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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Inquiry Sought in Georgia

The brother of Georgia's late prime minister, Zurab Zhvania, on Monday demanded a new investigation into his death two years ago, dismissing the authorities' assertion that he died from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Prosecutors in April 2005 said FBI forensics tests had confirmed that Zhvania's Feb. 3, 2005, death was caused by carbon monoxide, as an earlier Georgian investigation had concluded.

Authorities said an improperly ventilated gas heater was apparently at fault. Suspicions had lingered, however, that Zhvania, 41, was murdered.

"We are asking the country's leadership to carry out a new investigation with the participation of European experts," Zhvania's brother Giorgi said. (AP)

'Democratators' Warning

NEW YORK -- The rise of "democratators" in Venezuela and Russia is an alarming new model for government control of the press, the Committee to Protect Journalists warned.

President Vladimir Putin and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez embody a generation of sophisticated elected leaders who use laws to control, intimidate and censor the media, CPJ executive director Joel Simon said Sunday.

"The democratators tolerate the facade of democracy -- a free press, opposition political parties, an independent judiciary -- while gutting it from within," Simon said in CPJ's "Attacks on the Press in 2006" report, which was to be published Monday. (Reuters)

Man Wanted in Plane Scare

Russia has requested the extradition from the Czech Republic of a Russian man who purportedly claimed to have been carrying a bomb on an Aeroflot passenger plane, forcing the airliner to land in Prague in December, prosecutors said Monday.

The Prosecutor General's Office said Moscow airport police had opened a criminal case against Yevgeny Dagayev for knowingly making a false communication about an act of terrorism.

This is punishable by up to three years' prison under Russian law. Dagayev, 32, is suspected of jeopardizing an aircraft, and could face up to 15 years in prison in the Czech Republic if tried and convicted there. (AP)

U.S. Missile Plan Attacked

KIEV -- Ukrainian First Deputy Prime Minister Mykola Azarov voiced opposition Monday to U.S. plans to deploy a missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic.

"First of all, missiles deployed near our territory are objects for attack by all sides. So it is a threat to involve Ukraine," Azarov said in a statement.

Washington announced last month that it wanted to put a radar system in the Czech Republic and a missile interceptor site in Poland. (AP)

2 Kazakh Bankers Missing

ALMATY, Kazakhstan -- Two former senior managers of a Kazakh bank have gone missing, their wives said Monday, accusing the president's son-in-law, who controls Nurbank, of involvement in their abduction.

Nurbank's former chairman of the board, Abilmazhen Gilimov, and his deputy, Zholdas Timraliyev, quit the bank last month after falling out with Kazakh Deputy Foreign Minister Rakhat Aliyev, their wives said.

Aliyev is married to the Kazakh president's eldest daughter. (AP)