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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Chaika Says He Won't Quit

Prosecutor General Yury Chaika denied a report Wednesday that he would leave his post, attributing it to disinformation spread by suspects in high-profile cases.

Vremya Novostei reported Wednesday that Chaika had asked President Vladimir Putin to relieve him of his duties. The report cited anonymous sources who said Chaika was unhappy with prosecutorial reforms.

"There are well-known individuals behind [the rumors] who are under investigation," Chaika said in an apparent reference to self-exiled businessman Boris Berezovsky, Interfax reported.

Without naming Berezovsky, Federation Council Speaker Sergei Mironov suggested that the sources originated in London, where Berezovsky has been granted political asylum. (MT)

Ban Sought on 12 Books

Human rights activists have asked the Prosecutor General's Office to ban 12 books for racist content that they say could incite hate crimes.

The request, submitted by the Moscow Bureau for Human Rights, includes such titles as "Chubais -- Enemy of the People," "The Jewish Question in Russia," and "White Alfars," which likens Africans and Americans to monkeys, Noviye Izvestia reported Wednesday.

Two books by State Duma deputies also made the list: Alexander Sevastyanov's "Time to Be Russian" and Andrei Savelyev's "The Russian Nation's Time," which accuses Jews of spreading alcoholism in Russia and advocates converting Muslims to the Russian Orthodox Church. (MT)

Militants Raid Ingush Base

MIRAN SHAH, Pakistan -- More than a dozen Chechens, Uzbeks and Arabs were among about 30 militants killed in a missile attack on a suspected al-Qaida hide-out in northwest Pakistan, officials said Wednesday.

The Russian government has long maintained that Chechen rebels have links to al-Qaida, and the development seemed to bolster that claim.

The deaths occurred Tuesday when three missiles apparently fired from Afghanistan destroyed an Islamic seminary near the border with Afghanistan, two intelligence officials said. (AP)

Plutonium Smugglers Foiled

TBILISI, Georgia -- Georgian customs officers have sent a car carrying plutonium and beryllium back to Azerbaijan after foiling an attempt to smuggle the materials over the border.

Customs officials found the materials, which can be used in nuclear bombs, during a routine customs check, Georgia's Imedi television reported Tuesday. Further details were scant. (Reuters)

Tajik Amnesty Approved

DUSHANBE, Tajikistan -- The Tajik parliament on Wednesday approved a presidential amnesty for hundreds of imprisoned Islamic militants who fought against the government during the 1992 to 1997 civil war.

Lawmakers voted unanimously for the measure, proposed by President Emomali Rakhmon. The bill must be signed by Rakhmon and published officially -- expected later this month -- before it takes effect. (AP)

Kazakh Divorce Confirmed

ASTANA, Kazakhstan -- The daughter of Kazakhstan's president confirmed Wednesday that she had divorced a disgraced tycoon wanted in connection with a purported kidnapping.

Dariga Nazarbayeva, 44, said divorcing Rakhat Aliyev was a "tough ordeal" she had to suffer through. (AP)