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Reports: Russia Awards Spies Deported from US

Russian news reports say President Dmitry Medvedev has bestowed the country’s highest state honor on the Russian spies deported from the United States earlier this year.

Kremlin spokeswoman Natalya Timakova was quoted as saying that an awards ceremony took place Monday at the Kremlin, and included “the spies who were working in the United States and returned to Russia in July.”

In all, 11 Russians were charged by U.S. prosecutors in late June with spying activities. The last suspect was arrested in Cyprus and released on bail before disappearing.

Germany, India, Colombia, South Africa and Portugal Win UN Security Council Seats

Germany, India, Colombia, South Africa and Portugal have been elected to non-permanent seats on the U.N. Security Council. Tuesday's vote in the U.N. General Assembly saw some drama as Canada withdrew in a third round of voting as Portugal appeared poised to defeat Ottawa’s bid.

The five new council members will start a two-year term on January first. They will participate in decisions ranging from deploying U.N. peacekeepers to imposing sanctions, as the council monitors international peace and security.

Federal Government An "Immediate" Threat to Rights, 46% say

According to a Gallup poll, 46% of Americans say that the federal government has become an "immediate" threat to their rights. This figure has increased from 30% in a 2003 poll from the same organization.

In a report from Cybercast News Service, 11% of respondents cited the Obama health care plan, while 18% believe that government in general has become too big, and 17% believe government is too involved in people's private lives.

A substantial majority, 59% believe that the federal government has acquired too much power, the same poll finds, an increase from 39% in September, 2002.

Rwanda, Human Rights Groups Applaud Rebel Leader's Arrest

Human rights groups and the Rwandan government have hailed France's arrest of a suspected rebel leader whose group is blamed for atrocities in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Paris police detained Callixte Mbarushimana, following an arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court in the Hague.

South Sudanese Want Independence From North

On January 9, Sudanese are to vote on the future of the country's unity. Southern Sudan's mostly African Christian and animist population is widely expected to vote for separation from the mainly Arab and Muslim north.

It is difficult to find a person on the street in Juba who says they want to remain a part of Sudan. Many were emphatic about the coming divorce, like Abraham, a 26-year-old student.

"And for us, we the citizens of South Sudan, no one is going to vote for unity," Abraham said.

China, Turkey Deepen Ties During Rare Visit

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visited Turkey last week as part of his tour of Europe. Both countries - the fastest growing economies in the world - sealed agreements to cooperate in energy, transport and infrastructure.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared the visit an important step in the growing relationship between China and Turkey.

"We said let's raise our trade volume to $50 billion by 2015. And as the second phase, by 2020 let's aim to reach a volume of $100 billion. We have agreed upon this with my counterpart," said Erdogan.

Petition and Hmong News Articles 9/24/10 - 10/10/10

Here's a petition concerning the Hmong issue

http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/hmong-stand-for-justice.html

Here is schedule (from the Hmong American Ad Hoc Committee website) for
the 10/15/10 PROTEST RALLY for ongoing Hmong federal court case in
Sacramento:

TENTATIVE AGENDA ON OCTOBER 15, 2010

6:00 AM --Arrive at West Steps of State Capitol
8:00 AM --March to the Federal Court House
9:00 AM --Arraignments before Magistrate Judge Brennan in Courtroom 24
9:30 AM --Motions hearing before Judge Damrell in Courtroom 2
1:00 PM --Hearing is over

India to Buy Advanced Fighter Jets from Russia

India will buy 250 to 300 advanced fighter jets from Russia over the next 10 years. This will be one of the biggest defense deals between the two countries.

The fifth generation stealth fighter jets that India has agreed to buy from Russia will be jointly developed and manufactured by the two countries.

India Defense Minister A. K. Antony announced the decision to procure the jets Thursday during a visit by the Russian defense minister to New Delhi.

Antony says Russia will also supply 45 multi-role transport aircraft to India.

Russia to Refund Iran for Canceled Missile Deal

Russian officials say the country plans to reimburse Iran, after Moscow canceled the sale of an air defense missile system to Tehran. The announcement comes as the Russian president is on a one-day state visit to Cyprus.

In the scope of a $800 million contract brokered in 2005, Russia was obliged to send Iran at least five S-300 missile systems.

But last month, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev banned the sale of the missile systems following United Nations sanctions against such arms sales.

The U.N. imposed the sanctions in June for Iran's refusal to stop enriching uranium.