Main news of November 3

A roundup of what has happened in the past 24 hours


* 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


* 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


* 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


* 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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