* A senior US lawmaker plans to hold a Congressional hearing to explore improved cooperation with Moscow on counterterrorism efforts in the wake of two deadly bombings in Russia this week.
* A Russian woman on holiday in Egypt has died from suspected excessive drinking, the Russian consulate in Cairo said.
* A small asteroid hit Earth just hours after it was first discovered, astronomers said, but likely burned up in the planet’s atmosphere.
* Two more people injured by devastating back-to-back suicide bombings in Russia’s southern city of Volgograd earlier this week have been hospitalized, a regional official said, bringing the number of wounded in local clinics to 46.
* A pro-Kremlin civic movement headed by President Vladimir Putin has registered its first regional office in Russia, the party’s website said.
* One policeman in the Moscow suburbs was killed and another seriously injured by an explosive device lobbed out of a car by an unidentified driver, investigators said.
* Police seized 200 million rubles’ worth ($6 million) of synthetic drugs on New Year’s Day from a passenger train headed to Moscow, a spokesman said.
* Fires that started during Russia’s New Year celebrations proved less deadly in 2014, an emergency situations official said, with 34 percent fewer people dying in blazes over the holiday than last year.
* Russia’s Navy is expected to receive 40 new warships and auxiliary vessels in 2014, a high-ranking official said.
* Combat aircraft from Russia’s Northern Fleet will extend the ranges of their patrol flights over the Arctic in 2014 using a network of revamped Soviet-era airfields, the fleet’s spokesman said.
* The Russian military plans to test around 70 types of rocket and missile weaponry at a major testing site this year, a Defense Ministry spokesman has said.
* Russian President Vladimir Putin tested the ski slopes at the Olympic host city of Sochi as the Black Sea resort counts down to the start of the Winter Games.
* Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova was beaten in straight sets by top seed Serena Williams in the semi-final of the Brisbane International.
* Cristiano Ronaldo is to be awarded one of the most prestigious honors in Portugal for his services to the country in a ceremony next week, a statement from the presidency said.