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Main news of March 13

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RUSSIA

* Russia's president-elect, Dmitry Medvedev, has moved into the Kremlin well ahead of his May 7 presidential inauguration, a respected Russian daily said

* Russia's new S-400 air defense missile systems may participate for the first time in live firing exercises at a test site in south Russia, an Air Force spokesman said

* The Moscow administration is considering building a health resort in Georgia's breakaway republic of Abkhazia, a city official said

* The Sukhoi Civil Aircraft company, a subsidiary of the Sukhoi aircraft manufacturer, will design and produce wings for a new mid-haul passenger airliner, the head of the Irkut company said

* Law enforcement bodies have arrested or killed over 100 militants in Russia's North Caucasus republic of Chechnya since the start of this year, a senior police official said

* Russia's prosecutor general has instructed the Irkutsk Region prosecutor to check whether the Baikal pulp mill is operating legally

* UEFA is investigating claims by the soccer club Marseille that its colored players were subject to racist taunts by Zenit St. Petersburg fans during the teams' UEFA Cup clash in Russia on Wednesday

* Russian and Ukrainian energy companies signed a deal ending their complex system of natural gas supplies via intermediaries, and fixed a scheme for 2008 deliveries

* A student from Ghana is in hospital in St. Petersburg after being attacked in the city center by unknown offenders, a local police spokesman said

WORLD

* Four Russian strategic bombers flew routine patrol missions over the Atlantic Ocean and the Black Sea that lasted over 10 hours, an Air Force spokesman said

* Members of Russia's lower house of parliament recommended that Moscow open 'missions' in Georgia's breakaway republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, as well as in Moldova's Transdnestr

* Georgia's political opposition leaders have held consultations with London-based Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky, Georgia's Rustavi-2 TV-channel reported

* A Moscow lawyer visited a suspected Russian arms dealer in jail in Thailand, the Russian consul in the Southeast Asian country said

* The body of an Iraqi Catholic archbishop who was kidnapped in late February was found near Mosul in north Iraq, the bishop of Baghdad told journalists

* An operation to rescue over 300 people from a Greek ship that ran aground in the Aegean Sea near Athens has been completed with no injuries reported, local officials said

* A meeting between Russian and U.S. foreign and defense ministers will be held in Moscow on March 17-18, a high ranking official in the Russian Foreign Ministry said

* Iranian troops have launched attacks against two groups of Kurdish separatists on the country's border with Iraq, an Iranian official said

* An air strike carried out by U.S.-led NATO forces in Afghanistan has killed 41 Taliban militants in the south of the country, an Afghan Defense Ministry spokesman said

* A woman in the U.S. state of Kansas became stuck to her toilet after sitting on it for two years, local media said

* Turkish troops have killed 10 militants from the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in clashes near the Iraqi border, the General Staff of the Turkish Armed Forces said

* Israel plans to sign a deal on visa-free travel with Russia in a week's time during a visit by Russia's foreign minister to the country, a source in the Israeli Foreign Ministry said

* All schools and kindergartens in Hong Kong have been closed following a mysterious flu outbreak that killed three children recently in the former British colony, local media reported

* Serbian President Boris Tadic has signed a decree dissolving the country's parliament and slating early parliamentary elections for May 11, the presidential press service said

* Israel resumed airstrikes against Palestinian militants in Gaza ending a week-long ceasefire in response to new rocket attacks aimed at Israeli border towns, an army spokesperson

* U.S. President George W. Bush signed an order extending sanctions against Iran for another year, the White House press service said

* A suicide bomber attacked a U.S. military convoy outside Kabul's airport, killing six civilians and injuring over 20 people, Kabul police said

* The U.S. space shuttle Endeavour docked with the International Space Station, NASA's mission control center in Houston said

* Ukraine's president said his country's moves toward membership of NATO would be discussed during U.S. President George W. Bush's visit in late March

* Uzbekistan reopened its prisons for checks by Red Cross officials after Western criticism of the ex-Soviet republic's human rights record

BUSINESS

* Russia's major diamond producer, Alrosa, plans to build two electric power plants in Namibia, the Rough & Polished agency said, citing the company's president

* Russia's national air carrier has signed an agreement on the operational leasing of 10 new A330-200 passenger jets for up to 10 years with the Dutch leasing company, AerCap, Aeroflot said

* The Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works (MMK) will launch construction of a plant worth over $1 billion in Turkey on March 15, MMK CEO Viktor Rashnikov said

* Irkut Corporation said its net profit calculated to Russian Accounting Standards (RAS) increased 254% year-on-year in 2007 to 3.9 billion rubles ($162.5 million)

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