News in Brief

Somalia Plans Recognition

Somalia plans to become the third country to recognize the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia from Georgia, following Russia and Nicaragua, Interfax reported Wednesday.

Somalia's ambassador to Russia, Mohamed Handule, said Wednesday that his government will establish diplomatic ties with the two regions "in the immediate future," Interfax said.

Russia recognized the two regions' statehood on Aug. 26, after a five-day conflict with Georgia over South Ossetia. Nicaragua followed suit on Sept. 2. (Bloomberg)

Russia to Double Quotas

The government will double the quota for foreigners allowed to work in the country in 2009 to as many as 3.9 million, RIA-Novosti cited Deputy Health and Social Development Minister Maxim Topilin as saying Wednesday.

The quota for migrant labor allowed in the country for 2008 was set at 1.8 million people at the beginning of the year, Topilin said, RIA-Novosti reported. This was raised to 3.2 million this week at the request of regional authorities, Topilin said. (Bloomberg)

Mayoral Term 5 Years

The City Duma on Wednesday passed in a first reading a bill that would increase term lengths for the Moscow mayor and City Duma deputies from four years to five years, Interfax reported.

The bill is aimed in part at reducing election-related expenses drawn from the city budget, said Anatoly Petrov, Mayor Yury Luzhkov's envoy to the Duma.

The bill would not apply to Luzhkov or current Duma deputies. (MT)

Navy Ships to Visit Libya

Russian warships will visit Libya and other Mediterranean countries en route to Venezuela, the Navy said Wednesday.

A nuclear-powered missile cruiser and several accompanying ships will sail through the Strait of Gibraltar into the Mediterranean on Sunday, Navy spokesman Igor Dygalo said in a statement. (AP)