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    The Russian information agency Novosti begins Hotline coverage for Sunday, January 11, 2004.

    RIA Novosti correspondents report:

    MOSCOW. The CIS Russian Language and Literature Olympics' final round kicks off today. The event has been initiated by Russia's Foreign Ministry and arranged by the Moscow Institute of Open Learning. Over two hundred high-school students will be competing in the finals.

    ST. PETERSBURG. The 13th international music festival Christmas Get-Togethers in Northern Palmira opens at several venues across the city tonight. The forum, to run through January 23, will feature orchestras, choirs, instrumentalists, and vocalists from Russian cities such as St. Petersburg, Moscow, Novgorod Veliky, Orenburg, Murmansk, Tver, Nizhny Novgorod, and also from Germany. Yuri Temirkanov, Chief Conductor of the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, has been the festival's music director ever since it was launched.

    GOMEL (BELARUS). The final match of the Ice Hockey SuperFinal Continental Cup is to be held here Sunday. The tournament, underway since January 8, has brought together teams from Russia, Belarus, Slovakia, Switzerland, and France.

    PACIFIC: A Russo-Ukrainian booster, Zenith 3SL, is to be launched from the floating Sea Launch pad, located near the Christmas Island, in the South Pacific. Its mission will be to propel a Brazilian communications satellite into orbit.

    RIA Novosti holds a full copyright for all its published materials. Upon any republication of RIA Novosti materials reference to RIA Novosti is mandatory.

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