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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Car Blast Kills One

MOSCOW (MT) -- A car exploded in southwest Moscow on Tuesday, killing a man and injuring a woman, police said.

The blast occurred at 10:18 a.m. in the courtyard of 30 Ulitsa Dmitriya Ulyanova, police said.

An explosive device containing the equivalent of 300 to 400 grams of TNT was placed under the car, a VAZ-2109, police said.

Police identified the dead man by his last name only, Chaplygin, and said his passport had been found inside the car. Interfax said he had worked as a driver for a bank.

The woman, identified only as Mukhomorova, was getting into the car when the explosion occurred.

Siberian Judge Killed

MOSCOW (MT) -- The body of a district court judge in the city of Kemerovo was found by her 13-year-old son in their apartment, Interfax reported Tuesday.

Olga Bogdanova, a judge with the Kirov district court, died after her throat was slit, Interfax said. Her father was also killed.

The boy, who found the bodies Monday, told police that valuables were missing from the apartment.

Police said locks on the apartment's door had not been tampered with, leading them to believe Bogdanova might have been killed by her boyfriend, Interfax reported.

Official in Car Crash

MOSCOW (MT) -- A senior Moscow regional official burned to death after his Hummer vehicle apparently flipped over near the village of Pokrov south of Moscow, regional police said Tuesday.

Gennady Nedoseka, head of the Chekhov district administration, was found dead Monday in his burnt-out car, a police spokesman said.

Investigators believe the car flipped over after running over an unidentified object and burst into flames. Police initially believed that Nedoseka might have been murdered but found no evidence to back that theory, the spokesman said.

Nedoseka, 39, was serving his second term after being re-elected in April. He will be buried Wednesday.

Iran Protocol Close

MOSCOW (AP) -- Russia and Iran have almost completed a protocol on returning spent nuclear fuel to Russia and the two countries should sign it soon, the Foreign Ministry said Tuesday.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Yakovenko said Russia and Iran had resolved "principal issues" and only "commercial details" remained to be worked out.

Sailors' Bodies Found

VLADIVOSTOK (AP) -- The bodies of five seamen were found Tuesday in the Sea of Japan, a week after two ships disappeared in a storm, rescuers said.

An Emergency Situations Ministry official said, however, that 18 bodies had been found. It was not immediately possible to clarify the discrepancy.

Rocket Launched

MOSCOW (AP) -- The Space Forces launched a new model of booster rocket following two postponements, Interfax reported.

The Soyuz-2 rocket blasted off Monday night from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in the Far North carrying a mock-up of an unspecified "space apparatus," Interfax reported.

The launch was scheduled for Oct. 29 but was put off twice to correct software flaws and perform tests.

Uzbekistan Criticism

LONDON (AP) -- Britain's former ambassador to Uzbekistan attacked U.S. support for the country and accused Washington of helping prop up a brutal and corrupt regime.

Craig Murray accused Washington on Monday of ignoring Uzbekistan's human rights record and "cozying up" to the government because of the country's strategic position and oil and gas reserves.

Uzbek Opposition

TASHKENT, Uzbekistan (AP) -- An Uzbek opposition party urged U.S. President George W. Bush to take a tougher stance on Uzbekistan's poor human rights record and stifling of dissent.

"After President Bush's election for a new term, we expect a renewed U.S. policy toward Uzbekistan," the outlawed Erk party said in a statement late Monday.

Kazakhs to Act

ASTANA, Kazakhstan (Reuters) -- Kazakhstan will act on criticism of its democratic failings but rushed reforms would threaten stability, its foreign minister, Kasymzhomart Tokayev, said Tuesday.

Despite pledges by President Nursultan Nazarbayev that the Sept. 19 parliamentary poll would meet standards set by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the democracy body said there had been "serious shortcomings."

Turkmen Vote

ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan (AP) -- Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov urged government officials to make the country's upcoming parliamentary elections a step toward democracy.

"The elections must become a new step toward creation of a democratic state," Niyazov told a Cabinet meeting that was televised Tuesday.

The government has refused to invite foreign observers to the Dec. 12 elections.

Latvia Terror

RIGA, Latvia (AP) -- Latvia denied Tuesday a report that the country's law enforcement agencies had detained Islamic extremists suspected of plotting a terrorist attack in the country last week.

A Interior Ministry spokesman denied reports in local and regional media that said a group of suspects had been detained and arrested.

Aliyev on Nagorny

BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) -- Azeri President Ilham Aliyev said Tuesday that ethnic Armenian forces in Nagorny Karabakh must withdraw before a peace deal can be signed.

"We demand with justification that the seized territory be freed and the occupation forces withdraw," Aliyev said.

Memorial Vandalized

MINSK (AP) -- A memorial to Holocaust victims was vandalized over the weekend in the Belarussian city of Brest, a Jewish community leader said.

Yakov Basin, of the Union of Belarussian Jewish Societies and Communities, said the memorial's Star of David was damaged and artificial flowers at the site were set afire.