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    Main news of September 13

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    * President Vladimir Putin said he that expects all ongoing changes within the government will contribute to more efficient work of the Cabinet during elections and beyond

    * Viktor Zubkov, nominated by President Vladimir Putin for the post of prime minister following the dismissal of Mikhail Fradkov's Cabinet, said he could run for the presidency next year

    * Zubkov said he would set out new government priorities at Friday's parliamentary sitting

    * The Russian and U.S. defense and foreign ministers will discuss the joint use of the Gabala radar Russia leases from Azerbaijan in October, the Russian ambassador to Azerbaijan, Vasily Istratov

    * The Russian Foreign Ministry said the detention of Russian peacekeepers by Georgia on August 29 was 'blunt arbitrariness' on the part of Tbilisi

    * The Moscow City Court presidium upheld a ruling that a new investigation against the ex-Yukos head and his business partner in eastern Siberia was unlawful

    * Commander of the Russian Navy, Fleet Admiral Vladimir Masorin has been dismissed due to length-of-service limitations, a Defense Ministry's source told RIA Novosti

    * Andrei Sychyov, a former conscript who had his legs and genitals amputated after being beaten and tortured by fellow soldiers, has applied to run for election to Russia's lower house, his sister said

    * The Moscow City Court has picked jurors for the case of confessed serial killer Alexander Pichushkin, charged with 49 murders and three attempted murders, the defendant's lawyer said

    * The head of the Russian Orthodox Church said that a meeting with Pope Benedict XVI was possible, but not before issues hampering relations between the Churches are overcome


    * A total of 41 earthquakes with magnitude of over 4.5 on the Richter scale have hit Indonesia in the last 24 hours, the country's Meteorology and Geophysics Agency said

    * Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who announced his intention to resign Wednesday, has been hospitalized, the Kyodo news agency reported

    * The U.S. has a 14-ton super bomb more destructive than the vacuum bomb just tested by Russia, said retired Lt. General McInerney, chairman of the Iran Policy Committee, and former Assistant Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force

    * Hamas militants are observing preparations by the Israeli military for a large-scale military operation in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, a spokesman for Hamas armed wing said

    * U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack has denied that Germany is opposed to a stepped-up sanctions regime against Iran, or that Washington has as a result despaired of a diplomatic solution to the standoff with Tehran

    * Three convicted terrorists have been executed in Iran in connection with two explosions in October 2005, Iranian media reported

    * Pakistani troops killed some 30 Islamic militants in an operation in northwest Pakistan, French newspaper Le Figaro said, citing a Pakistan Armed Forces spokesman

    * Saudi Arabia is planning to close its border with Iraq to prevent Iraqi militants from entering the Kingdom and to discourage Iraq-bound religious extremists transiting the country, the Saudi newspaper Al-Riyadh said

    * At least three civilians were injured when Israeli aircraft fired a missile at a car with militants in a Gaza refugee camp, a local radio station said

    * A baby born to Russian parents in Turkey during their holiday in the country is to stay in a Turkish clinic until the start of October, doctors said

    * None of the 22 Arab League countries will participate in the U.S.-proposed Mideast peace conference in November until its goals have been clarified, the head of the Arab League said 


    * Avtovaz, Russia's largest carmaker, said it is planning to launch production of four wheel drive Niva vehicles in Egypt in 2008

    * Gazprom Neft, the oil-producing arm of energy giant Gazprom, said its subsidiary, Kholmogorneftegaz, had won a tender to prospect and develop two oil fields in East Siberia

    * Russia's industrial safety watchdog, Rostekhnadzor, announced it would conduct a check at the Kovykta gas condensate field, the largest in East Siberia, in the second half of September

    * Russia's agricultural watchdog has approved the resumption of Indian sesame and peanut imports as of September 17, the regulator said

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