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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Kasyanov Gets the Nod

The Other Russia's Voronezh branch has backed the candidacy of former Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov in the March presidential election, Interfax reported Monday.

Kasyanov received the support of a "serious majority" in a regional primary Saturday, an official with the opposition coalition told Interfax.

The Other Russia plans to hold primaries in 43 regions to nominate a common opposition candidate.

Other candidates nominated for the primaries include former Central Bank chief Viktor Gerashchenko, Soviet-era dissident Vladimir Bukovsky, former St. Petersburg city legislator Sergei Gulyayev, Yabloko leader Grigory Yavlinsky and independent State Duma Deputy Vladimir Ryzhkov. (MT)

Interior Ministry Bribe Case

Authorities have arrested an Interior Ministry employee and a city police officer on suspicion of trying to extort a bribe of more than $1.5 million from a local business, the Federal Security Service said in a statement released Monday.

Vedomosti last week identified one of the suspects as Vagan Kasyan, senior detective from the city police's organized crime department. Kasyan is suspected of demanding the bribe in exchange for opening up one of the warehouses of an online trading technology company, Ultra, that had been sealed off in connection with a separate police investigation, Vedomosti said.

The FSB said Kasyan was arrested together with the Interior Ministry employee, identified as A. Kuznetsov, and a businessman, who was not identified. (MT)

Heat Wave to Stick Around

Temperatures in Moscow will remain high through the end of the week, the federal weather service said Monday, Interfax reported.

The temperature will hover just above 30 degrees Celsius during daytime hours most of the week, cooling to 16 to 19 C at night.

Blue skies may be briefly interrupted by showers Wednesday, and rain is expected Thursday, though temperatures will remain around 30 C.

Weekend temperatures are expected to dip to 27 to 29 C. (MT)

Political Billboards Allowed

The Central Elections Commission and the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service have agreed that political campaign billboards and signs are permissible ahead of State Duma elections.

The service notified the commission in June that it believed any political information on billboards would violate the federal law on advertising and that the commission should therefore ban parties from using billboards as part of their campaigns.

But the commission said in a statement Friday that political advertising before the campaign season kicks off is permissible as long as it does not directly call on the electorate to vote for or against a party. (MT)

Ferry and Freighter Collide

ISTANBUL -- A Turkish ferry rammed head on into a Ukrainian-flagged freighter anchored off the northwest coast in the Sea of Marmora on Friday, slightly injuring dozens of ferry passengers, a spokesman for the ferry boat company said.

The ferry, although damaged, returned to its dock in Istanbul shortly after the accident occurred. Ambulances and helicopters rushed to the scene to carry the injured to nearby hospitals, ferry company spokesman Tolga Uyar told Turkish television channel NTV.

"There are around 30 injured, but they are not in serious condition and being transferred to local hospitals," Uyar said, adding that most of the passengers were injured when they hit their heads on seats or other parts of the ferry during the collision. (AP)

Drunk Driver Stops Cyclist

A man cycling from Taiwan to Moscow made it as far as western Siberia only to be knocked off his bicycle by a drunk driver, Interfax reported Monday.

The 37-year-old resident of Taiwan, who was not named, was nearly two-thirds of the way through his roughly 7,000 kilometer trip when he was hit by a car in the Novosibirsk region.

"The victim is currently in a satisfactory condition," the police said in a statement. "The drunk driver fled from the scene of the accident." (Reuters)

Blind Driver Caught Again

TALLINN, Estonia -- An Estonian man who was caught driving a car even though he is blind has been at it again, police said on Monday, and this time he faces jail.

Police first arrested the man, 20, a week ago.

"We arrested the same blind man driving his car again on Saturday in the town of Torvandi, near Tartu in southern Estonia," said Marge Kohtla, a spokeswoman for the Tartu police district. "He was drunk. There were three people in the car with him giving him instructions."

She said police wanted the court to jail the man for 30 days and confiscate his car. (Reuters)