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Nation/world in brief: Suspected Russian spy jumps bail

Thu., July 1, 2010

New York – An alleged member of a Russian spy ring that authorities say operated under deep cover in America’s suburbs vanished in Cyprus on Wednesday, a day after being released on bail.

The man, who had gone by the name Christopher Metsos and was wanted in the U.S. on charges he supplied money to the spy ring, had been arrested Tuesday in the Mediterranean island nation as he tried to board a flight for Budapest, Hungary.

On Wednesday, after a Cypriot judge had freed him on $32,500 bail, he failed to show for a required meeting with police, and authorities began searching for him.

On Sunday, 10 other people, most of them believed to be Russians living under assumed names, were arrested across the Northeast, accused of gathering information for Moscow on American business, scientific and political affairs.

Prime minister out under pressure

Katmandu, Nepal – Nepal’s prime minister resigned after bowing to months of pressure from opposition communists who demanded his ouster in parliament and in sometimes-violent street protests.

Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal resigned Wednesday to end crippling political deadlock and shore up a peace process that ended 10 years of communist insurgency, which killed an estimated 13,000 people in the Himalayan nation.

The Maoists, the former communist rebels who won the most seats in 2008 elections, protested for months demanding Nepal’s resignation and a new national government headed by them.

“The prime minister should have resigned a lot earlier, however, we welcome the resignation,” Maoist spokesman Dinanath Sharma said.

The communists called a meeting of their top leaders today to decide their next move, Sharma said.

Turkey, Israel hold secret meeting

Jerusalem – An Israeli Cabinet minister met secretly in Europe with Turkey’s foreign minister on Wednesday in an attempt to improve relations rapidly deteriorating over the recent bloodshed on a Gaza-bound flotilla, Israeli government officials said.

Industry Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer met Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in an unspecified location in Europe, the officials said.

Ties between Israel and Turkey have worsened in recent years as Turkey’s government has taken a more critical approach to a country that was one of its closest allies. Relations were dealt a blow last month when nine Turkish activists were killed by Israeli troops in a botched attempt to stop a protest flotilla trying – with the unofficial backing of Turkey’s government – to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza.


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