News in Brief

Kerimov Made Senator



Billionaire Suleiman Kerimov on Monday was confirmed as Dagestan's senator in the Federation Council.

The Dagestani legislature approved Kerimov's candidacy unanimously in a secret ballot, Interfax reported.

Atai Aliyev, the republic's previous senator, resigned last week. Kerimov, 42, is one of the country's richest businessmen according to Forbes magazine. He was elected to the State Duma in 2003 on the Liberal Democratic Party ticket but left the party earlier this year. (MT)




Inviting Election Observers



Russia will issue invitations to international observers for next year's presidential election after Jan. 28, when the registration of candidates officially ends, Central Elections Commission member Igor Borisov said Monday.

The OSCE's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights last month canceled its monitoring mission for the Dec. 2 State Duma elections after receiving invitations roughly four weeks before the vote. The dates announced by Borisov mean that observers will receive their invitations less than five weeks before the March 2 election.

An ODIHR spokeswoman said the timing announced by Borisov amounted to another delay but declined to speculate on the implications before any invitations were received. (MT)




5 Killed in Plane Crash



KIEV -- Five people died when a small plane crashed outside Kiev, and they have been identified as Czech nationals, officials said Monday.

The chartered plane crashed Sunday afternoon in dense fog, killing all five on board -- two crew members and three passengers. (AP)