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Russian authorities have decided to drop piracy charges against the first of 30 people accused of taking part in a Greenpeace protest in the Arctic.

The man has been identified as Anthony Perrett from Newport in Wales, who is now preparing to leave Russia.

He was in the group of 28 activists and two freelance journalists arrested in September as they staged a protest at a Russian offshore oil rig.

They were all charged with hooliganism – but have all been freed on bail.

They are being granted amnesty under a new Russian law which has seen several high-profile releases in recent days.

Greenpeace said on Tuesday that one man from the “Arctic 30” group had been told his case was now closed, and that others were expected to receive notice soon.

The statement did not name the man.

An earlier report saying that three people had been notified for release was later corrected.

Anthony Perrett was in the group of 28 Greenpeace activists arrested after they staged a protest at a Russian offshore oil rig

Anthony Perrett was in the group of 28 Greenpeace activists arrested after they staged a protest at a Russian offshore oil rig

Twenty-six of the group are foreigners – six of them Britons – and Greenpeace said they would be free to leave Russia once they had the right stamps in their passports.

“We know that getting those stamps would be the best Christmas present for the Arctic 30 and we hope it can happen quickly, but until such time as they do, we still cannot say when they will leave,” it said in a statement.

The detainees, from 16 different countries, had sailed to an oil rig operated by Russia’s state-run energy company Gazprom in September.

They were intercepted by Russian coastguards, who fired warning shots as some activists tried to climb on board the rig.

Their ship, the Arctic Sunrise, was seized.

The group was initially charged with piracy but the charges were later reduced to hooliganism.

They denied the charges, saying their protest had been peaceful and legal.

The Russian amnesty law was passed last week by the State Duma and could see the release of some 20,000 people.

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Nowadays, the environment is never far from people’s minds, and a more natural and eco-friendly look for your home is becoming ever more appealing, benefitting you both aesthetically and financially. The eco-friendly home will be the next great step in interior design, with the need for sustainable materials and less energy usage being what the future group of designers emerging from an interior design course will have to focus on if they want to meet their customer’s needs. So, why not swathe your rooms in the finest that the environment has to offer, with some of these great tips for a greener home?

Decorate your home with plants

Plants and other types of flora are a fantastic way to give a more natural look to your house or apartment, oxygenating your home and removing harmful toxins from the room. And, the great thing about plants is that you can populate your rooms with ones that suit its style. So, try to find a plant that will match your décor to gain a brighter, fresher feel in your ho


Home is where the Heart is
linda yvonne / CC BY-NC

Fill your home with organic and natural materials

It’s important to be using environmentally sustainable materials when redecorating your place, meaning that you should avoid all plastic, particleboard and chromed metal when refurbishing. Although the use of more sustainable products is more expensive, it really is the optimal choice if you’re looking for a home that will aid the environment. The use of wood, marble or stone blocks can be a more eco-friendly alternative if you’re after tables, flooring or kitchen counters and, while it might dent your wallet, it certainly won’t compromise your style.

Use energy-efficient windows and lighting

The use of more energy efficient windows and lighting in your home can benefit you in a vast number of ways. If you use special coatings on your windows, for example, you can insulate your house far more effectively and save on your heating bills. Also, if you’re looking to cut down on heating bills even further, be sure to insulate your walls with environmentally conscious fillings. This is also the case with your light fixtures, with the use of lighting specifically designed to cut down on power creating a cheaper to run and more eco-friendly system.

Make your paint that little bit greener

While you don’t have to cover your walls in a literal sea of green if you don’t want to, it will be necessary to invest in a low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) paint to really give you that eco-edge on your walls. This will contribute to global warming far less. You can also try recycled or biodegradable paints, which will give you the same coating but be far kinder to mother earth.

Let in the sunlight

If you can populate your home with enough windows, including skylights, it will be possible to use far less electrical light fittings during the day, saving both your budget and the planet. It’s a case of the bigger the window the better, with more natural sunlight creating a healthier looking and feeling home.

Call in an eco-designer

If you’re renovating your home to become more environmentally friendly, then there are now a number of specialist interior designers who can help you out, and many more who will work with sustainable materials at your request. Designers such as Eco Nest, for example, will do their best to try to make your New York apartment a markedly greener environment, making sure that you get a home that won’t pollute the environment. So, if you’re looking to make your home more natural looking and more efficient, you know who to call.

Tasmanian Greenpeace activist Colin Russell, who is among other 30 arrested during a protest against Arctic drilling, will remain in jail for three more months pending trial, a Russian judge has ruled today.

Prosecutors have asked the courts in St Petersburg to keep all 28 activists and two journalists in jail beyond November 24, when their current detention period runs out.

Colin Russell was the first to have his case heard on Monday.

British journalist Kieron Bryon is due in court later on Monday.

The 30 have been charged with hooliganism over a protest at a Russian oil rig in the Arctic in September. The offence carries a maximum sentence of seven years.

Originally they had been charged with piracy, which carries a longer jail term.

Tasmanian Greenpeace activist Colin Russell will remain in the Russian jail for three more months

Tasmanian Greenpeace activist Colin Russell will remain in the Russian jail for three more months

Besides Colin Russell, six others have hearings on Monday. A request for bail or house arrest was denied.

Before being told he must remain in prison, Colin Russell told the judge: “I haven’t done anything wrong.

“I don’t understand the reasons why I’ve been detained. I’ve done two months’ hard time for nothing.”

Last week the 30 were moved to prisons in St Petersburg from Murmansk in the Arctic.

Greenpeace denies any wrongdoing and is urging Russia to release the detainees – who come from 18 countries – and their ship, Arctic Sunrise.

If Russia keeps all 30 in jail for another three months they will remain there during the February 2014 Winter Olympics hosted by Russia in Sochi.

The environmental group’s international executive director, Kumi Naidoo, condemned the judge’s ruling against Colin Russell, saying “this case is now a circus”.

“Our friends may now be in jail for months longer, all because they made a stand for all of us in the pristine Arctic. We will continue to pursue every legal avenue we can, and leave no stone unturned, until each and every one of them is home with their families,” he said.

“We hope the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea will order their release when they adjudicate on Friday.”

Russia is not attending the UN tribunal hearing in Hamburg, as it is not party to some UN Law of the Sea dispute procedures.

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Jude Law and Damon Albarn have joined hundreds demonstrating in London over piracy charges brought by Russia against 30 Greenpeace activists.

Six British activists were among those arrested last month as they protested against oil drilling in the Arctic at a rig owned by Russian firm, Gazprom.

Relatives of the activists protested outside Russia’s London embassy.

It was one of a number of events being held in more than 40 countries.

The entire crew of the ship, Arctic Sunrise, was arrested on September 18 after two activists tried to board the Russian state-controlled oil platform in the Pechora Sea.

They have all been charged and are being held in the port of Murmansk, in northwest Russia, facing prison terms of up to 15 years.

Jude Law and Damon Albarn have joined hundreds demonstrating in London over piracy charges brought by Russia against 30 Greenpeace activists

Jude Law and Damon Albarn have joined hundreds demonstrating in London over piracy charges brought by Russia against 30 Greenpeace activists

The Britons who have been charged include freelance video producer, Kieron Bryan, and logistics co-ordinator, Frank Hewetson – both from London.

UK activists Anthony Perrett from Newport in Wales; Alexandra Harris, originally from Devon; Philip Ball from Chipping Norton; and Iain Rogers, from Exeter, have also been charged.

In London, Saturday’s protesters stood behind banners declaring, “Free the Climate Defenders”, “Journalist and Not Pirate”, and “Free The Arctic 30”.

Jude Law, who knows Frank Hewetson, said he was “exercising my right to peacefully protest”.

He added: “I am just adding my face and body to the mass of support. What is ludicrous is that they have been charged with piracy.”

Actors Imelda Staunton and Jim Carter also turned up in front of the embassy in west London to show their support for the activists.

Jim Carter described the arrests as “a ludicrous situation” and urged PM David Cameron – along with the leaders of the other 18 countries which made up the nationalities of the 30 activists – to apply pressure on Russia.

Foreign Secretary William Hague has raised the case with his Russian counterpart and said British officials would continue to raise specific concerns Greenpeace had about the legal process with Moscow.

The Netherlands has also launched legal action to free the activists. Two of its citizens are among those charged, along with people from countries including Argentina, Australia, Canada, France, New Zealand, Russia, and the US.

Other Greenpeace protests took place in cities including Madrid, Moscow, Mexico City, Sao Paulo and Istanbul.