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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016


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Grozny Protest MOSCOW (AP) -- About 300 people held a demonstration near the central market in Grozny on Tuesday, saying that two men and three women had been abducted overnight from their apartment building by masked men in military uniform. In the nearby town of Argun, about 200 protesters alleged that eight young men had gone missing during a military sweep last week and were feared dead. Chechen civilians and human rights advocates have strongly criticized the military sweeps, saying they frequently lead to beatings, unjustified arrests and disappearances of people who have no rebel connections. Meanwhile, four servicemen were killed and 13 were wounded in rebel attacks over the past 24 hours, an official in the region's Moscow-backed administration said Tuesday. At least 180 people were detained across Chechnya on suspicion of rebel ties, the official said on condition of anonymity.

Mothers Soldier On in Saving Men From Army

Day after day, Valentina Melnikova huddles with runaway soldiers looking for any excuse -- a bad back, a bum knee -- to help them avoid the ""meat grinder"" of the military.

27,000 People Remain Without Heat

Regional authorities intensified efforts Tuesday to restore heating systems, but thousands of people were still shivering even as temperatures crept up in central and northern regions.

Blix to Iraq: Provide Evidence or Face War

Chief UN weapons inspector Hans Blix said Iraq must provide new evidence about its nuclear, chemical and biological programs or face the possibility of war.

North Korea Denies Brinkmanship

North Korea denied Tuesday that its withdrawal from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty was aimed at squeezing concessions from the United States, and accused the U.S. of insincerity about prospects for dialogue.

Rock Star Arrested in Child Porn Investigation

Rock guitarist Pete Townshend was released from police custody Tuesday after his arrest on suspicion of possessing indecent images of children, his lawyer said.

Japan's Neighbors Criticize War Shrine Visit

Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi visited a shrine honoring Japan's war dead -- including its war criminals -- on Tuesday, drawing protests from China and South Korea and risking the ire of other Asian nations that Japan occupied last century.

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