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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Turkey Bars Chechens



MOSCOW (AP) -- Turkey has deported or denied entry visas to nine separatist leaders from Chechnya, the Turkish ambassador to Moscow said Tuesday.

"These people will never enter Turkey," Ambassador Kurtulus Taskent said at a news conference. Among the nine Chechens, he mentioned Movladi Udugov and Ruslan Gelayev, both prominent rebel warlords who have played an active role in the war.

Taskent would not say whether Udugov and Gelayev were actually deported from Turkey or simply barred from entering.




Ambassador to Canada



OTTAWA (Reuters) -- Deputy Foreign Minister Georgy Mamedov, who is Moscow's top arms control negotiator, is set to become Russia's ambassador to Canada next year, diplomatic sources said Tuesday.

They said Mamedov would replace Vitaly Churkin, himself a former deputy foreign minister whose term as ambassador was blotched when one of his diplomats killed a Canadian woman in a drunk driving incident in January 2001.

The appointment of Mamedov would appear to be something of a demotion, given how senior a position he holds in Moscow. But diplomatic sources said he had recently undergone major heart surgery and might be looking for a less stressful post.




Trawler Seized



MOSCOW (AP) -- Unidentified gunmen seized a Russian fishing trawler in the Sea of Japan, Interfax reported.

The press service of the State Border Guards confirmed that a Russian vessel was seized in the Sea of Japan, but gave no details.

The press service said Russian border guards were informed of the incident by Japanese and South Korean authorities.

Interfax said that according to preliminary information, there were about 20 crew members on board. There was no information about the motive.




Deputy Mugged



MOSCOW (MT) -- A State Duma deputy was beaten and robbed in the elevator of his apartment building, Interfax quoted police as saying Tuesday.

Deputy Sergei Shtorgin, a member of the Agrarian faction and a deputy chairman of the budget and tax committee, entered the elevator of his building on Pyatnitskoye Shosse together with an unidentified man around 11 p.m. Monday. The man punched Shtorgin in the jaw and stole $300, 200 rubles ($6.30), a mobile phone and a box set of sparkling wine with four glasses, the report said.

Shtorgin, 54, declined medical assistance. Police said they did not believe the attack was politically motivated, the Gazeta.ru web site reported.

At least four Duma deputies have been robbed this year, according to Gazeta.ru. Last month, Communist Viktor Ilyukhin had a briefcase with 12,000 rubles stolen from his car, and intruders ransacked the office of Union of Right Forces Deputy Andrei Vulf, taking a computer, cash and documents.




Sakhalin Storm



MOSCOW (AP) -- Heavy winds and high seas left Sakhalin Island cut off from the mainland on Tuesday and knocked out power for at least 25,000 of the island's residents, news reports said.

A fishing vessel with 17 people aboard sank in the Tatar Sound, about 180 kilometers off the island's west coast, during the storm.

One crew member was brought aboard another trawler but died of hypothermia, Interfax reported. Eight others were pulled aboard a freezer ship from a raft, but a ninth man fell into the water during the rescue and has not been found, Itar-Tass reported.




Korbut's Son Sentenced



ATLANTA (AP) -- The son of Soviet Olympic gymnastics star Olga Korbut was sentenced Monday in a U.S. District Court to almost 3 1/2 years in federal custody for making $20,000 in counterfeit money.

Richard Bortkevich, 23, pleaded guilty in September.

"Your mother paid an awful lot of dues to become an Olympic gold medal winner," U.S. District Judge Owen Forrester told Bortkevich. "If you pay those dues, you'll turn out a winner, too."

Forrester ordered Bortkevich to repay almost $5,000 to two stores where he passed phony bills.




Stolen Books Returned



ST. PETERSBURG (AP) -- Four rare books stolen from libraries have been returned after authorities detained three people in the thefts, police said.

The four books are estimated to be worth a total of $85,000, police said.

The suspects are charged with involvement in the theft of at least 20 books from major libraries in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Saratov and Kazan over the past three years.

The suspects -- a 29-year-old woman who heads a construction firm, a 33-year-old unemployed man and a 22-year-old man who works for the prison system -- are all from Saratov, the St. Petersburg police press service said.




Golfers Buy Tea Room



NEW YORK (AP) -- The U.S. Golf Association has bought the fabled Russian Tea Room, a Manhattan landmark soon to become a golf museum and history center.

The USGA bid $16 million for the building and signed documents Monday for the official transfer of property.




Caviar in Coffin



MOSCOW (AP) -- Workers unloading cargo at a southern Russian airport discovered 250 kilograms of smuggled red caviar when the bottom fell out of a coffin, NTV television reported Monday.

The coffin, unloaded late Sunday in Krasnodar, had been sent from Khabarovsk, NTV reported.

The coffin came complete with medical certificates, the station said.