News in Brief

Ukraine Eyes Gas Price Hike



KIEV -- Ukraine's government proposed raising the price of gas for households, in a move that should improve the finances of state energy firm Naftogaz, seeking to avoid default on a $500 million eurobond.

Prices for households have been unchanged since the end of 2006, despite increases in imported gas prices from Russia to $179.50 per 1,000 cubic meters this year from $95 in 2006. (Reuters)




11 Years for Hairstylist Killer



An Omsk man has been sentenced to 11 years, three months in prison for killing a hairstylist because he was upset about his haircut, Interfax said Monday.

Vladimir Tikhonov, 33, attacked the hairstylist with a hammer and knife in October after she demanded that he pay 100 rubles ($4) for a haircut he did not like, regional prosecutors said.

The hairstylist died in a hospital several days later. Tikhonov was ordered to pay more than 200,000 rubles ($8,514) in damages to the victim's parents, prosecutors said. (MT)




Russia, U.S. at Iraq Meeting



DAMASCUS, Syria -- Iraq's neighbors agreed Monday to step up security cooperation at a meeting attended by Russia and the United States, but delegates said political divisions undermined the regional effort to stop an influx of militants.

The two-day conference on ways to prevent threats to the Iraqi government from abroad concluded as fighting resumed in Baghdad. (Reuters)




Bulbov to Remain in Jail



The Moscow City Court on Monday refused to release from custody senior Federal Drug Control Service officer Alexander Bulbov, who was arrested in October on charges of illegal wiretapping, Interfax reported.

Rejecting an appeal by Bulbov's lawyers, the court said there were no grounds to overturn a March court ruling that extended his detention until June 15.

Bulbov has described his arrest as revenge by the Federal Security Service, or FSB, for his investigation into Tri Kita, a Moscow furniture store accused of evading millions of dollars in import duties.

Media reports have linked senior FSB officials to the furniture business. The charges against Bulbov are believed to be related to infighting between the FSB and the drug control service. (MT)




Sheremetyevo Crash Avoided



A U.S. passenger plane narrowly avoided colliding with a Russian jet over Sheremetyevo Airport, as the "skill" of an air-traffic controller averted a disaster, RIA-Novosti reported, citing aviation officials.

A Delta Air Lines Boeing 767 landing from Atlanta almost collided in midair Sunday with a Don Avia Boeing 737 plane headed to the southern city of Rostov-on-Don, RIA-Novosti reported.

The Delta jet had 219 people on board and 12 crew members; the Don Avia plane had 51 on board and six crew. (Bloomberg)




Hitler Birthday Violence



Human rights activists have warned police against possible street violence by ultranationalists ahead of Adolf Hitler's birthday on Sunday, Interfax reported Monday.

Ultranationalists in recent years have carried out numerous attacks on the natives of the Caucasus and Central Asia on the occasion of Hitler's birthday on April 20.

Alexander Brod, head of the Moscow Bureau for Human Rights, has asked the Interior Ministry to beef up security to prevent such attacks, Interfax reported. (MT)