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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Audit Chamber Bill

MOSCOW (MT) -- Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov said Tuesday that he opposed legislation calling for broader powers for parliament's budgetary watchdog, the Audit Chamber, news reports said.

Kasyanov said the Cabinet and the presidential administration are monitored by their own bodies and should not fall under the Audit Chamber's jurisdiction, Prime-Tass reported.

"To create a single, all-encompassing controlling body would infringe on the independence of the different branches of power," Kasyanov said in Minsk, where he was attending a meeting of the Russia-Belarus Union government.

Budanov Trial Delayed

ROSTOV-ON-DON, Southern Russia (AP) -- The parents of slain Chechen Heda Kungayeva failed to show up in court Tuesday when the trial of Colonel Yury Budanov, accused of killing the 18-year-old woman, resumed after an eight-month break, prompting the judge to again delay the proceedings to April 2.

Prosecutors said the victim's parents were in poor health.

Meanwhile, one of the witnesses in the trial, Vakhid Batalov, was killed Monday in Chechnya when gunmen opened fire on his car, a Chechen administration official said Tuesday.

Soviet Books Saved

WASHINGTON (WP) -- Victor Kamkin Inc., the Maryland bookstore that became a mecca for Americans in search of materials on the Soviet Union, got a three-week reprieve Monday. Its eviction was delayed so that officials from the Library of Congress may pore through the 1 million-piece collection to determine what should be saved.

Minutes before the books were to be taken to an incinerator, the store's owner and landlord announced a last-minute deal. Owner Igor Kalageorgi said he would pay his landlord, Allen Kronstadt, $10,000 in rent, raised from sales made last weekend, to stay in the warehouse.

For the Record

In a dramatic show of support for Israel, Sergei Mironov, the speaker of the Federation Council, decided not to meet with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat on Tuesday because "terrorist actions in Afghanistan, Chechnya and Israel have common roots, primarily financial," Itar-Tass reported. But Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov denied Tuesday that the move signaled a shift in Moscow's policy. (AP)

U.S. President George W. Bush will make his third visit to Europe in May, visiting Germany, Russia and France, the White House said Monday. Bush, accompanied by his wife Laura, will spend May 23-25 in Moscow and May 25-26 in St. Petersburg. (Reuters)

A Moscow court on Tuesday ordered former ORT anchor Sergei Dorenko to pay 20,000 rubles ($645) in moral damages to navy Captain Valery Nikitin, whom Dorenko hit while riding his motorcycle last year. Earlier, the same court found Dorenko guilty and issued a suspended four-year sentence for hooliganism. (MT)

The trial of Nadezhda Fratti, an Italian woman charged with bribing officials to arrange adoptions, was delayed until Friday in Volgograd after the defense lawyer said Tuesday he still had not had time to review the documents. (AP)