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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Belarus Loses Satellite



A Russian Dnepr rocket carrying satellites crashed shortly after take-off late Wednesday from the Kazakh launch pad of Baikonur.

RIA Novosti said the first and second stages of the rocket failed to separate correctly after 86 seconds of flight, causing the Dnepr -- a converted intercontinental missile -- to crash.

News agencies said the rocket was carrying the Belka, a monitoring satellite that would have been Belarus' first man-made object in space, along with 17 other satellites.

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko was on hand for the launch. (Reuters)




Hoareau Walks Free



French psychotherapist Jeannot Hoareau walked free Thursday from Moscow's Matrosskaya Tishina prison after the Prosecutor General's Office decided not to extradite him to France, his lawyer, Igor Trunov, told Interfax.

Hoareau was convicted in absentia in a Paris court last year of raping five patients in the early 1990s.

Hoareau has admitted to having consensual sex with one patient, but maintains that the other four imagined he had abused them because of their psychological problems.

The five complaints were between 1993 and 1995. (MT)




Most Dangerous Roads



Traffic police on Thursday declared Leningradskoye Shosse and Novorizhskoye Shosse the most dangerous roads in Moscow, Prime-Tass reported.

Leningradskoye Shosse ranked first, with 283 accidents in the first six months of the year.

In the same period, 274 accidents occurred on Novorizhskoye Shosse, an increase of 11 percent from the same period last year, traffic police spokesman Alexander Tsypkin said Thursday. (MT)




Opposition Leader Released



MINSK, Belarus -- Opposition leader Alexander Milinkevich was released from police custody Thursday after being detained overnight near a small town where he intended to meet with a jailed youth activist.

Milinkevich failed to unseat authoritarian Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko in the March election, and then spent two weeks in jail for participating in an unauthorized protest in late April. (AP)




Foreigners Need Not Apply



Under new regulations that took effect Thursday, people with dual citizenship or a residency permit from a foreign country will no longer be allowed to hold government jobs.

They are also banned from serving in the State Duma and regional legislatures.

According to the regulations, regional leaders and certain lawmakers will be required to renounce their foreign citizenship and residency permits or quit their posts.

The new law could affect such Duma deputies as Iosif Kobzon, who is reported to hold Ukrainian in addition to Russian citizenship.

Rodina party chief Alexander Babakov, who is reported to hold an Israeli passport, could also be affected. (MT)




Fighter Goes Down in Urals



A MiG fighter jet crashed during a routine flight Wednesday, apparently after a bird was sucked into an engine, but the two pilots ejected and survived.

The Mig-29UB crashed shortly after taking off from an airstrip in the Perm region, about 1,200 kilometers east of Moscow, Air Force spokesman Nikolai Drobyshevsky said.

Preliminary information indicated that an engine failed after a bird was sucked inside, Interfax quoted Drobyshevsky as saying. The pilots said a flock of birds rose up from the ground in front of the plane as it took off. (AP)




Amphibious Plane Crashes



A Be-103 amphibious airplane crashed shortly after takeoff at an airport in the Khabarovsk region, Interfax reported.

Three crew members and one passenger were on board, including Alexander Pekarsh, the head of an aviation company in the area that owned the plane.

Pekarsh had been participating in a meeting of the regional government.

The regional office of the Emergency Situations Ministry said that one person was hospitalized with burns, a second with facial injuries and a third with broken bones.

The plane fell from the sky one minute after takeoff and landed on a private home. (MT)




For the Record



Alexander Tkachyov, governor of the Krasnodar region, is pushing to restore the pre-revolutionary name of the regional capital, Yekaterinodar, Rossiiskaya Gazeta reported. (MT)

Federal Security Service chief Nikolai Patrushev said Thursday that an offer of amnesty for rebel fighters in the North Caucasus could be extended beyond Aug. 1, NTV reported. (MT)