Zimbabwe`s famed "hanging tree" falls

Many icons of the first uprising against white settlers were said to have been hanged from the tree in 1898.

Moscow: President Dmitry Medvedev said Thursday that allegations of fraud during Sunday`s parliamentary polls should be investigated.

"The main thing now is to calm (our) nerves and let parliament begin its work," said the Russian president at a news conference in Prague.

Russia has seen four days of protests against suspected violations of voting procedure since Sunday`s polls, in which Prime Minister Vladimir Putin`s United Russia party just managed to maintain its majority.

Some 25,000 people are expected to attend a protest in Moscow Saturday.

Medvedev earlier said that the dozens of videos uploaded on the internet that appeared to show electoral violations were not "uncontestable" proof of fraud.

He also said the protests were an example of democracy in action, but that they should be held in accordance with the law and should not interfere with people`s everyday lives.

"People must have the opportunity to express their opinions," Medvedev added.

Russian state-run television has largely ignored the protests, concentrating instead on pro-United Russia rallies.

A law introduced in 2004, during Putin`s tenure as president, made it harder to hold
demonstrations in Russia.


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