News in Brief

Embassy Employee Attacked



An employee of the Japanese Embassy was robbed and viciously assaulted in Moscow, RIA-Novosti reported Monday.

The male victim, 29, was attacked Sunday night outside his dormitory on Bolshaya Cherkizovskaya Ulitsa in northwestern Moscow.

Four young men knocked him to the ground, beat him and stole his cell phone and backpack, a police source told RIA-Novosti. The victim, a student at the Diplomatic Academy of the Foreign Ministry, was hospitalized with a concussion and multiple injuries. (MT)




Swiss Will Represent Tbilisi



TBILISI, Georgia -- Switzerland will represent Tbilisi's diplomatic interests in Moscow -- and vice versa, the foreign ministers of Georgia and Switzerland said Monday.

Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey said Monday that she finalized an agreement with her Georgian counterpart, Grigol Vashadze, on representation in Georgia. It parallels a deal reached with Russia last month. (AP)




Cabinet Ordered to Blog



ALMATY, Kazakhstan -- Kazakh Prime Minister Karim Masimov ordered his Cabinet to begin blogging after he was alerted to "disorder" in a banya on his own blog.

"The public has the right to ask questions, and you must answer them," Masimov told ministers during a government meeting in Astana on Monday.

Masimov, who launched his blog Jan. 9, said he had received complaints about high prices, poor service and shoddy facilities at a public banya in Astana and promised to inspect it personally. (Bloomberg)