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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

32 Degrees This Week?

Temperatures in Moscow could reach record highs this week, Interfax reported Wednesday.

A spokesman for the city's weather bureau told Interfax that temperatures could reach 32 degrees Celsius on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Scattered showers were also predicted for Wednesday, the spokesman said. (MT)

30 Killed in Hate Crimes

Thirty people have been killed, and almost 200 injured, in hate crimes this year, up 20 percent from the same period last year, the country's leading research center on ethnic hatred said Monday.

Of those victims, 21 were killed and 62 injured in Moscow, the most of any of the 24 regions were hate crimes have been committed this year, said Galina Kozhevnikova, deputy director of the Sova Center, Interfax reported.

Three people have murdered and 56 injured in St. Petersburg, Kozhevnikova said. (MT)

Lavrov Slams Kosovo Plan

BAKU, Azerbaijan -- Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday reiterated Moscow's opposition to a Western-backed plan for Kosovo, saying a draft United Nations resolution that would endorse independence for the Serbian province under international supervision was "unacceptable."

In remarks in the Azeri capital, Lavrov stopped short of threatening a veto if the draft goes to a vote in the UN Security Council, but his remark underlined divisions on the plan.

"The resolution … is unacceptable to us," Lavrov said at a news conference after talks with Azeri Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov.

The United States and EU nations circulated a draft resolution earlier this month endorsing supervised independence for Kosovo, in line with the recommendation of a UN envoy. (AP)

Medvedev Retakes Poll Lead

First Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has regained the lead from rival First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov in a poll to succeed President Vladimir Putin.

Medvedev would win 34 percent of the vote if an election were held now, up from 29 percent last month, according to a poll conducted by the independent Levada Center.

Ivanov would win 31 percent of the vote, unchanged from last month. The center surveyed 1,600 people in 46 regions from May 11 to 14. No margin of error was given. Support for Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov fell 5 percentage points to 12 percent, the survey showed. (Bloomberg)

Man and Boy Shot Dead

MAKHACHKALA -- Two bystanders, including a boy, were fatally shot when police opened fire after a detainee fled from a police building in Dagestan, a law enforcement official said Monday.

A 58-year-old man and a boy were fatally wounded when shooting broke out after the suspect jumped from a window of the Khasavyurt town police headquarters, regional Interior Ministry spokeswoman Anzhela Martirosova said. She did not know the boy's age.

Martirosova said it was unclear whether police had fired the fatal shots, but there was no indication that anyone else involved was armed. The suspect was captured, she said. (AP)

Fire Breaks Out at Factory

ROSTOV-ON-DON -- A fire broke out Monday at a Volgodonsk factory that makes equipment for atomic power plants, but there was no risk of radioactive contamination because the plant does not work with nuclear materials, an emergency official said.

The fire erupted beneath the roof of one of the buildings at the Atommash plant in Volgodonsk, Emergency Situations Ministry spokesman Oleg Ugnivenko said. It was extinguished a few hours later, he said.

Atommash's products include turbine and other equipment for nuclear and other types of power plants, but it does not work with radioactive materials, Ugnivenko said. (AP)

UN Raps Ukrainian Jails

GENEVA -- The UN Committee against Torture on Monday voiced deep concern over reports of ill-treatment of pretrial suspects in Ukraine and said it provided "insufficient legal safeguards" for detainees.

A panel of independent experts also cited reports that said detainees were not brought quickly enough before a judge, lacked access to lawyers and independent doctors and were deprived of their procedural rights.

It urged Ukraine to carry out reforms to make the Prosecutor General's Office more independent. (Reuters)

2,000 Parrots and Turtles

ASTANA, Kazakstan -- Kazakh police urged animal rights groups on Monday to help them take care of 2,000 parrots and turtles seized from a smuggler, just days after dozens of parrots died of hunger at a police station.

"We have all the conditions to keep humans in custody but there is nothing in legislation about maintaining seized animals," Kazakh Interior Ministry spokesman Bagdat Kozhakhmetov said. He told reporters police seized 1,000 parrots, canaries, peacocks and pigeons, and 1,000 turtles, all packed in big bags, from an Uzbek citizen on May 18.

Kazakhstan lies on a smuggling route for rare birds and animals being taken to Russia and Europe. (Reuters)