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MOSCOW — The Russian-language Wikipedia website shut down for a day Tuesday and symbolically blacked out its logo in protest at a bill that would allow the state to block access to blacklisted websites.

“Imagine a world without free knowledge,” the online encyclopedia said in a statement on its otherwise white main page. It said amendments to be discussed in parliament Wednesday “could lead to the creation of extrajudicial censorship of the whole Russian-language Internet.”

The amendments to an existing information law are being promoted as a crackdown on child pornography in particular, but the site warned that they could “prompt the creation of a Russian version of the Great Firewall of China.”

Passed in its first reading on Friday, the bill calls for the creation of a federal register that would rule on websites carrying banned information and require site owners and providers to close down the offending sites.


‘Fast Eddie’ in court on armed robbery charges

LONDON — After two decades on the run, a British man deported from the United States appeared in court Tuesday to face trial over an armored truck robbery.

Dubbed “Fast Eddie” by British media, Edward J. Maher was working as a guard for a security company in 1993 when authorities say he conducted a heist in Suffolk, England, that netted him a haul of British currency worth about $1.5 million at the time.

British police said Mr. Maher, who was arrested in rural Missouri earlier this year on immigration charges, did not enter a plea to the charge of theft and will be kept in custody until a July 17 hearing.

Prior to his arrest in February, Mr. Maher, 57, was last seen in Britain sitting in an armored truck, waiting for a fellow security guard to return from a bank with a load of cash. Mr. Maher, who was then in his mid-30s, vanished, along with the armored truck.


TV station warned over airing terrorist tape

PARIS — France’s audiovisual watchdog has issued a warning to a leading TV channel for airing excerpts of a recording of conversations between police and a man accused of a deadly terrorist rampage.

The High Broadcast Council, which distributes frequencies, warned TF1 on Tuesday against re-airing the leaked recordings of Mohamed Merah, a 23-year-old suspected of killing three Jewish schoolchildren, a rabbi and three paratroopers near Toulouse in March.

Police recorded the negotiations while Merah was trapped in his apartment and eventually killed.

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