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Main news of July 20



* Russian President Dmitry Medvedev approved amendments to a law on non-governmental organizations simplifying registration and other procedures for them, the Kremlin said

* A new task force from Russia's Pacific Fleet will join international efforts to fight piracy off Somalia until the end of October, the first deputy chief of the Russian Navy General Staff, Vice Admiral Oleg Burtsev, said

* Staff at Russian human-rights group Memorial will remain in the North Caucasus republic of Chechnya, but operations have been suspended following the killing of one its activists, the group's chairman Oleg Orlov said

* A lawyer for Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov began legal action against the head of a human-rights group, Oleg Orlov, for slander, a presidential spokesman said


* Talks between Honduras' interim government and ousted President Manuel Zelaya have broken down, with Zelaya pledging to return home next weekend

* The sole gunman captured alive during last November's terrorist attacks in Mumbai has reversed his retraction of his confession and pleaded guilty, an Indian news agency reported

* A former Iranian president and prominent leader of the country's reformist movement, Mohammad Khatami, has called for a referendum as a means of overcoming the current political crisis in Iran, Al-Jazeera reported

* Foreign Ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have agreed to establish a regional human rights commission at a meeting on Thailand's tourist resort of Phuket, ASEAN said in a statement


* Seven Russian energy companies are ready to give financial assistance to Russia's Tom Tomsk football club, which is battling bankruptcy, the Russian sports minister said

* Former Tottenham Hotspur forward and Ukrainian international Sergei Rebrov has hung up his boots and will start work as a trainer at Dynamo Kiev, the club said



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