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Main News of February 15

© RIA NovostiMain News of February 15
Main News of February 15 - Sputnik International
A roundup of what has happened in the past 24 hours


* A hail of meteorite fragments fell in central Russia on Friday morning, hurting hundreds of people and damaging thousands of buildings, according to officials

* A meteorite which injured hundreds of people in Russia's Chelyabinsk Region on Friday was "the Lord’s message to humanity," a senior local clergyman said

* People in Chelyabinsk, the region hardest hit by the meteorite that slammed Russia on Friday morning, have a tough-guy reputation, pumped up in recent years by a popular TV skit show

*Russian nationalist lawmaker Vladimir Zhirinovsky, long known for his flamboyance and outrageous remarks, said Friday that meteorite fragments had not rained down on Russia in the morning, but that the light flashes and tremors in several of the country’s regions resulted from US weapons tests

* Some 1,000 people, including more than 200 children, have been hurt as a result of falling meteorite fragments Friday, mostly in the Chelyabinsk Region, the Interior Ministry said in the early evening

*A meteorite that injured scores of people in central Russia when it fell to earth early on Friday plunged into a lake in the Chelyabinsk region, the regional governor said

*Buildings across Russia's Chelyabinsk Region were damaged by falling meteorite particles and the shock waves and sonic booms caused by them, Russian officials said on Friday

*The number of people who have sought medical help across three Russian regions hit by a meteorite shower on Friday has climbed to over 400, the Interior Ministry reported

*The hail of meteor pieces that hit Russia on Friday fell in a region with a cluster of major nuclear facilities, including the country’s largest nuclear fuel-processing plant, but officials said early on that none of them were damaged and no radioactive contamination has been detected

* The meteorite that hit Russia’s Urals on Friday morning was not debris from the 2012 DA14 asteroid which is due to pass close by the Earth later the same day, the European Space Agency (ESA) said

* Children at an indoor ice stadium in the city of Chelyabinsk fled the building with their skates on, following the impact of a shock wave from the meteorite which struck the Ural region



*A male pregnancy in a human is supposed to be a medical sensation grabbing headlines worldwide. But all a Kazakh teenager got after a doctor declared him pregnant was a handful of erroneous medical prescriptions and, later, a check for 50,000 tenge ($330)

*Ukraine’s Environment and Natural Resources Minister Oleh Proskuryakov on Friday visited the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, after the roof partially collapsed there on Tuesday, the nuclear power plant's website said

*NATO representatives have assured Russia the deployment of Patriot missile systems in Turkey is not preparation for an offensive operation against Syria, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexei Meshkov said

*Ukraine must pay $7 billion for using less gas than it was contracted to buy, Gazprom Deputy CEO Alexander Medvedev said

*The United States does not plan to hold talks with Syrian President Bashar Assad on the regional settlement, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said

*Russian investigators have charged Givi Targamadze, the head of the Georgian parliament’s defense and security committee, with plotting mass riots, Russian Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said

*Environmental activists are stepping up their pressure on US President Barack Obama to oppose construction of the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada to the US Gulf Coast

* President Andris Berzins has signed into law a bill paving the way for Latvia to adopt the Euro from January 1, 2014, the presidential press office reported

* There are no Russian troops in Syria apart from several dozen technical staff at the Tartus naval support facility, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday in an interview with German TV channel ARD

* Ukrainian investigators are not ruling out the possibility that a terror attack caused the crash of an Antonov An-24 turboprop airliner at Donetsk Airport on February 13, Deputy Prosecutor General Viktor Voitsishen said

* The G20 Group of developed and leading emerging market economies should focus its efforts on working out effective measures to overcome stagnation in the world economy, Russian President Vladimir Putin said


*Russian investigators have opened a criminal probe into a high-level official in charge of overseeing the country’s lucrative fishing sector, who is suspected of forging documents to protect a subordinate charged with accepting nearly $900,000 in bribes, an Investigative Committee spokesman said

*Russian law enforcement agencies lost 115 officers to Islamic insurgency in the North Caucasus republic of Dagestan in 2012, Prosecutor General’s Office said

*Russian aviation watchdog Rosaviatsia has restored airworthiness certificates to three of four Sukhoi SSJ-100 airliners operated by Russia's largest airline Aeroflot, after they were suspended early this week over serviceability problems, Sukhoi Civil Aircraft said 

*Russian consumer rights watchdog Rospotrebnadzor is studying YouTube’s lawsuit against it, the watchdog’s head, Russia’s chief state sanitary doctor Gennady Onishchenko, said

*Six suspected militants possibly involved in a suicide car bombing at a police checkpoint in the Russian North Caucasus republic of Dagestan have been killed in a police operation, the Interior Ministry reported

*“From Russia with Love” takes on a whole new meaning on the recently launched “Happy Vladentine’s Day” blog, a collection of photos with tongue-in-cheek Valentine’s Day captions that feature Russian President Vladimir Putin

* Russian draftees will not take part in combat operations, a top Russian defense official said


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