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    A roundup of what has happened in the past 24 hours

    RUSSIA

    *Russia's Defense Ministry on Thursday called "strange" and "puzzling" a newspaper report that military anti-corruption measures in fact suggested a desire to keep a lid on whistle-blowing in the ranks

    *A Moscow court sanctioned the arrest of a high-ranking police officer accused of receiving kickbacks from illegal gambling operators, approving a request from investigators just hours after prosecutors said the official had no case to answer

    *Former Russian oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky has been moved to a regular block inside Moscow's notorious Matrosskaya Tishina prison after spending weeks in a special block while he was on trial

    * Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin does not need to become a member of the All-Russia People's Front because he is its leader, his spokesman said

    *Russia will maintain its ban on Egyptian potato imports until next spring unless Cairo sets up a phytosanitary safety system, the country's food safety authority Rosselkhoznadzor said on Thursday after talks with the Egyptian authorities

    *Russia is entitled to environmental funding as a signatory to the Kyoto Protocol, President Dmitry Medvedev said

    *Russia needs to look for effective cooperation programs in the environmental conservation sphere with its neighbors, President Dmitry Medvedev said

    WORLD

    *Thousands of Syrian troops and columns of tanks are moving toward the northwestern town of Jisr al-Shughour preparing to storm it, Al Jazeera reported

    *The vote on the UN Security Council resolution on Syria is expected to be tense, although Russia has made clear it is against any resolution as the situation in the country is not threatening to global security

    *Russia is ready to use practical measures to help resolve the political conflict in Libya, Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said

    *Russia is urging the UN against approving a Georgian-backed draft UN resolution recognizing the rights of refugees from Georgia's breakaway regions to return to their homes, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said

     

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