Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Okruashvili Detained

TBILISI, Georgia -- Police detained former Georgian Defense Minister Irakli Okruashvili, who roiled Georgia's political scene this week with allegations the president had ordered him to kill a prominent businessman, an official said.

Police detained Okruashvili, a one-time ally of President Mikheil Saakashvili, at the offices of the new political party he announced earlier this week after alleging rampant corruption among Saakashvili and his family, party spokeswoman Tamara Rukhadze said.

Rukhadze said police presented no warrant or other documentation before taking Okruashvili away. (AP)

Putin to Visit Germany

President Vladimir Putin is expected to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Germany next month, a Merkel spokesman said Thursday.

Both leaders have been invited to the St. Petersburg Dialogue forum in the city of Wiesbaden and should attend on Oct. 15, the final day of the forum, the spokesman said by telephone from Berlin.

German news service Deutsche Presse-Agentur reported Putin and Merkel would discuss bilateral relations and a new European Union-Russian partnership agreement. (MT)

U.S. Warned on Space Arms

Space Forces chief Vladimir Popovkin said Thursday that the country would have to retaliate if others deploy weapons in space -- a stern warning to the United States.

While Popovkin did not name any specific country, he was clearly referring to U.S. plans for space-based weapons, which the Kremlin has opposed.

"We don't want to wage a war in space, we don't want to gain dominance in space, but we won't allow any other nation to dominate space," Popovkin said. "If any country deploys weapons in space, then the laws of warfare are such that retaliatory weapons are certain to appear." (AP)

Search Called Off in China

BEIJING -- Search teams in western China have called off the hunt for the final missing member of a Russian canoe expedition, Chinese state media said Thursday.

Russian and Chinese rescuers met in the city of Hotan in China's Central Asian province of Xinjiang and agreed to end their joint 16-day search, the Xinhua news agency said. "They said they had found no sign of a survivor in the area," Xinhua said.

The man has been identified as Dmitry Tishchenko. (AP)

FSB Gives File to Rabbi

Federal Security Service chief Nikolai Patrushev on Wednesday gave one of the country's two chief rabbis copies of archival documents on Raoul Wallenberg, a Swedish diplomat credited with saving thousands of Hungarian Jews from Nazi death camps.

Patrushev gave photographs and copies of formerly classified materials about the diplomat, who disappeared at the end of World War II, to Rabbi Berel Lazar for inclusion in a new Museum of Tolerance being built in Moscow. (AP)

U.S. Soldier Facing Prison

Prosecutors in Khabarovsk have asked a court to sentence U.S. serviceman Christopher Garner to 11 years in prison for strangling to death the common-law husband of his wife's aunt, Kommersant reported Thursday.

Garner's lawyers and family contend that the serviceman was simply defending himself and his wife when Alexander Kaminsky, 56, violently attacked them Sept. 6. The incident stemmed from a heated dispute over an apartment that Garner's wife had inherited from her aunt. Khabarovsk's Industrialny District Court is scheduled to issue a verdict Tuesday, Kommersant reported. (MT)

Lavrov and Rice Disagree

NEW YORK -- U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov exchanged sharp words as the United States tried to cement support for new United Nations sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program.

Rice and Lavrov disagreed on the matter Wednesday at a German-hosted luncheon of foreign ministers from the G8, said Lavrov and diplomats present.

Lavrov said he had strong words with Rice about whether the time was right for new sanctions when the International Atomic Energy Agency has struck an agreement with Iran about past activities. Lavrov said the United States wanted to ignore the IAEA. (AP)

Nazarbayev in Tight Trunks

ASTANA, Kazakhstan -- A photograph of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev in tight swimming trunks has triggered outrage in the parliament.

"For me, [Nazarbayev] is a God-appointed person," said Bekbolat Tleukhan, a member of the pro-Nazarbayev Nur-Otan party that controls every seat in the lower house. "This is not just impolite, it's pure shame. … It goes against all our traditions."

The shot, published by the Freedom of Speech newspaper, shows the 67-year-old walking on a beach, looking tanned and smiling. (Reuters)