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Main News of January 20

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A roundup of what has happened in the past 24 hours

WORLD

* Riot police and anti-government demonstrators in the Ukrainian capital faced off Monday in the wake of some of the worst street violence the city has seen since protests began in November

* The United States has slammed Ukrainian authorities over violent clashes between police and demonstrators in the capital Sunday and threatened to impose sanctions if force is used against protesters

* Syria's main, Western-backed opposition says it will not attend U.N.-hosted peace talks in Geneva aimed at ending the country's civil war if Iran comes to the gathering

* The head of the United Nations nuclear watchdog confirmed on Monday that Iran had started implementing an international deal aimed at scaling back the Islamic republic’s nuclear program

* A judge and a prosecutor have been detained in Kyrgyzstan after allegedly demanding rice as a bribe to close a criminal case against a defendant

* India carried out a successful test Monday of its new Agni-family nuclear-capable ballistic missile, local media reported

* A Belarusian company is proving that it has world-class firepower in the battle for the loyalty of gaming fans

* Kazakhstan is expecting to see a slight increase in oil production to 83 million metric tons this year, the presidential press service said

RUSSIA

* Russia’s prospective rival of the US breakthrough military research agency DARPA will receive 3.3 billion rubles ($100 million) of state funding this year, its spokesman said

* Russia ran a budget deficit last year of 310 billion rubles ($9.2 billion), the Finance Ministry said in preliminary data for 2013 released Monday, the Prime news agency reported

* A Russian company is among 14 international private firms that have submitted bids in a tender to destroy part of the stockpile of Syrian chemical weapons, the UN chemical weapons watchdog said

* An Islamist terrorist group with roots in Iraq has claimed responsibility for suicide bombings last month in Russia’s southern city of Volgograd and threatened more attacks during the Winter Olympics in Sochi

* The Russian trawler detained by Senegal is expected to be released Monday, the ship’s owner said

* A bill to set Russian clocks permanently to winter time has been submitted to the State Duma, a Russian legislator said

* Three militants were killed Monday during a special operation of security forces in the capital of Russia’s republic of Dagestan, Russia's National Anti-terrorism Committee said

* Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered the country's Drug Control Agency to complete work on a program for the rehabilitation and reintegration of drug addicts, the Kremlin said

* Residents of a remote Siberian town are feeling cold inside their homes because of central heating problems, a regional official said

* This week’s peace talks in Geneva on the ongoing conflict in Syria will be a sham without Iran’s participation, Russia’s foreign minister said as the main Syrian opposition group threatened to boycott talks attended by the Iranians

* Construction of a high-tech command and control center to oversee Russia’s military has begun, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said

* A faulty heater caused a fire at a city zoo in far-eastern Russia, killing about two dozen animals but sparing the pride of the park, an extremely rare Amur leopard, local officials said

SPORT

* Pole vault champion Yelena Isinbaeva lit the Olympic cauldron in her native city of Volgograd, three weeks after terrorist attacks that killed 34 people

* The king and prime minister of Norway will attend the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia, the Norwegian Foreign Minister Borge Brende said

* World famous violinist Vanessa-Mae will represent Thailand in downhill skiing at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia next month, according to media reports

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