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    Main News of September 26

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    A roundup of what has happened in the past 24 hours

    RUSSIA

    * Russian President Vladimir Putin complimented troops for their teamwork after the conclusion of an extensive Russian-Belarusian military exercise that he called an integral step in ensuring defense of the two nations

    * Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview with a US newspaper published Thursday that homemade sarin nerve agent was used in a chemical weapons attack in Damascus on August 21, an attack that the United States maintains was carried out by the Syrian regime

    * The Russian delegation walked during outgoing Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili’s speech at the UN General Assembly, a Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman said

    * Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and a select group of senior officials got a sneak peek at a secret prototype of the country’s new-generation battle tank in a closed viewing at an arms show in the Urals region

    * Russia’s assault landing ship Nikolai Filchenkov, scheduled to visit the Syrian port of Latakia, has been met by two Syrian missile boats on the border of Syria’s territorial waters, a Syrian Defense Ministry spokesman told RIA Novosti

    * Russia’s Soyuz TMA-10M spacecraft with a Russian-US crew has successfully docked with the International Space Station (ISS), Federal Space Agency Roscosmos reported

    * Divers have lifted from a Ural Mountain lake five rocks thought to be fragments of the meteorite that exploded in February near the Russian city of Chelyabinsk, a local environment ministry said

    * A Russian court ruled to put a group of foreign and Russian Greenpeace activists behind bars for two months over their protest at an offshore oil drilling platform in the Arctic last week, the environmental group said

    * Investigators have compiled and sent to court a 27 million ruble ($840,000) fraud and abuse of office case against a senior military official, a spokesman for Russia’s Investigative Committee said

     

    WORLD

     

    * Thousands of armed Syrian rebels have split from the main Western-backed opposition group to create a new coalition guided by Islamic sharia law, a move analysts say could undercut a US drive to empower moderates in the war-torn country

     

    SPORTS

    * The Russian city of Sochi has passed its final inspection ahead of February’s Winter Olympics with flying colors, despite serious flooding overshadowing the visit of the International Olympic Committee’s coordination commission

    * Scathing comments from gay and human rights activists began spewing out across the Internet and social media outlets Thursday, shortly after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced that Russia’s controversial law banning the promotion of “non-traditional relationships” to minors does not violate the anti-discrimination guarantees in the Olympic charter

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