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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Priest Expelled

MOSCOW (MT) -- Sakhalin-based Roman Catholic priest Jaroslaw Wisnewski was detained Monday evening at the Khabarovsk airport upon arriving from Japan and told he would have to leave Russia the next day, Roman Catholic officials said.

Archbishop Giorgio Zur, the Vatican's ambassador to Moscow, requested an urgent meeting with the Foreign Ministry to discuss the issue.

Wisnewski, a Polish citizen, would be the fourth Roman Catholic clergyman to be expelled since February, when relations between Moscow and the Roman Catholic Church soured over the Vatican's decision to upgrade the status of the church's presence in Russia. No explanations were given after visas were canceled for Wisnewski's bishop, Jerzy Mazur, in March and two priests who worked in central Russia, Stefano Caprio of Italy in April and Stanislav Krajnak of Slovakia in August.

Catholic Attack

ROSTOV-ON-DON, Southern Russia (AP) -- Gunmen opened fire on a Catholic church in Rostov-on-Don, officials said Monday. No one was injured.

Rostov police spokeswoman Olga Kakutkina said unknown gunmen fired on the church early Saturday when nobody was inside. Later in the morning, the church's staff discovered 10 bullet holes in the windows, she said. Officials at the Rostov parish said they did not believe the incident was anti-Catholic but rather simple hooliganism. They said the church had not received any threats.

Rail Official Killed

MOSCOW (MT) -- A top railways official was found stabbed to death in his Moscow apartment, police said Monday.

Nikolai Glubokov, 45, headed the Railways Ministry's department for passenger services.

Glubokov's son discovered the body Monday morning after a call from his father's driver, who was worried Glubokov would be late for work, a police spokeswoman said.

She said Glubokov had been stabbed more than 30 times. Investigators suspect Glubokov was killed by robbers. The spokeswoman said the apartment had been looted.

Another high-level railways official was killed last month. Sergei Paristy, the deputy head of the Moscow Railways, was shot dead while getting into his car.

Krasnoyarsk Runoff

KRASNOYARSK, Western Siberia (NYT) -- Candidates backed by two powerful Russian business groups won the first round in an election on Sunday.

Alexander Uss, 54, the leader of the local parliament who is backed by Russian Aluminum, and Alexander Khloponin, 37, the former head of Norilsk Nickel and the governor of Taimyr, will face off in two weeks to determine the winner. Uss took 27.64 percent of the total and Khloponin 25.22 percent, Interfax reported Monday. Sergei Glazyev, an economist from the Communist Party who worked on early blueprints for the post-Soviet economy, was third with 21.44 percent.

Voter turnout was 47.22 percent.

Kursk Fragments

MOSCOW (AP) -- The navy has blown up fragments of the Kursk nuclear submarine that remained on the seabed after most of the wreck was lifted last October, Interfax reported Monday.

Interfax quoted a senior navy official as saying that parts of the Kursk's bow lying on the bottom of the Barents Sea were blown up Sunday by remote-controlled devices. The official, who asked not be named, said the navy used 10 metric tons of explosives to do the job.

A spokesman for the navy's headquarters in Moscow refused to confirm the report.

Officials have said the remains of the Kursk's bow, possibly including undetonated torpedoes, must be destroyed to prevent a threat to shipping and fishing. Some experts said the navy wanted to blow up the fragments to protect its secrets.

Belarus Refuses Visa

MINSK, Belarus (AP) -- The Belarussian government has refused to grant a visa extension to an American citizen working with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe mission, an OSCE official said Monday.

Relations between the government of President Alexander Lukashenko and the OSCE have turned increasingly sour amid OSCE criticism of human rights violations in the country. Andrew Carpenter, acting head of the mission in Belarus, was refused a visa extension in June.

Meaghan Fitzgerald, first secretary of the mission, will have to leave Belarus by Thursday because of the extension refusal, said mission secretary Alina Josan. She declined to comment further on the matter, pending reaction from OSCE headquarters in Vienna, and the Belarussian Foreign Ministry declined comment.

Belarussians Protest

MINSK, Belarus (AP) -- One person was detained by police after about a dozen people held an unauthorized demonstration outside the Russian Embassy against the proposed Russia-Belarus Union.

The demonstrators Sunday tore up a puppet representing President Vladimir Putin and threw it onto embassy territory, burned rubles and carried signs with slogans reading "Hands Off Belarus" and "We Don't Need Putin."

President Alexander Lukashenko has pushed for unification with Russia but said Saturday he would not respond to the two surprise proposals put forward by Putin last month.

Blaze Dies Down

VLADIVOSTOK, Far East (AP) -- A fire aboard a Russian trawler that threatened to cause an environmental catastrophe died down after burning for six days, officials said Monday.

The 56 crew members of the Karat-103 trawler were evacuated soon after the fire broke out Sept. 3 off the coast of the Pacific island of Sakhalin, and the flames raged out of control until Sunday, said Anatoly Zarubin, a rescue officer in the eastern port of Vladivostok.

10-Meter Jacket Sewn

KIEV (AP) -- Ukrainian fashion designer Mykhailo Voronin gathered hundreds of spectators late Sunday in the center of Kiev to unveil a jacket 10 meters long, hoping to record it as the world's largest in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Twenty-six people worked more than 60 hours to sew the jacket, in the national colors of blue and yellow. Its buttons are 35 centimeters in diameter. Representatives of the Guinness Book of World Records were invited.