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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

12 Bombers in Exercises

Twelve strategic bombers were taking part in an Arctic exercise Monday and Tuesday, including tactical launches of cruise missiles, an Air Force spokesman said.

He did not specify where the exercise was taking place but said Tu-95MC bombers would take off from five air bases stretching from the Volga River city of Engels to Anadyr on the Chukotka Peninsula, overlooking the United States.

Last month, President Vladimir Putin ordered the Air Force to resume long-range patrols by strategic bombers, abandoned since the end of the Cold War. (Reuters)

Thai Gets Death for Killings

BANGKOK, Thailand -- A Thai man was sentenced to death Monday for robbing and killing two Russian women as they sat on the beach at the Thai resort of Pattaya to watch the sun rise, police said.

Anuchit Lamlert, 24, was condemned to die by lethal injection after a court found him guilty of pumping bullets into Tatyana Tsimfer, 30, and Lyubov Svirkova, 25, in February, police said.

Anuchit was freed on bail in January to await trial on charges of robbing a South Korean tourist, then arrested in March for killing the Russians. (Reuters)

Vladivostok to Host APEC?

SYDNEY, Australia -- Russia hopes that this year's summit of Pacific Rim leaders will endorse the country's plans to host the annual meeting, but not until 2012.

The time lag, Russian Ambassador-at-Large Vasily Dobrovolsky said Monday, was so that the host city would have time to prepare for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.

Dobrovolsky said Vladivostok would be a likely site for the annual APEC event and a new venue would have to be built there first. "We have to think about post-APEC use" of the facilities, he added. Options include using the venue as a resort, a university or "perhaps even a casino," he said. "We have too many casinos in Moscow now." (AP)

Kazakh Premier Re-elected

ASTANA, Kazakhstan -- Kazakh Prime Minister Karim Masimov, a loyal member of President Nursultan Nazarbayev's inner circle, has retained his job after the country's parliament rubber-stamped his reelection.

Although this was part of a technical procedure after a parliamentary vote last month, the continuation of Masimov's role is of keen interest to foreign investors, who are watching Kazakhstan for any change in its business policy.

On Sunday, the new parliament, which consists solely of pro-presidential deputies, unanimously returned Masimov to office again. (Reuters)

Lion Escapes Cage in Zoo

ALMATY, Kazakhstan -- A lion escaped from its cage at a Kazakh zoo over the weekend, the second such incident in a month, Kazakhstan Today reported Monday.

The 6-year-old lion, Adam, sneaked out of his cage through a door that had been accidentally left open. The lion roamed around freely for half an hour before zoo workers lured it back to safety. Just a month ago, three bears broke out of their enclosure in the same zoo in southern Kazakhstan. (Reuters)