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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

New Liberal Party

MOSCOW (MT) -- Former world chess champion Garry Kasparov and liberal State Duma Deputy Vladimir Ryzhkov plan to form a new political party without the participation of leading liberal parties Yabloko and SPS, RIA-Novosti reported Tuesday.

"The situation in the country can only change if a powerful opposition democratic party emerges," Vladimir Lysenko, head of the Republican Party of Russia, told RIA-Novosti. "There is an agreement between Ryzhkov and Garry Kasparov to form such a party."

He said he intends to join the new party, which has yet to be named.

Ryzhkov and Kasparov, leaders of the Committee-2008 political movement, are disappointed that infighting between Yabloko and SPS members has prevented the group from accomplishing anything, Lysenko said.

Putin in Japan in April?

TOKYO (Reuters) -- Japan and Russia are trying to arrange a visit by President Vladimir Putin for April to discuss issues including the long-running territorial dispute over the Kuril Islands, a Japanese daily reported Tuesday.

The mass-circulation Asahi newspaper said Japanese and Russian officials are working on having Putin's visit in early April, but the trip could be postponed until June.

Asahi said Putin would be unable to visit Japan in May due to events to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Allied victory over Nazi Germany World War II.

Japanese Foreign Ministry officials said no date for Putin's Japan visit has been set.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is expected to visit Japan in early March to lay the groundwork for Putin's trip.

Beslan Detention

ROSTOV-ON-DON (AP) -- Officials have detained a third person in connection with the September seizure of the Beslan school, a law enforcement spokesman said.

Sergei Prokopov, a senior official with prosecutors for the Southern Federal District, did not release the detainee's name, but said he was Ingush.

Last week, Nikolai Shepel, a deputy prosecutor with the southern district, announced that seven suspected accomplices had been killed in special operations, two arrested and charged, and six put on a federal wanted list.

Chechen Appeal

MOSCOW (AP) -- Lawyers for a Chechen woman sentenced to nine years in prison for planning a series of terrorist attacks appealed her sentence to the Supreme Court, Interfax reported Tuesday.

Prosecutors said Zara Murtazaliyeva was carrying 196 grams of plastic explosives when she was arrested in Moscow in March, and claimed she was preparing a series of suicide attacks and had recruited women for these missions.

Murtazaliyeva pleaded innocent to the charges, but the Moscow City Court on Jan. 17 found her guilty of preparing terror attacks and illegal possession of explosives.

For the Record

Uzbek President Islam Karimov has appointed 16 members of Uzbekistan's new upper house of parliament, completing plans to establish a two-house legislature in the country, election officials said Tuesday. (AP)

Ukrainian authorities found more than a half-kilogram of cesium-137 near a house in the Crimean Peninsula, officials said. The six soccer ball-sized capsules each contained about 100 grams of the highly radioactive substance. They were found Saturday near a house in the Crimean village of Ishun, and radiation levels outside the house were 380 times higher than normal levels.