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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Too Big for Bolshoi

MOSCOW (Reuters) -- Moscow's Bolshoi Theater sacked an ice-cream-loving prima ballerina Tuesday, saying she was too heavy and too tall for most of her dance partners to lift.

Anastasia Volochkova, one of Russia's best-known ballerinas, has been publicly feuding with the theater. "I think that now when people try to add 10 or 20 centimeters to my height, and talk about my measurements and dimensions, they should remember that height is not what makes a ballerina great," Volochkova -- who, to the untrained eye, looks svelte -- told Channel One television.

Unlike most ballerinas, who are notorious for watching their weight, she has said she could not imagine life without ice cream. The Bolshoi, though, has decided it can imagine life without Volochkova.

Quake Hits Siberia

MOSCOW (AP) -- A magnitude-6 earthquake hit rural Siberia on Monday, emergency officials said.

The earthquake in the Buryatia region had a magnitude of from 5.5 to 6, Emergency Situations Ministry spokesman Viktor Beltsov said. There was no information on injuries or damage, he said.

Beltsov said the quake's epicenter was near the village of Uoyan, about 250 kilometers north of Lake Baikal.

Gongadze Anniversary

KIEV (AP) -- Ukraine's parliament held a moment of silence Tuesday on the third anniversary of the killing of opposition journalist Georgy Gongadze, whose disappearance in 2000 touched off numerous mass protests throughout the country.

Gongadze's friends, colleagues and lawmakers installed a black marble cross to replace a wooden one at the edge of a forest outside Kiev, where his headless body was found three years ago, Interfax reported.

Opposition supporters were expected to march in downtown Kiev later in the day, followed by a commemorative meeting in Independence Square.

'Yes' Vote Urged

HELSINKI, Finland (AP) -- Latvian Defense Minister Girts Kristovskis on Tuesday urged his compatriots to vote "yes" in this Saturday's EU referendum to ensure stability in their country and the Baltic region.

After 50 years of Soviet occupation, Latvia needs to catch up with Western Europe, he said. "We are already part of the dialogue in European security so it's important for us to join," Kristovskis told reporters.