Main news of June 21

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A roundup of what has happened in the past 24 hours

WORLD

* Belarus warned Europe of possible disruptions in the transit of Russian natural gas to European consumers due to the current dispute with Russia over gas debts (WRAPUP)

* Russia has called on Israel to lift its three-year blockade on Gaza and make steps towards easing the humanitarian situation in the Hamas-run Palestinian enclave, the Foreign Ministry said

* Iran has prohibited two International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) experts from entering its territory, ISNA news agency quoted head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi as saying

* A blast left 46 people dead as explosives went off in a coal mine in the central Chinese city of Pingdingshan, Xihnua said citing local authorities

RUSSIA

* Russia's state-controlled gas monopoly Gazprom has begun cutting gas supplies to Belarus on President Dmitry Medvedev's orders, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said

* Russian and Belarusian security is more important than economic problems, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said

* Russia's retirement age may be raised in the next few years as part of sweeping reforms to the pensions system, Russian business daily Vedomosti said

* President Dmitry Medvedev will begin on Wednesday his trip to the United States with visits to Silicon Valley and Standord University, the centers of hi-tech research the Russian leader wants to implant at home

DEFENSE

* Parametric Technology Corporation (PTC) intends to participate in the development of software for construction of Mistral-class helicopter carriers if Russia decides to purchase them, the company's vice president said

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