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Russia probing use of fidget spinners as opposition goodies

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A boy plays with a fidget spinner in Moscow, Russia, on Wednesday, July 19, 2017. Russian authorities are investigating fidget spinners after state television reported that opposition activists are using them to attract supporters. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)
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Fidget spinners are on sale at a small shop in Moscow, Russia, on Wednesday, July 19, 2017. Russian authorities are investigating fidget spinners after state television reported that opposition activists are using them to attract supporters. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)
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Hannah Song experiments with a fidget spinner at Dorseyville Middle School.
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Dorseyville Middle School students use the popular fidget fad for a learning opportunity.
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Roman Agurs works on an equation involving a fidget spinner.
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Sydney Francis-Perka, a student at Dorseyville Middle School, uses a fidget spinner to complete a project in class.
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Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
Corey Walton, event coordinator for Learning Express Toys, holds a fidget spinner at the store in Bakery Square, Wednesday, May 17, 2017. Local school districts are banning the toys, which were originally designed to help children with Autism or ADHD to focus in the classroom.

MOSCOW — Russian authorities are investigating fidget spinners after state television reported that opposition activists are using them to attract supporters.

State-owned Rossiya 24 put out a report last month, claiming the popular toys were sold at opposition rallies and that online advertisements for them lead to YouTube channels promoting opposition politicians.

Fidget spinners — toys usually made of metal designed to keep small hands occupied — have taken the world by storm in recent months.

Russia’s consumer watchdog said in a statement on Tuesday that it is concerned about “an aggressive promotion of spinners” among children and teenagers. The Consumer Oversight Agency said it has teamed up with researchers to “study the influence” of fidget spinners on children’s wellbeing.

Pending the investigation the watchdog issued tips for parents who do buy fidget spinners for their children, including a recommendation to purchase them only from licensed sellers and check them for broken parts.

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