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    Russian parliament denies proposal to send Madonna into space

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    Madonna will not be sent into space, despite a motion by a Duma deputy that the pop diva, who performed in Moscow for the first time Tuesday night, have her wish to visit the International Space Station granted.

    MOSCOW, September 13 (RIA Novosti) - Madonna will not be sent into space, despite a motion by a Duma deputy that the pop diva, who performed in Moscow for the first time Tuesday night, have her wish to visit the International Space Station granted.

    Alexei Mitrofanov, a flamboyant lawmaker from the ultra-nationalist LDPR party, proposed that Madonna's desire to make the trip, which she expressed during her two-day visit to Russia, be fulfilled - a proposal that met with rejection by Russian lawmakers.

    Mitrofanov is a colorful figure in Russian politics. He gained particular notoriety for co-writing a screenplay for Yulia, a pornographic movie parodying Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili and former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

    He also proposed last year that the singers from the world-famous Russian pop duo Tatu, whose performances evoke a lesbian theme, be awarded the Order of Friendship.

    The deputy suggested that an official inquiry regarding a possible space trip by Madonna in 2008 be forwarded to the Russian Space Agency.

    "It would be a serious event, considering the TV coverage and the fact that it will coincide with [presidential] elections in the United States and Russia," Mitrofanov said.

    Madonna's world tour, which continues next week in Japan, has drawn widespread criticism from religious groups for its depiction of a mock crucifixion. In Moscow, Russian nationalists vowed to disrupt her concert, while in Germany the authorities briefly considered an investigation under the country's religious blasphemy laws.

    Tuesday's Moscow performance at the Luzhniki stadium, which was guarded by up to 7,000 police, passed off without any serious problems.

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