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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Samara Bomb Blast

MOSCOW (AP) -- A homemade bomb exploded Thursday on a street in the southern city of Samara, killing an elderly woman and injuring her daughter, an official said.

The device exploded near a street lamp, said Yevgeny Puchko, a city police spokesman.

It was not immediately clear how much TNT the bomb contained, but police described it as homemade. Itar-Tass said that according to witnesses, the bomb was filled with nuts and bolts.

Police did not offer any motives for the blast.

Ivanov on Kaliningrad

MOSCOW (Reuters) -- Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov called on Thursday for broader talks on the future status of the Kaliningrad enclave, which will be encircled by the European Union after the bloc's planned eastward enlargement.

Ivanov said Poland and Lithuania should take part in talks aimed at ensuring that Kaliningrad residents can travel freely to mainland Russia.

"We see four-way talks as the optimal formula," Ivanov told reporters in Warsaw after meeting his Polish counterpart, Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz.

His comments followed a State Duma resolution on Wednesday expressing "serious concern" over the situation for the enclave.

Media Reforms

MOSCOW (MT) -- Several hundred media executives from across Russia agreed Thursday to press ahead with wide-ranging reforms of the industry, such as introducing longer terms for licenses and eliminating privileges for favored media organizations.

At the conclusion of a two-day industry conference, executives supported the Press Ministry's plans to reduce federal media ownership and called for legal limits on local governments' media ownership. They also said a media ethics committee would be established.

The participants also assigned organizers to draft plans for an industrial committee to lobby for industry.

Brain Drain

MOSCOW (AP) -- More than half a million scientists have left Russia since the collapse of the Soviet Union to seek more lucrative work abroad, Viktor Kalinushkin, chairman of the Academy of Sciences' trade unions, said Thursday.

"From 500,000 to 800,000 Russian scientists have left on long-term missions abroad in the past 10 years. Almost none of them has returned," Kalinushkin said, Interfax reported.

He said Russian scientists abroad earn $3,000 to $7,000 per month on average, compared to 3,000 rubles (about $95) at home.

Premeditated Murder

MOSCOW (MT) -- Russia has the second highest rate of premeditated murder in the world, the Prosecutor General's Office said Thursday.

Russia's rate of 34 murders per 100,000 people is second only to South Africa, said Yury Lekanov, head of the crime detection department of the prosecutor's office, Interfax reported.

Large Heroin Haul

DUSHANBE, Tajikistan (AP) -- Russian border guards seized one of their biggest-ever hauls of heroin on the border between Afghanistan and Tajikistan, killing two drug-traffickers before collecting 90 packages containing more than 96 kilograms of the drug, a spokesman said Thursday.