News in Brief

'U.S. Seeks New Bases'



General Nikolai Makarov, chief of the General Staff, warned that Moscow felt threatened by U.S. policy in Central Asia and claimed that Washington was attempting to establish new military bases there, Interfax reported Tuesday.

"According to our information, it [the U.S.] is planning to establish military bases in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan," Makarov said. He did not elaborate.

"That's news to me. I don't think that's true," U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Matthew Bryza said in a telephone interview Tuesday. (AP)




Aliyev Faces No Term Limits



BAKU -- Azerbaijan's ruling party said Tuesday the legal limit on consecutive presidential terms should be scrapped, two months after Ilham Aliyev won a second and final term criticized by European monitors as less than democratic.

His New Azerbaijan party told the parliament Tuesday that the two-term constitutional limit was undemocratic and should be changed by referendum, answering speculation over what might happen after Aliyev's second term expires in 2013.

The provision "denies the people the opportunity to express their will on the election of the head of state and is contradictory to the principles of democracy," party executive secretary Ali Akhmedov told the parliament. (Reuters)




Ukraine Detains American



KIEV -- Ukrainian authorities detained a Texas man wanted in the United States on charges of indecency with minors.

Ukrainian police detained 29-year-old Stephen Bruce Unger outside Kiev on Saturday, Interior Ministry spokeswoman Olena Melnyk said. U.S. authorities had requested help in returning him to the United States. The U.S. Embassy in Kiev confirmed that information.

Unger has voluntarily left for home after his detention, Ukrainian officials said.

Unger was arrested in Bryan, Texas, in 2006 on two counts of indecency with a child and was released on bail.

He had worked as an English instructor in Kiev since arriving in November 2007. Police say he did not commit any crimes in Ukraine. (AP)