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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Luzhkov Hits Drug Dealers

Mayor Yury Luzhkov on Tuesday called for drug dealers to face the death penalty in Russia, Interfax reported.

“Maybe we should look at Singapore’s experience. There they have a law that stipulates the death penalty for dealing drugs, what’s more, regardless of whether you’re a citizen,” Luzhkov said, calling the country’s moratorium on executions since 1996 “incorrect.”

“If a criminal consciously took away a person’s life, society should take away his life,” Luzhkov said, calling drug dealing “mass murder.” (MT)

Court Upholds Morar Ban

The Constitutional Court has ruled that Natalya Morar, a journalist for New Times magazine, was lawfully barred from entering Russia, Rossiiskaya Gazeta reported Tuesday.

Morar, a Moldovan citizen, was prevented from returning December 2007, when border guards told her that she was a threat to national security. The court slapped down a complaint from Morar, saying noncitizens do not have equal rights, the newspaper reported.

“Even if I had the possibility of returning [to Russia now], I wouldn’t do it,” Morar told Ekho Moskvy on Monday. (MT)

China Travel Warning Issued

Chief epidemiologist Gennady Onishchenko sent out letters to Russian regions recommending that residents not to travel to China because of an outbreak of pneumonic plague in the country’s west, RIA-Novosti reported.

Onishchenko instructed regional branches of his Federal Consumer Protection Service to inform travelers about the risks and dissuade them from nonessential trips to China.

Three fatal cases have been registered in the remote Qinghai province. The town where they lived has been quarantined, the BBC reported.  (MT)

Moscow Issues Travel Ban

The Moscow branch of the Federal Consumer Protection Service has banned schools from taking organized trips to Britain over swine flu fears for the month of August, RIA-Novosti reported Tuesday.

The service’s head, Gennady Onishchenko, sought have such trips banned last week, and he has since advised football fans to skip a match in Wales in September because of the country’s high level of H1N1 cases. (MT)

India in Gorshkov Talks

NEW DELHI, India — India has agreed to Russia’s demand to renegotiate a $1.6 billion contract for the Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier, a government minister said Tuesday, in a deal that has become a thorny issue in relations.

The government said it had no option but to restart price talks with Russia, as its navy urgently needed the carrier. “India is going to sit down with Russia to renegotiate the Gorshkov deal,” Pallam Raju, the junior defense minister, told reporters. (Reuters)

Navy Eyes French Vessel

The military could spend about 400 million euros ($576 million) to buy a helicopter carrier from France, with talks under way on what would be its first major foreign military purchase, Russian media reported Tuesday.

Citing sources in the Russian Navy headquarters, Interfax confirmed earlier reports in the French media about Moscow’s interest in buying a multipurpose carrier. (Reuters)

Court Suspends Mayor

Podolsk City Court has temporarily removed Shcherbinka Mayor Sergei Dubinin from the post after he was charged with exceeding his authority in an alleged real estate scam, RIA-Novosti reported Tuesday.

Investigators accuse Dubinin of illegally selling plots of land worth 35 million rubles ($1.1 million) for roughly 0.5 percent of that, the agency reported. He faces up to seven years in prison if convicted. (MT)

No Recount in Moldova

CHISINAU, Moldova — Moldova’s Constitutional Court said Tuesday that it would not order a recount of last week’s parliamentary vote.

The Christian National Democratic Party, a small party that won no seats, requested a recount Monday, arguing that election violations could have skewed the result. (Reuters)

Hunters Seek Killer Bear

Hunters on Tuesday pursued a bear that killed a woman in the center of a far eastern town before it escaped into the forest, news agencies reported.

Professional hunters and security officials launched the bear hunt in Palana, a town of about 4,000 people at the northern end of the Kamchatka Peninsula, Interfax reported, citing local sources.

A handful of bear attacks are reported in the remote region every year, and three people have died in the past 12 months, RIA-Novosti reported. Attacks in cities are rare. (Reuters)