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    RUSSIA 

    * An East Siberian court ruled to extend pre-trial custody for Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the founder of now bankrupt oil company Yukos, until November 2, 2008

    * A total of 139 cases of yersiniosis, an acute stomach infection, had been registered in Russia's eastern Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk as of Friday morning, a local official said

    WORLD

    * Russia will do everything in its power to prevent a military conflict breaking out between Georgia and its breakaway republic of South Ossetia, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said

    * Georgia declined Russia's invitation to a meeting in Moscow later this month on easing tensions with its breakaway republic of South Ossetia, the Russian Foreign Ministry said  

    * Georgia has requested that the UN Security Council hold an emergency session to address this week's violation of its airspace by Russian military aircraft, a source at the United Nations said

    * Iran test-fired several "ground-to-sea" missiles with a range of 350 kilometers (217 miles) as part of ongoing military exercises in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, the country's news agency Fars said

    * Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Iran's recent missile tests show it does not have ability to attack Europe, and disprove the U.S. justification for a missile shield in Central Europe

    * Talks between European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana and Iranian security council chief Saeed Jalili will be held in Geneva on July 19, an Iranian security council spokesman said

    * Yulia Tymoshenko's government retained power in Ukraine after a no-confidence vote in parliament failed to gain enough support

    * Lebanon formed a national unity government, ending more than a year of political stalemate and six weeks of arguments over the makeup of the 30-member Cabinet

    * Israeli troops killed a Palestinian gunman after he wounded two Israelis in the West Bank, the Israel Defense Forces press service said

    * The Pakistan People's Party (PPP) and the UN have agreed to set up an independent commission to investigate the assassination of former leader Benazir Bhutto, the Pakistani foreign minister said

    * Israeli police announced the start of a new investigation against Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who is suspected of using money provided for official foreign travel to pay for private family trips

    * A 21-month-old child adopted from Russia by an American family died after his foster father drove to work and left him in the back seat of the car for several hours in the hot sun, U.S. media reported

    * Three international adoption agencies, including one that failed to inform Russia of the death of a baby in the U.S. this week, have been banned from operating in Russia, the country's adoption authorities said

    * Two Russian astronauts aboard the International Space Station have made a daring spacewalk to repair their Soyuz descent capsule, Russian mission control said

    * U.S. Democrat Dennis Kucinich has introduced another resolution to impeach U.S. President George Bush for lying to Congress about the reasons for 2003 invasion of Iraq

    * A new spy row looks set to break out between Moscow and London after Russia apparently accused a British diplomat of espionage

    BUSINESS

    * Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin called for a major technological overhaul in the oil and gas sector, which he said has almost exhausted its growth potential, as well as more exploration to find new strategic deposits

    * Serbia is set to review a deal to sell Russia a stake in its national oil company, including over pricing, almost six months after it was signed, the economics minister of the Balkan country told TV

    * Russia's Sukhoi aircraft manufacturer said it plans to equalize the share of civilian and military aviation in its production portfolio by 2015

     

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