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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

End to Capital Punishment?

The State Duma will consider a bill formally ending capital punishment, Interfax reported Wednesday.

The Duma's criminal law committee has approved the bill and passed it on to the lower house for a vote, committee head Pavel Krasheninnikov told a news conference.

Russia has had a moratorium on capital punishment since 1996, but the practice has not been formally outlawed. Approving the bill would put Russia in compliance with the European Convention on Human Rights ban on the death penalty, Krasheninnikov said. (MT)

Moscow Olympic Decision

GENEVA -- The International Olympic Committee is to announce Thursday whether Singapore or Moscow will be awarded the first Youth Olympic Games in 2010.

The two cities are the finalists from the original nine-city field, and the winner will be announced by IOC president Jacques Rogge. (AP)

Journalists Face Eviction

Authorities have petitioned to have the Russian Union of Journalists close its offices in central Moscow because of fire safety violations.

The Moscow branch of the Emergency Situations Ministry filed a motion with the Khamovnichesky District Court on Monday to have the union's offices on Zubovsky Bulvar closed for 90 days, Interfax reported.

Union head Igor Yakovenko said the petition might be a pretext to have the union evicted from its offices to make space for the state-owned Russia Today television channel, Interfax reported.

The union and Russia Today both occupy offices in the same building as RIA-Novosti. (MT)

Jump in New HIV Cases

The number of new HIV cases in Moscow grew 14.4 percent to 1,143 last year, raising the city total to 27,717, Interfax reported.

Russia's first case was recorded in 1987, according to the Federal Consumer Protection Service, Interfax reported. Most of those infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, are from 20 to 29 years old, the report said.

The proportion of drug users among the newly infected fell in the past seven years to 26 percent from nearly 90 percent, Interfax reported. (Bloomberg)

Briton Jailed for Urinating

RIGA, Latvia -- A British man has been was sentenced to five days of detention Tuesday for urinating on one of Latvia's most treasured monuments.

Erected in 1935, this is a 42-meter-high symbol of the Baltic state's resistance to foreign rule, which has included 50 years of Soviet occupation.

People detained for acts of disrespect in the past have been fined. One man wearing a kilt uncovered his genitals at the monument last year. (Reuters)