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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

U.S. Diplomat Robbed

A U.S. diplomat has been robbed and beaten in Yekaterinburg, police said Wednesday.

U.S. vice consul Christopher Barnes was attacked Sunday on Ulitsa Mamina-Sibiryaka, near the city's zoo, and robbed of cash and personal belongings, Itar-Tass reported, citing a regional police source.

The diplomat is feeling fine, said Lada Tikhonova, a spokeswoman for the U.S. consulate in Yekaterinburg. "We are actively cooperating with police to solve this crime," she told Itar-Tass. (MT)

Elephant Kills Handler

A nervous elephant at the Moscow Zoo killed a handler Wednesday by striking her with its leg while being moved onto a truck.

Elephant handlers at the zoo had been trying to load three African elephants onto a specially designed truck to transfer them to a zoo in Valencia, Spain, when the elephant killed the 40-year-old woman at around 11 a.m.

"It was a most unfortunate death of a dedicated zoo keeper who had worked with these animals for many years," a zoo spokeswoman said.

The woman died of a broken neck.

The zoo had wanted to move the elephants because their enclosure was too cramped. (Reuters, MT)

Appeal Over Armenia

WASHINGTON -- Just hours before a crucial vote, President George W. Bush strongly urged the U.S. Congress on Wednesday to reject legislation that would declare the World War I-era killings of hundreds of thousands of Armenians a genocide.

Bush spoke as the House of Representatives' Foreign Affairs Committee was preparing to vote on the measure, which Turkey insists could severely damage U.S. relations with a NATO ally that has been a major portal for U.S. military operations in the region.

A measure of the potential problem came in a warning the U.S. Embassy in Ankara issued Tuesday to U.S. citizens in Turkey, saying they could face "manifestations of anti-Americanism." (AP)

Turkmen Ministers Fired

ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan -- Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov has dismissed acting Interior Minister Khojamyrat Annagurbanov and National Security Minister Geldymukhammed Ashirmukhammedov.

Berdymukhammedov accused Annagurbanov of "serious deficiencies in his work," including actions not befitting his post and the failure to ensure discipline among employees, according to a decree published in the official newspaper Neutral Turkmenistan on Tuesday.

Berdymukhammedov said Ashirmukhammedov had requested a change of jobs for health reasons.

Berdymukhammedov replaced Ashirmukhammedov with Charymyrat Amanov, 41, for a six-month trial period. In Annagurbanov's place he named Orazgeldi Amanmyradov, 37, also for a six-month trial period. (AP)

Putin's Aide Breaks Leg

President Vladimir Putin's press secretary, Alexei Gromov, has broken a leg during a game of ping-pong, a spokeswoman for Gromov's office said Wednesday.

Gromov was playing ping-pong with his son when the incident occurred, the spokeswoman said. She did not give further details. (MT)