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Main news of May 21

A roundup of what has happened in the past 24 hours


* North Korea will withdraw from the nonaggression pact with South Korea if Seoul continues to accuse Pyongyang of sinking one of its warships, the country's news agency said citing a statement from a government committee

* NASA has set the date for its next Mars mission, choosing a schedule that will allow for better monitoring of the spacecraft's descent to the surface of the Red Planet, the U.S. space agency said on its website

* Kiev is ready to permit Russian vessels passage through the Kerch Strait, the Ukrainian foreign minister said


* Russia is interested in further strengthening the Commonwealth of Independent States, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said

* Russia will ease barriers to migrant labor within a single economic space but will maintain controls on workers coming from other countries, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said

* Russian President Dmitry Medvedev ordered the Defense Ministry to publish all of Russia's World War II archives on the Internet by 2013

* The lower House of the Russian parliament considers the European Court of Human Rights' decision to grant Latvia's appeal on the case of Vasily Kononov a "dangerous judicial precedent," a parliamentary statement said

* Ukrainian Foreign Minister Kostyantyn Hryshchenko said Kiev had no plans to transfer control of its gas pipeline system to Russia

* Russian "psychic healer" Grigory Grabovoi was released from jail midway through an eight-year sentence on fraud charges, a Perm Region penitentiary service spokesman said


* Russia has asked Poland to participate in the construction of the Baltic Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), Polish Minister of Infrastructure Cezary Grabarczyk said


* The head coach of the German national ice hockey team said his players were aiming for an unlikely victory against defending champions Russia in the semifinals of the 2010 Ice Hockey World Championships

* Russia avenged its Olympic hockey defeat to Canada with a physical 5-2 win in the Ice Hockey World Championship quarterfinals in Germany


* The Russian Orthodox Church remembers on May 21 St. John the Divine, one of the 12 apostles of Jesus and the patron saint of writers, editors and publishers

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