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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

German Shot Dead

MOSCOW (MT) -- A German engineer was shot dead in his apartment in the Amur region in an apparent robbery, Interfax reported Tuesday.

Thomas Schmidt, 62, was found Monday in the village of Erofei Pavlovich with gunshot wounds to the head and chest, Interfax said, citing the local police.

Two 24-year-old jobless men have been arrested on suspicion of robbery and murder, the police said.

Schmidt was supervising the construction of the Amur highway between the cities of Chita and Khabarovsk, Interfax reported. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has allocated $229 million to the project.

Greek Jet Lands

MOSCOW (AP) -- A Greek passenger jet with 88 people on board made an emergency landing in Bryansk on Tuesday after suffering engine trouble, emergency officials and news reports said. Nobody was hurt.

The Olympic Airways Boeing 737-400, en route from Moscow to Athens, landed safely in Bryansk, 300 kilometers southwest of the Russian capital, said Viktor Beltsov, spokesman for the Emergency Situations Ministry.

A reporter on board told Greece's Flash radio that a rattling sound came from one side of the plane before the pilot told passengers there was a problem with one of the engines. Itar-Tass said one of the engines failed.

'Moral Terror'

MOSCOW (AP) -- The Kremlin's envoy for human rights in Chechnya on Tuesday accused nongovernmental rights groups of committing "moral terror" and said they should be investigated for ties to international terrorist groups, Interfax reported.

The harsh statement by Abdul-Khakim Sultygov reflected Russia's high sensitivity to criticism of its nearly four-year war in Chechnya, which human rights groups say has been marked by atrocities by soldiers including the murder of civilians, rape and looting.

"Direct or indirect attempts to justify terrorist methods through certain political ideas should be declared illegal," Sultygov said. "Chechnya clearly demonstrates that terrorist activities go hand in hand with the psychological war, propaganda and moral terror conducted by human rights NGOs."

"There is a need to investigate the sources financing these organizations, including those with international status, for their potential ties to the international terrorist network," he added.

Anna Neistat, director of the Moscow office of Human Rights Watch, dismissed the statement, saying Sultygov had been unable to back up previous accusations against NGOs.

Check Mates

MOSCOW (AP) -- President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian leader Leonid Kuchma will make the first moves in an upcoming World Chess Championship match between Garry Kasparov and Ruslan Ponomariov, the president of the World Chess Federation said.

The match begins Sept. 19 in Ukraine's Black Sea resort of Yalta during a summit of Commonwealth of Independent States, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, president of the World Chess Federation said in an interview with Sport-Express.

Putin will make a move for Kasparov, and Kuchma will reply for Ponomariov.

Though the $1 million prize money has not yet been collected, Ilyumzhinov said many companies from Russia, Ukraine and other countries are willing to sponsor the match.