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Russian forces seize Dagestan mayor on murder charges

Russia

Armed forces seize Dagestan mayor

The mayor of Dagestan's largest city, who has survived 15 assassination attempts and employs a large security force to protect him, was arrested on murder charges Saturday by heavily armed forces in armored personnel carriers and helicopters, Russian officials said.

Said Amirov, the 59-year-old mayor of Makhachkala, has been in a wheelchair since 1993, when one attempt on his life severed his spine. His southern Russian city is known for frequent bombings and shootouts among police, criminal gangs and Islamic fighters. For six months last year it was home to Tamerlan Tsarnaev, one of the accused Boston Marathon bombers. His parents live there now.

Authorities said Amirov was arrested on suspicion of ordering the killing in December 2011 of Arsen Gadzhibekov, a detective and supervisor for Russia's version of the FBI in Dagestan.

Britain

Lou Reed recovering after liver transplant

Lou Reed's wife says the rock icon is recovering after a life-saving liver transplant, according to an interview published Saturday in a British newspaper.

Laurie Anderson told the Times of London that Reed "was dying" before the operation in April at Ohio's Cleveland Clinic. She says Reed, 71, is not back to full strength but "he's already working and doing t'ai chi. … It's a new life for him."

Reed, who has spoken of his past alcohol and drug use, co-founded influential 1960s group the Velvet Underground, whose songs included Heroin and I'm Waiting for the Man.

Spain

Protests in Europe target spending cuts

Antiausterity protesters on Saturday took to the streets of dozens of European cities, including Madrid, Frankfurt and Lisbon, to express their anger at government cuts they say are making the financial crisis worse by stifling growth and increasing unemployment.

Thousands marched peacefully toward Madrid's central Neptuno fountain near Parliament. Around 15,000 people gathered outside the International Monetary Fund's headquarters in Lisbon.

Washington

Prison for man who sent cash to Clinton

A Northern Virginia businessman convicted of illegally funneling cash from his banking firm to Hillary Rodham Clinton's Senate and presidential campaigns was sentenced to two years and four months in federal prison Friday, authorities said.

William Danielczyk Jr., 51, the founder of a McLean, Va.-based banking firm known as Galen Capital Group, had pleaded guilty in February to one count of making illegal conduit campaign contributions. Federal prosecutors had asked U.S. District Judge James Cacheris to send him away for five years.

There are no allegations Clinton or her campaign acted improperly.

Los Angeles

Lutheran assembly elects gay bishop

The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America elected its first openly gay bishop to a six-year term on Friday at an annual assembly in Southern California, officials said.

The election of Rev. Dr. R. Guy Erwin comes after the church's controversial rule change in 2009 that allowed gays and lesbians to be ordained in the nation's largest Lutheran denomination.

Times wires

Russian forces seize Dagestan mayor on murder charges 06/01/13 [Last modified: Saturday, June 1, 2013 11:10pm]
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