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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Airports Boost Security

Police in the North Caucasus on Wednesday said they would beef up security at three airports, including the one in Nalchik attacked by rebels in October, and that some police officers guarding the airports had been fired.

Workers will remove garages from around the Nalchik airport, said Igor Zhukov, head of the regional Interior Ministry's transport police, Interfax reported. Concrete perimeter fences will be built around the airports in Nalchik and Beslan, and security will also be increased at Makhachkala's airport, he said. (MT)

Biometric Passports in 2006

Russians will be issued new biometric passports starting next year, according to a decree signed Wednesday by Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov.

The passports will be embedded with electronic chips containing biometric information in an effort to prevent fraud, said Mikhail Lychagin, a Cabinet spokesman, Interfax reported. The chip will hold a facial image and data printed on the passport's pages, and may also include fingerprints if the law is amended, Lychagin said. (MT)

Chechen Police Kill 2

ROSTOV-ON-DON -- Police in Grozny shot and killed two men alleged to have been members of armed gangs, the Chechen Interior Ministry said Tuesday.

Police found rifles, grenades and counterfeit police identification cards on the corpses following a brief shootout in a Grozny district, the ministry said.

Chechnya holds parliamentary elections on Sunday. (AP)

2 Marches Banned

Authorities have denied permission for two marches in central Moscow on Sunday, an anti-fascist march planned by liberal parties and NGOs and an anti-immigration one by nationalists, Ekho Moskvy radio reported Wednesday.

Georgy Satarov, organizer of the Moscow Against Fascism march, told Ekho Moskvy that permission had been denied on the grounds that it could block the traffic. Satarov called the ban "completely contrived" and said city authorities were turning a blind eye to fascism.

A march planned by Rodina and the Movement Against Illegal Immigration, titled Moscow Belongs to Us, was banned on the same grounds, the radio station said. (MT)

No Belarus-Russia President

MINSK -- Belarussian President Alexander Lukaskenko on Wednesday ruled out the creation of a new post of president for the fledgling union being formed by Belarus and Russia.

President "Vladimir Putin and I have ruled out this possibility. We have explicitly determined that the union will not have a president," Lukashenko told reporters. (AP)

Kazakh 'Suicide' Disputed

ALMATY, Kazakhstan -- The wife of a former Kazakh minister who was killed by multiple gunshot wounds said Wednesday that her husband was murdered and alleged that police tried to persuade her it was suicide.

Makpal Zhunusova found the body of her husband, Zamanbek Nurkadilov, in his Almaty home on Nov. 12. Police said he had two bullet wounds in his chest and one in his head, and said there was no evidence of a break-in.

Interior Minister Baurzhan Mukhamedzhanov said Tuesday that both suicide and murder remained theories in the investigation. Nurkadilov's lawyer ruled out suicide and opposition leaders have alleged he was murdered for political reasons. (AP)