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Main news of October 28

A roundup of what has happened in the past 24 hours


* The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on Wednesday calling on the United States to end its embargo on trade with Cuba

* Turkey and Iran signed on Wednesday an agreement on the joint exploration of the Islamic Republic's South Pars gas field, bringing closer the possibility of Iran exporting natural gas to Europe via Turkey

* The UN secretary general welcomed on Wednesday as a "positive step" Iran's decision to allow international inspectors access to its recently disclosed uranium enrichment center

* The Islamist movement Hamas said on Wednesday Palestinians in the Gaza Strip must not take part in elections scheduled for January by President Mahmoud Abbas or face persecution

* Germany's lower house of parliament on Wednesday formally reelected Chancellor Angela Merkel, the head the Christian Democratic Union, for a second term

* NASA sent a prototype space rocket on a 2-minute test flight on Wednesday to pave the way for future U.S. space exploration

* Afghan President Hamid Karzai issued an order on Wednesday to strengthen security around all international institutions following a militant attack on a UN hostel in Kabul

* Ukraine's Central Election Commission on Wednesday registered the leader of the opposition Party of Regions, Viktor Yanukovych, as a candidate for presidential elections scheduled for early next year

* At least 90 people have been killed and another 150 injured in a blast in a Pakistani market on Wednesday, CNN has reported

* The head of Abkhazia's National Bank survived an assassination attempt as he traveled to work on Wednesday morning, the former Georgian republic's interior minister said

* U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Islamabad on Wednesday for a three-day visit to Pakistan amid a spate of terrorist attacks in the country

* Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa begins a historic three-day official visit to Russia on Wednesday



* Russia is not supplying S-300 defensive surface-to-air missile systems to Iran, a Russian deputy prime minister said on Wednesday

* There have so far been 1,819 confirmed swine flu cases in Russia, the country's chief sanitary official said

* The Russian Federal Space Agency Roscosmos has developed a design for a piloted spacecraft powered by a nuclear engine, the head of the agency said

* Georgia's Foreign Ministry sent a note of protest to Russia on Wednesday, demanding the immediate release of 16 Georgians detained in the former Georgian republic of South Ossetia for illegally crossing the border

* Russia supplies weaponry and equipment for police and special purpose military units in several NATO countries, state arms exporter Rosoboronexport said

* Russian President Dmitry Medvedev congratulated on Wednesday Ukrainian World War II veterans on the 65th anniversary of Ukraine's liberation from the Nazis, the Kremlin said


* U.S. tennis star Serena Williams will finish 2009 as the world's number one after Russia's Dinara Safina withdrew from the Sony Ericsson Championships in Doha on Wednesday

* The National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) has told the government that it is unable to allocate over $1 billion for the organization of Euro 2012, the UNIAN news agency said

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