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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Nuclear Safety Deal

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — A blue-ribbon panel is urging the United States to spend $30 billion over the next decade to help Russia secure its nuclear materials, or risk a "potential for catastrophic consequences."

The task force in a report that was to be presented Wednesday said that Russia's vast stockpile of nuclear weapons and nuclear material poses "the most urgent unmet national security threat" facing the United States today.

The bipartisan panel urged President-elect George W. Bush and the new Congress to give the Russia nuclear proliferation concerns top priority. U.S. spending on nuclear security programs in Russia now total about $700 million, an amount the task force called inadequate.

Belarus Press Closed

The Associated Press

MINSK, Belarus — Belarus tax authorities have shut down a printing press where most of the independent periodicals in the country were printed, the director of the press said Wednesday.

Yury Budko also said workers had managed to put out Wednesday's newspapers before the tax authorities came in and ordered the press shut down Tuesday night. Budko said he was told by the tax authorities that the press was seized on the grounds that it belonged to the Soros Foundation, which closed its activities in Belarus three years ago.

However, Budko said he did not rent the press from the Soros Foundation but from the Open Society Institute, which was created by Soros to promote education, civil society, independent media and human rights.

Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko's government is openly hostile to independent media.

Historian Awarded


ROME (AP) — Italy's Agnelli Foundation on Wednesday awarded its annual prize for fostering cultural dialogue to Sergei Averintsev, a prominent Russian historian and scholar of Byzantine and Slavic literature.

The $60,000 prize was awarded in recognition of the 73-year-old Averintsev's attempt to encourage a cultural dialogue between Russia and other European countries.

Pope Gets Book Deal


BEVERLY HILLS, California (AP) — Retired U.S. Navy officer Edmond Pope, convicted by Russia of spying but quickly pardoned, has signed a deal to write a book on his ordeal.

Pope will pen the book for Little, Brown and Co., his literary agent, Norman Brokaw, said Tuesday. "Edmond has a strong interest in telling his story which, based on what I know now, will be a page-turner, one of the most riveting, behind-the-scenes Cold War tales ever told," said Brokaw, chairman of William Morris Agency Inc.

Financial terms of the deal and a publication date weren't disclosed.