Russian City to Ban Nocturnal Screams

Russia’s Public Chamber criticized on Thursday a proposal to introduce fines of around $1,000 for “nocturnal screams and knockings” in residential buildings in the country’s northern capital of St Petersburg.

The draft bill, which was passed on Wednesday in its first reading by St Petersburg’s Legislative Assembly, would also outlaw “whistling, the moving of furniture, singing and the playing of musical instruments, as well as any other actions that disturb the peace and quiet at night.”

Pet owners who allow their dogs to howl or their cats to leap around their apartments late at night would also be subject to fines.

“The authors of draft bills should be sensible and objective,” Anatoly Kucherena, the head of the Public Chamber’s safety committee, told RIA Novosti, adding that late-night noise should be measured scientifically.

“We have seen a lot of strange legislative initiatives coming from St Petersburg,” Kucherena went on. “All this is turning the law-making process into some kind of clowning around.”

A St Petersburg lawmaker asked the city governor to consider ways to limit media reports on the “end of the world in 2012.”

“Russian television channels have been filling their audiences with the idea that 2012 is the year of the apocalypse,” A Just Russia lawmaker Andrei Gorshechnikov said. “This could lead to “an increase in crime, a rise in suicides, and drug abuse and alcoholism.”

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