Russia Releases Activists

Seven arrested Greenpeace members will finally be able to leave Russia, with the rest of their crew not far behind. In Moscow, authorities dropped criminal charges against the environmentalists, who were part of a 30-person Greenpeace ship crew that was arrested at a protest outside an Arctic oil rig in September. All 30 arrested foreign members spent two months in jail before being released on bail. Greenpeace said Thursday that the rest of the crew will also likely receive exit visas soon. Russia’s decision to let the activists go home is seen as an attempt to brighten public perception of the country's human-rights record ahead of the Winter Olympics in Sochi.