Russian Mafia summit in Austria

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Russia's crime bosses held an unusual mob summit in Austria last month to discuss gambling, contract killings and other shady business back home, AP reports. The daily newspaper Izvestia reported that 'Participants (also) enjoyed an extensive cultural programme. They even went skiing in the Alps.'

The report underscored the increasingly international character of Russia's organised crime, which is active from Brooklyn to Peking, from Vienna to Vladivostok. It also came as the FBI director, Louis Freeh and other top US officials began high-level meetings throughout Europe to discuss, among other things, ways to combat the Russian mafia.

Mr Freeh will fly to Moscow on Saturday with representatives of the Treasury Department, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Secret Service. He will open a two-man FBI office in Moscow on 4 July that will largely focus on organised crime, drug trafficking and the threat that nuclear weapons or fuel could be stolen and diverted to terrorists.