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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Georgia Blasts Russia

TBILISI, Georgia (AP) -- Georgia's intelligence chief claimed Wednesday that Russia was planning to send a Chechen unit across the border into Georgia's Pankisi Gorge in order to justify sending in troops. Russian officials strongly denied the charge.

Avtandil Ioseliani, head of Georgia's Intelligence Department, told Rustavi-2 television that his agency had information about a specially trained Chechen unit working for the Russian military.

He said the unit has been "instructed to carry out a provocation on the Georgian border, so that the Russian military could then use this to launch a so-called pursuit operation."

New Media Grouping

MOSCOW (MT) -- ORT general director Konstantin Ernst has been elected the president of the new Media Industrial Committee, a lobby group of executives from state-owned and private media companies, the committee said.

The idea for the committee was put forward in June by Press Minister Mikhail Lesin, who urged the media to play a more decisive role in lobbying for their interests. At its first meeting Monday, the group created a taskforce to review the law on mass media.

Life Expectancy Lower

MOSCOW (MT) -- The life expectancy gap between rich and poor Russians is the highest in Europe and reaches 15 years, the World Health Organization said in a report this week.

On average, people in the former Soviet Union die 10 years younger than those in western Europe, the report said.

The report named poverty as the main factor leading to poor health.