Russia

Beauty and the Beast release postponed in Malaysia

The Emma Watson film was due to open on Thursday but has been put on hold due to an "internal review". No specific reason has been given for the decision.

The film courted controversy last week after it emerged it would feature a "gay moment".

Homosexual activity is illegal in Muslim majority Malaysia, although the tourism minister has said banning the film is "ridiculous".

"You don't ban a film because of a gay character," Seri Nazri Aziz told the Malay Mail.

Maria Sharapova: Drugs-ban return generating mixed reaction

Players including men's No. 1 Andy Murray, seven-time grand slam winner Venus Williams, twice grand slam winner Angelique Kerber and former No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki have all weighed in on whether the five-time grand slam winner and one of the world's most recognizable athletes should benefit from wildcards as she tries to rebuild her tennis career.

Russia urged to ban 'Beauty and the Beast' remake over gay 'propaganda'

The complaint was detailed in a letter sent by Vitaly Milonov to the Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky and reported by state-run news agency Ria Novsti. It says the movie should not be shown in Russia if the ministry found "elements of propaganda of homosexuality."

The Ministry of Culture has not yet issued a ruling on the film, which stars Emma Watson and is scheduled to open in Russia March 16.

Russian, Syrian planes hit US-backed fighters

Russia's Defense Ministry denied the claim, state-sponsored Sputnik News said.

FBI refuses White House request

White House officials had sought the help of the bureau and other agencies investigating the Russia matter to say that the reports were wrong and that there had been no contacts, the officials said. The reports of the contacts were first published by The New York Times and CNN on February 14.

'Poisoned' critic Vladimir Kara-Murza leaves Russia for treatment

Journalist Vladimir Kara-Murza, who works for pro-democracy group Open Russia, became ill earlier this month.

He has now recovered enough to leave the country to seek further treatment, his lawyer Vadim Prokhorov said on Facebook on Sunday.

The activist nearly died when he suffered sudden kidney failure in 2015.

FIFA plays down Russian hooligan violence fears at 2018 World Cup

"I'm not concerned about trouble and violence in 2018. I have full confidence in Russian authorities, they are taking this matter very, very seriously," he said in Doha on Friday (AEDT).

More than 100 England fans were injured following clashes with Russian supporters in Marseille before their group game at Euro 2016, causing UEFA to threaten the team with expulsion from the tournament.

There have been fears of more trouble at next year's tournament. But Infantino said the organisers were already putting plans in place to curb any hooliganism.

Russia deploys missile in apparent treaty violation

The move is just the latest in a string of Russian provocations in the early days of the Trump administration, which has called for warmer relations with the Kremlin.

The traditional US adversary has also positioned a spy ship off the coast of Delaware and carried out flights near a US Navy warship, concerning American officials. The administration has not officially drawn any links between the three events.

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Russian tattoo artist helps women hide the scars of domestic violence

Yevgeniya Zakhar posted an ad on her social media page last year offering to ink abused women for free after she heard about a Brazil tattoo artist already offering the service.

Soon, she was flooded with requests.

Hearing her clients' stories of beatings and burnings, though, was so stressful that she had to limit the number of women she sees to one day a week.

"I didn't expect to be inundated with visits," said Ms Zakhar, who works in Ufa, a city about 1,200 kilometres east of Moscow.

Trump: 'No guarantee' on Russia relations

Mr Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin will speak on Saturday, according to the White House and Kremlin.

They are expected to discuss bilateral affairs and national security in the first call since the inauguration.

But Mr Trump said it was "very early" to talk about the sanctions imposed on the country by his predecessor.

He was asked about his plans in a joint press conference with UK Prime Minister Theresa May on her visit to Washington - the first national leader to be welcomed by the president.