- - Monday, August 2, 2010

CZECH REPUBLIC

Ex-spies’ names mistakenly released

PRAGUE | Officials say a Czech government institute mistakenly posted the names of hundreds of former military-intelligence agents online.

The Security Services Archive of the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes published in March a database of thousands of communist-era agents.

But 380 of them continued to work for military intelligence after the 1989 collapse of communism and the database, which was available online until June, was not supposed to contain their details.

The institute acknowledged it made a mistake. Archive Director Ladislav Bukovszky was fired.

Defense Ministry spokesman Jan Pejsek said the disclosure was a problem, but doesn’t pose a risk for the intelligence service’s operations because no names of current agents were disclosed.

RUSSIA

Wildfires’ death toll reaches 34

MOSCOW | The death toll from wildfires in Russia rose to 34 people Monday, and Moscow was shrouded in a new blanket of pungent haze from nearby peat-bog fires.

Still, firefighters reported making some headway against the blazes that have destroyed hundreds of homes, burned through vast sections of tinder-dry land and forced thousands to evacuate.

Wildfires were still burning Monday across 309,000 acres, mostly in central and western Russia, slightly less than the area torched over the weekend, said Vladimir Stepanov, head of Russia’s Emergencies Ministry’s crisis center.

About 1,500 homes have been wiped out by fires, spurred by the heat wave that has dried forests and fields to a crisp.

CHINA

9 dead, 7 trapped in coal mine

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