Main news of September 18


* The captain of the Tu-134 plane that crashed in June, 2011 in northern Russia killing 47 people was drunk, Russian Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said in Vesti Nedeli program on Rossiya TV-channel

* Firefighters and rescuers have extinguished all forest fires in Siberia as they put out the remaining 16 wildfires on an area of 46.45 hectares in the region in the past 24 hours, the regional emergencies center said



* Former IMF chief, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who was charged with sexual assault on a hotel maid, said in an interview on the French TV-channel TF1 that he will not run for presidency in 2012

* U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday will propose a higher tax for individuals making more than $1 million a year in a bid to cut the budget deficit, The New York Times reported, referring to administration officials

* The Syrian leadership firmly intends to move along the path of radical reforms, Russia’s Federation Council Deputy Speaker Ilyas Umakhanov said after his meeting with Syrian President Bashar Assad

* Libya’s interim government forces have taken control of the airport and a major air base in Sirte, the hometown of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi and one of the last strongholds of his loyalist forces, the BBC reported, referring to rebel fighters

* Release of the two U.S. men arrested in Iran in 2009 on spying charges is delayed as a judge who must sign bail papers is on vacation, world media reported

* Somali pirates have released a Vietnamese-owned cargo ship with 24 crewmembers seized in January this year, Chinese news agency Xinhua reported, referring to a regional maritime official

* At least 11 people died, with dozens received injures as an earthquake hit northeastern India, world media reported

* At least 10 people died with another 22 are missing after a landslide caused by heavy rain in northwestern China, Chinese official news agency Xinhua said

* At least eight people were killed and over 50 injured after two trucks used to carry passengers fell into deep ravines in two road accidents in the north and north-west of Guatemala, a spokesman for the local rescue service said

* A Russian minority party won 1/3 of the vote in the Latvian early parliamentary elections, the country’s central election commission confirmed



* German engineering and industrial giant Siemens will withdraw entirely from the nuclear business in response to the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan in March this year, chief executive Peter Loescher said in an interview with Spiegel magazine

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