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BBC NEWS (UK), BFM.RU (Russia), REUTERS

Worldcrunch

MOSCOW - Russian President Vladimir Putin has dismissed Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov and replaced him with a loyal political ally after his ministry was involved in a corruption scandal.

Putin's decision appears to be connected to a probe announced by the Russia’s top investigative agency two weeks ago.

Agents of the Investigative Committee raided the offices of a state-controlled military contractor and opened an investigation into the company on suspicion that it had sold military and real estate assets to commercial firms at a loss of three billion rubles ($95 million), according to Reuters.

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Anatoly Serdyukov (Defense Dept. photo by Cherie A. Thurlby)

BBC News reports that in the six years that Anatoly Serdyukov had been defense minister, he had tried to crack down on widespread corruption and attempted to reform Russia's outdated armed forces – not without making enemies along the way.

Putin announced his decision at a meeting with the governor of the Moscow region Sergei Shoigu, whom he appointed as the new defense minister, BFM.ru reports. Shoigu, a former Minister of Emergency Situations is also a former general -- a background likely to win him the respect of the military.

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food / travel

Denied The Nile: Aboard Cairo's Historic Houseboats Facing Destruction

Despite opposition, authorities are proceeding with the eviction of residents of traditional houseboats docked along the Nile in Egypt's capital, as the government aims to "renovate" the area – and increase its economic value.

Houseboats on the Nile in Zamalek, Cairo

Ahmed Medhat and Rana Mamdouh

With an eye on increasing the profitability of the Nile's traffic and utilities, the Egyptian government has begun to forcibly evict residents and owners of houseboats docking along the banks of the river, in the Kit Kat area of Giza, part of the Greater Cairo metropolis.

The evictions come following an Irrigation Ministry decision, earlier this month, to remove the homes that have long docked along the river.

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