News in Brief

Olmert to Discuss Arms



JERUSALEM -- Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, traveling to Moscow on Monday on one of his last diplomatic missions, said Sunday that he would urge Russia not to sell sophisticated weapons to Israel's enemies.

Iran is interested in buying anti-aircraft missiles that could cripple any military strike against its nuclear program. Israel is also afraid Moscow would sell Syria the same missile defense system.

In an overture before the trip, Israel's Cabinet voted Sunday to recognize Russia's claim to Sergei's Courtyard, a property in downtown Jerusalem. Russia laid claim to the site, named for Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich, a son of Tsar Alexander II, on behalf of the Russian Orthodox Church. (AP)




Chinese Dry Milk Seized



Food inspectors have found nearly 2 tons of Chinese dry milk believed to be contaminated with the industrial chemical melamine in the far eastern city of Khabarovsk.

The country's chief epidemiologist, Gennady Onishchenko, said the dry milk was seized, Itar-Tass reported Friday.

Interfax, meanwhile, reported that inspectors have found more than 1,000 items containing Chinese dairy products around the country. And RIA-Novosti said milk powder containing melamine had been found in Tomsk.

Federal authorities on Tuesday banned all imports of Chinese dairy products following news that milk containing melamine may have killed four Chinese babies and sickened more than 54,000 others. (AP)




Yevloyev Inquiry Wraps Up



Ingush investigators have completed an inquiry into the killing of opposition leader Magomed Yevloyev and will send their case to court in a few days, Yevloyev family lawyer Musa Pliyev said Friday.

Yevloyev, owner of the Ingushetiya.ru web site, critical of Ingush authorities, was shot in the head in a police car in late August. He was detained upon his arrival to Nazran by plane from Moscow. Police officials said he was shot accidentally.

Pliyev said the Yevloyev family would not assist investigators and would boycott court hearings, both of which he said aimed to hide the real circumstances of Yevloyev's death, Interfax reported. The family has accused Ingush President Murat Zyazikov of being behind the killing, a charge Zyazikov denies. (MT)




20 Years for Child's Murder



The Krasnoyarsk regional court handed down a 20-year prison sentence Friday to a man convicted of raping and killing a 10-year-old girl, RIA-Novosti reported.

The girl disappeared in the town of Severo-Yeniseisk on Feb. 6 and was found dead the next day. Three days later, police detained the 53-year-old local resident who was later convicted, local investigators said.

The unidentified defendant was sentenced to serve out the 20 years in a maximum security prison. (MT)




3 Slain in North Caucasus



ROSTOV-ON-DON -- Two soldiers and a police official have been killed in attacks in Ingushetia, and another soldier has been killed in Chechnya, authorities said Friday.

Gunmen in a car fired on a military convoy Thursday, killing two soldiers, the Interior Ministry said. Also Thursday, the head of a district police division was killed when his car was fired on.

In Chechnya, a soldier was killed during the night by three gunmen as he walked to his quarters in the Shali region, Chechen police said. (AP)




EU Invites Minsk Diplomat



BRUSSELS -- The European Union has invited Belarussian Foreign Minister Sergei Martynov to rare talks with his EU counterparts this month in a move to encourage democratic reform in Belarus, an EU spokeswoman said Friday.

Martynov agreed to visit Brussels on Oct. 13 after be invited by EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana in a telephone conversation Friday, Solana's spokeswoman Cristina Gallach said. (Reuters)




'Nazarbayev Offers Bounty'



VIENNA -- Kazakhstan's former ambassador to Austria said President Nursultan Nazarbayev wanted him killed.

In an interview with Austria's Profil weekly being released Monday, Rakhat Aliyev said he had been told that Nazarbayev has placed a $10 million bounty on his head. "He has assigned secret services and criminal organizations to liquidate me," Aliyev said.

Aliyev, Nazarbayev's former son-in-law, has been sentenced in absentia on charges that include planning a coup, kidnapping and embezzlement, but Austria has refused to extradite him, saying he would not receive a fair trial. (AP)