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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Latvia to Sign Border Treaty



RIGA, Latvia -- Latvia will sign a border treaty with Russia this week to end a territorial dispute that has overshadowed ties since the Soviet collapse.

Latvian Prime Minister Aigars Kalvitis is to go to Moscow on Monday and sign the treaty with Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov on Tuesday. (Reuters)




Butovo Family Loses Suit



A Moscow court on Friday awarded a private house in Southern Butovo to the Moscow city government, ending a legal battle that lasted over six months.

The Prokofyev family will get 1.5 million rubles in compensation from the prefecture of the Southwest Administrative District, Ekho Moskvy reported, citing the Zyuzinsky District Court.

Yulia Prokofyeva, who filed the lawsuit, promised to appeal, while a lawyer for Southern Butovo residents said the ruling violated the Constitution.

Last summer, the court ordered the family out of their house and offered a one-room apartment in the same district. Residents staged a protest that was joined by State Duma deputies. (MT)




McDonald's Blast 'Terror'



ST. PETERSBURG -- Prosecutors said Friday that they were treating a Feb. 18 explosion at a McDonald's restaurant in central St. Petersburg last month as an act of terrorism.

"It has been established that the aim of the explosion in the McDonald's cafe was to express disagreement with the authorities and the existing regime," the Prosecutor General's Office said in a statement.

On Thursday, police said six ultranationalists had been detained on suspicion of carrying out the bombing, which injured 10. The prosecutor's statement put the number of suspects at five. (Reuters)




Football Games on TV



State television channel Sport and cable operator NTV-Plus have signed an agreement on broadcasting rights for the 2007 Premier League season, Interfax reported Friday.

Under the agreement, Sport will show two games of each round live and two others taped.

NTV-Plus earlier agreed that Channel One television could show one game of each round and regional channels could show games hosted by local teams.

NTV-Plus will pay $20 million to the Premier League for the right to show all games of the upcoming season. (MT)




6 Dead in Helicopter Crash



Rescue workers on Saturday found the bodies of four occupants of a Gazprom-owned helicopter that crashed in the Komi republic, bringing the death toll to six, emergency officials said.

The Mi-8 helicopter carrying five crew members and one passenger went missing Wednesday. The bodies of two people were discovered amid the helicopter's wreckage in a remote mountainous region Friday, at an elevation of about 800 meters. It was unclear what caused the crash.

The helicopter, which belonged to Gazpromavia was on an environmental monitoring mission. (AP)




Rolling Stones to Play



The Rolling Stones will play in St. Petersburg and Kiev as part of the band's newly announced European tour.

The Kiev concert will be the band's first in Ukraine and take place on July 25, one day before singer Mick Jagger turns 64. The group has scheduled a July 28 show for St. Petersburg. (Reuters)




Underwater Smuggling



Kaliningrad border guards have detained two men who tried to smuggle 12,500 cartons of cigarettes into Russia with a diving suit and a chain, Interfax reported Friday.

While one suspect kept watch, the other donned a diving suit and pulled 25 boxes of cigarettes with a chain through the shallow waters of the Kaliningrad bay on the Polish-Russian border. Both suspects were from the Kaliningrad region village of Mamonovo. (MT)

Garlic Pickers Shot



ROSTOV-ON-DON -- Unidentified armed men opened fire at a group of women picking garlic in a forest in Chechnya on Saturday, killing one.

The incident took place after the women tried to gesture that they posed no danger, the office of Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov said. (AP)




For the Record



South Ossetian authorities said police there killed two Georgian agents who were trying to block an important road Sunday.

Russian and Georgian peacekeeping contingents in South Ossetia could not immediately confirm the report. (AP)

Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin accused Romania on Friday of trying to eliminate Moldova by demeaning its language and culture and offering citizenship to Moldovans en masse. (Reuters)