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Main news of October 29

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RUSSIA

* The leaders of Russia and Ecuador signed in Moscow a declaration on strategic partnership in politics, security, environmental protection, education, science, culture and tourism

* The Russian-crewed and Maltese-flagged vessel at the center of a mysterious hijacking case was handed over to representatives of Malta, the Russian Prosecutor General's Office said

* A plenary session of Russia's Supreme Court asked the Constitutional Court to rule on whether capital punishment could again be legal in Russia from January 1

* A woman has died of swine flu in the Siberian Krasnoyarsk region, bringing Russia's death toll in the pandemic to five people, the regional health minister said

* The U.S. president's national security adviser, Gen. James Jones, visited Russia for nuclear arms reduction talks

* The Strasbourg court has fined Russia 130,000 euros ($192,000) over the disappearance in 2000 of three people in its North Caucasus republic of Chechnya, the court said in a press release

* The Russian Foreign Ministry said that it was unacceptable for the United States to apply pressure to secure the extradition of alleged Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout from Thailand

* The visit to Russia by British Foreign Secretary David Miliband due later this week could foster better ties between Moscow and London, the Russian Foreign Ministry said

* Yevgeny Primakov, who as Russian prime minister in 1999 turned his plane around en route to Washington when the bombing of Serbia began, celebrated his 80th birthday

WORLD

* Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said his country is ready to cooperate with Western powers on nuclear fuel and technology, but will not retreat "one iota" on its nuclear rights

* Funerals have been held for some of the 105 victims of a massive car bomb attack in the Pakistani city of Peshawar, Al Jazeera reported

* A Thailand-flagged fishing vessel was hijacked by two pirate skiffs about 370 km (200 nautical miles) north of Seychelles, the European Union naval force said

* Honduras' Foreign Ministry is filing a complaint to the International Court of Justice in The Hague "over Brazil's interference in the country's internal affairs"

* Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said the Islamist movement Hamas is afraid to participate in Palestinian presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled for January 2010

* Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic will not be attending his war crimes trial in The Hague until the court meets his demand for more time to prepare, his lawyer said

* Ukraine's Central Election Commission registered incumbent President Viktor Yushchenko as a candidate for presidential elections scheduled for early next year in the ex-Soviet republic

BUSINESS

* Russia's international reserves comprising gold, foreign exchange and a range of other assets grew by $5.9 billion to $429.3 billion in the week of October 16 - October 23, the Central Bank said

* Russia's largest independent oil producer LUKoil said its net profit calculated under Russian Accounting Standards fell 92%, quarter-on-quarter, in July-September 2009 to 1.76 billion rubles ($59 million)

* Alrosa, Russia's largest diamond miner, said it sold diamonds worth $1.73 billion in January-October 2009

* Russia's flagship air carrier Aeroflot announced that its net profit under International Financial Reporting Standards declined 80%, year-on-year, in January-June to $14.1 million

* Russia's largest truck producer, KamAZ, announced net losses under International Financial Reporting Standards of 1.8 billion rubles ($60 million) in January-June 2009

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