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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Mi-8 Crashes, 4 Dead

An Mi-8 a helicopter crashed Sunday during a test flight in Tatarstan, killing four of the five people on board, an emergency official said.

The aircraft, which recently underwent repairs, went down around 2 p.m. on the outskirts of Kazan, regional emergency spokesman Andrei Rodygin said.

One of the pilots managed to parachute from the falling craft and was hospitalized in serious condition. (AP)

Pop Singer Dead at 66

Soviet-era opera and pop singer Muslim Magomayev died Saturday in Moscow, the government said. He was 66.

The government gave no details on the death of the Azeri-born baritone, but Itar-Tass cited his widow, Tamara Sinyavskaya, as saying he died at his Moscow apartment after a long illness.

Magomayev -- often pictured with a cigarette in hand -- started his career as an opera singer, but sold millions of albums and concert tickets after switching to popular music.

A funeral was planned for Wednesday in Moscow. (AP)

War Trophy Art at Sotheby's

BERLIN -- Lithographs that once belonged to a German duke and vanished when the Soviets occupied parts of Germany after World War II have turned up at Sotheby's in London, a spokesman for the auction house said.

The 249 lithographs, printed around 1840 in St. Petersburg and archived in folders or cassettes, were to be auctioned in London in June, when a German art collector identified them as pieces presented to the Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin by the tsar before World War I.

"The two cassettes belong to a set of three, which vanished when the Soviets looted German properties in the summer of 1946," said Andreas Roloff, the director of rarities at a government library in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in eastern Germany.

Roloff estimated that they are collectively worth 250,000 euros ($321,300). (Reuters)

Poland Seeks Trophy Art

WARSAW -- Poland is working to secure the return of two 16th-century altar pieces looted by the Nazis during World War II that later found their way to Turkmenistan, a Foreign Ministry official said.

The works -- "The Ascension" and "The Annunciation" -- were taken from churches in Szamotuly and Madre, respectively, in 1941 and placed in a Nazi-run museum in Poznan. After World War II, they were long considered destroyed or missing until a German journalist happened upon the central part of "The Ascension" in 1993 at a museum in Ashgabat.

Wojciech Kowalski, the Foreign Ministry official responsible for the restitution of looted art, said Poland would send a medieval art expert to Ashgabat this year to confirm the authenticity and origin of the works to local authorities. (AP)

Aliyev Sworn In

BAKU, Azerbaijan -- Azeri President Ilham Aliyev was sworn in for a second term Friday after a disputed landslide electoral victory and pledged to restore control over his country's breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region.

"The territorial integrity of Azerbaijan is not, never has been and never will be the subject of talks," said Aliye, who won 89 percent on Oct. 15. (Reuters)