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Main News of May 21

© RIA NovostiMain news
Main news - Sputnik International
A roundup of what has happened in the past 24 hours


* Russian President Vladimir Putin looks set to dominate the country’s new government after the appointment of loyalists to key cabinet posts on Monday, in a move that raises questions over the role of new Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev

* Rashid Nurgaliyev, who headed the Russian police since 2004 and supervised a largely unsuccessful reform of the force, was replaced in the new government with Moscow police chief Vladimir Kolokoltsev

* A former general in the Georgian Army, Roman Dumbadze, was shot dead in Moscow on Monday, a police source said

* Moscow recapitulated its position on European missile defense, saying it will reserve the right to retaliate unless it receives legal guarantees that a NATO missile defense will not be directed at it

* The controversial founder of a pro-Kremlin youth group announced on Monday plans to form his own political party and said he no longer believed Russia's ruling party, United Russia, could improve its tarnished image

* Russian opposition figurehead, Sergei Udaltsov, who was hospitalized on Sunday, has announced that he is ending his hunger strike

* Russia's Health Ministry has submitted a draft law to parliament banning the open sale of cigarettes and smoking in public places, in a bid to cut deaths in the world's largest smoking nation


* NATO member states once again called on Russia on Monday to reverse Moscow’s decision concerning the recognition of the former Georgian republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia

* Georgia and Azerbaijan will do everything possible to avoid tensions over the David Gareji monastery complex at their common border until they reach an agreement to complete border delimitation in the area, Georgian First Deputy Foreign Minister Nikoloz Vashakidze said

* A preliminary examination of the flight recorder from the Sukhoi Superjet 100 that crashed in Indonesia at the beginning of May showed all the systems were functioning properly up until impact, a source in the investigation team told RIA Novosti

* Shares in the world’s largest social network Facebook plunged 13 percent below offer price at the company’s initial public offering last week on the U.S. Nasdaq hi-tech stock exchange

* Millions of people across eastern Asia as well as America’s West Coast turned their eyes skyward for this year’s first annular eclipse, a rare natural phenomenon

* Turkish security forces have foiled a plot to kidnap the head of the opposition Free Syrian Army (FSA), Riad al-Asaad, Milliyet daily reported

* A topless female protestor has again attacked the trophy to be awarded at Euro 2012, knocking it to the floor at an exhibition in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine

* A suicide bomber killed at least 96 soldiers and injured 300 during a rehearsal for a military parade on Monday in the capital of Yemen, Sana'a, Al Arabiya news agency reported

* Convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout may be sent to Russia under the European Council-backed Russian-U.S Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons, though it will require many talks from both sides on the ministerial level, the Russian Foreign Ministry said

* NATO does not plan to use military force in Syria, Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said

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