Main News of February 17


* Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his US counterpart John Kerry discussed measures to end the Syrian crisis, and also Pyongyang’s third nuclear test, the Russian Foreign Ministry said

* The Arab Republic of Egypt is “on its way” to recognize Kosovo as an independent state, Egypt’s presidential aide said on Sunday as Kosovo Albanians celebrated the fifth anniversary of their declaration of independence from Serbia

* Over 20 people were killed and scores of others were injured after several car bombs exploded in Baghdad and its suburbs, local police reported

* The death toll in a suicide bomb attack in southwestern Pakistan has exceeded 80 people and more than 200 others are injured, local police reported

* Fighter jets intercepted and chased down two small planes that violated flight restrictions set up in Florida for US President Barack Obama’s visit, CNN reported on Sunday, referring to officials from the US Defense Department

*Three gunmen broke into the home of a British investigative reporter in the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo and opened fire, seriously wounding him, British media reported

*Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai has said he will issue a decree on Sunday to ban his country’s security forces from urging foreign air strikes in residential areas, media reported



* The fragments of a meteorite that hit Russia’s Urals on Friday, injuring more than 1,000 people in the area, have been found by scientists in Lake Chebarkul, in the Chelyabinsk Region

* A retired Soviet lieutenant colonel whose self-control prevented a nuclear war from being triggered by a long-classified accident in 1983 was honored with a German anti-war prize

* A Russian wrestler who won a silver medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics was hospitalized with gunshot wounds Sunday in the country’s troubled southern province of Dagestan, his coach told RIA Novosti

* Police have uncovered the embezzlement of 1 billion rubles ($33.2 million) of state funds from the Russian hydropower holding company RusHydro, the Interior Ministry said

* All schools, kindergartens and hospitals which were damaged by Friday’s meteorite strike in Russia’s Urals Region have been restored, Russia’s consumer rights watchdog Rospotrebnadzor said

* The head of Russian presidential property management department has confirmed that the Kremlin will be soon equipped with a helicopter landing pad to help top officials avoid Moscow’s heavy traffic jams

* A Russian tanker carrying almost 800 tons of fuel oil became stranded in the Sea of Japan after suffering an engine failure, the Emergencies Ministry reported

* Over 24,000 workers and 4,300 pieces of equipment are involved in the effort to clear up the damage caused by a meteor that shook Russia’s Urals Region, the regional Emergences Center reported

* Law enforcement officers have killed three suspected militants in the Russian North Caucasus republic of Dagestan, the Investigative Committee reported

* A Tupolev Tu-204 jet airliner with 97 passengers on board has made a successful emergency landing in Vladivostok airport in Russia’s Far East due to a technical failure, the Russian Emergencies Ministry reported

* A military delegation from Mongolia led by the country’s Defense Minister Dashdemberel Bat-Erdene is arriving in Moscow on an official visit on Sunday, the Russian Defense Ministry reported

* An unknown assailant opened fire on police officers in the Russian North Caucasus republic of Dagestan on Saturday evening and was killed by return fire, the Interior Ministry reported

* Rescuers are working to contain a sulfuric acid leak from cisterns which derailed at a copper plant in the Russian Urals Sverdlovsk region 

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