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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Smuggling Arrests

MINSK (AP) -- A high-ranking Russian law enforcement officer and five other Russians were arrested by Belarussian authorities on charges of smuggling and illegally trading gems, a Belarussian security agency spokesman said Tuesday. The six allegedly had a ruby and about a dozen other precious stones worth an estimated $400,000 when they were detained at a Minsk cafe on Friday, said Valentin Zelenkevich, a spokesman for the KGB, Belarus' main security agency.

Zelenkevich said one of the detained was a lieutenant colonel with the Russian Interior Ministry, which oversees law enforcement agencies.

Saakashvili's New PM

TBILISI, Georgia (AP) -- President Mikheil Saakashvili tapped his finance minister to be the country's new prime minister Tuesday, nearly a week after the death of Zurab Zhvania from carbon monoxide poisoning, a presidential spokeswoman said. Saakashvili made the decision to nominate Zurab Nogaideli, 40, after days of consultations with aides and Cabinet officials, spokeswoman Alana Gagloyeva said.

Parliament now has 10 days to approve Nogaideli's nomination. The decision caps several days of intense speculation as to the successor of Zhvania, 41, who was found dead last Thursday in the apartment of a friend.