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Main news of May 15



* The president of the volatile Russian republic of Chechnya said he was canceling amnesty for militants following a suicide attack in the capital that killed two police officers earlier on Friday

* Russian gas monopoly Gazprom signed agreements on Friday with transit states Bulgaria, Greece, Serbia and Italy to push forward South Stream, another pipeline to pump natural gas to Europe

* The first round of full-format Russia-U.S. talks on a new strategic arms reduction treaty will be held on May 19-21 in Moscow, a Russian Foreign Ministry official said

* Russia's Investigation Committee has launched criminal proceedings against a Finnish national who is suspected of illegally taking his son out of Russia, a committee spokesman said

* Two police officers were killed and three injured in a bomb blast on Friday near the Chechen Interior Ministry in central Grozny, a police spokesman said

* Russia's proposals for a new European security treaty are not aimed against NATO, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said

* The prime minister of the Russian Republic of Bashkortostan faces criminal charges over alleged illegal land acquisition deals, Russian business daily Vedomosti said


* The first human case of A/H1N1 influenza has been confirmed in Ecuador, the country's health minister said

* A 3-year-old Egyptian boy has contracted the bird flu virus, bringing the country's number of human avian flu cases to 71, a Health Ministry spokesman said

* Georgia's opposition parties that have been demonstrating for over a month demanding the president step down are refusing to take part in a constitutional commission, an opposition leader said

* Pope Benedict rounded off his five-day tour of the Middle East on Friday by reiterating his appeal for peace between the Israelis and Palestinians so each can live in their own state

* Ukraine's parliament demanded on Friday a probe into reports of the interior minister's detention over a drunken brawl at Frankfurt airport and moved to suspend him until an investigation is completed

* The World Health Organization on Friday confirmed 7,520 cases of swine flu in 34 countries, with 65 deaths, over a thousand more infections than yesterday

* The German Embassy in Moscow has issued a visa to a seriously ill Abkhazian teenager who has to undergo an urgent medical procedure in a German clinic, a spokesman said

* Pakistan's army killed 124 Taliban fighters in a 24-hour period as government forces continue to battle militants in the country's North West Frontier Province, national media reported

* North Korea announced on Friday the cancellation of all contracts with South Korean companies at the Kaesong industrial park to the north of the shared border, amid rising tensions

* An Indian Air Force (IAF) MIG-27 Flogger ground support aircraft crashed Friday in northwest India, injuring seven civilians on the ground, the Press Trust of India news agency said citing the military

* Sri Lanka's defense minister has criticized calls from the UN and Western powers to halt an offensive against Tamil Tiger separatists, saying the military needs to permanently wipe out insurgent forces

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