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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Samara Official Killed

A senior Samara region official was shot dead Thursday evening in the entryway to his home in what prosecutors are calling an apparent contract hit.

The body of Yury Kozlov, acting head of the Samara region branch of the Federal Service for Ecological, Technological, and Atomic Inspection, was discovered around 6 p.m. outside his home, Ulyana Kudinova, spokeswoman for the Samara Region Prosecutor's Office, said Friday.

"The murderer used a pistol," Kudinova said.

No money or valuables had been taken, she said.

The prosecutor's office is not yet saying that the murder was connected with Kozlov's work. (MT)

Frenchman Feared Drowned

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan -- A French citizen was feared dead in the Central Asian republic of Kyrgyzstan after falling off a horse into a mountain river.

The 58-year-old tourist agent, based in Kyrgyzstan since 2001, was accompanied by a group of foreign tourists when the accident happened late on Tuesday.

"Rescue teams will continue to work until they find the body," an Emergencies Ministry spokesman sid Thursday. (Reuters)

Air Defense Power Cut

Military prosecutors are investigating a power cut-off at a communications center for the city's air defense system, RIA-Novosti reported Friday.

The communications center is located in the basement of a museum complex, the report said.

General Yury Solovyov said Thursday that the power was switched off by one of the firms that occupies the building in what he described as a property dispute, RIA-Novosti reported. (MT)

Diplomats Leave London

The British government has expelled four Russian diplomats from London after Russia's refusal to extradite Andrei Lugovoi, RIA-Novosti reported Friday.

Friday marked the end of a 10-day deadline that the British government gave the four diplomats to leave the country.

The Russian Embassy confirmed that the diplomats had left the country, RIA-Novosti reported. (MT)

High Education Costs

More than $520 million a year is paid in bribes to universities in Russia, according to UNESCO experts, Prime-Tass news agency reported Friday.

Valentina Ivanova, deputy chairwoman of the Education and Science Ministry, said Thursday that the amount could even reach $1 billion.

Eight percent of this involved bribes, she said. The other cases involved embezzlement, abuse of office and forgery, Vedomosti reported. (MT)