Main news of February 24

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A roundup of what happened in the past 24 hours.

WORLD

* The European Union is considering implementing sanctions against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi as the authorities in the North African country continue to use violent methods to quash a prolonged uprising

* A British court ruled Julian Assange, the enigmatic founder of the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks, should be extradited to Sweden where he is wanted on sex assault charges

* Ukraine is interested in cooperating with NATO in building the European missile defense system, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said

* NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the alliance has asked Ukraine to consider allocating military instructors to help train Afghan security forces

RUSSIA

* Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said he fears the growing unrest in north Africa will strengthen radical groups, which could have a negative impact on Russia's volatile North Caucasus region

* Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said the country's accession to the World Trade Organization was a key condition for the signing of a partnership deal with the European Union

* Russia can increase natural gas supplies to Europe if demand rises due to the recent events in North Africa, Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko said

* A legal adviser to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said he was ashamed to hear allegations that the judge in the second trial of former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky did not reach the verdict on his own

BUSINESS

* Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said he hoped Germany will soon grant permission for Russia to pump gas through the Nord Stream pipeline, which is supposed to carry gas under the Baltic Sea to Europe

* Russia's Defense Ministry announced plans to buy 100 ships, over 600 aircraft and 1,000 helicopters under a 2011-2020 arms procurement program

SPORTS

* Zenit St. Petersburg became the second Russian side to reach the Europa League round of 16 after a come-from-behind win against Young Boys Bern in Russia's second city

* Spartak Moscow also joined CSKA in the next round of the Europa League following a 1-1 draw with Swiss side Basel

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