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Main news of September 12



* Four militants were killed on Saturday in a counter-terrorist operation on the outskirts of Makhachkala, the capital of Russia’s North Caucasus republic of Dagestan, a police spokesman said

* Russian actress Ksenia Rappoport has won the Volpi Cup at the Venice Film Festival for her part in La Doppia Ora (The Double Hour) movie, ANSA news agency reported



* Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said that Caracas is to receive Russian short-range missiles

* Afghanistan's incumbent leader Hamid Karzai is leading with 54.27% of votes in presidential elections in Afghanistan, after 92,82% of ballots have been counted, the country's electoral authorities said

* The U.S. Department of State has voiced its readiness to begin bilateral talks with North Korea in order to bring the reclusive communist state back to nuclear negotiations within the six-party format

* Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said that negotiations with the West on Iran's nuclear program are a "possibility", with account for Tehran's recent proposals of international discussions on security issues

* The Discovery shuttle has successfully landed at the Edwards Air Force Base in California after being unable to touch down in Florida due to bad weather, NASA said

* Twelve civilians were killed when their car hit a landmine in Afghanistan's central Oruzgan province, a local emergency officer said

* A pilot was killed when a Pakistani air force plane crashed during a training flight, national media said

* Thousands of people took part in the demonstration in Washington on Saturday, protesting against U.S. President Barack Obama's economic policy


Gazprom head Alexei Miller said:

- There are unlikely to be any problems with Ukraine's payments for Russian gas supplies before the end of 2009

- Gazprom is planning new contracts for gas supplies to Turkey that would forbid re-export

* Spain's largest oil company, Repsol YPF SA, has said it discovered a massive gas field off the coast of Venezuela, Spanish media reported


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