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Main news of April 21

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A roundup of what has happened in the past 24 hours.

WORLD

* Western powers involved in a military operation in Libya have asked the country's neighbors for help in defending rebels against President Muammar Gaddafi's regime, Algeria's Elkhabar paper reported

* U.S. Vice President Joe Biden invited Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to visit the United States, Putin's spokesman said

* Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said Western countries are preparing direct interference in his country's affairs and are trying "to strangle the country with a slipknot

 

RUSSIA

* Russian police are looking into reports that the son of software tycoon Yevgeny Kaspersky was kidnapped in Moscow, an Interior Ministry spokesman said

* A probe last year into the authenticity of Russia's crime statistics found "mass falsification" of figures across the country, Prosecutor General Yury Chaika says in a report

* The Russian government submitted a bill to the lower house of parliament that would officially ban euthanasia, preempting any attempt to introduce the practice into Russian law

BUSINESS

* Shareholders in Bank of Moscow elected former VTB employee Mikhail Kuzovlev as the bank's president, ending a dramatic fight for control over the capital's lender

* Switzerland has opened a money-laundering probe against a former Russian tax official at the request of British investment company Hermitage Capital Management Ltd.

* Armenian airline Armavia completed the first passenger flight of Russia's newest commercial plane, the Sukhoi Superjet 100

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