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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Putin's Annual Speech

President Vladimir Putin will deliver his annual state-of-the-nation address next Wednesday, the Kremlin press service said, reported Thursday.

The speech to both houses of parliament will be Putin's eighth since he was elected in 2000. (MT)

Rescue and Safety Improved

SEVEROMORSK, Murmansk Region -- The Navy has improved safety and rescue techniques since the sinking of the Kursk submarine in 2000, when 118 sailors died, but more work needs to be done, the Northern Fleet commander said Thursday.

"There have been some problems, and there still are some with carrying out rescue operations, but a significant step forward has been made," Admiral Vladimir Vysotsky told reporters at the Northern Fleet's base in the closed city of Severomorsk. (Reuters)

2nd Death in Moscow Blast

An employee of a baked-goods kiosk died in a Moscow hospital overnight from injuries sustained in an explosion that killed a businessman, prosecutors said Thursday.

The employee was one of four people injured when an explosive device mounted on a motorcycle detonated near the offices of the company Blagvest on Shmitovsky Proyezd.

The baked-goods kiosk was destroyed in the 11:55 a.m. blast, and several cars were damaged.

The explosion killed the head of Blagvest, a 46-year-old native of North Ossetia identified by Kommersant as Oleg Gioyev.

Gioyev owned a 99.9 percent stake in the company Salyut, which produces the vodka brand Salyut, Zlatoglavnaya!, Kommersant reported Thursday. (MT)

Berezovsky Under Review

LONDON -- Britain's border and immigration agency will study comments attributed to self-exiled businessman Boris Berezovsky to see whether they affect his refugee status, a spokeswoman for Britain's Home Office said.

The comments, first published in the British newspaper The Guardian on April 13, suggested that it was necessary to use "force" to overthrow the government of President Vladimir Putin.

Berezovsky had no immediate comment Thursday. (Bloomberg)

6 Police Officers Wounded

Gunmen attacked a checkpoint in Grozny, seriously wounding six police officers, police said Thursday.

Up to four gunmen carrying automatic weapons drove up late Wednesday and opened fire on the checkpoint. The injured were from Karelia.

Tensions between residents of Karelia and Chechens have run high since a brawl in the Karelian town of Kondopoga between local residents and ethnic Chechens last year killed two. (AP)

Mine Death Toll Hits 110

The bodies of two miners have been recovered from the Ulyanovskaya mine in the Kemerovo region, bringing the final death toll in the country's worst post-Soviet mining disaster to 110, Interfax reported.

The bodies were recovered late Wednesday and buried Thursday.

Yuzhkuzbassugol, the company that operates the mine, previously said the bodies had been recovered Tuesday, but local rescue and morgue workers disputed the announcement. (MT)

Shooting on Court Steps

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan -- A reputed criminal gang leader was killed in a shootout in Kyrgyzstan's capital Thursday, police said.

The shooting occurred in front of the Supreme Court building in Bishkek, where the victim, Mirlan Kanoyev, had arrived to testify as a suspect in the murder of a police officer in 2004.

Police arrested the attacker, who they said was taking revenge for the murder of his brother last year by Kanoyev's gang. (AP)

Russians Making Whoopee

Russians have the third most active sex lives, behind Greeks and Brazilians, according to a survey of 26 countries conducted by a condom maker.

The Durex survey found that 80 percent of respondents in Russia had sex weekly, trailing Brazil at 82 percent and Greece at 87 percent.

The survey questioned 26,028 people, of which 22,040 were not virgins, in 26 countries.

Only 34 percent of those in Japan reported having sex weekly, behind only the United States at 53 percent. (MT)