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    August 18 morning preview

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    * The government will discuss the forecast for Russia's socioeconomic development and the draft 2006 budget at its session (10:00).

    * Sergei Mironov, the Chairman of the Federation Council, the upper house of parliament, will give a press conference, "Moscow Metro: the Federal Budget and Municipal Coffers. Sharing Financial Obligations." (12:00).

    * The Public Environmental Council will hold a meeting on the Natural Resources Ministry's premises (16:00).

    * A news briefing, Measures Being Taken to Ensure Public Transportation Security, will take place at the Interior Ministry's department on ensuring legal order in public transportation (15:00).

    * Nikolai Shaklein, the governor of the Kirov region (European Russia) will give a press conference devoted to the federal program to destroy chemical weapons (15:00).

    * Russian Ambassador at Large Alexander Kalugin, the Foreign Ministry's envoy for the Middle East settlement, will give a press conference to discuss the launch of the delimitation plan and Palestinian-Israeli settlement prospects (13:00).

    * A Moscow court will consider a lawsuit filed by the Tyukachev family, Ukrainian nationals whose son was killed in the November 2003 terrorist attack on a Moscow theater. They are demanding a monthly compensation of 2,000 rubles each and a one-time payment of 66,000 rubles.

    * A Moscow court will study a complaint by attorney Igor Smykov against a Russian television channel showing the Simpsons cartoon series. Smykov insists the program is harmful for children and therefore should be banned or shown later at night.

    * The Chinese Embassy will hold a press conference on the third film festival in the Far East, Amur Autumn, due to take place in Blagoveshchensk (Far East) September 15-29 (17:00).

    ZHUKOVSKY, near Moscow

    * MAKS 2005 Air and Space Show continues.

    VALAAM, Karelia

    * Leader of the Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Alexy II is arriving at the Monastery of the Holy Transfiguration of the Savior in Valaam, northwestern Russia, on a three-day visit. Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov will attend the celebration dedicated to the festival of Holy Transfiguration.


    * Russia and China are embarking on their first-ever combined military exercise, Commonwealth 2005. The first phase, military and political discussions between the general chiefs of staff, will take place in Vladivostok, Russia's Far East, August 18-19.


    * Minister of Economic Development and Trade German Gref will arrive in Kiev for negotiations on pipe trade.


    * The international children's summer camp, Artek, is celebrating its 80th anniversary. The event will be attended by prominent politicians, celebrated artists, and athletes. The presidents of Ukraine, Lithuania, Georgia, and Poland will be present at the celebrations.


    * Presidential envoy to the northwestern federal district Ilya Klebanov will pay a working visit to Norway.


    *A monument will be unveiled at a cemetery where Soviets who were relocated to Finland in 1943-44 are buried. Research shows that over 60,000 people were relocated from the Leningrad region and Estonia to Finland for "the reunion of the brotherly peoples."

    However, it has now been widely acknowledged that the people were moved to Finland to make up for the lack of manpower in the country.

    A temporary camp was set up in Hanko on the way to the destination, and 112 Soviet people who had died of disease and starvation along the way were buried there.

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