A roundup of what has happened in the past 24 hours
* India tested on Thursday its first long-range intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) able to carry a nuclear warhead deep into China or Europe, bringing Delhi into a small club of nations with intercontinental nuclear capability
* More than 140 political parties in Russia have lined up for registration following new legislation that simplifies the registration process, chairman of the State Duma Committee for Constitutional Legislation Vladimir Pligin said.
* Russia will launch the second leg of the Nord Stream pipeline, intended to deliver Russian natural gas to Europe bypassing existing transit countries, in October 2012, Russian gas giant Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said
* The Russian Defense Ministry has signed contracts on the development and construction of satellites capable of detecting launches of ballistic missiles, First Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Sukhorukov said
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The growing outright rivalry between the United States and China gives Russia more foreign policy weight, enabling it to assume the role of a balancer. So far it has been doing so rather skillfully. Today it may participate in a joint naval exercise with China that Beijing positions as outwardly anti-American. But tomorrow it can team up with the naval forces of the Old World.