* US President Barack Obama will cut short his Christmas vacation in Hawaii and return to Washington ahead of a looming deadline to avert the so-called “fiscal cliff” of more than $500 billion in automatic tax increases and spending cuts set to kick in Jan. 1
* The Ukrainian TV network Rada announced its readiness to pay broadcasting fees to boxing-champion-cum-lawmaker Vitali Klitschko if he participates in the fistfights that periodically break out in the nation’s parliament
* Russia’s upper house of parliament unanimously approved a controversial law that would ban US nationals from adopting Russian children
* Russia will restart production of railway-based intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM), with prototypes to be deployed by 2020, a senior Russian defense industry official said
* Next year the Russian Air Force will abandon its gray camouflage coloring and use several new color patterns for its warplanes, a source in the Russian defense ministry said
* Russian Helicopters holding and India’s Elcom Systems Pvt Limited have signed an agreement to set up a joint venture to assemble Russian Mil and Kamov helicopters in India, the Russian holding said
* Russian space rocket corporation Energia head Vitaly Lopota rejected as a “non-market” measure the idea of establishing an engine holding company in the domestic space industry.