MOSCOW — Heavy downpours cooled the Russian capital after weeks of no rain and unprecedented heat, but dozens of wildfires still raged around Moscow on Friday and a new blaze was spotted near the country's top nuclear research center.
The city remains largely free of the clouds of suffocating smog that affected it earlier, but meteorologists say smoke from burning forests and peat bogs may choke the city over the weekend if the wind direction changes.
The Emergency Situations Ministry said its teams have managed to reduce the area covered by wildfires, but more than 500 were continuing to burn across the country, including 29 around Moscow. It said about 14,000 firefighters were battling blazes around the Russian capital.
Sri Lanka refugee ship arrives in Canada
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VANCOUVER, British Columbia — At sea for three months, hundreds of Tamil asylum seekers from war-ravaged Sri Lanka sought refuge in Canada on Friday when their rusty, ramshackle cargo ship finally edged just after sunrise into the shelter of a naval port.
Some passengers stood on the deck, shaded by striped lengths of cloth, after the MV Sun Sea pulled in. Paramedics wearing surgical masks tended to them. A few were taken away on stretchers and whisked into ambulances at dockside; all were shielded from view by black umbrellas.
The arrival of the 490 refugees, however, raised concerns among Canadian officials that the rebel Tamil Tigers, which fought and lost a bloody 25-year war for independence that ended in May 2009, was smuggling people into Canada, home to the largest Tamil community outside Sri Lanka and India.