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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

UN Fight Over Abkhazia



UNITED NATIONS -- Russia and the United States clashed sharply over Georgia's breakaway region of Abkhazia on Tuesday as the United Nations Security Council debated renewing a UN mission in Georgia.

Russia's UN ambassador, Vitaly Churkin, told reporters that the United States had made a "serious diplomatic and political mistake" in refusing to allow Abkhazia's foreign minister to come to New York to discuss the UN mission.

U.S. officials said the minister had never applied for a visa, and the U.S. UN ambassador, Alejandro Wolff, accused Churkin of a "mischievous effort" to create "false analogies" between Abkhazia and Serbia's troubled Kosovo region. (Reuters)




Suspect Jumps Out Window



A suspected drug dealer committed suicide by throwing himself from the sixth-story window of Novosibirsk's branch of the Federal Drug Control Agency, Interfax reported on Wednesday.

Andrei Khasanov, who police said produced and sold drugs to students, escaped from police officers who were escorting him from his detention cell to an office on the sixth floor, where he was to await transportation to court.

"For unknown reasons, the suspect opened the window and jumped," a police source told Interfax.

Police are investigating the incident. (MT)




Luzhkov to Meet Putin



Mayor Yury Luzhkov said Wednesday that he would meet President Vladimir Putin on Thursday but that he would not ask for the Kremlin's blessing to remain in power.

"I have prepared a list of 10 issues to discuss with the president, and this issue is not one of them," Luzhkov said at a trade union meeting, Interfax reported. "Let's leave this topic for another time."

Vedomosti reported Monday that Luzhkov might seek the Kremlin's blessing to stay on after his term expires in December. State Duma Speaker Boris Gryzlov voiced his support for the idea Tuesday. (MT)




FSB Closes Hotline



Groaning under the weight of superfluous calls by vigilant citizens, the Federal Security Service is shutting down its hotline.

Ninety percent of calls "were of no value," Rossiiskaya Gazeta reported Wednesday.

The hotline, labeled "a telephone number of trust" was heavily advertised when it opened in 2005 as a way ordinary people could report anything they thought important to the FSB.

Operators were unable to deal with the flood of calls, many of which were completely unrelated to the work of the FSB, the newspaper said. (MT)




2 Journalists Detained



Kaliningrad police on Tuesday detained Igor Rudnikov, a journalist, rights activist and deputy in the regional legislative assembly, on suspicion of defaming two judges and assaulting 22 police officers who tried to confiscate copies of Noviye Kolyosa, the newspaper he founded, Regions.ru reported.

The newspaper has long faced trouble with the authorities for its investigative reports. One of the newspaper's journalists, Oleg Berezovsky, was detained Monday in connection with similar accusations.

The Kaliningrad branch of the unregistered National Bolshevik Party said Wednesday that it would a protest at the German Embassy in Kaliningrad on Monday to bring attention to the two "political prisoners." (MT)




Bush Backs Bigger NATO



WASHINGTON -- President George W. Bush put the weight of the United States on Tuesday behind the continued expansion of NATO.

The legislation he signed into law also authorizes new U.S. military aid for prospective member countries Ukraine, Georgia, Albania, Croatia and Macedonia.

In Moscow, the Foreign Ministry said: "Moves of this sort clearly don't help normalize the internal political situation in Ukraine in view of the fact that entry into NATO is an issue that was on the list of disputes that were one of the causes of the current political crisis in the country." (AP)