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The State Duma has held parliamentary hearings on the draft federal law on amendments to the Federal Law “On State Service of the Russian Cossacks.” The hearings were attended by the staff of the Permanent Mission of North Ossetia-Alania under the Russian President and a number of representatives of the Cossacks, as well as important political figures.President Dmitry Medvedev previously submitted a draft of the federal law on amendments to the Federal Law “On State Service of Russian Cossacks”. The draft was adopted by the State Duma in its first reading on March 25, 2011.

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More than 26 thousand people remained without electricity in six districts of the Krasnodar region due to a strong wind on Friday, the press officer of Kubanenergo, Oksana Levitskaya told RIA-Novosti.On Friday, due to gale-force winds with speed up to 28 meters per second, local Emergency Services issued a storm warning.

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The Megafon company will install about 3000 cameras in Sochi in the early summer under the "Safe City" program in Sochi, the head of Sochi Anatoly Pakhomov announced, RIA Novosti reports.Pakhomov stressed that by doing so the city will guarantee the resort security, while a large number of policemen in uniform can create a certain psychological discomfort.The total cost of the "Safe City" program is 1,5 billion rubles.

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The Russian Ministry of Natural Resources will provide 300 million rubles for the Sochi arboretum, the City Mayor Anatoly Pakhomov told a press conference at RIA Novosti on April 8.Roads and pavements will be repaired and trees taken care of. The park will be partly put in order by June 1.

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The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs has made a special declaration on the visit of Abkhaz President Sergey Bagapsh to Ankara, Trend reports. The declaration said that Turkey recognizes the territorial unity of Georgia. Bagapsh's visit is unofficial. He was invited by public organizations.

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Sochi will never adopt a resort tax, Mayor Anatoly Pakhomov said at a press conference at the press-center of RIA Novosti. This reduce the competitiveness of national resorts, he said. Russian resort taxes were banned in 2004. People were previously obliged to pay taxes for visiting resorts.

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Gazprom has received Turkey“s permission for sea research on the South Stream project, head of the department for foreign economic activities Pavel Oderov said, RIA Novosti reports. The official said that Gazprom will need to do research on the stage of front-end engineering design (FEED). It will provide additional information and will be the basis for permission to construct a pipe, Oderov said.

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Khosein Abedi, director of the department of agriculture Jihad of the administration of Astara (Gilan Province), said in an interview with IRNA that 191,642 tons of agriculture were exported to Russia, Azerbaijan and Ukraine through Astara on 03.21.10-03.20.11, Iran.ru reports. This includes export of grape, eggplants, onions, potatoes, dates, cucumbers, soya, greens, pepper, kiwi, tomatoes and carrots.

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Dagestanis and Azerbaijanis have been involved in a mass brawl at the Mechta Cafe in Moscow. Five people were hospitalized, and 25 were detained, Trend reports. Over 30 people were involved in the fight at the cafe on Krasnodarskaya Street. Police later found 12 shells of various calibres and three knives.

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Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has dismissed his special representative for international energy cooperation, the Kremlin“s website said on Friday, RIA Novosti reports. Representative Igor Yusufov was appointed on July 29, 2004 to boost Russia's positions on the fuel and energy market. He held talks with the European Union, USA and Persian Gulf states. Yusufov was the Russian Energy Minister, and head of the Russian agency for state reserves before appointed as special representative.

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Russian cultural center to be built in Dagestan

Makhachkala has hosted a meeting of the Governmental Commission of the Republic of Dagestan on the Russian-speaking population. The draining of the Russian-speaking population was at the center of discussions.

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The current first deputy prime minister of Chechnya, Magomed Daudov, will remain in his post, according to a unanimous decision of the Chechen parliament taken on Thursday, RIA Novosti reports, quoting the press service of the republic's parliament.On Tuesday, Ramzan Kadyrov, after assuming the position of head of Chechnya for a new term, accepted the resignation of the Cabinet, as the constitution of the republic requires.

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The Organizing Committee of the Sochi Olympic games welcomes the inclusion of new disciplines in the program of the 2014 Winter Games and believes that it will be another chance for the Russian national team to win medals, the head of Sochi 2014, Dmitry Chernyshenko, told reporters, RIA Novosti reports.The IOC Executive Board decided to include six new disciplines in the program of the 2014 Olympics at a meeting in London on Wednesday.

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Today the parliament of Karachay-Cherkessia decided to disband a member of the Federation Council, the representative of the Popular Assembly of the Republic, Zurab Dokshokova, RIA Novosti reports.Dokshokov decided to leave his post and has delegated a deputy, Murat Suyuncheva, to this position. His candidature was supported by deputies almost unanimously.Radmir Aybazov who used to represent the executive authority of Karachay-Cherkessia in the Federation Council has also left his post.

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World Press on Iran, Turkey and the Caucasus (April 7, 2011)

In the article headlined “Libyan rebels bide their time” published today by The Los Angeles Times the author underlines how important it is for the Libyan leaders to develop ties with other Mediterranean countries. The author pays special attention to the recent visit of the representative of the rebel forces to Turkey and Greece.

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