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Madonna hits out at Venezuela leader

Madonna. AP /Evan Agostini, File

US pop icon Madonna hit out at Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Tuesday, accusing his government of “fascism” over its handling of nationwide protests.

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‘Lesbian’ group Tatu involved in Sochi Olympics opening

A group of gay rights activists demonstrate in front of a restaurant in Paris, Wednesday Feb. 5, 2014, to protest against Russian policy over gay rights. Gay rights activists across the world are holding a day of protests against the Russian government, just two days before the Winter Olympics begin in the southern resort of Sochi. Signs read: No to anti-gay law. AP

The Russian female pop duo Tatu, known for their racy and sometimes lesbian-themed videos, are to be involved in the Sochi Olympics opening ceremony, organisers said Friday.

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Madonna to share stage with freed Pussy Riot members

Madonna. AP /Evan Agostini, File

Madonna will share a stage with the freed members of Russian punk band Pussy Riot at a concert in New York next month, the US pop star said.

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2 Pussy Riot members reunited after leaving prison

Member of Russian punk band Pussy Riot, Maria Alekhina, speaks to the media while leaving a train upon her arrival in Moscow, Russia, late Monday, Dec. 23, 2013. AP

Two members of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot have reunited after spending nearly two years in prison for their protest at Moscow’s main cathedral.

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Pussy Riot women vow to fight on after release

Feminist punk group Pussy Riot members, from left, Maria Alekhina, Yekaterina Samutsevich and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova sit in a glass cage at a court room in Moscow, Russia. Alekhina went on hunger strike Wednesday, May 22, 2013, in protest at not being allowed to attend her own parole hearing in Perm province. AP FILE PHOTO

The two jailed members of anti-Kremlin punk band Pussy Riot, whose imprisonment prompted a wave of global outrage, walked free on Monday and immediately vowed to fight injustice in Russian prisons.

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Miss Universe host slams Russia for ‘demonizing’ gays

Thomas Roberts. AFP FILE PHOTO

US television host Thomas Roberts, who is in Moscow to present Miss Universe contest and is openly gay, has condemned Russia’s homophobic legislation in what he called dark times for the country.

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Russian film braves law to tell gay love story

Demonstrators hug each other near the Russian embassy in Prague, Czech Rep., on Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013. About a hundred gay rights supporters protested Moscow’s policies on homosexuality. AP

A taboo-breaking Russian film tackling the topic of gay love may have earned critical plaudits but its makers fear few will ever see the movie given the crackdown on so-called “homosexual propaganda.”

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Nora wins in Russian fest

Bembol Roco, Lovi Poe and Nora Aunor lead the cast of “Thy Womb” Photo: Thy Womb official FB page

Nora Aunor won Best Actress for Brillante Ma. Mendoza’s “Thy Womb” at the 3rd Sakhalin International Film Festival held in Russia last week. It is Aunor’s fourth international honor for the role.

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French actor Depardieu hurt in Moscow road crash—report

Gerard Depardieu AFP FILE PHOTO

French movie star Gerard Depardieu was slightly injured in a traffic accident in central Moscow, where he is shooting scenes of his latest film, Russian media reported Tuesday.

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Russia wants Seagal to be face of weapons industry

U.S. actor Steven Seagal waits for a news conference of U.S. congressional delegation to Russia in the U.S. embassy in Moscow, Russia, Sunday June 2, 2013. AP

Russia is looking at Steven Seagal to be the face of its weapons industry as it guns for first place on the world arms market.

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US pianist Cliburn, whose music thawed Cold War, dies

This Sept. 21, 2004, file photo shows pianist Van Cliburn performing during at a concert dedicated to the memory of the victims of the recent Beslan school massacre in Moscow. Cliburn, the internationally celebrated pianist whose triumph at a 1958 Moscow competition helped thaw the Cold War and launched a spectacular career that made him the rare classical musician to enjoy rock star status, died early Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013, at his Fort Worth home following a battle with bone cancer. He was 78.  AP PHOTO/SERGEY PONOMAREV

US pianist Van Cliburn, who won a world competition in Moscow at the height of the Cold War and whose music transcended the decades-long standoff, died at age 78 on Wednesday, his foundation said.

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Pussy Riot case shows Putin weak—band member’s husband

Pussy Riot. AP FILE PHOTO

Pussy Riot icon Nadezhda Tolokonnikova is behind bars, but her husband is unbowed, saying the punk band’s controversial case has exposed the weaknesses in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s rule.

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