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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Police Find Explosives

MOSCOW (AP) -- Moscow police have found a cache of explosives that would be enough to stage many blasts of the kind that occurred in Moscow's subway last week, officials said Wednesday.

Police found two sacks containing about 25 kilograms of TNT in a garage in eastern Moscow on Tuesday night, Moscow police spokesman Pavel Klimovsky said.

He said the explosives had apparently been extracted from World War II ammunition found by a man who was searching for military garb in the areas that saw battle between the Red Army and Nazi troops. Demolition experts who inspected the explosives said its power had been reduced as it had been buried in the ground for a long time.

50% More Snow

MOSCOW (MT) -- One and a half times more snow has fallen this winter than during the whole of last winter, Interfax reported Wednesday.

Ten million cubic meters of snow had fallen by Feb. 10 and the city's 27 snow-melting facilities were not capable of processing so much snow.

U.S. 'Mini-Nukes'

MOSCOW (AP) -- Former Nuclear Power Minister Viktor Mikhailov harshly criticized U.S. plans to develop low-yield nuclear weapons but said that Russian researchers were ahead of the Americans in the field, according to an interview published Wednesday.

Mikhailov, who served as nuclear minister from 1992 to 1998 and now heads a nuclear research institute, denounced the U.S. work on the so-called "mini-nukes" as part of what he described as U.S. unilateralist strategies.

He told Rossiiskaya Gazeta that it would take at least 10 to 15 years to create such weapons.

Latvia School Protest

RIGA, Latvia (Reuters) -- Thousands of ethnic Russians rallied outside the Latvian president's office Wednesday to protest an education law that has also angered Moscow by reducing Russian language use in schools.

Police estimated the crowd to be up to 8,000 mainly young students, who shouted "No reforms!" and "Hands off our schools!" in a second wave of protests in a week.

President Vaira Vike-Freiberga approved the law Tuesday, saying she failed to see why any minority should find the law -- which requires that at least 60 percent of teaching at minority schools will be held in Latvian -- provocative.

BP Package Harmless

MOSCOW (MT) -- A substance on a package that caused three employees at BP's Moscow office to feel ill was found to be harmless, Moscow police said Wednesday.

Lab tests of the substance that covered a package sent to BP's Paveletskaya Ploshchad address Tuesday, found that the chemical was not dangerous and was probably a concentrate used to make cosmetics products, police said.

"Most likely the mail was being shipped together with a concentrate from a cosmetics company and the cosmetics leaked on to the package," police spokesman Kirill Sharov said.

Caucasus Avalanches

VLADIKAVKAZ, North Ossetia (AP) -- A border guard was reported missing Wednesday after several avalanches blocked a key highway linking Russia and Georgia.

The avalanches hit the Transcaucasian Highway overnight after three days of heavy snowfalls. They swept away three border guards near the village of Zaramak.