The State Duma has made a parliamentary request to Central Bank Chairman Viktor Gerashchenko today, asking him to report on the reasons for the decrease in the gold and foreign currency reserves of Russia. In their request, the deputies asked the Central Bank chairman to provide information on the weekly and total volumes of the Central Bank's foreign currency deposits in commercial banks in Russia and abroad for September-December 2001; on the volume and the dates of repayment of the Central Bank's debts to the International Monetary Fund in September-November 2001; on the volumes of accumulated export revenues deposited at transit accounts since the beginning of 2001 as of November 1 and December 1 of this year; the weekly data, including the volumes of sales and purchases of foreign currency by the Central Bank in September-December 2001. Duma Budget and Tax Committee Deputy Chairman Mikhail Zadornov said at the Duma session that the gold and foreign currency reserves had reduced by $2.5 billion during the two weeks from the end of November until December 7, 2001. Nonetheless, Zadornov pointed out that the volume of the reserves had not changed as of December 14 and was at the level of $36.2 billion. 258 deputies voted for the parliamentary request.
An unidentified man wielding a knife attacked civilians in the Church of Notre Dame in the French city of Nice. Three people were killed, several others were hospitalised with injuries.One of the victims was beheaded