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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

$97M Terrorism Fund

MOSCOW (AP) -- The government will allocate an additional 3 billion rubles ($97 million) for fighting terrorism next year, Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said Monday.

Kudrin said the government would economize on other articles in the 2003 budget in order to come up with the sum, Interfax and Itar-Tass reported.

Kudrin made the announcement after meeting with the leaders of the four pro-Kremlin factions in the State Duma.

After the Duma passes the 2003 budget, it "will pass a resolution instructing the government … to economize and put the money thus saved into this program on a quarterly basis," Kudrin said.

Kuchma Visits China

BEIJING (AP) -- Ukraine's president, Leonid Kuchma, began a three-day trip to China on Monday to drum up support for his request that UN inspectors verify that his government did not transfer radar systems to Iraq.

Kuchma, who arrived in Beijing on Sunday, spent part of the morning at the National Defense Science Committee, which gave a 20-minute slide presentation on China's defense industry.

"One thing that we need to point out is that military cooperation between the two sides has entered a newer, higher stage of technology," Kuchma said in a short address later.

He was also scheduled to meet commerce officials and sign a series of bilateral agreements, including aviation deals, a satellite launch project and construction services in the energy sector.

3 McDonald's Suspects

MOSCOW (MT) -- Prosecutors investigating a car bombing near a McDonald's restaurant last month have charged a third suspect with murder, chief city prosecutor Mikhail Avdyukov said Monday, Interfax reported.

One man died and six people were injured when a homemade bomb

went off in a car parked near the restaurant in southwestern Moscow on Oct. 19.

The three charged suspects, all ethnic Chechens, are in custody, Avdyukov said. He did not disclose their names.

Zyuganov on NATO

MOSCOW (AP) -- Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov lashed out at President Vladimir Putin on Monday for doing nothing to curb NATO's expansion in Eastern Europe.

Russia has shown "complete helplessness and impotence … in opposing NATO expansion onto the territory of former [Soviet] Union republics" and will soon be faced by the prospect of NATO troops stationed in the former Soviet republics in the Baltics, Zyuganov told reporters.

At the summit beginning Wednesday in Prague, NATO is expected to invite Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovenia, Romania, Slovakia and Bulgaria to join the alliance.

24 Hours of Ballet

ST. PETERSBURG (Reuters) -- More than 200 dancers, cheered on by thousands of spectators, danced into the early hours on Sunday to complete

the country's first 24-hour ballet marathon.

The dancers, many from the St. Petersburg ballet school, performed some 20 arrangements, both classical and modern, at the Mariinsky Theater.

Thousands of spectators quaffed beer and munched snacks in an atmosphere more reminiscent of a rock concert than a classical ballet performance, part of the city's 300th anniversary celebrations.

One of the organizers of the ballet marathon said it was now set to become an annual event.