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Main News of April 5

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A roundup of what has happened in the past 24 hours

WORLD

* The U.S. Department of Defense urged North Korea to quit its plans to launch a missile to orbit a satellite

* Iran must not be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons, the U.S. Department of Defense said

* Russia’s Severnaya Verf shipyard in St. Petersburg has signed a contract on the overhaul of two warships for the Algerian navy, the company’s press service said

* Ukrainian prosecutors have substantial grounds to close a criminal case on the alleged poisoning of former president Viktor Yushchenko due to lack of evidence, Prosecutor General Viktor Pshonka said

* A prominent Russian Orthodox Church theologian has called on the government to deny a visa to Madonna, who plans to lend her support to the gay community in St. Petersburg during an upcoming concert in the city

* Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko faces an investigation over his order to close a criminal case against former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, Prosecutor General Viktor Pshonka said

* North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has threatened “to bury enemies at sea” if there are any attempts to hinder Pyongyang’s long-range rocket launch, which is scheduled for April, the Yonhap news agency reported

RUSSIA

* The Russian government plans to allocate over 67 billion rubles ($2.3 billion) to museum activities over the next six years, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said

* Belarusian national airline Belavia said it was barred from performing flights to all destinations in Russia except for Moscow starting from April 13

* The United Nations ranked Russia 76th in its first ever World Happiness Report, New York-based Earth Institute said

* Moscow’s Cheryomushki court has issued an arrest warrant for Vladimir Lykov, the owner of a market warehouse in the Russian capital’s south, which was the scene of a deadly blaze on Tuesday, a RAPSI/rapsinews.ru correspondent reported from the courtroom

* Russian President Dmitry Medvedev proposed holding primary elections to select candidates for governors' elections

* Russia’s former finance minister and opposition activist Alexei Kudrin made a partial return to national politics with the formal establishment of his Civil Initiatives Fund

* The Moscow Regional Duma approved the appointment of Emergencies and Civil Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to the post of regional governor

BUSINESS

* Russian energy giant Gazprom has signed a deal to get a 49 percent stake in a project to develop offshore blocks 0.5.2 and 0.5.3 in Vietnam, Gazprom said

* Belarus has notified Russia’s aviation authorities it plans to unilaterally cut the number of Moscow-Minsk flights by Russian airlines from April 13, the Russian Transportation Ministry confirmed

SPORTS

* Russian rider Anastasia Chulkova won gold in the women’s points race at the Track Cycling World Championships in Melbourne, Australia

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