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Main news of February 14

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A roundup of what has happened in the past 24 hours

WORLD

* Hundreds of police officers were deployed in Tehran on Tuesday evening to prevent opposition protesters from taking to the streets for the first time in a year.

* Iran will insert its first domestically-produced nuclear fuel rods into a research reactor in Tehran on Wednesday, a top Iranian official told RIA Novosti on Tuesday.

* The European Union's High Representative for Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton has condemned the bomb attacks on Israeli diplomats' cars in India and Georgia.

* Moody's Investors Service adjusted the sovereign debt ratings of nine European countries "in order to reflect their susceptibility to the growing financial and macroeconomic risks", the agency said late on Monday.

* An extremist Muslim cleric, Abu Qatada, once known as late Osama bin Laden’s aide, has been released from a British jail, Western and Arab media reported on Tuesday.

* Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who has been jailed in her home country, agreed to a medical checkup to be held jointly by local doctors and foreign specialists, the Ukrainian prison authority said on Tuesday.

 

RUSSIA

* A Russian Proton-M launch vehicle carrying the Dutch SES-4 (NSS-14) satellite is scheduled to lift off on Tuesday after a series of delays caused by technical problems, Russia’s Federal Space Agency Roscosmos said.

* Russian former finance minister Alexei Kudrin said on Tuesday he was ready to support some of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s measures to reform the social sphere if the premier named the sources for his ambitious spending plan.

* Moscow has joined the list of Europe’s top ten cities attractive for commercial property investors, Holger Mueller, head of real estate practice at PwC auditing company, said on Tuesday.

* The situation surrounding Iran's controversial nuclear program is likely to come to a head by the summer, Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Nikolai Makarov said.

* Russia will place several new S-400 Triumf air defense systems near its borders in 2012, Air Force Commander Alexander Zelin said.

* Russian liberal radio station, Ekho Moskvy, announced on Tuesday significant reshuffles under which its chief editor Alexei Venediktov and his first deputy, Vladimir Varfolomeev, were removed from the board of directors.

* The organizers of a rally in support of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin oppose a proposal from Moscow city hall to move their planned February 23 march and rally to one of two parks several kilometers from the Kremlin, deputy head of Putin’s campaign staff Aleksei Anisimov said.

* The reconstruction of the Bolshoi Theater cost an estimated 35.4 billion rubles ($1.2 billion), the Russian Audit Chamber said in a report.

* Russia has postponed indefinitely all flights of Su-24 Fencer tactical bombers after one of them crashed in Russia’s Urals, a source in the Defense Ministry said on Tuesday.

* Russia’s Krasnodar region on Tuesday reported that a 13-year-old boy hung himself on Saturday, making it the eighth in a series of teen suicides throughout Russia in the past week.

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