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Main news of September 7



* A new Russian manned drifting weather station started operating in the Arctic Ocean, a spokesman for the hydrometeorology service's Arctic and Antarctic research institute said

* Vladimir Kolokoltsev has been appointed the new chief of Moscow police, a position that has been vacant since a high-profile supermarket shooting by a Moscow cop that left three dead and six wounded in late April

* Russian President Dmitry Medvedev instructed the head of the country's energy giant Gazprom to stick to the current gas contract with Ukraine regarding transit rates

* The Russian crew of a cargo vessel that has been stranded in South Korea since May were repatriated, a transport workers' group said

* The discoverer of one of Russia's most valuable natural treasures, Kamchatka's Valley of the Geysers, Tatiana Ustinova, has died aged 97, an official at the Kronotsky National Park said

* Two soldiers have been injured in separate insurgent attacks in Russia's North Caucasus republic of Chechnya, local police said


* The head of the United Nations nuclear watchdog, Mohamed ElBaradei, said the organization had reached a "stalemate" with Iran over its nuclear program

* Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, said he was ready to talk with the five veto-wielding members of the UN Security Council plus Germany but would not discuss its nuclear program, Iran's Press TV reported

* Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak sanctioned the construction of 455 new homes in Israeli settlements in the West Bank, the ministry's press service said

* Greek President Karolos Papoulias has signed a decree dismissing the country's parliament and setting early elections for October 4

* Ukraine's president, Viktor Yushchenko, met with Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk to discuss energy cooperation and preparations for the two countries' joint hosting of Euro 2012, the presidential website said

* At least 18 people died and 23 were injured when an overcrowded bus fell into a ravine in India's northernmost Jammu and Kashmir state, the Times Now TV channel reported

* Five bodies were found at the crash site of an Indonesian Navy patrol plane in East Kalimantan, Xinhua reported

* The South Korean government sent a letter of protest to North Korea over the surprise discharge of water from a dam that killed at least three people, Yonhap news agency reported

* An earthquake measuring 6.8 on the Richter scale struck Indonesia's Central, on casualties or damage have been reported so far

* Ukraine is ready to stop pumping Russian natural gas into its underground storage facilities for transits to Europe, Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko said

* Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez suggested that the gas-rich Central Asian republic of Turkmenistan join a gas cartel

* Finance ministers from G20 countries agreed at a meeting in London on the weekend to toughen banking regulation and continue emergency support for financial markets


* MegaFon, Russia's third largest mobile operator, said its U.S. GAAP net profit grew 4% year-on-year in January-June 2009 to 20.1 billion rubles ($638 million)

* Russia's international reserves comprising gold, foreign exchange and a range of other assets increased 1.9% in August to $409.599 billion, the Central Bank said

* Russia steelmaker Severstal reported a net loss of $944 million calculated to International Financial Reporting Standards, compared with an almost $2 billion profit in the same period of last year

* Russia's largest truck maker, KamAZ, restarted its main assembly line after a freeze since early August, the company's PR director said




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