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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

08/20/2003

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Press Review

A brief look at the stories making headlines in the Russian-language press

Russians Falter as Chinese Impress

Displaying the kind of flexibility and grace the sport was made for, China made its preliminary round look like child's play Monday to take the lead at the World Gymnastics Championships.

United Nations Headquarters in Iraq Is Bombed

A suicide attacker set off a truck bomb Tuesday outside the hotel housing the UN headquarters, U.S. officials said. At least 20 UN workers and Iraqis were killed, including the chief UN official in Iraq, and 100 were wounded.

Europeans Held Hostage in Mali Fly Back Home

Fourteen European tourists were on their way out of the Sahara Desert on Tuesday after a six-month hostage ordeal, after international negotiations won their release from an Islamic extremist group.

Millions Watch as Arab Pop Idol Gets Crowned

In Jordan's capital, fans poured into the streets and fireworks lit the sky in celebration as a Jordanian teenager was named the first ""Superstar"" in a pan-Arab televised musical competition.

Refugees Under Growing Pressure to Go Home

Abubakar Dasayev would rather stay in the old tent and tend to his mother than go back to the Chechen village where the authorities have offered him accommodation.

Fire Rules May Close Countless Schools

Thousands of schools may remain closed come Sept. 1 because of poor fire safety standards.

3 Agencies Agree to Slim Down

In a small step toward taming the governmental behemoth and limiting undue bureaucratic influence on business, the Economic Development and Trade Ministry has convinced federal agencies to give up some of their powers.

Yukos Gives $1.25Bln to Sibneft Shareholders

Oil major Yukos moved closer to acquiring rival Sibneft after making the first cash payment -- $1.25 billion -- for Sibneft shares, a source close to the deal said Tuesday.

More Income: Less Vodka, More Beer

As the country's standard of living improves, Russians are turning their back on the national spirit in favor of wine and beer, considered more sophisticated forms of alcohol.

Business in Brief

Gazprom Profits Up MOSCOW (Reuters) -- Gazprom said Tuesday that its net profit rose almost sevenfold in the first half of 2003 from the same period last year due to strong international gas prices. Net profit rose to 110.45 billion rubles ($3.64 billion) in January to June of 2003, from 16.05 billion in the first six months of 2002, Gazprom said in an unconsolidated financial report calculated according to Russian accounting standards. Russian companies usually ask investors to ignore their reports under Russian standards and focus on their more reliable financial statements based on international accounting principles. Russian unconsolidated standards are, however, seen as an important indication of annual dividend payments. Gazprom's first-half sales rose 36 percent to 403.97 billion rubles ($13.32 billion) in the first half of 2003 from 297.57 billion in the first half of 2002.

News in Brief

Far East Exercises VLADIVOSTOK, Far East (AP) -- Russia has launched the largest military exercises in the Far East since the Soviet collapse of 1991, officials said. The exercises, which started Monday and are scheduled to last until Aug. 27, are to cover Russia's entire eastern coast, from the Bering Sea to the North Korean border and involve more than 110 vessels, 50 aircraft and some 30,000 military personnel, civilians and reservists, according to officials with the Pacific Fleet and the office of President Vladimir Putin's representative in the region. Authorities said the exercises will test the military's response to 45 scenarios ranging from confrontations with terrorists to environmental catastrophes. German Deported MINSK, Belarus (AP) -- Authorities in Belarus said they have deported a German man they claim was fomenting opposition sentiment and interfering in Belarussian internal affairs.

Ukraine: The Soap Opera

In Ukraine, a new political soap opera is being shot. It is called ""I hereby request that my death be blamed on Kuchma.""

Taking Up 'The Case of Levada'

The golden age of Soviet sociology came twice, interrupted by periods of dark years. Now sociology in the former Soviet Union is facing another threat to its independence, this time from President Vladimir Putin.

Taking Up 'The Case of Levada'

If Stalin were running for president today, would you vote for him? Recently the All-Russia Center for the Study of Public Opinion posed that question to Russians at the request of a U.S. scholar from the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Alexander Nevsky Pumps Up the 'Heat'

While Arnold Schwarzenegger bids to become the next California governor, Alexander Nevsky is bidding to become the next Arnie.

Fighters and an Airbus at the Air Show

A sleek white Airbus 320 parked smack at the front of the display area greeted visitors on the first day of the 6th Moscow Aviation and Space Show on Tuesday.

Chubais to Run on SPS Ticket

Anatoly Chubais is getting back into politics. The head of Russia's electricity monopoly will run in the third spot on the Union of Right Forces' electoral list to try to help the pro-business party get the votes it needs in December's parliamentary elections, a party official said Tuesday.
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