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WORLD IN BRIEF: Russian tycoon Khodorkovsky found guilty

Russian tycoon Khodorkovsky found guilty

MOSCOW — To Russian prosecutors, imprisoned oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky is guilty of more crimes: They say he stole nearly $30 billion in oil from his own company and laundered the proceeds. To others, he is a dissident who stood up to the powerful Vladimir Putin.

Whatever he is, Khodorkovsky, once the country’s richest man, could be spending more time in jail. And many here point to one man: Putin.

Khodorkovsky’s conviction on Monday of stealing from his company, Yukos, demonstrated that little has changed under Putin’s successor, President Dmitry Medvedev, despite his promises to strengthen the rule of law and make courts an independent branch of government.

The verdict showed that Putin, now the prime minister, still holds great power. This month, he said, Khodorkovsky was a proven criminal who should sit in prison.

British court holds 9 on US Embassy plot

LONDON — Nine men suspected of plotting attacks on the U.S. Embassy and the London Stock Exchange were charged with terrorism-related crimes Monday and jailed until their next court appearance.

A dozen men were arrested last week in London, Cardiff and Stoke-on-Trent in central England in the largest British anti-terror raid in two years. Three were released without charge. The arrests came at a time of heightened anxiety about terror plots in Europe.

British officials have released few details, but U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner said the American Embassy in London was among the alleged plot’s possible targets.

Twin suicide blasts kill 9 in western Iraq

BAGHDAD — Two suicide bombers blew themselves up Monday front of a government office in Iraq’s western Anbar province, killing nine people including family members of security officials who were killed in another bombing at the same place less than a month ago, security officials said.

Insurgents frequently go after Iraqi government targets in an effort to destabilize the U.S.-backed Iraqi authorities, as American troops prepare to leave by the end of next year. The Anbar provincial headquarters has been attacked four times in a year.