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Main News of April 17

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A roundup of what has happened in the past 24 hours

WORLD

*WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange kicked off his new career as an interviewer of “terrible radicals” on a Kremlin-funded TV channel by hosting Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah for a 45-minute discussion.

*Iran’s Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi has announced progress in the development and manufacture of an indigenous version of the advanced Russian S-300 air defense missile system, the Fars news agency reported.

*Syria’s opposition National Coordination Body for Democratic Change (NCB) signaled a possible rethink of its long-standing aversion to foreign military intervention in the violence-wracked Middle East country.

*North Korea will continue further development of its aerospace technologies, including a satellite program, despite the UN Security Council condemnation, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.

*The head coach of Kazakhstan’s national shooting team got off with a formal reprimand over last month’s incident in which the Kazakh anthem was confused in Kuwait with a parody from a Sacha Baron Cohen movie.

 

RUSSIA

*Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned on Tuesday against “third parties” becoming involved in the Syrian conflict.

*Russia’s military expenditures in 2011 totaled $71.9 billion, which made the country the world’s third largest military spender, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) think tank said in a report.

*The former police chief of the breakaway Georgian region of Abkhazia shot himself after being linked to the attempt at the life of Abkhaz President Alexander Ankvab, local prosecutors said.



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