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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Chub Sweeps Rostov



MOSCOW (MT) ? Incumbent Rostov Governor Vladimir Chub was re-elected in a landslide victory in a weekend election, Interfax reported Monday.

Chub received 78.11 percent in Sunday?s vote, while more voters picked "none of the above" than rival gubernatorial candidate Pyotr Voloshin, Interfax said, citing the local electoral commission. Voloshin received 7.41 percent, while "none of the above" got 12.68 percent.

Rostov regional Communist Party chief and one-time candidate Leonid Ivanchenko challenged that figure, saying that only a third of the electorate had voted and the result could not be considered legitimate.




Synagogue Vandals



MOSCOW (AP) ? Vandals scrawled swastikas and anti-Semitic epithets on the Moscow Choral Synagogue in the first such attack on the building in several years, its chief rabbi said Monday.

The graffiti on the outer columns and walls of Moscow?s main synagogue appeared early Sunday before services, but some guards and personnel were inside at the time, Rabbi Adolf Shayevich said.

"It?s the first in a long time, five or six years," he said. "Our security is very good but perhaps they lost some vigilance because it has been peaceful recently."

The rabbi blamed the incident on "hooligans" and said it was not likely connected to religious tensions worldwide in the wake of the terrorist attacks on the United States earlier this month.

Jews in Russia have enjoyed rising fortunes since the collapse of the Soviet regime, and Russian law enshrines Judaism as one of the country?s three "traditional" religions along with Orthodox Christianity and Islam.

But signs of anti-Semitism remain, with occasional bombings and vandalism at synagogues and Jewish cemeteries as well as attacks on Jews.




3 Killed by Car Bomb



MAKHACHKALA, Dagestan (AP) ? A 13-year-old boy, a civilian woman and a police officer were killed in a car bomb explosion in a Dagestani town near Chechnya, police said Monday.

Officials initially said after the bombing Sunday that two police officers were killed in the incident in Khasavyurt.

On Monday, a duty officer with the regional police headquarters said a boy and 30-year-old woman were killed immediately, and one police officer died of injuries overnight.

At least 15 people were wounded.

Explosions and skirmishes with local police forces plague areas neighboring Chechnya, where federal troops have been fighting rebels in a two-year-old war.




FSB: Map Found



MOSCOW (AP) ? The Federal Security Service detained a resident of Chechnya who allegedly had a plan outlining terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center involving airplanes, Itar-Tass reported Monday.

The Chechnya branch of the FSB said the suspect was picked up in the city of Argun along with army tents and sleeping bags, according to Itar-Tass.

The report said the word jihad, or holy war, was written on the back of the piece of paper with the attack plan.

The report did not say when the man was detained or give any other details. It was impossible to verify the claim.

A spokeswoman for the security service headquarters in Moscow said she had no information about the detention.

The service?s Chechnya office could not immediately be reached for comment.

Russian officials have made other such claims since terrorists flew planes into the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington earlier this month.

Last week, the Federal Security Service said it had found a computer compact disc during a raid in Chechnya containing instructions on flying Boeing aircraft ? the planes used in the attacks.

Chechen rebels denied that claim, saying the FSB was trying to use the terrorist attacks in the United States as an excuse to step up the military campaign in Chechnya.

Russian officials insist they are fighting international terrorists in Chechnya and have expressed hope that the attacks on the United States would attract sympathy for the Russian military?s plight in the republic.




Fresh Kursk Snag



MOSCOW (AP) ? An international effort to raise the sunken Kursk nuclear submarine hit a new snag Monday as divers struggled to clear holes needed to attach lifting cables, officials said Monday.

The Dutch Mammoet-Smit International consortium working to raise the Kursk tried to clear the holes by powerful robotic equipment but failed to break through the web of pipes and other equipment located between the submarine?s double hull, said Northern Fleet spokesman Captain Vladimir Navrotsky.

Divers went down Monday to make another attempt to clear the holes with manually operated drilling equipment, Navrotsky said on television.

The laborious and time-consuming preparatory works have repeatedly pushed back the original Sept. 15 lifting date, and Admiral Mikhail Motsak, who is in charge of the effort, said Sunday that it has now been set for Saturday.

The Giant 4 barge that is to hoist the Kursk from the bottom of the Barents Sea ? where it has lain since it sank in August 2000, killing all 118 sailors aboard ? was waiting for the divers to complete the work.

Once holes are cut, the divers will have to attach steel cables linked to 26 hydraulic lifting devices anchored on the barge. The lifting itself would take around 12 hours and require good weather.

The Kursk, attached under the barge, will then be towed to a dry dock near the port of Murmansk where the navy will remove the crew remains and the submarine?s 22 Granit cruise missiles.

The Dutch consortium has previously cut the submarine?s mangled forward section, which officials feared might contain unexploded torpedoes and jeopardize the lifting.