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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Blood Ban Lifted

The Federal Customs Service has lifted its ban on the export of blood samples and other biological materials, reported.

The agency, together with the Health and Social Development Ministry, has agreed to lift the ban and would provide more details this week, a ministry source said, the web site reported Monday.

The ban had already been partially lifted as of Saturday, the report said.

When the ban came into force last month, medical professionals warned that it would put the lives of hundreds of sick people at risk. Biological samples, usually blood or plasma, are often sent abroad to help patients find bone marrow donors. (MT)

Aeroflot Passengers Stranded

More than 180 Aeroflot passengers were stranded overnight Monday at New York's JFK Airport, unable to fly to Moscow due to weather conditions.

Aeroflot flight SU316 had been scheduled to take off at 6:40 p.m. Monday but was delayed for more than 15 hours because of a heavy thunderstorm.

Following the delay, the plane was expected to leave JFK at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday.

Weather forecasters predicted that New York would be hit by a major hurricane. (MT)

Lugovoi Trial Not in Britain

Britain may offer to hold the trial of businessman Andrei Lugovoi, whom it has charged with killing former FSB officer Alexander Litvinenko, in a third country, the Sunday Times reported.

The offer would be an attempt to convince Russia to extradite Lugovoi, the newspaper reported, though it provided no sources in the report.

Russia has repeatedly said it cannot extradite Lugovoi because the Constitution forbids handing its citizens over to a third country. (MT)

Turkmen Embassy to Open

ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan -- Turkmenistan will reopen its embassy in Azerbaijan's capital, Baku, shut six years ago during a dispute over Caspian Sea oil deposits, official media reported Monday.

Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov and his Azeri counterpart, Ilham Aliyev, reached the agreement at a weekend summit of leaders of former Soviet republics in St. Petersburg, the newspaper Neutral Turkmenistan said.

Azei officials declined to comment.

Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan have conflicting claims to rich oil deposits beneath the Caspian. (AP)

Moldovan Minister Fired

CHISINAU, Moldova -- Moldova's defense minister was dismissed by President Vladimir Voronin after a civilian was killed during a shooting demonstration where the minister allowed journalists to use automatic rifles, the ministry said Tuesday.

Voronin fired Valeriu Plesca late Monday, and prosecutors said an investigation was under way to determine how a man was shot dead Saturday during a shooting practice where journalists fired Kalashnikovs at a military base near a Moldovan village.

Twenty-eight journalists took part in the shooting exercise designed to help them "become familiar with army activity." It was illegal because civilians are not allowed participate in shooting exercises at military bases, prosecutors said.

After the shooting practice, the body of a man was discovered nearby who had been fatally wounded by an automatic weapon. No further details were provided about the man, who was not a journalist. (AP)