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Condemnation Mounts of Syria Crackdown

International condemnation of Syria mounted Saturday after its security forces reportedly killed more than 80 people in one of the bloodiest days of a month-long uprising.

Russia, Italy and Greece joined the chorus of criticism which includes U.S. President Barack Obama and U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon, as well as France and the European parliament.

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Russia's Medvedev Lets Loose in Youtube Dance Video

Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev was shown dancing awkwardly to a pop song in a video spreading across Russian Internet on Wednesday that he said showed a reunion of his university class.

The brief clip uploaded on YouTube by an unidentified person showed the Russian leader in a suit jacket and jeans stepping and waving his hips alongside several other people to a perestroika-era hit song "American Boy" with a concentrated expression on his face.

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Russia Kills 'Top al-Qaida Envoy' in Chechnya

Russian security forces killed in Chechnya a Saudi militant who was the top envoy of al-Qaida in the Northern Caucasus and responsible for deadly attacks, the national anti-terror committee said Friday.

The militant -- known by the nom-de-guerre of Moganned -- was one of three rebels killed in a clash with Russian security forces around the village of Serzhen-Yurt in Chechnya on Thursday afternoon, it said.

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Medvedev Calls For Drug Testing in Schools

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Monday called for drug testing in schools, warning that narcotics abuse was now such a major problem that it was weighing down the economy.

Speaking at a government meeting in the Siberian city of Irkutsk, identified by officials as a particular trouble spot for abuse, Medvedev said that no fewer than 2.5 million Russians were drug addicts.

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Medvedev Sacks Ten More Police Generals

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has sacked 10 more high-ranking interior ministry officials in an effort to reform Russia's bloated police force, the Kremlin said on Friday.

Nearly all the sacked officials hold the rank of major general. All were chiefs of regional interior ministry departments except one who was the head of the ministry's law institute, according to a Kremlin statement.

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Russian Toddler Survives Six-Floor Trash Chute Fall

Russian investigators launched a probe Wednesday against a couple suspected of throwing their toddler into a trash chute from the sixth floor of an apartment building.

The two-year-old survived the fall down the narrow chute and neighbors discovered him on the trash heap of the apartment building in the northwestern city of Saint Petersburg on Tuesday after they heard him crying.

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Putin Slams West for Libya 'Medieval Crusade', Medvedev Says Remarks Unacceptable

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Monday slammed Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's comments on military action against Libya as "unacceptable", in the most public clash yet between Russia's ruling tandem.

Putin earlier Monday denounced the U.N. resolution allowing military action on Libya as resembling a "medieval call to crusade", in one of his most virulent diatribes against the West in years.

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Russia Bans 'Putin-Medvedev' Vodka Brand

Russia has banned a firm from registering as a trademark a brand of vodka whose name appears to play on the names of its ruling duo, Vedomosti business daily reported Tuesday.

Russia's patent agency refused to allow a company to register as a trademark the name "Volodya and Medvedi," with Volodya a diminutive of Vladimir, and Medvedi, or bears, sounding similar to the surname Medvedev, it reported.

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Blast Near FSB Security Service Academy in Moscow

An explosion went off Wednesday at a bus stop close to the training center for Russia's FSB security service in Moscow, without causing casualties, the national anti-terror committee said.

"An explosive device went off at a bus stop at Michurinsky Avenue where the FSB academy is located," a committee spokesman told Agence France Presse.

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Reports: Six Dead as Plane Crashes in Russia

At least six crew members, including two citizens of Myanmar, died when a plane they were testing crashed in central Russia on Saturday, Russian news agencies reported.

Six crew members died when the AN-148 plane crashed and burst into flames on Saturday morning around 160 kilometers east of the city of Belgorod, the emergency ministry said in a statement, citing preliminary data.

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