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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016


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Unbridled Dictatorial Drift

President Vladimir Putin's chief of staff Alexander Voloshin resigned last week, reportedly because he was not informed in advance about Mikhail Khodorkovsky's arrest.

Georgia Is a Cut Above in Election Shenanigans

I thought I had witnessed the definitive display of how to rig an election in Azerbaijan two weeks ago.

Damir's Big Day

With a smile so wide and sincere that it can hardly fit on his face, 3-year-old Vasya is the first to climb up and ring a bell to mark the start of the school day.

Europe's Central Banking Gets Political

Political mastery and a touch of the Machiavelli are skills much needed by the next European Central Bank president, Jean-Claude Trichet.

S&P Warns of N. Korea Meltdown

South Korea should boost financial preparations for an economic failure of Communist North Korea, the credit rating agency Standard & Poor's said Monday.

Metro Plans 40 Stores in China

Metro AG, the world's fifth largest retailer, said Monday it will spend close to $700 million to open 40 new stores in China over the next five years, girding itself for battle in Asia's second-largest retail market.

U.S. Stars at Annual Cuban Trade Fair

Communist Cuba on Sunday trumpeted the presence of U.S. companies at Havana's annual international trade fair, even as debate raged in Washington over travel and trade with the embargoed Caribbean island.

Merger Creates Top TV Maker

French electronics maker Thomson SA and China's TCL International Holdings said Monday they would combine their TV and DVD businesses to create the world's biggest television maker.

New York Broadens Probe of Mutual Funds

Richard Strong resigned as chairman of Strong Mutual Funds on Sunday, just days after the New York attorney general vowed to bring charges against him for improper trading, the legal counsel for the independent directors of Strong Mutual Funds said.

Google Considering Microsoft, Wall St.

Google, the highflying Silicon Valley web search company, recently began holding meetings with bankers in preparation for its highly anticipated initial public offering as it was still engaged in meetings of another kind: exploring a merger with Microsoft.

News in Brief

Lobbying Over India NEW DELHI, India (AP) -- Russia will push for the lifting of restrictions on the sale of nuclear technology to India, arguing that it deserves to be treated differently from other nuclear-armed nations, an Indian newspaper reported Monday. India is currently subject to a 1992 ban on the sale of nuclear components and materials imposed by the Nuclear Suppliers Group -- 40 countries whose declared aim is to contribute to the nonproliferation of atomic weapons. Poet Gamzatov Dead MOSCOW (MT) -- Dagestani poet Rasul Gamzatov, often called the Caucasus' greatest poet of the 20th century, died Monday at a Moscow hospital. He was 80. Gamzatov died after a lengthy illness, NTV television reported. Gamzatov, who wrote poems that were translated into dozens of languages and sold millions of copies, was born in Tsada, Dagestan, on Sept. 8, 1923. He started his career as a teacher in a rural school and published his first book of poems in 1943.

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