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Main news of January 29

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RUSSIA

* Russia has signed the Council of Europe's convention on income obtained through criminal means and the financing of terrorism, the Foreign Ministry said

* RIA Novosti news agency won a special prize at the Silver Archer national award ceremony on Thursday for a public relations campaign during rebranding

* One soldier was killed and two others injured on Thursday in an attack by militants in Russia's North Caucasus republic of Ingushetia, a spokesman for local investigators said

* Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has signed a government decree setting oil export duty at $100.9 per metric ton as of February 1, the government press office said

* Reports that Russian Army Jr. Sgt. Alexander Glukhov deserted his unit and fled to Georgia from South Ossetia are false, Russia's Defense Ministry insisted

* Russia's first carrier rocket launch of 2009, scheduled for Thursday, has been delayed until Friday for technical reasons, a spokesman for the Space Forces said

* A group of Black Sea Fleet warships has called at the Syrian port of Tartus, a Russian Navy spokesman said

* Russia's Supreme Court upheld on Thursday the closure of the investigation into the so-called Katyn case, in which several thousand Polish POWs were executed in western Russia's Katyn forest in 1940

* Russia and Europe will not continue the joint development of a new reusable manned spacecraft, an official from Russia's space agency (Roscosmos) said

* Russia's Pyotr Veliky missile cruiser from the Northern Fleet has arrived in the port of Marmugao in the Indian state of Goa on an unofficial visit, a RIA Novosti correspondent reported

* Serena Williams proved too strong for Russia's Elena Dementieva in the first women's semifinal of the Australian Open as the Beijing Olympic gold medalist lost 6:3 6:4 at Melbourne Park

WORLD

* A Russian TV producer said on Thursday he was launching a "There is God" advertizing campaign in London to counter atheist posters displayed on buses in January

* Sudan's parliament speaker, Ahmed Ibrahim al-Taher, and Russian presidential envoy for Sudan Mikhail Margelov proposed on Thursday holding an international conference on Darfur in Moscow in September

* Russia does not have any specific qualms with the United States, it is just acting in the interests of different countries in international policy, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said

* The United Nations launched an appeal on Thursday for $613 million to help the Gaza Strip in the wake of Israel's three-week military offensive

* NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said on Thursday he hoped that the military alliance would normalize its relations with Russia in the near future

* Russia's Admiral Vinogradov destroyer is escorting five foreign vessels through the pirate-infested waters of the Gulf of Aden, Navy Captain 1st Rank Igor Dygalo said

* Presidential elections in Afghanistan scheduled for late May have been postponed until August 20, the country's Independent Election Commission chief Azizullah Lodin announced at a news conference

* Another exchange of fire between Palestinian militants and Israeli forces has left the Gaza Strip ceasefire looking increasingly fragile

BUSINESS

* Russia's S7 airline confirmed on Thursday it had terminated a contract to buy 15 Boeing 787 Dreamliners

* KamAZ is suspending its main assembly line on Thursday as demand for its products has dried up amid the ongoing global financial crisis, the press office of Russia's largest truck maker said

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