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Main news of November 22

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RUSSIA

* At least four people were killed and ten injured in a bus explosion in North Ossetia believed to be caused by a roadside bomb, a local police source said

* Russia agreed to participate in six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear program, due in Beijing on December 6-8, a Russian deputy foreign minister said

* The status of Kosovo can only be settled on the basis of international law and with the consent of both Belgrade and Pristina, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said

* A Moscow court delayed until November 29 the announcement of its verdict on Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky, charged with embezzling millions of rubles from flagship air carrier Aeroflot

* The Russian Foreign Ministry said the heads of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's election monitoring body were to blame for damage to relations with Russia

* Andrei Lugovoi, an ex-Kremlin bodyguard who London accuses of poisoning Alexander Litvinenko, a former FSB officer and Kremlin critic, mocked British special services

* Under an EU agreement on illegal migrants, which comes into force Friday, the Czech Republic is to repatriate a Russian to Moscow, a Federal Migration Service (FMS) spokesman said

* A strike at a Ford car plant near St. Petersburg will continue at least until November 26, the chairman of the plant's trade union said
 

* Russian President Vladimir Putin said during talks with Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi that trade turnover between Russia and Italy this year was most likely exceed last year's figure of $30 billion

* Poland's agriculture minister said Warsaw was ready for talks on ending Russia's two-year embargo on Polish meat supplies

* A new group of doomsday cult followers have barricaded themselves into the home of their leader in the Penza Region to await the end of the world, local media said

WORLD

* Pakistan's Supreme Court dismissed opposition claims over the legitimacy of President Pervez Musharraf's reelection for a second term

* Saeed Jalili, Iran's top nuclear negotiator, said:

- He would meet with Europe's foreign policy chief on November 30 and said he was optimistic about the talks on the country's disputed nuclear program

- In the event of an attack by the United States, Iran will be able to protect itself and the region as a whole

* The province of Hormozgan, southern Iran, was hit by an earthquake on Thursday morning, the IRNA news agency reported

* Scientists at Istanbul University announced they had successfully completed Turkey's first cloning project, local media said

* Israel favors the introduction of new economic sanctions against Iran by the UN Security Council, the Israeli ambassador to Russia said

* Georgia's president will step down on Sunday as he braces himself for early elections fixed for January 5 following mass street protests earlier this month, a presidential spokesman said

* Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko congratulated the nation on the third anniversary of the "orange revolution", a series of peaceful popular protests that brought him to power

* Georgia's parliament gave their backing to Prime Minister Lado Gurgenidze in a vote of confidence, and approved a new Cabinet 

BUSINESS

* Russian energy giant Gazprom and Italy's Eni S.p.A. signed a deal to build a gas pipeline that will run under the Black Sea from Russia to the European Union

* The 1974 Central Asia-Center gas pipeline that runs from Turkmenistan via Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan to Russia will be modernized to pump 230 million cubic meters per day,  Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov, the president of Turkmenistan, said

* The Yukos oil firm has formally ceased to exist following the completion of the company's liquidation process, the Yukos bankruptcy administrator said

* Gazprombank, a subsidiary of Russian energy giant Gazprom, said it will not buy a 25% stake in Britain's Imperial Energy

* Italian oil and gas company Eni S.p.A. proposed that Russian energy giant Gazprom join its North African projects, and pledged to present its plan for Russian assets bought from Yukos

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