Russian newsreader fired for rude gesture

A newsreader who became an internet sensation after footage surfaced of her "giving the finger" to US President Barack Obama live on air has been dismissed.

Tatyana Limanova was reading an item on the recent Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation summit in Hawaii on the Russian channel Ren TV when she very clearly raised her left hand and put up her middle finger on mentioning the US President. The channel initially said it would not fire Limanova, claiming she thought she was providing a voiceover to pictures from the summit, and the gesture was meant for studio technicians who were trying to put her off.

But yesterday it said the gesture was "a severe breach of on-air discipline and demonstrated a lack of professionalism". The presenter, who has won awards for her work, has yet to comment on the incident.