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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Terror Attack Alert

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) -- Turkish police are on alert over a poisonous chemical or biological substance believed to have been smuggled into the country for an attack that could target the U.S. and Russian embassies, the semi-official Anatolia news agency reported Wednesday.

The agency said all provincial police departments were put on alert after the CIA informed Turkish authorities, via the embassy in Ankara, that the material may be used to target the two embassies and could be used for a mass attack on the Turkish public.

A government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed that the government had been warned about a possible attack involving biological or chemical substances.

Anatolia said the poisonous substance was in the form of a cream and that would be absorbed through the skin upon contact.

Anatolia said a person of "Georgian origin," going by the code name of Abu Atiya, sent the substance to a person named Musab in Turkey by courier. The agency said the same substance may also have been sent to Georgia, Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia.

Limonov Trial Delay

MOSCOW (AP) -- A court in the Volga River port of Saratov on Tuesday postponed further hearings in the terrorism trial of ultranationalist writer Eduard Limonov until September.

The court ruled that new lawyers for the defense needed further time to become familiar with the charges, Interfax said.

Limonov, the outspoken leader of the small National Bolshevik Party, and five other members of the group are accused of attempting to create an illegal armed group and acquiring weapons to prepare for terrorist acts. Limonov and the head of his party's newspaper, Sergei Aksyonov, are also accused of calling for the overthrow of the government.

Minsk Synagogue

MINSK, Belarus (AP) -- A small group of Belarussian activists protested Tuesday against last year's destruction of a 19th-century synagogue and demanded it be rebuilt.

The two-story synagogue in the center of Minsk was torn down late last year with the sanction of the city government and the Culture Ministry. A high-rise building is going up in its place.

About 30 protesters gathered on a Minsk square Tuesday evening to demand the synagogue be rebuilt. Yakov Gutman, president of the World Association of Belarussian Jewry, distributed an open letter to the leaders of the United States, Russia and Israel, asking them to pressure Belarussian authorities to restore the synagogue.

"What the Belarussian authorities have done can only be compared to the destruction of the statues of Buddha in Afghanistan" last year by the Taliban, Gutman said.

Jewish groups were joined at the protest by residents of the building next door and by Belarussian artists.

Remains Found

MOSCOW (MT) -- Human remains were discovered under the Supreme Court building on Povarskaya Ulitsa in central Moscow during reconstruction work Tuesday.

Workers unearthed the body fragments in the building's basement, the Moscow police press service said Wednesday. The remains are estimated to be 50 to 60 years old. It is not yet known whether the fragments belong to a single person, said Supreme Court spokesman Pavel Odintsov.

The case is being investigated by the Moscow prosecutor's office, which was not available for comment Wednesday.

Prosecutor Named

MOSCOW (MT) -- The Federation Council appointed Alexander Savenkov to the post of chief military prosecutor on Wednesday, RIA-Novosti reported.

Savenkov, 41, who had served as first deputy chief military prosecutor since January, was presented to the upper house of parliament by Prosecutor General Vladimir Ustinov, the report said.

The chief military prosecutor position has been vacant since its last holder, Mikhail Kislitsyn, resigned last month, citing health problems.

Lieutenant General Savenkov, a native of the Oryol region, has spent 16 years in the office of the military prosecutor, rising in rank from his first position as an investigator in Irkutsk, RIA-Novosti said Wednesday.

Kursk Missile Tubes

MOSCOW (AP) -- Workers have begun removing damaged missile tubes from the salvaged wreck of the Kursk nuclear submarine and will dismantle the missiles, taking off the warheads and destroying the boosters, a naval official said Wednesday.

Specialists at a shipyard in the northern city of Snezhnogorsk, where the submarine is being dismantled, have removed four of the seven silos that still contained missiles, Northern Fleet Commander Gennady Suchkov said, the Interfax-Military News Agency reported.

The Kursk was carrying 22 Granit cruise missiles when it sank to the Barents Sea floor after an explosion in its bow in August 2000, killing all 188 men aboard.

The government said last week that leaky torpedo fuel caused the explosions that destroyed the Kursk.

Stolen Bridge

TBILISI, Georgia (AP) -- Pieces of a bridge that mysteriously disappeared from its place over a Georgian river were discovered Tuesday at a drop-off point for scrap metal, officials said.

The metal bridge, which weighed 25 metric tons and connected the city of Rustavi with the village of Tabakevi, disappeared overnight Saturday.

The cut-up fragments of the bridge were found at a scrap metal drop-off point in Rustavi, said Maya Mosidze, a spokeswoman for the Interior Ministry. She said two suspects in the theft -- residents of a nearby town -- had been identified and authorities were searching for four alleged accomplices.

"We believe they had a buyer. He paid the criminals 600 lari ($300) ahead of time," Mosidze said.

For the Record

U.S. Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill was to leave Wednesday for an eight-day visit to Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Georgia to gather information on how to bolster their economic growth, private investment and living standards. (AP)

The Federation Council on Wednesday passed the bill on alternative military service. (MT)