News in Brief

Communists Want Airtime

Several hundred people marched in a Communist-led protest at Ostankino television center to demand more opposition airtime on national television.

Communist Party chief Gennady Zyuganov said state television "steals people's right" to unbiased coverage of political and social life.

"We will kick the little gang that drugs people's minds out of our country!" Zyuganov said. (AP)

Web Extremism Crackdown

Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev has called for people who post extremist and terrorist information on the Internet to be held criminally liable, RIA-Novosti reported Friday.

Offense would include posting "recipes of bomb production, methods of resisting police and of penetrating into banking and classified information systems, techniques of destroying criminal cases and of evading responsibility," Nurgaliyev said. (MT)

Don't Go, Abramovich

Chukotka's residents implored billionaire Roman Abramovich not to abandon the region Sunday, 10 days after he quit as governor.

"You and your team have proved that you can solve our common problems," the region's parliamentary speaker, Vasily Nazarenko, said in a letter on the regional administration web site. "Therefore, taking into account the views of the voters, we ask you to agree to run as a parliamentary deputy and, after the election, become chairman of Chukotka's parliament." (Reuters)

Tymoshenko Dismayed

KIEV -- Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko accused President Viktor Yushchenko on Saturday of torpedoing a budget to improve living standards.

Tymoshenko survived a confidence vote in the parliament on Friday, but she later failed to win approval for amendments to the 2008 budget.

Tymoshenko told reporters that she was dismayed that Yushchenko had submitted his own amendments. (Reuters)

Warsaw Wants Long Deal

WARSAW -- Poland is insisting on the permanent stationing of a U.S. Patriot missile battery on its soil as a condition for hosting part of an anti-missile defense shield, Defense Minister Bogdan Klich was quoted as saying Friday.

Prime Minister Donald Tusk recently rejected as insufficient a U.S. offer to base a Patriot battery on Polish soil for one year.

"We want this battery to be placed on our territory permanently," Klich told the Dziennik daily. (Reuters)