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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Cameras for All Metro Cars



The Moscow metro will have surveillance cameras installed in every train car by the end of next year, as part of stepped-up security measures following the London underground and bus bombings, its director said.

Dmitry Gayev said the cameras would be introduced on the circle line by the end of 2005 and that one year later the surveillance system would be operational on the remainder of the metro network, Gazeta.ru reported. This would not guarantee "that nothing will ever happen but it will make things more difficult" for terrorists, he said Monday.

In February 2004, 41 people were killed in a morning rush-hour explosion in a metro car. (AP)




Doubts Over Yaponchik



Acting Moscow Prosecutor Vladimir Bakun said Tuesday that he doubted the legality of a jury's decision the previous day to acquit reputed crime boss Vyacheslav Ivankov.

Bakun said on NTV television that the jury could not have been unbiased because seven of its 12 members were former convicts or had convicts among their close relatives.

Ivankov, who is known as Yaponchik, or the Little Japanese, was accused of killing two Turkish citizens in Moscow in 1992. The prosecution has promised to appeal the acquittal. (MT)




3 Tons of Caviar Seized



VLADIVOSTOK -- Authorities seized nearly 3 metric tons of salmon caviar and more than 20 tons of fish from poachers in the Far East, a law enforcement spokeswoman said Tuesday.

Agents made the haul after stopping a man driving a truck outside of the city of Petropavlosky-Kamchatsky. Police searching the truck found 2.85 tons of salmon caviar, for which the man had no documentation. The haul was valued at 1.5 million rubles ($52,000). (AP)




Shevardnadze Gets Pension



TBILISI, Georgia -- Former Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze can begin drawing a $410 monthly retirement check, a government official said Tuesday, more than 1 1/2 years after he was driven from office by protests.

Zaza Sopromadze, general director of Georgia's social security fund, said Shevardnadze's 750 lari ($410) monthly retirement served as his pension for his time in parliament in the early 1990s.

She said, however, he would not receive any pension for his tenure as president because Georgia had no law stipulating how much of a retirement pension former presidents should receive.

She attributed the delay in Shevardnadze's pension payments to the fact that he submitted his paperwork only last month.

Shevardnadze recently complained to reporters that the government was giving him money only for his monthly maintenance fees, about $800. His bodyguards are also paid by the government, but the armored Mercedes he drives in was a gift from the German government several years ago. (AP)




Solana Visits Kiev



KIEV -- The European Union's foreign policy chief said Tuesday that relations were developing successfully between Ukraine and the 25-nation bloc, which the country seeks to join.

Javier Solana said, however, that there was still work to do. "It does not mean … that we can rest on our laurels," Solana said after meeting Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko during a visit to Kiev. (AP)




Ukrainian Police Slammed



KIEV -- A Ukrainian opposition party on Tuesday accused police of attempting to discredit their leader by summoning him for questioning.

Viktor Medvedchuk, a chief of staff of former President Leonid Kuchma, was due to be questioned as part of an investigation into medals and state honors awarded to officials close to Kuchma's inner circle.

Medvedchuk's United Social Democratic Party, however, said its leader would not appear for questioning because he was on vacation. The party also said "such police actions are aimed exclusively at discrediting political opponents." (AP)




Kyrgyz Journalist Detained



BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan -- A Kyrgyz journalist reporting on the aftermath of a May government crackdown on protesters in Uzbekistan was detained by Uzbek border guards for lack of identification cards, the head of a local media organization said Tuesday.

Ernis Mamyrkanov, head of a media resource center in the southern Kyrgyz town of Osh, said that Erkin Yakubjanov was detained Monday by the Uzbek border guards when he attempted to interview them. He said Yakubjanov did not have documents proving that he was a reporter. Yakubjanov is a fourth-year journalism student at Osh State University. (AP)




15 Extremist Arrests



DUSHANBE, Tajikistan -- Tajikistan's interior minister said Tuesday that more than 15 members of a banned Muslim extremist group had been arrested since January.

Khumddin Sharipov said the group, Hizb ut-Tahrir, was intent on using "violent methods" to achieve its aim: creating an Islamic state in Central Asia.

Sharipov also said local police branches were plagued by nepotism and a lack of technical equipment. He said 60 police officers this year had been investigated for accepting bribes, drug trafficking and corruption. (AP)




ISS Completes Redocking



The crew of the international space station moved a Russian spacecraft from one part of the orbiting station to another Tuesday in a maneuver designed to make space walks easier.

The maneuver had been scheduled for August, but Russian officials pushed it up after the launch of the space shuttle Discovery was delayed.

U.S. officials on Monday put off the launch for at least another week. (AP)