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    Main News of February 4

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    A roundup of what has happened in the past 24 hours

    RUSSIA

    * A Moscow court dropped a case against migrant worker Bakhrom Khurramov, accused of attacking a 12-year-old boy, due to the parties’ reconciliation, court officials told the RAPSI legal news agency. Khurramov was freed in the courtroom

    * Russian investigators questioned Leonid Gozman, a former member of a once prominent liberal political party, over an embezzlement case linked to famous opposition figure Alexei Navalny. Gozman later accused law enforcement agencies of being a tool for political vendetta

    * One Italian and two Russian hostages have been released in Syria in exchange for captured rebel fighters, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said

    WORLD

    * Russia will hold the 2014 Group of Eight (G8) summit in its southern Black Sea resort of Sochi, the city that will also host the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, the Kremlin said

    * US Sen. John McCain drew a cascade of criticism over an incendiary Tweet in which he compared Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to a monkey

    * A week after Iran sent a monkey into orbit, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said he is ready to become the country’s first astronaut, Iran’s Mehr news agency reported

    * Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Israel of waging “state terrorism” in comments on the recent Israeli airstrike on Syria, Al Jazeera reported

    BUSINESS

    * Russia and Ukraine have not yet agreed on ways to lower the price of Russian gas regardless of whether Ukraine joins the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said

    * A decision by Russia’s civil aviation watchdog to ground low-cost airline Red Wings took effect, allowing two other companies, Aeroflot and VIM Avia, to take over the budget carrier’s flights

    DEFENSE

    * The crew of new Russian stealth corvette the Boyky, the third Project 20380 (Steregushchy class) vessel, will begin state trials in March, Baltic Fleet spokesman Capt. 2nd Class Vladimir Matveyev said

    CRIME

    * The Bolshoi Ballet’s artistic director Sergei Filin, who was released from hospital on Monday after nearly being blinded in an acid attack last month, has linked the incident to a pornography scandal in 2011

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