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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

05/19/1992

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From Seattle, a gift of sight for a Russian child

A two-year-old Novosibirsk toddler and her parents flew from Moscow to Seattle, Washington, on Tuesday, for surgery that is expected to save the baby's eyesight. Rev. Norman Meildejohn, pastor of the Catholic Chaplaincy in Moscow, said that Sonia Zapromyatova would have surgery next week to help cure the glaucoma she has had since birth. ""Doctors say without the surgery, she will be blind in about nine months"", Meiklejohn said. Calling the arrangements for the child ""an ecumenical effort"", he said it involved lay people from the Catholic, Episcopal, Lutheran and Russian Orthodox churches in Seattle and Moscow. Medical costs for the child will be paid by the Seattle Lions Club, which focuses its charitable efforts on assisting the visually impaired. Several Seattle area church groups collected contributions for transportation and food, and arranged housing for the Zapromyatov family at a university dormitory. Meiklejohn said a Seattle acquaintance asked him to help the family obtain visas and other documents.

Russia targets corruption

A top Russian official has announced the Russian government plans to step up a campaign against corruption to ""protect citizens against economic crimes"". The new system will be supported by government inspections, headed by the chief government inspector, Yuri Boldirev, who was appointed in March. Government inspectors are nothing new to Russia, reminiscent of Nikolai Gogol's play ""The Government Inspector"". Mounting corruption in Russia could be unmatched in history, though, as many local officials are believed to run their respective regions as fiefdoms, above the law. Boldirev, in his first meeting with reporters, said that inspections were already underway in several regions of the republic, with some initial success in Pskov, a prosperous region to the west of Moscow bordering the Baltic states. ""Crime and corruption was rife.

Borovoi enters politics

Konstantin Borovoi, the man who has headed the Russian Commodities and Raw Materials Exchange since its inception two years ago, plans to bow out of the financial arena to become a political contender. An outspoken postcommunist businessman whose actions have made waves in the past, Borovoi confirmed to The Moscow Times that he intended to give up the helm of the highly profitable exchange within the next two months in order to spearhead the Party of Economic Freedom, a new political grouping composed of entrepreneurs, farmers, intellectuals and commercial organizations. The party will seek to promote privatization and economic freedom, issues close to Borovoi, who has amassed a personal ruble fortune since entering the country's fledgling private sector five years ago. ""I want to live in a normal country"", Borovoi said. ""It could still happen today that communists could adopt laws to stop businesses. No one wants to fight for a market economy"".
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