Saturday, December 21, 2013

Russian Amnesty

The news is out that the two jailed members of the punk group Pussy Riot should be released from jail in the coming days, and the Greenpeace "Arctic 30" could be home by Christmas (hopefully), after a wide-ranging amnesty law was approved by Vladimir Putin and passed by the Duma, Russia’s parliament (the vote was 446-0 in favor of the bill) on Wednesday. It was timed to coincide with the 20th anniversary of Russia's constitution. It mainly concerns first-time offenders, minors and women with small children. 

The Pussy Riot pair – namely Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina – are serving a two-year sentence for hooliganism motivated by religious hatred, while the Arctic 30 activists – who were arrested aboard the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise in September – are charged with hooliganism and are currently on bail awaiting trial in St Petersburg. 

I had mentioned that I was at a MAS event. On that same day, i.e. Thursday, a band of Sunway University Toastmasters were at another Toastmasters meeting that was organized by Crystal Toastmasters. And for just one evening, the five Sun-U Toastmasters turned into Santa’s reindeer! 

Now that my exam invigilation duty is done with, it is time to mark the exam scripts. It can be a laborious, if not painstaking task where one has to decipher handwriting that are squiggles and scribbles and then quite often, I will go on a hunt for elusive course content, so that marks can be awarded. An unenviable job, that's for sure!

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