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News in Brief

More Children's TV Shows



State television began broadcasting a special block of children's programming Saturday, the first day back to school.

The Bibigon project, with a budget of $39 million, will air more than five hours of children's programming per day on the Rossia, Kultura and Sport channels, Rossiiskaya Gazeta reported Friday.

The project, named for a children's literature character, will favor Russian shows over foreign ones, the report said. It is an initiative backed by President Vladimir Putin. (MT)




Putin to Visit UAE



President Vladimir Putin will visit the United Arab Emirates on Sept. 10, news reports said Friday.

Putin will meet Emirati President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan for talks on bilateral relations, the reports said. (MT)





No Transdnestr Deal



TIRASPOL, Moldova -- The leader of the self-proclaimed Transdnestr republic denied on Friday any suggestion that a deal might be brokered without his participation to end the area's 17-year rebellion against Moldova.

International talks aimed at solving the conflict have made little progress, though in recent months there have been suggestions of Moldova and Russia reaching a separate deal.

"No agreement has been reached [between Moldova and Russia]. There is no point in holding talks without our participation," Transdnestr's self-styled president, Igor Smirnov, told a news conference ahead of weekend anniversary celebrations. (Reuters)




Body Pulled From Rubble



BAKU, Azerbaijan -- Another body was pulled from the rubble of a collapsed 16-story building, raising the death toll to 12, the Azeri Health Ministry said Friday.

The building was under construction when it crumbled Tuesday in Baku.

Prosecutors in the former Soviet republic on the Caspian Sea blamed violations of safety regulations for the collapse, and authorities have arrested the head of the construction company and another company executive.

Azeri President Ilham Aliyev signed a decree Thursday aimed at tightening state control over construction. (AP)




Bridge Thief Apprehended



Police have detained a 45-year-old municipal worker for stealing a bridge.

The 5-meter-long metal bridge disappeared from a river crossing in the Ryazan region, east of Moscow. Police said they tracked down the man, who had used his work truck to remove it, and then chopped it up and sold it for scrap.

They called it "the bulkiest theft of the year." (Reuters)

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