News in Brief

Austria Eases Visas for Fans



Austria will allow Russian football fans to remain in the country until the end of the Euro 2008 football tournament, even if their visas expire before Sunday's final, the Austrian Embassy said Monday.

Russia moved on to the semifinals in the tournament thanks to a 3-1 victory over the Netherlands on Saturday. Russia plays Spain on Thursday, with the winner advancing to the final, to be played in Vienna.

An Austrian Embassy spokesman said extra staff are on hand in the consular section to process visa applications for Russians planning to travel to Vienna for Thursday's semifinal. Travelers hoping to make the game should submit their visa applications no later than 12:00 p.m. Wednesday, he said. (MT)




22 Arrests in Car Arsons



Police have detained 22 suspects since May 30 in connection with a wave of car arsons throughout the city, deputy city police chief Vyacheslav Kozlov said Monday, Itar-Tass reported.

Ten of the suspects are minors, and police have opened a total of 106 criminal cases linked to the car torching, Kozlov said.

Since May 30, a total of 130 cars have been destroyed by fire in Moscow, 53 as a result of arson, Kozlov said, Itar-Tass reported. City police have set up a special command center staffed with top detectives to investigate the car arsons, Kozlov said. (MT)




Debtors May Lose Phones



Court marshals this week could suspend the cell phone service of thousands of delinquent debtors, Vedomosti reported Monday.

The Federal Court Marshals Service will have thousands of cell phone numbers blocked in an effort to push debtors to settle their accounts, the report said.

Debtors will receive text messages reminding them of their financial obligations, and if they do not respond within five to 10 days, any money on their cell phone accounts will be signed over to the service. The accounts will then be suspended until the debts are paid off.

Federal Court Marshals Service spokesman Igor Komissarov refused to confirm the report. (MT)




Skeletons Found in Center



Construction workers have discovered the skeletal remains of 10 people during an excavation in central Moscow, RIA-Novosti reported Monday.

The burial site was uncovered Saturday at a construction site on Ulitsa Pavla Andreyeva, near the Serpukhovskaya metro station, a law enforcement source told RIA-Novosti.

Nearby residential buildings were built from the 18th to the 19th centuries and offer some clues regarding the dates and causes of death, the source told RIA-Novosti.

In October, construction workers found the remains of 34 people in the basement of a residential building located a few hundred meters from the Kremlin. (MT)




Body Parts Found



Parts of a dismembered and presumably murdered woman were discovered wrapped in plastic bags in the stairwell of an apartment building in northern Moscow, Interfax reported Monday.

The two transparent, blue polyethylene bags were discovered Sunday in the stairwell of the apartment building at 38 Dubninskaya Ulitsa, near the Altufyevo metro station, a law enforcement source told Interfax. "The bags contained parts of what we presume to be the thigh of a woman whose death occurred three to five days ago," the source said.

Investigators are searching for the remaining body parts. (MT)