News in Brief

Italian Detained at Airport



An Italian citizen was detained Monday at St. Petersburg's Pulkovo Airport while attempting to take two icons undeclared through customs, Interfax reported.

The man had packed two icons, depicting St. Nicholas the Miracle Worker and the Tikhvin Mother of God, respectively, in his luggage, Interfax said, citing customs officials. He did not have a certificate allowing him to take them out of the country, they said.

If charged with smuggling cultural artifacts, he could face up to seven years in prison, Interfax reported. (MT)




Red Square Will Be Closed



Red Square will be closed off from Tuesday to Thursday in connection with Thursday's Russia Day holiday, Federal Guard Service spokesman Sergei Devyatov said Monday.

A concert dedicated to the holiday is to be held Thursday on Red Square, preparations for which will require the tourist attraction to be closed, Devyatov told RIA-Novosti. (MT)




2 Killed in Caucasus Attacks



MAKHACHKALA -- A soldier and a police officer were killed in the latest attacks in the restive North Caucasus.

The soldier died early Monday when unidentified gunmen fired at a train carrying troops from Chechnya that pulled to a stop in the Dagestani town of Khasavyurt. Another soldier was wounded in the raid, regional police spokesman Mark Tolchinsky said.

An unidentified gunman late Sunday also shot and killed a police officer in the Ingush city of Nazran. (AP)




Kazakh Miners Buried



ALMATY, Kazakhstan -- Authorities in a town in central Kazakhstan said a funeral was held Monday for five workers killed last week in a collapse at an ArcelorMittal coal mine.

The men's funeral took place in their hometown of Shakhtinsk, a short distance from the Tentekskaya mine.

The Emergency Ministry says the bodies were found over the weekend, several days after the accident.

A discharge of methane gas sent hundreds of tons of coal collapsing at the mine, trapping the workers.

The Kazakh government is investigating the accident. (AP)




Cat Circus Sues Over Tricks



NEW YORK -- Moscow Cats Theater owner Yury Kuklachyov and his son are claiming in a lawsuit that their former managers stole methods for teaching felines to perform.

Kuklachyov and his son, Dmitry, accuse father-and-son Mark and Yanis Gelfman of applying for a trademark for methods they stole to create a cat circus in New York. The lawsuit was filed in a Brooklyn court, the Daily News reported Monday. (AP)