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Main news of October 12

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A roundup of what has happened in the past 24 hours

WORLD

* India and the United States launched on Monday large-scale military exercises, India's Defense Ministry said

* The leader of the opposition Party of Regions is leading public opinion polls in Ukraine ahead of presidential election scheduled for January 17, 2010, the UNIAN news agency reported

* A Sudanese court on Monday upheld death sentences for four Islamists convicted of murdering a U.S. diplomat and his driver in January 2008

* Americans Elinor Ostrom and Oliver Williamson have jointly won the 2009 Nobel prize for economics, the Nobel Committee announced

* North Korea has launched five short-range missiles into the East Sea, South Korea's news agency Yonhap reported on Monday, citing a government source

* France's Liberation newspaper has published the findings of a report claiming that spent fuel from French power plants is being stored at an open-air site in Russia

* At least 28 people were killed and more than 40 injured in a suicide bomb attack in northwest Pakistan's Malakand region on Monday, the Press Trust of India reported

* Kyrgyzstan has suspended the operations of Boeing passenger planes by national airlines due to a series of recent engine failures, the country's Civil Aviation Department said

* India on Monday successfully test fired two nuclear-capable Prithvi-II missiles, state television reported, citing defense officials

RUSSIA

* Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Monday the results of Sunday's regional polls were a testimony to the "moral and legal" authority of the ruling United Russia party

* Russia's Strategic Missile Forces will launch five intercontinental ballistic missiles by the end of 2009, the SMF commander said

* Russia could open a trade mission in Abkhazia in early 2010, a senior Russian Economic Development Ministry official said

* Russian and foreign investigators have agreed on a unified approach to probing the July seizure of the Arctic Sea dry cargo ship and its crew, a spokesman for Russian investigators said

* Russia's arbitration court upheld on Monday tax claims worth 230 million rubles ($7.4 million) against Lufthansa, rejecting the German airline's appeal of an earlier ruling

* With almost 90% of votes counted in the elections to the Moscow City Duma, just two parties look set to pass the 7% threshold to receive seats in the assembly, election officials said

BUSINESS

* Russian-Chinese investment energy company, a subsidiary of the Hong Kong-registered RusEnergy Investment Group, has bought 51% of Russia's Suntarneftegaz, a Chinese newspaper said

* Russia has extended by 10 months increased import duties on new and used foreign cars and trucks, which sparked mass protests across the country in December, a government daily said

* A mission from the International Monetary Fund arrives in Ukraine on Monday for a 12-day working visit, the Ukrainian Finance Ministry said

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