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Main news of October 22

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A roundup of what has happened in the past 24 hours

WORLD

* Russia expects forthcoming talks with Iran to be successful, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said

* The lower house of the Russian parliament has reiterated its call for the United Nations and international parliamentary organizations to urge the United States to end a half-century long economic blockade on Cuba

* German Chancellor Angela Merkel has welcomed Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's decision to participate in the forthcoming NATO summit in Lisbon

* The Indonesian Center for Volcanology has issued a third-degree warning on the possible eruption of the Merapi volcano in densely populated central Java

* Poland will begin a trial of a Russian citizen who was arrested last year on espionage charges

RUSSIA

* The Russian opposition has insisted the Moscow government allow 1,500 activists to gather for a rally in downtown Moscow instead of the proposed 200

* There are no more than 70 militants remaining in Chechnya, the republic's leader Ramzan Kadyrov said, just days after a brazen militant attack on its parliament

* Russia will need to build more than 150 Bulava ballistic missiles in the next decade, an expert on the Russian arms industry said

* Former Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov has received a three million ruble ($100,000) severance package following his dismissal three weeks ago, a Russian tabloid reported, citing a source in the city administration

* Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has turned down an invitation to go to next year's Munich Security Conference (MSC)

BUSINESS

* Belarusian Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Semashko criticized Russia's proposal to cancel oil export duties for Belarus in exchange for money gained by Minsk from petroleum products re-export calling it the "worst option"

* Russia's gas giant Gazprom and Bulgarian Energy Holding signed an agreement to implement a feasibility study of the Bulgarian segment of the South Stream gas pipeline

* Russia will not export grain until July next year, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said

* Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will address the first plenary session of the World Economic Forum in Davos on January 26, 2011, presidential aide Arkady Dvorkovich said

* Russian prosecutors demanded 14 years in prison for former Yukos oil major CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky and his business partner Platon Lebedev in a second case against the businessmen

* Russia's energy tsar Igor Sechin said the project of the Nabucco gas pipeline, designed to pump natural gas from the Caspian region to Europe bypassing Russia, had no future

* Russian gas giant Gazprom may participate in a consortium to build the trans-Afghanistan (TAPI) gas pipeline for the transfer of Turkmen gas to Pakistan and India, Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin said

SPORTS

* Former World No. 1 Maria Sharapova of Russia is engaged to Los Angeles Lakers basketball player Sasha Vujacic, the TMZ.com celebrity news web site said

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