Morning re-cap of main news, March 7

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* Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said after talks in the United States:

- Russia and the U.S. could reach important agreements in the nuclear sphere before a summit of the Group of Eight industrialized nations in St. Petersburg

- U.S. President George Bush had taken the issue of completing bilateral negotiations on Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization under his personal control

- Radical Palestinian group Hamas was ready to support the "road map" plan as part of the Middle East peace process

* A new body with sweeping powers to combat terrorism in Russia, the National Anti-Terrorism Committee, convened for its first meeting to determine the scope of its work and its priority objectives

* Kirill Androsov, a Russian deputy economic development and trade minister, said the U.S. dollar was not in danger of devaluation

* Dmitry Lvov, the director of a virology research institute with the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, said the world was one step away from a bird flu pandemic that could not be averted by quarantine or vaccination

* Russia's Energy Engineering Alliance said it had completed installation of generators and equipment at Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant

* Anatoly Perminov, the head of the Russian Federal Space Agency, said the permanent crew of the International Space Station would be increased from three to six in 2009

* Russia's Economic Development and Trade Ministry said a bill to establish tax holidays lasting up to seven years for new oil deposits in eastern Russia and the extreme north remained under discussion in various ministries

* Polyus, a gold mining company owned by Russian metals giant Norilsk Nickel, sold a 20% stake in South Africa's Gold Fields, the world's fifth biggest gold producer, for $2 billion

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