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Main news of August 14



* At least 60 people were injured when an express train bound from Moscow to St. Petersburg was derailed by an explosion near Veliky Novgorod in northwest Russia Monday night

*  Russian regions have tightened railway security since the train derailment in northwest Russia

* A court in southern Russia upheld a warning to a local branch of the liberal Yabloko party with a threat of possible closure unless it ends what prosecutors call extremist activity

* A state Olympic corporation will be set up to build sports facilities and infrastructure in Sochi, chosen to host the 2014 Olympics, Russia's economics minister said

* The commercial fish catch in Russia could fall 20% by 2015 if the country's fishing fleet is not modernized by that time, the head of the fisheries regulator said

* Units of the 37th Air Army of the Strategic Command began tactical exercises with test launches of cruise missiles over the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, an Air Force spokesman said

* At least four people were killed and four wounded in an explosion and an ensuing fire at a chemical factory in Irkutsk, East Siberia, early Tuesday, local emergencies officials said


* Creating a unified economic zone could be on the agenda at a North-South Korean summit to be held August 28-30, Seoul's Yonhap agency said

* Seoul backs Russia's proposal to set up tripartite intergovernmental commissions with North Korea to discuss major joint economic projects, South Korea's ambassador to Russia said

* A spokesman for Serbia's ruling party said the country was determined to retain Kosovo, even at the expense of rapprochement with the European Union

* Kosovo's president, Fatmir Sejdiu, said the Albanian majority will withdraw from upcoming talks on the status of the province if the issue of its division into Albanian and Serbian parts is raised

* A former senior UN official said the international community will sooner or later recognize Kosovo as an independent state because there is no alternative solution to the current crisis over its status

* A Kiev court ruled that Ukraine's election authorities must decide by Friday whether the opposition Yulia Tymoshenko bloc can be registered for early parliamentary polls

* Iran's president said in Kabul that his country wants security and stability for neighboring Afghanistan, Iranian television reported

* The presidents of China and Kyrgyzstan pledged to improve bilateral economic ties and increase border cooperation in a joint declaration signed in the Kyrgyz capital

* A Soviet WWII memorial has been removed from downtown Bauska, in southern Latvia, and moved to a military cemetery, a local public organization said

 * A 114-year-old Japanese woman, believed to have been the planet's oldest person, died in a nursing home Monday, the NHK news channel said


* Gazprom said its unconsolidated earnings calculated to Russian Accounting Standards increased 4.5% year-on-year to 865 billion rubles ($34 billion) in the first half of the year

* Russian steelmaker Severstal said its mining subsidiary Severstal-Resurs had acquired a 22% stake in Ireland's Celtic Resources Holdings Plc, which mines gold in Kazakhstan

* Russian metals giant Norilsk Nickel said it purchased over 97.7% of shares of Canada's nickel and gold producer LionOre under its cash offer, and started compulsory acquisition of the remaining stock

* Vneshtorgbank (VTB), Russia's second largest state-owned bank, could finance Alrosa's bid to buy a stake in Polyus Gold, the country's leading gold producer, for at least $2 billion, the bank's president said

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