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Main news of December 26

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RUSSIA

* A Moscow court sentenced Alexei Kurtsin, a former manager of the now bankrupt Yukos oil company, to 12 years in prison after finding him guilty of abuse of office and embezzling 74 million rubles ($2.6 million)

* The Russian government approved the production of Ka-52 Alligator attack helicopters at a plant in the Far East, the Air Force chief said

* Moscow police detained two men on suspicion of attacking a violinist from a famed Russian orchestra, Russian media reported

WORLD

* The European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM) said it was concerned over the deployment by Georgia of Cobra armored vehicles in areas close to the South Ossetian and Abkhazian borders

* Pakistan deployed "fresh troops" along the international border with India to protect "vital points" on the frontier, the Press Trust of India reported citing Pakistani military sources

* Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko gave a special governmental working group two months to prepare proposals for the civilian use of the Sevastopol naval base after 2017

* Almost 15,000 people were forced to flee their homes in Indonesia's Lampung province on the southern tip of the island of Sumatra, local media reported

* Nine people were injured when a magnitude 4.9 earthquake hit southern China, causing 30,000 inhabitants to be evacuated, the Sina news website reported

* The Kazakh government issued a decree banning foreigners from visiting four areas of the country, including the city of Baikonur, which services the eponymous space center

BUSINESS

* Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed a law to ratify an agreement with Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to build a natural gas pipeline along the Caspian coast

* Japanese carmaker Suzuki postponed construction of a new factory near St. Petersburg, a leading Russian business daily reported

* Shareholders at a Russian metals giant, Norilsk Nickel, elected their expanded 13-member board, which will be chaired by former Russian presidential chief of staff Alexander Voloshin

* Russia's Sukhoi holding, the manufacturer of the famed family of Su fighter planes, said it had delivered two Su-30MK2 Flanker multi-role fighters to Indonesia

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