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Main news of March 31

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Main news - Sputnik International
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A roundup of what happened in the past 24 hours.

WORLD

 

* The United States will not become involved in any operations on the ground in Libya, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said, declaring that Colonel Gaddafi will be removed by his own people

* Japan's troubled Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant will most likely be closed down, the Kyodo news agency reported, quoting Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan

* Beijing reminded foreign companies to keep within Chinese law during an investigation on the world's largest Internet search engine, Google, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said

* Belarus expects to receive a $3 billion loan from Russia within the next 20 to 30 days to meet its financing needs and replenish its depleted foreign currency reserves, the republic's National Bank said

 

RUSSIA

 

* The head of Russia's North Caucasus republic of Kabardino-Balkaria called on militants to surrender and resume living normal lives

* Russian President Dmitry Medvedev called on big companies to donate money to the sports industry

* Russia will purchase two Airbus jets for its leadership in a deal worth $235 million with a European aircraft manufacturer despite promises to help its own struggling aeronautical industry

 

BUSINESS

 

* Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has signed an order granting unhindered and direct access to oil pipelines for independent producers, the government press service said

* Russia should manufacture at least half the medical equipment it needs by 2020, up from 11% at present, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said

* Belarus' foreign trade deficit increased $2 billion in the first two months of the current year, Economy Minister Nikolai Snopkov said

 

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