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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Stolitsa Chief Stabbed

MOSCOW (MT) -- The head of the Stolitsa cable television station, Dmitry Pappe, was stabbed Wednesday by one of his employees in the Ostankino television center, news agencies reported, citing law enforcement officials.

The attacker, identified by Ekho Moskvy radio as journalist Artyom Protasenko, stabbed his boss three times with a knife after a brief meeting in Pappe's office. Interfax said the attacker had introduced himself as an assistant prosecutor. Police arrested him right after the attack. Pappe, whose condition was described as serious, underwent surgery at the Sklifosovsky Hospital on Wednesday afternoon.

Stolitsa has low ratings but is distributed widely around Moscow due to its ties to the city government.

Arbat Blast Probe

MOSCOW (MT) -- Presnya district prosecutors have opened an investigation on suspicion of negligence in connection with the blast in a Georgian cafe on the Arbat that injured 18 people, Interfax reported.

A suspected gas explosion ripped through the two-story building housing the Kinto cafe at 36 Arbat on Monday night, destroying the first floor and causing the second floor to sag.

Interfax, citing doctors, said 10 people remained hospitalized Wednesday, two in critical condition. The two victims, both women, suffered serious burns.

Danilov Trial Resumes

MOSCOW (MT) -- The closed-door espionage trial against physicist Valentin Danilov reopened in Krasnoyarsk on Wednesday, news agencies reported.

In February, the Supreme Court upheld a lower court's decision to send the two-year-old case back to prosecutors for further clarification of the charges.

Danilov, a professor at Krasnoyarsk Technical University in Siberia, was arrested in February 2001 on charges of selling secret space technology to China and was later charged with misappropriating university funds. He spent 19 months in detention before a judge released him last September pending trial.

At Wednesday's hearing, Danilov submitted a request for a jury trial, RIA Novosti reported. If convicted, Danilov would face up to 20 years in prison.

Ukraine Travel Ban

KIEV (AP) -- The Ukrainian government has banned travel to countries hardest hit by severe acute respiratory syndrome and instructed officials to deny entry to citizens from those countries, news reports said Wednesday.

Health Minister Andriy Pydaiv said the Cabinet instructed the Foreign Ministry, customs and border services to immediately restrict entry and stop issuing visas to travelers to and from China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan, Ukrainian News and Interfax reported.

The government also instructed several ministries and agencies to adopt strict measures and acquire diagnostic equipment to prevent an outbreak of the illness.

Ukraine has reported no cases of SARS yet.

Shoigu Promoted

MOSCOW (MT) -- President Vladimir Putin has promoted Emergency Situations Minister Sergei Shoigu from the rank of military colonel general to general, Rossiiskaya Gazeta reported Wednesday.

The Emergency Situations Ministry includes a division of civil defense troops, mostly manned with conscripts.