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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Helicopter Disappears

Bad weather forced rescuers to suspend a search Thursday for a helicopter that disappeared one day earlier over the Komi republic, Interfax reported.

The Mi-8 cargo helicopter with five crew members and a passenger was on its way to a regional town, Uhkta, when radio contact with its pilots was lost. (MT)

Appeal Over Uzbekistan

TASHKENT, Uzbekistan -- An international rights watchdog on Thursday urged the United Nations to "elevate scrutiny" toward Uzbekistan, whose government has stepped up repression of dissidents since the 2005 Andijan uprising.

The International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights made the call in a statement posted on its web site after Zimbabwe and Azerbaijan recommended that the UN Human Rights Council drop its examination of the human rights situation in Uzbekistan. (AP)

Ukraine's Foreign Minister

KIEV -- President Viktor Yushchenko has won the parliament's backing on his choice of foreign minister, but an Orange Revolution ally broke ranks to serve in his rival's Cabinet, which now contests his leadership.

Yushchenko, his initial nominee for foreign minister rejected by the parliament, offered on Wednesday a compromise candidate, former Economy Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk. The assembly approved Yatsenyuk, 32, by an overwhelming majority.

Minutes later, the chamber endorsed Anatoly Kinakh, a prime minister in 2001 and 2002, as economy minister.

Kinakh backed Yushchenko in the 2004 protests that swept him to power in the rerun of a rigged election over Viktor Yanukovych, who is now prime minister. (Reuters)

Missile Plan Slammed

KIEV -- U.S. plans to deploy a missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic threaten Ukraine's national security, parliament said in a resolution passed Thursday.

The nonbinding measure was approved by 243 lawmakers in the 450-seat Verkhovna Rada and backed by the coalition led by Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych's pro-Russian party. Pro-Western parties allied with President Viktor Yushchenko, meanwhile, refused to vote in protest. (AP)

Rice Wary About Spat

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the United States should not be involved in a dispute between Turkey and Armenia over whether the killing of up to 1.5 million Armenians almost a century ago constituted genocide.

Under intense questioning from Democratic Representative Adam Schiff, sponsor of a resolution that would declare that Turkey's Ottoman predecessor state committed genocide, Rice on Wednesday repeatedly avoided answering whether she believed there was any basis for historical debate on the matter.

"What we've encouraged the Turks and the Armenians to do is to have joint historical commissions that can look at this, to have efforts to examine their past, and in examining their past to get over it," she said in a congressional hearing. "I don't think it helps that process of reconciliation for the United States to enter this debate at that level." (AP)