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The measure, dubbed the Magnitsky Act, is named for Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who was arrested by officials he accused of a $230-million tax fraud. He repeatedly was denied medical treatment and in 2009 died after almost a year in jail after being severely beaten by guards.

Russian rights groups accused the Kremlin of failing to prosecute those responsible, while independent media claimed that such tax frauds are widespread.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry responded to the U.S. Senate vote by calling it a “show in the theater of the absurd.”

It warned that Russia will respond to the new legislation in kind, adding that the U.S. will have to take the blame for the worsening of U.S.-Russian ties.


Dutch to send Turkey missile defense systems

THE HAGUE — Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans said the government has approved a NATO request to send two batteries of Patriot missile defense systems to Turkey, following in Germany’s footsteps.

Parliament must sign off on Friday’s Cabinet decision, but Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s two-party coalition has a comfortable majority in the 150-seat lower house, so the vote is expected to be a formality.

The Dutch decision came a day after Germany agreed to send two Patriot batteries and troops to Turkey’s southern border with Syria at NATO’s request.

The Western alliance approved sending the weapons to prevent cross-border attacks against Turkey after mortar rounds and shells from Syria killed five Turks.

Mr. Timmermans said 130 Dutch troops will also be deployed to operate the Patriot systems.


More soldiers being mulled for Naples crime war

ROME — More Italian soldiers could be headed to Naples, which is reeling from a mob killing at a nursery school.

Interior Minister Annamaria Cancellieri visited the school Friday and told reporters that the government is deciding how many more troops to deploy.

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