Main News of February 8

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Main News of February 8 - Sputnik International
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A roundup of what has happened in the past 24 hours

WORLD

* Hundreds of the Georgian president’s opponents blocked the entrance to the National Library in Tbilisi on Friday, preventing Mikheil Saakashvili from delivering his annual State of the Nation address, Georgian TV stations reported

* EU leaders called for a political transition in the crisis-hit Syria on Friday but said they see no role of President Bashar al-Assad in the process

* The United States has expressed its readiness to cooperate with Russia’s Investigative Committee (IC) in legal cases involving violence against Russian children adopted by Americans, committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said

* Latvia’s Foreign Ministry expressed regret on Thursday over the recent remarks by Russian Ambassador Alexander Veshnyakov denying Soviet occupation of the country

* Tickets haven’t even gone on sale in America yet for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, set to begin in Sochi, Russia a year from now, on Feb. 7, 2014, but already ticket sellers predict the biggest crowd-pleasing events will sell out “sooner rather than later”

* US lawmakers on Thursday pressed President Barack Obama’s choice as America’s next spy chief on issues of transparency, torture and extrajudicial killings in the nation’s global counterterrorism operations

* Arianespace has successfully launched two telecommunications satellites from French Guiana, the French space transportation company has reported

* An Afghan provincial women's affairs official has applied for political asylum in Finland after visiting the country, Afghan media reported on Thursday

* Uzbekistan’s State Joint Stock Concern Uzfarmprom has signed deals with Chinese companies to build pharmaceutical enterprises in the Tashkent region worth a total $26.8 million, an Uzfarmprom representative said 

* A British vessel with two Russians onboard has been seized by unknown attackers off the West African nation of Cameroon, the Russian Foreign Ministry said

* The Russian Embassy in Paris complained to the French Foreign Ministry on Friday after Pussy Riot supporters vandalized a Russian monument in the city, the embassy's spokesman Sergey Parinov reported

* Armenian presidential candidate Paruyr Hayrikyan, who was shot in the shoulder last week, said he plans to appeal to Armenia's Constitutional Court with a request to postpone the vote by two weeks

* China on Friday denied Japan's claim that a Chinese frigate directed a fire-control radar at Japanese vessels in the East China Sea

RUSSIA

* Russian President Vladimir Putin criticized Russia’s Interior Ministry on Friday, saying 45 percent of crimes in the country are left unsolved

* Russian investigators accused a businessman on Friday of attempting to hijack a plane while drunk - the latest in a string of incidents that have prompted lawmakers to push for tougher measures against rowdy passengers

* A Russian opposition deputy, Ilya Ponomaryov from the A Just Russia party, has proposed establishing a new memorable date, Holocaust Remembrance Day, on January 27

* The market value of Russia’s government owned assets is more than 50 percent higher than the country’s 2012 GDP, but the authorities say the property’s management is not always effective

* Russian President Vladimir Putin has invited visitors to the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, due to be held in the southern Russian resort of Sochi on the Black Sea next February

*Russian police officers have seized some 12 kilograms of Gamma hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) in the Moscow Region, the Federal Customs Service has reported

* Law enforcement officers have killed two suspected militants in the Russian North Caucasus republic of Dagestan, the Interior Ministry reported

* Most Russians oppose introduction of a special juvenile justice system in the country, considering children’s rights primarily as a matter for parents and not the government, a survey released on Thursday said

* The Moscow City Court found former military intelligence officer Vladimir Kvachkov guilty of masterminding an armed coup and sentenced him to 13 years in prison, the judge said at the end of the trial

* The head of the Federal Drug Control Service (FSKN) Moscow Directorate admitted on Friday there were drug addicts among its staff

* An asteroid similar in size to the one which exploded over Tunguska in Siberia in 1908, will pass Earth on February 15 by the smallest-ever recorded margin, but poses no threat of colliding with the planet, America’s space agency NASA reported

* Russian Olympic Committee chief Alexander Zhukov vowed Friday that the Sochi 2014 Winter Games will be the most technologically advanced

* A man was frozen to death after being put in a morgue’s freezer alive due to doctors’ negligence, a psychiatrist said

* Unknown vandals have daubed pink paint over a statue of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin near Tbilisi, the capital of his homeland, Georgia

*A veteran police dog from South Siberia has been awarded a medal for courage, dedication and professionalism, the Interior Ministry branch for the Republic of Altai said

* The number of people who support the Soviet political system has grown in Russia, a survey published by the Russian independent pollster Levada Center found

* A deputy of the Moscow City Duma had his briefcase, notebook and tablet computer stolen from his car, a law enforcement source said

* Police in western Ukraine detained a man suspected of stealing jewelry and hiding it in bandages on his arm, in a style reminiscent of the cult Soviet comedy, "The Diamond Arm," the Ukrainian Interior Ministry reported on its website

 

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