News in Brief

Medvedev's First Address



President Dmitry Medvedev is likely to deliver his first state-of-the-nation address to the Federal Assembly on Oct. 23, the Kremlin press service said Wednesday.

Medvedev's spokeswoman, Natalya Timakova, told Itar-Tass that the president himself would work on the text of the address.

Speaking at the presidential Council for Science, Technologies and Education, Medvedev said Wednesday that the address will include some of the government's priorities in the education sector. (MT)




G8 Meeting Planned



President Dmitry Medvedev is to soon join other leaders of the Group of Eight major industrial countries to map out strategies to deal with the global financial crisis.

In a joint statement released by the White House on Wednesday, the G8 leaders said they were united in their commitment to resolve the crisis by strengthening their financial institutions and restoring confidence. (AP)




For the Record



Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will visit North Korea next year, a ministry spokesman said on Wednesday after Lavrov held talks in Moscow with his North Korean counterpart. (Reuters)

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said Wednesday that he would work to make Russia part of the European Union in the coming years. (Reuters)

Russia will send eight observers to monitor presidential elections in the United States in November, Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko said Wednesday. (MT)

Somali pirates holding an arms-laden Ukrainian ship have withdrawn their threat to blow up the vessel if a ransom is not paid, and said Wednesday they are negotiating for its release. (AP)

The State Duma voted Wednesday in the third and final reading to allow citizens and private companies to use Russian flags on the condition that they won't be desecrated. Earlier, only the official use of flags was allowed. (MT)