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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

New Border Posts

MOSCOW (MT) -- President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that he had ordered 72 new border posts along Russia's frontiers in the North Caucasus to ward off terrorism and other threats.

The new posts, several headquarter offices, a training center, roads and communications will be built along this frontier "in the very near future," Putin told a meeting of top commanders of the Federal Security Service, which has incorporated the Border Guard Service.

Trawler Accident Kills 2

OSLO (AP) -- Two Russian sailors were killed after their trawler capsized between the Bjoernoeya and Svalbard islands in the Arctic Ocean, rescue officials said Wednesday.

The trawler Malakhi was on a fishing run in the area when it radioed at 2:25 a.m. that it was listing, the Norwegian Rescue Coordination Center for North Norway said.

By 5 a.m., the ship's 20 crew were forced to abandon ship and jumped in the freezing cold water. Eighteen of them were picked up by rescue helicopters and ships, but two died before they could be rescued. The surviving crewmembers were hospitalized. None had life-threatening injuries.

Ex-Envoys Speak Out

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Two former American ambassadors to the Soviet Union said Tuesday they were pessimistic about democracy taking hold in Russia anytime soon, and were not convinced President Vladimir Putin wants to go down a democratic path.

Jack Matlock, ambassador from 1987 to 1991, said with Putin in control "Russia has regressed in terms of democracy. The United States has very little leverage over internal elements in Russia."

Arthur Hartman, ambassador from 1981 to 1986, said Putin and his KGB friends have taken hold, installing a "virtual dictatorship" and "somebody has got to speak out now about this misuse of power."

Schr?der Meeting

BERLIN (AP) -- German Chancellor Gerhard Schr?der and President Vladimir Putin will meet at a German castle on Dec. 20-21 for wide-ranging talks, Schr?der's spokesman said Wednesday. The meeting was originally scheduled for September, but was put off because of the Beslan school attack.

The two leaders will meet at Schloss Gottorf castle near the northern town of Schleswig, spokesman Bela Anda said. Cabinet ministers from both countries are also expected to attend.

Dalai Lama Leaves

ELISTA (AP) -- The Dalai Lama left Russia on Wednesday after a two-day visit to meet his Buddhist flock and consecrate a temple in Kalmykia.

During his visit, he also visited Elista's Russian Orthodox Church of the Icon of Our Lady of Kazan and met with the Archbishop of Elista and Kalmykia, Zosima.

Uzbek Vote Protest

TASHKENT, Uzbekistan (AP) -- About 40 opposition and human rights activists protested the barring of opposition parties from Uzbekistan's parliamentary election Dec. 26 and demanded U.S. sanctions against the Uzbek government. Only five pro-government parties have been allowed to run.