Giant protests in Russia after popular governor’s arrest Jul 12, 2020 0 262 12345 AFPMoscowAt least 10,000 protesters marched through the eastern Russian city of Khabarovsk Saturday in support of a popular local governor arrested this week for allegedly ordering several murders.A court in Moscow on Friday ruled to hold 50-year-old Sergei Furgal for two months pending trial for the murders of several businessmen 15 years ago.He vehemently denied any involvement.Furgal’s nationalist Liberal-Democratic Party has thrown its weight behind the governor, and on Saturday said “35,000 people came out to the streets” in Khabarovsk to protest his arrest.But the rally, estimated by various sources to have involved between 10,000 - 40,000, was clearly fuelled by broader anti-Kremlin sentiments too, with people chanting anti-Vladimir Putin slogans.Local news website DVHab.ru called the rally “the biggest in the history of Khabarovsk”, saying the crowds temporarily blocked traffic as they walked through the city of more than 600,000 inhabitants.Footage showed people shouting “Freedom!” “Moscow go away!” and “Sergei Furgal is our choice” as they walked.Some held posters saying “We are Sergei Furgal!” Others demanded that Furgal be flown back from Moscow and the charges investigated locally.The website put the number of protesters between 20,000-30,000, while police estimated about half that, and local supporters of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny claimed a figure of up to 40,000.Navalny and other Kremlin critics in Moscow cheered the turnout. “I’m proud of my compatriots who took to streets demanding fair elections, justice and their right to elect public officials,” he wrote.The demonstrations were unprecedented for almost any Russian city outside Moscow and Saint-Petersburg, and, though unauthorised, seemed peaceful and took place without police interference.Smaller rallies were held in other cities in Khabarovsk region, reports said.More than 40,000 people have now signed a petition demanding Furgal’s release. Pages 123 RELATED ARTICLES Hong Kong democrats hold primary despite security law warning Jul 12, 2020 0 348 Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan hospitalised with COVID-19 Jul 12, 2020 0 28 Several Afghan civilians killed, taken hostage in three provinces Jul 12, 2020 0 27 India tiger census sets record as world’s largest camera trap survey DPA New Delhi A tiger census carried out by India in 2018 has set a Guinness World Record as the world’s largest camera trap wildlife survey. Environment Minister Prakash Javdekar said it was “a great moment” in a Twitter .. Nearly 300 wildfires in Siberia amid record warm weather AFP Moscow Russia’s forest service said there were nearly 300 wildfires blazing across the vast country’s northern wilderness on Saturday, as it attempted to contain them with methods including explosives and cloud .. Teen surfer killed in Australian shark attack, second this month DPA Sydney A 15-year-old boy was killed in a suspected shark attack on Australia’s east coast on Saturday, police said. Witnesses told police that a shark attacked the teenager while he was surfing on Saturday afternoon .. Family of Franco-Irish teen welcome Malaysia inquest AFP London The family of a Franco-Irish teenager who went missing while on holiday in the Malaysian rainforest said Saturday they hoped an upcoming inquest into her death would finally provide answers. The unclothed ..