Russia, Georgia, Southpark

TSKHINVALI, Georgia (AP) — Officials in South Ossetia said Friday that Russia intends eventually to absorb the breakaway Georgian province.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and the region’s leader, Eduard Kokoity, discussed South Ossetia’s future earlier this week in Moscow, South Ossetian parliamentary speaker Znaur Gassiyev said.

Russia will absorb South Ossetia “in several years” or earlier, a position that was “firmly stated by both leaders,” Gassiyev said.

A Kremlin spokeswoman said she had no such information and declined immediate comment.

Moscow has recognized South Ossetia and Abkhazia, a second separatist region of Georgia, as independent, drawing criticism from the West. Russia found itself unable to shore up its own international support when China and four former Soviet republics in Central Asia refused a Moscow appeal to recognize the territories.

The Associated Press: South Ossetia: Russia intends to absorb region.

Nice, eh?

This will be fun.  It’s goin to be a *Really* Cold War if they can’t take a frickin’ joke.

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Prosecutors in Russia want to ban the award-winning satirical U.S. cartoon South Park, calling the series “extremist” after receiving viewer complaints, a spokeswoman said on Monday.

South Park, a cartoon aimed at adults and featuring a group of nine-year olds in a Colorado ski town, has courted controversy from its 1997 debut, parodying celebrities, politicians, religion, gay marriage and Saddam Hussein.

Basmanny regional prosecutors office spokeswoman Valentina Titova said investigators filed a motion after deciding an episode broadcast on Moscow television station 2×2 in January “bore signs of extremist activity.”

“Our complaint is against a lot of cartoons, but this one was from South Park season three, episode 15,” he said.

The episode, called “Mr. Hankey’s Christmas Classics” on the cartoon’s website http://www.southparkstudios.com, first aired in December, 1999, and features the cast singing Christmas carols.

“It’s one thing if they are on cable TV and viewers pay money and make a conscious choice. But young children should not be able to turn on the TV after school and watch this. They need to be defended,” Bendas said.

Russia passed a 2006 law widening the definition of extremism to include “the abasement of national dignity” and “inciting religious and national hatred,” which backers say was needed to stem a wave of violence aimed at ethnic minorities.

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You would figure that Russia’s version of the Patriot Act would put ours to shame.