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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Kadyrov Defends Vote

MOSCOW (AP) -- Newly elected Chechen President Akhmad Kadyrov on Friday rejected U.S. criticism of the Oct. 5 vote, suggesting that the United States had no more right to judge the fairness of his victory than he had to judge Arnold Schwarzenegger's.

"I could also say now, from here, the elections of the Terminator in California were undemocratic," Kadyrov told reporters. "For me, the main thing is that the elections were recognized by the leadership of the Russian Federation and the Chechen people."

Foreigners Rejected

MOSCOW (AP) -- The Moscow City Court on Friday rejected an appeal by foreign nationals seeking compensation from the government for their families' losses in last fall's raid that ended a hostage standoff at the Dubrovka theater.

The court upheld an August decision by the Basmanny district court turning down compensation demands from four foreign nationals totaling $11.5 million, Interfax reported.

Svetlana Gubareva of Kazakhstan lost her fiance Sandy Booker of Oklahoma City and daughter Alexandra Lityago. Lubov Burban-Mishuris of Los Angeles was suing in connection with the death of her son, Grigory Burban, a Ukrainian citizen and permanent U.S. resident. Ukrainian Yevhen Yuftiayev was seeking compensation for the death of his wife, Natalia Yuftiayeva. Dutch citizen Oleg Zhirov also lost his wife and said the health of his son, who was also among the hostages, has deteriorated.

Lawyer Igor Trunov said he would now take the cases to the European Court of Human Rights.

Harry Potter Suit

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) -- A Dutch court's nearing decision on whether a magical, redheaded Russian heroine is little more than a female version of Harry Potter could either boost her breakthrough in the West or effectively send her back home for good.

While Tanya Grotter's popularity is firmly established in Russia, an Amsterdam court's expected Oct. 23 ruling on a copyright lawsuit filed by British author J.K. Rowling and U.S. Time Warner Entertainment will be key in determining whether other houses pick up the books, Russian and Dutch publishers said Friday at the Frankfurt Book Fair.

Eksmo, the publisher that brought out the books in Russia and holds the world translation rights, said it has had inquiries for foreign rights to the Tanya Grotter series from more than half a dozen houses across Europe and as far away as Thailand. Sources at the fair said a U.S. publisher was also among those interested.

Mount Arnold?

TBILISI, Georgia (AP) -- Arnold Schwarzenegger, who scaled to the top of California politics, could now get a mountain named after him in Georgia.

But there's a catch: To receive the honor, the governor-elect of California must visit the country, a representative of Georgia's president said Friday.

Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze's representative in western Georgia's Imertia region said the regional administration was sending Schwarzenegger a letter congratulating him on his victory. The representative, Temur Shashiashvili, said authorities had invited "Arnold" to visit three years ago and planned to name a mountain after him then. He said Schwarzenegger had said he would come but was unable to make it at the time.

"Now, congratulating him on his win, we are again inviting him to visit us. And we hope that it will happen," Shashiashvili said. "We want to establish close contacts with California."