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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

U.S. Touts Cooperation

WASHINGTON -- Despite increased tension over a planned missile defense system in Europe, NATO expansion and Moscow's human rights record, a senior State Department official said the United States was intensifying cooperation with Russia.

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Fried told a congressional panel Thursday that the United States was balancing criticism with cooperation on fighting drugs and terrorism.

"Russia is even today a vastly freer country than at any time in Soviet history and arguably freer than at any period in Russia's history," he said. (AP)

56,000 Foreigners Deported

About 56,000 foreigners have been deported so far this year, Vyacheslav Postavnin, deputy head of the Federal Migration Service, said Friday.

Postavnin told reporters that new regulations in force since January were proving effective in legalizing migrant workers and cracking down on employees who hire illegal migrants.

Some 2.5 million foreign citizens have been registered under the new regulations, while more than 950,000 have obtained work permits, Postavnin said.

"The number of foreign citizens in Russia legally is growing," he said, Interfax reported. (MT)

Evictions Reconsidered

The State Duma on Friday approved in a first reading a bill that would bar the eviction of minors from a parent's home after a divorce.

Under the Housing Code that came into effect in 2005, homeowners can evict estranged family members through the court or the sale of the home. Article 31 of the code currently allows children born to a married couple to be classified as "former children" and evicted following a divorce.

The bill must now pass two more readings in the Duma and be approved by the Federation Council before the president can sign it into law. (MT)

Record Heroin Bust

Police have seized a record stash of high quality heroin with a street value of more than $350 million, the Federal Drug Control Service said Friday.

After a long surveillance operation, police stopped a truck that was carrying a load of cabbages -- and heroin -- outside Moscow. A film released by the service showed mechanics sawing apart metal containers that were concealed in the fuel tank and which contained 436 kilograms of high-quality heroin.

The service said that would be enough to make more than 6 tons of street-quality heroin. Four foreigners have been detained. (Reuters)

For the Record

Former chess champion Garry Kasparov and several other opposition politicians have filed a complaint against Moscow at the European Court of Human Rights over their detention at a Dissenters' March in Moscow in April, the court said Friday. (Reuters)

Azeri President Ilham Aliyev has agreed to meet with Armenian President Robert Kocharyan on the sidelines of a CIS conference in St. Petersburg on June 9 to try to resolve the status of Nagorno-Karabakh, international mediators said Friday. (AP)

A Tajik court sent two men to prison after convicting them of being members of the banned Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, a judge said Friday. (AP)