Main news of August 10


* Moscow drew up a blacklist of U.S. officials to be banned from travelling to Russia in response to a U.S. blacklist of Russian officials linked to the controversial death of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky in detention, a Russian business daily said


* Russia’s agricultural watchdog returned 25,000 tons of pork to Germany, saying it was infected with enteric bacteria.


* Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov blamed regional authorities for the defacing or removing billboards promoting his Right Cause party



* Czech President Vaclav Klaus sent a letter to his Ukrainian counterpart Viktor Yanukovych on Tuesday, asking him to affirm that the trial against the country’s former prime minister, Yulia Tymoshenko, is not politically motivated, the Czech presidential spokesman said


* China’s first aircraft carrier, originally built in the Soviet Union, left its shipyard in northeastern Liaoning province early on Wednesday for its first sea trial, Xinhua said


* South Korea’s military fired artillery towards North Korea on Wednesday after artillery shells from the North landed near the disputed sea border, Yonhap news agency reported


* The U.S. Treasury adopted sanctions against Syria’s leading bank and mobile operator over the alleged development of weapons of mass destruction and human rights violations



* The Russian ruble regained ground against the U.S. dollar and the euro on the domestic foreign exchange market on Wednesday morning after a steep decline in the previous two days in the wake of the U.S. rating downgrade


* Interros, one of the core shareholders in Norilsk Nickel, has proposed that the metal giant’s board of directors discuss a fresh buyback of the company’s stock at an August 15 board meeting, Norilsk Nickel said


* A higher administrative court in Bulgaria upheld a lower court’s decision to annul the ban on an oil refinery belonging to Russian oil giant LUKoil, the agency said

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