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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

13 Killed in Road Crash

A truck slammed into a minibus on a road in the Voronezh region on Tuesday, killing 13 Uzbek citizens who were in the smaller vehicle, police said.

The driver of the Volvo semi-trailer swerved into the oncoming lane and hit the minibus on a federal highway in the region south of Moscow, Nikolai Feoktistov, deputy head of the region's traffic police, said on NTV television.

He said 13 people in the bus were killed, and two others were hospitalized. The crash occurred at night, and police think the truck driver fell asleep. (AP)

Mavrodi Gets 4 1/2 Years

A Moscow court has sentenced businessman Sergei Mavrodi to 4 1/2 years in prison in connection with the notorious MMM pyramid scheme in the 1990s.

The Chertanovsky District Court found Mavrodi guilty of large-scale fraud Saturday, Judge Nadezhda Markova said. He also was fined 10,000 rubles ($390) and ordered to pay more than 20 million rubles ($778,700) in compensation for 600 claims by investors.

Mavrodi could go free by the summer, however, because he has been in detention since 2003. (AP)

'No Veto for Russia'

WASHINGTON -- European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso said Sunday that Russia should not have a veto over a proposed U.S. missile defense system in Europe.

His comments followed a threat by President Vladimir Putin on Thursday to withdraw from a key arms treaty that sets limits on the deployment of military forces in Europe. "We believe that the announcement to suspend Russia's participation in the CFE Treaty, the Conventional Forces Treaty, that was a symbol of the Cold War, was indeed very disappointing," Barroso told CNN.

After talks with Barroso on Monday, U.S. President George W. Bush said he needed to work to convince Russia of the need for a missile shield. (Reuters)

Pressure on Yushchenko

KIEV -- Ukrainian lawmakers increased pressure on President Viktor Yushchenko on Monday, passing a nonbinding resolution that calls for simultaneous early presidential and parliamentary elections no later than Dec. 9.

However, the constitution would have to be changed to force early presidential elections, and lawmakers need a minimum 300 votes to do that. Currently, only 254 lawmakers are participating in the disbanded parliament.

Also Monday, Yushchenko signed an order dismissing a Constitutional Court judge from the 18-judge bench, citing "a violation of [his] oath." Yushchenko's office said Valeriy Pshenychny circumvented the chief court justice to ensure that the case was heard, violating court procedure. (AP)

Soviet Memorial Vandalized

BERLIN -- Seventeen bronze torches were stolen from a Soviet war memorial in Berlin that commemorates the city's liberation by the Red Army in 1945, police said Monday.

City park employees discovered the theft at the memorial in the Niedersch?nhausen neighborhood, police said. Police said detectives were investigating the incident but did not suspect a political motive for the theft. (AP)

Akayev's Daughter Ill

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan -- The daughter of ousted Kyrgyz President Askar Akayev was hospitalized Sunday after prosecutors interrogated her for nine hours about her role in recent public disorder in a Kyrgyz province, an aide, Elmira Karimova, said.

Kemin regional prosecutors questioned Akayeva after 2,000 of her supporters besieged a court to demand that the judge allow her to run in a parliamentary by-election Sunday. The court barred Akayeva from running. (AP)

For the Record

The minimum monthly wage rose by 300 rubles to 1,400 rubles ($54) on Tuesday, Itar-Tass reported. The government plans to raise the minimum wage to 2,300 rubles ($89) as early as this fall. (MT)

Charles Simonyi, who recently returned to Earth after a 13-day space odyssey, said Monday that he was planning to write a book about his travel into orbit. (AP)