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Main news of May 14

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RUSSIA

* Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has made another series of appointments of personal advisers and envoys, the Kremlin said

* Russian President Dmitry Medvedev appointed presidential envoys to the country's seven federal districts

* The Russian government is planning a number of tax exemptions for oil producers, including a reduction in mineral extraction tax, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said

* Russia's foreign minister said the Iran Six group of negotiators on Tehran's nuclear problem should provide Iran with security guarantees to persuade the country to freeze uranium enrichment

* The Baltic Pipeline System-2, stretching from western Russia's Bryansk Region to the Leningrad Region, will run to the port of Ust-Luga with a branch going to the Kirishi oil refinery, the Russian prime minister said

* Russian President Dmitry Medvedev accepted the resignation of acting presidential aide Sergei Yastrzhembsky, who also held the position of the president's top adviser on relations with the EU, a Kremlin spokesman said

* Two Russian Tu-95 Bear strategic bombers have carried out a routine patrol over remote areas of the Arctic that lasted for almost 20 hours, a Russian Air Force spokesman said

* Russia's Foreign Ministry issued a statement condemning Tuesday's bomb blasts in the western Indian city of Jaipur and saying the terrorists must be brought to justice

* The first Sukhoi Superjet 100 medium-haul passenger airliner made test runs on a runway in Russia's Far East as part of final preparations for its maiden flight, the manufacturer said

* Average state pensions in Russia are expected to grow 20% annually in the next three years, a deputy economics minister said

* Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said that he would pay an official visit to Germany in early June

* A second Russian Emergencies Ministry plane carrying 30 tons of humanitarian aid for quake-stricken southwest China took off from an airfield near Moscow, a ministry spokesman said

WORLD

* Senator Hillary Clinton won Tuesday's presidential primary in West Virginia and said she was "more determined than ever" in her campaign to become the Democratic nominee for U.S. president

* A crowd of angry Italians set a gypsy camp on fire in the outskirts of Naples following reports of an alleged kidnapping by a Roma girl, national media reported

* A 13-month-old boy has died of hand, foot and mouth disease on the way to hospital in Beijing, bringing the nationwide death toll to 40, Chinese media said

* Over 423 kilograms (923 lbs) of drugs have been seized in Tajikistan, the largest haul in the Central Asian country this year, a drug enforcement agency spokesman said

* The British Embassy in Moscow issued a statement thanking the Russian leadership for formally waiving visa requirements for soccer fans travelling to the May 21 Champions League final

* U.S. President George Bush has nominated a new U.S. ambassador to Russia, career diplomat John Beyrle, the White House press service

* The death toll from a powerful earthquake that hit southwest China two days ago has reached 14,866, the Xinhua news agency said

* Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad forecast the annihilation of Israel on Wednesday as the Hebrew state celebrated its 60th anniversary

* Iran has arrested a terrorist group that planned to blow up the Russian consulate building in the town of Rasht near the Caspian Sea, the Iranian intelligence and security minister said

* Turkish army units have killed 11 Kurdish insurgents and injured over 20 in the Hakkari province bordering Iraq, national media reported

* Georgia's Foreign Ministry has announced its withdrawal from a 1995 CIS unified air defense agreement signed by a number of former Soviet republics, including Russia

* The death toll in Myanmar's Cyclone Nargis has risen to 38,500, making it the worst natural disaster to hit the region since the 2004 tsunami which killed some 250,000 people, state radio announced

* The Ukrainian parliament will resume work on May 15 and legislators will vote on a package of anti-inflation bills, the country's prime minister said

* At least 14 Israelis were injured as a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip hit a shopping center in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon, medical workers said

BUSINESS

* Net capital inflow into Russia could reach $60 billion in 2008 if oil prices continue to rise, a deputy economics minister said

* AFK Sistema [RTS: AFKS], one of Russia's largest diversified companies, said its unaudited consolidated US GAAP net profit in 2007 nearly doubled from the previous year to $1.6 billion

* Defense company Oboronprom, a subsidiary of Russia's state arms export monopoly RosOboronExport, said its sales increased 17% year-on-year in 2007 to 38.86 billion rubles ($1.6 billion)

* AFK Sistema [RTS: AFKS], one of Russia's largest diversified companies, said it planned to invest up to $1 billion into a project in India in 2008

* The Slovakian financial group J&T bought in April a 75% stake in the company that owns the Baltschug Kempinski hotel, located near Moscow's Kremlin, a J&T Group founder and managing partner said

* The parent company of electricity monopoly Unified Energy System (UES) of Russia said its revenues calculated to Russian Accounting Standards (RAS) increased 23% in the first quarter of 2008 to 6.9 billion rubles ($290.4 million) year-on-year

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