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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

New Weapon Designed

MOSCOW (AP) -- Russia has designed a "revolutionary" new weapon that would make the prospective U.S. missile defense useless, Interfax and Itar-Tass reported Monday, quoting an unidentified senior Defense Ministry official.

The official said tests conducted during last month's military maneuvers would dramatically change the "philosophy" of the development of Russia's nuclear forces, the news agencies reported.

If deployed, the new weapons will bring the value of any U.S. missile shield to "zero," they quoted the unnamed official as saying.

Military analysts said that the mysterious new weapons could be a maneuverable ballistic missile warhead or a hypersonic cruise missile.

Zhirinovsky Criticized

RIGA, Latvia (AP) -- Brian Carlson, the U.S. ambassador to Latvia, criticized on Monday comments by ultranationalist Liberal Democratic Party leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky for threatening the Baltic state with terrorist attacks in a recent television interview.

Carlson said in an interview with Latvian daily newspaper Latvijas Avize that Zhirinovsky's threats put him in the same league as terrorists.

In an interview broadcast on Latvian television last week, Zhirinovsky said that Latvia would suffer terrorist attacks for its commitment to NATO membership and for instituting a law requiring all students to take 60 percent of their classes in Latvian starting in September.

Defense TV Planned

MOSCOW (MT) -- The Defense Ministry said Monday it will launch "a military-patriotic" television channel in a year, on the Feb. 23 Defender of the Fatherland Day.

The announcement came a month after the ministry won a license to broadcast on the 57th channel, which it will call Zvezda, the same name as its newspaper.

The Defense Ministry owns studio space in Mitino and is searching for journalists and staff to fill 18 hours a day of programming.

Nezavisimaya Gazeta reported that the ministry is in negotiations with Gazprom, LUKoil, Rosneft and Rosoboronexport for help footing the station's bill, estimated at $100 million, to achieve nationwide reach.

Jewish Eatery Attacked

ST. PETERSBURG (MT) -- The windows of Sholom, St. Petersburg's only kosher Jewish restaurant, were broken Sunday night.

Unidentified people threw pieces of granite at the restaurant, Mark Grubarg, head of the city's Jewish community, said Monday.

"We don't know for sure if it was simply hooliganism or vandalism, but we are very concerned," he said.

Rubens Goes to Russian

MOSCOW (AP) -- Prosecutors have ruled that a Russian businessman is the lawful owner of a 17th century Peter Paul Rubens painting that was taken from Germany in the wake of World War II, rejecting German demands to return the artwork, officials said Monday.

Rubens' "Tarquinius and Lucretia," which was last seen in Germany in 1942, in the Sanssouci palace in Potsdam, near Berlin, was long considered lost but resurfaced in September when its current owner, businessman Vladimir Logvinenko, tried to sell it to a Potsdam museum. In the ensuing turmoil, Logvinenko handed the painting over to the Russian authorities, who considered German demands for its return.

Budanov Loses Appeal

MOSCOW (AP) -- Former Colonel Yury Budanov, who was convicted of killing a Chechen woman, has lost his appeal against the 10-year sentence in the Supreme Court, his lawyer Pavel Astakhov said Monday.

Budanov has admitted to strangling 18-year-old Elza Kungayeva, but said he did so in a fit of rage.

Black Sea Maneuvers

MOSCOW (AP) -- The Navy on Monday launched a large-scale naval exercise in the Black Sea involving dozens of ships.

The maneuvers, conducted in the central and eastern parts of the Black Sea, involved 17 warships, 36 support vessels and 12 aircraft, the Black Sea Fleet said in a statement carried by Itar-Tass.