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    Main News of January 25

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    A roundup of what has happened in the past 24 hours

    WORLD

    * Childhood diseases, like measles, that were said to be eliminated in the United States a decade ago are slowly making a comeback, in part due to an increasing number of Americans choosing not to get vaccinated

    * At least 119 people were injured in Egypt in clashes between protesters and police on the second anniversary of the revolt that toppled Hosni Mubarak, local health officials have said

    * Tajik migrants working in Russia sent $3.8 billion in remittances back home in 2012, up 31 percent year-on-year and equal to 47 percent of the country’s GDP, Tajikistan’s Finance Ministry said

    * The US military has barred Afghanistan’s biggest private airline from its list of potential contractors after accusing it of smuggling large amounts of opium into Tajikistan, a major transit route for drugs from the region, the Wall Street Journal reported

    * Dutch Queen Beatrix responded to a letter by the mother of Russian opposition activist Alexander Dolmatov, in which she asked the queen for an independent investigation into her son’s death at a Dutch deportation center, the NOS channel said

    *Almost 400 trains were delayed in Poland by a two-hour strike by Polish railway workers, the state railway company PKP said

    *Deep Space Industries, a newly established US space exploration company has announced plans to create the world’s first fleet of commercial asteroid-mining spacecraft
    *A district court in the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek turned down a request on behalf of opposition leaders, who are on trial on attempted coup charges, to be taken out of prison and be put under house arrest, judge Adylbek Subankulov said
    *Israeli election officials published the final tally in the country’s parliamentary elections, giving right-wing forces supported by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a narrow majority in the 120-seat Knesset
    *The number of children adopted from abroad continued to decline in the United States last year, reaching its lowest level for years, according to a recent State Department report

    *At least 12 people were killed and 20 injured after a mine in Ecuador’s southern province of Asuai caved in, CRE radio station reported citing a local government official

    *The Syrian Interior Ministry called on all citizens, who fled the country amid the ongoing bloody conflict, to come back and pledged to help with formalizing documents
    *Yemeni authorities announced again that the second in command of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) was killed in a counterterrorism operation, Al Arabiya reported
    * The Czech Republic begins on Friday the second and final round of the country’s first direct presidential vote that will last into Saturday
    *A free speech battle is brewing in Washington after a local judge banished from the US capital an anti-abortion protester who scaled a tree and shouted repeatedly during US President Barack Obama’s inauguration ceremony this week
    *US President Barack Obama’s nominee to be the next US Secretary of State, Sen. John Kerry, told a Senate panel that the United States must find a way to work with Russia

    RUSSIA

    * Some 50,000 corruption cases are being currently investigated in Russia, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said in an interview with the Swiss newspaper Neue Zurcher Zeitung

    * The State Duma, Russia's lower house of parliament, overwhelmingly approved in its first reading on Friday a vaguely defined bill that would ban the promotion of “homosexual propaganda"

    * A branch of Russia’s Federal Bailiff Service (FSSP) in Siberia's Krasnoyarsk Territory will put photos of persistent debtors on beer mug coasters in pubs and restaurants to facilitate their arrest, an FSSP spokesperson said

    * Russia’s Defense Ministry dismissed reports that it would seek to determine the sexual orientation of soldiers, and insisted it was only concerned with ensuring their good health

    * Russia's lower house of parliament, the State Duma, approved a ban on smoking in public places in a crucial second reading

    * A shipbuilder in Russia's republic of Tatarstan has begun construction of a fifth Project 21631 Buyan-class missile corvette for the Navy, the Zelenodolsk shipyard said

    *Russia's United Shipbuilding Corporation is to build at least four Arctic class LNG carriers for the Pechora liquefied natural gas project in northern Russia, its developer, the Alltech group, said

    * President Vladimir Putin met with members of the Russian Security Council on Friday to discuss a variety of domestic and international issues, including the escalating conflict in Mali, where the French-led offensive against radical Islamists entered its third week

    * The Dow Chemical Company, DowAksa Advanced Composites Holdings B.V., Rusnano, and Holding Company Composite (HCC) signed a memorandum of intent (MOI) to develop a strategy to launch production of carbon fiber intermediates, composite materials, and solutions in Russia, Rusnano said

    * The management of Russia's Bolshoi Theatre denied it was carrying out a campaign against star ballet dancer Nikolai Tsiskaridze, who has been questioned by police over last week’s acid attack on the theater’s artistic director Sergei Filin

    *Russia and Georgia held their first unmediated meeting in five years this week, after the two sides attended the winter session of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) to discuss a report on humanitarian issues arising from the war fought between them in 2008
    *Russian steelmaker MMK has signed a deal to sell its 50-percent stake in the Kazankovskaya coal company to rival Evraz, MMK said
    *Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) has announced a tender for the delivery of fine bone-china tea and coffee sets at a cost of 2.1 million rubles (about $70,000), according to the state procurement agency website
    *The United States has no place in any dialog between Russia’s government and opposition movements opposed to President Vladimir Putin’s rule, Putin’s spokesman has told a US journal
    *Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov attempted to play down a dispute between Russia and Kazakhstan over terms for use of the Baikonur space center, after Russian media reports the previous day claimed the two states were on the verge of breaking off joint cooperation at the site
    *The Supreme Court of Russia’s northwestern Republic of Karelia upheld a lower court verdict denying Sergei Timonen, a Finnish resident, custody over his children who have Russian citizenship
    *The Novosibirsk aircraft plant, part of the Sukhoi holding, delivered five multirole Su-34 strike aircraft to the Russian Air Force, the manufacturer said
    *A skyscraper caught fire in the Moscow City business complex in Russia’s capital, injuring at least one construction worker
    *A fraud in Russia’s Strategic Missile Forces (RVSN) has cost the state over 90 million rubles (about $3 million), the Prosecutor General’s Office (PGO) said
    * A son of jailed ex-Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky said he would like to return to Russia, but will not do this while his father is serving a sentence

    SPORT

    * Russian youngster Adelina Sotnikova skated her best-ever short program to take the lead at her first European figure skating championships

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