Main News of January 5

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A roundup of what has happened in the past 24 hours

WORLD

* Japan scrambled fighter jets to intercept a Chinese plane that flew near a chain of islands claimed by both Tokyo and Beijing, NHK Television reported

* Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez could be sworn in at a later date if he fails to take the oath of office on January 10 at the National Assembly, Venezuela’s vice president said

* An Iranian national accused of violating sanctions against Tehran has been released after nearly three years in US custody, Press TV reported

* Saif al-Islam, the second son of Libya’s late leader Muammar Gaddafi, will go on trial within the next month, Justice Minister Salah Maraghni said on Libyan national television

RUSSIA

* Russia's Consul General in Milan has confirmed that six Russian tourists have been killed and two others seriously injured in a tragic snowmobile accident in the Italian Alps

* French movie icon Brigitte Bardot has said Russian President Vladimir Putin has done more to protect animals than all French presidents

* Russian and Swedish naval forces will hold a joint submarine rescue exercise, a Baltic Fleet spokesman said

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