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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Iran Studies Russian Offer

TEHRAN, Iran -- Iran said Wednesday that it was studying a Russian proposal that the two nations enrich uranium in Russian territory but suggested that it would not scrap its own enrichment program at home.

The Russian proposal, backed by the Europeans and the United States, is aimed at getting Iran to move uranium enrichment completely out of its territory to ensure that its nuclear program cannot produce weapons. Enrichment can produce either fuel for a nuclear reactor or material needed for a warhead.

Russia formally put the proposal to Iran last week, raising pressure on Tehran to accept. Iran at first denied receiving the proposal, but on Wednesday confirmed it was considering it. (AP)

Putin Pushes Arms Exports

President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that Russia should use its growing economic might to support its $5 billion arms-export industry amid "extreme" competition from the United States and other countries.

Arms exporters should get cheap state loans to help finance customer purchases, Putin told a government panel on military issues. A comprehensive support system for the industry needs to be developed, he said. (Bloomberg)

Plane's Instruments Failed

BAKU, Azerbaijan -- A government panel investigating the crash of an Azeri airliner that killed 23 people said Wednesday that it was caused by flight instrument failure that made the crew unable to pilot the aircraft.

The Ukrainian-built An-140 plane belonging to flagship carrier Azerbaijan Airlines plunged onto the Caspian Sea shore about 30 kilometers north of the Azeri capital, Baku, minutes after taking off on a flight to Kazakhstan late Friday.

Azerbaijan Airlines chief Jahangir Askerov said Wednesday that the study of the plane's flight recorders found at the crash site revealed that the flight instruments failed immediately after takeoff, leaving the crew unable to see the plane's position in the air. (AP)

3 Jailed in Nalchik Attack

The Supreme Court in Kabardino-Balkaria on Wednesday sentenced three men convicted of involvement in a deadly assault a year ago on a Nalchik drug control agency office that authorities have linked to October's attack on the same city.

The court handed the men sentences ranging from eight to nearly 15 years in prison for their roles in the December 2004 attack on the Federal Drug Control Service office. The defendants were convicted after a jury trial. (AP)

For the Record

Gunmen opened fire on a car used by Dagestani Deputy Interior Minister Magomed Gazimagomedov late Tuesday, killing his son and a bodyguard. He was not in the car. (AP)

The Russian Orthodox Church said Wednesday that it had broken off relations with the Church of Sweden over its recognition of same-sex unions. (AP)

Poland will take over NATO duties patrolling the airspace over Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia on New Year's Day, amid concerns about Russian violations of Baltic airspace. (AP)

Kazakhstan's parliament approved a bill Wednesday granting amnesty to about 14,000 offenders, including 6,000 serving prison sentences. (AP)