Anti-govt protests in eastern Russia enter fifth weekend Aug 09, 2020 0 632 12345 DPA / AFPMoscowProtests in the eastern Russian city of Khabarovsk over the detention of an ex-governor showed no signs of dying out as they entered their fifth week in a row, with thousands turning up.According to authorities, about 3,000 demonstrators marched through the centre of Khabarovsk city on Saturday with banners and flags.The protests are being held to demand the release of the former regional governor, Sergei Furgal, who is in custody in Moscow.However, the protests have begun to morph from demands for Furgal’s freedom to criticism of Moscow’s overreach and demands for Russian President Vladimir Putin to step down, one of the few examples of anti-Putin protests in the 20 years since he ascended to power.Furgal was detained and removed from office because he allegedly ordered two contract murders about 15 years ago. His supporters have denounced the accusations against Furgal as politically motivated.So far there have been few arrests during the authorised mass protests taking place thousands of kilometres away from Moscow.Observers believe that the Kremlin wants to sit out this wave of protests, fearing a crackdown may provoke protests in other regions.In recent weeks people in a number of Russian cities and towns took to the streets in support of Khabarovsk protesters but those rallies were not massive.Several Moscow-based activists have called on Russians to take to the streets across the country on August 15.Observers say that anger at the Kremlin is building over its handling of the coronavirus pandemic and falling incomes but it remains unclear if Russians across the country are ready to take to the streets en masse.In a statement, regional authorities claimed turnout at Khabarovsk rallies has been going down and said that just 2,800 people turned up in the city’s central square on Saturday. But witnesses and participants said that tens of thousands took part in a march across the city. RELATED ARTICLES Masks made mandatory in parts of Paris amid surge in COVID-19 cases Aug 09, 2020 0 680 Leading Belarus oppn candidate’s campaign manager detained Aug 09, 2020 0 623 French say rescued 33 migrants heading for England Aug 09, 2020 0 629 Sweltering France posts traffic jam record PARIS: France saw a record level of traffic jams on Saturday, with cars stuck in gridlock on roasting roads spanning 820 kilometres across a country suffering a brutal heatwave. France’s traffic authorities said the .. Italy extends COVID-19 restrictions, allows cruise ships to sail DPA Rome The Italian government has extended measures intended to stop the spread of coronavirus until September 7, according to a decree issued by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte’s cabinet on Friday night. Masks must .. Bodies of missing marines recovered off California WASHINGTON: The bodies of seven US marines and one soldier missing for more than a week have been recovered off the coast of California, the US Marine Corps said in a statement on Friday. The remains are to be handed over to .. Pompeo to sign contract boosting US military presence in Poland DPA Warsaw US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is due to sign a contract to boost US military presence in Poland by an additional 1,000 troops during his visit to Warsaw, sources close to the presidential office said .. Britain recalls 741,000 virus testing kits over safety fears DPA London The British regulatory authority responsible for medical products has ordered the recall of hundreds of thousands of coronavirus tests after they were found not to be safe for use. Up to 741,000 tests from the ..