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Russia convicts the spokesperson for Facebook owner Meta in a swift trial in absentia

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Russia convicts the spokesperson for Facebook owner Meta in a swift trial in absentia
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News

Russia convicts the spokesperson for Facebook owner Meta in a swift trial in absentia

2024-04-23 02:26 Last Updated At:02:30

A court in Russia on Monday convicted the spokesperson of U.S. technology company Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram, of justifying terrorism and sentenced him to six years in prison in a swift trial in absentia, Russia's independent news site Mediazona reported.

According to the outlet, the charges against Meta communications director Andy Stone stem from his remarks in 2022 following Moscow’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24 that year. Stone, who is based in the United States, announced temporary changes to Meta’s hate speech policy to allow for “forms of political expression that would normally violate (its) rules, like violent speech such as ‘death to the Russian invaders.’”

In the same statement, Stone added that “credible calls for violence against Russian civilians” would remain banned. The Russian authorities opened a criminal case implicating Stone and other unidentified Meta employees nonetheless, describing the statement as “illegal calls to violence and killings of Russian citizens.”

The authorities also outlawed Meta as an extremist organization and blocked Facebook and Instagram in Russia. Both platforms — as well as X, formerly known as Twitter, which has also been blocked — were popular with Russians before the invasion and the subsequent crackdown on independent media and other forms of critical speech. However, they are now only accessible via VPN.

Mediazona reported that Stone was initially charged with calling for terrorist activity, public calls for extremist activity and publicly justifying terrorism, but the first two charges were dropped in the final version of the indictment. The trial, in which Stone was represented by a government-appointed lawyer, began on Friday and concluded on Monday after only two hearings. Stone was sentenced to six years in a penal colony and barred from administering websites for four more years.

Meta declined to comment on the verdict.

In April 2022, Russia also formally barred Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg from entering the country.

Russia convicts the spokesperson for Facebook owner Meta in a swift trial in absentia

Russia convicts the spokesperson for Facebook owner Meta in a swift trial in absentia

Russia convicts the spokesperson for Facebook owner Meta in a swift trial in absentia

Russia convicts the spokesperson for Facebook owner Meta in a swift trial in absentia

FILE - Social media applications are displayed on an iPhone, March 13, 2019, in New York. An independent Russian news site has reported that a court in Russia convicted the spokesman of U.S. technology company Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram, of justifying terrorism and sentenced him to six years in prison in absentia. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane, File)

FILE - Social media applications are displayed on an iPhone, March 13, 2019, in New York. An independent Russian news site has reported that a court in Russia convicted the spokesman of U.S. technology company Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram, of justifying terrorism and sentenced him to six years in prison in absentia. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane, File)

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Ranger Suárez improves to 9-0, Harper homers in Phillies' 5-2 win over Rangers

2024-05-22 09:27 Last Updated At:09:31

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Ranger Suárez stuck out 10 over seven innings and improved to 9-0 to lead the Philadelphia Phillies to their MLB-best 35th win, a 5-2 victory over the defending World Series champion Texas Rangers on Tuesday night.

Bryce Harper hit his 11th homer of the season to help the Phillies win for the ninth time in 11 games and continue one of the best starts in franchise history.

This season, no pitcher in baseball has been better than Suárez.

The 28-year-old lefty walked off to a standing ovation in the seventh after he caught Leody Taveras looking on a 91.6 mph sinker to end the inning. Suárez took a no-decision in his first start of the season before he reeled of wins in nine straight starts.

José Alvarado worked a scoreless ninth for his ninth save.

Ranger bested the Rangers, and continued his reign as Philadelphia's top pitcher this season — no small feat for a rotation that already boasts Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler. Suárez walked two, gave up a run and lowered his ERA to 1.36 before he yielded to Jeff Hoffman in the eighth inning.

Corey Seager hit a solo shot off Hoffman in the eighth to make it 3-2.

Hoffman got only two outs before Matt Strahm retired Nathaniel Lowe on a sharp line drive to left field with two runners on to end the inning.

This three-game series comes oh-so-close to serving as a World Series rematch. The Rangers needed only five games to beat Arizona and win the franchise's first World Series — after Arizona won Games 6 and 7 in Philadelphia to rally and knock out the Phillies in the NL Championship Series.

Suárez fell into a rare early deficit after he gave up Marcus Semien's RBI single to left in the third.

The Phillies went ahead 2-1 off Jon Gray (2-2) on Kyle Schwarber's run-scoring single in the third and Alec Bohm's RBI single in the fourth. Harper connected off Rangers reliever Jacob Latz in the sixth for a 3-1 lead.

Bohm knocked in his NL-best 44th RBI on a double in the eighth and Bryson Stott followed with a sacrifice fly for a 5-2 lead.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Phillies shortstop Trea Turner took batting practice as part of his recovery from a left hamstring injury. Turner was hitting .343 with two homers, 10 doubles, nine RBIs and 10 stolen bases before he was hurt earlier this month.

UP NEXT

The Phillies send RHP Taijuan Walker (3-0, 4.91 ERA) to the mound in the second game of a three-game series. The Rangers did not name a starter.

AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

Philadelphia Phillies' Bryce Harper, center, reacts after hitting a home run against Texas Rangers pitcher Jacob Latz during the sixth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Philadelphia Phillies' Bryce Harper, center, reacts after hitting a home run against Texas Rangers pitcher Jacob Latz during the sixth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Texas Rangers left fielder Ezequiel Duran catches a fly out by Philadelphia Phillies' Nick Castellanos during the fourth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Texas Rangers left fielder Ezequiel Duran catches a fly out by Philadelphia Phillies' Nick Castellanos during the fourth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Philadelphia Phillies' Alec Bohm hits a run-scoring single against Texas Rangers pitcher Jon Gray during the fourth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Philadelphia Phillies' Alec Bohm hits a run-scoring single against Texas Rangers pitcher Jon Gray during the fourth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Philadelphia Phillies' J.T. Realmuto, right, reacts after striking out against Texas Rangers pitcher Jon Gray during the third inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Philadelphia Phillies' J.T. Realmuto, right, reacts after striking out against Texas Rangers pitcher Jon Gray during the third inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Philadelphia Phillies' Kyle Schwarber follows through after hitting a run-scoring single against Texas Rangers pitcher Jon Gray during the third inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Philadelphia Phillies' Kyle Schwarber follows through after hitting a run-scoring single against Texas Rangers pitcher Jon Gray during the third inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Philadelphia Phillies' Brandon Marsh, left, is tagged out by Texas Rangers catcher Jonah Heim after trying to score on a single by J.T. Realmuto during the fifth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Philadelphia Phillies' Brandon Marsh, left, is tagged out by Texas Rangers catcher Jonah Heim after trying to score on a single by J.T. Realmuto during the fifth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Philadelphia Phillies' Brandon Marsh, left, is tagged out by Texas Rangers catcher Jonah Heim after trying to score on a single by J.T. Realmuto during the fifth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Philadelphia Phillies' Brandon Marsh, left, is tagged out by Texas Rangers catcher Jonah Heim after trying to score on a single by J.T. Realmuto during the fifth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Philadelphia Phillies' Bryce Harper watches after hitting a home run against Texas Rangers pitcher Jacob Latz during the sixth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Philadelphia Phillies' Bryce Harper watches after hitting a home run against Texas Rangers pitcher Jacob Latz during the sixth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Philadelphia Phillies' Bryce Harper, right, rounds the bases past Texas Rangers third baseman Josh Smith after hitting a home run against pitcher Jacob Latz during the sixth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Philadelphia Phillies' Bryce Harper, right, rounds the bases past Texas Rangers third baseman Josh Smith after hitting a home run against pitcher Jacob Latz during the sixth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Philadelphia Phillies' Bryce Harper, right, reacts past Texas Rangers catcher Jonah Heim after hitting a home run against pitcher Jacob Latz during the sixth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Philadelphia Phillies' Bryce Harper, right, reacts past Texas Rangers catcher Jonah Heim after hitting a home run against pitcher Jacob Latz during the sixth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

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