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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Rogozin on Patriots List?

Nationalist State Duma Deputy Dmitry Rogozin may get a top spot on the party list of the Patriots of Russia for Duma elections in December, Kommersant reported Saturday.

Party leader Gennady Semigin and former Duma Speaker Gennady Seleznyov will occupy the top two spots on the list, the report said. Semigin said the party was in talks with Rogozin, an informal leader of the unregistered Great Russia party, over the third spot.

Great Russia leader Andrei Savelyev said Friday that his party and the Patriots of Russia might form a coalition Sept. 14 to run for seats together, Interfax reported. (MT)

Belarussian Jailed

MINSK -- A Belarussian court has sentenced an opposition leader to two years in prison for insulting the president and calling for revolution, an official said Sunday.

The imprisoned man's wife said she had not been told of the Aug. 1 verdict until last week.

Former lawmaker Andrei Klimov, who has been in and out of jail since helping lead a 1996 drive to impeach President Alexander Lukashenko, was convicted and sentenced by a Minsk court Aug. 1, said Oleg Agafonov, a spokesman for the city prosecutor's office.

The charges stemmed from articles posted on the Internet. (AP)

12 Presbyterians Go Hungry

Twelve members of a Presbyterian church in Kazakhstan are on a hunger strike to protest accusations of treason against three of its staff.

Vyacheslav Vorobyov, senior pastor at the church in Karaganda in central Kazakhstan, said members of the Kazakh internal security service raided the church and properties of some of its workers Aug. 24, Interfax reported. The church's archbishop, his sister and an administrator are suspected of treason, he said. The strike started Friday. (Reuters)

New Karabakh Leader

YEREVAN, Armenia -- The former security chief of Nagorno-Karabakh was sworn in Friday as the new president of the Armenian-controlled breakaway region.

Bako Saakian, who took 85 percent of the vote in July, had headed Nagorno-Karabakh's security service since 2001 until he quit to run for president. (AP)

25th Body Found in Baku

BAKU, Azerbaijan -- Salvage teams combing through the rubble of a collapsed 16-story building in the Azeri capital recovered the last victim's body Friday, bringing the total death toll to 25, officials said.

Azeri Emergency Situations Ministry spokesman Tural Museyibov said the rescue workers had confirmed that there were no other bodies under the debris. The building was under construction when it collapsed Aug. 28. (AP)

4 Convicted Over Bear Paws

BEIJING -- Two Chinese and two Russians were convicted of smuggling bears' paws for consumption as a delicacy in China and fined several thousand dollars each, the Xinhua news agency reported Saturday.

A court in Hulun Buir heard last week that the ringleader, Zhou Xinquan, 30, ordered the paws from his contacts in the city of Zabaikalsk in the Chita region. He arranged for two Russian train drivers to smuggle the rare animal parts to the border city of Manzhouli. (Reuters)