Main News of December 07

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A roundup of what has happened in the past 24 hours

WORLD

* Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi’s opponents broke through wire barriers outside Morsi’s palace in the capital Cairo as some people tried to climb the gate after security guards withdrew forces, regional media reported

* Khaled Meshaal, the political leader of Hamas, has arrived in the Gaza Strip, setting foot on Palestinian soil for the first time in 37 years, regional media reported

POLITICS

* Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev dismissed suggestions that a host of controversial new laws were part of a “repressive trend” aimed at stifling political opposition, in a wide-ranging interview aired live on nationwide television and online

* Dmitry Medvedev defended a controversial new law obliging NGOs engaged in politics and funded from abroad to label themselves “foreign agents"

RUSSIA

* The deployment of Patriot air-defense systems at the Turkish-Syrian border means NATO is getting involved in the Syrian conflict, Russia’s envoy to NATO said

* Russian NATO envoy Alexander Grushko refuted claims by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that Russia is aiming to “re-Sovietize” Eastern Europe and Central Asia

* Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev defended recently-fired former Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov, praising him for initiating “long-awaited and very difficult reforms”

BUSINESS

* Welding work formally started on South Stream, a Russian-led pipeline project designed to link Russia's gas fields to the markets of southern Europe via the Black Sea

* Russian and US oil majors Rosneft and ExxonMobil signed an agreement to jointly explore the commercial potential of oil fields in Western Siberia, a Rosneft press release said

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