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FOOTBALL

Norway’s FA bans Russia gay rights protest

Norway's Football Association said it had banned political messages backing Ukraine or homosexuals during a friendly match against Russia on Saturday in Oslo.

Norway's FA bans Russia gay rights protest
Putin in drag
However, the rainbow flag — a symbol of the homosexual, bisexual and transgender community — will be authorised at the Ullevaal stadium.
   
"At Ullevaal, it has been decided not to grant requests for demonstrations, because it is a sports event," the association said on its website, explaining that the ban, in line with standard procedures, would apply to political banners and messages.
 
"Rainbow-coloured t-shirts are permitted. The same rule applies to flags of limited size."
   
Some thirty supporters had previously complained they had been warned they could be denied access to the venue if they carried rainbow flags.
   
"We're going to the match after all. We reached an agreement," a spokesman for the group, Gjert Moldestad, said on Twitter after the association's statement was published.
   
Russia last year adopted a controversial law banning the "propaganda" of homosexuality to minors, prompting condemnation from Western leaders and rights activists.
   
Moscow has also banned adoption of Russian children by foreign gay couples

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RUSSIA

Norway accuses Russia over cyber attack on parliament

Norway's government on Tuesday said that it believes Russia was behind an August cyber attack targeting the email system of the country's parliament.

Norway accuses Russia over cyber attack on parliament
The parliament building in Oslo. File photo: AFP

The attack was detected in August, when Norway announced hackers had attacked the parliament's email system, gaining access to some lawmakers' messages.

“Based on the information the government has, it is our view that Russia is responsible for these activities,” foreign minister Ine Eriksen Søreide said in a statement.

The foreign ministry did not specify what information prompted its conclusions, but encouraged companies to follow guidelines on cyber security.

“This is a very serious incident, affecting our most important democratic institution,” she added.

In its annual threat assessment published in February, Norway's PST domestic intelligence service warned of “computer network operations” which they said represented a “persistent and long-term threat to Norway”.

In 2018, NATO member Norway arrested a Russian national suspected of gathering information on the parliament's internet network, but released him several weeks later due to lack of evidence.

The two countries, which share a common border in the Arctic, have generally enjoyed good relations but those have become strained since Russian annexation of the Crimean peninsula in 2014.

READ ALSO: Norway's parliament attacked by hackers

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