News in Brief

Traffic Cop's Car in Crash

A government car registered to the country's top traffic cop struck a female pedestrian Tuesday as she was crossing the street in central Moscow, an Interior Ministry spokesman said.

The government-issued Mercedes registered to Viktor Kiryanov, head of the Interior Ministry's road safety department, hit the woman as she was crossing the street outside of a cross walk, department spokesman Dmitry Lebov said. The woman received medical treatment at the scene, Lebov said.

It was unclear exactly where the collision occurred.

Kiryanov's driver was behind the wheel when the car hit the woman, Lebov said. It was unclear if Kiryanov was in the car at the time, he said. (MT)

Mayor Starts Hunger Strike

Jailed Arkhangelsk Mayor Alexander Donskoi said Tuesday that he was starting a hunger strike to protest a criminal investigation that he calls punishment for his presidential ambitions.

Donskoi was arrested in July on charges of abuse of office, punishable by up to seven years in prison.

"Hearings on the criminal case against me have been deliberately delayed to run past the ritual appointment of a new president and prime minister," Donskoi said in a statement. "In this situation I have no choice left. I am announcing a hunger strike." (MT)

Bomber Buzzes U.S. Carrier

WASHINGTON -- U.S. fighter planes intercepted two Russian bombers flying unusually close to a U.S. aircraft carrier in the western Pacific over the weekend.

A Tu-95 buzzed the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz twice, at a low altitude of about 610 meters, while another bomber circled about 90 kilometers out, a U.S. military official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the reports on the flights were classified as secret.

The bombers were among four Tu-95s that took off from the Ukrainka air base in the far eastern Amur region in the middle of the night, including one that Japanese officials say violated their country's airspace. (AP)

Lavrov Challenges U.S.

GENEVA -- Russia and China challenged the United States at a disarmament debate Tuesday by formally presenting a plan to ban weapons in space -- a proposal that Washington has labeled a diplomatic ploy by the two nations to gain a military advantage.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told the 65-nation Conference on Disarmament that "weapons deployment in space by one state" -- a reference to the United States -- could cause a "new spiral in the arms race both in space and on earth." Lavrov's call came with an implied threat, noting that the Soviet Union caught up with the United States after World War II by developing its own nuclear weapons. (AP)

4 Killed in Dagestani Fight

ROSTOV-ON-DON -- A district security chief and three wanted men were killed in a police shootout with gunmen holed up in a house in Dagestan on Tuesday, the regional Interior Ministry said.

Three other police officers were wounded during the morning skirmish with about five gunmen in a house in the village of Sasatli, the ministry said. It said the three dead gunmen had been wanted for a number of crimes. (AP)

U.S. Fires at Hijacked Ship

NAIROBI, Kenya -- The U.S. Navy has fired on Somali pirates who hijacked the Russian crew and British captain of a ship sailing off the Horn of Africa, a maritime official said Tuesday.

Four Russian crew members, an Irish chief engineer and a British captain were aboard the Svitzer Korsakov, an ice-class tug vessel, when it was seized early this month as it was making its way to Russia's Pacific Coast. (AP)

Reporter Investigated

CHISINAU, Moldova -- Prosecutors are investigating one of Moldova's leading journalists, whom they suspect of making xenophobic statements about ethnic Russian citizens during a public forum earlier this month.

Prosecutors said late Monday they planned to seek charges against Constantin Tanase, managing editor of the daily Timpul, for purportedly endangering public security and damaging "the honor and dignity" of the Russian nation with his remarks. (AP)

For the Record

A Russian-designed MiG-29 fighter jet crashed near Almaty on Tuesday, killing the pilot, the Kazakh Defense Ministry said. (Reuters)

Unidentified assailants have vandalized a Tatar cemetery on Ukraine's Crimea peninsula, destroying more than 200 gravestones and raising new tensions in the region. (AP)