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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

German Embassy Visa Fraud

BERLIN -- An employee at the German Embassy in Moscow has been fired after authorities discovered that hundreds of visas were issued to people based on forged documents, the Foreign Ministry said Saturday.

The ministry discovered the case during a regular inspection of embassy operations, a spokesman said on condition of anonymity, confirming a report released by weekly Der Spiegel before its planned publication Sunday.

The embassy employee helped 1,259 applicants get visas for Germany with forged documents, Spiegel reported, adding that police had already tracked down 153 applicants who were granted those visas.

Several employees have been fired at the German Embassy in Cairo on similar grounds, the spokesman said. (AP)

Tymoshenko Vote Nears

KIEV -- Ukraine's parliament will vote Tuesday on whether to return Yulia Tymoshenko to her old job of prime minister and on appointing a Cabinet, the assembly's speaker said Friday.

"Whatever the circumstances, a vote will take place Tuesday on the candidacy for prime minister of Ukraine and on the makeup of the government," Speaker Arseniy Yatsenyuk told the chamber.

He then declared the parliament closed until Tuesday.

The opposition, led by outgoing Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych's Party of the Regions, has indicated that it will accept Tymoshenko as prime minister if she wins the vote. (Reuters)

Serbs Arrest Businessman

KIEV -- Serbian border police have caught a Russian businessman wanted in Ukraine since he bought a big stake in a Black Sea shipyard, after a chase across Europe, Cuba and Jamaica, Ukraine's Interior Ministry said.

It now expects Igor Churkin to be extradited to Ukraine from Serbia after he was apprehended at Belgrade Airport on an Interpol warrant to answer Ukrainian accusations that his acquisition of a 90 percent stake in the shipyard was illegal. Ukraine accuses Churkin of buying the shipyard illegally in 2003 by "misleading" the agency through what they called fictitious companies registered in Britain and Canada and talks with another bidder. (Reuters)

Kyrgyz Activist Investigated

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan -- Kyrgyz authorities have opened a criminal investigation against a pro-democracy activist, and election officials barred him from participating in the ongoing parliamentary race.

Edil Baisalov was being investigated for evidence of obstructing elections and inflicting material damage on the state after he posted pictures on his personal web site of a sample ballot to be used in the Dec. 16 vote, the Prosecutor General's Office said late last week. (AP)

Poles to Air Belarussian TV

WARSAW -- A new television station funded by the Polish government will begin broadcasting a mix of news, cultural programming and entertainment shows to Belarus this week -- part of Warsaw's ongoing attempt to bolster democracy there.

The station, Belsat, will hit the airwaves Monday, which is International Human Rights Day.

"Our idea is to turn this station into a forum for uncensored discussion, which is now missing in Belarus," said Agnieszka Romaszewska-Guzy, director of the Warsaw-based station. (Reuters)