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In an echo of the Cold War, the Nobel Peace Prize goes to rights activists of Ukraine, Russia and Belarus By Reuters

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© Reuters. REUTERS/Marina Serebriakova

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Written by Nora Polley and Goladis Fuchs

OSLO (Reuters) – Jailed Belarusian activist Alice Bialiatsky, Russian rights group Memorial and Ukraine’s Center for Civil Liberties won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday amid a war in their region that is Europe’s worst since World War Two.

The prize, the first peace prize since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, has echoes of the Cold War era, when prominent Soviet dissidents such as Andrei Sakharov and Alexander Solzhenitsyn won the Nobel Peace or Literature Prize.

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Many will view the award as an indictment of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who was celebrating his 70th birthday on Friday, and of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, making it one of the most politically controversial awards in decades.

“We believe it is a war caused by an authoritarian regime committing an act of aggression,” the head of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Berit Reiss-Andersen, told Reuters after the announcement.

She said the committee wanted to honor “three outstanding heroes in human rights, democracy and peaceful coexistence.”

“It’s not one person, one organization, or one quick fix,” she said in an interview. “It is the united efforts of what we call civil society that can stand up to authoritarian states and/or human rights abuses.”

Belarus has called for Bialiatsky’s release from prison and said the award was not aimed at Putin.

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repression

Belarusian security police in July last year arrested Bialyatsky, 60, and others in a new crackdown on Lukashenko’s opponents.

The authorities moved to shut down non-state media and human rights groups after mass protests last August against presidential elections that the opposition said were rigged.

“The (Nobel) committee is sending a message that political freedoms, human rights and an active civil society are part of peace,” Dan Smith, head of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, told Reuters.

He said the award would raise Pialyatsky’s morale and strengthen the hand of the Center for Civil Liberties, an independent Ukrainian human rights organization, also focused on fighting corruption.

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“Although the memorial is closed in Russia, it is still based on the idea that it is right to criticize authority and that facts and history matter,” Smith added.

Bialiatsky’s wife told Reuters he may not even know the news that she tried to break into a prison in Belarus by telegram.

Interactions

In Geneva, the Russian ambassador to the United Nations said Moscow was not concerned about the award. “We don’t care about this,” Gennady Gatilov told Reuters.

In Belarus, the award was not reported by state media.

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Founded in 1989 to assist victims of political oppression during the Soviet Union and their relatives, it campaigns commemorating democracy and civil rights in Russia and the former Soviet republics. One of its founders and first leader was Sakharov, winner of the 1975 Nobel Peace Prize.

Memorial, Russia’s best-known human rights organization, was ordered to be dissolved last December for violating a law requiring some civil society groups to register as foreign agents, culminating in crackdowns against Kremlin critics not seen since the Soviet Union. days.

Memorial board member Oleg Orlov called the award “moral support,” but when asked by reporters if it would help protect his organization or its work, he said, “I’m not afraid of it.”

Speaking after a court hearing in Moscow to decide whether the Memorial archive should be handed over to the state, Orlov said: “When a country crushes human rights, that country becomes a threat to the world.”

“We continue our work in defense of human rights,” he added. “It didn’t stop, it keeps going.”

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The Memorial is the second in a row for a Russian person or organisation, after last year’s award went to journalist Dmitriy Muratov and to Maria Ressa of the Philippines.

The executive director of the Ukraine Center for Civil Liberties, Oleksandra Romantsova, said winning the award was amazing.

“It’s great, thanks,” she told the prize committee’s secretary, Olaf Njoelstad, during a phone call filmed and broadcast on Norwegian TV.

The group also wrote on Twitter how proud they are.

Arrest

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Exiled opposition politician Svyatlana Tsykhanuskaya told Reuters the Bialyatsky grant could help draw attention to some 1,350 political prisoners in Belarus.

“I’m really proud to see Alice Bialiatsky winning,” she said. “(He) throughout his life has protected human rights in our country.

“He is imprisoned for the second time, and it shows how the regime constantly persecutes those who fight for human rights in Belarus.”

When Lukashenko’s security forces cracked down after the 2020 election, Bialiatsky, founder of the civil rights group Viasna, chose to stay in the country despite the high risk of arrest.

He was eventually arrested in July last year and charged with tax evasion, to which authorities recently added a new charge of illegal money transfers.

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He is in prison awaiting trial, and faces up to 12 years in prison if convicted. He was previously imprisoned from 2011 to 2014.

He is the fourth person to win the Nobel Peace Prize while in detention, after German Karl von Ossetsky in 1935, China’s Liu Xiaobo in 2010, and Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar, who was under house arrest in 1991.

The award will be presented in Oslo on December 10.

(This story has been rewritten to remove the distortion in paragraph 1).

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MicroStrategy is at its lowest level since 2020 after the sales were revealed

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(Bloomberg) — Shares of MicroStrategy touched their lowest level since August 2020 after the enterprise software company, which in recent years has been known as the largest buyer of bitcoin, revealed its first sale of the token.

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The stock fell 1.1 percent to $136.63 on Thursday, down 75 percent this year. Bitcoin rose less than 1% to around $16,590 and is believed to have fallen 64% since the start of the year.

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In a filing on Wednesday, MicroStrategy said it acquired approximately 2,395 Bitcoin between the beginning of November and December 21 through its subsidiary MacroStrategy, and paid out approximately $42.8 million in cash. It then sold 704 of the tokens on Dec. 22 for a total of about $11.8 million, citing tax purposes, before buying another 810 of them two days later.

Matt Malley, chief market strategist for Miller Tabak + Co. Step down as CEO. This news means they don’t seem to want to do that anytime soon.”

Overall, MicroStrategy held about 132,500 bitcoins worth over $4 billion USD as of December 27th. The company paid an average purchase price of $30,397 per bitcoin.

“Given MicroStrategy’s $2.4 billion in leverage, we believe the company may have a lot of leverage over Bitcoin, and may face some liquidity risk,” Jefferies analyst Brent Thiel wrote in a note on Wednesday. Thill has an “underperform” rating on the stock and a price target of $110.

Over the years of the pandemic, MicroStrategy has become well known for its Bitcoin takeovers, largely led by Saylor. Earlier this year, Saylor stepped down from that role and now serves as CEO at the company and continues to lead its bitcoin strategy.

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MicroStrategy was trading around $120 before Saylor first announced the company’s Bitcoin purchases in 2020. The stock reached an all-time high of $1,315 in February 2021.

(Updates to include the stock’s closing price in the second paragraph.)

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Bankman-Fried May File Petition in New York Federal Court Next Week Before Judge Louis Kaplan By Cointelegraph

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Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried is set to appear in court on the afternoon of January 3 to enter a lawsuit over two counts of wire fraud and six counts of conspiracy against him related to the collapse of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, according to Reuters. mentioned on December 28, citing court records. Bankman-Fried will appear before District Judge Lewis Kaplan in Manhattan.

Judge Kaplan was appointed to hear the case on December 27 after the original judge in the case, Ronnie Abrams, Resigned herself because of connections between FTX and the law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell, where her husband is a partner. The company provided advisory services to FTX in 2021.