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Brits Get Too Friendly With The Locals

Some British tabloid interest in the former Soviet Union this week.

The first story is British diplomat, James Hudson, who has resigned from his post in the Urals after being filmed cavorting with prostitutes.

From "The Sun":

The four-minute, 18-second video was posted on a local news website.

It also accused the diplomat of indulging in drugs and gambling during office hours under the heading: "Adventures of Mr Hudson in Russia."

A security source said Russia's FSB intelligence service, the modern KGB, may have carried out the sting to embarrass Britain.

The source warned: "Russian intelligence has a long history of making sex films and taking compromising photos to control people or further its aims.

And then there's the former Tory cabinet minister, who was jailed for perjury in 1999, who's written a glowing biography of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev.

"I accept that Nazarbaev isn't exactly a Jeffersonian democrat, but there are things to be said in his favor," Aitken told Britain's "Daily Telegraph." "It is not an authorized biography. It is not a puff piece I have written.

Nazarbaev reportedly cooperated on the biography and according to Reuters gave Aitken almost 28 hours of interviews. But Aitken insists he didn't receive any money from the government to write the book.

After all the bad publicity Nazarbaev had this year -- his 20th in power -- with the publishing of "The Godfather-In-Law," a biography hailing his achievements, even by a disgraced British MP, might come at a good time.

-- Luke Allnutt

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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at

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