News in Brief

60 Injured as Train Derails



Sixty people were injured when a train derailed near Russia's border with China, the Emergency Situations Ministry said.

Ten cars of the train carrying 384 people derailed in the accident Thursday in the Amur region, the ministry said.

Vladimir Yakunin, head of Russian Railways, flew to the scene to oversee operations. (Reuters)




49 Uzbek Laborers Freed



Forty-nine Uzbek laborers have been freed from bondage outside Moscow, police said.

Two ethnic Azeris, believed to be part of a criminal ring, were arrested in a sting operation in the village of Chulkovo southeast of Moscow, police said last week. They did not say when the operation took place. (Reuters)




Canadian Diplomat Injured



The first secretary of the Canadian Embassy was injured after being run over by a cyclist, RIA-Novosti reported.

The diplomat, Alexander Luhowy, was taken to the European Medical Center with a concussion and an injured elbow after he was hit by a cyclist at the intersection of Sivtsev Vrazhek Pereulok and Starokonyushenny Pereulok at around 1 p.m. Tuesday, the report said.

Police are searching for the cyclist.

A Canadian Embassy spokeswoman said she could not provide any information about the incident. (MT)




Judo Girl Beats Traffic Cop



A female judo expert in the Tyumen region has been charged with assaulting two traffic policemen.

Irina Kharisova, 23, was riding in a car in February with a drunk man behind the wheel when the two officers stopped their vehicle, Tyumen regional prosecutors told Interfax last week.

Kharisova proceeded to use a judo takedown on one of the officers and then attempted to strangle the other, prosecutors said. The driver of a tow truck who arrived at the scene managed to pull her off the officers.

If convicted of assaulting an officer, she Kharisova faces up to 10 years in prison. (MT)




Angry Driver Kills Student



Moscow police have arrested a driver after a teenage pedestrian was killed for delaying traffic for a few seconds.

Alexander Lavrushin, 17, was returning home from examinations when a man jumped out of a car waiting for a green light and beat him to death, the Vesti-24 news channel said. It did not say when the incident happened.

The driver told police that he had lost his temper after the student briefly delayed the traffic and kicked the man's car with his foot. (Reuters)




City Duma Passes Taxi Bill



The City Duma on Wednesday passed a bill in the third and final reading aimed at reducing the number of gypsy cabs on the city's streets and boosting the general quality of taxi service.

The bill will come in force in six months, the Duma's web site said.

The bill is a first attempt to enforce some legal regulation of Moscow's notoriously unregulated taxi services industry. The bill offers taxi companies and independent drivers a number of benefits in exchange for meeting several criteria aimed at improving service. (MT)




Suspicious Embassy Package



A suspicious package received by the U.S. Embassy in Moscow turned out to contain an odd mix of harmless items sent by a mental ward patient to former U.S. President Bill Clinton.

The embassy received the package last week and had turned it over to authorities, who determined that it presented no danger, a U.S. Embassy spokesman said.

Interfax reported that that the package was addressed to Clinton and sent by a woman living in the Komi republic.

The package contained an electric alarm clock with batteries, a pack of cheap Balkan Star cigarettes, a Bible, a greeting card and parsley and dill.

The woman is being treated in a psychiatric hospital and regularly sends packages to different countries, the web site Life.ru reported. (MT)




For the Record



Sweden's Supreme Court last week rejected a Russian request to extradite an unidentified man who Moscow accuses of committing acts of terrorism as a Chechen rebel in 2002. (AP)

The families of Polish army officers shot by Soviet soldiers in the Katyn massacre during World War II won the right last week to have their case heard in the Moscow City Court. (Reuters)

A suspected gas blast destroyed a Nazran store Friday, killing four. (AP)

A U.S. jury acquitted hunting guide Robert Kern last week of importing antlers and horns from game that had been illegally hunted in Russia. (AP)

Gunfire broke out between the Georgian village of Ergneti and the capital of separatist South Ossetia, Tskhinvali, late Saturday, injuring seven people, Interfax reported. (Reuters)

Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev will be awarded the 2008 Liberty Medal on Sept. 18 for helping end the Cold War and bringing hope to those living behind the Iron Curtain, the National Constitution Center said Friday. (AP)