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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Prosecutors Call for a Fine

Prosecutors in the case of Alexander Ponosov called Wednesday for the rural school director to pay a 3,000 ruble ($113) fine for copyright violations against Microsoft, Interfax reported.

Ponosov was charged with infringing Microsoft's copyright after law enforcement agents discovered that unlicensed copies of the Windows operating system were installed on computers in his school in the Perm region.

Microsoft's losses in the case are estimated at 266,000 rubles (about $10,000). If convicted, Ponosov could face up to five years in prison. (MT)

Klaus Allays Moscow Fears

TOKYO -- Czech President Vaclav Klaus said Wednesday that if his country were to host part of a U.S. missile-defense shield, it would not be aimed at Russia.

Klaus, in Japan for talks with officials including Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, also said the Czech Republic had not yet made a final decision to accept the U.S. request to install a radar base as part of the system.

"The target is not Russia," Klaus told a news conference, adding that the Czech government only began discussions about the plan recently. "It will take some period, let's say a year, to complete those decisions," he said. (Reuters)

Military Exercises Delayed

Joint Russia-NATO anti-terrorism exercises scheduled to take place last autumn will be postponed until next year because of a legal dispute, Interfax reported Wednesday.

NATO spokesman Robert Psel was quoted as saying a document regulating the presence of NATO servicemen on Russian territory needed to be renegotiated in order for the exercise to go forward.

NATO officials could not be immediately reached for comment. (AP)

Spring Coming March 20

The snow should melt and spring should arrive in European Russia around March 20, Roman Vilfland, director of the Federal Meteorological and Environmental Monitoring Service, said Wednesday.

In the meantime, however, Wednesday's warm temperatures will give way to a cold snap over the weekend, as the mercury dips to minus 10 to 15 degrees Celsius, Interfax reported.

Vilfland said European Russia could expect significant snowfall Thursday before rising atmospheric pressure and clear skies arrived Friday. (MT)

Kulov Takes on Bakiyev

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan -- Former Kyrgyz Prime Minister Felix Kulov on Wednesday accused President Kurmanbek Bakiyev of ousting him and announced that he was joining the opposition to fight the government.

Kulov also accused the president of betrayal, an apparent reference to a deal struck before the July 2005 presidential election in which Kulov dropped his own presidential bid in exchange for the prime minister's position.

Kulov, who is widely seen as Bakiyev's strongest potential opponent, resigned in December amid disagreements over the extent of presidential powers and the parliament then blocked his efforts to resume his position.

On Jan. 29, the parliament approved Bakiyev ally Azim Isabekov as the new prime minister. (AP)