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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

it could only happen here

Here is a selection of news stories that didn't make a big splash in the Western press. Mother sells son A woman in Rybinsk has taken out an ad in the local newspaper offering to sell her 11-year-old son. The woman, named simply Anna, is a single mother who works at a former defense industry factory. Often her salary is not paid out, she said, and the last paycheck she received was for 12,000 rubles in mid-December. She says she wants to sell her son to a debt-free family. (Izvestia) Squash nabbers squished Three Muscovites were arrested after pistol-toting thieves stole 1,360 cans of mashed squash. A Mr. Gorbynov, director of the canned food factory Kamenka-Dneprovsk in the Zaporozhye region in Ukraine, was selling the mashed vegetable on Tsyolkovsky Ulitsa in Moscow when three men approached and threatened him with a pistol. After the robbery Gorbynov informed police, who quickly arrested three residents of the same street, aged 29, 30 and 33. Police confiscated the 1,360 cans and a gas pistol. (Segodnya) Prime-time robbery A television program called "History of Love" was cut short in Voronezh when an unscheduled advertiser took control of the airwaves. The ad, for a pharmacological company from Tel-Aviv, interrupted both the beginning and the end of the love story during an afternoon broadcast on Feb. 19. "It's banditism and piracy -- I can't describe it any other way," said Olvar Kakuchaya, director of the studio that sponsored the show. Instead of the usual Channel One symbol in the right hand corner of their screens viewers were presented with "01 TV." Kakuchaya said that on the day of the piracy, television signals were received from Kursk and Dnepropetrovsk. (Moskovskiye Novosti) Deadlines missed A subscriber in Novorossisk has won 800,000 rubles in damages after complaining that 44 copies of a newspaper were never delivered to his home. V. Merkurov went to court last August arguing that he often received Kubansky Kurier on the wrong day, and sometimes never received it. A judge agreed with him and ordered the local postal district to pay him 800,000 rubles and to deliver the paper for free for three months. (Izvestia) Russia's only sober party The Beer Party of Russia, created as a stunt in December, is the fastest growing political organization in the country, with 5,000 members at latest count. Organizers at the PLP expect to sign up 100,000 members by year's end, and say the party will participate in presidential elections in 1996. The beer lovers have members in 47 regions of Russia, says Sergei Kaverin, a member of the organization's politburo. (Segodnya) Car collectors Sixty-four cars were confiscated after a gang made up exclusively of merchants was arrested in Yakutsk. Police say the group was involved in fraud and racketeering, and worked with the backing of a trading company. Also confiscated were jewels, arms, furs and 1.5 billion rubles. (Kommersant) Fingertips for the elite Masseuse Alla Makhnach began plying her trade for Mecheslav Grib at the Belarus Supreme Soviet immediately after Grib was named the chamber's speaker. Previously her skills had been used by two first secretaries of the Belarus Communist Party. (Izvestia)