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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Early Warning Delay

WASHINGTON (AP) ? Already three years on the drawing board, a U.S.-Russian center aimed at averting false warnings of missile attacks won?t open for at least another year due to "diplomatic issues," a Pentagon official said Wednesday.

Plans to convert a building on the outskirts of Moscow into a joint early warning center are hung up on Russia?s insistence the United States pay taxes on the equipment it?s taking into the country and accept liability for the construction, said Philip Jamison, deputy director of the U.S. Defense Department office on international security.

"It essentially boils down to diplomatic issues," he told a seminar at the Cato Institute. Jamison said the center could be open for testing at the end of 2002 "if we can resolve the diplomatic issues in the next month or two."

Though the issues seem small in relation to the hoped for benefits of the center ? that is, to avoid accidental nuclear conflagration ? U.S. officials have said they don?t want to set a precedent on taxes and other issues that could create problems on other aid programs.

Balkan Peace Process

MOSCOW (Reuters) ? The U.S. envoy to Macedonia said Thursday that Russia had agreed on the need for an international peacekeeping or monitoring presence in the Balkan nation.

Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, who hosted talks on Russia?s role in resolving the conflict, said Moscow was prepared to help international efforts provided certain conditions on Macedonia?s territorial integrity were met.

Ivanov, quoted in a Russian Foreign Ministry statement, said constitutional reforms and efforts to guard against a partition of Macedonia were vital, as were efforts to ensure ethnic Albanian rebels posed no new threat to the Skopje government.

Speaking after the discussions in Moscow, U.S. envoy James Pardew said he hoped Russia would play a role in a stabilization force. But details on numbers or the type of force required had not been discussed, he said.

Reactor Revved Up

MOSCOW (AP) ? Russia?s first new nuclear power plant since the Soviet era was turned up to full capacity, officials said Thursday.

Reactor No. 1 at the Rostov Atomic Energy Station, which began pumping electricity in March, was working at full capacity as of Wednesday, the state-owned nuclear power company Rosenergoatom said in a statement.

Over the next 40 days, plant workers will conduct 46 tests to make sure the reactor is working properly, the company said. It said the radiation levels around the reactor were normal.

Officials say the new reactor is the country?s safest, but its construction met with strong opposition in the nearby town of Volgodonsk.

Latvian Court Case

RIGA, Latvia (Reuters) ? Latvian prosecutors said Thursday they had sent to court the case of a former Soviet security official charged with genocide and crimes against humanity for his alleged role in mass deportations in 1949. Prosecutors charged Nikolai Tess, a Russian citizen, in April.

The 80-year-old former Soviet Interior Ministry official is the 10th former Soviet official charged by Latvia with genocide and crimes against humanity since 1991.

The charge sheet says Tess drew up and signed an order to deport 42 families totalling 138 people to forced settlement in remote parts of the Soviet Union on March 25, 1949. They included 14 children. Eleven of the deported died in Siberia, a prosecutor?s spokeswoman said.

Adoption Scandal

NEW ORLEANS (AP) ? The Louisiana Supreme Court has suspended a Baton Rouge lawyer for her role in a scheme in which pregnant Russian women were recruited to come to the United States and give up their babies for adoption for a fee.

Nina Sue Broyles, who ran Special Delivery Adoptions Services in Baton Rouge, pleaded guilty in Baton Rouge last May to conspiracy to make false statements to the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service. She faces up to five years in prison and a possible $250,000 fine on that charge.

The state Supreme Court placed Broyles on "interim suspension" last week, meaning further disciplinary action is forthcoming. The interim suspension means Broyles cannot practice law in Louisiana until the court issues further orders. Broyles? attorney, Frank Holthaus of Baton Rouge, said Broyles will ultimately lose her law license as well as her state license as a social worker.

Rangers Stay Uninsured

GLASGOW, Scotland (Reuters) ? Glasgow Rangers have yet to find an insurance company that will provide cover for next week?s UEFA Cup trip to the potentially dangerous region of Dagestan, the Scottish club said Thursday.

The Rangers are still locked in negotiations over the visit to face Anzhi Makhachkala in a first-round match Sept. 13.

The club refused to confirm a report in Thursday?s Daily Record that claims they are facing a ?10 million ($14.51 million) bill to provide insurance for their players and officials.

"We are still in discussions with companies ? but I cannot comment on details," a Rangers spokeswoman said. "As far as we are concerned, the game is still on, though UEFA are evaluating the situation daily."

Kremlin Cup to China?

MOSCOW (Reuters) ? Moscow?s annual Kremlin Cup tournament could be leased to China, Russia?s tennis chief said Wednesday.

"The Chinese have just won the right to host the 2008 Summer Olympics, but they still don?t have a big-time professional tennis tournament," Kremlin Cup chairman Shamil Tarpishchev said.

"So they have asked us if they could lease our tournament until 2008," he told a news conference.

The $2.15 million Kremlin Cup, which was first played in 1990 and will be held in the Russian capital from Oct. 1 to 7, has been plagued by persistent financial troubles in recent years.

"We had some problems in the past, but we should be okay for this year unless our financial partners suddenly renege on their commitments," said Tarpishchev, who also heads the Russian Tennis Federation.

"We are also considering the Chinese offer. They are offering us a lot of money, so I wonder why not sell it to them and solve all our financial worries at once."