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Main news of June 8

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RUSSIA

* Russia welcomed the results of Sunday's parliamentary elections in Lebanon, the Foreign Ministry said

* The coalition that won Sunday's parliamentary elections in Lebanon will be able to resolve the most urgent of the country's problems, a Russian top senator said

* Russia's Foreign Ministry said on Monday the refusal by Ukrainian authorities to allow a Russian lawmaker entry into the country at the weekend was "unfriendly."

* Foreign investment in Russia totaled $12 billion in the first three months of 2009, down 30% against January-March 2008, the prime minister said

* Global military spending totaled $1.464 trillion last year, a real-term increase of 45% from a decade ago and 4% rise year-on-year, a prominent political think tank said

WORLD

* The West-backed "March 14" coalition won Sunday's parliamentary elections in Lebanon, the country's interior minister told a Beirut press conference

* South Korea is confident that any military aggression by its northern neighbor will be repelled by joint U.S.-South Korean forces, President Lee Myung-bak said during a meeting

* North Korea is to close the shipping channels near the eastern port of Wonsan on the Sea of Japan in possible preparation for a missile launch, Japan's NHK television reported

* A North Korean high court has sentenced two U.S. journalists to 12 years of hard labor for illegally crossing the country's border, North Korea's state KCNA news agency reported

* Brazilian and French planes and naval vessels, involved in the search for traces of an Air France plane that crashed into the Atlantic Ocean last week, have recovered 16 bodies, rescuers announced

* Afghan President Hamid Karzai has sent a letter to his Kyrgyz counterpart requesting an extension to the Manas airbase lease used by the international anti-terror coalition, a Kyrgyz presidential spokesman said

* Eleven people were killed and another 12 wounded in an attack at a mosque in southern Thailand on Monday, the Bangkok Post reported

* Gabonese President Omar Bongo died on Monday in a clinic in Barcelona, Spanish media said citing sources close to the president

* At least two miners died and another 12 are missing following an accident at a coal mine in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk on Monday, a local emergencies spokesman said

* Ukraine has paid in full for natural gas supplied by Russia in May, Gazprom confirmed on Monday amid concerns that a threatened halt in supplies to the country could disrupt transit to Europe

* At least 14 people have been killed and 16 injured in a collision between a bus and a truck in northern Egypt, the MENA news agency said

* A total of 25,288 cases of swine flu resulting in 139 deaths have been officially confirmed in 73 countries, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in a report

* The death toll from a fire that swept through a nursery in north-west Mexico has risen to 41, a local health minister said

* Cuba's foreign minister says the country has no plans to return to the Organization of American States despite the organization's vote to revoke Havana's 1962 suspension

* Scientists at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) are finishing repairs to the Large Hadron Collider, which has been out of operation since September, CERN said on its website

BUSINESS

* Russia's natural gas exports to countries other than former Soviet republics declined 56.7%, year-on-year, in January-April 2009 to 26.4 billion cubic meters, the Federal Customs Service said

* A pulp mill next to Baikal, the world's deepest lake, has started paying three months of wage arrears to employees, the management of the plant, which closed six months ago, said

* The Russian Bailiff Service said on Monday it had prepared documents to auction off a 26.6% stake in Russian mobile firm VimpelCom held by Norway's telecoms giant Telenor

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