Main news of June 19

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RUSSIA

* Russia warned Georgia that the patience of Russian peacekeepers was running out and any further detentions could end in bloodshed

* Russia has successfully launched a Cosmos 3M rocket with six U.S. satellites onboard from a space center in southern Russia, a spokesman for the Russian Strategic Missile Forces said

 * Russia's 2-0 victory over Sweden on Wednesday night at Euro 2008 has been praised by the country's president, media and players as a gigantic step forward in the development of the national game 

* Russia's Federal Space Agency has endorsed a proposal by the U.S. House of Representatives that a Russian radar station be used to detect dangerous asteroids, the Roscosmos head said 

* Crews of all three Russian Team Kamaz trucks withdrew from the Transoriental Rally event due to the death of a French racer earlier in the week

WORLD 

* A ceasefire agreement between Israel and Islamic group Hamas came into force at 06:00 a.m. local time (03:00 GMT) on Thursday, official sources in Tel Aviv and the Gaza Strip said

* Serbia's pro-Western Democratic movement and the country's Socialist Party have reached an agreement to attempt to form a coalition government, Serbian media reported

* Leaders of the European Union approved Slovakia's bid to become a member of the euro currency zone during a regular two-day summit which started in Brussels

* More than two million people have been left homeless after floods swept across eastern India over the past week, national radio reported 

* Two pilots and two passengers died as a EU peacekeeping helicopter belonging to the Spanish military crashed in Bosnia, national radio reported

* Russian and European specialists have raised the orbit of the International Space Station (ISS) using the engines of Europe's first space freighter Jules Verne, Russia's mission control said

* Foreign ministries of Lithuania and Belarus have exchanged notes confirming the demarcation of borders between the two countries, the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry said in a press release 

* The United States does not plan to expand its airbase near Kyrgyzstan's capital, a senior U.S. diplomat visiting the Central Asian state said

* The Czech opposition has gathered over 100,000 signatures in support of a proposal to hold a national referendum on the placement of a U.S. early-warning radar in the Czech Republic, an opposition spokesperson said

BUSINESS 

* Trade between Russia and Britain increased 45%, year-on-year in January-April 2008 to $6.7 billion, the Russian ambassador to London said

* Russia's flagship air carrier Aeroflot said on Thursday its net income calculated to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) increased 21.4%, year-on-year, in 2007 to $313.4 million

* Russia's largest diamond producer Alrosa [RTS: ALRS] sold diamonds worth over $17 million at a special international auction on Thursday, the diamond firm said in a joint statement with the auction's organizers

* Russia exported 6.65 million carats of diamonds in the first quarter of 2008, earning a total of $414.8 million, Russia's Finance Ministry said

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