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Main news of October 29

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A roundup of what has happened in the past 24 hours

WORLD

* The collection of signatures to nominate presidential candidates in Belarus ended on Friday, the country's Central Election Commission (CEC) reported

* Georgia declined to comment officially on media reports that it had detained 20 people suspected of spying for Russia

* Russian and U.S. drug control services have carried out their first joint anti-narcotics operation in Afghanistan, destroying four major drug laboratories, the head of Russia's Federal Drug Control Service said

RUSSIA

* The case against a Russian deputy finance minister accused of embezzling millions of dollars from public funds has been sent to the Prosecutor General's Office, investigators said

* Moscow's new mayor, Sergei Sobyanin, called for further consultation on the capital's controversial development plan through 2025 that was adopted by ex-mayor Yury Luzhkov in May

* Platon Lebedev said that investigators involved in bringing new charges against him and his former business partner, ex-Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky, had fabricated the evidence

* The approval ratings of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin are almost level for the first time in history, possibly as a result of the recent sacking of long-standing Mayor Yuri Luzhkov, the Vedemosti paper said

BUSINESS

* Russia's gas monopoly Gazprom has received requests for higher gas deliveries from the Netherlands and Denmark, Gazprom Deputy Chairman Alexander Medvedev said

* Russia and Poland ended a four-year impasse on energy supplies by signing new gas supply and transit agreements

SPORTS

* Reigning Olympic champion and former world No. 3 Elena Dementieva announced on Friday her retirement from tennis after bowing out of the WTA Championship in Doha

* Defending Russian champions Rubin Kazan closed to within three points of league leaders Zenit St. Petersburg with a 2-0 win at Krylya Sovetov.

DEFENSE

* Russia's first Project 22350 frigate was floated out at the Severnaya Verf shipyard in St. Petersburg

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