 foreign nationals were arrested for taking part in huge fights and riots in the Russian capital and surrounding region on July 23-24.
There are many other stories on this conflict at
PRISTINA -- Kosovo has asked U.S. technology company Apple to correct its borders on its maps.
Kosovar Foreign Minister Meliza Haradinaj said on Twitter on July 26 that she had written a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook.
On those maps, Kosovo is shown as part of Serbia, something the minister said was in "in direct contradiction of the political and legal realities."
Kosovo, dominated by ethnic Albanians, declared independence from Serbia in 2008, a move recognized by some 100 countries -- but not by Serbia, ally Russia, and five EU countries.
2. Ukraine Accuses Separatists Of Breaching New Truce
KYIV -- Ukraine's military says Russia-backed separatists have breached a cease-fire in eastern Ukraine shortly after it went into effect -- a claim rejected by the separatists.
The cease-fire, which entered into force on July 27, had been agreed to last week by negotiators from Ukraine, Russia, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
However, separatists violated the new truce near the town of Uzhivka, south of their stronghold city of Donetsk, and around Novomykhaylivka, southwest of Donetsk, according to Ukraine's military.
It said no casualties were reported despite attacks with small arms, grenade launchers, and heavy machine guns.
3. Ryanair shares fall as COVID-19 brings 185m losses and 99% drop in passengers
Ryanair reported losses of 185 million on Monday as passenger numbers fell by 99% during the first few months of the coronavirus pandemic, a period the European budget airline described as the "most challenging" in its 35-year history.
In a bleak assessment, the carrier warned that "air travel in Europe is likely to remain depressed for at least the next two or three years" and said a second wave of COVID-19 cases across the continent in late autumn "is our biggest fear right now".
Ryanair shares fell by 4% on Monday amid a general slump in the travel and tourism industries over concerns about new restrictions to combat fresh coronavirus outbreaks in parts of Europe, particularly Spain.
An 85% reduction in costs was not enough to offset a plunge in revenue of 95% "as bookings came to an abrupt standstill" in the early stages of the crisis, Ryanair said. Even so, it describes its balance sheet as "one of the strongest in the industry".
4. Andrew Harper: Three teenagers guilty of manslaughter for dragging British policeman to his death
Three teenagers have been found guilty of manslaughter after dragging a British police officer to his death when he got caught on their vehicle.
The driver, 19-year-old Henry Long, was cleared of a murder charge on Friday but had earlier pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of PC Andrew Harper.
As the 28-year-old tried to arrest the teenagers, Long drove off at 42.5mph (68km/h), resulting in a tow rope on the back their Seat Toledo entangling the officer's legs and pulling him along with them.
The officer was dragged for more than a mile behind the car and was later found by his colleagues with his uniform stripped and unconscious.
5. Russian Journalist Whose Collarbone Broken By Police Fined
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia -- A Russian journalist whose collarbone was broken by a police officer was fined for failing to obey police as he reported during a national vote on a series of changes to the constitution, a charge he denies.
A court in St. Petersburg on July 27 fined Mediazona news website correspondent David Frenkel 500 rubles ($7) after finding him guilty of refusing to follow a police officer's instructions at a polling station on June 30.
Police said that during his detainment, in which an officer broke Frenkel's collarbone, the journalist "provoked a conflict situation" by resisting law enforcement officers, pushing them, using his feet and leaning against walls even though video presented at the hearing failed to show such a scene.
During the incident, Abramov stepped on Frenkel's leg and pulled his arm, trying "to prove" that the journalist was faking injury.
Meet the elderly ornithologist who scales the trees of the Belarusian wilderness to build nests for endangered birds of prey. (Photos by Vasily Fedosenko of Reuters, with text by RFE/RL's Amos Chapple)
This is Uladzimer Ivanouski, a Belarusian ornithologist who was born in Daghestan but moved to Belarus in 1972 after falling in love with the nature of its Vitsebsk region.
For more than four decades the 73-year-old has dedicated his life to the study of predatory birds, and risked his life scaling flimsy trees to build nests for them.
Ivanouski builds a nest with wire and branches atop a tree in the Belarusian wilderness. The former software engineer has built nearly 700 such nests, which he says are necessary since many birds of prey in Belarus lose their homes to logging.
Ivanouski says he chooses locations for nests by walking around, looking at the treetops, and asking himself, "If I were an eagle, where would I nest?"
Ivanouski checks on the nest of a spotted eagle. He told a Belarusian website he admired eagles because they are "powerful, proud, and free; how can you not love them?"
Sen. David Perdue of Georgia deleted a Facebook ad targeting his Jewish election opponent, Jon Ossoff, that appeared to have been altered to make Ossoffs nose bigger.
The ad called for donations to Perdue, a Republican, by claiming that Democrats are trying to buy Georgia. It uses black-and-white photos of Ossoff and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who is also Jewish, that have been Photoshopped to appear as if they were pulled from an old television set with poor reception.
But the Ossoff image, which was adapted from a 2017 Reuters photo of him, was also changed by having his nose lengthened and widened, even as other parts of his face stayed the same size and proportions, three graphic design experts told the Forward.
The Perdue campaign called the effect an accident and said they were removing the ad from the social network.
"An hour before Dr. Anthony S. Fauci threw the first pitch at the season opener between the New York Yankees and the Washington Nationals, President Trump stood on the briefing room stage at the White House and declared that he, too, had been invited to throw out his own opening pitch, the New York Times reports.
Said Trump: Randy Levine is a great friend of mine from the Yankees. And he asked me to throw out the first pitch, and I think Im doing that on Aug. 15 at Yankee Stadium.
There was one problem: Mr. Trump had not actually been invited on that day by the Yankees His announcement surprised both Yankees officials and the White House staff.
This is why you don't invite him to your funeral. He'll try to upstage your corpse
January 21: The first confirmed Covid-19 case in the US is reported in Washington state
January 22: While at Davos, Trump makes his first public comment on the coronavirus, "We have it totally under control. Its one person coming in from China, and we have it under control. Its going to be just fine."
January 24: Trump praises Chinas efforts and transparency and thanks Chinese President Xi Jinping for his response to the virus.
January 29: Trump receives a briefing on the coronavirus, and asserts that the US is on top of it 24/7.
Trumps tweet, "Just received a briefing on the Coronavirus in China from all of our GREAT agencies, who are also working closely with China. We will continue to monitor the ongoing developments. We have the best experts anywhere in the world, and they are on top of it 24/7!"
January 30: The WHO declares the coronavirus a global health emergency. Trump suggests that the coronavirus is under control in remarks at a manufacturing plant in Michigan
January 31: Trump suspends entry to the US for many but not all categories of people traveling from China. The Department of Health and Human Services declares the coronavirus a public health emergency.
February 4: Trump gives the annual State of the Union address and briefly mentions the US response to the coronavirus in his speech.
February 5: The Food and Drug Administration issues an emergency use authorization for a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) coronavirus test, clearing the way for it to be used in state labs.
February 6: The first death in the US from a confirmed case of Covid-19 is retroactively confirmed to have occurred in early February by the Santa Clara County medical examiner following an autopsy of the victim.
February 7: Trump again praises Xis response to the coronavirus.
February 15: The first death in Europe from a confirmed case of Covid-19 is reported in France.
February 23: Trump again claims that the coronavirus is under control
February 25: Trump requests $2.5 billion in coronavirus response funding from Congress for vaccine development, testing, PPE, and more.
February 26: The first instance of community spread in the US is confirmed by the CDC.
February 26: Trump appoints Pence to lead the coronavirus task force; during the same press conference, he again downplays the virus. This was the date that Trump made his famous, "when you have 15 people, and the 15 within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero, " comment
February 27: Trump predicts that the coronavirus will disappear like a miracle.
February 28: Trump refers to the coronavirus as the Democrats new hoax at a rally in South Carolina.
February 29: "We've taken the most aggressive actions to confront the coronavirus. They are the most aggressive taken by any country."
March 3: When asked about WHO data on the virus's death rate: "I think the 3.4% is really a false number... Personally, I think the number is way under 1%."
March 5: Trump suggests that closing the US to travel from China helped to keep the number of Covid-19 cases low.
March 6: At the CDC headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, Trump says that anybody that wants a test can get a test (not true. And he also comments that he would rather have infected people who were trapped on a cruise ship stay there to keep the number of confirmed US cases low.
March 7: "Very soon, we're going to come up [with a vaccine]."
March 9: Trump compares to covid to common flu, "Last year 37,000 Americans died from the common flu. Nothing is shut down, life and the economy go on... Think about that."
March 11: The WHO officially labels the coronavirus a pandemic.
Same day that he made his address from the Oval Office that coincides with the NBA suspending its season.
March 13: Trump declares a national emergency in response to the coronavirus
March 16: Trump announces 15 Days to Stop the Spread CDC guidelines, encouraging social distancing.
March 18: Trump officially invokes the Defense Production Act (DPA) in order to push domestic manufacturing industries to produce badly needed medical supplies.
March 19: Trump lie claiming that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine for treating Covid-19.
Also the same day Trump labeled the coronavirus the Chinese Virus.
March 20: Trump closes the US-Mexico border, saying
Trump hawks hydroxychloroquine, as a Covid-19 treatment at the White House Coronavirus Task Force daily briefing
March 22: Trump tweets, "WE CANNOT LET THE CURE BE WORSE THAN THE PROBLEM ITSELF. AT THE END OF THE 15 DAY PERIOD, WE WILL MAKE A DECISION AS TO WHICH WAY WE WANT TO GO!"
March 24: Trump says he wants Easter Sunday, April 12, as a potential reopening date.
March 26: The US hits 1,000 reported Covid-19 deaths.
March 27: Trump attacks General Motors CEO Mary Barra on Twitter over ventilator manufacturing amid a desperate shortage of the machines, and threatens to invoke P the Defense Production Act
Trump signs a $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief package
March 29: Trump extends CDC social distancing guidance through April 30
He also says he believes his administration will have done a very good job if the US avoids the worst-case 2.2 million deaths predicted by Londons Imperial College.
March 31: Trump drops his comparison to the flu, saying the coronavirus is vicious
April 1: President Donald Trump said Tuesday that the risk from coronavirus is emphatically worse than regular flu, Trump told a White House press conference that "a lot of people" had previously suggested the country should simply let the coronavirus take its course, just like the seasonal flu.
April 4: Trump again invokes the DPA to combat the hoarding of medical supplies
April 6: The US hits 10,000 reported Covid-19 deaths.
April 13: Trump claims to have the legal right to overrule governors shelter-in-place orders.
This is that day he claimed his authority is total
April 14: Trump announces plans to halt funding to the WHO
April 15: The US has 25,000 official Covid-19 deaths
April 17: He tweets, "LIBERATE MICHIGAN!"
He also goes after Obama and Biden over H1N1 and the ACA website
April 22: Trump announces that he opposes Georgia reopening. This after insisting they open
April 23: Trump signs an executive order blocking green cards for most categories of prospective immigrants
It is here he floats bleach as a potential coronavirus treatment
April 24: The US hits 50,000 reported Covid-19 deaths.
Jared Kushner said the administration's response was a "great success story." At that time deaths were 58,000.
April 28: The US hits 1 million confirmed Covid-19 cases.
April 30: The Trump administration allows federal Stay at Home guidelines to expire.
Open Michigan rally to protest Gov Whitmer extending the stay at home order
May 3: Trump again revises his estimate on the number of Covid-19 deaths the US will suffer and predicts 85,000 to 100,000 fatalities
Again, he blames China
May 7: The US hits 75,000 reported Covid-19 deaths. The Trump administration not to follow the CDC guidelines on re-opening
May 8: Trump claims that the US is the world leader in responding to the coronavirus.
May 9: Many states have yet to meet the minimum requirements for re-opening based on the White Houses guidelines.
Trump pushes for the reopening of nonessential businesses, using the slogan TRANSITION TO GREATNESS!
May 10: Trump again criticizes Obama 's response to the 2009 swine flu pandemic' He calls it a disaster.
May 11: Trump says, "We have met the moment and we have prevailed," Trump says at the White House, as COVID-19 deaths go over 80,000. "
May 18: Trump tells reporters that he is taking hydroxychloroquine
May 19: Trump blasts a study that came to the conclusion that there is no benefit to coronavirus patients who were treated with the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine. He calls it a phony study
May 21: Trump claims falsely that he was so early. I was earlier than anybody thought in response to a Columbia University study suggesting that 36,000 lives could have been saved
From the q&a with reporters:
REPORTER: A new Columbia study says 36,000 lives would've been saved if social distancing measures would've been recommended just one week earlier. Do you believe that?
TRUMP: "I was so early. I was earlier than anybody thought... Columbia is an institution that is very liberal"
May 27: The US hits 100,000 reported Covid-19 deaths.
June 1: Trump has police disperse peaceful protesters near a church with tear gas, so he can have his picture taken
June 2: It is reported that the Trump administration told Dr Fauci not to do any more TV interviews.
June 2: It is reported that a group tracking the cell phones of those attending the Open Michigan rallies coincides with spikes in western and northwestern Michigan where attendees returned
June 14: The president and the vice president of the United States are seeking to assure the public that the coronavirus pandemic has passed its peak.
June 15: Trump tweets
Our testing is so much bigger and more advanced than any other country (we have done a great job on this!) that it shows more cases. Without testing, or weak testing, we would be showing almost no cases. Testing is a double edged sword - Makes us look bad, but good to have!!!
June 20: Trump holds his Oklahoma rally
At the rally, Trump says he told administration officials to slow down Covid-19 testing because of the rising number of cases in the US.
July 4: Trump claims that 99% of coronavirus cases are harmless
July 6: White House chief of staff Mark Meadows on Monday backed President Donald Trump's claim that "99%" of coronavirus cases are "totally harmless."
He added, "Trump was "right" to downplay the risks associated with the virus."
July 8: Health officials in Tulsa, Oklahoma say the Trump rally was likely where the spike in cases came from.
July 11: Dr Fauci confirms that on June 2nd the administration told him not to do any more TV interviews
July 13: President Trump questions the expertise of his top public health officials. He retweets a conspiracy theory from former game show host Chuck Woolery, who suggested that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the "Media, Democrats [and] our Doctors" are lying about COVID-19 in an effort to hurt Trump in November's general election.
July 14: In response to a reporters question:
Well, you know that we have one of the lowest mortality rates anywhere. If you know, Biden and [former President Barack] Obama stopped their testing; they just stopped it. You probably know that. I'm sure you don't want to report it. But they stopped testing. Right in the middle, they just went, "No more testing," and on a much lesser problem than the problem that we have, obviously with respect to -- this is the worst thing that's happened since probably 1917. This is a very bad -- all over the world. It's 188 countries right now.
Detroit Free Press
ET - Economic Times
In some ways it's more effective than a 2_D map because you see the spikes better
It's weakness is, it's hard to tell specifically where
Though, it is spiking all over the South and eastern seaboard
I find it interesting (and this where the weakness comes in) that there appears to be a spike in either s.e. Washington state or n.e. Oregon or both
I was reading an article about the MoCA that-Trump took and passed with a 30/30. The MoCA is designed to assess for early stages of Dementia and/or Alzheimer's -- Nothing more.
It is designed to be easy. It is not an IQ test or a full telling of whether someone has cognitive issues or not.
Yes, my elementary aged children could do it and score 30. Because they don't have cognitive issues.
The test covers the following mental abilities: attention and concentration, executive functions, memory, language, visuoconstructional skills, conceptual thinking, calculations and orientation"
For example, the drawing of the clock falls under the category of 'visual spatial/executive'. Date and year are 'orientation'. The camel, elephant and lion are 'naming'.
The MoCA is often administered when there are issues about changes to a will while the person is still alive (see Brooke Astor).
The problem with trump's explanation is that he is trying to make it sound like an IQ test or an entrance exam to Oxford University. You cannot score above 30. 27 is considered, not likely suffering from cognitive issues. But even then, whether you score 27, 19, 30 or 5, it doesn't mean you are or aren't suffering from complete cognitive decline.
You do not get extra points for putting anything in order; you get a score and that's it.
He got 30 points because he could correctly draw a clock, draw a cube, identify an animal, remember 5 words and so on. According to the test, they score for cued and uncued recall.
His getting 30 is not some amazing event that almost no one has achieved. Depending on how you define the last five, by category or actual number, they are not difficult; they are about repeating numbers in a correct order forward and backward (forward is five numbers, backwards is three). Reading a list of letters and tapping your hand every time you say the letter A. Finding similarities with two objects. Repeating short sentences. And knowing the date, year, location.
It is not the great feat Trump makes it out to be in order to pass.
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