News in Brief

Tambov Mayor Charged



Prosecutors have formally charged Tambov Mayor Maxim Kosenkov with kidnapping in connection with the abduction of a Ukrainian man in Moscow, Interfax reported Wednesday.

The purported victim, identified only by his last name -- Baby -- was kidnapped March 26 on Ulitsa Borisovsky Prudy in southwest Moscow and taken to Tambov, where he was held captive at Kosenkov's home, authorities said.

Police detained Kosenkov, who faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted, on April 17 after he had arrived in Moscow to attend the party conference of United Russia, of which he is a member. (MT)




Kazakhs Detain Suspect



ALMATY, Kazakhstan -- Kazakh police have detained a man wanted in neighboring Uzbekistan on suspicion of taking part in a riot in the Uzbek town of Andizhan in 2005, a Kazakh police spokesman said Wednesday.

The West condemned Uzbekistan in May 2005 for its handling of the Andizhan events, where witnesses said hundreds of people were killed when state troops opened fire on unarmed protesters. Uzbekistan blamed the violence on Islamist rebels.

Kazakh police said Wednesday that the Uzbek man, detained Sunday in Almaty during a raid on his apartment, is accused at home of taking part in acts of terror and attacking law enforcement agents in Andizhan. (Reuters)




Rice Supports Georgia



WASHINGTON -- U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told Georgia's foreign minister on Wednesday that the United States is firmly committed to Georgia's sovereignty. She urged Georgia and Russia to settle their differences.

"There should be no question as to Georgia's integrity," Rice said.

Georgian Foreign Minister David Bakradze said his country is "very grateful for such a clear and unconditional support" from the United States.

Bakradze is seeking strong U.S. condemnation of a move last week by Russia to establish stronger ties with the two breakaway Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. (AP)