Russian police raided the homes of Muscovites protesting the construction of a Russian Orthodox Church in the city's Torfyanka Park. Police arrested and questioned many opponents in the night after they blocked builders' access to the site.
President Vladimir Putin has called for compromise after an outcry over plans to build a cathedral in a park in Russia's fourth-largest city. Locals have protested, saying the building would take away rare green space.
The 16 defendants stand accused of "attempting to overthrow the government" and organizing protests in 2013. If convicted, they could receive life sentences without the chance for parole.
A push to establish an independent Ukrainian Orthodox church has also prompted Russian Orthodox bishops in Germany to "temporarily" quit a joint episcopate council. Their departure follows patriarchal orders from Moscow.
Created in a grassroots effort by local residents, a biodiversity park near India's capital New Delhi serves as a green haven for people and wildlife. Now authorities want to build a six-lane highway across it.
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