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    A roundup of what has happened in the past 24 hours

    WORLD

    *Europe’s new launch vehicle, Vega, debuted at the Kourou spaceport in French Guiana, the European Space Agency’s representative in Russia, Rene Pichel, said.

    *The Iranian Foreign Ministry summoned Azerbaijan’s ambassador on Sunday, accusing the country of colluding with the Israeli intelligence in the killing of an Iranian nuclear scientist last month.
    *Greece’s parliament has approved austerity measures requested by the Eurozone and the International Monetary Fund to secure a 130-billion euro ($170bln) bailout to avoid default, a RIA Novosti correspondent reported.

    *Syria on Sunday rejected an Arab League resolution calling for a joint UN-Arab peacekeeping force in the country and tightened economic sanctions on Damascus, Al Arabiya television reported.

     

    RUSSIA

    *The United States are “the world’s cancer,” American media is the same as Nazi propaganda, and Vladimir Lenin was right, said Russian businessman Viktor Bout, who was convicted of arms smuggling in New York.

    *Russian fans of U.S. pop star Whitney Houston, who died on Saturday evening at the age of 48, pay tribute to the late singer by laying flowers near the U.S Embassy in Moscow and preparing for a mourning reception.

    *Russia does not rule out its participation in a potential UN peacekeeping mission to Syria, Russian Presidential Middle East Ambassador Mikhail Bogdanov said.
    *A new online poll released on Monday listed Russia’s most respected tycoons, though even the winner commanded the respect of less than a third of the 2,000 respondents.

    *The severe cold snap gripping most of Russia has already killed at least 215 people and injured over 5,500, the Health Ministry said.

     

    BUSINESS

    *Russian Venture Company (RVC), a key tool for building Russia's own national innovation system, opened an office on Monday in Boston, a top U.S. technology hub, to attract foreign investment in Russian high-tech projects, RVC said.

    *The Moscow government may turn federal government offices based mostly in the city center to apartments and hotels after federal officials move to newly adjoined territories under the city's expansion plan, Vechernaya Moskva evening paper reported late on Sunday quoting mayor Sergei Sobyanin.

     

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