Main News of December 23


* In two hours, almost 6,000 people signed a petition to make Russian lawmakers, who voted in favor of the US adoptions ban, accountable under the Magnitsky Act

* The final stage of the referendum on Egypt’s new constitution ended after being extended for four hours, a RIA Novosti correspondent reported

* The Colombian Navy rescued two fishermen from Jamaica who were drifting in the open sea for about a month, Go-Jamaica reported

* Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi completed the upper house of the country’s parliament by appointing 90 new members in a special decree

* Governments of Chile and Argentina have issued volcanic activity alerts in areas close to the Copahue volcano that started spewing ash, local media said

* The health of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has been stabilizing in recent days as he recuperates at a clinic in Havana from a fourth operation to remove cancerous tissue, the Venezuelan vice president said

* Over 60 percent of Egyptians voted for the country’s new Constitution at a referendum, the local media reported on Sunday, citing preliminary vote results

* An online petition to make Russian lawmakers, who voted in favor of the US adoptions ban, accountable under the Magnitsky Act, has gained the required number of signatures to be considered by the US administration, the US White House announced

* A magnitude 5.2 earthquake struck north-west Iran, the U.S. Geological Survey reported

* A journalist of a private TV channel was killed when police opened fire on protesters in Manipur, north-east India, local media said citing officials

*Egypt’s main opposition coalition, the National Salvation Front, said it would appeal the results of the country’s referendum, citing “fraud and violations”

* Tens of people were killed and wounded in a Syrian government air strike on a bakery in Halfaya, central Syria

* At least 143 people, including 78 police, were injured in central New Delhi, at protests in support of a gang-rape victim, police said



* Russia’s fifth-generation stealth jet fighter, the T-50, will start state flight tests in March 2013, Russia’s Air Force Commander, Lt. Gen. Viktor Bondarev said

* Moscow is preparing for the coldest night this year as temperatures may plunge to minus 26 degrees Celsius (-14 Fahrenheit), the Fobos weather center said

* Five people, including two children died in a fire that broke out in a residential house in Tambov in central Russia, the local police reported

* Russian President Vladimir Putin will arrive Monday in India on an official visit expected to focus on economic ties, energy and multi-billion dollar defense deals

* Members of Russia’s State Duma warned  that serious consequences may follow if the US petition to make Russian lawmakers accountable under the Magnitsky Act is enacted



* The KHL could expand into Italy and Croatia next season, league president Alexander Medvedev said

* The impasse in talks to resolve the NHL lockout is testament to the “egotistical” ambitions of the league’s management, the head of the rival KHL hockey league said

* Spartak St. Petersburg guard Patrick Beverley confirmed to R-Sport  that he has accepted an offer to join the Houston Rockets

* Two goals from former New York Rangers forward Mats Zuccarello inspired Metallurg Magnitogorsk to a 5-1 thrashing of Lokomotiv Yaroslavl that lifts the team to the top of the Eastern Conference


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