News in Brief

Krasnodar Car Crash Kills 5



Police in Novorossiisk are investigating a car accident that left five people dead and two injured, Interfax reported Wednesday.

A car collided with a shuttle bus at around 8 p.m. Tuesday outside Novorossiisk, a Krasnodar regional police official told Interfax.

Four people, including the car's driver and its 3 passengers, died at the scene, while a shuttle-bus passenger died later in the hospital. (MT)




Blast Victims Mourned



Hundreds of mourners gathered Wednesday morning on the platform of Avtozavodskaya metro station to commemorate the fourth anniversary of the Feb. 6, 2004, terrorist attack that left 42 people dead and 250 injured.

Rossia television showed mourners laying red carnations, candles and icons near the memorial plaque bearing the names of those who died in the blast in the tunnel between the Avtozavodskaya and Paveletskaya stations. They honored the victims with a minute of silence.

A service for the victims was held at a local church later Wednesday. (MT)




Tusk Calls Threat 'Funny'



Russia should have no concerns about Poland hosting part of a planned U.S. missile defense system, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said Wednesday, Interfax reported.

Tusk, who is due to meet President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Friday, said Poland would never pose a threat to its neighbor and that he hoped to boost trade between the two countries.

"It is funny for anyone to think that Poland poses a threat to Russia," Tusk was quoted as saying. "We do not want this project to arouse negative worries for our neighbors." (Reuters)




Minsk Graffiti Artist Freed



MINSK -- A opposition figure who fell afoul of authorities two years ago for graffiti construed as criticizing Belarus' authoritarian president was unexpectedly released from prison Tuesday.

Artur Finkevich, a member of the Young Front, was the second opposition member to be released this year.

Finkevich was sentenced in 2006 to two years of internal exile for the graffiti. But in December he was sentenced to 18 months in prison for violating the conditions of the previous sentence. (AP)