* Eerie green clouds that floated over the Russian capital on Thursday, prompting wild online rumors, were colored by pollen released by the explosive blooming of birch trees in the capital, emergency officials said.
* Russian prosecutors said on Thursday they saw evidence of extremism in statements by a prominent Muslim lawyer who vowed bloodshed in Russia if the authorities refuse to establish Islamic law courts
* A delegation from Syria’s Popular Front for Change and Liberation opposition movement met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow on Thursday in what Russia says is part of its efforts to overcome differences between the Middle East country’s multiple opposition groups and facilitate their dialogue with the government
* Russian football authorities have pledged to introduce an online system where visitors can vote on referees’ mistakes, although, unfortunately for aggrieved fans, it will only be open to the referees themselves, the Russian Football Union said
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Some people are trying to make the reality in Russia at least a bit more humane. The amnesty should apply not only to persons involved in high-profile cases, but also to individuals who are not as well-known. It is better to set free at least some of the individuals who deserve to be released than no one at all.