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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Kovtun Will Go to Germany

BERLIN -- Businessman Dmitry Kovtun plans to travel to Germany to help investigators there looking into the fatal radioactive poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko, Kovtun's lawyer said Wednesday.

In December, German police found traces of polonium-210, the substance that killed Litvinenko, in properties Kovtun used in Hamburg. Hamburg prosecutors have been investigating him on suspicion of illegally handling radioactive material.

"Kovtun wants to come to Hamburg to meet with prosecutors, among other things," said attorney Wolfgang Vehlow, adding that Kovtun has permanent residency in Germany and considers the northern port city of Hamburg a home. Vehlow said it was unclear when the trip would happen. (Reuters)

Policemen, Rebel Killed

A clash between police and gunmen Wednesday left one officer and one militant dead in the Stavropol region, officials said.

Several unidentified gunmen fired on a group of police officers, who had tried to check their documents in the town of Neftekumsk, regional police spokesman Viktor Ignatyev said.

Two officers were wounded, and one died later of his wounds, Ignatyev said. One of the gunmen also was killed, and two others were captured, he said. (AP)

Mayor Formally Charged

Prosecutors in the Primorye region Wednesday formally charged Vladivostok Mayor Vladimir Nikolayev with abuse of power, the Prosecutor General's Office said in a statement posted on its web site.

The mayor was suspended from his post Feb. 28 after regional prosecutors opened a criminal investigation into his activities. He was arrested in Moscow a week later.

If convicted, Nikolayev could face up to seven years in prison and be barred from holding public office for up to three years. (MT)

Veshnyakov the Politician?

Federation Council Speaker Sergei Mironov said Wednesday that he was certain outgoing Central Elections Commission chief Alexander Veshnyakov would go into politics, Interfax reported.

"Veshnyakov is a highly qualified professional and an expert on election law. I am sure he will occupy a fitting place in the political system," said Mironov, who doubles as head of the pro-Kremlin A Just Russia party. (MT)

Probe Opened Into Attack

UN military observers, Russian peacekeepers, Georgian and Abkhaz officials have opened a joint investigation into missile attacks on Georgian villages near the border with Abkhazia over the weekend, RIA-Novosti reported Wednesday.

Tbilisi claims that the attacks, which caused no injuries but damaged government buildings, were carried out by Air Force helicopters. Moscow denies any involvement in the incident. (MT)

Nurse Attacked by Father

OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma -- A Russian father who brought his teenage son to the United States last fall for brain surgery has been accused of attacking a nurse who responded when the boy's heart stopped beating.

Sabit Kurbanov, 44, continues to hope David, 16, will recover, although hospital officials say he has been brain dead since Nov. 27.

Kurbanov became distraught March 5 after his son's heart stopped beating. The teen was revived, but Kurbanov was arrested and jailed on an assault and battery complaint. Hospital officials said he verbally and physically attacked a nurse who came to help. (AP)

Feuding Leaders Make Nice

KIEV -- Ukraine's President Viktor Yushchenko and Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych agreed Wednesday to set up a commission tasked with resolving their ongoing dispute over power.

"We came to a joint conclusion that today all institutes of power must work together for political and economic stability in our country," Yanukovych said after meeting with the president. (AP)