Main news of August 26


* Presidential elections in Georgia’s breakaway republic of Abkhazia have exceeded the voting threshold of 51 percent turnout, the head of Abkhazia’s Central Election Committee, Batal Tabagua, said

* At least 18 people were killed in Friday’s car bomb attack on the UN building in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, a police spokesman was quoted in Western media reports as saying

* Libyan government troops shelled the international airport in Tripoli, damaging a plane, al Arabiya reported

* Six states remain on alert as the first hurricane of the Atlantic season weakened slightly early on Friday to a category two storm, with winds of up to 175km/h on the East Coast of the United States

* Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych said his country will never sacrifice its national interests for membership of international organizations, such as the newly created customs union between Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan

* Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin urged the government to sign all planned defense contracts delayed over price disagreements by September

* Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan announced his resignation as leader of the Democratic Party of Japan


* Russia will carry out two unmanned test launches of Soyuz carrier rockets in the coming fall before using them to deliver crews to the International Space Station, a source in the Russian space industry said

* Moscow magistrates have dropped charges against opposition leader Boris Nemtsov after he called on residents of St. Petersburg to ignore municipal elections designed to secure its outgoing governor Russia’s No. 3 position

* The Right Cause party led by Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov published a manifesto intended to become part of its broader program in the forthcoming parliamentary elections in December

* Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party said it will only push ahead with plans to introduce mandatory primary elections if other parties back the proposal

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