Main News of December 28


* Hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a controversial law banning the adoption of Russian children by American families, the US State Department on Friday called the measure “politically motivated”

* Asian-American groups in the United States are demanding that Google remove an app from its Google Play store called “Make Me Asian” that allows users to alter their photos to resemble Asian stereotypes

* In an effort to prevent another shooting massacre like the one earlier this month at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, a Utah gun-rights advocate group offered free concealed weapons training Thursday to employees of the state’s education system

* Somewhere in Texas, there’s a pink room full of toys and books, waiting for a little girl who may never come home
* Some 21,700 murders were registered in Venezuela in 2012, which is a 12 percent increase against the previous year
* Egypt’s top prosecutor ordered an investigation into allegations that opposition leaders committed treason by planning protests to overthrow President Mohammed Morsi
* Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, the son of assassinated Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, made a political debut on the fifth anniversary of his mother’s death

* The government of India has decided to make a public internet database containing pictures, names and addresses of people who were found guilty of rape crimes

* The Iranian Navy launched six-day naval exercises on Friday in the Strait of Hormuz rehearsing border protection and piracy control operations, the Irna news agency reported

* Russia’s top union representative urged Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko to allow timber industry workers to quit their job – a right they lost earlier this month

* China has agreed to write off Soviet debt totaling 1.57 million Swiss francs ($1.7 million), in a move that will restart a helicopter delivery program, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said

* Chile’s Court of Appeal on Friday arrested seven retired servicemen over their suspected involvement in the 1973 killing of folk singer Victor Jara, one of the highest-profile victims of the Augusto Pinochet dictatorship, Latin American media reported

* A threatened strike on Sunday by thousands of US dockworkers that could have had drastic effects on the nation’s economy has been temporarily averted



* President Vladimir Putin signed into law a controversial bill that imposes a ban on adoption of Russian children by Americans and other retaliatory measures targeting the United States

* A man in the Kostroma region, in central Russia, killed his wife and opened fire from his house before committing a suicide
* Russia has sent an invitation for talks to the head of the opposition Syrian National Coalition, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said
* Russia’s former defense minister, Anatoly Serdyukov, complied with a summons to appear on Friday at the headquarters of the country’s main investigative body over a multi-million dollar property fraud case
* An audacious heist in Moscow threatened to cripple the New Year festivities: police reported that robbers had made away with 557 boxes of dill and parsley, the nation’s staple culinary herbs
* A Moscow court acquitted a former prison official implicated in the 2009 death of whistleblowing lawyer Sergei Magnitsky

* An illegal banking ring with an annual turnover of 15 billion rubles ($500 million) that operated through the country’s postal service has been uncovered in Russia, police said 

* The Sukhoi aircraft maker delivered the first six Su-35S fighter jets to the Russian Air Force, the company said

* The Russian authorities will start issuing universal identity and payment cards in 2013 to streamline the payment of pensions and taxes and be used like bank cards in stores

* Russia will end its program to equip every locality nationwide with a phone booth because the service costs more than providing every caller with a smartphone, the country’s Communications Minister said

* The investigation into the case against 12 suspected participants in violent unrest during a May 6 opposition rally in Moscow has been completed, Investigative Department Spokesman Vladimir Markin said

* Russian President Vladimir Putin urged the Defense Ministry  to complete the streamlining of defense spending in the near future

* Russia’s largest privately-owned oil company LUKoil will launch the active phase of its projects in Uzbekistan in 2013, LUKoil Overseas head Andrei Kuzyayev said

* Gazprom has started construction and assembly work on the western section of the Southern Corridor gas pipeline in Russia, that will feed into the South Stream gas export pipeline, Russia’s natural gas monopoly said

* A UN helicopter with Russian crew that was downed in South Sudan last week was probably mistaken for one of the Sudanese aircraft with UN markings that frequently violate South Sudan’s airspace, South Sudan’s ambassador to Moscow said

* Giving “overkill” a literal meaning, a double murder suspect in central Russia committed suicide using three means to take his life at once, investigators said 

* A library in Russia’s Cossack heartland added a dash of Kafka to classic Russian fairytales by spelling out how the main characters would be treated under today’s law, regional television reported

* A new-generation Voronezh-DM class anti-missile radar will enter combat duty near the town of Armavir in Russia’s southern Krasnodar region in the beginning of 2013, Russian President Vladimir Putin said

* The governor of Russia’s Pskov Region has suspended two officials pending an investigation into the adoption of Dima Yakovlev, who died in the United States


* Elizaveta Tuktamysheva battled through a heavy cold to win Russian national figure skating title in Sochi

*The Czech Republic grabbed its first win at the 2013 world junior hockey championships on Friday, defeating Finland 3-1

* Russia grabbed its second win at its home world junior hockey championships Friday, defeating the United States 2-1

Leave a comment