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20:43 GMT +3 hours22 December 2014
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Main News of July 17

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A roundup of what has happened in the past 24 hours

RUSSIA

 

* Russian President Vladimir Putin praised relations between Russia and the United States, saying they are more important than any intelligence scandal.

* Russian anti-corruption whistle-blower Alexei Navalny, who is on trial for the embezzlement of half a million dollars of lumber, was officially registered as a candidate for Moscow mayor, an election authority said.

* Russia’s Audit Chamber has exposed financial irregularities totaling 6.7 billion rubles ($205 million) in the North Caucasus republics of Kabardino-Balkaria and Karachay-Cherkessia, the financial controller said.

* More than a third of Russians have never heard of US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden, who has recently asked for temporary asylum in Russia, according to a survey by the state-run Public Opinion Foundation.

* The Russian financial director of Montenegro’s largest aluminum plant, a man authorities believe facilitated the theft of almost €10 million in electricity, was released from jail on €100,000 ($130,000) bail, shareholder En+ Group said.

* Twenty-five Russian Federal Prisons Service (FSIN) officials have been disciplined after a murder suspect escaped from a Moscow jail in May, a FSIN representative.

* Licensed vodka makers in Russia are distilling much less of the country’s most famous spirit because, market watchers say, it is increasingly being made illegally.

* A gang of armed robbers broke into the country home of a prominent Russian scientist, severely beat him and his wife, and fled with some 3.5 million rubles ($110,000) in valuables, a law enforcement source said.

 

WORLD

 

* Fugitive former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden will most likely be granted temporary asylum status in Russia, a prominent pro-Kremlin lawyer who helped Snowden complete his application said.

* A prominent United States senator said the US should consider boycotting the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi if Russia grants asylum to fugitive former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.

* The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has barred officials in Florida from releasing their report detailing the cause of death of a 27-year-old Chechen man, Ibragim Todashev, who was shot and killed in his apartment in May by an FBI agent, the medical examiner’s office that conducted the autopsy said in a letter sent to RIA Novosti.

 

DEFENSE

 

* President Vladimir Putin praised the Russian military's performance in an extensive snap check of combat readiness of unprecedented scale in Russia’s Far East this week.

* Russia’s Air Force has begun a large-scale exercise in the west of the country involving the "biggest-ever deployment of the service's new Sukhoi Su-34 strike aircraft," a Defense Ministry spokesman said.

* The Russian military is planning to purchase aerial drones in the United Arab Emirates, a defense industry source said.

 

SPORTS

 

* Russia added to its unprecedented medal tally on the last day of the 2013 World University Games, claiming seven more to bring its staggering final haul to 292, a Universiade record.

* Russia capped their dominating run through the men's rugby sevens tournament at the World University Games, eclipsing France 29-19 for the gold medal.

* Canada came away with the first-ever medal handed out in rugby sevens at the World University Games in Russia as its women's team crushed Britain 36-0 to win bronze.