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Main News of July 8

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A roundup of what has happened in the past 24 hours

WORLD

* At least 51 people have been reported killed and 435 injured in violent clashes that ignited Sunday night outside a military command post in Cairo where deposed President Mohammed Morsi is believed to be held

* Russia’s Foreign Ministry expressed doubt that the newly elected leader of Syria’s main Western-backed opposition group was ready to engage in dialogue to find a political solution to the two-year conflict in which, according to the United Nations, about 100,000 people have died

* Nicaragua’s embassy in Moscow has received an official asylum request from fugitive former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, an embassy spokesperson confirmed to RIA Novosti

* A US privacy rights advocacy group plans to file an emergency petition to the US Supreme Court in an effort to halt a government surveillance program that gathers information on domestic phone records of millions of Americans, the Washington-based nonprofit organization confirmed to RIA Novosti

* A US weapon designed to shoot down nuclear missiles in flight failed to intercept its target in a test off the coast of California, according to the US Department of Defense

RUSSIA

* A Moscow court upheld an earlier decision to issue an arrest warrant for a Russian lawyer accused of disclosing a state secret and currently living in the United States as a political refugee

* Russian military investigators have launched a probe into the sale of forest land outside Moscow sanctioned by ex-Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov, Kommersant business paper reported

* A member of Russia’s upper house of parliament and chair of its international affairs committee deplored what he described as tolerance for neo-Nazism in Estonia and accused the country’s political elites of encouraging it

* Billionaire Alisher Usmanov has received one of Russia’s highest civil awards in recognition of his charitable and philanthropic activities, according to a presidential order

SPORTS

* Russian civil servants will be banned from signing contracts with companies run by their relatives under legal amendments to the law on corruption sent to the State Duma by a group of Russian lawmakers, Izvestia reported

* The head of Russia’s athletics federation claimed accusations that doping is widespread in Russian track and field are part of a conspiracy to wreck next month’s world championships in Moscow

* They are supposed to be symbols of victory, but medals that shatter into pieces when dropped have caused some unwelcome surprises for victorious athletes at the World University Games in Kazan

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