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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Thousands Call Putin

MOSCOW (MT) -- By late Sunday afternoon, at least 300,000 people had sent questions by telephone for an unprecedented call-in show to be hosted by President Vladimir Putin on Monday, Interfax reported.

An even larger number of queries have been sent by e-mail since the broadcast, which will be aired at 12 p.m. Monday on ORT and RTR, was announced Wednesday, Interfax said.

Residents of Moscow, Vladivostok, Novosibirsk, Murmansk, Rostov-on-Don, Kazan, the Krasnodar region, Yekaterinburg, Kaliningrad and St. Petersburg will also be able to pose questions via a live feed to the Kremlin. The broadcast is to last 60 to 80 minutes.

A transcript of the show is to be posted Tuesday at the Internet site

Ship Hits Rusting Sub

MOSCOW (AP) -- A Russian vessel collecting spent nuclear fuel collided with a mothballed Northern Fleet nuclear submarine in the Arctic Kola Bay, but there has been no radiation leak, a marine spokesman said.

The Imandra waste carrier bumped into a submarine from which it was supposed to unload spent nuclear fuel, said Vladimir Blinov, spokesman for the Merchant Marine service in the port of Murmansk.

Radiation experts were rushed to the scene, but an inspection showed that neither vessel had leaked radiation or suffered any damage, Blinov said Friday in a telephone interview.

Blinov wouldn't name the submarine's type or say when the accident happened. ORT television said the collision occurred Dec. 13.

Gongadze Probe

KIEV (AP) -- The Ukrainian parliamentary commission investigating the slaying of reporter Georgy Gongadze has criticized the Prosecutor General's Office for hindering the investigation, news reports said.

Gongadze disappeared last September. A beheaded body found later in the woods near Kiev was proved to be his, and his death sparked a political scandal.

The head of the parliamentary investigating commission, Oleksandr Zhyr, said the prosecutors "ignored the Constitutional norms" to protect officials involved in the case, according to Interfax.

He also urged representatives of the prosecutor's office and the Interior Ministry to report to the parliament in January about the investigation results, according to the local ICTV Channel news.

Stalin's 122nd Birthday

GORI, Georgia (Reuters) -- Hundreds of Georgians loyal to the memory Josef Stalin marched through his home town of Gori on Friday, carrying flowers and tattered portraits to mark the 122nd anniversary of his birth.

A group of mainly elderly supporters gathered outside the museum dedicated to the dictator before taking wreathes to a giant bronze statue of Stalin.

Stalin, who ruled the Soviet Union from Lenin's death in 1924 to his own death in 1953, was born Josef Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili in the small town of Gori on Dec. 21, 1879.

In Moscow, supporters of the Communist Party laid wreathes by Stalin's grave in the Kremlin wall.

"Against the background of the ignorance and vulgarity that is overwhelming our country, against the background of the mediocrity that is looting and destroying a 1,000-year-old power, the historical figure of Stalin seems even more significant," Communist leader Gennady Zyuganov said.