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Scottish independence: Voting under way in referendum #ScottishIndependence

by BBC News.
Voting got under way across Scotland at 07:00 on ThursdayVoting got under way across Scotland at 07:00 on Thursday.

People in Scotland are voting on whether the country should stay in the UK or become an independent nation.

Voters will answer “Yes” or “No” to the referendum question: “Should Scotland be an independent country?”

With 4,285,323 people – 97% of the electorate – registered to vote, it is expected to be the busiest day in Scottish electoral history.

Votes will be cast at 5,579 polling stations until 22:00 on Thursday. The result is expected on Friday morning.

Strict rules mean the BBC – in common with other broadcasters – is not allowed to report details of campaigning until after the polls close.

Voters formed a queue outside the polling place in Portobello, Edinburgh, before voting beganVoters formed a queue outside the polling place in Portobello, Edinburgh, before voting began.Voters queue up in West Glasgow to answer the question: Should Scotland be an independent country?Voters queue up in West Glasgow to answer the question: Should Scotland be an independent country?These voters in the south of Edinburgh were among the first to have their say on Scotland's future.These voters in the south of Edinburgh were among the first to have their say on Scotland’s future.

Once the polls have closed, ballot papers will be counted in each of Scotland’s 32 local authority areas.

These will include votes cast from the 789,024 postal vote applications, which was the largest volume of registration for postal votes ever in Scotland.

After votes have been tallied, the counting officer in each area will communicate the result to the chief counting officer Mary Pitcaithly in Edinburgh.

With her approval they will then make a declaration of the result.

Scotland's first minister Alex Salmond voted in the Aberdeenshire village of Strichen.Scotland’s first minister Alex Salmond voted in the Aberdeenshire village of Strichen.Former prime minister Gordon Brown cast his vote in North Queensferry.Former prime minister Gordon Brown cast his vote in North Queensferry.

Once the results from all 32 local authority areas are known, Ms Pitcaithly will declare the result of the referendum at the Royal Highland Centre outside Edinburgh.

Ms Pitcaithly has said she will announce the result at “breakfast time” on Friday.

The result is most likely to be between 06:30 and 07:30, according to Elections Scotland.

That is because the final Scottish declarations in the 2010 UK parliamentary elections and the 2011 Scottish parliamentary elections declaration were made at those times respectively.

However, running totals – which can be made from the first declaration onwards – may indicate a result earlier in the morning.

Local recounts
Guide to referendum nightThe bulk of these are expected to come in between 03:00 and 06:00.

Because the polling stations are expected to be so busy, counting officers have put measures in place to reduce the risk of queuing.

The remote nature of some Scottish regions also means bad weather could delay the receipt of ballot boxes at counting centres, in turn delaying the national result.

Helicopters and boats are being used to transport ballot boxes to counts in areas such as Argyll and Bute.

Elections Scotland said recounts will only be allowed at a local level on the basis of concerns about process, not the closeness of a result.

Keep up to date on Twitter via @BBCPolitics and @BBCScotlandNews.

BBC News.

It’s time to say goodbye Scotland, time to show the world that you are a strong and proud nation, The time for independance is Now!

#Ukraine: #MH17 crash: Rebels filmed amid wreckage

Dutch experts say Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 broke up in mid-air after being hit by “objects” that “pierced the plane at high velocity” in July.

Investigators relied on cockpit data, air traffic control and images for the new report, as the crash site in eastern Ukraine remains too dangerous to access amid fighting between government troops and rebels.

On Tuesday, footage from the crash site showed rebels roaming amongst the wreckage, as Nomia Iqbal reports.

BBC News.

Kremlin sending Donbas residents to Russian Far East #Russia #Ukraine #Siberia

Ukrainian refugees inside Russia are resisting attempts to be exiled to Siberia and Yakutia. The Kremlin proposed sending the refugees thousands of kilometres away into the harsh terrain of Russia’s far east, but many have refused.

The refugees crossed the border from the eastern Ukrainian cities of Donetsk and Luhansk to escape the war with Russia. Thousands ended up in the nearby Rostov oblast, which sits on the Black Sea. Some Ukrainians also fled into Russian-occupied Crimea, with many then put on a one-way flight to Magadan some 7,000 kilometres away.

Ukraine Today – Youtube Channel.

Russian Peace Activist Stages Dramatic Protest Against #Russia’s Policies on #Ukraine

By Anna Dolgov.
Kado Cornet walked barefoot down St. Petersburg's Nevsky Prospect.Kado Cornet walked barefoot down St. Petersburg’s Nevsky Prospect. Vyacheslav Vereshchagin / Grani.ru / YouTube.

A peace activist has staged an emotive protest against the Kremlin’s policies on Ukraine by wandering blindfolded through St. Petersburg with her hands stained blood-red.

The activist, who goes by pseudonym Kado Cornet, was captured in a YouTube video walking barefoot down St. Petersburg’s central Nevsky Prospect, clad in a red skirt, blue shirt and a white headscarf — the colors of the Russian flag.

Cornet also wore on her wrists the orange-and-black ribbons of St. George — a Russian symbol of military valor — and a blindfold over her eyes, while walking with her outstretched hands stained in red.

This is my Motherland. Blinded, insane, screaming in agony,” the activist said Saturday on her Facebook page. “It does not know where it is going, but it is sure that everyone should be afraid of its hands, which are stained in blood — others’ and its own.

Passersby stopped in their tracks to watch the young woman as she staggered forward, emitting screams, witnesses said.

This action made a most powerful impression on me,” Vadim Lurye from St. Petersburg said on his Facebook page. “Kado walked and screamed, and her scream could not be ignored. People received this action much more readily than any protest sign.

The action titled “Russia’s Scream” ended after Cornet collapsed near the renowned Yeliseyevsky food store, lying motionlessly on the pavement, according to social media accounts.

While some passersby expressed concerns that the young woman may have fallen ill, nobody appeared willing to approach her except a homeless man, the protester and witnesses reported.

“When Russia falls, it will turn out that nobody except a homeless drunk is able to come to its aid,” Cornet said via Facebook.

A police officer summoned to the scene called an ambulance, Lurye said, though the protester appeared to be in good health, saying later on her Facebook page that she planned to travel around the country and eastern Europe in the coming days.

The artistic action was received positively by a number of Facebook users.

One woman praised the “fragile young woman, who is stronger than a million healthy men who are quietly watching from the side or yapping support for the authorities.”

Brave girl, well done,” wrote another Facebook user.

The West has repeatedly accused the Kremlin of supplying arms to pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, leading to a conflict with government forces that has left thousands dead and many more displaced. The Kremlin has denied the charges.

But Cornet in her Facebook message was keen to underline that her protest was not just directed at those in power: “No one who has tried to turn a deaf ear to this scream will be able to wash off the blood,” she wrote.

The Moscow Times.

Amateur footage appears to show Russian army deep inside Ukraine #RussiaInvadesUkraine

Published on 3 Sep 2014

Is this the smoking gun the world has been waiting for? A video recording made by a trolleybus passenger shows a huge column of Russian tanks, fuel trucks and troops deep inside Ukraine, giving some of the strongest hard evidence yet that the Russian army launched a large-scale invasion of Ukraine.

For nearly three minutes, the trolleybus passes at least 13 Russian battle tanks, 42 Russian infantry fighting vehicles, 6 Russian armoured personnel carriers, 31 Russian troop carrying trucks, and some 15 Russian fuel trucks. It appears a full mechanized unit of Russia’s armed forces can be seen in the video.




Ukraine Today.