News in Brief

Police Arrest Sochi Activist

A lawyer says police in the southern city of Sochi have arrested a member of a religious community for defying orders to leave land intended for facilities for the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Yuri Marikovsky said Friday that Dmitry Drofichev, a member of the Old Believer sect, was arrested for allegedly insulting land inspectors and threatening to destroy their equipment.

On Wednesday, two other Old Believers were sentenced to 12 days in prison for resisting house inspections.

About 600 members of the sect face eviction from houses on coastal wetlands that they say are unsuitable for major construction.

Officials say more than 100 homes in the area will be razed and their owners compensated. (AP)

Putin Still Most Popular

Vladimir Putin remains Russia's most popular politician almost three months after leaving the presidency and becoming prime minister, ahead of his successor Dmitry Medvedev, a survey showed.

Putin is trusted by 54 percent of Russians, compared with 36 percent for second-placed Medvedev, according to a poll by the Moscow-based Levada Center, published Friday. Emergency Situations Minister Sergei Shoigu was third with 16 percent.

Putin's popularity was regularly above 70 percent during his eight years as president.

Eighty percent of Russians approved of Putin's work as prime minister, compared with 83 percent in June. Medvedev's rating for handling the presidency fell to 70 percent from 73 percent last month. (Bloomberg)