Source AP ©

John McCain's presidential campaign lost media team

Advertising consultants have resigned from Sen. John McCain's Presidential campaign.

McCain communications director Jill Hazelbaker on Wednesday described the departure of Russ Schriefer and Stuart Stevens as amicable and said the Republican "appreciates their service" but accepted their resignations when they were offered Monday night.

Schriefer and Stevens were part of George W. Bush's campaign team in 2000 and 2004 and were part of Bob Dole's 1996 presidential campaign. The Wall Street Journal first reported the departures Wednesday night.

While the two had an agreement to work for the McCain campaign, FEC records indicate that they had not been paid and were not owed any money.

Aides downplayed their departure as a sign of a troubled campaign that has struggled financially and has been hit hard by the senator's support for the unpopular war in Iraq and the failed immigration reforms.

McCain is trying to reassemble his staff and his candidacy after a disastrous six months of weak fundraising and dropping poll numbers.

McCain's campaign manager Terry Nelson and his longtime political adviser John Weaver resigned earlier this month. The campaign reported ending the second quarter of the year with $3.2 million (EUR2.3 million) cash on hand and $1.8 million (EUR1.3 million) in debts. Several campaign consultants and vendors are owed money.

Russia's Ministry for Foreign Affairs is seriously concerned about the state of health of former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia. Sergei Skrypal's niece, Victoria Skripal, said that her uncle had already died.

UK wants Sergei Skripal dead

The Basmanny Court of Moscow arrested Michael Calvey, the founder of Baring Vostok investment fund, on allegations of embezzling 2.5 billion rubles from Vostochny Bank. Calvey will be held in custody until April 13

Putin informed about arrest of US investor Michael Calvey
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