Main news of November 3

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A roundup of what has happened in the past 24 hours

WORLD

* The city of New York is electing its mayor Tuesday, with the incumbent, billionaire Michael Bloomberg, running for a third term against the city comptroller, Democrat William Thompson Jr

* German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Tuesday in a historic address to both houses of the U.S. Congress that Iran must not have nuclear weapons

* Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic attended a court session in The Hague for the first time on Tuesday, telling the judges he needed more time to prepare his defense

* Iran's supreme leader said on Tuesday the U.S. approach to Iran was at odds with the slogan of bringing "change" to its policy, casting doubt on a UN-sponsored nuclear fuel deal

* Czech President Vaclav Klaus signed the EU's Lisbon Treaty on Tuesday after the country's Constitutional Court ruled that the ambitious reform treaty was in line with the Czech constitution

* Moldova's parliament on Tuesday set November 10 as the date for its vote to elect the country's new president

* An outbreak of seasonal and swine flu, which hit Ukraine last week, has claimed the lives of 71 people, the country's prime minister said

* North Korea said on Tuesday it had finished the reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel rods and claimed "remarkable achievements" in weaponizing plutonium extracted from them

* Sales of a traditional Chinese medicine against swine flu, which its producer says is especially effective for children, have been launched in China, a local newspaper said

* A new military cooperation agreement between Colombia and the United States is "a shame for the history of our continent," Spain's news agency EFE quoted the Venezuelan foreign minister as saying

RUSSIA

* Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed on Tuesday a law on harsher punishments for top criminal bosses

* Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, who heads the Russian Orthodox Church, and Vyacheslav Nikonov, executive director of the Russkiy Mir Foundation, signed a cooperation agreement

* Fourteen people have now died in Russia from swine flu, and 3,122 other cases have been confirmed as the A/H1N1 virus, the country's deputy health minister said

CULTURE

* Sales of Russian artworks netted about $13.8 million at an auction at Sotheby's in New York, well above the estimate of $6-9 mln and despite the global economic crisis, a RIA Novosti correspondent reported

BUSINESS

* The Russian government is planning to raise 54.8 billion rubles ($1.87 billion) to bail out the ailing AvtoVAZ automaker, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said

* BP and China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) said on Tuesday they had signed a technical service contract with Iraq's state-owned South Oil Company (SOC) to expand production from the Rumaila oilfield

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