News in Brief

Bomber Weapons Not Live

ENGELS AIR BASE, Saratov Region -- An Air Force officer said Thursday that Russian strategic bombers do not carry live weapons on their patrol flights.

Colonel Dmitry Kostyunin told reporters that bombers based in Engels, near the Volga River city of Saratov, have been conducting regular flights over the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic oceans since former President Vladimir Putin ordered the Air Force a year ago to revive the Soviet-era practice of long-range patrols by strategic bombers.

Kostyunin said the bombers have flown on patrol less than once a week and never take live ammunition aboard, using only dummy weapons. (AP)

Babushka Gets 7 for Heroin

A Samara court has sentenced a 79-year-old woman to seven years in prison after being caught with nearly a kilogram of heroin, regional prosecutors said.

Raisa Gomonova claimed that she bought a package containing 960 grams of heroin from a folk healer on Feb. 12 thinking that it contained medicinal herbs, the Samara regional prosecutor's office said in a statement Wednesday.

Gomonova was arrested shortly after buying the package after traffic police pulled her over and found the heroin in her car, prosecutors said. (MT)