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Main News of June 12

© RIA NovostiMain News of June 12
Main News of June 12 - Sputnik International
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A roundup of what has happened in the past 24 hours

WORLD

* A prominent US congressman calling for better bilateral ties with Russia has hit back at the Washington Post after the influential daily mocked his recent trip to Moscow and disputed his view that radical Islam is “at our throat” in both countries

* It may have been a mere formality, but US information systems contractor Booz Allen Hamilton announced Tuesday that it had fired its employee Edward Snowden, the self-confessed source of leaked information about secret US government surveillance programs

* US television network NBC will not team up with YouTube to provide digital footage of next year’s Winter Olympics in Russia’s Black Sea resort town of Sochi as it did during the 2012 summer games in London, SportsBusiness Daily reported this week

* Well-known US entertainment personalities are lending their names and faces to vodka, helping propel a spirit once little known in the United States to the most popular liquor in the country, industry experts say

* The West’s attempts to arm the Syrian opposition hinder efforts to hold an international conference on Syria, the Russian foreign minister said

* Japanese citizen Jiroemon Kimura, certified by the Guinness Book of Records as the oldest-living man in recorded history, died early Wednesday at 116, local media reported

* A court in Tunisia has jailed three European activists of the Femen group who staged a topless protest in the country last month, local media have reported

* Two Russian military aircraft are suspected of having violated Finland’s airspace, the Finnish Defense Ministry said in a statement

* North Korean leadership did not return repeated calls from their counterparts in South Korea made over the last extant communication line between the two countries, Yonhap news agency said

* References to God and country have long been a part of the US military, dating back to the days of the founding fathers. There’s even a popular old saying that there are no atheists in foxholes. But maybe there are

* Italy’s foreign minister has rejected comparisons between the current anti-government protests in Turkey and the Arab Spring uprisings that toppled governments in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya

* Customs officials at Kiev’s international airport have seized a total of 15 rare monkeys, Ukraine’s Ministry for Revenue and Duties said 

* The US fast food restaurant Schlotzsky’s has inked a deal with the owner of the prominent Russian travel agency Pegas Touristik to open more than 50 restaurant across Russia and the former Soviet Union, the company said in a statement this week

* Whistleblowing former CIA employee Edward Snowden who is holed up in Hong Kong said he will fight any US attempts to extradite him

* The UK prime minister and Russian president are expected to discuss the events in Syria at a meeting on Sunday in London ahead of the G8 summit

* A museum nestled in Washington's Rock Creek Park houses a huge collection of Russian imperial art that may be the most impressive in the United States. Here are 20 stunning pieces from the former estate of Marjorie Merriweather Post, once one of the wealthiest women in America

* The planet is on track to warm by four degrees Celsius by the year 2100, if the global community fails to act on climate change, a new report by Climate Action Tracker has said

RUSSIA

* Russia will not abandon plans to enact a law banning homosexual "propaganda," despite concerns raised by the German chancellor, a senior Russian lawmaker said

* Thousands of people joined a rally Wednesday in support of activists detained following last year’s violent clashes between police and protestors

* A revived pro-Kremlin movement that aims to unite civic activists loyal to the government announced at its official founding congress on Wednesday that President Vladimir Putin will become its leader

* An unmanned Russian space freighter successfully undocked from the International Space Station (ISS) on Tuesday evening despite a malfunctioning antenna, Russia’s Mission Control said

* A rally in support of opposition activists on trial over last year’s clashes with police took place in Moscow on

* The head of Russia’s Foreign Ministry said Tuesday that he has no information about US whistleblower Edward Snowden seeking asylum in Russia

* It is difficult for Russians to name the country’s achievements and events in the country’s life in the past decades that they take pride in, an opinion poll showed

* Russian state oil giant Rosneft and US major ExxonMobil signed agreements here Tuesday for joint research and development in the Arctic of new technologies to support the companies’ burgeoning partnership, ExxonMobil said

* Police officers have killed three suspected militants in the Khasavyurt District of the Russian North Caucasus republic of Dagestan on the border with Chechnya, a law enforcement spokesman said

* About 8,700 law enforcement officers and volunteers will be deployed in Moscow and around the Russian capital on Russia Day, celebrated on June 12, the Interior Ministry reported

* Moscow will ask Washington to extradite a Russian national serving a lengthy prison sentence in the United States, in line with the 1983 Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said

* A Russian parliamentary committee approved for review a new controversial anti-piracy law dubbed “the Russian SOPA” by critics after a similar US bill

* Russia never sanctioned a gay pride rally, but maybe it is because those just are not quirky enough: After all, this is the country that is about to hold a celebration of its flying pests, with an “army of blondes” to support it

* A motorist rights campaigner was given a 10-day arrest in Moscow over a murky road accident, which could be a prelude to a much longer jail stay for the opposition-minded activist

* Russia slid two places to 155th slot among 162 countries in the 2013 Global Peace Index, an annual report by a Sydney-based non-profit research group published

SPORT

* Georgia is prepared to accept Russian President Vladimir Putin’s offer to take a role in security at next year’s Winter Olympics, Georgian Foreign Minister Maya Panjikidze said

* A British driver is among three people, including a baby, who were killed in a car crash in Siberia on Wednesday, local police have said

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