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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Terrorism Bureau

MOSCOW (MT) -- Interior Minister Boris Gryzlov ordered Thursday that a bureau be created within the ministry that would prosecute organizations sponsoring terrorism, Interfax reported.

The bureau would also investigate the illegal arms and drugs trade, prostitution, money laundering and other economic crimes.

The bureau is to be part of the ministry's economic crime department, Interfax said.

Chess Master Dies

LOS ANGELES (LAT) -- Eduard Gufeld, the chess grandmaster known as a top trainer when the Soviets dominated the chess world in the 1970s and 1980s, has died. He was 66.

Gufeld, who moved to Hollywood from Georgia in 1995, died of a stroke Monday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

Gufeld participated in eight Soviet chess championships in the 1960s.

In 1967, Gufeld earned the title of International Grandmaster of Chess, the highest title awarded by the World Chess Federation.

Uprising Convictions

MOSCOW (AP) -- A court on Thursday convicted three men of terrorism and of trying to create an Islamic state in the Caucasus region, meting out sentences from 15 to 23 years.

Ramazan Gochiyayev was sentenced to 23 years in a maximum-security prison, Khyzyr Salpagarov to 19 years and Eduard Kharatokoyev to 15 years, said the court in the city of Pyatigorsk.

Prosecutors said 30 people were killed in terrorist attacks that the three organized. They also accused them of attempting to organize an armed uprising in regions of Karachayevo-Cherkessia and Kabardino-Balkaria, setting up illegal armed groups and inciting ethnic hatred.

Belarus Secrets Verdict

MINSK, Belarus (AP) -- A Belarussian court convicted a former government official of selling state secrets to private companies from Russia and sentenced him to five years in prison, the State Security Committee said Thursday.

Yevgeny Kukushkin, who worked on the Council of Ministers' securities commission, sold information about Belarussian defense firms to Moscow-based companies, said Fyodor Kotov, a spokesman for the committee, known as the KGB.

"KGB officers were forced to go under cover as Russian businessmen to confirm the fact of the sale of information," Kotov said. He gave no further information about the trial, which took place behind closed doors.

Space Is No Escape

MOSCOW (Reuters) -- Space, the final frontier, is not beyond the reach of the census-taker.

A spaceship is on its way to two cosmonauts carrying census forms so they can take part in the first post-Soviet population head-count, the Russian Aviation and Space Agency said.

Valery Korzun and Sergei Treshchev on the orbiting international space station will fill out the questionnaires and send them back to Earth, joining millions of their land-based compatriots in the exercise planned for Oct. 9-16.

"Census authorities see this gesture as an important symbol," an agency official said. "They want to show that even distant, and I mean very distant, citizens are willing to take part in the census."