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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Russia Slams Moldova

Russia accused Moldova on Thursday of obstructing an international peacekeeping mission in the self-declared republic of Transdnestr, which is inhabited mostly by Russian-speakers.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Yakovenko said in a statement that Moldovan authorities were refusing to participate even in emergency sessions of a mediating group.

He said Moldova's behavior led to "the impression that the conscious aggravation of tensions is meant to isolate [the Transdnestr capital of] Tiraspol and push it out of the negotiating process." (AP)

Kraft Confirms Ring Gift

BOSTON -- New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft confirmed that the 2005 Super Bowl Ring he handed to President Vladimir Putin on Saturday was a gift.

Earlier, The Boston Globe had speculated that Kraft had not meant to give away the ring.

"I showed the president my most recent Super Bowl ring," Kraft said in a statement Wednesday. Putin "was clearly taken with its uniqueness," he said.

"At that point, I decided to give him the ring as a symbol of the respect and admiration that I have for the Russian people and the leadership of President Putin," he said.

At the end of the three-hour meeting between Putin and U.S. business executives at Konstantinov Palace near St. Petersburg, Kraft took off the ring, and handed it to Putin. Putin tried it on, put it in his pocket and left. The ring is worth more than $15,000. (AP)