News in Brief

Military to Advise Cuba



The military will offer to share its air defense expertise with Cuba when a delegation visits the Caribbean island from Monday through Nov. 3, Interfax reported.

"The Russian and Cuban military will exchange experience in organizing tactical air defense and in training officers," Land Forces spokesman Igor Konashenkov said. The delegation is led by the chief of the tactical air defense headquarters, Lieutenant General Alexander Maslov. (Reuters)




No Talks for Hijacked Tanks



NAIROBI, Kenya -- Hijackers holding a Ukrainian ship said Monday that its operators wanted to negotiate for the release of the vessel and crew of 20 -- and not its cargo of 33 tanks.

Pirate spokesman Sugule Ali said they received a fax Friday from Viktor Murenko, the head of ship operator Tomex Team, saying Kenya had declined to pay any ransom for the cargo it claims. The fax said the pirates were at "liberty to destroy or throw the weapons to the sea if they deemed that fit."

But a spokesman for ship owner Vadim Alperin said there was no way to unload or destroy the cargo with U.S. forces surrounding the ship. (AP)




U.S. Assailed Over Syria



The Foreign Ministry accused the United States of fueling dangerous tension in the Middle East on Monday after Syria said U.S. helicopters had attacked a farm near the border with Iraq.

"Moscow has responded with great concern to what happened," the ministry said in a statement. "We believe attacks that are worthy of condemnation should not be launched on the territory of sovereign states under the slogan of the fight against terrorism." (Reuters)




For the Record



The Federation Council on Monday confirmed Vyacheslav Fetisov, a hockey legend and head of the Federal Agency for Physical Culture and Sports for the previous four years, as a senator from the Primorye region. (MT)

A conservative party critical of Russia, the Homeland Union, won Lithuania's parliamentary vote, the election commission said Monday. (AP)