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Main news of July 25



* Russia believes UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon exceeded his authority in bypassing the UN Security Council and calling for a reconfiguration of the UN mission in Kosovo, Russia's envoy said

* Russia will pull out its railroad troops from Georgia's breakaway republic of Abkhazia on July 29-30, the troops' deputy commander said

* Russia would like to keep the Black Sea Fleet base in Ukraine's port of Sevastopol after 2017, the Russian Navy commander said

* The construction of new-generation nuclear-powered ballistic missile and attack submarines is a top priority for the Russian Navy's development, the Navy commander said

* Ongoing nationwide religious celebrations in Ukraine have shown an element of disrespect for the Russian Orthodox Church and its millions of members, the Russian Foreign Ministry said

* The number of race-hate and other extremist crimes in Moscow has risen six-fold in the first half of 2008, year-on-year, the Russian Prosecutor General's Office said

* The presidium of the Russian government will consider on Monday a proposal to hold the first international forum devoted to nanotechnology in Moscow in December, the presidium's press service said


* Foreign ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member states gathered for a meeting at a Tajik government countryside residence

* The Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) has filed charges against a Russian MP of trying to destabilize the country during nationwide religious celebrations, the UNIAN agency said, citing an SBU source

* The Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders said they would restart talks on the island's reunification on September 3

* At least five people were killed and 18 wounded in sectarian clashes in northern Lebanon, the National News Agency reported

* Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez met with King Juan Carlos for the first time since the Spanish monarch told him to "shut up" at a summit in Chile last November

* An Argentinean court has sentenced a former army-officer to life imprisonment for his role in the abduction, torture, and murder of four left-wing activists in 1977

* The death toll from an explosion and subsequent fire on a tanker under repair at a Greek shipyard has risen to eight people, the country's merchant marine ministry said


* Russian mining giant Mechel pledged to sell coking coal at the same price domestically and abroad, a day after the prime minister criticized the company for overcharging in Russia

* Mechel shares dropped 45.6 % as trading opened on the RTS stock exchange Friday following Thursday's 33% plunge in the Russian ferrous metals company's ADRs on the New York stock exchange

* German auto giant Daimler may buy a 42% stake in Russian truck maker KamAZ, Moscow-based investment company Troika Dialog said

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