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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Azeri Man Killed in Moscow

An Azeri man was fatally shot Sunday in Moscow in a killing police suggested was planned, Interfax reported.

The 37-year-old Azeri citizen was shot by unidentified assailants, who apparently waited outside his apartment building and ambushed him when he emerged in the morning, Interfax reported, citing the city prosecutor's office. It said the victim was a vendor at a food market.

The prosecutor's office could not be reached for comment. Moscow police confirmed a man had been shot dead outside an apartment building, but did not reveal his identity or nationality. (AP)

Gunmen Kill Faith Healer

Masked gunmen burst into the home of a well-known doctor and faith healer in Ingushetia on Monday and shot her dead, the Interior Ministry said.

It was the second killing of a faith healer in Ingushetia in two years, and the eighth across the restive North Caucasus this year alone. Authorities blamed radical Muslims, who believe faith healing is a sin against Islam.

Elena Goryachenko, 40, a native of Chechnya, was shot dead in front of her son in her house in the village of Ordzhonikidze, said the southern regional branch of the Russian Interior Ministry. (AP)

Institutions Law Signed

President Vladimir Putin on Saturday signed a controversial new law on independent institutions.

Under the law, government financing is to be cut for many secondary schools, universities and museums, forcing them to become self-funding independent entities.

The law, backed by the pro-Kremlin United Russia party, has prompted public fears that free schooling and museum visits for the poor might soon be a thing of the past. (MT)

Call for Politkovskaya Probe

Media freedom group Reporters Without Borders on Friday called for an international inquiry into the killing of investigative reporter Anna Politkovskaya, saying it was imperative to "find out the truth about her death."

The Paris-based group said it had launched a petition already signed by 6,000 people, including Spain's best-known investigating magistrate, Baltasar Garzon, and Carla del Ponte, chief prosecutor for the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal.

The Prosecutor General's Office has said it is pursuing several possible motives but has not identified which is the main one pending completion of the investigation. (AP)

Ukraine Holds Western Line

KIEV -- Ukraine's Parliament Speaker Oleksandr Moroz told the visiting Council of Europe chief Monday that the country would continue to strive for closer ties with Europe.

"Ukraine's steps toward Europe must be made through actions and not empty words," Moroz told Terry Davis, the head of the continent's top rights organization.

"Our European choice is our strategic course."

Moroz, who is a member of Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych's governing coalition, told Davis that Ukraine would aim to "introduce European standards to every aspect of Ukrainian life.' (AP)