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Main news of February 19

A roundup of what has happened in the past 24 hours


* Iran launched its most powerful warship in a ceremony attended by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

* A senior member of the Party of Regions of Viktor Yanukovych registered a draft resolution in parliament that could cause the resignation of Yulia Tymoshenko's government

* Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia will attend the inauguration of Viktor Yanukovych as president of Ukraine, a source in the Moscow Patriarchate said

* Ukraine's outgoing President Viktor Yushchenko criticized Yulia Tymoshenko's move to contest the results of the recent presidential runoff as disregard for law and the electorate's opinion

* The European Union's foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, condemned the military coup in Niger


* The Moscow City Court sentenced former police chief Maj. Denis Yevsyukov to life in prison for last year's shooting spree in a Moscow supermarket which left two people dead and seven injured

* Russia's Foreign Ministry said Iran may face sanctions over its controversial nuclear program although the issue is not currently being discussed at the UN Security Council


* Russian figure skater Evgeni Plushenko, disappointed with his silver medal at the Vancouver Winter Olympics, said on Friday that officials, not athletes, should challenge the judges

* With the Winter Olympics in Vancouver almost halfway over, Russia is still near the bottom, placed number 10, in the overall medal count with only one gold, two silvers and one bronze

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