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Added June 24, 2010 with 14 photos
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's U.S. trip produced a blockbuster announcement Wednesday with Cisco Systems saying it will invest $1 billion in his country.

An agreement signed in California by Cisco and Russian officials puts Russia on course to develop its own Silicon Valley in Skolkovo, near Moscow, the San Jose Mercury News reported.

"Simply put, we're all in," Cisco Chief Executive Officer John Chambers told Medvedev regarding what is intended to be a "wide-ranging series of collaborative initiatives."

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger also was on hand when Cisco demonstrated its video conferencing, business social networking and sports casting technology for the Russian leader.

Cisco will initially pump in $100 million in venture money in Russia. Other facets will include establishing an innovation and venture center in Skolkovo, where Cisco also will put a second global headquarters for its Emerging Technology Group.

Cisco also will put up $175,000 in prize money for winning entrepreneurial teams in Russia.

Medvedev was to tour Apple, Google and Twitter, and speak at Stanford University later in the day.

Medvedev has made high-tech development and research top priorities of his economic agenda and is using his five-day U.S. trip to learn more about the sector, Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported Tuesday.

"There will be a serious program tomorrow: I will inspect the high-tech companies in Silicon Valley. This is very useful for us given our plans for a similar center near Moscow," Medvedev said at a dinner Tuesday in San Francisco with Schwarzenegger.

Russia is building a high-tech research hub in Skolkovo, a Moscow suburb, dubbed Russia's Silicon Valley, RIA Novosti said.

Medvedev said it would benefit Russia and the United States to cooperate in the high-tech arena and that he supports creating a Russian-U.S. working group for that purpose.

"We know you are very interested not only in developing and diversifying the economy but also you are very interested in nuclear disarmament," Schwarzenegger told Medvedev. "I want to tell you how much I appreciate that."

Schwarzenegger and Medvedev also toasted an international partnership to help California's state parks Tuesday, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. Medvedev witnessed Schwarzenegger signing a memorandum of understanding with Russia's Renova Group of Companies that will help preserve California's Fort Ross State Historic Park, a Russian-American settlement dating from the 1800s.

"Russian private investment will help the state," Schwarzenegger said. "It's a great collaboration."

Added June 24, 2010 with 19 photos
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Added June 16, 2010 with 10 photos
WASHINGTON, June 16 (UPI) -- Although the heart of U.S. President Barack Obama's Tuesday speech was the gulf oil spill, there was room to seek support for parts of his legislative agenda.

Obama used his prime-time address from the Oval Office to plug an energy bill before the U.S. Senate (similar legislation passed the House of Representatives last June), saying, "The tragedy unfolding on our coast is the most painful and powerful reminder yet that the time to embrace a clean-energy future is now."

The president also said he appointed a former Justice Department official to lead the Minerals Management Service and Navy Secretary Ray Mabus to develop a "long-term strategy for the gulf."

Before the speech Republicans warned it shouldn't be used as a political platform but Obama, nonetheless, used the opportunity to demand action on the energy bill.

"The one approach I will not accept is inaction," the president said.

On Wednesday, President Obama announced BP has agreed to set up a $20 billion fund to compensate those affected by the gulf oil spill.

Obama met with BP Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg at the White House to discuss the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico since the Transocean oil rig operated by BP exploded April 20, killing 11, and sank two days later, spewing as much as 60,000 barrels of oil a day every since.

BP said in a statement Tuesday: "We share the president's goal of shutting off the well as quickly as possible, cleaning up the oil and mitigating the impact on the people and environment of the Gulf Coast."

BP announced Tuesday it sped up commercial large-loss claims and approved checks totaling more than $16 million to businesses that have filed claims of at least $5,000.

Added June 16, 2010 with 79 photos
Added June 15, 2010 with 10 photos
LOS ANGELES, July 5 (UPI) -- "The Last Airbender," a fantasy adventure from writer-director M. Night Shyamalan, opened at No. 2 in U.S. theaters this Independence Day weekend. "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" remains No. 1, taking in an estimated $176 million. The following collection shows the top highest grossing movies of the summer.
Added June 15, 2010 with 16 photos
Added June 15, 2010 with 15 photos
Added June 14, 2010 with 38 photos
Added June 14, 2010 with 26 photos
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