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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Latvian Premier to Resign

RIGA, Latvia -- Latvian Prime Minister Aigars Kalvitis said Wednesday that he would resign Dec. 5, bowing to weeks of pressure that followed his attempt to fire the country's anti-corruption boss.

The government lost four ministers through resignations or dismissals and faced two huge street protests. It later rescinded its dismissal of anti-corruption bureau chief Aleksejs Loskutovs after the parliament refused to ratify it.

Kalvitis said after meeting President Valdis Zatlers that the government wanted to complete passing the budget, finalize a border deal with Russia and finish a regional reform. "Only after that can we resign," he told reporters. (Reuters)

Date of Presidential Election

The date of next year's presidential election will be officially announced no later than Dec. 2, Central Elections Commission official Nikolai Konkin said Wednesday.

If the decree on appointing the presidential election is passed by the Federation Council on Nov. 26, then it will be published and become law Dec. 2 at the latest, Konkin said at a news conference, Interfax reported.

Federation Council Speaker Sergei Mironov said Tuesday that the upper house would set the election date on Nov. 26.

By law political parties have 30 days to register their candidates after the election date is officially set, while independent candidates have 25 days to declare. (MT)

Trutnev, Fetisov Join Party

Natural Resources Minister Yury Trutnev and Federal Agency for Physical Culture and Sports head Vyacheslav Fetisov have joined United Russia, party head Boris Gryzlov said Wednesday.

Trutnev and Fetisov had both worked actively with the party but had not been members, said Gryzlov, who gave the two officials their party cards Wednesday, Interfax reported.

Trutnev, who served as Perm's governor before being appointed minister in March 2004, is heading up United Russia's regional ticket in Perm. (MT)

Croatian Businessman Slain

A Croatian businessman has been gunned down in southeast Moscow, Interfax reported Wednesday.

The 34-year-old man, who ran an apartment renovation business, died after being shot three times by an unidentified assailant while walking late Tuesday on Ulitsa Guryanova, near the Pechatniki metro station, a law enforcement source told Interfax.

"He was shot in the forearm, the head and the torso," the source said.

The killer fled the scene in a Lada, and police are searching for the car, he said. (MT)

Netrebko Honored

NEW YORK -- Russian soprano Anna Netrebko has been named musician of the year for 2008 by a classical music publication, whose previous honorees over the past 50 years include Leonard Bernstein, Igor Stravinsky and Vladimir Horowitz.

Netrebko will grace the cover of the 2008 Musical America International Directory of the Performing Arts, often referred to in the business as the "bible" of the industry, with its comprehensive databases and contact listings.

The awards ceremony will be held in New York on Dec. 13.

The awards date to 1960, the first year the International Directory of the Performing Arts was published. (AP)

Serial Cat Killer Sought

Police in Tynda are investigating reports of a serial cat killer in the eastern Siberian city, the web site reported Wednesday.

Four cats have been found dead with gunshot wounds to the head and at least another 10 have been reported missing, cited local newspaper Teleport as saying.

Yevgeny Poddubin, a senior investigator with the Tynda police force, promised to take action, even though no one had filed a formal complaint, said.

"Residents can guess who is hunting for the favorite pets," the report said. "But they don't want to turn to authorities because they fear ruining their relationship with their neighbors." (MT)