Main news of October 23

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RUSSIA

* Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said that Russia has not been fully affected by the global financial crisis, which may help the country to develop a stronger economy and speed up reforms

* Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Georgia has not lived up to its commitment to return troops to their bases after the armed conflict over South Ossetia in August

* The manufacturer of Kalashnikov assault rifles has sent the first shipment of equipment to Venezuela for the licensed production of AK-103 rifles, the company said

* Moscow hopes that countries pledging funds to rebuild Georgia will ensure the aid is not spent on rearming the former Soviet state, a source in the Russian Foreign Ministry said

* Surface ships and submarines from Russia's Pacific Fleet have completed a three-day anti-submarine exercise, the fleet's press service said

* The Chita district court in East Siberia rejected an appeal by lawyers of jailed Yukos founder Mikhail Khodorkovsky against a ruling of another local court

* Three children in the southern Russia city of Rostov-on-Don have beaten a kangaroo to death, a police spokesman said

* The Russian and South Korean chief representatives at the six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear disarmament met in Moscow to coordinate their negotiating positions

* Six years after Chechen terrorists burst onto the stage during the Nord-Ost musical in Moscow's Dubrovka theater, the victims of the ensuing siege were honored in the Russian capital

* Russia has asked Somalia for freedom to tackle the country's pirate problem amid growing concern for the fate of a captured ship's crew, the Foreign Ministry said

* Russia's Air Force is ready to send a helicopter group with more than 100 servicemen to Chad, the Air Force commander said

WORLD

* Checks on North Korea's denuclearization will be carried out jointly by the countries involved in the six-party talks on the issue and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), a Russian senior official said

* Georgia's parliament adopted an appeal to friendly parliaments and international organizations to force Russia to withdraw its recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent republic

*  In a break with tradition, the Thai government has decided to buy several transport helicopters from Russia, a Russian business daily reported

* Ukraine has reiterated its position that it will not permit an extension of Russia's naval presence at its Sevastopol base after 2017, the country's Foreign Ministry said

* A deputy Georgian foreign minister, Grigol Vashadze, denied Russia's accusations that Georgia is not meeting its commitments on troop withdrawal following the conflict over South Ossetia

* The majority of Americans believe that the November 4 presidential election will see widespread fraud, according to an opinion poll carried out for Fox News

* A senior Abkhazian counterintelligence officer was found dead in Abkhazia, a source in the separatist republic's state security service said

* A Ukrainian warship, the Ternopil, will join the NATO-led Operation Active Endeavor naval antiterrorism exercise in November, the Ukrainian Navy's press service said

* Vietnam is seeking to expand cooperation with Russia in all spheres, the country's President Nguyen Minh Triet said ahead of a visit to Moscow and St. Petersburg

* A recent poll said that less than 10% of Ukrainians believe early elections will help Ukraine overcome its current political crisis, the UNIAN news agency said

* The population of the People's Republic of China will reach 1.5 billion people not earlier than 2033, a government official said

* The Nepal Electricity Authority has threatened to cut supplies to the residence of the former king Gyanendra Shah over unpaid electricity bills of almost $1 million, the Kathmandu Post said

* Asian and European leaders plan to draw up common responses to deal with the global financial crisis as they gather in China later this week, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said

BUSINESS

* Russian natural gas monopoly Gazprom and Ukraine's national energy company Naftogaz have signed a long-term cooperation deal envisaging direct gas supplies without any intermediaries, a Ukrainian daily said

* Russia saw a net capital outflow of around $18 billion in the first two weeks of October, continuing the trend of the past few months amid the financial crisis, a government source said

* Russia's oil production may decrease 0.3% to 490 million metric tons in 2008, an energy ministry official said

*  Russia's Anti-Monopoly Service has denied the international Internet search engine Google the purchase of a contextual advertising system from the Russian Rambler Web search company

* Russia's state-controlled oil producer Rosneft and China National Petroleum Corporation will sign a contract in the next six weeks on crude deliveries to China, the Russian energy minister said

* Standard & Poor's has revised its outlook on Russia's long-term sovereign credit ratings to negative from stable, the international ratings agency said

* Tatneft, one of Russia's top ten crude producers, said its US GAAP net income after adjustments grew 27%, year-on-year, in January-June 2008 to 21.01 billion rubles ($807 million)

SPORT

* CSKA Moscow started the group stage of the UEFA Cup by strolling to a 3-0 win over Spanish side Deportivo La Coruna

* Former U.S. heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield announced plans to hang up his gloves in 2009, adding that he hoped to fight Russia's Nikolai Valuev, a U.S. newspaper said

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