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Main News of February 2

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WORLD

* UN Security Council diplomats have toned down a resolution on Syria in a move apparently aimed at overcoming Russia’s opposition to an earlier draft, the BBC reported

* The Russian Foreign Ministry slammed the call by the European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton on Russia to review its decision to bar liberal opposition leader Grigory Yavlinsky from running in the March 4 presidential elections

* The European parliament called on Russia and China to back UN Security Council sanctions against Iran and cease assisting its nuclear activities

* Iran has four tons of 20 percent enriched uranium, enough to make four crude nuclear bombs in a year, Israeli Military Intelligence head, Maj.Gen. Aviv Kochavi said

* At least 73 people were killed and up to a thousand injured following clashes and a stampede at a football stadium in the Egyptian city of Port Said on Wednesday night

RUSSIA

* Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s election campaign office said it will cooperate with the League of Voters, a public movement formed after December's vote protests, to monitor presidential elections in March

* Supporters of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin launched a website encouraging internet users to upload their photos and videos in support of the premier

* Russia must make a gigantic leap forward and become one of the 20 economies with the most favorable investment climate, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said

BUSINESS

* Russian gas export monopoly Gazprom is to increase its gas supplies to Europe and neighboring states as severe cold hits the EU, Gazprom export head Alexander Medvedev said

DEFENSE

* Russia has decided to suspend the planned disposal of third-generation strategic nuclear submarines currently in service with the Navy, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said

SOCIETY

* Supporters of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in the Ural region are creating a political movement called “In Defense of the Working Man,” reviving old Soviet rhetoric, the Rossiiskaya Gazeta daily said

* The presidential human rights council will request the Kremlin to pardon 30 convicts in questionable cases, including former Yukos head Mikhail Khodorkovsky

* Russia’s liberal Yabloko party has asked prosecutors to investigate reports that state employees are being coerced into attending a rally in Moscow this weekend in support of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s presidency bid

* Mikhail Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin are Russia’s most unpopular leaders of the past century, according to a survey by Russia’s state-run VTsIOM pollster

* A baby boy was born in mid-air on a flight from Moscow to the north Pacific city of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, an airport press officer said

SPORTS

* Russian President Dmitry Medvedev sent a telegram of condolence to Egypt's de facto president Hussein Tantawi over the football stadium violence that left at least 74 people dead

SCIENCE

* Tests carried out by Russian space agency Roscosmos have ruled out the possibility a U.S. radar could be linked to the failure of the Phobos-Grunt Mars probe, Roscosmos head Vladimir Popovkin said

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