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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Putin Meets Manh

MOSCOW (AP) -- President Vladimir Putin met with Vietnamese Communist Party chief Nong Duc Manh in the Kremlin on Thursday to discuss boosting political and economic ties between the former Cold War allies.

"I would like to note with satisfaction that there has been positive change in our trade and economic relations over the past year," Putin said in comments broadcast on Russian state television.

"As traditional friends, we are closely watching the success that the Russian people have achieved under your leadership," Interfax quoted Manh as saying at the meeting.

Manh is on a five-day visit to Russia. On Thursday, he laid a wreath at Lenin's tomb and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier outside the Kremlin. He is also scheduled to travel to St. Petersburg, where he once studied at the city's forestry institute, Interfax said.

Putin said Russia planned to hold a forum next year for Vietnamese citizens who have studied in Russia, and said he hoped Manh would attend, Interfax said.

Manh, who was appointed general secretary of the Communist Party last year, completed a five-day visit to Japan over the weekend. From Russia, he will travel to Belarus for a two-day visit, Vietnamese officials said.

Fake Nuclear Diplomas

KIEV (AP) -- Authorities are investigating several nuclear plant workers in western Ukraine for using fake diplomas to get high-paying jobs, a spokesman for Ukraine's state nuclear power monopoly said Thursday.

The 10 workers bought fake diplomas between 1999-2001 for as much as $600 from a university in Odessa, indicating that they were specialists in "atomic energy and electric power stations," the daily Kievskiy Vedemosti reported, citing the deputy prosecutor general for Rivne, Vasyl Kundiuk.

Doubts about the workers' qualifications arose when officials investigated a number of reports of technical problems at the plant, the report said. The workers held a variety of engineering and administrative positions, ranging from senior operator to shift boss.

The apparent motive for the workers' ruse was higher salaries.

Regional Deputy Killed

MOSCOW (MT) -- A Moscow region lawmaker was gunned down Thursday at a vocational school he headed, police said.

An unidentified gunman used a Makarov pistol to kill Vladimir Menis, a deputy in the Lyubertsy District Council and the principal of Vocational School No. 10, and wound his assistant and bodyguard. Two employees of a nearby auto repair shop were also hit during the shooting, which occurred in the schoolyard at 7:40 a.m., Interfax quoted a Moscow region police official as saying.

Menis also served as a consultant at the Audit Chamber and co-founded the auto repair shop and a local market, Interfax said.

N.Y. Jewelers Arrested

NEW YORK (AP) -- A ring of Russian-born jewelers who bought and sold millions of dollars in stolen property has been arrested after an 18-month investigation, New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said.

Twenty-two proprietors of jewelry stores on Manhattan's Upper East Side and in the midtown diamond district face charges including enterprise corruption and possession of stolen property, Kelly said Wednesday.

The suspects bought stolen jewels from burglars for a fraction of their true value and melted them down or resold them overseas, Kelly said.

Police confiscated luxury cars from the suspects.