Main news of November 1

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RUSSIA

* Zenit St. Petersburg beat Moscow Region side Khimki 1-0 on Saturday to maintain their bid for a 2009/10 Champions League place

* The Russian government has reduced customs duty on the export of crude oil to $287 per ton from $372.2, its press service said

* Moscow police detained over 200 fans during Saturday's match between Spartak and CSKA, a police spokesman said

* Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi held separate talks in Moscow on Saturday with Russia's president and prime minister

* A Russian delegation is to arrive in Caracas on Monday to discuss preparations for President Dmitry Medvedev's visit to Venezuela in late November, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said

* Vets in southern Russia's Stavropol Territory plan to cull a total of 12,000 pigs in an area suffering from an outbreak of swine fever, a local veterinary chief said

* Russia's flagship air carrier Aeroflot said on Saturday it had agreed on a formula to establish fuel prices with the country's largest crude producers, led by Gazprom Neft

* Russia's November 4 National Unity Day public holiday is again set to see nationalist and far-right rallies in Moscow

* Russia's foreign minister will visit Japan on November 4-5 to discuss arrangements for a bilateral presidential meeting on the sidelines of an APEC summit in Lima later in November

* A goal by Nikita Bazhenov in the 56th minute was enough for Spartak Moscow to defeat deadly cross-town rivals CSKA for the first time in seven years

* Russian warships from the Pacific and Northern Fleets will conduct exercises in the Indian Ocean later this year, a Navy spokesman said

* October was the warmest on record in Moscow with an average temperature of over 9 degrees Celsius (48.2 degree Fahrenheit), the Russian meteorological website www.hmn.ru reported

* Ukraine's IBF and WBO World Heavyweight Champion Wladimir Klitschko (51-3, 45 KOs) will a hold title defense bout against Hasim Rahman of the United States on December 13 in Germany

* The Russian Foreign Ministry is concerned by recent attacks by Jewish settlers against Palestinians civilians in the West Bank and has urged Israel to call a halt to construction in the area

* Russia's Reserve Fund grew in ruble terms from October 1 to November 1 to reach 3.57 trillion rubles ($134.6 billion), while the National Prosperity Fund contracted to 1.66 trillion rubles ($62.8 billion)

* Russia will sign an agreement with the EU on participation in a peacekeeping operation in Chad and the Central African Republic on November 5 in Brussels, a Russian diplomat said

* Three people were killed early on Saturday when a car fell into the Moscow River in the south of the capital, a spokesman for local traffic police said

WORLD

* Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif will discuss trade and economic cooperation with Russia during his upcoming visit to Moscow, his press service said

* The death toll from heavy rains in central Vietnam has reached 33, with the capital Hanoi knee-deep in water, a source in the country's emergencies service said

* Egypt has announced it will host a meeting of Arab countries on Red Sea piracy in November, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said

* According to the results of a public opinion survey released on Saturday, 29% of Russians support neither Democrat Barack Obama, nor his opponent John McCain in the race for the U.S. presidency

* Switzerland could join the passport-free Schengen zone on December 12, the Swissinfo news portal said on Saturday citing the country's justice office

* The U.S. space shuttle Endeavour will be launched on November 14 from Cape Canaveral in Florida to the International Space Station, NASA has informed Russia's space agency

* Chinese manufacturers of animal feed will face tougher inspections following the discovery of melamine-tainted eggs in China, the country's agriculture ministry said

* Russia wants to reach a compromise with Japan on the territorial dispute over the Kuril Islands, the foreign minister told Japanese reporters

* Nicaragua, which joined Russia in recognizing South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states, will have contact with the republics via Russia and later establish direct diplomatic relations, the foreign minister said

* Russia's foreign minister said on Saturday that the government will do everything in its power to ensure that Russian TV channels re-appear on Ukrainian television screens

* India has received the first space photographs from its unmanned spacecraft on a mission to the Moon, the Indian Space Research Organization said

* A Soviet immigrant who worked as a violin teacher in Rome, and was caught selling his students fake antique violins for vast sums, hanged himself in his apartment, a local daily reported

* Libyan authorities have allowed seven Swiss nationals, who were arrested during a diplomatic spat between the countries, to return home, the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs said

* Ukraine's parliament has passed a set of laws aimed at stabilizing the financial system in order to meet the International Monetary Fund's conditions for a $16.5 billion standby loan

* The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) expressed concern on Saturday over the situation in southwestern Pakistan following the October 29 earthquake that claimed over 200 lives

* Somali pirates holding the Ukrainian cargo ship MV Faina say they will release the ship with its crew within two days if a ransom of at least $5 million is paid, a London-based Arab newspaper said

* The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's secretary general will arrive in Russia on Saturday for a one-day visit, an OSCE source said

BUSINESS

* The average price for the benchmark Urals blend, Russia's major crude for export, was $70.5 per barrel on global markets in October 2008, down 11% year-on-year, a senior Finance Ministry official said

* Russian territorial power generating firm TGK-1 said on Saturday its net loss under Russian Accounting Standards decreased 82% in January-September from a year ago to 127.9 million rubles ($4.8 million)

* Russian energy giant Gazprom said on Saturday its net profit under Russian Accounting Standards increased 120% in January-September from a year ago to 432.89 billion rubles ($16 billion)

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