Main News of March 21

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A roundup of what has happened in the past 24 hours

WORLD

* NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said a NATO-Russia meeting during the NATO summit in Chicago was unlikely due to the busy political schedule in Russia

* The decision by the OSCE's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) not to send a monitoring mission to France’s April 22 presidential election is a regrettable example of double standards, the Russian Foreign Ministry said

* Ukraine’s Parliament voted down a proposal to decriminalize the statute used to convict former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, despite the urging of PACE, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe

* A man suspected of carrying out a series of deadly massacres across southern France, including an attack on a Jewish school on Monday in Toulouse, said he would surrender later on Wednesday after being besieged by police in his apartment, French media reported

* Two men with Chechen links have been formally charged with attempting to kill Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, Kommersant daily reported

RUSSIA

* Russian President Dmitry Medvedev appointed Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin his special representative on Moldova’s breakaway republic of Transdnestr

SPORTS

* The Russian Football Union has launched a dedicated taskforce to tackle racism in the game, just days after a banana was thrown at Anzhi defender Christopher Samba after a game, the federation said

* UEFA has opened the bidding process for Euro 2020, which will run until May 15, the organization said

CRIME

* The Belarusian central bank has ordered a freeze on bank accounts of suspected organizers of the reincarnated MMM financial pyramid, the tut.by online news portal reported

* A Moscow regional court upheld a lower court’s ruling to ban books on Scientology by the group's founder, L. Ron Hubbard, on grounds of inciting extremism, the tvrain internet channel said

* Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said the European Union had not asked him to postpone the execution of the two men charged with carrying out a terrorist attack in the Minsk metro

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