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Main news of January 25

A roundup of what has happened in the past 24 hours


* At least 46 people were killed and more than 100 injured as a result of three powerful explosions that hit the Iraqi capital Baghdad on Monday, a doctor said

* Afghan President Hamid Karzai expressed hope that his country's renewed efforts to reconcile with Taliban militants would be successful

* Ali Hassan al-Majid, a former Iraqi official better known as "Chemical Ali," was executed by hanging in Iraq shortly after midday on Monday, Saudi daily Al-Riaydh reported

* Armenia and Azerbaijan have agreed the preamble to an agreement on Nagorny Karabakh and are preparing new proposals, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said

* Ninety passengers and crew are feared dead after an Ethiopian airliner crashed off the Mediterranean coast of Lebanon shortly after takeoff in stormy weather in Beirut in the early hours of Monday

* China has denied its involvement in the cyber attacks on Google and other companies after being urged by the U.S. to respond to Google's claim, Xinhua has said

* The death toll from the devastating earthquake in Haiti has exceeded 150,000, BBC has said, quoting a Haitian minister


* An HIV-positive Russian woman won a precedent-setting victory against widespread discrimination on Monday when a court awarded her custody of her orphaned younger brother

* The number of race-hate crimes in Russia has declined sharply, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said

* Russia bowed to diplomatic convention and addressed the credentials of its new ambassador to Kiev to Ukraine's current president, but Moscow expects a new, friendlier leader to be in office to receive the papers, a Kremlin source said

* Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov, known for his negative attitude toward sexual minorities, said Monday he will not allow gay parades in the Russian capital, calling them "satanic"

* Russia's new ambassador to Ukraine, Mikhail Zurabov, arrived in Kiev on Monday to take his office delayed by last year's spat between the two presidents, but may face a diplomatic scandal over his credentials


* Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Monday pledged 100 billion rubles ($3.3 billion) in hi-tech investment by the national development bank Vnesheconombank (VEB) by the yearend to boost Russia's modernization drive

* Russia has paid off the remaining Soviet-era commercial debt to the London Club of creditors, which was not swapped for Russia's Eurobonds, the Finance Ministry said

* Libya's sovereign fund has bought the most shares in Russian aluminum giant RusAl's initial public offering in Hong Kong, along with Russia's national development bank Vnesheconombank (VEB), a business daily reported

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