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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Air Marshals to Fly Soon



Plainclothes police officers carrying weapons will soon serve as air marshals on international flights flown by Russian airlines, Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev told Interfax on Friday.

Air marshals were envisioned in a new aviation security law that was passed late last month.

Nurgaliyev also said 700 firearms have been confiscated in airports since September 2004 and that 53 criminal investigations have been opened in connection with the weapons. (MT)

Transvaal Designer Charged



Prosecutors on Friday filed manslaughter charges against the architect of the Transvaal water park, whose roof collapsed in 2004, killing 28 people, Interfax reported.

Nodar Kancheli is accused of causing death and injury by drafting a roof design that prosecutors call flawed. (MT)

Mrs. Yushchenko Ukrainian



KIEV -- Kateryna Yushchenko, the American-born wife of Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko, has received Ukrainian citizenship, the president's spokeswoman said.

Kateryna applied for Ukrainian citizenship after spending five years in the country and fulfilling other legal requirements, the spokeswoman said. Yushchenko and his wife were to travel to the United States on Sunday. (AP)

Abkhaz Assassination Bid



SUKHUMI, Georgia -- Gunmen attacked a convoy carrying the prime minister of the breakaway Georgian region of Abkhazia on Friday, wounding a driver, Deputy Prime Minister Leonid Lakerbaya said. It was the second assassination attempt this month on Alexander Ankvab.

The two-car convoy was traveling in the village of Anvab when the assailants raked it with weapons fire. (AP)

Zhvania Died of Gas Poison



TBILISI, Georgia -- FBI forensics tests show that the death of Georgian Prime Minister Zurab Zhvania was caused by carbon monoxide leaking from a faulty gas heater, a senior prosecutor said Friday.

The announcement by Deputy Prosecutor General Georgii Dzhanashiya seeks to lay to rest lingering suspicions that Zhvania, 41 -- who was found dead in a Tbilisi apartment on Feb. 3 -- was the victim of foul play. (AP)

For the Record



A coalition of Reform Jewish groups has condemned one of Russia's two chief rabbis, Berl Lazar, for a magazine article in which he suggested that Reform Judaism is opposite to the Jewish holy book, the Torah, and is "cannot be labeled as a religion." (AP)

A shell exploded in the barrel of a mortar during training maneuvers in the Chelyabinsk region on Friday, killing three soldiers and injuring eight others, the Defense Ministry said. (AP)

An Mi-24 army helicopter crashed into a fuel truck in the Kemorovo region Friday, severely injuring the aircraft's three crew members who were rushed to a hospital in critical condition, ministry spokesman Vyacheslav Sedov said. (AP)