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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Zakayev Extension

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) -- A Danish court ruled Tuesday that Chechen rebel envoy Akhmed Zakayev should remain in custody for another nine days while Denmark decides whether to extradite him to Russia.

Judge Lisbeth Christensen said Zakayev will stay in jail until Dec. 5.

"I now believe that we should get a decision from the Justice Ministry" whether to send Zakayev back to Russia, Christensen said after a 30-minute hearing that was closed to the media and the public.

Zakayev was arrested on Oct. 30 in the Danish capital at Moscow's request, after a meeting of rebels and human rights activists.

Russia says he is linked to attacks on civilians, including a theater raid in Moscow that left about 130 hostages dead.

Zakayev, 43, was ordered held after Danish officials determined that he could flee the country and may pose a threat to the investigation into Russia's extradition request.

The Danish Justice Ministry has said the Russian evidence has been insufficient and has inconsistencies in translations.

On Tuesday, Interfax reported that the Prosecutor General's Office had sent new materials to Denmark related to Zakayev.

Turkey Detains Ship

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) -- Turkish authorities detained 94 illegal immigrants aboard a Russian ship after it ran aground off the country's Aegean shore on Tuesday, the Anatolia news agency reported.

Most people were from Iraq, Afghanistan and Ukraine, the news agency said.

The 40-meter DBE 32 ran aground near the port city of Izmir. The origin and destination of the ship were not clear.

Rumyantsev on Iran

MOSCOW (Reuters) -- Nuclear Power Minister Alexander Rumyantsev assured visiting Canadian Foreign Minister Bill Graham on Tuesday that Russia has taken steps to ensure Iran cannot use a Russian-built nuclear power station to produce arms.

Washington has urged Russia to reconsider its contract to help build the power plant, saying Iran could use the facility to make nuclear weapons.

But Graham said Tuesday that he had received assurances from Rumyantsev that Iran was committed to the peaceful use of nuclear technology.

"[The Russians] have a vested interest in making sure this plant works in such a way that nuclear materials don't get diverted to improper purposes," Graham told reporters at the end of a two-day visit.

He said Rumyantsev had pointed to 60 inspections of the site at Bushehr in the past two years, with no evidence of illegal activity. Other assurances, he said, could come from proposals to ensure spent fuel was removed and reprocessed safely outside the country.

8 Russians in Cuba

MOSCOW (MT) -- The Prosecutor General's Office said it plans to request the extradition of eight Russian nationals being held at the U.S. naval detention facility at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, Interfax reported Tuesday.

A delegation from the prosecutor's office has interrogated the eight men in Cuba and confirmed their identities, Deputy Prosecutor General Sergei Fridinsky was quoted as saying.

Fridinsky identified five of them as Ravil Mingazov and Airat Vakhitov of Tatarstan, Rustam Akhmerov of Chelyabinsk, Timur Ishmuradov of Tyumen and Ruslan Odigov of Kabardino-Balkaria.

"We intend to send an official request for their extradition to the United States shortly," Fridinsky said.

The Russians were recruited by radical Islamic groups and sent to Afghanistan to fight with the Taliban, Interfax said.

North Korean Camps

MOSCOW (MT) -- The Khabarovsk region has shut down all North Korean labor camps operating in the region, Khabarovsk Governor Viktor Ishayev said.

Abuses and even murders had occurred in the camps, which employed 15,000 North Korean indentured laborers, Ishayev was quoted as saying in the Monday issue of Vremya Novostei.

The bodies of murdered workers were shipped home from the North Korean-run camps, which were off limits to Russian police, Ishayev said. "We had to stop this," he said.

Royal Jordanian Visit

MOSCOW (AP) -- President Vladimir Putin told visiting Jordanian King Abdullah II on Tuesday that he was pleased with the expanding relationship between their countries, and expressed hope military-technical ties would intensify.

Putin said the Russian delegation to an arms show in Oman last month had given the Jordanian delegation an exact replica of the ceremonial sword used by Abdullah's great-grandfather. He called the gift a fitting symbol for the start of a growing military-technical relationship, Itar-Tass reported, using a euphemism for weapons sales.

Putin and Abdullah confirmed their nations' commitment to the United Nations resolutions governing weapons inspections in Iraq, news agencies reported.

Abdullah said Jordan and its neighbors "highly appreciated Russia's leading role" in the Middle East, Interfax reported.

It was Abdullah's fourth trip to Russia since ascending to the throne in February 1999. He last visited Moscow in July.

Israeli Restraint Plea

MOSCOW (AP) -- Russia called on Israel on Tuesday to exercise restraint, withdraw its forces quickly from Bethlehem and other Palestinian cities and lift restrictions on access to the Church of the Nativity, one of the holiest shrines in Christianity.

The Foreign Ministry expressed concern over continuing violence in the Palestinian territories and sorrow over the recent killings of children and a United Nations worker.

"It stands to reason that the Israeli government has the right to take measures aimed at providing security for its citizens," the ministry said in a statement.

"At the same time, it is necessary to display due restraint in order not to permit casualties among the civilian population and international staff."

The ministry also called on the Palestinians to take steps "not in words, but in deed" to prevent a "terrorist infrastructure" from forming.