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Three-Year Prison Term Of Jailed Opposition Leader In Azerbaijan Cut By Two Months

The Azeri Times

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BAKU — Azerbaijan’s Supreme Court has reduced by two months the three-year prison term imposed on a prominent opposition leader who was jailed on cash-smuggling charges.

The court on November 14 said the sentence imposed on Gozal Bayramli, deputy chairwoman of the Popular Front Party (AXCP), was reduced after the formal charge against her was changed from smuggling to attempted smuggling.

Bayramli was arrested in May 2017 as she was returning to Azerbaijan from neighboring Georgia and charged with smuggling some $12,000 in undeclared cash across the border.

The Qazax district court in Azerbaijan’s northwest on January 23 found Bayramli guilty of smuggling and sentenced her the same day, according to her lawyer, Elcin Sadiqov.

Bayramli has maintained her innocence, saying the case against her is politically motivated. She insists that the banknotes were planted in her bag.

Critics of longtime President Ilham Aliyev’s government say authorities of the oil-rich former Soviet republic frequently seek to silence dissent by jailing reporters, human rights activists, and civil-society advocates without grounds.

Dozens of AXCP members have been arrested and some imprisoned in the last several years on what their supporters have called trumped-up charges.

Aliyev denies any rights abuses. He took over in 2003 shortly before the death of his father, Heydar Aliyev, a former KGB officer and communist-era leader who had ruled Azerbaijan since 1993

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Azerbaijan Extradites Kyrgyzstan’s Fugitive Ex-Customs Chief

The Azeri Times

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BBISHKEK – Kyrgyzstan’s former customs chief has been extradited from Azerbaijan to Bishkek, where he is wanted on charges of abuse of office.

Kyrgyz Financial Police spokeswoman Anastasia Piskur told RFE/RL that Adamkul Junusov, the former head of the Customs Service, was transported from Baku to the Kyrgyz capital on December 28.

Junusov was detained at Baku’s Heydar Aliyev International Airport at Bishkek’s request on December 5.

The Financial Police in Bishkek has charged Junusov with “corrupt” activities as head of the Customs Service from 2013 to 2016, saying his alleged actions had cost the state treasury some 166 million soms, or about $2.1 million.

Junusov was added to Kyrgyzstan’s wanted list in August after he was indicted in absentia and a court in Bishkek issued a warrant for his arrest.

Junusov is the latest of several former officials facing corruption charges who worked under President Almazbek Atambaev from 2011-17.

Atambaev has criticized his successor, President Sooronbai Jeenbekov, for sacking or arresting a number of his close allies in what he called a “pseudo-anticorruption” campaign.

Two Atambaev allies who also served as prime minister when he was president, Sapar Isakov and Jantoro Satybaldiev, were arrested in June on corruption charges.

In October, Atambaev’s former adviser Ikramjan Ilmiyanov was detained in Russia and extradited to Bishkek, where he was arrested on corruption charges.

Kyrgyz lawmakers and politicians have been calling for an investigation into decisions made by Atambaev while he was in office.

On December 13, the Kyrgyz parliament approved in a first reading a bill that would eliminate immunity for ex-presidents, potentially opening the path for Atambaev’s prosecution.

In recent weeks, some members of the ruling Social Democratic Party (SDPK), which Atambaev heads and which Jeenbekeov is a member of, launched a campaign dubbed “SDPK without Atambaev.”

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Eagles give clear message about Carson Wentz vs. Nick Foles | 94 WIP – Sports Radio 94 WIP

To say it has been a wild week around the Eagles would be an understatement. Nick Foles starting a game normally does that to this franchise. The debate around the team’s quarterback position, however, was reason enough for head coach Doug Pederson to make one thing very clear on Friday during his normal press conference on…

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To say it has been a wild week around the Eagles would be an understatement. Nick Foles starting a game normally does that to this franchise. 

The debate around the team’s quarterback position, however, was reason enough for head coach Doug Pederson to make one thing very clear on Friday during his normal press conference on Friday. 

“I can stand here and say that Carson (Wentz) is our quarterback. He is our quarterback of the future. That is why we drafted him,” Pederson said. “That is also why we have Nick here. A backup, a veteran player to — I don’t wanna say bail us out, but to come in an execute the offense. I think we just continue to reaffirm that to Carson. And let him know that, and continue to say ‘Listen, you are going to be here for a long time.’ We just have to commit to that, communicate that him, and let that kind of sink in.”

The strong statement from Pederson is not a new stance from the head coach, who has always been clear that not even this back injury has changed the fact that Wentz is going to be the quarterback for the Eagles for a long time. 

The vote of confidence was likely music to the ears of his franchise quarterback. 

The week has likely been a rough one for Wentz, who has seen Foles once again come in and win a huge game for the Eagles. The Eagles’ win over the Los Angeles Rams not only saved their playoff chances, but it was easily their best win of the season, and was an impressive enough performance to begin the debate amongst fans on who is the better quarterback for this team, Wentz or Foles. 

Although the debate might be happening outside of the NovaCare Complex, it is clear that inside the team’s practice facility things remain the same — Wentz is the quarterback going forward. 

One question, however, still remains. 

Is there a chance that Wentz will play again this season? And if he is able to take the field, will Pederson put him in over a red-hot Foles?

If the Eagles win on Sunday against the Houston Texans, Pederson might soon have to offer up a definitive answer on that question. 

You can follow Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks or email him at [email protected]!

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Buddy Hield Is Actually Older Than the NBA Has Him Listed – Sports Illustrated

Wait. What? And also, how? The NBA has some explaining to do. On Monday, Kings guard Buddy Hield celebrated his birthday. He and his team have been enjoying a quality season so far, but Dec. 17 was not their night as the Timberwolves beat them by 27. But hey, at least Hield got to celebrate…

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Wait. What? And also, how?

The NBA has some explaining to do.

On Monday, Kings guard Buddy Hield celebrated his birthday. He and his team have been enjoying a quality season so far, but Dec. 17 was not their night as the Timberwolves beat them by 27.

But hey, at least Hield got to celebrate turning 25-years-old. Or so the NBA thought.

It turns out, the league is completely wrong about the age it has listed for Hield. The Freeport, Bahamas native says both his passport and driver’s license he submitted to the Kings list his actual birthday, which is Dec. 17, 1992. Not 1993. Meaning Hield turned 26 on Monday, and not 25, the age listed on his NBA.com player bio.

“That’s their fault, not my fault,” Hield told NBC Sports. “The first time I saw it on Wikipedia, my mom said, ‘Why do they have your age wrong?’ I said, ‘I have no idea.'”

Why do they have his age wrong? Where did they get 1993 as his birth year?

And before you start assuming this is Hield admitting to being older after getting busted for lying, consider that team vice president Vlade Divac told NBC Sports the Kings have Hield’s information all correct in their own files.

“I came over with a passport,” Hield said. “My passport has 1992 on it. My driver’s license has 1992 on it. I just think people got their information from Wikipedia or wherever, and they just went with it. They just got it wrong.”

Hield moved to the United States in 2010, according to the NBA’s website, but who knows if we can trust that anymore. He played college basketball at Oklahoma for four years, and he told NBC Sports he thought all of his information was listed correctly during his time there.

But at some point along the way from the Sooners, to the New Orleans Pelicans—who drafted him with the No. 6 pick in 2016—to the Kings, somebody decided to make him a year younger.

But Hield didn’t lie about his age. Unlike some people.

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