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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Businessman Killed in Blast



A bomb exploded in a businessman's car as he was driving to work Tuesday, killing the man, a Moscow City Prosecutor's Office spokesman said.

The man, identified as Andrei Chikin, 43, died en route to the hospital shortly after the 8:30 a.m. bombing in the Moscow region, said spokesman Sergei Marchenko.

News reports said the blast was so powerful that it tore Chikin's Toyota Camry into several pieces. Chikin was the general director of a company that shipped construction materials. (AP)




Porn Ring Busted



A joint operation between the Interior Ministry and the FBI has broken up an Internet pornography ring suspected of distributing, among other things, films involving minors, Interfax reported Tuesday.

Deputy Interior Minister Andrei Novikov said the suspected ringleader, a 23-year-old Moscow resident, was arrested on suspicion of organizing production, deliveries and sales of illegal pornography, Interfax reported.

Novikov said the group produced pornography through a company listed as a film studio in Nizhny Novgorod and then sent the films to Moscow, where they were advertised on commercial Internet porn sites. He said a Russian-U.S. investigation was continuing. (MT)




Leavitt Discusses AIDS



U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt said Tuesday that stronger efforts were needed to combat Russia's growing AIDS epidemic, which risks having a severe effect on the population and the economy.

Leavitt said authorities had made significant progress in fighting HIV/AIDS, but that they needed to do more to stem its spread.

Leavitt said he had a very "candid" conversation with Health and Social Development Minister Mikhail Zurabov that focused on the deadly disease. (AP)




Gandhi Eyes Terrorism



Indian Congress Party leader Sonia Gandhi called for increased efforts in the fight against international terrorism, telling a Moscow conference Tuesday that nations and cultures around the world needed to do more to understand one another.

Russia and India "both agree that terrorism must be fought collectively, resolutely and consistently, without any double standards," Gandhi said at the conference devoted to cultural communication. (AP)




Senior Peacekeeper Arrested



KIEV -- Ukrainian authorities arrested the former head of its peacekeeping troops in Iraq on charges of smuggling, prosecutors said.

The Prosecutor General's Office said in a terse statement Monday that Major General Serhiy Savchenko had been arrested and that the charges stemmed from his time as head of Ukraine's forces in Iraq. No other details were provided.

In February, Ukrainian authorities said they had detained several soldiers on leave from Iraq on charges of smuggling $300,000 in cash. (AP)




Russia Leaves Tajik Border



DUSHANBE, Tajikistan -- The last Russian border guard left his post in Tajikistan on Tuesday, bringing to an end Russia's 110-year role in patrolling the area's border with Afghanistan, a drug-trafficking route.

Tajikistan, which took over responsibility for the border, said last year it no longer wanted Russia to conduct patrols, briefly souring relations with Moscow until it gave Russia a base for 7,000 soldiers still stationed there. (Reuters)