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The arrest of billionaire retail tycoon Miroslav Miskovic is part of an anti-corruption sweep that the new nationalist government says is necessary if the country wants to move closer to European Union membership.

But critics argue the crackdown is mostly aimed at political opponents and allies of the country’s previous pro-Western leadership.

Mr. Miskovic, 67, was arrested Wednesday along with his son Marko and eight others in connection with the privatization of several Serbian road construction companies in 2005, during which the suspects allegedly gained illegal profits of about $39 million.

The judge at Serbia’s special court for organized crime ruled Friday that Mr. Miskovic, his son and five others must remain in prison during the pretrial investigation. The rest were freed, with their travel documents seized.


Coroner: Eva Rausing died as result of drug abuse

LONDON — A coroner has ruled that Eva Rausing, one of Britain’s richest women, died as a result of her “dependent abuse” of drugs.

Rausing’s decomposed body was found by police in July in the London home she shared with husband Hans Kristian Rausing, whose family founded the Tetra Pak drinks carton empire.

She had been dead for two months.

Deputy coroner Shirley Radcliffe said Friday that the 48-year-old Rausing had died as a result of cocaine intoxication and a heart condition. Ms. Radcliffe ruled the death “a result of the dependent abuse of drugs.”

Mr. Rausing, who kept his American-born wife’s death a secret for weeks, was given a 10-month suspended sentence in August for preventing the lawful burial of a body. He is being treated for drug addiction.


Circus claims vodka saved elephants in Siberia

MOSCOW — Circus trainers claim two of their elephants were saved from the deadly Siberian cold by vodka.

Emergency ministry spokesman Alexander Davydov said Friday that the elephants were in a trailer that caught fire Thursday outside the city of Novosibirsk, forcing trainers to take them out into the bitter cold before another truck arrived to deliver them to a warm gym at a local community college.

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