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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Journalists Win

MOSCOW (MT) -- Journalists of Lipetsk's TVK television company won a standoff against new management on Friday when city police left the premises.

Several courts ruled in favor of the old management led by Alexander Lykov against Dmitry Kolbasko, installed late August by one of the shareholders and supported by Lipetsk region Governor Oleg Korolyov. The majority of journalists protested the management change. Last week, a group of journalists, who had been locked out of the editorial offices, snuck past police guards and staged a sit-in strike.

Pro-governor media in Lipetsk alleged that Novolipetsk Metallurgical Plant head Vladimir Lisin, who is considering a run for governor next year, stood behind the protesting journalists.

Lykov was attacked by unknown people Friday shortly after police left. In a telephone interview, he said it was a "provocation" aimed at bringing police back to TVK's offices.

TVK lawyer Lyudmila Mironova said Sunday that Lykov and his team were in charge at the station, but the conflict was not over and more court hearings were coming.

"The Press Ministry's 10-day ban on airing TVK [imposed late last month to allow for resolution of the conflict] expires at midnight Monday and, if nobody tries to hinder us in the meantime, we will resume broadcasting on Tuesday," Mironova said by telephone.

TVK, one of the most professional regional television stations, has been critical of the governor's administration.

Bomb Injures 2

MAKHACHKALA, Dagestan (AP) -- Two people were injured Sunday when a bomb placed in a car parked next to a wholesale market in Dagestan exploded, police said.

The bomb was placed inside a Mercedes belonging to the owner of a local cafe, an Interior Ministry spokesman said. The driver and a passer-by were badly injured, Itar-Tass reported.

Police said the blast was most likely due to gangland war and they were looking for two men who leaped out of the car just before the blast, the report said.

Arafat to Visit

MOSCOW (AP) -- Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat will visit Moscow by the end of the year, a Palestine Liberation Organization official said Saturday.

Mahmoud Abbas, a top aide to Arafat, said he will discuss the visit with Arafat when he returns home after talks this week in Moscow.

Abbas told Itar-Tass that his talks were successful, saying: "I am pleased with the answers that the Russian side gave both to the Palestinians and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon," who visited Moscow last week.

Kursk's 3rd Saw

MOSCOW (AP) -- Divers on Saturday installed a third underwater saw to cut off the bow section of the sunken Kursk submarine, and officials said the cutting operation was almost complete.

The cutting operation was suspended Friday after one of the saws became jammed, Interfax reported. The operation resumed Saturday, but was halted again Sunday while divers did further repair work, the news agency said, citing navy spokesman Igor Dygalo.

The front section is being cut away because of fears it could break off during the planned raising of the submarine.

Bull Gets Loose

MOSCOW (AP) -- A bull squeezed through a gate during bullfights in Armenia's capital Saturday and galloped toward the stands, prompting a deputy interior minister to pursue it with a pistol before a toreador stabbed it to death.

Organizers of the bullfights in a Yerevan stadium, arranged by a group of Armenian emigrants from Spain, had promised not to kill the bulls because of protests by the Armenian Apostolic Church and animal rights groups.

During the third fight, the bull scrambled toward a gate and pushed his way through the bars. Deputy Interior Minister Oganes Varian pulled up in a special ambulance and shot at the animal eight times from a pistol, police said. The bull was not subdued, so one of the bullfighters then stabbed it. This weekend was also supposed to see a Portuguese corrida in Moscow, but the mayor banned it.

Refrigerator Ship Sinks

MOSCOW (AP) -- A Russian refrigerator ship whose crew was evacuated Saturday has sunk off the southern coast of Japan, news reports said Sunday.

The Avior, with a cargo of 2,700 tons of frozen fish, began taking on water as it was going from the Sea of Okhotsk to the South Korean port of Pusan, Itar-Tass said. The ship sent an SOS signal Friday night and the Japanese Coast Guard safely evacuated the 29 crew members, the report said.

Warship Visits Japan

VLADIVOSTOK, Far East (AP) -- An anti-submarine warship from the Pacific Fleet sailed for Japan on Saturday for a five-day visit including joint search and rescue exercises, the Pacific Fleet press service reported.

The Admiral Tributs is scheduled to arrive in Japan's main naval base of Sasebo on Tuesday for the sixth such naval visit between the two countries.

2 Helicopters Crash

MOSCOW (AP) -- An Mi-2 helicopter crashed early Friday in western Siberia, and the pilot, who was the sole person aboard, survived by jumping out of the craft before it hit the ground.

Officials from the Interstate Aviation Committee told Itar-Tass that the accident was caused by the failure of the engine on the right side of the helicopter. The engine failed just after takeoff and crashed near the town of Kagalym.

Another helicopter, an Mi-8, crashed in the Far Eastern Khabarovsk region later Friday, said Irina Andriyanova of the Emergency Situations Ministry in Moscow. One of the four people aboard was hospitalized after the helicopter plunged into the Amur River, breaking its tail, near the airport in Ekimchan. No cause for the crash had been established.

Opium Arrest

VLADIVOSTOK, Far East (AP) -- Japanese police arrested a Russian ship captain suspected of running a smuggling ring carrying Iranian opium to Japanese ports, a spokeswoman for the State Customs Service said Friday.

Inna Bobrikova said Alexei Olkin was arrested Sept. 1 as his timber ship was docked in the port of Abashiri on Japan's Hokkaido Island. Japanese police led a two-year investigation and earlier arrested five Russian sailors who were alleged to be drug couriers from Olkin's group, she said. Nineteen kilograms of opium were confiscated.

Colonel on Trial

ROSTOV-ON-DON, Southern Russia (AP) -- A military court on Friday began hearing the case of a former colonel in Chechnya accused of corruption, the judge handling the case said.

Colonel Alexander Petrov is charged with bribe-taking, extortion and abuse of office, Judge Igor Potapchenko said. Prosecutors say Petrov, who served as military commissar in Chechnya, took bribes in the form of money and jewelry.

Pope's Armenia Hopes

CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy (AP) -- Pope John Paul II said Sunday he hoped his upcoming trip to Armenia and Kazakstan would help contribute to the ecumenical dialogue that has been a priority of his papacy.

John Paul is to visit the small Catholic communities in the two former Soviet republics Sept. 22-27.

"I hope from my heart that my visits will contribute to the cause of the new evangelization and ecumenical dialogue," John Paul told pilgrims and tourists outside Rome.

Finland Beats Russia

ZLIN, Czech Republic (AP) -- Eero Somervuori scored midway through the second period to give Finland a 2-1 win Saturday over Russia for its second victory in the Ceska Pojistovna Cup.

Sweden stayed in contention by beating defending Olympic and world champion Czech Republic 3-1.

Petri Pakaslahti gave Finland the lead at 8:05 in the first period. Alexander Golts tied the score at 17:46 for Russia, which lost 5-4 to the Czechs at Zlin on Thursday. Somervuori's game-winner came at 13:07 in the second period.

Slutskaya Takes Gold

BRISBANE, Australia (Reuters) -- A bloody nose could not prevent Russia's Irina Slutskaya from beating Olympic favorite Michelle Kwan to the women's figure skating title at the Goodwill Games on Saturday.

The Russian spent the final few minutes before stepping on to Brisbane's Boondall ice rink frantically cleaning herself up after her nose began to bleed uncontrollably.

"The blood stopped just before I went on the ice," Slutskaya said.

The tiny American has won three world championships, but the Olympic crown has eluded her.