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Putin ‘pleased’ by Russian protests

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Thursday said he was pleased with the protest wave that shook his 12-year domination of Russia but rejected opposition claims that parliamentary elections were rigged. In his annual phone-in session, Putin sought to show he was relaxed about the mass protests alleging fraud in parliamentary…

UN estimates over 5,000 dead in Syria crackdown

Forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad killed at least 13 people on Tuesday, reports said after the UN estimated more than 5,000 have died in a nine-month crackdown on dissent. UN rights chief Navi Pillay gave the latest death toll — amounting to a jump of 1,000 in less than…

France condemns UN Council silence on Syria deaths

UNITED NATIONS — France’s UN envoy said Monday that the UN Security Council is “morally responsible” for killings in Syria by failing to condemn the government crackdown on protests. But in a sign of growing divisions within the 15-member council over Syria, Russia’s ambassador accused western nations of seeking “regime…

Putin says U.S. stoked Russian protests

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Prime Minister Vladimir Putin accused the United States on Thursday of stirring up protests against his 12-year rule and said foreign countries were spending hundreds of millions of dollars to influence Russian elections. In his first public remarks about daily demonstrations over allegations that Sunday’s election was…

Websites downed in Russia poll ‘hack attack’

MOSCOW — Websites which exposed violations in Russia’s parliamentary polls were inaccessible Sunday in a hacking attack their operators said was aimed at preventing them revealing the extent of election day fraud. Popular Russian radio station Moscow Echo and election monitoring group Golos said their websites were the victims of…

Japan, Russia see chance to clone mammoth

Scientists from Japan and Russia believe it may be possible to clone a mammoth after finding well-preserved bone marrow in a thigh bone recovered from permafrost soil in Siberia, a report said Saturday. Teams from the Sakha Republic’s mammoth museum and Japan’s Kinki University will launch fully-fledged joint research next…

Russia ‘makes first contact’ with stranded Mars probe

MOSCOW — Russia on Thursday announced its scientists had for the first time made contact with its stranded Mars probe Phobos-Grunt, a day after the European Space Agency said it had received a signal. “A signal from the probe has been received and some telemetry data. At the moment our…

Russia’s stranded Mars probe sends signal to Earth

Engineers fought desperately on Wednesday to save Russia’s Phobos-Grunt spacecraft after the Martian probe sent “a first sign of life” more than two weeks after being stranded in orbit. After days of frustrating silence, contact with the probe was made on Tuesday at 2025 GMT at a European Space Agency ground station in Perth, Western Australia,…

U.S. to cease observing arms treaty with Russia: State Dept

WASHINGTON — The United States said Tuesday it would no longer provide data to Russia on conventional weapons and troops in Europe, citing non-compliance by Moscow with a two-decade old treaty that governed the information exchange. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters the United States will cease to observe…

Russia brings astronauts safely back to Earth

Three astronauts landed safely in the Kazakh steppe aboard a Russian Soyuz capsule on Tuesday after a stay of over five months aboard the International Space Station, Russian mission controlsaid. American Mike Fossum, Japan’s Satoshi Furukawa and Russia’sSergei Volkov touched down outside the remote settlement of Arkalyk in Kazakhstan just before sunrise after undocking from…

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