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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016


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Solzhenitsyn Bids Adieu To Vermont

CAVENDISH, Vermont -- The Russian author and dissident Alexander Solzhenitsyn bade farewell to his ""dear neighbors"" here as he prepared to return to his homeland this spring. ""You forgave me my unusual way of life, and even took it upon yourselves to protect my privacy,"" Solzhenitsyn told residents gathered for Monday night's annual town meeting. ""For this, I have been truly grateful throughout all these years; and now, as my stay here comes to an end, I thank you."" Solzhenitsyn said he and his wife, Natalya, plan to return to Russia at the end of May, but that his sons would continue to call Cavendish home. ""I hope I can be of at least some help to my tortured nation, although it is impossible to predict how successful my efforts will be,"" he said. The Nobel laureate said his most productive years had been spent in the small Vermont community, where he has lived in relative seclusion since his 1975 expulsion from the Soviet Union.

600,000 Coal Miners Stage One-Day Strike

About 600,000 coal miners throughout Russia staged a one-day work stoppage Tuesday to force the government to pay miners their overdue wages and allocate large subsidies to the industry, according to a union leader. Vitaly Budko, leader of the Independent Coal Workers' Union, said his union had no political demands, but intended to ""demonstrate the solidarity and strength of miners to convince the government to listen to us."" The strikers who Budko said comprise about 80 percent of all Russian miners at 239 of the total 299 coal producers are demanding that the government pay back wages for December and January. They also demand that the government approve 1994 budget subsidies for the industry at 11.9 trillion rubles ($7 billion). The Finance Ministry has so far agreed to allocate over 5 trillion rubles which would only cover half of expenses for social benefits and compensation of coal prices, according to the Russian Coal Company which is in charge of state shares of the industry.

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