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Main News of August 15

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

RUSSIA

* A defendant in the ongoing murder trial of Russian investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya was shot and wounded in the center of Moscow on Wednesday evening, his lawyer said

* Large queues of freight cars were forming Thursday at the Russian-Ukrainian border after new checks introduced at Russian customs began to delay the export of Ukrainian goods, the latest twist in a series of long-running politically tinged commercial spats between the two former Soviet nations

* A Moscow district court ruled that a Russian registry office’s refusal to marry a gay couple was lawful.

* Kazakhstan’s environment minister is “dissatisfied” with the cleanup effort following a Russian space rocket crash last month, the ministry said

* Over 70 percent of major state contracts concluded in 2011-2012 violated state procurement regulations, Russia’s public watchdog said

* Most Russians believe that fugitive former US intelligence worker Edward Snowden had only wanted the world to know about the American government infringing on private lives, a new poll showed

* Greenpeace has ended a two-day protest against Rosneft’s activity in the Arctic after a research ship operated by the Russian oil company turned back to the port of Murmansk, the environmental group said

* Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, on September 5-6 in St. Petersburg, the head of the Russian Security Council said

* Pole vault world record holder Yelena Isinbayeva issued a vehement defense of Russia's anti-gay law Thursday, saying she fears for the future of her country if it is not enforced

* An official from the Embassy of the Sultanate of Oman has been found dead in a Moscow hotel room, the Russian capital’s investigative committee said in a statement

* Police said that 1,800 immigrant workers had been detained after raids on commercial enterprises in Moscow Region, the latest in a string of such operations taking place across Russia

WORLD

* The Russian government urged its citizens Thursday to avoid traveling to Egypt, a popular tourist destination engulfed by riots over the sacking of an Islamist president that have already resulted in more than 500 deaths and the torching of churches

* US President Barack Obama scrapped a military exercise the United States was due to hold next month with Egypt and “strongly condemned” the violent crackdown by security forces on protesters in the Middle Eastern country, in which hundreds were killed and thousands injured.

* Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov ordered his government to resolve issues with Russia’s Customs Service that have led to a backup of Ukrainian goods on the border, said the Ukrainian government's envoy for cooperation with Russia

* Russia and Georgia have agreed to resume cross-border passenger and cargo road transportation after suspending it over an array of disagreements between the two countries in 2006, Georgia’s economics ministry said Thursday

* Attorneys for fugitive intelligence leaker Edward Snowden and his father are fuming over a transatlantic discussion the two men apparently had through an encrypted website, a source close to the case said

* After four years of mapping the universe, Europe’s Planck space observatory has been put in a disposal orbit and will soon be switched off, the European Space Agency (ESA) said

* Indian navy divers have entered a crippled submarine hit by twin explosions but have yet to reach any of the 18 sailors who are feared dead inside the vessel, a naval official said

* Six terrorists who plotted to assassinate Kazakhstan’s leaders and establish an Islamic state in the former-Soviet republic have been sentenced to up to 10 years in jail, Kazakhstan’s Supreme Court said

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