Main news of August 29

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

RUSSIA

* The wife of a Russian national detained in Greece on suspicion of involvement in an arms deal with Colombia's FARC guerrilla group said her husband was completely innocent

* The jailed oil magnate and outspoken Kremlin critic Mikhail Khodorkovsky has become a columnist with the campaigning Russian weekly The New Times

* President Dmitry Medvedev warned against any attempt to interfere with the conduct of Russia's parliamentary elections which he set for December 4

* Thirteen people were injured when a helicopter carrying North Caucasus deputy presidential envoy Maxim Bystrov crashed in Karachay-Circassia, emergency officials said

* Prime Minister Vladimir Putin hailed an “indivisible and great Russia” at a bike festival in the Black Sea resort city of Novorossiysk

 

WORLD

* Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda has been elected the new head of Japan's ruling party, succeeding outgoing Prime Minister Naoto Kan, Japanese NHK TV company reported

* Irene raced across a shuttered New York City and charged into the northern New England region on Sunday as it weakened to a tropical storm

* NATO revealed its member countries may have troops on the ground in Libya

* A small bomb exploded on a beach in a Mediterranean resort on Sunday, slightly injuring six people and causing panic, a news report said

* Estonian parliament reelected Toomas Hendrik Ilves for a second term as Estonian president during a special session

* Serbian authorities cautiously welcomed the appointment of a U.S. prosecutor as head of a task force looking into claims that serving Kosovo leaders were involved in organ trafficking during a 1999 conflict with Serb forces

* The Venezuelan government needs new weapons to avoid the fate of the Gaddafi regime, President Hugo Chavez said in an interview last week with Russian business newspaper Kommersant

* The Algerian Foreign Ministry said that the wife and three children of fugitive Libyan leader Col. Muammar Gaddafi had arrived in Algeria, Al Arabiya said

 

 

BUSINESS

 

* The Royal Bank of Scotland, which issued more than $800 million in Belarusian state bonds earlier this year, abandoned its Belarusian operations after it was shamed by local dissidents over its role in organizing the issue, the Independent quoted on Monday RBS as saying

* Belarus, which is planning to privatize the country's largest potash-maker Belaruskali, is trying to revise the terms of a $2 billion loan from Russia's top lender Sberbank and Deutsche Bank, offering Belaruskali's export contracts as collateral and not the company's stock, Belarus Prime Minister Mikhail Myasnikovich said

 

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