* Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin will run for another term as head of United Russia party branch in the Russian capital in November. For the first time he is facing competition with other contestants from United Russia ranks.
* President Vladimir Putin will pick new members of his Human Rights Council from candidatures put forward by on-line users in line with the earlier Kremlin proposal.
BUSINESS & ECONOMY
* Russian tool-makers have asked the Trade Ministry to raise import duties on metallurgy equipment by 5-10 percent in the wake of Russia’s accession to the World Trade Organization. They believe that the move would protect their share on the domestic markets.
* Russia’s Transportation Ministry may ease the regulations for tenders on road construction to attract more foreign companies to take part in building roads in the country.
* Russian experts predict that the United States could halve oil imports in the next decade as the country steadily increases its own oil production. This may drop oil prices to $80 or even $60 per barrel causing a devastating financial crisis in Russia.
* Evraz will become Russia’s largest producer of coking coal after buying a 41-percent stake in the Raspadskaya coal company for estimated $863 million.
* Russian lawmakers may soon introduce amendments to the Law on Trade which would limit the sales of alcohol and tobacco to specialized stores.
* Eleven members of an alleged secret Russian military procurement network have been charged in the United States with illegally shipping sophisticated microelectronics to Russian military and intelligence agencies. Four Russians are among the eight arrested earlier this week in Houston. They deny any wrongdoing in Russia’s interest.
(Kommersant, Vedomosti, Rossiiskaya Gazeta)
*Alleged Russian tech spies in the United States may have traded in electronic components made from ferrite – a material that blocks high-frequency radiation. Ferrites are used in equipment for satellites and in a variety of weaponry.
* The Turkish parliament has authorized the government to launch cross-border military operations as a deterrent against potential attacks from Syria for the period of one year, following Syria’s shelling of a Turkish border town that killed five women and children.
* Russia's Defense Ministry signed a contract worth about 140 billion rubles ($4 billion) to buy 39 IL-476 transport planes. President Vladimir Putin proudly announced the deal after watching the modified IL-76 undergo flight tests at the Aviastar-SP aviation complex in Ulyanovsk.
* Following a precedent with a civil lawsuit against the Russian military over noise level of combat jets flying over populated areas in the city of Chelyabinsk, the residents of another Russian city, Perm, are planning to take the same action.
* Russia’s Public Chamber has criticized a bill that envisions criminal punishment for insulting the faith of religious believers. The majority of the members demanded that the draft document be scrapped as it fuels religious hatred.
* Moscow residents are planning to form volunteer patrols consisting from Russians and migrants from North Caucasus to prevent race hatred clashes that continue to plague the streets of the Russian capital.