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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

53 Quarantined After Death

GENEVA -- Russian health authorities have quarantined 53 people after a woman died of an unknown illness on board a train headed to Moscow, the World Health Organization said Thursday.

The woman, from mainland China, had been on a train heading from the far eastern city of Blagoveshchensk on Wednesday when she died suddenly, causing alarm. Radio Television Hong Kong reported that the woman may have died from Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS, a contagious disease that spread worldwide and killed at least 774 people in 2002 and 2003.

WHO spokeswoman Sari Setiogi said the UN health agency had not received any information to support the report, nor have Russian authorities identified SARS as the cause of the death. (Reuters)

Kasyanov Warns of Chaos

BRUSSELS -- Russia could face economic chaos and even revolution unless the government acts swiftly to reform and relax political restrictions, former Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov said Thursday.

Kasyanov said that by the end of this year inflation could reach 15 percent, toxic loans could rise to 30 percent of all loans and unemployment could reach 10 million. The government may also have to seek help from the International Monetary Fund "in the near future," he said told Liberal Democrat politicians in the European Parliament in a speech delivered in English.(Reuters)

For the Record

Georgian opposition leaders appeared to edge closer to talks with President Mikheil Saakashvili on Thursday, with numbers dwindling in a week-old drive to force his resignation.(Reuters)

Millions of people were plunged into darkness Wednesday night because of an electricity grid malfunction in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. (Reuters)

Spartak Moscow has fired coach Michael Laudrup after a poor start to the season.(AP)