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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Teen Smoking Soars

The government's chief epidemiologist said Monday that 60 percent of boys and 40 percent of girls were smoking regularly by the 11th grade.

Gennady Onishchenko, head of the Federal Consumer Protection Service, said the tobacco industry continued to target children, Interfax reported.

Cigarette packs already carry a warning label.

But Onishchenko said it was his "dream" to follow Canada's example and add a picture of the lungs of a smoker who suffers from lung cancer. (MT)

Soldier Kills 2 and Himself

A soldier shot to death two other servicemen before turning the gun on himself, Colonel Igor Konashenkov, a spokesman for the Ground Forces, said Tuesday.

The soldier was on guard duty at a military installation in the Astrakhan region.

He fired his Kalashnikov assault rifle at a group of fellow soldiers, killing two and wounding a third.

The soldier then took his own life, Konashenkov said. He said the soldier's motives were not immediately clear, and that the shooting was under investigation. (AP)

Journalist Seeks Asylum

Journalist Alexander Kosvintsev has asked for political asylum in Ukraine, Ekho Moskvy radio reported on its web site Tuesday.

Until last year, Kosvintsev was editor of Rossiisky Reportyor, a newspaper in Kemerovo, and head of a branch of the United Civil Front, the opposition political organization led by Garry Kasparov.

Kosvintsev said he had requested asylum because he was being harassed by local officials in Kemerovo. (MT)

Nurse Sells Baby for $600

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan -- A nurse in a Kyrgyz maternity hospital sold a baby boy to undercover police officers for $600, police announced Tuesday.

Police video footage shows the nurse toasting the sale and saying the baby -- swaddled in white and blue cloths -- was now happy because he had found a family.

Policeman Bakyt Karmankulov said the undercover officers were offered the choice of a girl or boy.

The nurse has been detained. (Reuters)