- Sputnik International
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Main news of September 30

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round-up - Sputnik International


* Russia's missile-defense proposals, including the joint use of its radar facilities with the United States, are still on the table, a presidential press secretary said

* Russian officials and politicians welcomed the EU-commissioned report on the Russia-Georgia war last August, dismissing its criticism of excessive use of force

* Pavel Popovich, one of the first Soviet cosmonauts, who orbited the Earth barely a year after Yuri Gagarin's historic first spaceflight, died at 78

* Russia criticized PACE's demand that it admit more EU monitors to two former Georgia republics, saying a request should have been addressed directly to the republics' leaderships

* At least 64 villages have been left without electricity in south Russia's Dagestan due to heavy snow, which has brought down mountain power lines, local emergency services said


* The death toll from a tsunami that hit the remote Pacific islands of American and Western Samoa has risen to at least 99, with dozens of people missing, Taiwan News reported

* At least 75 people were killed when a powerful earthquake hit the Indonesian city of Padang, where around three quarters of the buildings were destroyed, a health official said

* At least two Palestinians were killed and 12 injured in an overnight Israeli air strike on smuggling tunnels under Gaza's border with Egypt, a Palestinian official said

* The August 2008 war between Russia and Georgia was started by Tbilisi's unjustified military attack on South Ossetia, concludes an independent report commissioned by the EU

* Israel is to release 20 Palestinian women from prison in exchange for a video that could prove an Israeli soldier abducted three years ago is alive, the Israeli prime minister's office said

* Russia reiterated that it expected Iran to cooperate fully with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) over its nuclear program

* A senior U.S. diplomat held the first high-level talks with Cuba's government in several years during a recent visit to Havana, U.S. State Department officials said

* Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan denied claims that Armenia was coming under international pressure to mend ties with Turkey

* Three new crewmembers on board a Soyuz TMA-16 spacecraft successfully blasted off for the International Space Station, Russia's Mission Control said



* China Investment Corporation (CIC) has paid $939 million for a 11% stake in Kazakh oil and gas company KazMunaiGas (KMG), the Xinhua news agency reported

* Inflation in Russia could be below 11% in 2009, Central Bank chief Sergei Ignatyev said



* CSKA Moscow got their first points in this season’s Champions League on Wednesday night with a 2-1 victory over Turkish champions Besiktas



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