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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Prison Official Arrested

The head of the Arkhangelsk office of the Federal Prison Service has been charged with illegally using prisoners for construction work, the Prosecutor General's Office announced Monday.

The official, Igor Bolotin, could face up to six years in prison if convicted of abuse of power, and has been suspended from his post, prosecutors said.

Bolotin is accused of organizing construction brigades made up of prisoners and not adequately compensating them for their work, prosecutors said. (MT)

2 Suspected Militants Killed

MAKHACHKALA -- Police stormed a home in Dagestan on Monday, killing two suspected militants, regional Interior Ministry spokeswoman Anzhela Martirosova said.

Heavily armed police stormed the building in a village near Chechnya after hitting it with a barrage of ammunition, Martirosova said.

She said they opened fire after suspected militants holed up inside responded to surrender demands with gunfire. (AP)

No Obstacles to Extradition

There are no legal grounds for Britain to deny Russia's request to extradite self-exiled tycoon Boris Berezovsky, Pavel Krasheninnikov, head of the State Duma's Legislation Committee, said Monday, Interfax reported.

"Can politics get involved here? I think it can, but I hope that the law enforcement are based on professionalism above all," he said.

Krasheninnikov said the Prosecutor General's Office had created a special department to handle international legal issues and extradition cases. (MT)

Buryatia to Get New Leader

Leonid Potapov will not be nominated for another term as president of the republic of Buryatia, Kommersant reported Monday.

Potapov, who has presided over the republic since 1994, was not on the list of candidates submitted to the Kremlin by Anatoly Kvashin, President Vladimir Putin's envoy to the Siberian Federal District.

Gubernatorial elections were scrapped two years ago in favor of a system in which the president nominates candidates who are then approved by local legislatures. (MT)

Rights Worker Not Expelled

TASHKENT, Uzbekistan -- Authorities in Uzbekistan have reversed a decision to expel Human Rights Watch researcher Andrea Berg, saying they will allow her to operate in the country for three more months, Berg said Monday.

Berg said the Foreign Ministry had extended her work accreditation provided that she does not break any laws.

The ministry had barred Berg from Uzbekistan last week for "exceeding her authority" and "working outside the office charter." (AP)

EU Hails Uzbek Progress

LUXEMBOURG -- A top European Union official on Monday welcomed Uzbekistan's agreement to enter a human rights dialogue with the EU as "a step forward."

External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner said it was too early to say whether the EU would lift sanctions on Uzbekistan, but welcomed the country's readiness to discuss rights.

"I think this is at least one step forward," she said. (Reuters)