The State Duma (the lower house of parliament) adopted a resolution, in the second reading on Thursday, on declaring amnesty with respect to minors and women. The amnesty will apply to nine percent of the total number of prisoners -- 10,000 minors and 14,000 women. In compliance with the resolution, those who committed crime under the age of 18, people sentenced to six years of imprisonment and who earlier were not kept in corrective labour institutions as well as minors who served half of their time will be amnestied. The amnesty will also spread to pregnant women, women older than 50 years of age, invalids of the first and second groups as well as invalids' wives, widows and unmarried mothers. In addition, criminal cases of minors are being stopped, with the exception of those who committed especially grave crimes -- murder, rape, act of terror, kidnapping, and drug trafficking.
Forest fires in Siberia have been raging for three months already. They have become a disaster not only of Russian, but of global scale. The fires have already scorched 12 million hectares of land