The Russian Information Agency Novosti begins Hotline coverage for Tuesday, March 16, 2004.


* The Russian Constitutional Court will consider disputable clauses of the federal laws on the federal budgets for 2002 and 2003, on a Federation Council inquiry. Parliament's upper house appealed to the court as the laws abolished the Audit Chamber's duty to give accounts of its work to the house.

* The Committee of the Chiefs of Staff of CIS countries' Armed Forces opens one of its regular sessions. The Joint HQ of the Collective Security Treaty Organization starts an operational assembly.

* The Open Forum club holds a session on, "Russia after the Presidential Election" to gather researchers, political experts and news analysts. Sergei Glazyev, Irina Hakamada and Nikolai Kharitonov, who had challenged incumbent Vladimir Putin on the latest presidential campaign, have been invited.

* RIA Novosti will host news conferences:

- "The Lessons of a Presidential Election." Addressing the conference is Nikolai Kharitonov, president, Russian Agro-Industrial Union, member of the State Duma, parliament's lower house;

- Viktor Logvinov, Moscow Architects' Union president, on, "The Transvaal Park Tragedy: Why Paint Designers Black? Moscow Architects' Pressing Problems".

* A 5th all-Russia forum, "Development Strategies of the Russian Housing and Municipal Economy", is opening. It will last two days.

* The International University hosts a roundtable on, "Russian Culture as National Strategic Resource".

* An Italian Language and Culture Week takes start in Russian secondary schools.


* The Baikonur space center will launch, on a commercial arrangement, a Proton M rocket, which will orbit a telecommunications spacecraft of the European Eutelsat company.


* A conference will gather on, "Basic Issues of Transnational Crimes, and Detection, Investigation and Prevention of International Terror Acts". The event is jointly organized by the Khabarovsk State Academy of Economics and Law, Faculty of Law; and the Prosecutor General's board for the Far Eastern Federal District. The NATO Information Office is supporting the conference.


* The five Caspian countries - Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan - are convening a two-day session of the Caspian status Special Working Group at the level of Deputy Ministers of Foreign Affairs.


* Court hearings open on the Bertrand Cantat case. The French rock singer beat to death movie star Marie Trintignant, his beloved, while on a guest tour in the Lithuanian capital. The city prosecutor's office experts suspect him of premeditated murder.

RIA Novosti holds a full copyright for all its published materials. Upon any republication of RIA Novosti materials reference to RIA Novosti is mandatory.

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