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Main News of December 25

© RIA NovostiMain News of December 25
Main News of December 25 - Sputnik International
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A roundup of what has happened in the past 24 hours

WORLD

 

* Russia and China are in charge of providing security for the Syrian government’s chemical arsenal as it is being taken out of the country, a senior Russian diplomat said.

* Relations between Russia and the United States have entered a state of stagnation with no progress reached in several key aspects, a Russian deputy foreign minister said.

* A prominent Ukrainian female investigative journalist and opposition activist was badly beaten by a group of unknown men outside Kiev early Wednesday morning, hours after posting pictures online of what she said was a top government official’s luxury estate.

* The red-suited Christmas gift-bearer Santa Claus has delivered about 5.7 billion presents worldwide this year, America’s official Santa tracker said.

 

RUSSIA

 

* Russia’s Supreme Court ordered a review of past cases against the country’s former richest man Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who received a presidential pardon last week after spending more than a decade in Russian jails.

* Russia began dropping cases against the Greenpeace activists, detained over a September protest staged at a Russian Arctic oil rig, as part of a broad prison amnesty approved by state lawmakers earlier this month.

* Investigators have wrapped up a year-long probe into the multi-million-ruble embezzlement of funds earmarked for an economic cooperation summit in Russia last year, a Russian newspaper reported.

* All of the Russian diplomats charged in a corruption scandal in the United States have returned to Russia, a senior Russian official said.

* Moscow registered warmest December 25 since 1910, the Fobos weather monitoring center said.

* Russia’s Natural Resources Ministry said it has proposed building an ecologically-themed tourist park on the site of a former mill infamous as the worst polluter of Lake Baikal, the world’s largest and deepest freshwater lake.

* Three suspected militants were killed in Russia’s restive North Caucasus republic of Dagestan, local police reported.

* Vladimir Potanin, the billionaire CEO of the world’s largest nickel miner Norilsk Nickel, has filed a divorce application in a Moscow court.

 

DEFENSE

 

* The Russian navy has pushed back the intended in-service date for a new deck-landing training installation by almost a year for undisclosed reasons, a building contractor involved in the project said.

* Russia’s Sukhoi aircraft maker delivered a total of 12 advanced Su-35 multirole fighters to the Russian air force this year, the air force commander said.

* Russia’s Ulan-Ude aircraft manufacturing plant said that it is developing a variant of the famed Mi-8 transport helicopter for use by the military in harsh Arctic climate.

 

SPACE

 

* Three military satellites launched from Russia early Wednesday morning have reached their target orbit, a Defense Ministry spokesman said.

* A test launch of a new Soyuz rocket scheduled for Wednesday evening will instead take place sometime next year, a Russian defense official said.

 

BUSINESS

 

* Russia’s ban on imports of meat products from the US have cost Washington some $5-6 billion since it went into effect in February, the US Ambassador to Russia said in an interview with a Russian newspaper.

* Damascus has signed an agreement with Russian oil and gas company SoyuzNefteGaz to jointly prospect for oil off Syria’s Mediterranean coast, a spokeswoman for the Syrian natural resources ministry said.

 

SPORTS

 

* Turin 2006 Olympic gold medalist Evgeny Plushenko said that he would not compete in the men’s tournament at February’s Winter Games in Sochi and would instead concentrate on the team event.

* With less than six weeks to go until the start of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, the Russian cabinet approved almost $50 million in extra subsidies for the Games' local organizing committee.

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