NEW YORK – The American space shuttle Atlantis will leave for the International Space Station for the last time off Cape Canaveral (Florida): the flight will close the 30 years' Space Shuttle program.
ST. PETERSBURG – Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin will visit during a working trip an oil processing plant in the city of Kirishi, the Leningrad Region, where he will chair a meeting on the state of oil products market.
LONDON – Russia's Deputy Prime Minister, Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin will begin a visit to the United Kingdom, where he will participate in the Russian-British intergovernmental committee on trade and investments. The British co-chair of the commission is Secretary of State for Business Vince Cable.
YEREVAN/BAKU - Russia's Foreign Minister will have meetings in Armenia and Azerbaijan to bring closer positions of the sides in the Karabakh settlement.
MOSCOW – The State Duma finalizes the spring session.
PARIS – The court’s decision allows to start an official investigation of suspects that Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), abused her position when she was France’s Minister for Economy, Industry and Employment.
CAIRO – Mass protesters’ actions demanding immediate reforms and quicker trials of the former power will be organized in Egypt. The rallies will feature adherents of the influential Muslim Brotherhood organization.
MUROM /the Vladimir Region/ - Main festive events of the All-Russian holiday – Day of family, love and fidelity – will be organized in an ancient Russian town. A chamomile flower will be a symbol of purity and joy.
KALININGRAD – The Yantar shipbuilding plant will start a new service ship for Russia’s Navy. The modern frigate will be called the Admiral Essen.
BOLSHOYE ZAVIDOVO – The Tver Region opens the 10th jubilee open-air festival called Nashestviye /Incursion/.
MOSCOW – A legendary performance of the Lenkom Theatre in Moscow - a rock opera Yunona and Avos - celebrates its 30th jubilee.
KRASNOYARSK - Best folk groups from Russia and abroad have gathered for the eighth international festival of ethnic music called the Sayany Circle, which is organized in the Shushenskoye village in the Krasnoyarsk Territory.
Itar-Tass news digest for Friday, July 8.
MOSCOW — Russian First Lady Svetlana Medvedeva on Friday congratulated the nation on the Day of Family, Love, and Fidelity the introduction of which she encouraged in 2008 and offered a daisy as a symbol of the new holiday. “The family is a pillar of support for a person. It provides the happiness of motherhood and fatherhood, forms the character and life values of a child, plays a specific role in the development of society and upbringing of the young on high spiritual and moral ideals,” she said in a message published by Rossiyskaya gazeta.
MOSCOW — Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev has presented for further ratification by the State Duma a law on payment and calculation of export duties when oil and oil products are exported from the territory of Belarus outside the customs territory of the Customs Union. The law was signed in Moscow on December 9, 2010, the Kremlin’s press service reported on Friday.
MOSCOW — Prime Minister Vladimir Putin will visit the oil refinery in Kirishi near St. Petersburg on Friday to discuss the situation on the domestic petrol market following price hikes and shortages of the fuel in some regions of the country.
LONDOIN — Russian Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin will on Friday discuss preparations for the visit of British Prime Minister David Cameron to Russia this year as well as plans to develop Moscow into an international financial center.
MOSCOW — Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will visit Armenia and Azerbaijan on Friday to promote Nagorno-Karabakh settlement after the presidents of the two countries failed to agree the guidelines of the settlement at the latest summit in Russia’s Kazan in June mediated by Dmitry Medvedev. “The visit of the minister is paid upon an instruction of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev,” the foreign ministry said.
MOSCOW — The fourth reactor of the biggest Russian nuclear power plant in Balakovo on the Volga River (Saratov region), some 900 kilometers southeast of Moscow, had to be shut down overnight because of a thunderstorm that switched off two power transmission lines. “The thunderstorm on the border between Saratov and Samara regions switched off two power transmission lines going from the Balakovo NPP and powered by the fourth reactor. Automatic protection system switched off the reactor at 22:05 hours Moscow time,” Rosenergoatom operator said in a statement early on Friday.
PARIS — Popular Russian singer Alsou was awarded the title of UNESCO Artist for Peace by the organization’s Director General Irina Bokova on Thursday “in recognition of her commitment to help the most vulnerable people throughout the world, her charitable activities aiming to empower childhood development, and her dedication to the ideals and aims of the Organization.”
ULAN-UDE — The Russian customs in Transbaikalia seized a batch of equipment which a Chinese national tried to smuggle out into China in his car. The batch included two plunger pumps which are used in MiG-29 and Su-27 combat jets, the customs said on Friday. “Military-designation products can be taken in and out of the country upon licenses issued by the Russian Service for military-technical cooperation,” it said adding a criminal case was instituted on charges of contraband.
NEW YORK — Seven people, including a child, were shot dead inside separate homes on Thursday and police were searching for one suspect, the Associated Press reported from Grand Rapids (Michigan). It quoted Mayor George Hartwell as saying four people were found dead in one home and three in another. He said police are seeking 34-year-old Rodrick Shonte Dantzler who fled the crime scene in a car.
KIEV — Deputies of the Verkhovna Rada (parliament) of Ukraine overnight to Friday passed in the second reading and on the whole the government’s draft pension reform. A total of 248 MPs of 226 required minimum voted for the document.Consideration of the bill lasted 8.5 hours. The document raises the retirement age for women from 55 to 60 years, the pensionable service was raised from 20 to 30 years for women and from 25 to 35 years - for men. The retirement age of male civil servants men was raised to 63 years.
BAKU — Crisis-hit Belarus is working to expand the sales of its products on the Azerbaijani market and attract local investments into its national economy. On Thursday a memorandum was signed in the presence of visiting Belarussian Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich between the Ganja Car Plant and Minsk truck works (MAZ) to produce garbage-collecting vehicles using MAZ trucks and German Haller’s equipment.
TIRASPOL — Police in the breakaway Dniester region of Moldova said on Thursday it uncovered an underground network providing services to foreign pedophiles. “The scope of the phenomenon was rather impressing. Organizers of the criminal business looked for teenagers from problem families, rented apartments for clients and received fabulous profits,” the interior ministry said.
KRASNOYARSK — There are no more major fires in Siberia, 19 spots of wildfires were liquidated on Thursday at an area of about 1.5 thousand hectares, the press service of the Siberian regional emergencies centre told Itar-Tass. On Friday morning, the region was affected by 10 fires at an area of 455.7 hectares. Of these, five forest fires were localised at an area of 234.5 hectares. The main cause of the fires is dry thunderstorms.
VLADIVOSTOK — The Leninsky district court in Vladivostok ruled on Friday to arrest the chief of the Federal Migration Service's Primorsky regional department, Alexander Mukhin, suspected of bribe taking, the press service of the Russian Investigative Committee's regional department told Itar-Tass. A criminal case was opened against the official on July 5 on bribery charges.
YEKATERINBURG— A severe thunderstorm has left more than 40 inhabited localities in the Sverdlovsk Region without electricity. More than 30 electro-transmission lines and over 350 transformer sub-stations are cut off. For the present, 41 localities of about 19,000 people have no electricity. The storm most severely hit the Sverdlovsk Region's south-western, eastern and south-eastern areas, the press service of the Ural inter-regional electric network operating company told Itar-Tass.
CHERKESSK— It is planned to create a high-technology aircraft industry enterprise and a modern technology park the Karachai-Cherkessia Republic. The regional press service told Itar-Tass that “head of Karachai-Cherkessia Rashid Temrezov approved the proposal of the Interavia design bureau on the creation of the technology park, the decision has been made to sign an agreement between the republic’s authorities and the leadership of the company for the implementation of the project.”
Kudrin in London to prepare Cameron’s visit, discuss IFC. - Russian Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin will on Friday discuss preparations for the visit of British Prime Minister David Cameron to Russia this year as well as plans to develop Moscow into an international financial center.
Armenian President to reply to Medvedev’s proposal soon – Lavrov
S. Lavrov: Russia’s waiting for answers from Armenia and Azerbaijan
Armenian MFA: progress on Karabakh possible if Baku withdraws its reservations
Progress on Karabakh possible if Baku withdraws 10 amendments – Armenian FM
Karabakh mediators to visit conflict zone next week – ambassador: The co-chairmen of the OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) Minsk Group will pay another visit to the Nagorno-Karabakh region next week to advance the negotiating process, U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan Matthew Bryza said.
Lavrov to push on with Nagorno-Karabakh settlement.
Russian FM presents Armenian President Medvedev’s proposals on Karabakh
Russian FM conveys Medvedev’s proposals on Karabakh to Sargsyan
Moscow prepares proposals on Karabakh - By Sokhbet Mamedov (Baku)
Russia vows to support euro zone stability - Speaking to the national Russia-24 television channel, Lavrov pointed out that Moscow has been concerned with what was going on in the euro zone.
Russia to establish ties with South Sudan - The diplomat also said that the Russian president's special envoy to Africa Mikhail Margelov was going to attend the official ceremony of South Sudan's independence proclamation due on July 9 in Juba, future capital of the country.
Ambassador to Russia Pushes Iraqi Interests - Iraq’s ambassador to Russia says that despite the Russian government allocating 150 scholarships to students from Iraq, the ministries of higher education in Baghdad and Erbil have not helped students study at Russian universities. As a result, most of the scholarships are going unused.
Russia charges Chinese man with contraband of military equipment
Russia seized China-bound combat jet spare parts.
Medvedev presents law on Belarus export oil duties outside CU.
Voloshin is reappointed head of group on int’l financial centre.
Financing of Skolkovo work not to be cut - Dvorkovich.
Putin to discuss petrol supplies. - The government press service said Putin will “discuss the current situation in the industry and modernization prospects of petrochemical facilities, in particular, increased refining capacities, higher oil conversion ratio, uninterrupted supply of fuel to the domestic Russian market and the necessary changes in customs, tariff, and tax policies.”
Putin Throws Crumbs at Tajikistan - Something must be going right in the rickety relationship between Dushanbe and Moscow. by David Trilling
Russia makes good 20-year-old US$36 million Soviet rice export debt to Thailand
Russia to get new icebreakers - Russia is building three new nuclear icebreakers. The icebreakers will be assembled in part at the Admiralty Shipyard in St.Petersburg, in part in Helsinki.
State Duma goes on summer vacation
Russian defense minister lashes out at missile designer for criticism
Kremlin says Swedish seizure of property “illegitimate”.
T-storm shuts down nuclear reactor in central Russia
Investigators request arrest in absentia of former first deputy prosecutor of Moscow region
Police hints wanted Russian prosecutor not in Belarus.
Dniester uncovers child molester network.
FMS Primorsky Reg chief arrested on bribery charges.
Far East forest fire area does not decrease despite rains.
No major fires in Siberia, 19 wildfires put out Thur.
Russia’s First Lady congratulates nation on Family Day.
Dagestani parliament renames the title of the republic’s top official position
2011 Dagestan Head’s Message to the Parliament aims at economic priorities, consolidation of society and struggle against corruption
Russian Pilgrimage Center to open in Jordan this autumn
Human rights advocate urges Russian authorities to protect Christians of the world
Top Duma official suggests booting opposition leaders from Russia - Vladimir Zhirinovsky, head of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR), wants Yeltsin-era market oriented liberal Boris Nemtsov “and his team” ousted from Russia for good.
Moscow mayor dismisses official accused of power abuse.
Strong economic growth in Russia's capital - The industrial production in Moscow increased by 11.9 percent in the first half of 2011, while it has grown in the same period last year with approximately four percent, Moscow's mayor Sergey Sobyanin said at a meeting.
Moscow to build 62 thousand car parking lots by metro stations.
Russians aboard ISS work to restart oxygen regeneration system.
RIA Russian Press at a Glance, Friday, July 8, 2011