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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Federal Media Chief Named

Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov on Monday appointed Boris Boyarskov as head of the new Federal Service for Mass Media, Telecommunications and the Protection of Cultural Heritage, Interfax reported.

Boyarskov headed the Federal Service for Media Law Compliance and Cultural Heritage until March 12, when President Vladimir Putin ordered it merged with the Federal Communications Inspection Service.

Some editors of national newspapers have expressed concern that the new agency will be too powerful in an election season. (MT)

Sochi-Area Ski Lift Closed

A court has ordered the closure of the company that runs the only ski lift in Krasnaya Polyana, near Sochi, citing safety concerns.

The Emergency Situations Ministry sued Alpika-Servis after it completed an investigation into the March 4 death of a 10-year-old boy in an avalanche, Kommersant reported Monday. The Adler District Court ruled Friday that Alpika-Servis did not possess an avalanche gun -- used to trigger controlled avalanches. Pyotr Fedin, the company's general director, denied that.

Alpika-Servis also owns a ski school and lodges for skiers on an area covering 200 hectares of the mountain. (MT)

Kondopoga Verdict Tuesday

A Karelian court is to rule Tuesday in the trial of the two suspected instigators of a fight that led to ethnic riots in the town of Kondopoga last year.

The suspects, Sergei Mozgalev and Yury Pliyev, admitted in court Monday that they had beaten an Azeri barman at Kondopoga's Chaika restaurant in September. The bartender than summoned a group of knife and bar-wielding Chechen natives who attacked diners, killing two ethnic Russians. The killings prompted riots.

Prosecutors have asked that Mozgalev and Pliyev be sentenced to five and 2 1/5 years, respectively. (MT)

Porn Restrictions Planned

The Culture and Press Ministry is working on a bill that would limit the circulation of erotic and pornographic materials, deputy minister Pavel Pozhigailo said Monday.

He did not provide any further details about the bill, other than to say it would be submitted to the Cabinet in three to four months, Interfax reported. (MT)

Vote on New Elections Chief

New members of the Central Elections Commission will meet Tuesday to elect a chairman, Interfax reported.

Commission member and State Duma Deputy Vladimir Churov declined to comment again Monday on whether he would secure the position, as widely expected. (MT)

Bakiyev Drops Veto

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan -- Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, under increasing pressure from opposition politicians, met one of their key demands Monday by withdrawing his veto of legislation to eliminate the state television channel.

Bakiyev's office said the move was meant "to consolidate efforts of various political groups and parties." The opposition has threatened to start nationwide protest rallies unless Bakiyev fulfills an array of demands. (AP)

Uzbek Reporter Missing

TASHKENT, Uzbekistan -- An Uzbek reporter for German broadcaster Deutsche Welle has been missing for two days after being questioned by prosecutors on charges of unlicensed work and tax evasion, her lawyer and family said Monday.

Natalya Bushuyeva has not returned home since her visit on Saturday to the prosecutor's office, said her mother, Maria Tolmachyova. (AP)

Stalin Used on Billboards

KIEV -- Donetsk authorities took down billboards on Monday featuring Stalin exhorting residents to pay their bills on time after protests from rights groups and nationalists.

Irina Taran, a spokeswoman for the governing council in the eastern Ukrainian city, said dozens of billboards featuring Stalin appeared in the city last week. (AP)