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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Governor Polls

The Associated Press

A hard-line Communist who took part in the August 1991 attempted overthrow of Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev was in the lead Monday in the governor's race in the Tula region east of Moscow, one of three weekend elections.

Incumbent Vasily Starodubtsev was leading with 49 percent of the vote, said Vyacheslav Nazarenko, director of the regional elections commission. Andrei Samoshin, a district administrator, was in second place with about 20 percent of the vote.

In the Far East Amur region, Leonid Korotkov, a State Duma deputy, won in the second round against sitting Governor Anatoly Belenogov with 49 percent of the vote.

In the oil-rich Evenkia autonomous district, a former executive of the Yukos oil company won in the first round of voting, the Itar-Tass news agency reported. Boris Zolotaryov won with 51 percent of the vote, according to a preliminary count, the report said.




Meat Ban Eased

The Associated Press

Russia on Monday partially lifted a ban on European agricultural products introduced to stop the spread of foot-and-mouth disease, a spokeswoman for the Agriculture Ministry said.

Russia had banned imports of meat from cows, sheep and other animals affected by the disease, as well as the import of fish and poultry.

The ministry lifted the ban on fish and poultry Monday. Bans on precooked meat products and some types of fodder were also lifted.

Russia also freed up imports of meat and related products from non-European countries shipped across the Polish, Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian borders and through those countries' ports.




Georgia Remembers

The Associated Press

TBILISI, Georgia — Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze on Monday bowed his head in respect at a ceremony honoring 19 people killed when Soviet authorities violently broke up an independence rally in Tbilisi in 1989.

Monday was the 12th anniversary of the crackdown, in which Soviet police stormed along the city's main boulevard and used tear gas and shovels to beat back demonstrators.

Shevardnadze and other officials solemnly passed wreaths to soldiers in white gloves, who laid them at the site of a future monument commemorating the killings.




Bomb Suspects Held

The Associated Press

The death toll in a series of near simultaneous car bombings near Chechnya last month has risen to 24, after a 50-year-old woman hospitalized with stomach and liver wounds died in the hospital, medics said Monday.

The woman died Sunday in a hospital in the southern Russian town of Stavropol, ORT television and Interfax cited doctors as saying.

Meanwhile, two more suspects have been arrested, a spokesman for the Prosecutor General's Office said Monday. Eight people have been charged in connection with the March 24 blasts, and police are questioning another suspect who has not yet been formally charged, said spokesman Leonid Troshin. One suspect remains on the run, he said.

Officials blamed the bombings in three cities in southern Russia on Chechen rebels, but rebel leaders denied any role.




Borodin Asks for Bail

The Associated Press

GENEVA, Switzerland — Lawyers for top official Pavel Borodin, indicted by a Swiss magistrate over the weekend on charges of money laundering, will apply for him to be released on bail Tuesday.

Attorney Robert Assael said the defense team had visited Borodin in his Geneva prison Monday to discuss the bail application. "He is tired and disgusted at this unjust and useless detention, but confident he will be proved innocent," said Assael.

At Tuesday's court hearing, Geneva State Prosecutor Bernard Bertossa is expected to oppose bail. However, Assael was upbeat that his client would be provisionally released.




House Fires Kill 17

The Associated Press

Seventeen people, including seven children, died in house fires in Russia over the weekend, emergency officials said Monday.

Most of the deaths occurred in the Primorye region, where central heating failed in many areas this winter and residents resorted to makeshift natural gas heaters. Six fires in the region killed 11 people, said Natalya Formanchuk, spokeswoman for the regional fire department.

Since the beginning of the year, 60 people have died in fires in Primorye, she said.




Pakistan Sanctions?

New York Times Service

UNITED NATIONS — Russia is expected to lead a drive this month to persuade the United Nations Security Council to impose sanctions on Pakistan, the strongest supporter of Afghanistan's Taliban government, diplomats and UN officials say.

Pakistan, which Washington considers an ally, has serious economic and political problems and faces a rising tide of more than a million Afghan refugees.

Russia and France have compiled dossiers accusing Pakistan of directly supporting the Taliban in its fight against an opposition army based in northeastern Afghanistan, diplomats say. Pakistan denies that it is giving material support to the Taliban.




1,000 March in Kiev

Reuters

KIEV — In the latest of a series of protests, 1,000 Ukrainian students marched through Kiev on Monday, calling on President Leonid Kuchma to swear on the constitution that he was not involved in the murder of reporter Georgy Gongadze, whose headless body was found last November.

Kuchma denies all involvement and has resisted calls for his resignation.

The crowd chanted "Truth" and "Youth says 'No' to Kuchma," taking a leather-bound copy of the former Soviet state's constitution to Kuchma's office. The students also wrote a letter of resignation for Kuchma to sign and left it lying outside the office.

Opposition politicians said they would hold another rally Tuesday.