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Main news of September 16



* Pope Benedict XVI will receive a senior Russian Orthodox Church official at his countryside residence on Friday, Vatican Radio reported

* Several members of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) are involved in creating three joint regional air defense structures as part of the CIS integrated air defense network

* With all the ballots counted, the Afghan Central Election Commission said Wednesday that incumbent President Hamid Karzai garnered 54.62% of the vote in the August 20 elections

* Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko on Wednesday urged all members of the European Union to work towards creating "a Europe without borders"

* The White House Mideast envoy completed on Wednesday a regular round of talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with no visible signs of progress on the issue of Jewish settlements

* The European Parliament voted on Wednesday to give European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso a second five-year term in office

* The Georgian patriarchy does not recognize the Abkhaz Orthodox Church as independent, a spokesman said

* Israel said on Wednesday it was "shocked and disappointed" by a UN report accusing its military forces of war crimes in the Gaza Strip

* The U.S. Navy coastguard cutter Sycamore began a three-day visit to Russia's Far East port of Vladivostok on Wednesday

* Japanese lawmakers elected center-left former opposition leader Yukio Hatoyama as prime minster on Wednesday, ending half a century of almost continual conservative rule

* The Japanese government, led by Prime Minister Taro Aso, resigned at an emergency session of the country's parliament, which began in Tokyo


* The launch of a new meteorological satellite on board the Soyuz 2.1b carrier rocket has been postponed indefinitely due to technical glitches, a source involved in preparations for the launch said

* The criminal probe against RIA Novosti's Tbilisi bureau chief on forgery allegations is politically motivated, the Russian Foreign Ministry said

* The Bank of New York will pay Russia's customs authorities at least $14 million as an out-of-court settlement of a $22.5 billion money laundering lawsuit, Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin said

* Russia's Zvezdochka shipyard said on Wednesday it will install Club-S cruise missile systems on four Kilo class diesel submarines in service with the Indian navy in the next five years

* Russia has overcome the worst phase of the current global economic crisis and is gradually beginning to recover, a first deputy prime minister reported to the lower house of parliament

* A female suicide bomber injured six people including two police officers in the south Russian republic of Chechnya on Wednesday, local health officials said

* Five Russian soldiers have died and five others are injured following a road crash in southern Tajikistan, the Tajik Interior Ministry said


* A hat-trick from Brazilian striker Grafite condemned CSKA Moscow to a 3-1 away defeat to VfL Wolfsburg in the first match of the 2009/10 Champions League on Tuesday night

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