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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

03/21/2007

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Fire at Retirement Home Kills 62

KAMYSHEVATSKAYA, Krasnodar Region -- Sixty-two people died after a fire swept through a retirement home here early Tuesday, with lackadaisical staff and firefighters being blamed for the high death toll.

Rosneft Taps $22Bln In Loans

Rosneft announced Tuesday that it would borrow a record $22 billion from eight foreign banks to fund its purchase of assets, including those of the bankrupt oil company Yukos.

Diplomats: Russia Issues Iran an Ultimatum

Russia has informed Iran that it will withhold nuclear fuel for Iran's nearly completed Bushehr power plant unless Iran suspends its uranium enrichment and begins withdrawing specialists from the facility, U.S. and European officials said.

Monastery Bells Agreement Finalized

The Orthodox Church and Harvard University signed a final agreement Tuesday transferring historical church bells from the Massachusetts university to‑the Danilovsky Monastery in Moscow. The set of 18 bells, which has been hanging for more than 70 years at ­Harvard, is set to return to the monastery in August in line with the agreement.

Death Toll at Mine Rises to 106

NOVOKUZNETSK, Kemerovo Region -- The death toll in the Ulyanovskaya coal mine explosion rose to 106 on Tuesday, making it the deadliest mine disaster in the country's history.

Warm Weather Comes One Month Ahead of Schedule

Temperatures Tuesday in Moscow hit 15 degrees Celsius, one degree short of the record high for March. ""The weather is a month ahead of ­itself,"" said Aleksei Lyakhov, general director of the Moscow Region Weather Bureau.

Communists Win Seats in Recount

The Communist and Patriots of Russia parties have won seats in Dagestan's parliament, a recount of the March 11 vote shows. The parties had been denied seats in the assembly after returns showed them failing to cross the 7 percent threshold.

Mine Blast Threatens to Derail Evraz Plans

The Kemerovo mine disaster threatens to disrupt the operations and plans of steel giant Evraz, which co-owns the mine and uses its coal to fuel its steel plants, analysts said Tuesday.

Financial Monitor Chief Plans to Quit

Federal Financial Monitoring ­Service chief Viktor Zubkov will leave his post to take a seat in the Federation Council, Interfax reported Tuesday, citing a Finance Ministry source.

Getting the EU Back Into Eurasia

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier appears to be serious about carrying out his nation's plans to reorient European foreign policy toward Central Asia. This recalibration is a welcome shift from Germany, which under Chancellor Gerhard Schröder tended toward almost pusillanimous relations with Russia, to the detriment of other former Soviet states.

Tortured Credibility

Back in 2003, when U.S. forces first took custody of the notorious al-Qaida mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed, there was much speculation about what his capture might signify. Some thought he might possess information about other planned operations, some predicted his loss would fatally damage al-Qaida, some guessed his arrest would lead to additional arrests. Others used his capture to float theories about when and how torture might legitimately be used.

Anti-Missile Defense Envy

As Carl von Clausewitz said: ""War is simply the continuation of politics using different means."" Russia's current military strategy is becoming a continuation of its cheap policies and public relations.

Trying to Define Sects Is a Troubling Tradition

The issue of giving preference to ""traditional"" religions and banning ""sects"" comes up regularly in political discussions and the media. The nature of these discussions inevitably leaves much to be desired. The deputy chief of the Interior Ministry's Moscow branch, Alexander Melnikov, has told the Moscow City Duma that current legislation does not define what sects are, making it difficult to deal with them. Melnikov is right: The definition of a sect is not legal but religious. It is clearly not the police's job to deal with this. Their job is catching people who break the law. The law on freedom of conscience and religious organizations does not mention sects or traditional religions at all. The preamble to the law stresses the historical role of the traditional religions: Orthodox Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Buddhism. But the preamble has no legal bearing. Attempts to impose interpretations on the law arise from time to time.

Hussein's Former Deputy Hanged

BAGHDAD -- Saddam Hussein's former deputy was hanged before dawn Tuesday, the fourth man to be executed for the killings of 148 Shiites following a 1982 assassination attempt against the former leader.

Churkin Lashes Out At UN Kosovo Envoy

UNITED NATIONS -- Russia's UN ambassador accused the UN special envoy in Kosovo of delivering an extremely one-sided and unhelpful sermon promoting independence from Serbia.

U.S. Attorneys Dispute Widens

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales clung to his job as documents his Justice Department sent to Congress confirmed the Bush administration's fears that the dismissals of eight U.S. attorneys might not stand up to scrutiny.

Rangers Break Penguins' Streak

NEW YORK -- Jaromir Jagr looked for teammate Michael Nylander -- and luckily found defenseman Rob Scuderi. Jagr snapped his longest ­scoring drought of the season Monday night when his pass for Nylander clipped off Scuderi's stick and slipped into the net with 33.8 seconds left in the New York Rangers' 2-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Outdoing the iPhone

It was tough to watch Steve Jobs dangle the Apple iPhone before everyone's eyes, and tougher to learn it wouldn't enter Russia at least until the end of 2007.

Have a Swig, Try the Sig

With city center real estate being an ever more expensive and competitively sought-after commodity, restaurateurs have been going further afield in search of suitable premises. No longer is your best bet outside the Garden Ring necessarily a familiar chain; the sleeping suburbs have been waking up to a higher standard. One example is the recently opened Pivo k Pivu.
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