News in Brief

Putin Eyes Call-In Show



Prime Minister Vladimir Putin suggested Sunday that he may hold call-in shows with the populace as part of his work as leader of United Russia.

At a gathering of United Russia lawmakers outside Moscow, his first major meeting with the party since he assumed its leadership, Putin said call-in shows like those he held as president would help the party keep in touch with voters.

"I think it's possible to use the experience of televised direct lines, changing the format a little -- just choose a time, gather questions, invite people and have a live discussion with people," Putin said on state-run Vesti-24 television. (AP)




2 Bombs Rock Abkhazia



SUKHUMI, Georgia -- Two bombs exploded in Georgia's breakaway Abkhazia province Sunday, wounding six people, regional officials said.

All six of the victims were wounded in a blast at a marketplace in the town of Gagry, said Abkhaz President Sergei Bagapsh's press service. The other explosion, near a bank in Gagry, caused no casualties, the press service said.

Bagapsh blamed Georgia's government for the blasts. Tbilisi has denied similar accusations in the past. (AP)




Berezovsky-Belarus Link?



MINSK -- The Belarussian KGB filed new charges of commercial espionage Friday against a U.S. citizen who has been jailed for more than three months in the country.

The Russian-born Emanuel Zeltser is a lawyer whose clients have included late Georgian billionaire Badri Patarkatsishvili, whose estate has become a subject of dispute. Political analyst Svetlana Kalinkina said Patarkatsishvili owned several factories in Belarus, which his business partner Boris Berezovsky would now like to take over. She claimed that Berezovsky, who lives in exile in London, and the Belarussian government were working in concert. (AP)




For the Record



The Space Forces successfully launched a new military satellite into orbit early Friday, officials said. (AP)

Poland and the United States may sign an agreement within a week on installing a U.S. anti-missile base in Poland, a senior Polish official, Zbigniew Chlebowski, said Sunday. (AP)