News in Brief

Dutch Architect Robbed



Four assailants followed a Dutch architect into his central Moscow apartment early Thursday, tied him up and robbed him of several thousand dollars in cash and valuables, Interfax reported.

The unidentified victim, who designs industrial buildings in Moscow, told police that he first saw the assailants when he arrived at his apartment building on Malaya Bronnaya Ulitsa at about 2 a.m., the report said.

The men followed him into his apartment and, threatening him with a knife, tied him up, took his laptop, camera, and 15,000 rubles and 250 euros in cash and fled. Police are looking for the four men. (MT)




Khodorkovsky Free in Fall?



The mother of jailed Yukos billionaire Mikhail Khodorkovsky is appealing to President Dmitry Medvedev to release her son -- at least for a family reunion this fall.

Marina Khodorkovskaya told Novaya Gazeta in an interview published Thursday that she and her husband, Boris, were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary Oct. 9.

"I beg you," she said, addressing Medvedev, "give us this present, and let our son celebrate this day with us at our family dinner table."

Khodorkovsky applied for parole Wednesday. A court will rule on the request within a month, RIA-Novosti said.

Alexander Prokhanov, editor of the nationalist newspaper Zavtra, told Ekho Moskvy on Wednesday that he had information that Khodorkovsky would be released in October on the condition that he stay out of politics. (MT)




Decapitated Head Found



Fishermen have found a decapitated human head on St. Petersburg's Kanonersky Island, baffling police.

The fishermen came across the head on the shore at about 8 p.m. Wednesday and called the police, investigators said.

Police initially were not even able to identify the head as male because it had spent a long time in water, the report said. Police said such finds are not completely unusual in the waters near Kanonersky Island because criminals often use the area to conceal victims' bodies, Fontanka.ru reported. (MT)