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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Belgian Diplomat in Clash

A Belgian diplomat attacked a policeman and broke his nose after being pulled over for traffic violation, Interfax reported Thursday, citing police.

The Belgian Embassy confirmed that one of its employees was involved in an altercation and said he had suffered several bruises, had his glasses broken, and later discovered 5,000 rubles missing from his wallet, Interfax said.

Police told Interfax that the diplomat left a restaurant Wednesday evening and committed several moving violations as he pulled away in his car. After he was stopped, he unexpectedly attacked two traffic police officers, police said. (MT)

Belarus Bans U.S. Flights

MINSK -- Belarus, its leaders subject to a visa ban in the West, is to bar flights over its territory by U.S. and Canadian aircraft, the Belarussian Foreign Ministry said Thursday.

The move was in response to a refusal by both countries to allow an aircraft carrying Belarus' prime minister to refuel last month on its way to and from Cuba.

Belarus receives about $200,000 from the United States and Canada for use of its airspace each year. (Reuters)

Gay Rights March Saturday

Gay rights activists will ignore an official ban on a march through Moscow on Saturday despite warnings from some within their community that it will only serve to whip up prejudice in widely homophobic Russia.

Nikolai Alexeyev, organizer of a gay festival that will culminate in the march, said it would take place in the afternoon but that the precise time and location had not been determined. (Reuters)

Science Academy Vote

The Russian Academy of Sciences has voted down nearly all the high-profile political and business leaders who had been vying for membership slots, Irina Presnyakova, an academy spokeswoman, said Thursday.

The academy also elected former Kyrgyz President Askar Akayev and French historical novelist Maurice Druon as foreign members.

Media had speculated that the academy wanted the high-profile candidates to help it fend off government efforts to re-appropriate academy properties. Only State Duma Deputy Andrei Kokoshin became a full member in voting late Wednesday. (MT)

Adoptive Mother Sentenced

MANASSAS, Virginia -- A woman who beat to death a 2-year-old girl she had adopted from a Siberian orphanage was sentenced Thursday to 25 years in prison.

"'I'm sorry' doesn't even come close. That's the way I feel," Peggy Sue Hilt told Judge William Hamblen before he imposed the sentence. (AP)